Category: Gear

  • Limited-Edition Iron Cobras From Tama

    They might have been inspired by a Pollock or perhaps just a 3-year-old’s art project, but whatever the case, Tama’s new limited-edition Iron Cobras will get your feet feeling super psychedelic. Street price is $350 for the single pedal and $750 for the double.

  • Bill Platt Signature Snare Drum From Tama

    I haven’t spent much time frequenting orchestra pits, but if this new snare from Tama is typical of the gear classical percussionists get to play, I shall have to dust off the tux, dress shoes, and fancy stick bag. Here we have a brass-shelled beaut that belongs to Bill Platt, who was the principal percussionist (aka “chief buzz-roller”) at the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops.

    The drum has a couple of interesting features that I haven’t seen on a drum-set snare. First up are its “freedom lugs” and claw hooks, which when loosened can be tilted back to release the drumhead. This allows for quick head changes without completely removing the tension rods. Very cool.

    The drum also has three different sets of snare wires that can be individually adjusted for different sounds. Also very cool.

    Not sure how those two features would actually translate to louder kit playing, but I’m definitely intrigued, especially about the freedom lugs. I would imagine that rock drummers for example have more of a need to change heads than classical percussionists do. Perhaps though the lugs aren’t as sturdy or hold tuning as well for heavy-sticked playing.

    Not sure, but gimme gimme.

  • Roland Celebrates 50 Years With New Concept Drums

    Roland turns the big 5-0 this year, and they are celebrating with a new e-drum concept called the D-Flux. The triangular pads look a lot like Roland’s Alpha drums, the company’s first foray into electronic bangables way back in 1985.

    Roland Alpha Drums circa 1985

    The D-Flux, however, will build on all of Roland’s considerable experience and success with the sounds and mesh pads of its venerable V-Drum series. The really interesting part of the new D-Flux is its take on the kick drum—now essentially two horizontal belts that purportedly replicate the dynamic feel of a drumhead.

    I’m intrigued for sure. The triangle-shaped pads do make sense in terms of saving space (you can nestle them right against each other), but I still profoundly love the look of Roland’s gold-standard V-Drums, especially the Acoustic Design series. It could just be that my old-ass eyes can’t see the future very well.

    The D-Flux isn’t for sale yet or perhaps ever, but it is supposed to be out on a “global tour” where some lucky drummers can get sticks on it.

    Roland has also put together a retrospective of their e-drums. Though clearly a marketing piece, it’s still a good read if you are interested in some of the major moments in the history of electronic drums.

    More pics and a vid of the D-Flux below.

  • Premier Turns 100 and Unveils New Drums

    Premier has been making drums since 1922 (interestingly, the same year that saw the creation of Gummy Bears, the malted milkshake, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), and for a good bit of time in the ’60s, Premier was the drum of choice for first-rate stickstuds like Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.

    The company fell on less stellar times and was eventually purchased in 2021 by the British gear retailer Gear4music…which seems, frankly, quite weird and worrisome. Kind of like if Ludwig was acquired by Guitar Center. Would that be a trustworthy union? Would they actually continue to make good drums, or would they just produce some cut-rate percussion pablum to bolster profits?

    We haven’t a clue what Premier’s P&L statements look like, but the company has just released some new gear that does inspire faith. Brace yourself for the drum porn!

    First up is the Artist Club 100, a 4-piece compact kit finished in classic British Racing Green. Sizes include the following:

    • 20″ x 8″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 6″ rack tom
    • 13″ x 11″ floor tom
    • 13″ x 5.5″ snare drum

    Next up is the Genista 100SE, a 6-piece, all-birch shell pack with a tri-band finish. The lugs on these guys are unique and cool. The kit includes the following sizes:

    • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 7″ rack tom
    • 12″ x 8″ rack tom
    • 14″ x 14″ floor tom
    • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ x 5.5″ snare

    And finally, we have the Della-Porta 100 snare drum. It’s handmade in the UK and limited to only 100 units. The shell is walnut and comes in one size, a 14” x 5”. 

