Drum Workshop Worth The Cash?

Skitch

Pioneer Member
The Executioner said:
We have all overpayed for everything that we have purchased as opposed to the cost of actually manufacturing the items.
Cost associated with drums and everything we consumer isn't just in the manufacturing. It is also in the protection of those ideas, the marketing of the product and research and development to produce a better product in the future. Innovation requires reward; otherwise why bother?

The Executioner said:
But I cant see where they are all that better than a Starclassic, Absolute, Orion, or Reference series. What are your opinions are they really worth the extra cash? or are Dw's customers paying for the name badge and marketing schemes?
I wouldn't even think of putting Tama's cheap products in the same class. Tama cares about two things:planned obsolescence and getting more of your money WHEN their gear breaks (usually at the most inopportune time). I have had repair more than my fair share of Tama (The Strongest Name in Drums- ha) Titan stands because of the use of pot metal in a load bearing fitting. Furthermore, when I have had to call Hoshino (Tama's US counterpart), I got alot of attitude such as "How did you get this number? It is a carefully guarded secret! Leave us alone". Funny, when you see an ad for Tama, you never see an address, excpet for where to get one of their catalogs. DW on the other hand.......

To get to my main point: DW drums are worth the money. When you are comparing the top of the line drums from all manufacturers, you really aren't talking about that much more. Also, if you are complaining about paying way to much, I can guarantee you that you are being soaked by the Japanese (otherwise known as Tiawanese) drum makers. The labor costs don't even compare with what DW pays. I have a set of Tama Granstars and they sound great and I have kept them. But quality-wise, they don't stack-up. I sometimes refer to Don Lombardi as the Howard Hughes of the Drum manufacturers because we wouldn't have the high quality (across the board from every manufacturer) without Don and John both uping the ante. They took drum building to a totally higher level!! We would still be paying for "this drum goes with that set because it is black." Timbre-matching (a now patented process) was brought into the mainstream by DW. This isn't just some marketing gimmick.

One of the problems with the argument you throw down is that DW has become what the Yamaha Recording series once was; the standard. When I thought about buying another drumkit, one of the things which I weighed heavily was what I had read in a recording engineering magazine about the DW drums being the best recording drums ever made. This wasn't some drummer's ego and checkbook talking. It was someone outside of the drumming world. And sometimes it is those opinions we need to listen to the most

I haven't had the opportunity to check out the other series you have mentioned...and i feel that I have run my mouth way too much here.


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com

http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 
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Fat Elvis

Pioneer Member
Skitch said:
Cost associated with drums and everything we consumer isn't just in the manufacturing. It is also in the protection of those ideas, the marketing of the product and research and development to produce a better product in the future. Innovation requires reward; otherwise why bother?



I wouldn't even think of putting Tama's cheap products in the same class. Tama cares about two things:planned obsolescence and getting more of your money WHEN their gear breaks (usually at the most inopportune time). I have had repair more than my fair share of Tama (The Strongest Name in Drums- ha) Titan stands because of the use of pot metal in a load bearing fitting. Furthermore, when I have had to call Hoshino (Tama's US counterpart), I got alot of attitude such as "How did you get this number? It is a carefully guarded secret! Leave us alone". Funny, when you see an ad for Tama, you never see an address, excpet for where to get one of their catalogs. DW on the other hand.......

To get to my main point: DW drums are worth the money. When you are comparing the top of the line drums from all manufacturers, you really aren't talking about that much more. Also, if you are complaining about paying way to much, I can guarantee you that you are being soaked by the Japanese (otherwise known as Tiawanese) drum makers. The labor costs don't even compare with what DW pays. I have a set of Tama Granstars and they sound great and I have kept them. But quality-wise, they don't stack-up. I sometimes refer to Don Lombardi as the Howard Hughes of the Drum manufacturers because we wouldn't have the high quality (across the board from every manufacturer) without Don and John both uping the ante. They took drum building to a totally higher level!! We would still be paying for "this drum goes with that set because it is black." Timbre-matching (a now patented process) was brought into the mainstream by DW. This isn't just some marketing gimmick.

One of the problems with the argument you throw down is that DW has become what the Yamaha Recording series once was; the standard. When I thought about buying another drumkit, one of the things which I weighed heavily was what I had read in a recording engineering magazine about the DW drums being the best recording drums ever made. This wasn't some drummer's ego and checkbook talking. It was someone outside of the drumming world. And sometimes it is those opinions we need to listen to the most

I haven't had the opportunity to check out the other series you have mentioned...and i feel that I have run my mouth way too much here.


