Product Spotlight – Meinl Pure Alloy Custom Cymbals

We check out the incredible new Pure Alloy Custom Cymbals from Meinl!

What does a classic cymbal mean to you? Would it be fully lathed or have visible hammer marks? Pinpoint definition or a smooth, mellow feel?

What if you could check ALL of those boxes?

This is Meinl Pure Alloy Custom.

A timeless voice with clarity, cut and shimmer, these cymbals have an added dose of flexibility, smoothness and warm wash to give you both a classic shine AND modern mellowness.

Meinl Pure Alloy Custom tech specs

  • Smoked bronze finish top brings out visible hammer marks
  • Brilliant finish underside
  • Fully lathed top and bottom
  • Pure Alloy bronze
  • Precision hammered into shape
  • Medium-thin weight for more give
  • Classic tone with modern abilities
  • Made in Germany

The particular cymbals we used in this video were the 15in Pure Alloy Custom Medium Thin Hi-Hats, the 18in Pure Alloy Custom Thin Crash, 18in Pure Alloy Custom Trash Crash and the 22in Pure Alloy Custom Medium Thin Ride

Please enjoy!

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Product Spotlight – Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum!

We check out the incredible Black Magic Snare from Ludwig!

Ludwig’s Black Beauty Snare Drums have long been the optimal choice for the touring and recording drummer in need of volume, tonal clarity, and optimal snare response. As the originator of its Black Nickel-Over-Brass shell composition, Ludwig is proud to announce the introduction of new Black Magic Snare Drums.

A classic formula for a more aggressive musical age, Black Magic snare drums share the same shell type with the Black Beauty, but with Triple Flanged hoops for increased volume, and Tube-Style lugs for maximum shell resonance.

Features:

  • Size: 13x7in
  • Triple Flanged Hoops
  • Tube Style Lugs
  • Black Nickel over Brass Shell

This particular snare is 13x7in but it’s also available as a 14×6.5in and two 14x8in models, one with die-cast hoops!

Please enjoy!

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5 Tracks Where Jimmy Chamberlin Is A Rock Drumming GOD!

Happy Birthday JC!

Nope. Not the last supper guy. He probably couldn’t do what this guy can. I’m talking of course, about Jimmy Chamberlin. One of rock’s greatest EVER drummers. It’s his birthday today so we thought we’d have a look at some of the finest drum performances he’s put together over his career with Smashing Pumpkins.

Born on June 10th 1964 in Joliet, Illinois, his father was a musician and his older brother a drummer also. Music being in his blood, it seems he was destined to do awesome things on the drums.Starting as a jobbing drummer playing in Polka bands, TV shows, Show bands and more. After a brief stint building houses, he found this 3 piece band who needed a drummer to play their show at Chicago’s Cabaret Metro Theatre. That band were Smashing Pumpkins. I have been a MASSIVE fan of the band and of Jimmy’s playing for a long time (since around 1996) so it will be hard for me to distill my favourite performances of his but I shall do my best. These are in chronological order, and in my album favourite order. I’m also fully aware he has his own solo project  the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex – however I chose to focus on his work with SP.

A final point to make is that ALL of the songs were recorded to tape so they are single performances. No cutting and pasting and no dropping in – all live!

1.) Bury Me

This is the fourth track on the band’s debut album Gish and features all the hall marks of what I think makes Jimmy a great player. The groove firstly has an amazing swing in it – especially towards the back half of the track (from around 2:51) when he’s playing the broken ride pattern and you can hear his left foot pedalling hi hats on all the 8th notes.

The fill ins are trademark JC – the ridiculous single stroke roll fill in at around 2:24 always gets me – so clean and yet so powerful. The fill in at 3:07 is pure Bonham influenced which Jimmy has always be open about. I believe Bonham plays something fairly similar on Stairway to Heaven. Lastly at 3:15 he plays a single solitary snare rim hit and in the context of the groove, is just pure gold!

Some notable hits from Gish are also Siva and Tristessa but for me, Bury Me will always be the best drum performance on that record.

