Topic: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)  (Read 80968 times)

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Offline Nathan Cartier

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 08:39 AM »
 http://www.cakewalk.com/Products/HomeStudio/Default.asp]Sonar Home Studio 6


I recently upgraded to Sonar Home Studio 6, a stripped down DAW based on the Sonar 6 engine.  I'm liking what I see so far.

Why Sonar?  I'm not ready for everything that Pro-tools has to offer, and I'm not set up to run a Pro-tools friendly rig.  I'm a PC user, and Cubase seems to cater to the Mac users.  Lastly, all my project files are in Sonar's format :).

Install
Install and Registration went very smoothly.  I was able to register the program online, and they promptly e-mailed my activation code.  Once the install was over, the very first thing the program did was import all of my global options from the old version of Sonar.  It was one of those "You had me at Hello" moments.  It then scanned my VST plugins folders, and fired itself right up. 

Differences
Upon opening one of my project files, I received an error message.  It wasn't a big deal, but previous muted sections of the project had been un-muted upon import.  It's a little frustrating, because I now have to go through and make those changes again.   Other than that, the layout is very similar to the full versions of Sonar.  In fact, with some of the features removed, it opens up a lot of screen real estate. 

I am now limited to 64 tracks.  Horror of horrors.   I really don't see that being an issue.  Home Studio doesn't have  of the fancy software synths that come with a full version of Sonar.  I don't need those at this point in time.

What I get
For under 100 dollars, I get a sleek DAW that I know will perform well from past experience.  I get the ability to freeze tracks to save on system resources.  I can export projects into a flash player that can be posted on a web site or a myspace page (really cool...I think).  I get that wonderful Cakewalk midi functionality for my e-drums.  I can create loops and groove clips.  It has a metronome!

If you want a little bit more, you can go for the XL version.  It's about 50 dollars more, and you get an extra sample package, another software synth, a drum sequencer, and a Peak Limiter plugin.  I didn't need any of those things, so I went with the normal version.

I'm happy with it.  It does exactly what I need, and it didn't break the bank.  I'm about to fire it up and record my drum solo  ;D

Your friend in the digital age
Nate

edit:  My only gripe so far is that they removed the Track Layers feature, which allowed you to edit multiple takes within a single track.  Now, I have to bounce each take to a new track, in order to edit them together. 

TheArchitect

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Remo Coated Vintage A Heads
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2008, 08:17 AM »
The set used for the evaluation is a PDP CXR maple kit with a 12" rack and 14"/16" floor toms. The goal was a "modern Bonham" sound.

The coated VIntage A's on the toms were very nice. I used what I had available on the reso side. Paired with a clear ambassador on the 12", it was full and round with a nice long sustain.

On the 14"/16" toms they were paired with Evans clear G1's. The batter heads were equally full and round. The sustain was was a tiny bit more muted and has less highs. This was very likely due to the different reso heads on the floor toms.

Overall I like the Vintage A's. When its time to replace them though I would probably consider regular Ambassadors as I think the modern single ply version sustains a bit better.

Offline Jon E

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Mapex QR Fusionease Series Drums
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2008, 07:30 AM »
I was in need of a knockaround (second) drumkit.  I contemplated a new entry level kit, or used higher level kit.   I hadn't bought an entry level kit since I bought my Forums back in 1992 (those are long gone!).  I finally decided on a Mapex QR Fusionease Series kit.  Prices in most catalogs/online were $499.99 to $549.99 (list $835.99).  There are a few different sizes/configurations.  I stumbled onto a version at Musicians Friend for $399.99. I was by no means expecting the Taj Mahal, but it seemed a decent deal.  The QR Series is made of basswood, has a wrapped finish (I chose Onyx Sparkle. see stock photo below) and comes with the some basic hardware.
 
Here's what I got for my $400: 16x22 kick, 5x14 SD, 8x10 tom, 9x12 tom, 14x14 floor tom, HH stand, SD stand, BD tom mount, 2 boom cymbal stands, Throne, some cymbals (HH and crash?  these weren't even listed as being included), and a DVD on how to set up your drums featuring Dom Famularo. 

