By DRUM! Staff Originally published in DRUM! Magazine's 2009 Trade Show New Products Report
The DRUM! crew hit the 2009 NAMM trade show with a full complement of photographers, video gear and extra freelance writers designed to help us cover every single new product our readers might see in the coming year. At the end of it all, we had amassed specs and info on more than 450 products. Here's part II of our Drum set report. Look for related stories on cymbals, hand drums, sticks, hardware, accessories, electronics...well, you get the idea.
Some new finishes are on tap for Mapex’s higher-end Saturn series, including a Cherry Sparkle wrap, Arctic White lacquer, and Tobacco Burst.
The Taiwanese drum maker now offers 5- and 6-piece 9-ply maple kits. The 5-piece features a 22" x 18" kick, a 16" x 16" floor tom, 12" x 9" and 13" x 10" toms, and a 14" x 5.5" snare.
The 6-piece kit has a virgin bass drum, separate stand for 12" x 9" and 10" x 8" toms, a 14" x 6.5" snare, and 14" x 12" and 16" x 16" floor toms.Odery
Odery’s booth in the convention center’s hinterlands didn’t do justice to what was perhaps this year’s sleeper exhibit. The new ExoticMotion series kits feature 5.5mm araucaria wood shells and hoops with an outer ply of African radica. The display kit’s tutti-frutti stain had an air of trying too hard but — good god — that sound.
Shell packs include pioopo tiger’s foot/Old Silver hardware; bubinga/Old Copper hardware; and sapele pomelle/brushed-steel hardware. Also new for 2009 are the 12mm solid CNC-machined teak hybrid shells with a center band of 10mm aluminum. All kits come with Odery’s proprietary off-shell mounting system.
With its slick Platinum series, PDP sure didn’t seem like DW’s less-expensive little brother. This a la carte kit with black nickel and chrome hardware sported nifty tube lugs and, for ’09, is available with 18" or 23" bass drums. Seems like everyone from Audix to Dixon is doing variation on camouflage designs, and the Glitter Camo kit in this series is especially fresh.
The shells in the X7 series have been upgraded from poplar to maple with no change in price.
You might want to stand up for this one — an expanded, 4-piece version of that vertically integrated, tiny footprint piece of work known as the Manhattan cocktail kit, pragmatically named the Manhattan Stage II, includes 8" and 10" side-mounted toms, new cymbal arms for greater positioning flexibility, and a new Arctic Blue brushed wrap finish. Okay, you can sit back down now — or not.
The Peace Spectrum series now boasts four new Sparkle Wrap finishes that are so fresh, get this, Peace hadn’t even had time to come up with fancy names for them yet. Stay tuned.
If Spock were a drummer just starting out, even he might have to show a little emotion at the new entry-level Vulcanian kit, which comes complete with cymbals, throne, all double-braced stands, a chain-driven pedal, and even some sticks — everything a little Vulcan needs to rock out. The Vulcanian is available in jazz or power-rock configurations and boasts mahogany shells, 9-ply bass and snare, and 6-ply toms. The toms are six lugs on a side; bass and snare are eight lugs on a side.
The popular Elevation and gothic-themed Demolition series have been updated with some new brushed finishes, the addition of RIMS Mounts on the toms, new 600 series hardware, black batter heads on the Demolition, and an upgraded snare in the Elevation series that replaces the chrome metal shell with a finish-matched wood one.
The Kahuna series, already looking fine with its 9-ply bubinga shells, now comes with chrome tube lugs in place of the old bullet lugs.
Wandering through Pearl’s sprawling piece of NAMM real estate, we noticed a few eye-catching new finishes. The MCX series gets a taste of the grape with the new Vintage Wine finish; the VBX series gets a new Harvest Fade finish that’s as warm as oven-fresh apple pie; and a limited-edition run of 4-piece African mahogany shell packs in Red Mahogany Fade is sure to fade fast with only 30 units offered in the U.S.Rogers
Ever since Yamaha bought the Rogers name three years ago and decided to reinvent this storied moniker as a line of high-quality, affordable kits, the new offerings have come slowly but steadily. This year, mid-level Trailblazer kits have been completely revamped, from the three new Delmar finishes applied to the birch/poplar shells, to the unique inclusion of a double bass drum pedal and a two-legged hi-hat stand along with every kit. Trailblazers also come with a nickel-plated steel snare drum and suspension tom mounts. All this for a list price of just $699.
The Prospector series has also seen some subtler upgrades, with the addition of a boom cymbal stand and an upgraded throne with a 3" cushion and a double-braced base. Nylon sleeves are also now included on bass drum and tom mounts.Sonor
Color — lots of it — was the watchword at Sonor. The all-maple 3007 now comes in Smooth Red Burst, Black Red Sparkle, Smooth Brown Burst, and Orange Sparkle Fade. The Force 3007 series has a new configuration featuring an extra-deep 20" mount-less kick and shallower 12" x 8" tom too.
A birch-shell series, the 2007 had configuration tweaks similar to the 3007 series, with a shallower mounted tom and deeper bass. Now in Dark Green Burst and Natural Fade.
New finishes for the 1007 series include Smooth Red and Smooth White, while the 507 gets a Brushed Blue.Sunlite
Sunlite is copping to the latest trends with the FadeBlack finish on its Studio kit, featuring 50-percent maple/50-percent bass wood (or mahogany) 9-ply shells ($1,875).
