PDP Concept Maple Review — For Every Drummer

PDP (Pacific Drums and Percussion) which is a subsidiary of DW (Drum Workshop) offers reasonably priced high-class drum equipment to drummers who might not pay for the status DW equipment.

PDP’s philosophy is to integrate the techniques developed in the DW workshops into their manufacturing programs and make them accessible to everyone. For this to be possible, they have developed the use of digitized machines to reduce costs and certain production steps, while creating a quality product, manufactured in large quantities.

PDP Concept Maple: Our Review

Strictly speaking, PDP was created in 2000s to provide high quality equipment to all those who cannot afford the prestige Drum Workshop equipment. The same technologies that can be found in other DW lines are used for the production of PDP drum hardware. The line uses some manual methods of production, but mainly to reduce labor costs and optimize the production process to create high-quality equipment in large quantities, computerized processes are used.

PDP Concept Series comes in 2 types: made 100% maple wood or 100% birch wood. The both most used woods in the industry for the realization of drums as they have with interesting sound characteristics and because are easy to acquire.

We will look at this review to maple series. The maple is a tree whose wood is white and the American type has a great density, by nature the density of the wood determines its hardness and the harder it is, the longer it takes to grow, therefore the price becomes more expensive. Usually based on the type of wood used for the construction the starting price is established.

Nowadays the maple veneers are not exactly of this species whose population is much decimated, and their place is used other types that are faster growing and therefore cheaper. But this tree produces what is undoubtedly the most used wood in high-end percussion, its acoustic properties are the most comprehensive, it provides the musician with a sound rich in low but not very loud, but very warm. For all this is that it fits almost any type of sound and can be used to playing live and playing in the studio.

Drums from maple are the most popular choice of top-level drummers. At first glance it can be said about the big influence of DW drums series over the PDP maple concept including packing, finishing and features. The shells look great; covered with layers of shiny lacquer under which the structure of the wood is visible. They are only faceted on the inside.

Features and Specifications

PDP Drums of Concept Series use shells with high quality lacquered finishes and a “Ply” construction of 7 layers in the toms and 10 layers for its share drum, giving them a little more focus, projection, and at the same time raising their timbre. Various metal parts of the drums not only significantly affect the sound; its most outstanding features are the powerful attack, sharp (metallic) sound and relatively short sustain. But also they serve as significant elements of the style.

The tubular lugs fixed to the corpse in two places show more of the shells which give the set a vintage appearance. The lugs, the tension rods and the tom mount are impressive. In general, a lesser amount of metal on the shells allows for greater resonance. This idea lies at the heart of the proportionate counter hoops.

An attractive feature in this series is that the rims used for these drums are not the same for each and every drum available. On the contrary, PDP proposes 3 types of hoops that mix better with the unique properties of each drum size:

  1. The 7 × 8” and 8 × 10” toms come with thin 1.5mm steel rims which guarantee that they will not “Crash” the sound of these small drums.
  2. The toms of 9 × 12”, 12 × 14” and 14 × 16” come with 2.0mm rims, which help to focus a little more the sound and facilitating it’s tuning.
  3. While the 5.5 × 14” pdp snare drum comes with 2.5mm rims (almost like the standard “True Hoops” of 3.0mm used in the DW Collectors series) that give excellent power to the “rimshots”.

The set is quite easy to install and adjust. Smooth tom holders make it possible to position the toms precisely.

PDP maple concept versus DW drums design series

The attention to design elements is interesting in this series. PDP maple concept comes with the same tuning screws used in the DW sets called the “True Pitch Tension Rods”, which are special since they have more threads, which promotes an even more specific and sensitive tuning.

PDP/DW drum heads made by REMO in the United States, suspension system for the STM Toms, and the snare drum comes with the DW flagship strainer, the now famous “MAG Throw Off” that uses a small magnet to ensure it will never be released while you are playing, you can hit it with an aluminum bat! Without pieces that can be damaged over time, it has a smooth action, without strange sounds and very effective.

To each drum skin corresponds to a sound. It is just figuring out which sound you want to give your drum set to be able to make the best choice. There is in fact a skin more in the right than another. Drum skins are mainly made of plastic with diameters ranging from 24-26”, for the bass drum, to those for the smaller 6-8” tom. The only difference lies in the quality of drumheads to the drum set. For this reason it would be better to focus on the best brands and make a choice accordingly. The manufacturer Remo produces the most durable and long-lasting; such as the hydraulic drumheads are made with double-ply. The two layers are separated by oil which makes them free to move and which make the sound warm and full-bodied. Each has a thickness of 7 thousandths of an inch.