Now for my I've owned this kit for 8 hours review:

Thumbs up   ;D :
-Isolation mounts for the mounted toms.
-Wood hoops on BD
-BD spurs are medium-duty, but are sturdy and work well. Have rubber tip or revealable spike.
-BD tom mount is ball/arm type.  Easy tom placement.
-Boom, SD stand, and HH stands, though medium-duty are sturdy.  HH stand is pretty quick. All are double braced.
-Memory locks on all stands.
-Even with the Remo UX heads that came with it, a quick tune up had these drums sounding pretty darned good!!
-Wrap finish looks very nice.

Thumbs not so up  :-\ :
-BD pedal is as basic as can possibly be.
-Throne is very basic as well. It will probably go to the garage.
-Cymbals are no-name stamped yellow metal of some kind. Fair at best.  The kit needs a Ride cymbal.

Summary:
-I find the Mapex QR to be nice entry level kit.  Having far more plusses than minuses.  BD pedals and cymbals are things drummers tend to change/upgrade anyway so I won't really give Mapex too much grief on what they supplied.  Except for sticks (and a little assembly...and a ride cymbal) this kit is ready to go!

Final quirky note-- Though most catalogs/online start their descriptions of the QR series with "The NEW QR series....", there was a large paper insert stuck to the BD head that read "Mapex QR Series ALL NEW FOR 2006".  :D ?

Take care!
Jon E

Onyx Sparkle wrap






Offline Mister Acrolite

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New Yamaha 8500B bass drum pedal
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2009, 11:53 AM »

In keeping with my possibly fatal bout of NKF (New Kit Fever), I also took the plunge and bought a new bass drum pedal. I've been using a mid-level Yamaha that I bought used in the late 80s, and although it has NEVER failed me, I figured it might be time to try to transition to a newer pedal.

And lo and behold, Yamaha just came out with a pedal that meets my own rather strict but quirky requirements:

 - strap drive
 - folding mechanism without a permanent base plate
 - ability to clamp onto the hoop from the side

Here's a press release about it, but it's hard to find photos of it online, other than this one on the Interstate Music site:



So, I took some shots of my new pedal - here it is, equipped with a new DW 2-sided beater.




Here's a close-up of some of its features.



The chrome wingnut adjusts the tension of the clamping mechanism, so you don't have to reach under the pedal to clamp it on the bass drum hoop. The threaded washers that adjust the spring tension have special bumps built into them, which prevent the washers from rotating once you've got them adjusted the way you want them. It's hard to explain, but basically, the bumps make an audible click as you rotate the washer, so you can kind of keep track of your spring tension experiments, trying it "2 clicks tighter," for example. Very clever engineering. Also notice how the clamping mechanism has black rubber padding on both the top and bottom, which should help keep your hoops from getting chewed up.


Here's the shiny new guy next to the old soldier he is replacing.



Like an old shoe, my old pedal still feels much more comfortable, so it may take me a while to get this new one dialed in. I don't know about you, but for me pedals are the most personal - and the least analyzable - component in my kit. I don't know why my old pedal feels right - it just does. So I think it will take some experimentation, and probably some "breaking in" before the new guy feels right.

The one thing I don't like is the lack of any ribs or treads on the pedal surface. Yeah, it looks very Zen and all, but I hope it doesn't end up feeling too slippery. Particularly when you play at a bar where somebody may have spilled a drink on the drum riser, a wet shoe may feel like an ice skate on this thing. I gigged it last night, and for the most part it felt really nice, but there were times I wished I had more traction on the pedal. I may try some textured tape like people put on outdoor steps and skateboards. That's the one area where I think Yamaha may have bowed to "fashion pressure" rather than functionality - I suspect they're imitating the clean designs of Trick and Axis pedals. I hope they go back to putting ribs or texture on their footboards.

Still, it's a nicely designed pedal, and feels really good to play. Two thumbs up!

