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  #1  
Old 10-13-2013, 03:02 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Default Tommy_D's Gear

Hey all,

I figured I would put a quick thread together of my gear. I play both acoustic and electric drums so I have two kits to show. Both are kinda big, but they serve my purposes very well,

First up is my 1993 Tama Rockstar DX. I got this kit when I was 13 and its has just built up over the years. It was my first, and only, acoustic kit:


From left to right we have:

Drums: Tama Rockstar DX (circa 1993)
16x16 floor tom
11x12 tom
12x13 tom
13x14 tom
16x18 floor tom
6 1/2" x 14 steel snare
(2) 16x22 Bass drums

Cymbals:
16" Medium A. Zildjian "Brilliant" crash
17" Medium A. Zildjian "Brilliant" crash
8" Paiste Signature splash
12" Wuhan China
10" A. Zildjian splash
12" A. Zildjian splash
10" Sabian Mike Portnoy signature mid-stacks
14" A. Zildjian "Brilliant" hi-hats
18" Medium-Thin A. Zildjian "Brilliant" crash
22" A. Zildjian "Brilliant" Ping ride
20" Z. Custom Zildjian china
12/14" Sabian Mike Portnoy signature low-stacks

Accessories:
LP Rock Rider cowbell
Rhythm-Tech DST tambourine

Hardware:
Lots of Tama Stilt stands, accessory boom arms, and Gibraltar clamps
Pearl single chain pedals
Tama HH75N hi-hat stand (Pre-Iron Cobra generation)

Heads:
Remo clear Pinstripes on top
Remo clear Ambassador on bottom
Remo clear Powerstroke 3 Bass heads (front and back)
Evans coated G2 snare head

I also just picked up an 8x8 and 10x10 tom to go with the kit, but I havent gotten them set up yet. I need to find a place to fit them.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:03 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Next up is my electric kit.

So, since I have moved to Chicago I have been without my acoustic kit because 1) its rather large, and 2) its really damn loud. This just doesn't bode well for apartment living. So I had to start looking in to electric kits if I ever wanted to play. After much research over all the different brands and the different models, I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I bought the best kit out there. I figure, I only buy a drum set once every 20 years, so why not? This is my Roland TD-30KV:


From left to right we have:

Drums: Roland TD-30 Drum Module
Roland PD-128S-BC (side snare/floor tom)
Roland (2) PD-85's (octabons)
Roland PD108-BC
Roland PD108-BC
Roland PD128-BC
Roland (2) PD-85's (more octabons, or hi-hats, or whatever I want)
Roland PD128-BC
Hart Dynamics hand hammered 13" snare drum
Roland KD140-BC bass drum

Cymbals:
10" Kit Toys mini-china
10" Madkatz splash
Roland VH-13-MG hi-hats
Yamaha PCY-135 crash
Roland CY-14-MG crash
(2) 10" Madkatz splashes
Roland CY-14-MG crash
Roland CY-15R-MG ride
Yamaha PCY-135 crash
Kit Toys 14" china

Accessories:
Simmons DA200s Amp
Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones
Boss FS-5U foot switch

Hardware:
Roland MDS-25 rack, clamps and stands
A bunch of PDP clamps for more cymbal stands
Gibraltar tom mounts for the PD-85's
A couple Tama Boom stands for the left side of the kit
Pearl H-2000 hi-hat stand
Pearl Eliminator double pedals
Pearl S-1000 snare stand

Heads:
Roland (Remo) 2 ply heads on all Roland drums
Hart Dynamics Maxxum single ply head on snare drum

This kit also grew since my original purchase of the TD-30KV, but I knew I wanted it to be very similar in size and setup as my acoustic kit. This should make it easier for transitioning between the two kits.

