We were sent a seven-piece Superstar Classic shell pack to review (list price: $1,499.98) that included an 18×22 bass drum; 7×8, 8×10, and 9×12 rack toms; 12×14 and 14×16 floor toms; and a 6.5×14 matching snare….
We were sent a sampling of Zildjian’s top sellers in this new S series, which included a 10″ splash, 14″ regular and Mastersound hi-hats, 16″, 18″, and 20″ Thin crashes, 18″ and 20″ Medium-Thin crashes, an 18″ Rock crash, 18″ and 20″ Trash crashes, an 18″ China, 20″ Medium and Rock rides, and 22″ and 24″ Medium rides. All of the cymbals are fully lathed top and bottom, heavily hammered, and polished to a brilliant finish….
One of the sister companies to Tampa-based ddrum is Dean guitars, and one of the woods that Dean uses for electric guitar bodies is alder. Alder is considered a semi-hard wood and ranks just above pine and poplar. It’s known for having a warm, focused tone with prominent midrange and low-range frequencies and attenuated attack. When used to build drums, alder provides a very satisfying sound that’s big and punchy with a short, focused sustain. Reflex is ddrum’s series that features all-alder shells. The kit we have for review here is a new addition to that series, called Reflex Rally Sport (aka 2RS). It’s designed to be the “ultimate gig kit” for drummers playing in smaller venues and on tight stages. Let’s see how it fares.
Sabian recently introduced the first expansion of the HH series, the Vanguard, which is based on a design from the acquired Crescent brand. The HH Vanguard lineup comprises 14″ hi-hats, 16″ and 18″ crashes, and 20″, 21″, and 22″ crash/rides. (None of the cymbals are labeled as a crash or ride, so it’s up to the player to determine the application.) The cymbals have smaller bells than the regular HH models, and they feature pinpoint lathing. Both features help provide a more controlled attack. Let’s check them out!
The Love Custom snare we have for review is one of McRoy’s personal favorites: a 7×14 stave-shell made out of .625″-thick Indian rosewood. The top bearing edge is cut to forty-five degrees and then rounded, and the bottom edge is what Buddy calls a “dull forty-five” and has slightly deeper than normal snare beds. All of the hardware is aged brass, including the ten tube lugs, single-flanged hoops, and family crest badge….
The 2002 series has since become a top choice for drummers playing all types of rock, punk, blues, modern country, metal, and more….
Our review kit’s shells are maple (9-ply kick and 7-ply toms) and it came in contemporary sizes: 7×10 and 8×12 rack toms, a 16×16 floor tom, and an 18×22 bass drum. The outer veneer is a natural-finish bird’s-eye maple that features cool dark spots and stripes in the grain….
One of the standout products launched at this past Winter NAMM was a collaboration between notable Queensland builder Paul Warry of Metro Drums and Vancouver-based master craftsman Ronn Dunnett of Dunnett Classic/George Way Drums to build top-shelf snares from some of the finest tone woods in Australia. This new line is called Dreamtime, and we were sent two models for review: a 5.5×14 Queensland walnut and a 7×14 blackwood….
Founded in 1984 by Finnish builder Pekka Helanen, Kumu started out making acoustic and electric guitars and basses in addition to drums. A decade later, Helanen refocused the business to just drums. The company has its own molds and makes its own shells for its All Birch Custom and Original series drums. Limited series drums, which we have for review, have shells made overseas to Kumu’s specs, but Helanen’s team is responsible for drilling the holes, cleaning up the bearing edges, and assembling the final drums….
Masterwork, an Istanbul-based manufacturer founded in 2002, specializes in making cymbals using ancient Turkish traditions combined with contemporary tools and techniques. The company offers fourteen different series made from B25 bronze (75% copper and 25% tin). We were sent a slew of samples from half a dozen series, but we’re going to take a look at two lines that represent the wide range of sounds Masterwork offers: the dark, warm Jazz Master and the brighter and more aggressive—yet no less expressive—Valena….
We were sent two snare drums for review: a 5.5×13 single-ply elm in “midnight edge” finish ($750) and a 6.5×14 with a shell constructed from three different types of wood (figured narra with bubinga and maple accents) and featuring bubinga wood hoops with bird’s-eye maple inlays. This drum is called the Narra King and sells for $1,250….
Crisp attack, booming tone, and ultra-rich aesthetic.
Specialty/artist-designed models and a ride for all occasions.
A professional-quality microphone kit at consumer-level pricing….