I paid about $122 for this at Interstate Music, taking advantage of a 15% online coupon code.
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline Mark Schlipper

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Re: New Yamaha 8500B bass drum pedal
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2009, 11:57 AM »
The one thing I don't like is the lack of any ribs or treads on the pedal surface. Yeah, it looks very Zen and all, but I hope it doesn't end up feeling too slippery. Particularly when you play at a bar where somebody may have spilled a drink on the drum riser, a wet shoe may feel like an ice skate on this thing. I gigged it last night, and for the most part it felt really nice, but there were times I wished I had more traction on the pedal. I may try some textured tape like people put on outdoor steps and skateboards. That's the one area where I think Yamaha may have bowed to "fashion pressure" rather than functionality - I suspect they're imitating the clean designs of Trick and Axis pedals. I hope they go back to putting ribs or texture on their footboards.


That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw the pics, and the right 'feel' under your foot is pretty vital (and why I didn't get an Pearl Eliminator).  And grip tape might work, but definitely isn't the same.

A couple things you may be able to do ...

Find another pedal with a similar hinge that does have the traction you want and swap parts (or buy replacement parts).

Take your old and new to a metal shop (local community college?) and have them groove or bead the new footboard to match. 

Wouldn't be as cheap a pedal in the end but it'll be closer to perfect and hopefully last 20 years like your old one.
Making bad art.  Saying stupid things.  Implimenting my master plan to be forgotten when I'm gone and forgettable while I'm here.

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Offline Donald Mcnany (boomerweps)

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2009, 05:42 PM »
Mr. A.,
There was a product being sold a couple years back, funk bumps or something similarly named, that was a self stick hard foam with bumps and grooves on them. Actualy came with a little variety of top shapes and was precut for a few popular pedal footboards. Ideal product for your new pedal.

Boomerweps

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Meinl Hi Hat Tambourine
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2009, 03:57 PM »
http://www.tkqlhce.com/io121ft1zt0GILKJHHKGIHKPIJQO?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdrums-percussion.musiciansfriend.com%2Fproduct%2FMeinl-HiHat-Tambourine%3Fsku%3D491229&cjsku=491229.001]Meinl Hi Hat Tambourine

I picked up one of these Meinl Hi Hat Tambourines yesterday and after working with it for a while, I think that I just might leave it on my hi hat stand all of the time.


Here is what it looks like:



This hi hat tambourine sports a rubberised striking surface on the top for playing accents with your sticks and the striking surface is taller than the screws holding the jingles, so if  you keep your cymbals low like I do, then you don't need to worry about the metal screws striking your precious bronze as the hi hat moves up and down.

Also, the tambourine itself is ready for modifications; remove jingles, change jingles, or add jingles, the choice is yours; the jingles are held in place by regular Phillips bolts with nuts; no crazy proprietary hex-wrench necessary.

Also, it is only 5 inches in diameter, so it takes up very little space on the hat stand. The bonus is, the bottom ring that holds the jingles is around 3 inches in diameter, so the entire top hat cymbal is still accessible with my stick; I can easily get to the hi hat bell.

It's sound is not as overpowering as some of the other hi-hat tambourines on the market. I like it; it is elegant and functional. I can't wait to road-test it with my forthcoming shows.

Check it out here: Meinl Hi Hat Tambourine


Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2009, 05:46 PM »
I like how Meinl designed it so you can strike the top ring without bashing the jingles.  That's one thing I don't like about my Rhythm Tech HH tambourine.  I'm curious to hear your final analysis about its volume on a gig.

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2009, 03:10 PM »
I like how Meinl designed it so you can strike the top ring without bashing the jingles.  That's one thing I don't like about my Rhythm Tech HH tambourine.  I'm curious to hear your final analysis about its volume on a gig.

So far, so good. It perfomred flawlessly at my last singer-songwriter show and I'm off to Studio Victor tomorrow for my primary gig, Amanda Mabro, and it will be in the bag. We rehearsed last night and both Amanda and the pianist loved it.

I'm at the point now where I just leave it on all of the time. You can actually still pedal the hi-hats and only get hi-hat sound with this device.

Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2009, 07:58 AM »
Tim, thanks for the review.  I just may add this to my collection of percussive gadgits I don't play very well.  ;D

Offline Todd Norris

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2009, 08:20 PM »
I like how Meinl designed it so you can strike the top ring without bashing the jingles.  That's one thing I don't like about my Rhythm Tech HH tambourine.  I'm curious to hear your final analysis about its volume on a gig.