  • Anderson .Paak Snares From Ludwig for Sell on Reverb

    This here is one seriously sexy drum menage a trois. Anderson .Paak partnered up with Ludwig to create a signature snare line called the Pee .Wee. It includes a 5″ x 14″ and a 6.5″ x 14″ that you can buy right now exclusively at Reverb for $799 and $849, respectively. Each drum is limited to only 250 units, so time is not on your side if you want a piece of .Paak to…ummm…bang.

    The drums look quite cool—nuanced and textured and playful and a little unexpected in the really good way, just like .Paak’s music. Check out the images and the great promo video. I hope more companies and artists do similar marketing vids in the future. It’s nice to see and hear the drum in action and get some laughs along the way.

  • Zildjian Is Turning 390 This Year

    That is a whole lot of candles for Zildjian to blow out. They’ll be so out of breath that we are just going to have to steal borrow (?) some of the new A-series cymbals getting released. I mean, it’s almost like it is our birthday. Thanks, Big Z.

    First up is the re-introduction of the 19” and 20” Thin Crashes and the 20” Medium Thin Crash. A brand-new and totally huge 23” Sweet Ride is coming to the A series too.

  • New Mapex MPX Birch Snare

    It’s 13” x 6”, it’s limited edition, it’s lacquered in a super sexy and slightly dangerous “Transparent Midnight Black,” and it can be all yours for only around 150 bucks—a great deal just in time for Christmas.

    It would make a particularly bitchin’ side snare for a Raven kit if you or the drummer in your life is lucky enough to have one.

  • Mapex’s “The Raven” Drum Kit

    More new gear from Mapex, and we definitely ain’t complaining. Nicknamed “The Raven,” this new kit is part of the Meridian Black series for good reason: black shells inside and out, black hardware, and black heads.

    The shells are a hybrid maple and birch that Mapex says “crank out low and dark tones.” Sizes include a gigantic 22″ x 20″ kick, 14″ x 12″ and 16″ x 14″ floor toms, and a 12″ x 8″ rack. The snare is 14″ x 6″.

    Only a limited number of kits will be made available in North America, so we might have to fight it out—Lord of the Flies style—to get one.

  • Tama’s New Mike Portnoy Signature Snares

    Hmm, the “new” part on Portnoy’s 12-inch snare appears to be a badge that you can read if the drum is upside down. There is also a legit new 14-inch model with the same funky badge. No word yet on pricing, but hopefully it’s exactly the same as the old model. Paying more money for a new badge totally blows.

  • Joey Jordison Stick Bag

    ProMark has just unveiled Joey Jordison’s signature stick bag. It has the usual bag stuff: pockets on the inside, pockets on the outside, a handle, a zipper. You can use it to transport sticks and things.

    The remarkable bit is the rather haunting half-image of Joey in his badass Slipknot mask. Just show up with this on your jazz gig. We dare you.

  • Free Bass Drum Pedal From Shine Drums

    All you have to do to get a free Foundation series pedal from Shine is throw down the cash for one of the company’s Select Custom or Definition series kits. The stomper retails for $288 and features these goodies:

    • dual-chain drive system
    • cast construction and assembly
    • dual spike-style floor spurs
    • fully adjustable tension and swing settings
    • full underplate design
    • 3-way “whiskey barrel” beater system
    • complete customization capabilities
    • on-board wrenches and tools

  • Roland’s Octapad SPD-30 Is in Stores

    And it will only set you back $799 (MSRP). Those eight bones get you eight trigger pads, 50 built-in kits and hundreds of cutting-edge drum and percussion sounds, 30 types of multi-effects, and a bunch of external trigger inputs. The SPD-30 also has a Phrase Loop recording feature that allows a player to loop recorded sounds in real time and then overdub additional parts or sounds.

    But no one really cares about that stuff. Here’s how cool it looks with a full Roland kit.

