Cheap = Bad sounding?

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nv1bddrmmr
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Post Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:24 am

I personally feel that if you know how to tune drums you can make a really low end set sound decent. However when it comes to hardware my experience with the lower quality stuff is well just that.
As they say some guitar players can give a good licking but every drummer can give a good banging
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Nitemareanatomy
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:33 am

i Think that idea has to be one of the worst things you could possibly say do to the fact that my own gear isnt wat you would call top of the line and it still sounds just as good as a much more expensive set there is some difference in the shells but most of the time if you have good heads and tuned rite you can get the same exact tone as anyother set and if your out playing shows with a cheap set aslong as its tuned rite you will be fine becasue one you drums are all eq'd it dosent make a difference wat the actull sound is
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phoenix7289
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:53 am

I have a Planet Z (Zildjian) 18" Crash Ride, they don't make the Planet Z's anymore... but I think it sounds AWESOME! Even though I will be replacing it with a Paiste RUDE 18" Crash Ride, I still like it, and instead of demolishing it like I did my old CODA 16" Crash, I will put it on display....

I also have 12" and 18" Wuhan Chinas that sound pretty good.... VERY CHEAP priced I must say!

On top of this... I have a B8(Sabian) 20" Ride which I think sounds AMAZING!!!

My drumset is a Tama Swingstar... I don't know, it sounds ok... but I REALLY need to get new heads.... badly. They are a FEW YEARS old... However my snare drum is a Tama Artwood 6.5"x13" and looks really nice... $150, GREAT sound!!!

My hi-hats which are CODA's, are ok.... however a friend of mine is going to help me replace them soon enough, because I really can't stand having such low quality hi-hats on a Tama HH905 Iron Cobra Hi-Hat stand lol... so I'm getting Paiste RUDEs....

But yah.... My thought... cheap can sound good and bad, DEPENDING....
I proudly play with Tama (snare drums), PDP, Sabian, LP, Paiste, Vic Firth, Aquarian (bass and snare heads), and Remo (tom heads)brands! My biggest drummer influences are Mic Fleetwood, Nicko McBrain, and Mike Portnoy.
phee
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:06 am

Okay. I DO use all top of the line very expensive gear and it's freaking great! I did use lower quality more affordable gear for many years while I worked my way up and I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO THAT CRAP!!!!!!!!!

Now I agree with just about everything that has been said for the most part. Heads and tuning, yeah yeah yeah. But lets see you boys record an album with your Pearl Exports and ZBT pre-packs. It would not sound good at all. Most drummers tend to be ridiculously egotistical to the point that they all think their drum kit sounds the best even though it costs a quarter of what all the pros are using. Lets not ignore the facts. Expensive gear tends to sound better.
colin_ectomy
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:30 am

although it is true that you get what you pay for, that doesn't mean you can't work something out. i've been using pretty beat up equipment myself for a long time and over the course of a while i learned to make what i have sound good.





...although i would LOVE a DW kit.
gipson
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:01 am

ive been playing 6 years now....the first 4 i played on some sort of percussion plus set...it was cheap, and no matter what i did the toms had too many funky ringy high pitched overtones unless i muffled them, i even tried several different types of heads on them. and the hardware was horrible for numerous reasons. Now i got a pearl export select and i have no issues at all making them make the sound i want with evans heads.

Hardware i recomend getting good and sturdy well constructed stuff, because there is nothing worse then your cymbal falling off in the middle of a show, or the boom arm twisting and you sitting there with a sideways cymbal trying to play or at least keep a beat while trying to get your cymbal back up right. (some no name crap i found on ebay for an amazing deal..i just told myself...hay! its double braced ..haw)

As far as cymbals go, ive used cheaper sheet cymbals and they all ended up cracked nasty style and they wernt loud enough for what i wanted, now i use z custom crashes and theyre just great. the cheaper sabian b8 hi hats i had ended up cracked nasty real fast so i spent a little extra and they holding in good now and are alot easier to controll the way i want. rides are all about what you want, my cheaper zbt is geting the job done great for me and i imagin cracking a ride is kind of difficult. the way i see it is if you can take your cymbal and bend it like a taco with much ease, shit just aint gonna last..but yea, i play loud.

The best this to do really in purchasing from what ive learned is get stuff in your price range that works for you and makes the sound you want. try it out, ask people questions about it, read reviews and such...but increadibly cheap stuff just has a tendancy to break, which is no good.
Dale
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:32 am

I don't like that attitude that says something must cost an arm and a leg to be good. If that were the case, just about all the drums from places like Cuba, Brazil and Africa would sound bad. They don't.

End of story.
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Rob Crisp
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:35 am

I had (and still have) a Pearl Export, must be nearly 10 years old. I bought it second hand with 2 cymbal stands, bass pedal, throne and hi hat stand for £200.

More than a couple of drummers who shared my kit said how good it sounded.

It's all tuning and heads, and that's something I'll stand by until I die!

I left a drum key on my tom for a guy who was gonna record on my kit in our studios, so he could tune as he liked (the Export not the Starclassic).

