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Thread: Old drum set, how to make sound better?

  1. #1

    Default Old drum set, how to make sound better?

    I have an very old 5 piece drumset with cymbals, and it dosen't nearly as good as some of my friends, i was wondering what i could do to improve it. I've tuned all the drums and replaced all the heads, and i got a new snare drum which sounds fine. I've heard that old drum sets are commonly used with bass wood, which dosent do very well after a long time. The set is Maxwin, by Pearl, and the cymbals are tosco( i dont think you can do much to change the quality of the cymbals?)

  2. #2
    Admin Muzoid's Avatar
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    Ya...not really much you can do that hasn't already been done (new heads and tuning).

    I've never really heard whether or not drums get better with age, like they claim for guitars.

    You could try a few experiments

    - remove all the bottom heads
    - pad them with tape and tissue/paper towel
    - make rings out of your old skins

    That's about all I can think of as a non-drummer myself.

    Cymbals are cymbals...about the best you can do is clean them with some brasso or something. (be careful, I had a drummer pass out cleaning his in a non-ventilated space)

  3. #3


    Yeah, there isn't really any way to get cymbals to sound better. There are lots of great products to get them clean and shiny. Although, I wouldn't use brasso or any other similar metal polish. You really have to use cymbal polish for them to get a good shine. The problem with stuff like brasso, is that it is specific to certain metals, like brass. Since a lot of cymbals aren't just one type of metal, you'll want to use a good cymbal polish. Groove Juice is probably the best on the market. I have several friends who are professional drummers who would recommend it.
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  4. #4


    What kind of music do you play? What would you like to fix in the sound? There are more tricks to try but I need more information from you to point you in a direction.

    Here's my guesses to what might be bugging you:

    Having owned and played Maxwins they won't hold up to a better quality kit. They were designed for beginners and thus will always sound thinner than the more substantial kits. I did take the bottoms off for the more rockier stuff I was playing as I got a pretty commanding thud out of them. Taking the bottom skins off will also help to eliminate some of the ring if you are experiencing ring. For the bass drum I put in a feather pillow that sat lightly against the batter skin and gave me a reasonable rock kick sound. I really loved my Maxwin but found over time that they did not have the depth I wanted/needed for the music I was playing. I used clear and coated on them and the coated gave me a warmer tone- the warmer tone was better in quieter mellower music.

    Tosco were brought in as intro level cymbals (by Pearl I believe) and were eventually bought up by Sabian. Probably not bad cymbals (there are collectors out there looking for them) -you may have a jazz drummer around you who would buy them from you for a reasonable price and you could get some work-horse mid-price cymbals from Sabian, Zildjian, Paiste ... Likely they are ringing thinly & too much for you. I have seen some drummers use a couple pieces of masking tape on the bottom of the cymbal to cut some of the ringing overtones out - is much more common in rock & country rock drummers.

    There are different schools of thought on cymbals and cymbal cleaning. I don't polish mine as I like the overtones I get with the aging of my cymbals. They aren't pretty but they have amazing sustain and a warmer ring to them. I would be careful polishing them with regular polish as most cymbals have a finish on them or of an alloy and "regular polish" can damage them. (see Muzoid & Deaf Jeff Comments above)

    I hope some of what I said helps.

  5. #5
    Master Member Anxiety Hangover's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    nothing you can really do for the sound of that kit if you already changed the heads. the shells on those things are not the best since the kit is more of a beginner / budget kit.
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