How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget

23rd Jul 2009 | 14:23

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The budget kit
Mapex VX Series Kit - from £479 - £519

Every month, Rhythm Magazine take the finest drum gear on the planet and thrash it to within an inch of its life. Every week, we post the results in the form of a killer buyers’ guide. Here, we’re left with the best of the best: a guide to building the best drum setup your money can buy. First up: the excellently cheap Mapex VX Series…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The VX has eight-ply 7.2 mm basswood shells with a lacquered maple veneer and breezy choice of translucent satin or coloured 'plasma' finishes. The small toms have ITS isolation mounting brackets, completing the up-market look. There's also a wide range of sizes to choose from – or to expand your kit with later on.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget drum kits)

“There's real potential lurking in those shells, which means this isn't a kit that you will outgrow in a few months, and the hardware pack will certainly see you into a gigging career. So all in all, another welcome offering from the Big M. Just be sure to check out the flashier finishes if tree-lover brown isn't your thing.” (Via: Mapex VX Series Kit full review)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The beginners' budget kit
Cannon Adder Kit - £199

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Astonishingly generous package, the only kit with 14" hats, 16" and 18" cymbals, plus two double-braced cymbal stands and full professional lug count. In addition to that, there's a complete set of carrying bags and drum/cymbal mute pads. Finally, you have cool finishes in black, chrome, red and even Bumblebee Yellow, all with black metal fittings.” (Via: Buyers' guide: how to buy beginner drum kits)

“Kits such as the Adder are all about perspective. Any half-serious drummer would find it underwhelming in terms of build quality and tone, but, as mentioned in the review, when judged on its own merits it acquits itself well. It's certainly a better budget kit than what was doing the rounds even five years ago; the full complement of stands, cymbals, bags and silencers is very welcome, and it comes in at a remarkable price.” (Via: Cannon Adder Kit full review)

Why you love it:

“This is a great kit for new drummers starting out, especially if your parents aren't too keen on the noise of the full fledged drums, and the price is absolutely Great!!!” (Thanks, jacko552)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The budget wood snare
Yamaha Oak Custom Matte Finish - £227 (14"x7")

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Oak is Yamaha's trump card at the moment. The company seems to be able to make oak drums cheaper than its other lines and many of Yamaha's endorsers are big admirers. Oak has a warm, deep and centred tone, as well as a beautiful wide grain in this matte finish.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget wood snare drums)

“The 14"x7" snare also brings out the best features of oak, delivering a fantastic crack that mixes toppy bite with woody warmth. Its depth adds authority and clarity, which remain undimmed through a variety of tunings.” (Via: Yamaha Oak Custom Kit full review)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The budget metal snare
Mapex Black Panther black chrome snare - £209.95 (14"x5")

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“What's in a name? The Black Panther label has done wonders for Mapex, the evocative title proving so successful that it's now attached to a wide range of drums, from cherry wood to phosphor bronze. This steel snare in black chrome is one of the least expensive, but performs as well as any.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget metal snare)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The cymbals
Stagg double hammered cymbals - from £18

MusicRadar’s verdict:

The rise of Stagg as a favoured budget cymbal brand has been an interesting development in the last couple of years. Proving that value is as important as profile at this end of the sector, the Stagg Double Hammered offering is a must-see if your budget is limited.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget cymbals)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The electronic kit
Roland TD-3K - £799

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Roland's pre-eminence in the electronic kit market starts with the TD-3K. Great sounds, decent playing surfaces and some useful in-built coaching features make it a very sound choice for those looking to put in the practice hours at home. The quality module also makes for a fine studio sound source, too.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget electronic drum kits)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The hardware
Stagg 25/50/500/1000 Series hardware - from £15 - £41

MusicRadar’s verdict:

Scorching value stands from the Chinese manufacturer seemingly bent on world domination. The four different levels of stand vary from merely functional through to heavy duty, with all of the stands in the 1000 Series sporting menacing-looking spikes on each foot. Double-braced tripods feature throughout all four ranges.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget drum hardware)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The sticks
Vic Firth Nova - £5

MusicRadar’s verdict:

This budget range from stick giants Vic Firth includes not only regular finish but also exotic black and red sets for half the price of the popular Vic Firth sticks. They might have minor cosmetic blemishes but, as cut-price versions of their big brother, they are made in the US and will serve you well.” (Via: Buyers’ guide: budget drum sticks)

How to build the ultimate drum setup… on a budget
The heads
Evans G-Plus coated heads - from £13.25

Unfortunately, the heads are one piece of drum gear you can’t scrimp on. ‘The heads maketh the drum…’, etc. Fortunately, unless they’re made of gold, heads aren’t going to break the bank. Try Evans’ G-Plus…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“G-Plus are a clear cut above most heads on the market, let alone 2008's offerings. Warm, rich and durable, these skins cut through live situations like a knife while providing an almost pre-EQ'd quality for the studio. They're a revelation, seriously…” (Via: The best drum gear of 2008)

“The Evans G-Plus drum single-ply tom heads are a revelation in design that live up to every claim the manufacturer makes about tone, sustain and durability. These aren't just mere heads, they're instruments in their own right. Whatever you're currently using, do yourself a favour and give these outstanding heads a try.” (Via: Evans G-Plus coated drum heads full review)

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