2.) Geek U.S.A

In 1993 Siamese Dream was released and it’s still incredible. The songs are tremendously well written and performed and Geek USA is my favourite. It’s something of an ‘opus’ with there being various sections. The opening drum which mimics the guitar riff and accents the offbeat 16th notes is beautiful. Clean and dynamic.

This takes us into a main riff, where JC’s right foot is playing the guitar riff underneath a super solid back beat and sloshy hats. The fills in the chorus also replicate the guitar lines and contain both power and musicality – check them out. After a verse/interlude/chorus section that is similar to the last time, we hit this beautiful quiet  half-time section. Jimmy plays a gorgeous groove using ride, snare rim and a descending tom fill pattern until the band breaks into another rocking half time section which leads into righteous guitar solo contacting some signature JC single stroke snare fills.

This leads us into the outro section which is another monster half-time riff. He brings himself in with AWESOME triplet tom fills and kicks the band along, playing behind the guitar riffs and echoing the beautifully. Maybe my favourite recorded performance of his. And if you watch it live, it’s twice the speed which is just bonkers!

3.) Cherub Rock

The opener from Siamese Dream. 2 single stroke rolls open the album before a guitar riff starts. Twice through the riff and Jimmy comes in behind it, playing the same figure before the awesome triplet fill to bring in the verse.

A cracking 16th note bass drum pattern drives the verse along which continues into the chorus and again for the next verse and chorus. At 2:59 the band re-caps the intro which Jimmy punctuates with the some awesome snare/cymbal hits and flams into an awesome triplet fill into the guitar solo.

At 4:42 Jimmy rounds out the tune with a ridiculous single stroke fill that puentucates an accelerated feeling guitar line. Pure rock gold!

4.) Jellybelly

The 3rd song from their 3rd album which at one point was the biggest selling double album of all time. The single stroke fills and one handed ride part behind the guitar riff for the intro were, and still are, astounding to me. The power and speed at which they’re played (especially live) are nothing short of incredible.

The groove is standard JC fare by now – powerful sixteenth note bass drum pattern behind a syncopated snare part and a broken ride pattern. The fills that lead into the chorus are magic. Flams between the snare and floor tom with 3 sixteenth notes in the right foot(!)This continues for the next verse and chorus and bridge and then the ride out has some of Jimmy’s best fills to date – single stroke rolls as per the intro but this time around the toms too. Again, nothing short of awesome – with power and precision. All inside 3 minutes.

Some real notable drum performances from this album are “F*%k You: An Ode to No One” ‘Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans” ‘Thru The Eyes Of Ruby”

5.) The Everlasting Gaze

The opener from Machina/The Machines of God. This announced the return of Jimmy to the band in amazing fashion.

The song starts with a super heavy guitar riff with Jimmy playing a disco style beat. Yes! A disco beat. It totally works too! The fills in the chorus flirt between beautiful, simple 16th note fills that incorporate the crashes to super powerful single stroke fills. This continues for the next verse and chorus. But it’s the coda in this song that really ramps up the ante.

Jimmy plays around the guitar riffs with single stroke fills, and triplets split around the toms. This leads the band into a rocking outro riff that sees Jimmy laying an awesome groove down that splits paradiddles between the ride, snare and toms before a rocking powerful 16th note fill to close. These are some of my favourites and for me, all the albums that he plays on have tremendous performances on the majority of all the tracks so whittling down a list was difficult.

More notables are ‘Doomsday Clock’, ‘That’s The Way (My Love Is)’ and ‘United States’ from the oft underrated ‘Zeitgeist’ album.

To round us out, here’s some amazing live performances – one is a full gig set from behind the drums. Enjoy!

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Top 5 Dennis Chambers Performances!

Happy Birthday Dennis Chambers!

We take a look back into drumming history and put together 5 of our FAVOURITE Dennis Chamber performances. Let’s go!!

“Legendary” Drum Solo – 1998

We’re kicking this off with a flavour of what Dennis is capable of. This drum solo from 1998 is nothing short of SENSENATIONAL.