Although he is not the inventor of plastic drumheads, Remo Belli has been the one who has popularized and imposed them as a rule. So much so that the Remo are nowadays the absolute point of reference with which other brands are analyzed and judged. These (Sonor, Ludwig, Attack, etc.) try globally to imitate the Remo.

Big sound

All the benefits come when the kit is set up and you start playing!

  1. There is amazing particular involved in sounding to bass drum. The pillow that comes complete with it provides enough muffling, the sound is deep, imbued with pleasant warmth, but the tone is controlled by a pillow.
  2. The share drum is also good. Perhaps for someone’s taste it has many overtones. But when tuning it produces a sharp and focused sound.
  3. The mounted toms have full balanced tones and beautiful resonance.
  4. The floor tom is characterized by the same tonal qualities as the mounted toms. The sound on the floor is spectacular. Warm and full of rumble in the low end.

The basics of pdp concept maple are in the bass drum and the share drum, but this does not mean that they can stop there. The toms perfectly adapt to the minimal ringing overtones.

Are PDP drums any good?

The sound of these kits is quite deep, warm and with enough resonance. As expected, the kits made in Maple have an even deeper character with enough resonance and sustained. Kits in birch produce a sound with a lot of “Punch” that sometimes seems to have a greater projection capacity than the Maple version.

We were really surprised with this series because we really could not find samples of low or mediocre construction or sound quality. DW Drums has a particular sound in its sets Collectors Series, and given the advances and discoveries of its research team led by Mr. John Good, have managed to apply these advances to economic sets achieving a great balance between quality/sound and price (the DW Performance series is another excellent example of this) People who wish to have that DW’s sound can have a great option with these PDP Concept kits at a fraction of what a “custom made” DW set might cost.

One of the new “sponsors” of the PDP Concept Series is the star Cobus Potgieter who, for those who do not know him, is a South African drummer, thanks to his drum and cover videos that he constantly uploads to his YouTube channel, has achieved more than 110 million of views. Cobus who was using DW’s Performance series explains that his move to the PDP Concept is due to the fact that the vast majority of people who follow him via the internet are drummers whose budget is not so high as to be able to buy the Performance series, which made him feel a little uncomfortable to show and “sell” a product to his fans, who in many cases could not afford it. Cobus discovered that the Concept series offers a quite impressive sound with an even more imposing and accessible price for its audience.

It is always surprising to find excellent products made with quality materials and a wonderful sound at a price accessible to many drummers. These drum kits come in sets of 3, 4, and 5 to 7 drums with prices from €550 to $850 for the 7 piece pdp drum set.

If you’re going to play drums in a spacious studio, you can focus on a larger model Full and warm sound of all the drums provide the PDP 6 piece drum set and the PDP 7 piece drum set for a great low price. The drums sound clear and stunning and you have a huge range of tones to choose from!

Drum sets are available in a variety of colorful sparkle finishes including Natural to Charcoal Fade; a color exclusive to Guitar center DW drums. Finishing is that you expect from a top-level drum kit.

Choose your perfect drum set

At present there are so many different of drum kits on the market which in turn can be defined by high (professional), medium (semi-professional) and economic (beginners) ranges. First of all, they differ in price. Very part of the range that you chose and you are willing to pay, also you will find yourself with a real dilemma. Now you have to choose between a variety of models, brands, sizes, finishes, type of wood, type of hardware and so on, but the main thing: a variety of sounds… and if you don’t have a slight notion of what we really want to acquire, we will be easy prey for some seller that to earn your commission.

In principle we must be realistic and ask ourselves how much money we have available and we will be able to invest in this beautiful and wonderful instrument. Unlike other instruments such as guitar or keyboard, etc., the drum kit is usually the most expensive musical instrument that exists. Brands only give you the drums, all other supporting hardware can be included or maybe not.

Today competitiveness is the bread of every day in a globalized era and if a company is not competent, it just dies. In that competitive race, many brands offer almost the same and only differ in the systems patented by each manufacturer. The only thing that experienced musicians can do in this regard is to give personal appreciation based primarily on the desired sound and quality.

Drum Design Knowledge

Depending on what the musician looks for in sound, it will be the basis for choosing a particular brand. Of course, this also depends on the factors of price-quality and type of wood. Definitely a recognized brand will offer something good, but it all depends on the taste of the musician. For example, if a warmer, more harmonious sound is required, and it will be used inside a closed zone or for recording in the studio, birch wood will be ideal, but in case a thicker, more powerful tone is required will be used in open spaces, such as a concert, maple wood will be the most revealing.