  • Mapex Horizon Fastpack for Drummers on the Go

    Drum roadies, beware. Mapex has just introduced its Horizon Fastpack drum set, a portable kit that aims to set the standard for great-sounding, easy-to-load-in, and easy-to-load-out drums. The set includes a 20″ x 12″ bass drum, 8″ x 6″ and 10″ x 7″ rack toms, a 12″ x 12″ floor tom, and a 13″ x 5″ snare drum. The shells are constructed using a combination of basswood and birch plies for outstanding tone. The drums are also outfitted with a durable, high-gloss black covering, and the mounted toms feature Mapex’s Isolated Tom Mount System (ITS). Some 310-series hardware completes the kit.

    But what use is having a “portable” drum set if you don’t have something to lug it around in? Mapex thought about that too and put together a complementary set of Fastpack drum bags. The bass drum and snare fit into a padded rolling bag with wheels. The 8”, 10”, and 12” toms fit into a padded bag with a convenient shoulder strap. A durable, easy-to-carry bag is provided for the hardware too.

    So what we got here from Mapex’s Horizon Fastpack appears to be a kit that lets you actually spend more time making music with your drums and less time moving them around and setting them up.

  • Protection Racket Launches AAA Drum Cases

    Even if you got a bunch of beat-up, craptastic gear like we do, you’re still going to want a decent set of cases to protect what’s left of your gigging kit. To help us out, Protection Racket has conveniently launched its AAA (Access All Area—All Accidents Averted) line of drum cases. The line is built on Triple A-Plex™, a poly-carbonate frame that offers exceptional resistance to impact. Rocket Foam™ is utilized inside each AAA case to provide protection against knocks and trauma during transit. The inner walls have PR’s Propile™ technical fleece lining, keeping your drums snug, safe, and warm, and the outer of the cases is finished in Protection Racket’s tried and tested 600 denier polyester Racketex™, which is 100% waterproof and extra durable. Finishing touches include new polyester/plastic/neoprene ergonomic handles for extra comfort and longevity, and the heavy-duty spiral chain zips are double stitched-in and totally water and rot proof. Incredibly light, these cases still weigh much less than the average 2-piece hard case and are so strong you can stand on them. Or have sex. Or whatever.

  • Buried Sabian Cymbals Available for Pre-Sale

    We gave you a heads-up about Sabian’s “One of 100″ cymbals way back in January, and now the time has come to pony up your cash. The heavily weathered Artisan rides are going for 800 bucks each, a pretty serious price tag to be sure, but one that also apparently gets you access to a Sabian factory tour in 2010….Assuming, of course, that Bill Zildjian hasn’t had the company liquidated by then.

    If you manage to snatch one of the dirty beauts, be sure to send us mucho cymbal porn.

    [Press Release]

    Today, Sabian announces pre-sale availability of the anticipated “One of 100″ cymbal collection. Buried in an undisclosed location near the Sabian cymbal factory in Meductic, eastern Canada, 100 cymbals are undergoing eight months of dry, wet, hot and cold soil conditioning, as part of the company’s “One of 100″ program.

    These buried Artisan Medium ride cymbals are the result of hundreds of annual queries from drum enthusiasts regarding the aging of cymbals by burying them in the ground. Sabian’s Peter Stairs, VP of Sales, notes: “Anecdotal comment indicates that aging the cymbals by burying them in soil actually helps shape their sound. We anticipate they will be dirtier looking, and if what the legend says is true, they may be dirtier sounding as well.”

    The cymbals in the “One of 100″ collection will be available to the first 100 eligible buyers who submit a purchase submission form on the Sabian Web site. Once dug up, the cymbals will be sonically approved by the Sabian Vault Team, then individually packaged in a deluxe wood box, complete with official documentation of authenticity signed by master product specialist Mark Love. Additional benefits for “Owners of The Hundred” include an invitation to visit the Sabian factory in 2010 to meet the founders of Sabian and tour the factory, early access to new product and printed information from Sabian, invitation to participate in a Sabian focus group and access to an exclusive “One of 100″ forum which includes direct access to Sabian product specialists.

    The purchase window for these cymbals opens at 9:00 a.m. A.S.T. on Thursday, March 5, and more details can be found here. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.