“Liz & Opie” (PASIC 2018)

This features Dennis performing with Victor Wooten and Bob Franceschini, playing Liz & Opie from the Trypnotyx album. The synergy between the three is astounding, and the playing from Dennis is phenomenal!

“Cissy Strut” Drum Solo (David Letterman, 2011)

What we love about David Letterman is that he always gave the drummer a chance to shine, and Dennis was no different! Just wait til the solo kicks in. Those Paradiddles are INSANE!

1989 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert

A much younger man in 1989, Dennis plays exceptional tribute to the late, great Buddy Rich, all while demonstrating his incredible technique and flare Dennis became famous for. You should watch this, for his hairstyle alone!

“Loose Screws” By Dennis Chamers & Ghost-Note (Zildjian Live 2020)

2020 was a mixed bag, but it gave us this simply jaw-dropping performance from Dennis. We felt it appropriate to round out our picks with a recent performance, to show that even after a long career…Dennis still GOT IT!

Of course, there are many, MANY great performances from Dennis across his lustrious career. From his many clinics and unforgettable live performances, he’s inspired thousands of drummers to pick up sticks. A true inspiration and innovater.

Which performance from Dennis is your favourite? Let us know down below!

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Celebrating 15 Years!

THANK YOU for all the support over the last 15 years!

On this day in 2006 we opened the doors in Commerce Street, Glasgow under the name Rhythm Base. On reflection choosing a name few could spell right wasn’t the best idea so we swapped it out for Drummers Only, opened a second store in Leeds and moved the Glasgow store to our new location in Queenslie

We’ve seen lots of drums and drummers come through the doors in that time, and we look forward to welcoming more for years to come!

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Three Brass Snare Drums PERFECT For Rock Music!

We’ve picked out three awesome brass snare drums that are sure to get you ROCKIN’!

Brand new for 2020 – Mapex have released a whole new range of their best selling Black Panther Snare Drums.  There are 14 new drums and every one of them has been reconceived and redesigned from the ground up, with careful attention paid to retaining the character of this much loved series, whilst at the same time introducing new shell features, sizes and materials that deliver an irresistible blend of tone, power and control.

The Metallion sets a new standard for brass snares. The warm and centered characteristics of the seamed brass shell focus the sound with just the right amount of sensitive bite.

Yamaha Recording Custom 13×6.5in Brass Snare

The Yamaha 13×6.5in in Recording Custom Brass Snare Drum includes a handful of special features that set it apart from just another steel drum. The center bead along the equator of the shell is fixed on the outside to give the drum more openness and fullness. A heavy-duty Q-type strainer gives you smooth, stable snare action and it just feels solid.

There’s also a 14×5.5in AND 14×6.5in versions of this snare drum!

Sonor Benny Greb 13×5.75in Brass Signature Snare Drum – BG SDB 2.0

10 years after the extremely successful collaboration with Benny Greb on his Signature Snare, the Benny Snare has not just been updated, but skillfully updated by the man himself. This all new snare has a 1.2mm 13”x 5.75” Brass shell finished with a vintage patina, Vintage Series teardrop lugs, and the super smooth Dual Glide snare strainer. This new drum also features a pair of the new “Monorail” internal dampening systems.

Out of the box, one of the systems comes outfitted with a felt dampener and the other a soft sheepskin dampener. The sound possibilities with this innovative muffling system make this snare the most versatile instrument on the market. The Monorail system also allows the dampeners to be interchanged-opening endless possibilities to customize the drums sonic characteristics.

We put together a video featuring all three of these snare drums. We’re struggling to choose our favourite, they all sound INCREDIBLE!

Which snare drum is your favourite? Let us know down below!

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#InternationalWomen’sDay – The Ladies Of Drumming!

In celebration of #InternationalWomensDay, we round up five of the most empowering and inspiring ladies of drumming!

Anika Nilles

Anika built a name for herself during the YouTube boom of 2013. Her concepts for grooves and interesting compositional ideas brought her to the forefront of many drummers! Anika performed as part of our “Drummers Only Day Out” event in 2018, a performance that many of our customers regard as their favourite performance from a drummer of all time!