Last edited by Tommy_D; 10-19-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:15 AM
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Those are some beast kits, man!
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:53 AM
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That Roland rig is very impressive. If I were in your situation I'd be more than happy to be able to play one of those. Years ago when I was doing the apartment living thing I bought a DTX-treme. I really wanted the Roland but it was just out of my budget. In hindsight, I wish I had just saved up longer for the Roland or just not have gotten anything at all. The DTX isn't terrible, though.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:17 AM
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Nice rigs. On the Rolands you have at my count 23(?) pads/triggers, I thought the TD-30 only had 16 inputs. Did I miss something?
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:01 AM
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Nice rigs. On the Rolands you have at my count 23(?) pads/triggers, I thought the TD-30 only had 16 inputs. Did I miss something?
The TD-30 has a kick, snare, hi hat's, (4) toms, (2) crashes, (2) ride's and (4) auxiliary. So I use all of these, and split 2 of the auxiliary inputs for the two little splashes up front and the two china's on the left and right.

The (4) PD-85's, (2) on the left and (2) on the right, and the left most little splash cymbal are hooked up to a TD-9 module, but I'm thinking about selling the TD-9 module because it just isn't giving me the sounds I am looking for.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
That Roland rig is very impressive. If I were in your situation I'd be more than happy to be able to play one of those. Years ago when I was doing the apartment living thing I bought a DTX-treme. I really wanted the Roland but it was just out of my budget. In hindsight, I wish I had just saved up longer for the Roland or just not have gotten anything at all. The DTX isn't terrible, though.
I was really looking hard at the DTX950K before I bought the Roland, but after a few months of having the kit out in the public I started hearing if cracking silicone heads, the hex rack was being discontinued and out of production, etc. It was all up in the air back then. Fortunately, Yamaha has brought back the hex rack and their TCS pads are a bit better than the first batch. Unfortunately, I already bought the TD-30 so no Yamaha for me. I am glad though. I am really happy with the TD-30. It does everything I really need, though there are still some things you can do on an acoustic kit that you cant do on an electric. There will always be a limitation with electronic kits relative to acoustic kits, but there are also a lot of benefits to them. Yeah the TD-30KV is a many many thousand dollar drum kit, but so is a DW collectors, or a Gretsch USA, or a Tama Star Bubinga, etc. Throw in top end cymbals and hardware and you are easily over the price of the TD-30KV. Now you have one really nice kit, but its only one kit. The TD-30KV can be as many kits as you want, with as many different cymbal packages as you want.

So yeah, its pricey but I like that I can have a kit for Metallica and another for Pearl Jam, another for jazz, one for Gavin Harrison, and now I'm working on a 'Tool' kit. Tons of different sounds and kits are possible. All for the price of one top end acoustic kit.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:34 PM
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Just ran across your Roland Kit. It definitely made me start thinking.

I've been collecting ideas of what I want out of my new Kit. I'm pretty sure it will be TD-30KV. I like how you added the Hart Dynamic Snare. What did you do with the snare that came with the kit? Did you need to get a stand for the Roland Snare? I assume you got a stand for the Hart.

I'm not going to even be near the kit you have here, but still interested in what engineering you went through to adapt all the extra's from the basic kit.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:23 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Hey Macarina,

I don't have that Roland kit anymore. I sold it and have made an A2E Roland TD-30 kit that is basically the same setup, only with real drum shells and sizes.

As for that kit, it was something that just quickly built up from even before I came shipped to my door. Basically you can use any Roland pad or cymbal with the TD-30 and it should work just fine. Yamaha cymbals work great with the module as well, but the hi-hat wont work. Hart Dynamics pieces work great as well since they are/were designed to work directly with Roland modules, but they are some tweaks you will have to make in the trigger settings to get them to work perfectly. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. For the Roland snare, I turned it in to my side snare/left side floor tom and hung it with a Gibraltar RIMS mount. It worked great when I had the kit. Very solid and no faulty triggering. The Hart snare is held in a regular snare stand and works great.

I still have the a TD-30 module, the Hart snare, the Yamaha cymbals, china and splash cymbals, and the four PD-85's but sold off the main TD-30KV kit.

Here is a more detailed account of my Roland kit:
http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/pe...ommy_d-s-drums
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:23 PM
Macarina Macarina is offline
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D'oh (face palm). I just now remember you posting that in Vdrum.

Hey thanks for the info on what you did. I'm going to look into that.

