Hey all!

I'm writing in order to receive suggestions buying my first drumkit.

I play guitar, bass, keyboard and now I'm going for the drums.

I mainly play progressive metal (huge Dream Theater fan).

Currently, my budget is of U$S 980.

My idea, is to start with a very basic kit, but to improve it in the upcoming months. Right now, I'd rather buy it than to keep on saving money.

Therefore, I've searched a little bit and thought it would be a good idea to start of with a Tama Swingstar kit, with a Zildjian Zbt-4 set consisting of a Ride/Hi-Hat/Crash.

I was wondering if I'm on the right track or if there are any better suggestions.

(The idea is to buy another bass drum/double pedal next month and then go buying cymbals effects packs and go replacing the drum kit over the upcoming months, as I've previously stated).

Is there anything better, considering the budget, to start off with?

Thanks in advance!
Drummer friend next to me's only comment was "Zbt's suck."

Do with it what you will.
"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin
Quote by HWFG1
Drummer friend next to me's only comment was "Zbt's suck."

Do with it what you will.

Haha, thought so.

Any clue on which starter set might be good enough? (I was mainly thinking of Zildjian and Sabian stuff, but if there's anything from other brand worth the shot, I'll give it a try).

I'm not shooting for the stars right now, as I plan on improving the cymbals quickly as well. The thing is to have something to play on right now.
My bands drummer says the Tama is probably the way to go, I know next to nothing, they all sound the same if you ask me :P
I love Prog, +1 for synth solos and songs about maggie thatcher.


Geddy Lee Jazz (Black )
Fender Rumble 100 (It lights up )
MXR Auto-Wah (Purple... )
Boss Bass Overdrive (I can almsot sound like Chris Wolstenholme )
ZBT's are terrible, I've had ZBT hats and a crash on my kit for far too long. I'd recommend a pack like this. Sabian B8's sound much better than ZBTs at a similar price, they last a long time and you won't need to upgrade any time soon.

As for the kit, Tama is always good. Look for a Rockstar or Swingstar kit, you can get a used 5 piece kit for about $600. That leaves you some room to buy the necessary hardware too.

both me and my drumer use sabien b8s. im no expert by any stretch but they definitely sound like real cymbals unlike some other ones I've had the misfortune of playing.
no sir away a papaya war is on
I'd advise you to read this awesome guide, written by forum reg GoodCharlotteSux


Also, the ZBT's and B8's are pretty similar. They're both inexpensive very bronze cymbals, pretty low end but great for some decent cymbals at a very affordable price.
ZBT's are a waste of money. I had a ZBT crash a while back and it broke after 3 months. If I were you, I would go for a cheaper drum kit ($300-400), put these heads on them:

18"x22" Bass Drum- REMO Powerstroke 3 (With Flam Slam)
9"x12" Tom Tom- REMO Pinstripe (Clear)
10"x13" Tom Tom- REMO Pinstripe (Clear)
16"x16" Floor Tom- REMO Pinstripe (Clear)
5.5"x14" Snare Drum- REMO Coated Ambassador

Even a cheaper set can sound great with the right heads. Also, have someone who knows drums to tune them for you. They'll sound amazing.

And then buy the most expensive Zildjian or Sabian (or Meinl, or Soultone) cymbals that you can afford with the remaining money. If you have to choose between ZBT's and B8's, go for the B8's.
Buy a Pearl Export and Zildjian ZXT's instead of ZBT's... Not a big fan of either ZBT or B8...
I say export because, the way i'm thinking looking at your prog metal influence, you'll want to start adding toms and other bits to your kit. Export toms are sold everywhere second hand.
Neo Evil11
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Quote by TheReverend724
B8's sound awful, IMO

B8's are better than ZBT's though.

If you can afford professional cymbals later, go for Sabian AA or AAX. Or if you prefer Zildjian go for either A's, A Customs, or K's.
Yes, avoid any "entry-level" Zildjian pack, they're garbage. Sabian's pack's are much better. B8's would be what I recommend. As for the drums...someone mentioned Exports, unless you can find them used somewhere they're great, but discontinued. Pearl replaced the Export line with Vision, which I've never played, but hear great things about, plus they even offer that series with Birch shells. Tama has the Imperialstar, which is about on the same level as Pearl's Vision series. If you can find one (also discontinued) I'd recommend Tama's Rockstar...that was low price, but an incredible sounding set (for the price).
This is what I think is the "ideal" kit for a beginner

16" sabian AA medium crash
20" sabian AA medium ride
14" paiste 2002 medium Hi Hat

Pear export 5pc poplar kit.

Get it all used and you should be able to stay in your budget. This is enough kit to get you through any gig and you will sound pretty good too. I do not believe that the export kits are great kits and I don't think that Sabian AA cymbals are that great either but they are good enough for you to find your feet without spending thousands on gear you will never use. With drums it's easy to get caught up in getting more gear and/or getting more expensive gear. Don't get caught in that trap. Find something that will work for most types of music and then keep it until you know what kind of drummer you want to be. Then you will start looking at sabian hand hammered, zildjen K, and Paiste Signature cymbals as well as that gretch or ludwig birtch or maple Set. You get what I mean.

Don't lowball yourself and get lots of crappy equipment. Get a few things that are pretty good untill such a time that you are better than pretty good as a drummer.
Not taking any online orders.
Sabian B8's are pretty good to start on. My drummer (which is my brother) used B8's and B8 Pro's for a long while. He has switched over to Paistie Black Alpha's now
I've been reading all of the posts. Thank you all very much for all of the help you've been giving!!

After reading reviews and following your advice, I've reconsidered my thoughts and do believe it might be better to go for a cheaper set and invest more on cymbals. Indeed, I might start searching for the drumkit this month (Pearl Export or Tama Imperialstar), and spend my next month's salary in cymbals (I'll go as high as I can on the Sabian line, besides, I'll aim at a Portnoy-ish drumming, so I guess going for Sabian is probably the right thing).

I'll be posting how this goes on later!

Thanks a lot again to everyone!
tama hyperdrive!!
sabian aax hi hat..

im just saying what the drummer in my band has