Sarah Thawer

If you frequent around any drumming social media, chances are you’ve seen a video or two of Sarah Thawer. Her enthusiastic energy and incredible rhythmic flow grabbed the attention of many brands and industry pros alike. From picking up the sticks at aged 2 to suddenly finding herself surrounded by Sheila.E, Ghostnote and many others, Sarah is certainly a drummer to watch!

Nikki Glaspie

Perhaps one of the most entertaining and talented drummers we’ve ever seen, Nikki ticks all the boxes in terms of style and groove. With Nikki’s unique vibe and tremendous energy, it’s no surprise that she found herself in the chair for artists such as Beyonće. Best grab your most outrageous stank-face, because Nikki is guaranteed to fire you up!

Taylor Gordon (The Pocket Queen)

If you’re looking for a drummer that embodies “Pocket”, meet Taylor Gordon. The Instagram sensation and Berklee graduate Taylor has gone from playing the drums on her fathers “Fischer Price” drum kit, to playing for multiple major artists such as Fifth Harmony, Beyonće, Michelle Williams and found herself in the seat for the 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Phenomenal player, with phenomenal “Pocket”

Cindy Blackman

Empowering, ambitious, innovator, many words that describe Cindy Blackman. Perhaps the best way to sum up Cindy Blackman is to just watch…

The drumming industry has no shortage of empowering, talented, and innovative ladies who constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible and continue to inspire.

Which drummer empowers you the most? Let us know down below!

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Top FIVE Ralph Peterson Jr Performances!

We are deeply saddened by the passing of a drumming legend, Ralph Peterson Jr. One of the most distinctive and recognizable drummers in modern jazz drumming, Ralph possessed an incomparable talent behind the drums, leading to countless collaborations with Jazz giants and ultimately led him to be hand-picked by Art Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary Jazz Messenger Big Band. He was a sensational player and taught the drumming world so much, but most importantly the importance of authenticity. In honour of his life, we picked out our top 5 drumming performances of Ralph Peterson…

“Humpty Dumpty” by Chick Corea (PASIC 2013)

This excerpt is taken from Ralphs “Jazz Drums: Mechanics to Musicality” clinic from Pasic 2013, where he performs along to the Chick Corea track “Humpty Dumpty”. His performance on this is simply jaw-dropping!

“Emmanuel The Redeemer” (Meinl Cymbals 2019)

This features Ralph performing “Emmanuel The Redeemer” from the album Dream Deferred, originally written and performed by Ralph and some of the top jazz musicians in the world. It really showcases the vast textures and authenticity Ralph injects into every performance!

“Back To Stay” (Meinl Drum Festival 2015)

Originally written in 1998 by Ralph Peterson And The Fo’tet’, Back To Stay remains one of the most popular Jazz albums composed by Ralph, and if this performance from 2015 is anything to go by, it still holds up today!

Backgammon by Walter Davis Jr (Performed By The Ralph Peterson Trio)

Ralph Peterson Trio

This clip of the Ralph Peterson Trio from 2016 shows the subtle complexity in his playing, so fluid and effortless at times. A true showman and a master of his art!

Open Solo #1 (Meinl Drum Festival 2015)

To round out our picks, we’ve chosen this simply mind-blowing solo from Meinl Drum Festival 2015. You ever just watch a drummer play and smile? Not because it’s funny, but just because of how incredible they are? That pretty much sums up how we felt about this clip. Amazing!

Meinl Drum Festival 2015 Solo

Of course, there are many, MANY great performances from Ralph across his career. From his many albums to his unforgettable live performances, but what he’ll be remembered for most is his unwavering charisma, his empowering and inspiring nature and his masterful ability to push the boundaries of drumming. Rest in peace Ralph Peterson.

Which performance from Ralph is your favourite? Let us know down below!

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Pedals to treat your foot with!

Ah the bass drum pedal. How you divide us. Should it be a Single? Double? Chain or Belt? Direct Drive? Wacky? (Sleishman anyone?!) No matter your feelings on any of these topics, we’d be lost without it. Resigned to a pit of despair without being able to use our bass drum. A pipe band player…! Any one who has ever experienced their chain or spring snap on a gig knows such feeling. Cry! This is a small but perfectly formed list of what we consider to be some worthy inclusions as the Cobra Kai of pedals – The Best Around!