Edit add: I see on Ebay, a couple of Hart Dynamic Used snares going for $250. Opinions?
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:27 PM
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I really like the Hart snare. Much better than the 12" pad Roland gives you. I find it feels a lot like an acoustic snare. The Maxxum mesh head Hart supplies is really nice. I like it for a snare head better than the Roland mesh head. Hart is currently out of business. They may start up again one day, or not. Who knows? I have no fear that my pad will stop working, and if it does it is just simple electronics inside that anyone with basic knowledge of a soldering iron will be able to repair it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
I don't have that Roland kit anymore. I sold it and have made an A2E Roland TD-30 kit that is basically the same setup, only with real drum shells and sizes.
Any pics/ specs of your A2E setup? Would love to see how you went about it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:30 AM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Nothing loaded here, but I do have a post on the Vdrum forum to a quick build of kne of my toms:

http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...d-roland-td-30

Shortly after building the kit, my wife and I bought a house and have been spending most of our time working on it. The kit is disassembled and stacked up in our bedroom because we have to figure out some drainage issues to keep the basement from taking on water. Once thats done and the basement is 100% dry I will get the kit completely set up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:39 AM
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Nothing loaded here, but I do have a post on the Vdrum forum to a quick build of kne of my toms:

http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...d-roland-td-30

Shortly after building the kit, my wife and I bought a house and have been spending most of our time working on it. The kit is disassembled and stacked up in our bedroom because we have to figure out some drainage issues to keep the basement from taking on water. Once thats done and the basement is 100% dry I will get the kit completely set up.
Ah, you went the cake pan route- very nice.
I see you bought the cones, peizo's and jack's from quartz percussion- any reason you didn't just buy their harness triggers outright? (I've found they've done a good job for my setup).
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:59 PM
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I had heard such great things about the cake pans that I decided to go that route. Simple drop in setup and easy removal if I want to make the drums acoustic again. Overall they trigger well, but I think the moleskin I added around the cake pan rim to protect the bearing edge is causing my rim hits to be a bit muted. I have upped the sensitivity, but its not triggering as perfectly as it did with the KV kit. I may try removing it from one of the pans to see what the difference is. I don't want to damage the bearing edges, but at the same time, I want great response and playability as I had with the KV kit.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:51 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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That Tama Rockstar kit has gotten so large that I have decided to split it in to 2 kits: 13/16/18/22 (Rock/metal) and 8/10/12/14/22 (Fusion). The big drum kit is unfortunately being sold though. I just don't have room for all my kits. I need to purge somewhere. So in memory of the Rockstar, here is an image of the Rock/Metal kit:



The fusion kit is being re-wraped and more than likely converted to electric so I can use my 7 piece Catalina Maples as my acoustic kit. Oh yeah, I also have a 7 Piece Gretsch and a 6 Piece Ddrum acoustic kit. No real photos of those kits at this time. They are still wrapped in their boxes.

I will eventually update this thread. Its a bit behind.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:35 PM
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Damn, sorry tobhear them go. Just the rockstar rock size kit is going or both fusion and rock kits?
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:26 PM
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The fusion sizes will stay. Just the kit in the above photo is for sale.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:25 AM
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The kit above has sold. So that leaves me with a 6 Piece Tama Rockstar Fusion kit (8/10/12/14/22/14), a Ddrum Reflex Uptown 6 Piece (10/12/14/16/22/14) and a Gretsch Catalina Maple 7 piece (8/10/12/14/16/22/14). The Tama is converting to electric and will be used with my Roland TD-30 Module. The Ddrum will be converted to electric and will be used with my 2Box module. And, the Gretsch will now be my acoustic kit. So many changes... So many pedals, hi hat stands, and thrones to buy...
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:24 PM
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Well, the 2Box Ddrum set is almost complete. Its all set up, but I'm waiting on some right angle converters so I can wire up my internal triggers nice and clean. Those should be arriving within the week. Overall the kit feels good, looks good, and from the little bit I have tried playing (only the cymbals and bass drum work at this time) it sounds pretty good. I will be posting photos of the build soon, but I don't want to post any yet. I would rather just have "the big reveal" all in one post.