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dwsnare.com
http://www.timemachinetheband.net
very well said, sir. Very well said indeed.
 

Fat Elvis

Pioneer Member
aceman said:
I think the point thats being made is that why drive a porsche to work when a good reliable nissan will get you there.
why eat a steak when a few slices of bread and a vitamin suppliment will keep you alive?
 

Dave from Perth

Senior Member
Phew! The manufacturers must be rubbing their hands together with delight at all the passion you guys have for their products.

The matter of who does what "best" is problematic, while the idea of "value" is relative. Both these ideas have been explored by some forum members above (and they've done it better than I could), so I won't repeat their informed views.

I will say, though, that in my 15 odd years of playing I have used Yamaha Maple and Recording Customs. They were both very good. I enjoyed playing both kits and never had any trouble with either. Their hardware was also of a very high quality and always reliable.

I currently play a dw collectors series kit (maple) and use dw hardware. I made the shift because I wanted something different. My playing tastes and interests had changed with time.

I haven't played the Yammies and the dw in the same room at the same time under test conditions, but I know what I "feel" when I play, and at this moment in time I can say that for my current playing situation and my current musical tastes and interests, the dw is the kit for me. For this reason alone, they're worth the money, or at least I thought so...Last week I had a good play on a Brady. (And so the story goes...)

Oh, I have a 911 too, and I agree with the views expressed above on the 911 argument.
 
H

Henry II

Guest
Fat Elvis said:
you know i get this exact same comment about my car from suburu owners. hmmmm....

you know, with all due respect (and that this point, very little is due) you always chirp on about how over-rated they are, yet you so rarely support your argument. Your "absolute" obsession with yamaha is only exceeded by your "absolute" hatred for DW. Many people find value in these drums. They are well made, well finished, use incredible materials. Since you play the suburu of the drum world, i guess we can all understand why you would hate the porsche of the drum world.
Lots of false premises there. First of all, Buckwheat, I don't "chirp on." Maybe you do. Second, I've never said anything that could reasonably be interpreted as hating DW. Frankly the idea of hating a drum company is just stupid. I do think that there are better sounding, better quality, drums available, for less money: Yamaha, Pearl, Tama, Fibes, Tempus, among others. I'm happy for anyone who is happy with their DW drums. They're good drums. But, they're overrated and badly overpriced. I've stated my reasons a half a dozen times on this forum and see no reason to repeat them all, but, I will say that DW's have a very limited tuning range and choke out badly at higher tunings and the fit and finish is just not that good or consistent. (In fact, DW's sounded better when they were using Keller shells). For a little more money you could actually get your money's worth and buy a Sonor Designer kit and have the Rolls Royce of drumkits and not have to settle for a Porche. Finally, the drums I play are the drums I choose to play. If I thought DW's were the best sounding drums, then I would play DW's.
 
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Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
I really go for this Porsche argument - goes also for Harleys (Yamaha build better machines for lower price - you can even buy parts with resulting less HP for getting a kind of Harley Sound. Only fault: Yamahas are no Harleys......

Henry, I'm really asking: Did you ever own a DW? If no, discussion is useless - really. If you don't play one on a regular basis and tried just out, you are just not a member of the club.

I owned a Yamaha Maple Custom. For sure better tom-mounts - a very good system.

But I prefer now my DW's - don't ask me why, it's just a fact. Overall Sound is also better in my opinion - considering my normal tuning ranges.

And why always stress this money argument? Considering the fact that i play my drums for 40 years, it doesn't matter a lot. So why not going for the more expensive but best?

And also this:
During my long life in business (..not drums) I see, that the people always looking for best prices are ending their lifes as poor guys.


Bernhard
 
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H

Henry II

Guest
No Bernhard, I don't own DW's. And I don't expect that I ever will. I don't care for the way they sound - very limited tuning range, and the toms choke out at bop tunings. And I don't need to spend $3,500 on a DW kit to learn that. I've spent plenty of time trying to tune them to my liking side by side with Yamaha and Pearl maple kits, and frankly, the DW's just don't stack up. Nor do they against Fibes maple or Tempus fiberglass kits. DW hardware is good, but obtrusive, and those trash can cover lugs - ugh!