You were expecting the Iron Cobra, weren’t you? PSYCH! The Dyna Sync is one of the newest pedals in the Tama line up and it’s magic! A dual linked Direct Drive pedal for all the smooth action goodness.

Direct drive pedals provide a direct relationship between the beater and the foot board, rather than having the extra weight of a full cam. This means the pedal is, for all intents and purposes, way smoother and performs easier under the foot and this one is no exception.

It features a host of awesome features that are advancements of Tama’s existing pedal catalogue such as:

Slideable Cam

This is attached to the dual linkage at the very top of the pedal. It lets you adjust the turning radius in order to get a much more nuanced feel under your feet. It lets you tailor the performance of the pedal to suit your needs.

Footboard Angle Adjustment

This has become a huge feature in pedal manufacture in the last 10 years and the Dyna-Sync footboard angle design integrates into the clam-shaped connection point between linkage and footboard and is fully adjustable to deliver a totally personalized pedal angle adjustment.

Sync – Coil

The Cobra Coil was a game changer in the way that Tama designed pedals. A spring to help push the board back up in order to increase speed and comfort. The Sync-Coil is 1.5 x stronger than the Cobra Coil – the Cobra Coil on steroids!!!!

Dyna Beater

With a slightly tapered shape, the beater strikes the head much more evenly than a traditional beater – therefore providing a clear, defined articulation.

These aren’t the entire collection of features but some of the most important. The pedal is available in both Single and Double.

Dyna Sync Video

Speed Flyer and Speed King

Speed Flyer

Ludwig HAVE to be on Pedals and Snares lists. The Speed King is LEGENDARY in the drum world having been under the foot of some of the most famous drummers.

The Speed Flyer is their newest member of the family. It’s a whole new upgrade from the ATLAS series of pedals. The improvements include:

  • Improved Beater with traditional Speed sizing and increased weight
  • Improved heel with smooth action bearings
  • Improved toe clamp to reduce hoop stress and a securer grip
  • New ergonomic wing nuts and attached drum key
  • Improved baseboard for extra strength
  • Orientation marks for easier cam adjustments
  • Anti-Slip cam for maximum stability.

A beautifully designed pedal and upping the SPEED factor. Currently only available as a Single Chain Drive.

Speed King

 

A classic. Like Bangers ‘n’ Mash. Cookies ‘n’ Cream. Penn and Teller. The Speed King is one of the OG direct drive pedals. Used by drummers such as Ringo Starr and John Bonham the pedal has made a comeback due to popular demand. As close as ever to the original design – including the compression springs built into the posts – but with some home improvements to stand up to today’s demands. Improvements include:

  • Improved cam bearings
  • More reliable and smoother direct-drive linkage
  • Smoother heel plate bearings.

Yamaha FP9

Yamaha FP9 Pedals

If you like your game to be changed then THIS is the pedal. Available in either chain or direct-drive, single or double, the FP9 blew open the drum pedal game upon its release.

Taking lead from their Motorbike engineering, Yamaha put together a pedal that not only looks amazing, it functions better than just about any pedal on the market! Some of the awesome features include:

  • Axle Stabilising Bearings which provide speed, fluidity and SILENCE to the performance of the Axle (which turns the cam – important!)
  • Weight Adjustable Beaters – 3g and 9g weights are included in the box which means if you like it heavier, you can add these weights to the beater shaft to add some extra oomph.
  • 3 step cam system, (chain drive only) and 3 step drive linkage on the direct drive which adjust the speed of the pedal.
  • Spring tension adjuster – clicks in place in order for you to count how many turns you’ve changed the tension of the spring. Really handy if you want to ‘factory reset’ your spring tension.
  • Heel spikes! This is ridiculously simple. Rather than spike the front of the pedal where it clamps on to the bass drum, Yamaha added heel spikes so that the BACK of the pedal won’t slide around. The double slave pedal has spikes at the front and back as it obviously doesn’t have a Bass drum to clamp too.
  • Independent adjustment of beater and footboard.
  • Low profile stabilising hinges at the heel plate which eliminates any twisting on the board.
  • Case included!