Of course, all this will depend on the thickness of the shell, the number of layers in it and the size or depth of the drum. The manufacture of the drums is done through layers wood superimposed one on top of the other, and the amount of these layers will also influence the sound. The energy of the beat of a stick in the patch is transferred to the layers creating a deep effect on the tonal characteristics and also causing the projection of the sound by vibrations of the drum shell, all this depending on the number of layers or the thickness of the drum shell itself.

  1. Six- to eight-ply shells have a higher stiffness and resistance of energy transfer from the patches. With a lower vibration of the shell the sound is greater projection. Drums made of this thickness are ideal for general purpose applications or situations that need more power, such as a more open area or for a concert.
  2. Nine- to eleven-ply shells are very efficient and allow most of the energy of the musician to easily reach the audience. These drums are ideal for theaters, open-air concerts, venues, etc. and other uses that require high levels of sound pressure. Drums made in this thickness make each detail appreciate with intensity and projection. Bass drums and the floor toms sound well with thicker shells.

However, another dilemma is to choose the size or depth of the drum and also this characteristic will influence the versatility and flexibility of the musical style.

For greater versatility, toms with “standard” depths are required, that is, sizes of 12×8”, 13×9”, etc. To produce power, sizes 12×10”, 13×11”, etc. is considered. For greater sensitivity, the depths below 12×8”, 13×9”, offer it to you. Medium term between both would be 12×9”, 13×10”, etc. offering a great sensitivity and also a wide range of tonal projection. The diameter of a drum affects the tone more than anything else: the wider the drum, the lower the tone.

Then we can conclude that the depth of the hull is responsible for the duration of the note (vibrations) and its volume. There is more articulation in a shallow drum, but more volume and less bounce of the drumstick in a deeper drum.

What do competing brands offer?

It is the musician who must find the right sound for himself, and as such, no one can say exactly this drum kit is better than another, because this will depend only on tastes of each person. The drum kit that best meets the expectations of the musician himself in sound, design, quantity pieces, finishes, etc., will be the best for him. There are musicians who have drum kit of unknown brands or who have disappeared from the market and despite the fact that they are even bullied by their colleagues, they feel comfortable with their sound, they are very fond of it, and they keep it for many years.

If you like the sound of a Mapex Meridian Maple (to give an example), this does not mean that a fellow drummer likes it too. Maybe he prefers the sound of a Pearl Decade Maple or a Tama Starclassic Maple. Although the 3 series of Mapex, Pearl and Tama coincide in using maple wood, each one will have a special sound that the differentiate, because in its sound will be the special seal of each brand, through its own manufacturing process, the mixture of other woods or use a different technique in its development. Of course there will also be other differences such as the theme price (especially for the Tama Drums) as well as, in variety of finishes and designs. There are many discrepancies and there have even been open infinities of discussion forums for the same subject, but what can be rescued is if I like a brand you will not necessarily like you too.

How much does a drum set cost?

A price for drum sets start from € 100 (basic instrument without cymbals). These drum sets are naturally “made in China” and last very little. In fact the price is so low that the test is the desire to buy one with the hope of improving their own in the future if you decide to get serious, but there is a drawback: the equipment is really pathetic and it breaks after a few uses, in addition to the fact that second-hand is not if the buy none because these pieces of cardboard are not have the market.

Starting to make a few names we find instead the various brands such as Tamburo, Tama, Mapex, Yamaha, DW/PDP that offer according to the needs a varied offer of excellent models to start having fun and at the same time they can be good to play in public. As the difference in the quality of the woods is not significant in the economic bands, it is therefore advisable to move towards the models starting from € 350 to € 600. These are true that they do not have excellent woods but it is also true that mechanically, the hardware of the battery is more robust and lasts longer, as well as having the warranty from the manufacturers or from the retailer.

Moreover these drums are very commercial and are among the most used as utilitarian, that is as second drum sets. Any sale on the used market always makes a few hundred euros.

There is also a group with prices ranging from € 800 to € 1,200 and is dedicated to those who want to make the switch to a better instrument or who wants to begin already in a higher gear from the beginning.

Exceeded € 1,200 we start talking about professional drum sets. Those who buy a professional instrument should already know what they are buying. Nobody denies the right of a beginner to buy an instrument of a certain level right away, but it would be like buying a Ferrari to someone who is about to take the driver’s license.

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