Just mount your Hat Trick upside down.  Works great.

Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2009, 01:23 AM »
Just mount your Hat Trick upside down.  Works great.
No can do since it's the one with jingles on top and bottom.

Offline Donald Mcnany (boomerweps)

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2009, 11:02 AM »
The Meinl hat trick version seems the best so far. Not a bad price for what you get. Speaking of deals, I just picked up a STAGG mountable tambourine for $15 AND their version of a Promark stick depot for $6. STUNNING values. So far well worth the price.

Boomerweps

Offline Jim R.

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Re: New Yamaha 8500B bass drum pedal
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2009, 09:40 AM »
The one thing I don't like is the lack of any ribs or treads on the pedal surface. Yeah, it looks very Zen and all, but I hope it doesn't end up feeling too slippery. Particularly when you play at a bar where somebody may have spilled a drink on the drum riser, a wet shoe may feel like an ice skate on this thing. I gigged it last night, and for the most part it felt really nice, but there were times I wished I had more traction on the pedal. I may try some textured tape like people put on outdoor steps and skateboards. That's the one area where I think Yamaha may have bowed to "fashion pressure" rather than functionality - I suspect they're imitating the clean designs of Trick and Axis pedals. I hope they go back to putting ribs or texture on their footboards.

Still, it's a nicely designed pedal, and feels really good to play. Two thumbs up!

I paid about $122 for this at Interstate Music, taking advantage of a 15% online coupon code.

Mr. A,

So how has this pedal worked out for you? I also have an older Yamaha pedal, early 90's, old enough that I can't replace the beater because the stem flatens out for the bolt to tighten it. The new ones are round throughout.

I notice the your new pedal also differs from the old one in that it does have a toe stop. How has that worked for you? I'm very used to mine, I think that's why I never like DW pedals.
I been thinking about getting a new pedals and the smooth design gave me doubts and I keep thinking about the Pearls pedals, not the ones with the oranges dots all over it, but their standard design, they seem similiar to yamaha's design.
Has the smoothness work for you?

thanks,
So much to do, so little mind.

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: New Yamaha 8500B bass drum pedal
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2009, 10:01 AM »
Mr. A,

So how has this pedal worked out for you? I also have an older Yamaha pedal, early 90's, old enough that I can't replace the beater because the stem flatens out for the bolt to tighten it. The new ones are round throughout.

I notice the your new pedal also differs from the old one in that it does have a toe stop. How has that worked for you? I'm very used to mine, I think that's why I never like DW pedals.
I been thinking about getting a new pedals and the smooth design gave me doubts and I keep thinking about the Pearls pedals, not the ones with the oranges dots all over it, but their standard design, they seem similiar to yamaha's design.
Has the smoothness work for you?

thanks,

I only gigged my new pedal briefly before being sidelined by hernia surgery. But what little playing I did made me wish the pedal had ribs or some other texture on it. But it might be something I'll get used to eventually. If I don't, I'll put some skateboard tape on it to give me more traction. The rest of the pedal design is really nice, so I think I'll stick with it.

I don't use toestops anymore, so I don't miss having one on this pedal.
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
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Offline dizz

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Re: New Yamaha 8500B bass drum pedal
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2009, 02:53 PM »


I don't use toestops anymore, so I don't miss having one on this pedal.

Toe stops are hazardous to my health.
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪

Offline DR

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Gretsch Catalina Club Mod
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2009, 06:33 AM »
Several months ago, New Kit Fever was spreading like ...well, like a darn computer virus.  My lingering bout with NKF was successfully treated with a Gretsch Catalina Club Mod drum set.  I've been cured for about seven weeks now.  It feels good to have the fever and better to have a cure.

I ordered a set in stock from an internet retailer and took delivery within one week.  Everything arrived in good working condition.  I replaced the stock heads with my favorites and liked what I heard.  I'm very happy with this kit.