Pearl Demon Drive

Pearl Demon Drive

Pearl are perhaps the biggest drum company in the world. For YEARS their hardware has been regarded as some of the strongest around – build a house on it type strong. The Eliminator pedal is still ranked as one of the best pedals on the market.

HOWEVER. In 2009 the Demon Drive hit the market and put Pearl into the Direct Drive market. What makes their design so sophisticated is the ability to change the pedal from short board to longboard.

This still remains a game changing feature and appeals to a much broader market. It put Pearl onto the radar of a bunch of the speed metal players that had played things like Axis for years.

Other super awesome feature on the Demon Drive are:

  • Dual Position Link Adjustment
  • Control Core Beater
  • Ninja Bearings (For skateboards!)
  • Click Lock tension adjustment that won’t slip
  • Infinitely adjustable footboard height
  • Infinitely adjustable beater angle
  • Case Included

You Can also change the side on which the post sits so if you’re a practitioner of the Heel/Toe technique, you don’t have the pesky post in the road. Say WHAT!

The pedal is available as a Single, Double, Double Lefty in both Direct Drive and Chain Drive

Todd Sucherman Demon Drive

Sonor Perfect Balance

Sonor Perfect Balance

Jojo Mayer Perfect Balance Interview

For this entry I’ve chosen the only Signature product here. The reason I’ve chosen it, is because it’s really unique. The philosophy behind the Perfect Balance and Jojo Mayer’s search, was to find or design a pedal the returns to positions as fast as it goes forward. Jojo was finding that modern pedals all throw forward very quickly but don’t return as fast which was frustrating him. He had learned to play on vintage pedals and developed his technique in such a way the he was ‘cannibalising’ (?!) pedals in order to find something that suited him. After some work with Sonor, the Perfect Balance pedal was born.

The Perfect Balance pedal is available as a Single pedal only but in two formats – the Perfect Balance Signature and the Perfect Balance Standard. Both pedals feature the rounded cam, with a belt drive that produces a balanced stroke.

The Signature pedal also folds with the touch of a button, allowing you to set it up and clamp onto the hoop by simply lifting it on to the hoop (see video). The spring holds itself onto the side of the pedal via a magnet once it’s folded. It come with a padded leather bag.
The Standard version has the cam and the belt drive, however it doesn’t fold and therefore has a thumb screw to attach it to the bass drum hoop.

DW 9000

DW 9000 Pedal

DW Artists

The DW 9000 has become one of the industry standard pedals in the last however many years and it would be a crime to miss it out. DW started life as a pedal company so it’s no surprise that they manufacture pedals to the highest standard and degree.

The 9000 featured some amazing innovations when it was launched. Some of the first DW pedals were the 5000 range which features both Turbo and Accelerator versions. Well the 9000 lets you change between both using its Infinite Adjustable Cam system. This was revolutionary when it was launched as it provided drummers with the ability to adjust feels very easily and tailor their pedal to suit their needs. Other amazing features include:

  • Floating Rotor
  • Floating Swivel Spring
  • Ball Bearing Hinge Design
  • Tri-Pivot Toe clamp
  • Non-Slip Rubber Grip Base Plate
  • Case

A true classic in the pedal line up. Available as Single, Double, Lefty Double and XF which features an extended footboard ebabling you to play at the back of the pedal like longboard should you feel the need.

So pedals. They’re important. You can’t stop your car without one. Or make it go for that matter. Wether you play 1 or 2, doesn’t really matter. As long as pick the one that FEELS the best under your foot. So hit us up and chat pedals. Let us find the one for you!

NEW Sonor AQX Entry-Level Drum Kits!

