New drum gear of the month: review round-up

3rd May 2011 | 14:11

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Drum gear of the month: April 2011

Every month MusicRadar’s industry-leading sister magazines - Guitarist, Computer Music, Total Guitar, Rhythm, Future Music and Guitar Techniques - publish the best independent and in-depth music-making gear reviews.

This is a collection of snares, cymbals, percussion and kits - including Pearl’s acoustic/electronic hybrid E-Pro Live set - from Rhythm Magazine's gruelling testing process. First reviewed in Rhythm issue 188 and 189 and published on MusicRadar throughout April.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: the aforementioned Pearl hybrid kit…

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Pearl E-Pro Live drum kit (£2725)
Acoustic/electronic hybrid set

MusicRadar’s verdict:

This is evolution, not revolution. By using an existing module, but offering the opportunity to add your choice of (excellent) sounds from other developers, and by coming up with a real-looking and nice-feeling kit, Pearl may not have provided us with a game-changer, but the e-Pro is a great addition to the market. Those who have baulked at space-age pads until now should take particular note…

4 stars

FULL REVIEW: Pearl E-Pro Live drum kit

(Reviewed by Jordan McLachlan - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
PDP Mainstage drum kit (£525)
PDP's latest entry level offering

MusicRadar’s verdict:

At over £500 the Mainstage kit is at the upper end of the entry-level price band, but still represents good value for money. It would appear to have been designed as much to a drummer's specifications as it has to meet a price, and, as we've come to expect from PDP, the build quality is faultless.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW:PDP Mainstage drum kit

(Reviewed by Adam Jones - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
DW Performance Series drum kit (£1780)
DW's newest range of drums brings the company into more accessible territory

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Taking a premium brand into a lower pricepoint can be tricky – get it wrong and the prestige of the name could be permanently undermined. However, DW seems to have got the Performance Series spot on. The kit is located firmly in pro territory; the standard of the shells and components is unquestionably high and the usual DW details abound. While being distinctive enough to stand alone from other DW products they are clearly DW drums.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW: DW Performance Series drum kit

(Reviewed by Jordan McLachlan - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Meinl Classics Custom Series cymbals (from £60)
Meinl's Classics are updated with a new alloy and a serious polishing

MusicRadar’s verdict:

A massive step-up from your budget starter cymbals in quality and tone, a 20" ride, 18" crash and 14" hats basic set will knock you back almost £600 (RRP). But that's cheaper than, say, Paiste's Rudes and Alphas or Sabian's APXs. We didn't get the two so-called Powerful rides - they're too toppy and to our ears unpleasant, but maybe that's the idea? Three stars for them, but four stars for everything else.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW: Meinl Classics Custom Series cymbals

(Reviewed by Geoff Nicholls - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Morgan Davies Snare Drums (£529)
Two beautiful snares from a new British drum builder

MusicRadar’s verdict:

We have here two of the finest drums imaginable. Every care has been taken with the choice of woods, veneers and finishes, the top quality lugs and hardware and the attention to detail is outstanding. The end result is that both drums sound great, particularly the glitter drum, which is as good as any we can remember reviewing.

5 stars

FULL REVIEW: Morgan Davies snare drums

(Reviewed by Geoff Nicholls - Rhythm Magazine issue 188)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Duende Duo and Latino Cajons (£270)
A first class duo from Spanish cajon makers Duende

MusicRadar’s verdict:

With so many mid- to top-range models on the market you do owe it to yourself to try before you commit, as the sound and feel varies greatly. These professional-level Duende models aren't cheap, but considering the sound and build quality, the two-year warranties and included gig bags, they do offer the serious player a great deal.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW: Duende Duo and Latino Cajons

(Reviewed by Charlie Price - Rhythm Magazine issue 188)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Toca Freestyle Mechanical Djembe (from £60)
We put Toca's second wave of their highly popular djembes to the test

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The drums tune up so easily, but having to take those rubber tubes off the lugs to tune them is frankly a chore, and we can imagine that many will simply leave them off to retain their sanity. The Goatskin versions keep their tuning really well, but if you're playing outside or in humid venues then the Freestyle II might be the one to beat. All the drums represent great value for money, sound good for the outlay and now with this 'mechanical' tune-ability, sturdy construction and head choice, should prove even more popular than Toca's first Freestyle wave.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW:Toca Freestyle Mechanical Djembe

(Reviewed by Charlie Price - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

New drum gear of the month: review round-up
Tycoon Percussion Acrylic Cajon (£395)
Tycoon unveils an interesting twist in cajon design

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Carrying bags are a must with a weighty cajon such as this, and if you fly a lot with your playing then the excess baggage might well be an issue if you compare it to a wooden cajon. The price could deter some, but Tycoon are definitely turning a lot of heads with their comprehensive and well-crafted catalogue, and with instruments like this they're blending tradition and innovation to great effect.

4 stars

FULL REVIEW: Tycoon Percussion Acrylic Cajon

(Reviewed by Charlie Price - Rhythm Magazine issue 189)

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