The next day we started bright and early at the Roland booth, which was actually not a booth at all, but rather the entire arena attached to the convention center. Thank you for the muffins and orange juice! So how does a market leader make its best selling kit better? The new TD9 is an all-mesh kit, with a redesigned foam kick trigger for increased realistic feel, upgraded cymbals to include a moving hi hat, a larger ride cymbal, and many new kit sounds bringing the module total to 99 kits! Wow…a lot of fun to play, and while I was trying it out, Thomas Lang was in the background checking it out…I’d like to think I showed him a thing or two….your welcome Thomas. I also saw a hook up that converted a TD4 Roland kit into a controller for the “Rock Band” video game. Any drummers who have played the game can appreciate how this is a good thing.
Some say PASTE, some say PIESHT, but I believe it to be pronounced PIE-STEE…remember, rhymes with Feisty. So how can a metal disc be impressive? Well, if it is the re-launch of the Formula 602’s that were first introduced in 1959, then you had me at HELLO! As someone who has a few vintage 602’s I can attest to their authenticity in look and sound. It’s actually quite frightening how authentic these are. Warmth, controlled, pure, would be adjectives I’d use to describe them, but I welcome you to try them out in store when they arrive. And as if I didn’t have enough here to choose from, Paiste has added to their Twenty Series with the Twenty Masters Collection featuring 7 new rides, including a few personal favorites (who am I kidding, I loved them all). But of extreme interest was the 24” Deep Ride which was developed for “JR” Robinson, who is no slouch himself. A brilliant touch is the music notes inked on top of the cymbal which is the opening phrase he recorder of “Rock With You”. Also check out the 20” Sweet Ride….sweet indeed.
After collecting myself, it was off to Ludwig, which always has a show stopper kit high up on a riser. This was a 4 bass drum Burgundy Sparkle monster with a 36” concert bass drum suspended overhead….perfect for all your jazz gigs. The big news from them was the return of Joey Kramer, yes of “Aerosmith” fame was back in the fold after a 20 plus year hiatus. In fact he was there posing with his new custom drum set that is based around the new “Keystone” series of Oak/Maple drums made in the US of A with white powder coated stands….quite fetching. They are limited so if anybody is interested, email me for availability. The entry level and mid-range from Ludwig, the Accent, Element, and Epic series remain to offer excellent quality, features, and value across their price ranges. With new finishes and hardware plated finished in the Epic series; Transparent Black and Olivebust are my particular favorites. A step up for the road warrior is the Centennial series which features North American Maple, new finishes, and configurations, including a 26” Zep Set monster…..and who doesn’t want to be like Bonham really?? Speaking of Bonzo…..Vistalite’s are back with a vengeance. Ludwig has added (or should I say re-introduced) red and green.
I invite you all to check out the Ludwig website to see the depth of their offering and colour choices in their Classic Maple, Legacy, and Legacy Exotic series. I would love to have it all in the store, but I can barely turn around as it is. We will be getting more of their snares in, but at over 50 snares available, I will have to exercise some restraint. Drums of particular interest to me were “The Brick” which is an Epic Series 20 ply snare that should sell for only a few hundred dollars!! The world of signature snares from Ludwig this year includes a gorgeous lacquered green with brass plated 3.7x14” called “Venus” that bears the legend Carl Palmer’s autograph. The Joey Kramer is a 6.5x14” black brass shell with tube lugs and scroll engraving on the drum and is hand sign by Joey himself, but only for 2011. I also enjoyed the Corey Miller drum with its tattoo art and white powder coated shell. I’m looking forward to see what the next 100 years has to offer from Ludwig.
Drums & Percussion