If you want to make something cool, add an X to it. The rebel alliance flew around in X-Wings, Charles Xavier led the X-Men, and Sonor have released their new AQX kit. It’s pretty amazing – Have a listen for yourself…

“It has never been this easy to start your Sonor Journey” according to Sonor and we couldn’t agree more! The AQX by Sonor is their new affordable entry-level kit, perfect for any budding drummer to begin their quest for groove. The kit is made from 100% poplar shells and come fitted with features present on high-end Sonor drums such as TuneSafe lugs and Pre-Muffled Bass Drum Heads. The Stage & Studio configurations come with everything you need to get started, including the new Sonor 1000 hardware and B8 cymbals. Speaking of configurations…

Typically entry-level kits come with one or two configuration options and a couple of different finish options. In a typical German “Hold my beer…” fashion, Sonor released the AQX in FIVE different configurations, with three stunning sparkle finish options available.

Alongside the more conventional five-piece AQX Stage Set (10in Tom, 12in Tom, 16in Floor Tom, 22in Bass Drum & 14in Snare) and AQX Studio Set (10in Tom, 12in Tom, 14in Tom, 20in Bass Drum & 14in Snare), Sonor added three compact kit configurations, offered as four-piece shell packs.

The compact sets draw inspiration to Sonor kits of years gone by, with the AQX Jazz (12x8in Tom, 14x13in Floor Tom, 18x14in Bass Drum & 13x6in Snare), AQX Jungle (10x7in Tom, 13x12in Floor Tom, 16x15in Bass Drum & 13x6in Snare) and AQX Micro (8x7in Tom, 13x12in Floor Tom, 14x13in Bass Drum & 13x6in Snare), which feature the same poplar shells as their five-piece brethren.

These compact have some exclusive features such as the CTH 4000 Cymbal/Tom Holder & natural maple bass drum hoops.

Finishes available across the AQX range include Black Midnight Sparkle, Blue Ocean Sparkle and Red Moon Sparkle, so the expansion options are pretty extensive regardless of which configuration you ultimately settle on.

What we’ve always loved about Sonor here at Drummers Only is there overwhelming passion to encourage drummers to play their absolute best. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or returning player, young or old, Sonor have always worked tirelessly to create instruments that inspire drummers, and the AQX is the perfect example of that.

For a full list of all the kits available, click here

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Leave Your Hat On!

Hats! Often overlooked. Absolutely essential. Ask Indiana Jones. How many times does he nearly lose an arm for the sake of his bunnet??

Where would Drummers be without Hi Hats? Probably still playing drums…just without Hi Hats. But it wouldn’t be the same would it? So let’s take a look at a few of what we think are essentials when it comes to Hi Hats

Zildjian New Beat Hi Hats are like the OG. Back in the day when drummers wore Tuxedos and rock was considered ‘noise’ there was a guy called Louis. Louis was on the hunt for something versatile. The perfect blend of stick and ‘chick’. So Louis took this design to team at Zildjian and Hey Presto! New Beat Hats were born.

Some people think that the New Beat hats are the most versatile around…and it’s hard to disagree – with sizes ranging from 12in-15in. For me, it’s gotta be 14in. Classic!

Another classic in the Hi Hat game. The Paiste 2002 have been part of their diet since 1971. Legendary Drummers such as John Bonham, Alex Van Halen and Phil Rudd have incorporated these into their varied set ups over the years, making 2002 part of the legacy of Rock drumming.

Bright, Clean and Articulate – a sound revered by drummers for over 40 years. Available as Medium, Heavy and Sound Edge in a wide variety of sizes from 13in – 17in.

Really? HHX Groove? Classics? YES! These are Modern Classics. In the last 10 or so years, we’ve sold on countless pairs of these Hi Hats. But then that’s because they’re awesome. I suppose they would be if they were designed by Zoro. The man knows a thing or two about groove!

A retro tone with crisp and clean definition. A must to get your groove on! Available in 14 and 15in and in Brilliant or Traditional finish.

It wouldn’t be a cymbals list of any kind without some handmade cymbals. Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary are the handmade of handmade cymbals. Even the bells of these beauties are hand hammered. Imagine being the guy that hammers bells all day?! Tough job.

Agop are considered by some to be the ‘Original’ when it comes to cymbal making and their traditional foundry methods certainly don’t hurt their cause.