The Top Gun line now features the Antique Honey kit ($1,485), which has off-shell RIMS-type mount, 2.3mm flanged hoops, ten-lug split snare, 1001 series hardware, and dual-chain-drive bass pedal.
The most striking aspects of the new Starworks line were the very un-Tama-like primary-color wraps with a paint-splatter pattern, newly designed black lugs and hoops, and special bass drumhead logo. These birch wood drums feature 7ply/7mm bass and toms, and 6ply/6mm snare drum. Two configurations available ($1,462.99 –$1,868.99). Individual add-on drums available in May 2009.
Three sumptuous new finishes (Black Diamond Dust! Garnet Red Glitter! Shattered Turquoise!) were introduced to the Starclassic Bubinga EFX line for a grand total of five available glass glitter wraps. Brushed nickel, black nickel, and chrome hardware are also available. 4-piece Accel-Driver shell kit, $4,149.99. With Ultra Deep 20" x 22" bass drum, $4,299.99.
We cannot guarantee you will play as well as Lars Ulrich with the Starclassic Maple’s new LU Magnetic Orange wrap, but it’s a start. The 4-piece Accel-Driver shell pack includes 22" x 18" bass drum, 10" x 8" and 12" x 9" toms, 16" x 14" floor tom ($3,749). Starclassic Bubinga Omni-Tune now available in Sunny Yellow lacquer with center band (starts at $5,229.99).
Even Tama’s lower-priced lines kept the eye-candy theme on point. The Performer B/B’s glitter wraps now include Black Diamond Dust, Egyptian Night Burst, Garnet Red Glitter, Shattered Turquoise, and Crystal Blue Burst — three new lacquer finishes are also available. 4-piece Accel-Driver shell kit includes 22" x 20" or 20" x18" bass drum with tom holder, 10" x 8" and 12" x 9" toms, 16" x 14" floor tom, $2,729.99-$2,889.99 (4-piece shell kit including Ultra Deep bass without tom holder, $2,229.99). New finishes also available as 5-, 6-, and 7-piece kits ($3,799.99–$5,649.99).
The changes to Tama's Superstar Hyper-Drive — a line characterized by extra-shallow ride toms — were also skin deep. The Superstar Custom Hyper-Drive now comes in Satin Cherry Burst and Gold Platinum Fade finishes. The Satin Cherry 5-piece Hyper-Drive shell kit ($1,449.99) includes a 22" x 20" virgin bass drum, 10" x 6.5" and 12" x 7" toms, a 16" x 14" floor tom, and a 13" x 6" snare drum (comes with two single-tom adaptor clamps). Complete 5-piece Hyper-Drive pack ($1,899.99). The Gold Platinum Fade’s 6-piece Hyper-Drive shell pack includes a 22" x 18" bass drum, 10" x 6.5" and 12" x 7" toms, a 14" x 12" floor tom, a 14" x 5.5" snare drum, and a pair of tom adaptor clamps ($1,733.99). Complete kit ($2,183.99). For ’09, the Superstar EFX Hyper-Drive comes in Red Silk and Snow White Pearl.
Sometimes subtle changes are the most effective. Midnight Mist, the latest addition to the Imperialstar line’s stable of appealing yet conservative colors, is one classy finish. The 5-piece standard kit includes a 22" x 18" bass drum with tom mount, 12" x 9" and 10" x 13" toms, a 16" x 16" floor tom, and a 14" x 5.5" snare drum. Includes all hardware and Meinl cymbals (14" hi-hat, 16" crash", and 20" ride). Until June 30, 2009, the Imperialstar comes with a 12" Meinl China cymbal and holder. A steal at $1,269.99.Taye
The Studio Maple Bebop kit got a new traditional configuration, with a 12" x 8" tom, a 14" x 14" floor tom, an 18" x 14" bass drum, and a 14" x 5" snare, and retails at an easy $1,919 with hardware pack G included.
Everybody likes getting more for less. And the crafty drumsmiths at Taye, recognizing this simple truth, have come up with a simple solution: a limited-edition 6-piece Goldflake Rock Pro kit for the price of a 5-piece (the sixth piece is an extra 10" tom). Bonus: the kit also includes the upgraded hideaway boom cymbal stand, which you can hide away whenever you need to make room for that extra free tom. Also check out the Rock Pro kit in the new Brushed Midnight Blue finish.
With all these glossy high-end wonders pulling our attention in every direction and dragging us from one side of the NAMM convention hall to the other, we might have tripped over Taye’s tiny little Astro Junior kit if it wasn’t propped up to convenient eye-level. This miniature version of the entry-level Astro kit may be small, but it doesn’t cut any corners. It features real heads (not those cardboard ones you might remember from the “junior” kit of your youth), traditional hoops, and comes with a hi-hat stand and cymbals, a 12" x 4" snare, a drum throne, drum pedal, and powder-coated hardware. Available in Wine Red, Jet Black, or Sky Blue.
The Absolute series got all dressed up in a generous nine brand-sparkling new finishes: Burgundy Sparkle, Caramel Sparkle, White Grape Sparkle, Blue Ice Sparkle, Midnight Sky Blue, Deep Blue, Solid Silver, Matte Natural, and Luminous White Sparkle. This last one allegedly glows in the dark, but since the convention people refused to turn the lights out so we could see for ourselves, we’ll just have to take Yamaha’s word for it.