He picked up the drum key and asked "what's this for?" No word of a lie, we couldn't actually believe it!
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PaulZILLA
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:29 am

welll it is true that higher priced gear has more potential. but cheap gear can have a decent potential too. i have a pulse pro5 peice kit. took the shitty wraps off. replaced the tension rods, and put GOOD heads on it. and now its a reall champ.my friend that owns a Tama Rockstar, Pearl Export EXL limited edition, and some really old vintage kit i cant pronounce or spell. he played on my kit at a recording session one day and tried to buy it off of me. said it was better th an all of his. and he knows how to set them up and has decent heads on his gear. he didnt know what kind of kit mine was and was under the influence i payed 1,000$ or more for it. when i told him it was a 350 pulse he was floored. i do have really good heads and pretty good cymbals. i have the kit set up with toms- Aquarian Performance2(batter), Response2(resonate). Bass- Aquarian Super Kick1(batter),Aquarian Regulator Small Port(reso), and i actualy h ave an Evans Genera HD Dry on the snare batter with an Aquarian MED Hazy snare Reso head. i put ludwig snare wire on it and now it sounds good. i prefer an Aquarian High Energy or ToughStuff(kevlar) but my shop of choice were fresh out and recomended this snare head as a good 2nd. i will say i dont think my kit sounds as good as the one im looking at now (Pacific(PDP) CX 7 peice all maple) and i generaly dont like maple. i kind of prefer ash or basswood. but im in love with that CX maple. it just goes to show you. that if you can set up a cheap/med level kit well you can get very good sounds relatively easy. it may not sound as good as that full custom blah blah blah that costs 4 times as much or more. but for the money you payed you can sure get one bang for the buck. as far as cymbals go i use Sabian B8 and B8pro. they sound really good for the money. and im kind of partial to them, especialy the B8Pro 18in china. im going to try to upgrade to Sabian AA-Metal-X and put a 21in Sabian ping ride with a raw bell on the kit as well. but that comes after the new drum set. best way to do it. do your research, know what you can get for what you have,and get the best kit you can for your money(best as in the one you like the best including how it sounds) and then do even more research and learn to set it up properly and then you can have a kit that keeps up with some of the big dogs and not have to worry about how many bumps you hit ont he road to the gig or how many fingerprints are on your drums. becuase you will have a good kit for next to no cash compared to them. and for god sake LEARN TO USE A DRUM KEY. that is prolly one of the more important of your tools as a drummer and just about the cheapest.
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SeanGordon
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:38 am

I played pro a long time ago and I used the last sold Pearl Prestige BLX set sold in Texas in 1994 (93' models) Before masters and Pearl Discontinued birch now Im kicking my self for selling them should have kept them for collector purposes but anyway... I said that to say that yes I know what an Expensive kit sounds Like. Now every show I do drummers come up to me asking what Kit do you play it sounds amazing... I smirk then tell them its the new POS brand haha... I finally tell them its a 6 year old warped wraping Pacific kit. They just refuse to believe me. But they get in close and are blown away... "How do you get that sound", they ask? I used nothing but hhx or aax Sabians for crashes an old dark paiste ride 22" (Similar to a K) zxt Hi hats (I play rock but these are nice and tight ) I dont really like zxt crashes or rides though - and a Wuhan stacked on a Sabian hand hammered china (i got all symbals used) and all dual brace DW hardware with dogbones, its easy to setup and reliable. I used evans Heads and I bought a Used Tama rockstar snare for $100 (I hate tama) but it was set up right and sounded good using a strip of felt under an evans etched coated and a nylon groove snare. All my toms are G2 etched (Tuned by tuning wrentch then by ear because some lugs are rusted and some hoops are warped. I use the evans ported resonance Kick and an evans self dampening Batter head.. with DW7000 doubles and a 9500 hi hat cuz I like control and sizzle. Without the hardware I think i spent $500 on the used kit all the cymbals and the new heads. I get 2-10 compliments not only on playing but the sound of the drums even on a crappy sound system. So if anything that should tell you... money dont make the sound... though i do miss those concert pearls.. man they were loud haha!
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SeanGordon
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:53 am

Just wanted to add another quick piece, The main thing is you dont have to stay with the same brands and they dont all have to be the best... if you mix all the sounds on your kit the way you want them (Regardless of brand and looks) youll get a compliment of your style. And different woods sound better tuned at different keys due to theyre resonant frequency which even the same model kits will sound different because the wood was cut from a different part of the tree. So explore tunings with each individual drum until the right tuning comes out of it. It will also be a longer note and slightly louder if you havea SPL meter. Then just go slightly below the overall note to drop the resonance or use mutes... Get to know your drums no matter what they are and youll find a way to make them sound good. (Rome wasnt built in a day, and niether was a good sounding kit) -SG

(((ECHOVIBE))) & AMYSTIC & HYNDSYTE
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zero_or_die77
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:25 am

i believe it's very untrue. you can get high quality sound and performance from a "low" quality brand. I had a set of Pearls a while back, but i wanted to upgrade to the 2 basses. so i sold that set and bought the Pulse 8 piece which came with a free Pulse roto tom. they sound amazing with the correct tuning! the heads gave in pretty quick, but i just replaced them and now they sound better than my last set of Pearls. I think you should be more worried on looking for a sound that's right for you, instead of looking for some expensive name brand. save you a hell of a lot of money also.
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Drumsrule05
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Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:07 pm

It's the drummer that matters, not necissarily the equip. However, you do usually get what you pay for. But there are exceptions. For example, a while ago I bought two cymbals. One was a Zildjian ZBT $54 cymbal, and one was a $150 Zildjian A Custom cymbal. After playing them for months, I finally decided that the cheap ZBT cymbal sounded much better for my style of playing. Just goes to show you gotta do research, don't make impulse buys. I could have saved a lot of money.
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soliddrummer
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:01 am

try before you buy folks - also check this forum and product reviews to see if the inexpensive stuff is worth it. 8)
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