The snare has a tube-lug design, but doesn’t feature the same classic style of tube lugs found on most snares. This tube design is a straight steel cylinder fastened to the drum via two polycarbonate posts, and has a modern look. The throw-off had a metal lever, screw, and a few other parts, and the rest was polycarbonate material. It worked well, and it was easy to adjust the 20-strand snares with the throw-off in the engaged position (this is difficult with some strainers). The drum has a woody tone with lots of ringing harmonics, especially when struck off-center. A touch of tape or a thicker head would help tame the ring a bit, though that characteristic added to the drum’s rimshots, which were definitely loud and ringing. The rim-click was a little weak, and the drum wasn’t very forgiving of inexact stick placement. The drum sounded great when I dropped the snares and used it as a poor man’s timbale. Overall, the snare sounded very good — loud and crisp with a woody tone. RMV might consider die-cast hoops on this drum since that would dampen some of the ring and provide a stronger rim-click at the same time.
When I put the heads on the bass drum I thought some of the receivers felt a little stiff, and found that threading them with the screw angled slightly away from the shell made it easier to get them started. The spurs are adjusted with a drum key (I’d personally prefer a wing screw), and feature retractable spikes for added grip. I loved the sound of this drum — it had a deep, thick thud, with lots of attack and fairly short sustain. The head combination sent was very effective for rock and pop styles, and I never thought to add a pillow or any additional muffling to the drum. It has everything you’d want from a 22" x 18" kick drum.
I’d never seen an RMV kit in person, or played a drum set made from purple heart wood. So I was pleasantly surprised with both the drums and the quality of their construction. Overall, this is a very nice kit in an attractive finish. Purple heart wood sounds good and projects well. Exotic wood kits tend to be very expensive, so I was surprised to learn that this limited-edition RMV purple heart kit is only $1,999 list, which makes it an absolute steal.
Model: RMV Purple Heart Drums
List Price: $1,999 (for the reviewed limited-edition kit)
Sizes: 22" x 18" bass drum, 14" x 5 1/2" snare, 10" x 8", 12" x 9", and 14" x 13" suspended toms
Shells: 100-percent purple heart wood in 4mm tom shells and 6mm bass and snare shells
Hoops: 2.3mm Sturdy Hoops
Heads: Clear single-ply tom batter heads and clear resonant heads, coated single-ply snare batter head and clear snare-side head, clear bass drum batter head with muffling ring, and solid black resonant logo head