In other news, my Tama Rockstar kit is coming along with its re-work. In case anyone forgot what that kit looks like, it looks a bit like this (minus a couple drums):


As mentioned in a previous post, I sold a 13/16/18/22 Bonham'esq kit on Craigslist leaving me with a 6 piece "fusion" kit. The pieces I kept were the 8/10/12/14/22 and the 14" snare. These are all getting re-wrapped, new edges, stained interiors, new lugs, everything. Total makeover. I don't even think I can call the kit a Tama Rockstar anymore, because there is hardly anything left of the original parts on the kit, just the shells.

Anyway, here are some photos of whats going on with that kit:

Wrap Removal:






Stained Interior:


New wrap:


There is still a ton of work to do on this kit. I would say I'm about 1/3rd of the way with completing it. It will be awesome when its done, but its a long journey.

More updates to come.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:20 PM
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So here's a quick update for how my Tama Kit is going. I have all the old wrap off all the drums and all the interiors are stained and coated with a couple coats of tung oil. All the new wrap is cut and ready to be installed. I have wrapped, cut new edges, and drilled the hardware mounting holes for the bass drum. I test fit some of my new/old lugs and so far I think its looking really good. I'm excited to see how the entire kit will look when its all wrapped and nice shiny chrome is put on it. Here's some progress shots.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:22 PM
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As an update to my other kits, I just about have the 2Box Ddrum A2E kit all finished up. I still have to solder and wire a couple jacks for the floor toms, but other than that, its all set up and working okay for now. I'm having a few trigger issues with the snare drum, but it sounds like those will be fixed with the new update 2Box is beta testing right now. In the mean time I am just going to deal with the lack of sensitivity on the snare and not try to do anything intricate or with any real dynamic control. Maybe just some straight up rock for now.

Here are some crappy cell phone shots of the kit to give you an idea of what that looks like.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:26 PM
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And last but not least, the Gretsch Catalina Maple kit that I previously converted to my Roland A2E , that one is becoming my acoustic kit and the Tama kit (above) is changing to electric.

Currently the Gretsch is in the process of being disassembled. In that process, however, I took a closer look at the bearing edges. I didn't pay much of any attention to them when I did the conversion because they didn't matter to the sound of the kit. Well, lets just say that they aren't good. Its nothing from the conversion that damaged them. Its just shoddy workmanship and crappy cost savings measures that lead to some of the worst looking edges in the history of drum building. Below are photos of just the 10" tom and how its edges look. Needless to say, I am going to have to cut all new edges in to these drums and clean up the mess Gretsch left me. Fortunately, I have heard from drum builders that once new edges are cut the drums really sing. So shell construction seems to be fine with these drums. The finish is great, but the bearing edges were just ripped through and no one cared to spend a few minutes trying to do the job right. Oh well. They should sound real nice when I'm done with them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:27 PM
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Well, I have made a bit of progress on the Gretsch kit this past weekend. All the tom shells have had their bearing edges sanded down and have received their first cuts (outside roundover). I hope to have the inside 30 degree cut finished on them by the end of the week. Hopefully I can get a bit of time at night to work on this. I still need to sand down the bass and snare drum shells, but I'm holding off on those until I'm done with these. I have way too many drums that are disassembled and scattered all throughout the basement. Hardware, rims, heads, etc. all over the place. Its a mess. An organized mess, but still a mess.

After the edges are cut, they will get hand sanded smooth, shellaced/sanded, shellaced/sanded, then waxed. I'm thinking of tung oiling the insides as well, but I'm not sure yet. Its just another thing to do, and it involves sanding the shell interiors, which I'm not looking forward to. I may still do it just because I have all the hardware off the kit at this time. I don't know. I guess I have a little time to think about it.

