Advice on DW drums

mcuguitar

Gold Supporting Member
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2,137
Hello,
I own a nice Gretsch kit, with all Zildjian cymbals. but I really want a certain DW kit for my studio! Here is my friend, Walfredo Reyes Jr. (Chicago, Steve Winwood, Santana), playing a gig with my band in 2019. He's using a DW kit that belongs to another friend of mine, and I dig the drum sound. Should I try and convince my friend to sell me this green, DW kit? Thanks, Jon.

 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
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13,713
I dunno, I'm a huge Gretsch drum fan. I certainly wouldn't get rid of the Gretsches for a DW but if you're just adding to the family, you could do a lot worse!

I also kinda felt that Gretsch and DW cover a lot of the same territory but if you've played them and they feel right, go for it!
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
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17,817
You can see by my avatar what kind of drums I like, and I believe DW currently makes the best drums in the world. I have been playing them for decades now. All it took was a tryout at Sam Ash to convince me that DW was the way to go. I have owned Gretsch drums and have no desire to ever own them again. They were a huge disappointment. They were vintage round badge Gretsches. Big deal. My old Slingerland sets sound much better. The Gretsch snare drums I had all sounded like cardboard boxes. Awful.

DW drums have a certain sound and vibe that just does it for me. Of course, I'm going to tell you buy them, but it's up to you.
 
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JamminJoe

Member
Messages
1,022
I went from a DW Collector set to a Gretsch Brooklyn set and preferred the tone and tunability of the Gretsch. But they’re both quality sets and if you like your friend’s DW set then I’d make an offer on it.
 

Fenderbaum

Member
Messages
129
DW.. Hyped and overpriced. Best sounding modern era drums i have heard was the Tama starclassic..
That was years ago though.
 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,713
You can see by my avatar what kind of drums I like, and I believe DW currently makes the best drums in the world. I have been playing them for decades now. All it took was a tryout at Sam Ash to convince me that DW was the way to go. I have owned Gretsch drums and have no desire to ever own them again. They were a huge disappointment. They were vintage round badge Gretsches. Big deal. My old Slingerland sets sound much better. The Gretsch snare drums I had all sounded like cardboard boxes. Awful.

DW drums have a certain sound and vibe that just does it for me. Of course, I'm going to tell you buy them, but it's up to you.
I have a 63 Slingerland kit and a 64 Gretsch kit and they both sound wonderful but in very different ways. The Slingerland definitely sounds huge and is great for heavier hitting stuff but I love the lighter and tighter sound from the Gretsch too, it's just brings different beats out of me.
 

DrumBob

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17,817
I have a 63 Slingerland kit and a 64 Gretsch kit and they both sound wonderful but in very different ways. The Slingerland definitely sounds huge and is great for heavier hitting stuff but I love the lighter and tighter sound from the Gretsch too, it's just brings different beats out of me.
I get what you're saying. I was a Slingerland guy from the time I got my first set in '66. I bought the Gretsch set thinking they'd be good rock drums, but they were not. Admittedly, I'm also biased about a lot of the bop drummers who played Gretsch way back when. I don't like that style of jazz, and especially dislike bop drumming. Sometimes, guys like Elvin Jones and Tony Williams sounded too indefinite insofar as their timekeeping. I could go on and on about bop, but I won't.
 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
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13,713
If I was playing with a rock band, I'd definitely take the Slingys but for most other stuff, I'd pull out the Gretsches. With the Gretsches, I find myself playing with a much lighter touch than the Slingerlands and I also tend to use wildly different heads on them (Remo Vintage coated Emporers on the Slingerland and Aquarian American Vintage on the Gretsches) although I do end up using a Super Kick II on every bass drum I have!
 

244300

Formerly posted as MkIIC+
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I love DW Drums but the bearing edges on them can be very demanding. They are very much a pros drum in every sense of the word.
 

DrumBob

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17,817
I love DW Drums but the bearing edges on them can be very demanding. They are very much a pros drum in every sense of the word.
I agree, they're for pro and semi-pro players, but DW also markets the PDP line of Asian-made drums that compare very favorably to real DWs. I wouldn't hesitate to use the higher quality ones.

Can you explain what you meant by the bearing edges being demanding? Not sure what you meant.
 

244300

Formerly posted as MkIIC+
Silver Supporting Member
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I agree, they're for pro and semi-pro players, but DW also markets the PDP line of Asian-made drums that compare very favorably to real DWs. I wouldn't hesitate to use the higher quality ones.

Can you explain what you meant by the bearing edges being demanding? Not sure what you meant.
They are more difficult to tune then say a Ludwig set. Not as forgiving and flexible so a smaller range of tuning. However, when you get them right in the tuning range they offer, they are damn good sounding drums.
 
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eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
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7,560
There are several companies making quality drums, DW included. If you love this particular kit then by all means tell your friend that he/she should reach out to you first when he/she is ready to sell it.
 

