DW Design Series Questions

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Hi guys,

I recently saw a DW Design series kit in a really cool satin black finish. I am considering buying it but had some questions for those who are familiar with the series and the way it sounds...

Tone:
How do these drums sound in comparison with other DW drums, tone-wise? Are they warm in nature, or brighter?

I have an older DW kit, probably early 90's, (the badges are black and brass, this was before note stamping and before stm mounts... these have RIMS mounts, we think they are keller shells)...

I'm trying to compare what my a new DW design series kit would sound like compared with my older DW kit.

Any help appreciated, thanks!!
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
By comparison? Bad. Design is a thicker shell, it's made in China or Taiwan. It's not a horrible set, it's just not a Collectors. Your 90's DW is definitely Keller shells. Depending on how early it will have either six ply shells with six ply rings or five ply shells with three ply rings. After 97 DW started making their own shells, six ply with three ply rings. I own a 97 five ply Keller DW and it slays. Design series drums can't touch it.
 

JacobDB

Member
By comparison? Bad. Design is a thicker shell, it's made in China or Taiwan. It's not a horrible set, it's just not a Collectors. Your 90's DW is definitely Keller shells. Depending on how early it will have either six ply shells with six ply rings or five ply shells with three ply rings. After 97 DW started making their own shells, six ply with three ply rings. I own a 97 five ply Keller DW and it slays. Design series drums can't touch it.

Would you compare them to the higher end PDP lines?
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Thanks SunDog! I'm curious to know more specifically in what way the design series would sound much worse? Tone-wise what would be the main obvious difference? Just trying to get a feel for the sound of these drums as I haven't played them yet. Many thanks in advance.
 
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The SunDog

Guest
Jacob- I like the older PDP drums a lot, and better than the Design. The CX/MX/LX and Platinum drums that were made in Ensenada, Mexico. I'm not as familiar with the newer PDP lines to say which is better.

Johnbarnes- Design series are good drums, don't get me wrong, but the Collectors are warmer. The toms have great attack balanced with a beautiful tone and the snares way out class the Design snares. The standard Collectors shell for toms is about half the thickness of the Design, so they have a much lower fundmental. The Design I think is meant to compete with the Reknown, Starclassic Performer, Pearl MCX niche. All nice kits, but none are the top of their brand.
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Got it, thanks for the info. In that case I'll probably stick with my Keller collectors kit. I really love the satin black finish of the design series though, my Keller kit is piano black wrap (black gloss) finish and looks great too, so I thought getting the desig series would get me the finish I want and still be a Dw. However if the Keller collectors is superior in sound then I'll keep it and sacrifice a little visual aesthetic for tone and warmth. Thanks again.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I have had a design kit for 5 months.. i really like it.. but can't compare it to much except a buddy that has 2 performance kits and he and i both think the design sounds better.. that could come down to tuning though or just wanting it to sound better on my part :) I am very happy with it...

BTW.. comparing a $1000 shell pack with a $4000 shell pack is a bit silly. collectors of course should sound better...
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Thanks Icetech! How about the overall tone of the Design series kit you played? Darker or brighter sound?

I'm curious what this kit would sound like with Pinstripe heads on. I went to Guitar Center last week to try the Design series for myself. It sounded pretty good but was a little bright for my taste. Of course the stock heads vs lower heads and tuning would certainly make a difference.

I think I've concluded to keep my early 90's Collector's kit for now. However with that said, the Design series in satin black would make a great second kit!
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Thanks Icetech! How about the overall tone of the Design series kit you played? Darker or brighter sound?

I'm curious what this kit would sound like with Pinstripe heads on. I went to Guitar Center last week to try the Design series for myself. It sounded pretty good but was a little bright for my taste. Of course the stock heads vs lower heads and tuning would certainly make a difference.

I think I've concluded to keep my early 90's Collector's kit for now. However with that said, the Design series in satin black would make a great second kit!

I play it nightly, its in my basement:) I own a maple kit.. I havn't had pinstripes on it.. i replaced the stock heads which actually wern't bad with remo black suede emperors and i LOVE them. I tune just a bit above JAW and i find the drums very bassy and full sounding, even the 10". they also have a huge tuning range on the toms, i have had them up quite a bit and back low and it sounds good all around..

For my bass drum i replaced the stock head which i believe is a PS3,, i put on a superkick 2 and holy cow it really came to life. such a difference..

I have been fighting with the snare on mine, mainly learning more about tuning and heads.. i have been through 4 different heads on it in 6 months and tonight i'm switching from a g2 coated to a Aquarian modern vintage 2 with a remo hazy on the bottom, will see how it goes..

I'm not sure what sound you are looking for, but i like a deeper tone without alot of smack or in your face punch but still sounds good..

P.S. the best money i have spent was $25 on a vintage bomber beater.. i am not a fan of the plasticy sounding SMACK of hard beaters with the superkick 2 and the bomber its just huge WHUMP you can feel without the bassball bat smack:)
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Thanks for the info, it sounds like you were able to get some nice warm tones out of those shells.

I personally like warm, dark tones rather than bright and punchy. It sounds like I could achieve this with the Design series if I use the proper heads and tune em low.

I guess I should still consider them. The one other thing that's pulling me towards them is the finish... satin black. I wish my current DWs had that as I am a visual person.

Anyway I appreciate the perspective from someone who actually owns them. I'll keep in mind and report back if I pull the trigger on them.

Thx.
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Beautiful looking kit. Here is a link to the satin black finish I want: http://www.ruppsdrums.com/item/DW-D...ll-Pack-with-Chrome-Hardware-DDLM2215BL-53248

Im still considering the Design series. If I had the cash I'd have both kits (my current older collectors, and buy the new design series in satin black). Maybe it's sinething to save up for. I'm still not sure that selling my current dw for a new design series is the way to go. But having both would be great :)

However with that said its still a very close call bc I love the finish and I know that with the right heads and tuning I could make the design kit sound killer!

Thanks again.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Beautiful looking kit. Here is a link to the satin black finish I want: http://www.ruppsdrums.com/item/DW-D...ll-Pack-with-Chrome-Hardware-DDLM2215BL-53248

Im still considering the Design series. If I had the cash I'd have both kits (my current older collectors, and buy the new design series in satin black). Maybe it's sinething to save up for. I'm still not sure that selling my current dw for a new design series is the way to go. But having both would be great :)

However with that said its still a very close call bc I love the finish and I know that with the right heads and tuning I could make the design kit sound killer!

Thanks again.

If you have the money and the space, I'd keep what you have and get the designs. Use the Collectors for recording and whatever, and use the Designs for sloshing around to gigs and stuff. I certainly wouldn't sell what you have to get the Designs though.
 

drummaman1

Senior Member
Many are going for Design drums because of the smaller turret lug. You see more shell. They are well made, good sounding maple drums and would be an excellent gigging kit. It would be a kit used in a high school band program, the price and sound are just right, and it can take a little "beating" (pardon the pun).
 
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