PS: In any event, "The Executioner" asked if DW's were worth the price. I presumed he wanted genuine opinions. I gave him mine. And BTW, I'm not alone by a long shot. BUT, Peter Erskine, having gone to the dark side (DW that is), I'm interested to learn if they are going to make a new drum for him.
 

finnhiggins

GONE MUCH TOO EARLY!!!
I'm not a DW fan. They sound nice from out back (nice, not world-shatteringly, Porche-911ingly nice) but I've not heard many unamplified DWs actually sounding good from out in the room. The number of times I've seen drummers playing DWs on gigs and been frankly underwhelmed by the sound is too many to count, and I've had the chance to check out individual kits from behind and in front with a few different head configurations. Across the board unimpressed, I'm afraid. I certainly wouldn't buy one given a choice between that and a Yamaha or Sonor of similar value.

If you want to talk about the Porche vs Toyota argument then I think you'd be better off comparing something like a Lignum to a DW, not a DW to a Yamaha. Lignum, Ayotte and Brady are closer to what I'd consider the luxury end of the market - they're the Porche, if you want to make that argument.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
To Henry II

I apologize for my harsh or rude comment. Just was in a bad mood yesterday night, because I had some unexpected trouble with my car...but now the sun is shining.

I also think we have to consider: Differences between GOOD drums are perhabs 1%

Much more important there is the difference of level of drummers ...


Again sorry

Bernhard
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Well,

Let me tell of my COLOSSAL screw-up! In 1993, I had the opportunity to buy a replacement kit for a set of Tama Granstars. At this time a guy in town had put a set of Yamaha Recording Custom series drums - but not just any set. It was a Cherry Wood finish that Dave Weckl gave a drum clinic on the previous summer. I ended up getting some more Tama Granstars. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

The argument is the same - DW drums and hardware is what is setting the standard for the industry right now, just as Yamaha did for the better part of fifteen years. Yamaha's tom holders, by the way, were a modernized version of the Rogers' swiv-o-matic tom holders. I am impressed by GMS drums though.

Also, I have been told that in the past, all Tama, Mapex, and Pearl drums are made on the same assembly line in the Tiawanese factory. They just get different cosmetics at the end of the line. I don't mean to upset anyone here - but has anyone else heard of this as well?


Mike

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com

http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 
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Mike you may be right I know that Mapex headquarters is in Lavergne Tenn. But their drums are made in China. As far as the same assembly line, I wouldn't know I have never seen the assembly line. There is a lot of speculation on this and it doesn't matter My kit sounds great and I will always be loyal to Mapex no matter where they are manufactured. And Just because they are made in china, doesn't mean that the craftmanship on my orions are inferior to any other company because of the geographic region from which they originated. Those DW private reserve waterfall Bubinga are pretty sharp I must admit.
 
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M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Bernhard said:
To Henry II

I apologize for my harsh or rude comment. Just was in a bad mood yesterday night, because I had some unexpected trouble with my car...but now the sun is shining.

I also think we have to consider: Differences between GOOD drums are perhabs 1%

Much more important there is the difference of level of drummers ...


Again sorry

Bernhard
You're right there Bernhard. Once you get into the top, top end (Yamaha Maple/Birch Customs etc, Sonor Delite +, Tama Starclassics) the sound quality of each kit is going to be great; there is no way of avoiding it. The determining factors are, then, finishes available, hardware available, ease of purchase, overall customer service and of course, the big clincher, price.

In that way, the DW loses out, they cost significantly more for their sound. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. If people are willing to spend that kind of money for some very good drums then I say go for it. Personally I'd take a Yamaha Maple Custom for less but I can't see the harm done in buying DW.

Although I would also agree with Finn. Although my experience is much more limited than his. At a gig a few weeks ago, the drummer was using DW. I looked at the kit before the gig started and thought 'these drums are going to sound great'. They sounded decidely average but that's more likely due to head selection, tuning and the playing than the drums. I have no doubt that that kit could have sounded fantastic with a different player.

That said, something is worth whatever people are willing to pay for it; and in the case of DW's, they're worth a lot in that respect. Call it brand marketing, call it whatever you want, but they are still great drums.
 

Fat Elvis

Pioneer Member
finnhiggins said:
If you want to talk about the Porche vs Toyota argument then I think you'd be better off comparing something like a Lignum to a DW, not a DW to a Yamaha. Lignum, Ayotte and Brady are closer to what I'd consider the luxury end of the market - they're the Porche, if you want to make that argument.
For what its worth, I personally consider DW's the high end of the pedestrian drum market (i.e. what can i walk into guitar center and purchase). I personally would consider brands like brady, ayotte, dunnett, etc. far more exotic (read: specialty, more custom order, special shops, etc). For that reason, i would put those in the Ferrari market, if you will. As nice as porsches are, there are certainly more exclusive cars. And the same goes for DW's. I put Yamaha in a class of suburu's simply because you know -- they may not be as flashy, they may not have the name/image, but they are every bit as good in the things that they try to do well. Not sure if this makes sense.... which, this is pretty much of a dead point anyway. :)
 

