Skip to main content

"Student" kit...worth the hassle?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Hey drum dudes!
I'm not a drummer.

My question is basically this. .
Is it worth it to try set up an old Student style kit for fun and recording?

Here's the deal, I found a drumkit in the garbage.
Blue sparkle, from Japan, guessing circa 70's.
Its in really good shape, all hardware is there,
there are no cracks or warping, it even had all of the original paperwork, extra sticks, drum key, brushes, and a nifty "How to play Rock Drums" book. All of the heads had been slashed, with what looked like a razor blade. hehe (dad, sibling, neighbor?). It has a 20" kick, 14" floor tom, 14" snare and a 12" tom. The Hi Hat stand and kick pedal are unuseable peices of junk, noisy and rusty.

I cleaned off several layers of sludge and now I am wondering if it is even worth it to put good heads on it. Will it ever play in tune?
Should I try wrestle this thing into shape? Or cut my losses and put some cheapo heads on it and give it away or sell it for 50 bucks.

Its kind of neat looking with the cymbal stand sticking out of the kick drum. Tiny little footprint and space is a consideration for me.
I could just set it up and leave it with some cheapo mics on it. .maybe?

I do have a 65 Ludwig kit for serious studio recording, it only really gets set up a couple of times a year, the rest of the time its stacked up in the corner. I do Mostly demo work and if this set could ever be functional I would like to consider trying to set it up.

What do you think?
Wrestle it into shape or don't bother.


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 01/02/2002 - 06:42
free or found gear is is not necessarily good gear, but I say get some new heads on it and see how it sounds. if it's crap-tone, then make it even crapper: pour some gravel in the snare, stick some moraccas or some weird shit on the bass drum etc... it couldn't hurt to have different flavors of drums in the studio...

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 01/10/2002 - 19:14
Food for thought.

I decided to purchase a little jazz kit like your talking about for next to nothing, to play out live, in a pinch. My drumming skills are pretty basic, so I decided to get some help from the local drum pro, on how to tune. I decided to bring the little jazz kit to see just how a professional would approach tuning a "piece of crap" set.

I told this person that I was probably going to trade the kit for a tama. he said that I should save my money.

After a while of tuning the kit, we set it up. It sounded absolutely kick-ass. The guy helping me has a custom DW set that was set up right next to my kit. The both of us could not believe that the small jazz kit was keeping up tone-wise with the expensive kit. In fact, my floor tom sounded better than his floor. We dicided that the aging mohagany may have had something to do with it.

I have recorded the kit a few times since then, and people do not believe me when I tell them what it is.

I did go to the trouble of getting some aquarian studio-x heads for the batter heads on the toms (12" and 14"), and an Aquarian super Kick 1 for the kick (20"). I also put dipolmat heads on both sides of the snare to it snapped a little more. You may not have the luck I've had with the diplomats.

Moral of the story. You never know what you might have.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 01/13/2002 - 17:02
Whew....drumming is FUN!!!!
Neighbors be dammed....hehe
I just got done playing along to BACK IN BLACK,
Steve Jordan once told me thats how you learn.

Well I got new heads...REMO weather king ambassador coated. So far the Plus's outway the negatives by a longshot. The only 2 negatives I can think of are,
A-Snare is kinda lame and "soft" sounding.
B- Toms Go out of tune really quickly.
But being a glass full kinda guy this aint so bad.
The snare is NOT so feckin loud it hurts every time you hit it...and I can work on my drum tuning chops as needed.
The positives are plenty.
A-I can beat the poop out of it without having to worry about wrecking something, or my 5 year old can do his avant garde/keith moon drumsolo without without me freaking out.
B-Small footprint, I am able to put the rack tom right where I want it which is right next to or above the snare, rims almost touching, I could never do that with my "real set".
C-It sounds pretty cool. It sounds like a set.
Not seperate peices, if that makes sense.

So the plan is leaving this set up all of the time for pounding on, and keeping my 65 ludwig at the ready for serious recording.

Any way...thanks for the support and info!!!
boom bap crack splat

Member for

20 years

Kev Thu, 01/17/2002 - 19:32
The Drummers may not like this BUT here goes,

A cheap drum kit does suck so for the Non-Drummer/Studio owner ... I think it is better to head down the road of good quality gear that the normal drummer may not have.

By this I mean percussion gear that is unusual or not of the normal LIVE kit sizings like 13inch or 12 inch hats and small spash cymbals and a Kick pedal that doesn't squeeek. Remember some drummers may not adapt well to an unknown pedal. Tamborines and rattles and bongos etc..

Now here is the bit that some drummers may not like. Drum triggers and electronic or Midi drum kits. Get an Alesis DM4 module and a practice drum kit like a Gibralta( did I spell that right?) and start to build a kit to rival a VDrum kit. Keeping in mind to buy quality and such that it can be incorperated with a kit thats is in the studio being recorded.

Or if you have the money go straight to say a TD6 Roland kit and add a VDrum head for snare. Roland is not the only company in this stuff so shop around.

Drumming is a lot of fun even for a non-drummer like myself.

Member for

20 years

LittleJames Fri, 01/18/2002 - 05:54
It's hard to compare acuostic vs. electronic kits.
The only similarity between the two is that you hit both of them. I'm not going to get into a discussion about which is better because they are completely different animals. If you want an acoustic sound go acoustic if you want something else go electronic.

I use both. I love my acoustic kit and my electronic kit.

If you charge 1,000 clams an hour for you time buy a great acoustic kit and an electronic one. If not work with what you have and tell the drummer your recording to bring his own gear. When I'm in a session even at a nice studio I still use my personal drums which consist of a 13 inch Snare, 18 inch Kick, 10inch tom, 13inch floor tom and Istanbul cymbals. The only thing I can't play with these baby's is Death Metal.

If you've got the cash go for both (electronic and acoustic).

Hey Simonsez to keep those toms in tune try lug lock.

You can find'em at your local shop. And as far as the snare goes check out this site
It's the most comprehensive tuning guide I've seen so far.

Good Luck and keep pounding those pigs :D