Back when my church needed a drumset, me being the default ‘drum guy’ I was appointed to scour high and low to find a drumset complete with all the fixings, for the price of $500. Though I knew the preferred budget is “none”.
Ok so I have a drumset, but I needed that to practice at home, and I was not prepared to spend an hour transporting the drumset to church every time someone wants to play drums, even if it was only myself and another guy. So what kind of drumset could you get for $500, with cymbals and hardwares, no less? Well back in year 2001, which was a lot like year 2010, $500 would net you Â the absolute lowest quality drumkit made from firewood, with paper thin drumheads, pencil thin hardware stands, and cymbals that would feel more at home as garbage can lids.
As a self-appointed drumÂ enthusiast, I was not going to let that happen, so I hit up this new online classifieds called Craigslist. A few weeks and a few phone calls later, my church was in possession of a rare Pearl fibreglass drumkit, which ended up being way too loud; and after a couple more months of web surfing and phones calling, my church ended up with the set you see here.
20×14 – Looks to be old Premier shell, silver paint inside.
12×8 – Japanese mystery shell, stick saver top hoop
16×16 – Japanese mystery shell, stick saver top hoop
14×5.5 – Worldmax 10 lugged steel snare
If you had said they looked like crappy low model drums, you’d be right. But there was a difference, these crappy drums sounded GOOD. The lug designs put the drums at around the 1960s, and the light shell combined with the well rounded bearing edge gave the drums an almost Gretsch-like warm tone, The sticksaver hoops did their job to tame the overtones and when paired with some lightly muted drumheads, the drums sounded like butter. You just couldn’t find this kind of sound from a $500 new drumset, as they all come in way bigger sizes and harsh sounding wood. The snare, while being a newer specie and of the metal variety, actually mixed in very well after a few coats of paint inside to tame the harsh overtones. If you have a 10-lugged student snare at home, give it a paint job and be surprised how good it can sound.
Over the years I slowly upgraded the cymbal stands and some of my personal cymbals also found theirÂ permanentÂ spot on the church kit.
Here is what’s on mounted this year : 13″ HHX Groove hats, 17″ A Custom Crash, 15″ A Custom Crash, 20″ A Medium ride. Everything worked well except for the ride, which is a little on the dark side.
The project end cost was $500, and the math would show a good chunk of it went to purchasing of separate pieces of hardwares, replacement of missing nutes and bolts. Listed separately these part would have fetched no more than $300, and even if you put it all together, no one would buy a mismatch kit such as this. But alas, $500 is what it took to go from no drumset to this, which sounds better than any $500 drumset you could find anywhere. The church got a drumkit, my spare cymbals got to be utilized, and I got to write a few blog entries about it. Let’s hear about your church drumset story.