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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Used Bass Drum?

A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

The pros and cons of buying a used bass drum involve the condition of the drum itself, as well as its price. An individual drummer should have an idea of his or her price range, and what kind of quality he or she requires in a bass drum for practice or performance use. Choosing the right drum requires inspecting models for sale to make sure that they are designed and set up well, and in good condition.

The main benefit of buying a used bass drum is the price. The bass drum is one of the most expensive drums in the modern drum set, and some models can be quite expensive. Experts often remind musicians that buyers usually get more value for their money when they choose a used drum, or set of drums.

Drummers often have old drums that can be bought for relatively cheap.
Drummers often have old drums that can be bought for relatively cheap.

There are several disadvantages to buying a used bass drum that mainly have to do with the danger of buying a drum that is in poor condition or poorly calibrated. Some kinds of minor damage may not affect the integrity of a purchase, but damage to the frame that keeps the drum in the right shape will often affect its sound and playability. Missing hardware can also cause problems. For example, without the right number of tuning lugs, the musician may not be able to tune the drum properly. Some of these problems can be repaired, of course, but the cost an availability of parts should be researched before purchase.

Other potential issues with a used bass drum have to do with the condition of the drum’s exterior. The flat face of the drum, which can be bought separately and changed out, will typically have some damage, but if the round sides of the drum are worn or chipping away, this can be a big problem with the drum over time. Damage to the mounting stand can also cause this drum to be a detriment rather than an asset in a full drum kit.

When a drummer is considering a used bass drum, another issue has to do with the separate piece that controls the kick. The kick on a bass drum is accomplished by a bass kick pedal. This piece, which separates from the drum itself, is set up along with the drum in a specific way so that when the drummer puts pressure downward on the pedal, a mallet swings up to hit the drum. With a used bass drum purchase, this element can be missing or damaged, or simply loose and in less than stellar condition. Experienced drummers know that a bad bass drum pedal can cause major problems with playability; then again, however, this element is replaceable, so if the drum is in good condition, and the price is particularly attractive, then a missing kick may not be a deal-breaker.

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    • Drummers often have old drums that can be bought for relatively cheap.
      By: Pavel Losevsky
      Drummers often have old drums that can be bought for relatively cheap.