jamsjr44

Pioneer Member
I think it all depends on what type of DW's you are referring to? The best sets have to be customed ordered and remember the custom part is what you are paying for, because it's what you want. I think DW's are the best out there right now, but I also think anybody's high end sets sound good, if the person playing them knows how to play first of all and if they now how to tune them correctly. Too many drummers sometimes take other drummers opinions instead of going to a store and trying them out first. I would never pay over $2000 for a set just because someone on this site or another recommended them, that is called being dollar foolish. It's great to get opinions but it is also very important to do your homework and investigate what type of sound and quality you are looking for?

It's like golf clubs I am avid golfer and paid $2100.00 for a custom set of clubs last year, but I also went to the golf pro shop and hit clubs for over an hour for two days until I finally decided on which ones felt best( and yes I did take a few strokes off my handicap, trust me my older clubs were ancient...) Playing drums for as long as I have my 18 year old kit still sounds good, but not as good as what is out there today, but back then it was Remo's top of the line kit. But I plan on buying DW's next year or the year after because I love their sets and have tried them religiously and just like how they sound. And again this all my personal preference, only one of my favorite drummers play DW (Neil Peart), the rest play either Yamaha's, Pearls, Tama's, Sonor's, GMS and all of those kits sound outstanding as well.

It is hard to debate this topic because all of our ears are trained and hear differently, but in all honesty if you really think a pearl export, pdp or pacific kit sounds as good the best DW kit or any other companies top end kit, you are kidding yourself.
 

Drums558

Senior Member
I completly agree that all drum makers top of the line kit's are good drums, lucky us.
I have to say that my DW's sing at higher tuning's. If you are saying Dw's don't have a broad tuning range then I have to disagree and my kit is post keller shell Dw's.
Mike
 
H

Henry II

Guest
Drums558 said:
I completly agree that all drum makers top of the line kit's are good drums, lucky us.
I have to say that my DW's sing at higher tuning's. If you are saying Dw's don't have a broad tuning range then I have to disagree and my kit is post keller shell Dw's.
Mike
If you have the chance to compare your DW's side by side with a Gretsch Custom, Yamaha MCAN, Pearl MHX (not the MMX), Fibes or Tempus kits, you'll hear the difference. DW's are great for low end, but, that's their limitation, IMHO. Go to the Drumsmith website and ask how many players traded in their DW's for Tempus fiberglass or carbon fiber kits.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
The Executioner said:
Mike you may be right I know that Mapex headquarters is in Lavergne Tenn. But their drums are made in China. As far as the same assembly line, I wouldn't know I have never seen the assembly line. There is a lot of speculation on this and it doesn't matter My kit sounds great and I will always be loyal to Mapex no matter where they are manufactured. And Just because they are made in china, doesn't mean that the craftmanship on my orions are inferior to any other company because of the geographic region from which they originated. Those DW private reserve waterfall Bubinga are pretty sharp I must admit.
So basically, your Orions could be Pearl Mastersounds or Tama Starclassics? By the way, I have also heard that Mapex refuses to pay DW the royalties owed to DW for the chain drive system. DW owns the patent on this; any company who produces chain drive pedals is legally obligated to pay DW.


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com

http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 
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Drums558

Senior Member
Henry,

I did own a Gretsch kit, and loved them, wish i still had them. I had to sell them to pay taxes after i divorced my ex.

I haven't been into drumsmith for a while, need to go check it out again. Anyway, I have been curious about carbon fiber drums, who makes them? We had a Pearl fiberglass kit in high school that sounded sweet, but man were they heavy to lug around. I do think my DW's tune up nicely in the bop range, but then again, i don't play bop and you do so i'll give you the edge on the debate. Because I don't really play bop outside of practise on ocasion maybe there are some subtleties that i am missing that your more aware of.
My DW's did cost too much, but I still luv them.

Mike
 
Skitch said:
So basically, your Orions could be Pearl Mastersounds or Tama Starclassics? By the way, I have also heard that Mapex refuses to pay DW the royalties owed to DW for the chain drive system. DW owns the patent on this; any company who produces chain drive pedals is legally obligated to pay DW.


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dwsnare.com
http://www.timemachinetheband.net
As I said who cares about that asssembly line. And you are wrong Mapex does not owe Dw royalties on that chain drive pedal because they are manufactured differently.
 
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