Drum Set Reviews
Looking for a good price? After searching for ages the best price I found for this set was here online. Check them out!
The PDP 805 has been put together by PDP with one thing in mind - Rock! The set comes with one rack tom and two beefy floor toms and is available in a range of snazzy eye catching finishes and colours, the aim being to mass produce kit that looks custom made.
You can get the set as just a shell pack on it's own or there is an option to buy it with hardware included. Also, there are two configurations to pick from - one slightly larger with a 24" bass drum and one smaller with a 20" bass drum.
For this review I've managed to get hold of a set including a 20"x18" bass drum, 13"x7" snare drum, with 12"x8", 14"x12", and 16"x14" toms. PDP say "Rock is cooler than ever!" so lets see if the 805 just as cool...
The 805 has been built in china to keep costs down, but that doesn't mean it's not well-made. The shells have put put together nicely with 6 plies of birch at 6mm thick and with standard 45-degree bearing edges. I'm guessing birch has been used to add that extra attacking quality to the sound - this is a rock kit after all!
On the shells is some cool looking black coated hardware. The lugs, hoops, and floor tom legs are all finished in this sexy black coating, but it's a shame that the tension rods, and parts of the bass drum spurs are left in plain silver. Still, it doesn't spoil the overall look.
The rack tom mount follows the current trend to attach to the lugs instead of directly to the shell, giving better shell resonance. It's not as well done as on some more expensive sets, but it definately does improve the sound from the shell. Other than that there's only one thing that's a bit of a shame - the snare drum only has 6 lugs! Not 6 at the top and 6 at the bottom - 6 in total! The lugs go around the middle of the shell and PDP have used extra long tension rods on the bottom and top hoops that both attach to the same lug. It's not ideal, but we'll see if this effects the sound later.
Still the set does have some great things going for it like the finishes. This series of drums has some of the most bombastic and eye-catching finshes I've seen on any drum set. The black and white diamond checkers on the review set are right in your face and you can't help but admire it. It's not for everyone, but if you want to be noticed big time - these finishes will do just that.
Well, the combination of these birch shells and small drum sizes gives a good low-end punch when played, but there's also that high-end attack that is common in all birch sets. In fact, that's probably the best part of this set's sound - the awsome attacking power! They project this sound very well too, and will cut through just about any band.
Probably my favourite part of the 805 is the bass drum which shows all the hallmarks of birch...depth and punchiness, while sounding tight too. I guess that's not suprising with this being a 20"x18" bass drum. But, that doesn't mean it's not powerful, in fact the 18" length really gets maximum projection out of the drum. This is all finished off nicely with a custom pillow by PDP to dampen the drum with if needed.
The toms come pretty close to matching the bass drum for volume and projection, the attack is so strong that it's almost difficult to hear a note other than the initial slap!. Even the lightest touch still sounds quite raw and chunky. Still, that's what this kit is supposed to deliver - a powerful and attacking rock sound.
When it came to the snare drum, I wasn't as impressed. It's not a terrible snare, but it could be a lot better, and i'm convinced that only having 6 lugs (like I mentioned earlier) has something to do with this. Cranked up high, the snare gives a reasonable snap, but the centre of the head sounds a little dead and the edges are very ringy. Plus, the snare wires rattle like crazy which is a bit annoying. Tightening the snares and dampening the ringy head just choked up the drum's sound, so I found it was better to just live with the ringy/dead head and hit hard.
Something that isn't such a big problem with the PDP 805 is the tuning. The bass drum has a fair range and tuned high it gives a dry note, while tuned low it's got a much fatter sound. The toms are much the same, but the snare drum is not quite a good. It does give a range of notes but the quality of the sound is not as consistent at higher tunings.
Let's make something very clear. The 805 isn't a bad set at all. The bass drum is good, the toms are full of power, and the finishes are cool, but the 13" snare is a little hard to work with. It's a good set for a rock drummer, but anyone wanting a kit to play jazz or a variety of styles other than rock should stay clear!
Is it better than similar sets? Compared to other rock sets available today, the set holds it's own pretty well. But, sets like the Tama Superstar Hyperdrive outshine it, although they are more expensive.
Any downsides? Well, yeah there is one and i'm sure you know what that is. The 13" snare drum with just 6 lugs doesn't give as good a sound as the rest of the set. More lugs (8 on top and 8 on bottom) would have been much better, but you could always go for the 14" snare drum that has 8 lugs as standard. The only other small issue is that not all of the shell hardware is covered in the same black coating. It would have just given the set a more unified look.
What about the price? Thanks to the PDP 805 being manufactured in china, the costs have been kept down so you can get it at a very good price. Where's the cheapest place to buy it? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: the 805 is worth a look if you are a serious rocker who wants to stand out from the crowd. The 13" snare drum is ok, but you might want to go for the better 14" option instead. This set is definately not for jazzers!
More PDP reviews:
* PDP X7