Drums & Percussion/Cymbal question



About four years ago I started playing again after a 20 year break. To keep the noise down I got an electronic kit, which has been great, but nothing beats and acoustic kit.

I've sold my old Ludwig kit because it was just too big and too loud and am planning to pit up one of the Trapps kits because it is small and not too loud.

I've got my old cymbals, some of which are just too thick and loud for that kit. I'd like to get a 16" crash and 10" splash, and want something relatively thin that breaks fast and can be choked fast. Back in the day all my cymbals were Zildjian, but Zild's got so many types out now, and there are other good cymbals these days I know.

Given my criteria, what would you recommend (also trying to keep price in the reasonable range). Thanks.


That is great that you picked up the sticks again!

I also understand about the electronic kit.
Turn it on, put on the headphones and rock out at 2 am!

But, just for your information,there are several things that
can be done to an acoustic kit, to tone it down.

The Trapps kit is OK, but not practical if you ever want to do
a regular gig.
Unless you use mics on those drums, they will not be heard.
Even if the band is not that loud, those drums just do not project.

Drum-wise I would suggest is a smaller kit.
The brand does not matter.
Either something like a Pearl "Traveler" Kit--which has a 20" bass drum,
It is only 8 inches deep---but produces a great sound--if you use the proper heads.
I know this, because I have one.

The toms are single headed and "nest" inside each other for traveling.
The snare drum is a 5 x 13 and can be made to sound great.
Once again, I use this snare.

OR you can get a small "Jazz" kit---smaller drums and easier to carry around.
Such as an 18" or 20" kick drum--10" and 13" toms---a smaller snare drum,
or something similar.

The trick is using the right heads--and tuning.

rule of thumb= the smaller the cymbal, the lower the volume---
the thinner the cymbal, the lower the volume.

BUT, there are exceptions to thiese rules.

For example--On my small venue / church kit---I use 13" hi-hat cymbals--but they are pretty thick--I just control the volume with technique.
Mr ride is a 20 inch MEDIUM-HEAVY--but because it is a "Hand Hammered" model, the volume is reduced---But there again, the volume is controlled by technique.
My crashes are smaller and thinner.I use a 13"--15" and 16". They are the Sabian models that are called "Studio" crashes"--which are thin models.

All the cymbal companies produce a line of cymbals that are "Hand Hammered" as opposed to machine hammering or spun lathing.
The hand hammering makes a cymbal a lot more mellow and usually darker.
They are usually quieter also.

I think the best course is to go on a search for USED cymbals.
You just have to be patient.
I spent 8 months looking for my cymbals.
I'll bet I played a thousand of them.
I went to a dozen music stores, probably 40 pawn shops and kept my eyes on Ebay and Craigslist.

As for companies, there is Zildjian, Sabian (which was started by one of the Zildjian brothers)
Paiste, Meinl, Wuhan, Istanbul and a handful of lesser known cymbal companies.

The main thing is NOT to be stuck on one company.
If it sounds good, buy it & play it.

Don't pay attention to what is printed on the cymbal.
I have drummer friends who use a heavy crash as a ride--who use a thin crash for a ride--
who use thin crash cymbals for hihats.


I hope that I have given you some info that you can use.

Please feel free to contact me at any time.

I am here to help.

Happy Holidays!

Mike--the "Drum Doctor"  

Drums & Percussion

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