I currently own two Pearl birch Vision drum kits and one Sonor Force Bop kit made of poplar. I prefer the Vision kits because of the warmth and pre-EQed sound of the birch shells, plus the value for dollar is unbeatable. The Sonor kit is light weight and compact but serves up a big sound for the size. Especially the 18″ kick.
The Red kit is my primary gigging kit. It has Rock sized shells (22, 12, 13, 16) and requires very little dampening to sit great in a live mix. In fact, I only use one “Ring Arrestor” on each tom to rid unwanted overtones. I run REMO Pinstripe batters and black coated Emperors (to match the black hardware) on the resonant side.
This kit has been a road dog, never giving me an issue. The brackets and lugs have never broken or stripped out on me and I’ve been dragging it around gigging for over five years now. A true work horse!
This is my Pearl Vision Birch Eucalyptus Fade drum kit. This kit is in my studio and rarely leaves home. It is a “fusion” sized kit (22, 10, 12, 16) and sounds wonderful.
My Sonor Force Bop kit in Galaxy Grey Sparkle. Poplar shells in Jazz sizes (18/12/14). Just as on my Pearl Vision kits, I run REMO clear Pinstripe heads with Ring Arrestors on the toms and a REMO clear Power Stoke 3 on the kick. Just a great sounding little kit that I use all of the time and it didn’t cost a fortune. More proof that good quality heads and proper tuning will make almost any kit sound good.