The Tama kit is coming along as well. Got the last wraps all set up for installation. I just need to score the back side of them so they bend a bit easier around the smaller diameter shells. Then I get to do all their edges as well. Ugg... Photos of that will come in the future. For now, here are some Gretsch progress photos. (sorry for the crappy cell phone pics.)
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:31 PM
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They are looking good! Good work Tommy!
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:55 PM
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Thanks, Fritz. I don't think I will get to cutting the inside 30 degree cuts until the weekend. I was tinkering with the 10 inch last night trying to clean out the glue from a void on the interior plys. I'm going to fill the gap as best as I can (hopefully from top to bottom) with new wood and then edge the drum. It is amazing just how shoddy these drums were built. The edges were crap and there are gaps on the inner plys in 3 of the 5 toms (still need to check the bass and snare drum). So lots of cleanup to get these drums up and running as best as they can. Fortunately, I got the kit pretty cheap.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:58 AM
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Well, I've made some progress on the Catalina kit. The bearing edges and interior refinishing has been completed on all the toms (8, 10, 12, 14, 16). I still have the snare and bass drum to do, but I'm currently assembling these drums before I begin disassembling the other drums. Lots of cleaning and waxing going on. Total freshening up of everything. I'm even waxing the hoops.

So I have a few photos to show of the progress.

New bearing edges. Vintage round over with 30 degree inner cut.


Since bearing edges are really hard to photograph, here is another that may show them better.


The interior has received 2 coats of clear shellac and has been sanded to 800 grit. Baby butt smooth.


Factory finish is beautiful so I debadged the shells, waxed them (and the hardware) and put it back together. Much classier looking now.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:16 PM
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Well, I finally wrapped up the toms. All shells and hardware are all cleaned and waxed. All put back together again. I will try to grab some photos of the toms on Tuesday. There really shined up nicely. I still need to get to the bass drum and snare. That's the next big adventure. For now I'm just playing with the tuning of the toms. They sing really well and produce lovely tones. They almost sound like a note is being played. Very clean and clear. Distinct tones, nice resonance and no crazy ringing. I'm going to give the heads a day or so to stay under tension and mold a bit better to the bearing edges. Then I'm going to play a bit with the tuning so I can get some more grumble out of the floor toms and blend the rack toms in a bit. My plan is to have the 8" and 10" toms above the snare, with the 12" to the left of the hi-hat and both floors to my right. So I want to get a good tonal blend from the 10" rack to the 14" floor. If Benny Greb can do it, so can I.

Fun times. Still working on the Tama kit. I haven't forgot about it. That one will also be awesome when its done. Probably cooler than the Gretsch kit.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:44 PM
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All 5 toms are done.

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Old 05-06-2015, 10:23 PM
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Those came out really nice. It's always gratifying to reap the benefits of one's own labor.

When I was shopping for a kit, the Catalinas were close to the top of my list (close second to a Signet 105). When I finally found one locally to play, I thought that the shells and lacquer finish were really nice. It was only after looking at the edges and construction that I realized I would have to do a lot of work to get them into the shape I would expect from my kit.

Luckily a used Renown came in and saved me.
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  #31  
Old 05-06-2015, 10:34 PM
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FritzDrummer FritzDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Tommy_D's Gear

They look great! Beautiful job!
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  #32  
Old 05-06-2015, 11:18 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Default Re: Tommy_D's Gear

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Those came out really nice. It's always gratifying to reap the benefits of one's own labor.

When I was shopping for a kit, the Catalinas were close to the top of my list (close second to a Signet 105). When I finally found one locally to play, I thought that the shells and lacquer finish were really nice. It was only after looking at the edges and construction that I realized I would have to do a lot of work to get them into the shape I would expect from my kit.

Luckily a used Renown came in and saved me.
Yeah, as they come from the factory they are "good from a far, but far from a good." Fortunately, this kit cost me less than half the price of what a Renown kit would have cost me at that time, so I'm okay putting in some time and energy to make them better. Ultimately, it took more work than what many people would have put in, or even spent, to get these toms up to speed (though I do need to work on the floor tom tuning a bit). In the end, I probably could have picked up the Renown and probably been better off, but the knowledge I gained by reworking these shells is something I can use in future projects, even custom stuff I may want to build on my own.
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