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Tim the Enchanter
Member Since: Feb 17, 2008

I'm thinking about purchasing a set of drums. I don't really want to spend more than $800 for the whole set including cymbals. I'm looking for a decent set to learn on and to have so my drummer friends can come over and jam out. I also might want to do some recording with them as well. Here's two sets I am looking at:



I also thought about checking ebay but I'm a little bit leery about spending that much money on ebay. And I would also have to pay shipping.

Anyone have any opinions on these two sets or any others? Would either of these be decent enough to record with? Mind you they would be in an untreated room about 11' by 11'(at least until I buy me a house). Or would I be better off to keep using EZdrummer?

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Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Since: May 11, 2002

Feb 22, 2009 07:54 pm

I would go used. If you have a local 'Music Go Round' check there... there's two in my city (columbus, oh) and they have some nice kits for less than $300... then spend the rest on nicer cymbals.

Or you might be ably to buy an entire kit off craigslist for $500...

Cymbals to avoid are the low end of each brand... Sabian B8's, Zildjian ZBT/ZXT, etc...

things to look for that are deal breakers for used kits.

1. chipped shells along the rim... the place where the head actually contacts the shell cannot be dented or chipped and is a PITA to try to repair unless you like woodworking. ...you can get away with small dents but it is a stress on the head.

,,,and that's about it... everything else is easily repairable ...and I include grinding out cracks in cymbals as a repair :)

the problem with buying drums off ebay is going to be shipping...

I tune down down...
Since: Jun 11, 2007

Feb 23, 2009 02:59 am

Another option to consider is to just get a bottom of the line EVERYTHING, buy some triggers and trigger converter and use some drum sampler.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Feb 23, 2009 11:48 am

Yeah, I would check craigslist personally. I see many full sets with hardware\cymbals going around 4-800.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Feb 23, 2009 11:59 am

I shopped around for a drum set for a long time but never ended up pulling the trigger and actually buying a set. I was looking in that same price range, but man the price of the actual kit is only the tip of the iceberg!

I looked at the Yamaha Rydeen set ($500, cymbals included) and the Gretch Catalina sets ($500, no cymbals). Those both seemed like good deals for a first drum set. The Gretsch sets definitely get better reviews for sound quality, and they come in several different configurations depending on what you need.

But factor in the price of cymbals, sticks, throne, and other accessories. Plus if you plan on micing the set, that's another few hundred dollars just for mics. It gets expensive really quickly.

I ended up buying a MIDI controller instead so I can just do fake drums with a velocity-sensitive input device. Its not as convincing as a real set and there are several things I can't do as far as feel and subtle techniques, but for about 1/4 of the price I feel like I still got more than I paid for.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Feb 23, 2009 12:55 pm

Although I won't say fantastic. Some quality well tuned skins can make a cheap drumset sound pretty darn good. Cymbals... you get what you pay for.

Ne'er ate 'er
Since: Apr 05, 2006

Feb 23, 2009 01:23 pm

Yikers. Don't pay retail. Go the used route for starter tubs. In ten minutes on craigslist, I saw several deals like this:


Bang away.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Feb 23, 2009 04:00 pm

Yep craiglist is the way to go. Unless as zek mentioned you have a Music Go Round near you. They always have several sets up and many good ones for a reasonable price.

Tim the Enchanter
Since: Feb 17, 2008

Feb 23, 2009 05:54 pm

I just did a search and it looks like I do have a Music Go Round around here. I'll definitely have to check them out. I'll keep my eye on craigslist as well.

Tad, what kind of MIDI controller do you have? I'll probably still use EZdrummer for awhile until I can get enough mics to mic up the set if I get one. It gets very tedious programming every drum hit with a mouse. Lots of copy and pasting!

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Feb 24, 2009 09:53 am

Ewww, yes that's a very frustrating way to program drums! And that's the exact reason I bought a MIDI controller.

I bought a relatively cheap controller. I went with the EMU XBoard 49-key MIDI controller. It got the best marks for keyboard feel and key quality, although the chassis and knobs are pretty cheap feeling. But the keys themselves feel great (although I'm not a pianist by any stretch of the imagination so you could fool me!).

It came with Proteus X VSTi and a whole boat load of sample libraries. there are some very good acoustic drum samples, piano, synth, world percussion, electronic/techno samples...you name it. Altogether it was a great bargain to get all of that for about $180 or so.

Proteus X isn't the best VSTi but it does do a good job for my relatively basic needs. The one feature its lacking is the ability to split each piece of the drum kit to its own track. But I can do that post-tracking so its more of an inconvenience than a fatal flaw.

Basically you want a velocity-sensitive keyboard with aftertouch, and full-size synth-action keys. With that combination of features you should be able to create drum patterns with some human-like feel and it should be comfortable enough to avoid fat-fingering a few keys at once by accident.

There are controllers by M-Audio, EMU, Alesis, Behringer, Edirol, and a few others in this price range. In my research before purchasing, the XBoard took the cake as far as the key quality. But some of the other brands may fit your needs better. Definitely shop around, there is tons of competition in this market so there's a perfect keyboard for you out there somewhere!

Tim the Enchanter
Since: Feb 17, 2008

Feb 25, 2009 06:29 pm

Thanks for the info peeps. I'll do some shoppin around then and see what I can find.

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