Gammon drums are, hands down, the most well-known, bargain drum sets aimed at two markets: beginners, looking to try out the art of drumming, and buyers seeking to use them for practice purposes.
Let it be made clear that although they are NOT the highest quality sets around, Gammon drums are strong contenders as the most cost-efficient choice for beginner and intermediate drummers looking for cheaper alternatives, due to the heightened quality you get for the otherwise reduced price.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you know all about Gammon drums and their key quality of being the most affordable drum sets in the international market. This review is primarily for those people, who are only seeking the last bit of details on the Gammon brand before they make their purchase. I will, however, aim to make this review as comprehensive as possible for those who aren’t completely aware yet of Gammon.
Drum Set Prices
I will tell you two logical alternatives I thought of when I was looking in the market for Gammon drums: other quality entry-level drum sets and used branded drum sets.
Entry-level drum sets can enter the $800 range, and in my case as well as many others I found saying when I searched for internet reviews on the cheapest drum sets, gammon drums give the best bang for their buck. Some, however, were quick to follow up to “expect the quality you paid for”, since it is a $200-300 set after all.
On the other hand, used branded drum sets are always riskier purchases due to the wildcard factor of possibly getting troubleshooting problems with the set (e.g. can’t be tuned due to bent parts, tendency to become unusable completely due to overuse).
Ease of Assembly and Upgrades for Gammon Drums
My Gammon drum set came in two boxes, with all 5 drums and cymbals/hi-hats packed in them. It took me 2 hours to set it all up, due to the fact that I didn’t see the instruction manual and DVD that came with it until after I was finished. According to my research, other buyers on Amazon apparently took 1 hour to set it up, with the help of the included guide. It’s a generally straightforward and user-friendly experience for beginners looking to get to know their way around a drum set.
What makes this drum set a standout purchase for me, however, is its capacity to be upgraded. If you are serious about getting into drumming, these Gammon drums should eventually be replaced. What’s great about it, however, is that you don’t have to replace everything. Due to the fact that it’s decent quality, 100% condition (since it’s not used) drum set, some of the parts can be kept on while you upgrade the other parts.
For one, the stands are all of Double Brace quality, granting them sturdiness to weather time. The snare and toms had very polished drum heads and were easy to tune to my liking. The drum key that came with it for tightening the tension rods is most likely going to stay with me for the rest of my life!
At the time of this writing, the set has been with me for about 3 months in and I can, however, foresee problems with the hi-hat and cymbals. The sound quality isn’t up to par with what I’d like, but they’re good enough I guess for practicing. If you’d want to use the set for performances, I’d encourage you to eventually upgrade your cymbals by purchasing an individual crash from Amazon or your local retail store. This isn’t just something that I considered; apparently a number of buyers weren’t too contented for the long-term with the cymbals.
My Ranting on its Sleek
I had bought this originally for practice purposes, so I planned to store it in my garage. I had to change that plan of mine however when I finally set it up: the gloss finish looked superb. Now for most drummers, this is basically an oversight really, but I appreciated the fact that for the $300 I shelled out on it, the designers went out of their way to make it look practically as elegant as a Pearl (Okay maybe that’s exaggerating, but it really did look neat!).
When I was surveying for color design, the gammon drums product line gave me enough general colors to choose from but I would have preferred some unconventional paint job, like Polka dot or something, because I love being the center of attention (That was a joke, laugh). I stuck with the starry gold, and the paint job is still pretty solid after my first few months of thrashing. I’ll update you on a future review of how it stands up from constant abuse.
Overall, if you’ve been drumming for 10 years, don’t buy Gammon drums. You will feel like you could have bought something better by adding a couple of hundred bucks to your budget. But, if you’ve only been in the business for a year or two, then it would be a smart choice to invest in a set of these, whether it’s for purely practice purposes or if it’s your first drum set.
What is in a Gammon Drum Set?
The Gammon drum set is the perennial percussion instrument for the casual drummer looking for his first attempt at a drumming career or hobby.
Why do I support this bold claim, considering I am not a Gammon employee? Well, it’s because of my first-hand, satisfying experience of buying my first drum set from Gammon. Now it may not be the same for you, but in any case, I look to give out as much information as I can on my purchase to save you and others a lot of grief over drum set purchases in the future.
Fresh from the Box: Breaking down the Gammon Drum Set
If you’ve done your research, you’ll know that Gammon drums aren’t in the league of the top-caliber, high-end drums such as Pearl. So why invest in a set? For one, it is insultingly cheap. Gammon drum sets are renowned internationally as the best deals for beginner drummers considering the quality they give off for their relatively low $200-$350 “entry-level” drums price.
However, beginner drummers aren’t the only ones to benefit from having a set. If you’re a drummer who has yet to invest in a practice set, meaning a drum set to thrash around within the garage for hours end on, then the Double Brace equipment and famously sturdy quality of the Gammon drum set should support you in your “rockin’ out” endeavors.
So what does one get from the 5-piece Gammon drum set? A typical package from Amazon is shipped in two boxes. In my case, I found the following, disassembled, individual parts all in mint condition: a snare drum, a pair of toms, a floor tom, a bass drum, a hi-hat, and cymbals. Counting the pair of toms and bass drum as one “piece”, this is where the set gets its tight “5-piece” name.
From an economic standpoint, you would be getting a brand new, mid-level quality drum set for a $200 price which is equivalent to several used, high-end drums. While it may seem that in the long-term, it would be wiser to go for a higher-end drum set, the best course of action would actually be to purchase a Gammon drum set first then upgrade the individual parts that you are unsatisfied with.
Due to the risks of the damage taken by used sets from their previous owners, a brand new, cheap drum set is a good first buy for the beginning drummer.
Troubleshooting and Setting up the Drums
The entire set is a straightforward setup. The shipping comes with an instructional DVD and manual, as well as an accompanying website for setting it up in a fashion that suits your physical stature.
But the best feature I’d say I enjoyed would be the ease I found in tuning the drums. The Gammon drum set I bought, like all of them apparently, comes with a drumming key that allows you to give your drums that tight sound instead of the “all-over-the-place” noise that often accompanies cheap drum sets.
The drum heads, considering they are brand new, were also very easy to unscrew and modify to my liking. For all you perfectionists looking to get that crisp, pristine sound production, all you need to do is do a little tweaking and you’ll be surprised at what you can get at this price.
I also recommend this set for newbies looking to understand how to tune a drum set. Used drum sets often have that wear-and-tear factor which makes tuning, especially if it’s your first time, that much more difficult and confusing.
A brand new Gammon drum set isn’t only good for practicing the drums, it’s also good for getting to know your way around a drum set. Still, if tuning a drum set isn’t your alley, and you have the budget for a better quality drum set, then, by all means, I encourage you to forego buying one of these.
Remember, these are for those starting on the drums, those looking for a “garage” type set to practice on, and those looking to have a tunable set. This is not a dream drum set.