The Back Story:
I had wanted a durable, acoustic set that was easy to transport and would have low fundamental tones.  I wanted to spend less than $900 US and was looking at both used and new sets off and on for months.  I was open to pretty much any composite material (e.g., fiberglass, carbon fiber) and any wood.  I was looking for something that would provide some contrast to my maple set in fusion sizes.  This low cost Gretsch does all of that.



Details:
Four piece shell pack in gold sparkle wrap, with chrome hoops and offset lugs.

9 ply "mid grade" mahogany (not African, not Honduras)
1.6 mm steel hoops
30 degree edges
GTS suspension system (mini)

Sizes (diameter by depth):
22 x 20 inch virgin kick drum (ten lugs)
12 x 8 inch rack tom (five lugs)
16 x 14 inch floor tom (eight lugs)
14 x 6.5 inch snare drum

Concerns before inspecting the drums:
1. Would I be able to tune a 12 inch rack tom with only 5 lugs?  Resolved:  I found that I was able to adapt to it.
2. How would I like the Mini GTS mount?  (It is only supported by two lugs which makes me uneasy.)  Resolved by placing rack tom on a snare stand.  Now I don't worry about bending metal.
3. How would the edges look?  Resolved: Although I needed to touch them up a bit with sandpaper, I found them in fairly good condition.  No wood filler was needed.

Likes:
The sound.  Small lug casings.  Thin hoops.  Chrome plating.  Fitness of the wrap job. 

Dislikes:
While I do dislike the snare drum, I had not expected I would like it because I like more attack from a snare drum than I had heard in lauan drums.  No worries there.  I considered it a throw-in from the start.

Pleasant surprises:
The kick drum fits in the Humes & Berg Galaxy bag I use for my 22x18 inch kick drum! 

Other nice surprises:
1. Overall light weight of each drum.
2. Volume and projection of the kick drum is better than I expected based on lauan kick drums I have played.
3. Gaskets under each lug at this price point. 

The look:
I had been watching the various Catalina Club product lines for a while.  With the Club Mod, I was not too crazy about the black hoops and lugs and the wraps offered on the Gretsch web site.  (While I like the durability of wraps, I was never a big fan of the wrapped look.)  Then I happened to see what reminded me of vintage drums made in the 50s with the gold sparkle.  It also had the chrome hardware that I prefer.  I could now see why so many like the look of wraps.  With a classic look and good price, why should I be such a grouch!


The lesson I learned was that some retailers get special configurations that may never be listed on corporate web sites.  This particular Gretsch gold wrap and chrome hardware package was offered through very few on-line retailers and was not listed on the corporate web site.
 http://www.gretschdrums.com/?fa=drums&sid=576]http://www.gretschdrums.com/?fa=drums&sid=576


Bottom Line:
Two thumbs up.


Offline NY Frank

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2009, 01:15 PM »
The various Catalina line kits are, IMHO, the very best values in low end drums today.

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Frank
Just play

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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: GEAR REVIEWS (by members)
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2009, 08:45 AM »
Sweet kit, and great review! I came extremely close to buying a Catalina kit, and I think they are an excellent option for drummers to consider. And they have THE best selection of finishes of any of the lower-priced brands. Your kit has a "classic" look - really nice!
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline DR

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Bosphorus 14 inch Versa Hi-Hats
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2009, 09:04 PM »
I have had a set of Versa Hats since July 2006 and really like them.  

Prior to finding this pair with an internet cymbal retailer, I spent a couple of years trolling through stores seeking the hats to match the hi-hat sounds I had long been hearing in my head.  These guys give me the sounds I wanted and then some.  I'm glad I finally found them.

This is my "all-around pair."  I consistently use these for a wide variety of musical styles.

Weights are 1069 g and 1326 g.  

While I'm not so sure I can adequately describe the sound, to me they are warm, dark, musical, and easy to control.  Another drummer, who played these hats called them "dark yet clear and articulate at a wide range of volumes."

Each cymbal has only a portion of the surface lathed on the stick side. (You can clearly see the hammer marks on the unlathed part of the surface.)  The underside surface of each cymbals is fully lathed.   I'm not exactly sure what this does for the sound, but I sure do like the end result.

Two thumbs up for the Versa Hats!

Easy on the eyes too.




 

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