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Gerhard Westphalen

Joined: 21/03/10
Posts: 227
Loc: Calgary, Canada
Buying Drum Set
      #1053041 - 18/06/13 07:18 AM
I know that I am posting in the wrong section but I didn't see a section which this would fit under.

There is a person locally selling a used drum set. It is a yamaha stage custom with cymbals. There is only a picture so I don't know much about the state which it is in. The seller is asking for $500. I can try it out before buying but its probably not tuned and needs new heads.

I have limited drumming experience but I will be soon starting to take jazz drum lessons so I need a jazz kit. The thing is that I'd also like to use the kit in my studio to record for my film music (more rock oriented, like Brian Tyler) so it has to be a good sounding kit.

I'm guessing that the cymbals included aren't very good so I know that I'd have to get nicer cymbals.

I would like to know if I should take this kit or not. I need to know soon before someone else takes up the offer.


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active member

Joined: 13/12/03
Posts: 1171
Loc: The turn off where the main ro...
Re: Buying Drum Set new [Re: Gerhard Westphalen]
      #1053047 - 18/06/13 07:58 AM
I think Yamaha Stage Custom covers too many different options to be able to tell if that's a good deal - plus you don't know the cymbals... If you can find out the model of cymbal (as opposed to just the brand) they might be easier to judge, and also might give you an indication of whether the seller is likely to have looked after his kit.

If this is your first drumkit purchase I don't think it's too important, as the chances of it being the drumkit you really need if/when you become serious are pretty small. Looking at the models online, they don't look like jazz kits. But if you just buy it, you'll learn a lot of things about drums you won't be able to find out otherwise.

Maybe go round to check it out with $350 in one pocket and the remaining $150 in another. If you really can't get him to move much on the price, then it's probably not a bad deal.

Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja

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Gerhard Westphalen

Joined: 21/03/10
Posts: 227
Loc: Calgary, Canada
Re: Buying Drum Set new [Re: molecular]
      #1053152 - 18/06/13 05:27 PM
I know that the stage customs have a wide range of options but I'm just asking in general if they are good.

You mentioned that I would get another one if I am serious but the thing is that I am a beginner but I'd like a "serious" sound since it'll be recorded in my studio.

It comes with 3 crash, 1 ride, 1 hihat, 1 china, and 1 splash. They won't be good for jazz so I know that I'll have to get new ones. I don't really care much about theses cymbals and would still be thinking about getting this kit if they weren't included.

Last year I attended a workshop which Yamaha provided the kits. They were mostly stage customs and the bebop kits but the stage customs had really small dimension (since it was jazz). I think it sounded pretty good but I'm not sure how much I can compare since they dimensions are different.

Today I'm going to go to my local music store and try some stage customs out (as well as other top of the line kits).

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_ Six _

Joined: 03/06/06
Posts: 1543
Re: Buying Drum Set new [Re: Gerhard Westphalen]
      #1053171 - 18/06/13 08:55 PM
$500 isn't a lot of money to spend on a used kit. If the guy can play then you can ask him to demo the kit for you and see how it sounds. Ask him why is he selling? Is it to upgrade? If so what limitations did he find with that kit. Drummers are a friendly bunch and will point you in the right direction if you show interest in their skills.

For that money I'd expect cheap starter cymbals which can come in handy for practice or demos. Cymbals can get very expensive and make a great deal of difference to the feel and sound. You could probably sell the cymbals and put the money towards upgrades if you don't like them. Smaller hats (13 inch or so) tend to record better than larger diameter but again that's subjective and down to personal preference.

One of the best upgrades you can do for a kit is a new snare. The affordable models are very good these days but you'll want something that sounds great for recording. Maybe even a few different sizes. The Ludwig Black Beauty will cost you more than the whole kit but is a drum for life and will serve you well for a variety of styles and tunings.

Check that the hardware is double braced and in good condition. The seating for the rims should be undamaged and cases are a good idea for transporting drums. Kick pedals are very subjective but you want a good action.. that is adjustable for playability. If it's floppy and can't be tightened or adjusted you'll need a new one. Check that all of the felts are present and serviceable. They're pretty cheap but the costs add up if you're buying new heads and a kick pedal, mallets, brushes, cymbals etc.

Yamaha generally make good products so it will be a decent enough if you set it up correctly. Skins and tuning massively affect the tone so it's worth trying a few different kinds.

Other than that you really do get what you pay for with musical instruments. Drums are no exception. I like to spend as much as I possibly can when investing in equipment. It can be false economy to start with something that isn't as usable as you'd like.

Once you get past that hurdle you need to start looking at room acoustics, sound isolation and microphones. I must have spent close to £5000 to get a good drum sound at home. It can be an expensive hobby!

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Gerhard Westphalen

Joined: 21/03/10
Posts: 227
Loc: Calgary, Canada
Re: Buying Drum Set new [Re: _ Six _]
      #1053312 - 19/06/13 06:42 PM
I'll ask him to demo it. He is a drummer. He mentioned that he is keeping some of the hardware for his electonic kit and I think he lives in an apartment so its probably the reason that he has to get rid of it.

I eventually plan on getting decent cymbals. Probably paiste for $600 each.

I know that you get what you pay for but my main focus right now is investing in my studio. I'd like to get a career in film composition and my studio has a long way to go so I don't have much to spare on the drum kit.

I contacted the seller on tuesday about the drum sizes. He replied to that. I asked him when I could see the kit and he hasn't replied so I think I may have lost the opportunity. Maybe next time...

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