DrumBob

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17,817
They are more difficult to tune then say a Ludwig set. Not as forgiving and flexible so a smaller range of tuning. However, when you get them right in the tuning range they offer, they are damn good sounding drums.
I never had a problem getting great sounds out of any of my DW sets and never found them hard to tune. Perhaps you should assess the way you're tuning them.
 

RevDrucifer

Senior Member
Messages
352
Hard to go wrong with DW’s!

I’m also a HUGE fan of Tama Starclassics, especially the maple and bubinga kits. I think my buddy was telling me they’re not making them in maple anymore.



I agree, they're for pro and semi-pro players, but DW also markets the PDP line of Asian-made drums that compare very favorably to real DWs. I wouldn't hesitate to use the higher quality ones.

Can you explain what you meant by the bearing edges being demanding? Not sure what you meant.
My buddy’s dad owned a music store when we were in high school in the 90’s where we’d “work”, some of those PDP kits were just ridiculous sounding and pretty damn cheap. Easily my favorite of the mid-level kits.
 

244300

Formerly posted as MkIIC+
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I never had a problem getting great sounds out of any of my DW sets and never found them hard to tune. Perhaps you should assess the way you're tuning them.
When I ran into difficulties changing out the heads and tuning my DW kit, I spent some time on the topic, watched the John Good tuning videos, bought a Tunebot and then finally reached out to a friend that's a semi-pro drummer to get some more pointers. My buddy's first comment was DWs are more demanding than many other drums due to their bearing edge design. He far preferred Ludwigs and he was of the opinion you could do more with a Ludwig drum in terms of tuning options. I've only own my DWs so I don't have any first hand experience. Regardless I certainly got better over time. Anyway, not all bearing edges are the same. Some are easier to tune than others. Some have a more forgiving sweet spot.



I'll add that some people are better at tuning than others either due to natural ability and or experience which may explain why you never found them hard to tune.
 

In Absentia

Silver Supporting Member
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7,281
When I ran into difficulties changing out the heads and tuning my DW kit, I spent some time on the topic, watched the John Good tuning videos, bought a Tunebot and then finally reached out to a friend that's a semi-pro drummer to get some more pointers. My buddy's first comment was DWs are more demanding than many other drums due to their bearing edge design. He far preferred Ludwigs and he was of the opinion you could do more with a Ludwig drum in terms of tuning options. I've only own my DWs so I don't have any first hand experience. Regardless I certainly got better over time. Anyway, not all bearing edges are the same. Some are easier to tune than others. Some have a more forgiving sweet spot.



I'll add that some people are better at tuning than others either due to natural ability and or experience which may explain why you never found them hard to tune.
I’m a hack tuner with a set of DW Performance series. Tune bot user. I feel like the tuning is wide enough to ask whatever I need of it.
 

DrumBob

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17,817
I'll add that some people are better at tuning than others either due to natural ability and or experience which may explain why you never found them hard to tune.
I have been tuning drums for a long time, that's true. It took me a lot of practice to get proficient at tuning and finding the sweet spot on snare, bass drum and toms. I still struggle occasionally with bass drum tuning, because every room elicits a different tonal response from that big drum for some reason. Acoustics play a big part in the equation. There's one room I play locally with a very low ceiling, and regardless of which drumset I bring to that gig, the drums sound like cardboard boxes.

Also, I have a bandleader who is constantly asking me to tune the snare and bass drum to his liking. He wants the snare drum deep, and no ring at all on the bass drum, just a flat thud, and I hate that sound. I want the bass drum to have a little deep resonance and the snare tuned for a tighter and higher sound.
 

244300

Formerly posted as MkIIC+
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Acoustics play a big part in the equation.
Rooms vary so much there are no rules. It's amazing how much can change from room to room. I've mostly noticed this with guitar amps but I've tuned drums in two different rooms and it was night and day.

Tuning drums doesn't come natural to me and I'm hyper sensitive to every detail. If it doesn't sound perfect, I'll keep after it in a way pros would not. They would get very close fast and move on. I get very close slow and wonder how to close the gap.
 

DrumBob

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17,817
Rooms vary so much there are no rules. It's amazing how much can change from room to room. I've mostly noticed this with guitar amps but I've tuned drums in two different rooms and it was night and day.

Tuning drums doesn't come natural to me and I'm hyper sensitive to every detail. If it doesn't sound perfect, I'll keep after it in a way pros would not. They would get very close fast and move on. I get very close slow and wonder how to close the gap.
I wouldn't obsess so much about it, but I can't tell you what to do. I know the sounds I like and I know the sweet spots on all my sets, and if I can get to 90% of that sound in my head, I'm good.

Don't sweat it so much. It takes time to learn to tune. Once you find the sweet spot on each drum, record those sounds so you can go back to listen next time you tune.
 




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