Available in 12in, 14, and 15in.

Every piece that comes out the factory are unique and the 30ths even ship with their own case. They really are special cymbals and while not suited for every style, they sound absolutely incredible.

We’ve done Bright, Rocky, Jazz, somewhere in the middle and now it’s time for the DRY!!

Meinl changed the game when it came to Dry cymbals. Whilst not the first, they made it theirs and it’s become an iconic sound very quickly. Drummers as widely versed as Chris Coleman, Anika Nilles, Richard Spaven have been heard playing Extra Dry of some kind.

Meinl describe them as extremely refined and designed to be dry, fast, trashy and low. A massive hit since their inception, they’ll give you a uniqueness not found in the same way anywhere else.

Medium Weight in 13in and 14in. Medium Thin in 15in and 16in.

A small list of some rad cymbals. Some iconic models, some newer models but a wide variety to cover your sonic palette and hopefully a look at how changing the hi hats can really change your sound.

What do you play and why? Leave us a comment below.

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Our TOP PICKS From 2020!

Here’s our FAVOURITE drum gear released in 2020!

We’ll kick things off with Yamaha’s resurgence in the small kit market with their new Stage Custom Hip! It’s the same Stage Custom you know and love, now in compact sizes! The kit takes the genre of “small kit” and inverts it, resulting in a set of drums that are tiny, but MIGHTY! The 20x8in Bass Drum, in particular, packs a powerful punch and the addition of snare wires to the floor tom for optional SNOM action is a nice touch, giving you five drums for the price of four! With three classic Yamaha finishes to choose from, the Stage Custom Hip is ideal for the drummer looking for a small kit for practice, busking or small gigs/functions…(when we’re allowed!).

You only want ONE snare drum? Nah, how about FOURTEEN?! At least, that’s what the design lab at Mapex said. The Black Panther series got a serious upgrade in 2020 with a host of brand new core models, each with their own unique trait. The line has produced some highlights including The Heritage, The Nucleus, The Atomizer & The Predator. We did an in-depth breakdown of all fourteen drums, which you can read about here! We struggled to decide between us which one is our ABSOLUTE favourite, but we’re confident that everyone fill find a drum to their liking within the range!

Pure Alloy Custom is the next evolution of the popular Pure Alloy series from Meinl, and reignite a fire in the mid-range cymbal market. Pure Alloy Custom cymbals are fully lathed and feature visible hammer marks providing a hand hammered feel, with pin-point machine accuracy. The cymbals themselves are crisp and clear, with incredible wash and stick definition, finished with a smoked- bronze finish. These cymbals sound and play INCREDIBLY, making them the perfect upgrade for the drummer looking for cymbals that are clean, crisp, and sound fantastic!

The DTX6 Series of electronic drums was released nearer the end of 2020. This new mid-range gladiator for the Yamaha electronic kit range serves as a replacement to the popular DTX500 series. “Replacement” is definitely the wrong word. Put it like this: If the 500 series was the Chrysalis, the DTX6 is a fully evolved Butterfly. With three kits within the range to choose from, you’ll find the suitable kit for your needs – as they all come with the amazing DTX Pro Module. Wave goodbye to sample-replacing and your laptop, it’s all possible within the module, and the addition of the new KP90 Bass Drum Pad provides sturdy, quieter practice. We’ve written all about the new kit here, it’s worth a read to see just EVERYTHING this kit can do!

We love Sonor. We love Benny Greb. Needless to say, we are HEAD OVER HEELS in love with the upgraded Benny Greb Signature Snares! Available in both Beech AND Brass, these drums are considered the Holy Grail by those who have played them. We argue almost daily over which model we prefer, but to be honest, we think you’ll be onto a winner regardless of which drum you decide on. Sonor & Benny have gone Vintage Modern with the inclusion of two internal dampeners, allowing you to dial in your prefered snare to sound how you want with pin-point accuracy. Don’t just take our word for it, have a listen to the man himself perform on them!

So with that, we conclude our Top Gear picks of 2020. We’re excited to see what 2021 holds and what the drumming industry has planned for us! We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with ALL the latest!

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