My Eames Vintage-E kit:
14″ x 20″ bass drum (or 22″ as pictured)
8.5″ x 13″ mounted tom
13″ x 16″ floor tom
5″ x 14″ snare drum
Another beloved – 1972 Gretsch in Black Nitron:
14″ x 20″ bass drum (or 24″ as pictured)
9″ x 13″ mounted tom
16″ x 16″ floor tom
5″ x 14″ COB snare drum
The one drum that gets swapped out the most in my world is the snare drum…depending on the music, the venue, live or studio, my mood, etc’.
A few ‘go-to’ snares include a 5×14″ Gretsch chrome-over-brass / 5.5×14″ Yamaha Jimmy Chamberlin model / 6.5×14″ Eames Vintage-E / 1968 5×14″ Ludwig Acrolite
My first ride cymbal [back in the 6th grade] was a Zildjian – and their factory is right here in Massachusetts. I’ve grown up with them. There’s never been a time in my entire musical life where a Zildjian wasn’t within arm’s reach. They make the sounds that I want, and are a joy to play. It’s that simple. As well, I’ve always appreciated how their models are well organized into different series (A/A Custom/K/K Custom/Constantinople/Kerope, etc’). These categories make perfect sense to me. I don’t have to think too much when I’m chasing down an instinct and need a certain sound.
In my chameleon-esque musical world – much like snare drums – my cymbal set-up changes depending on the type of music I’m playing, and whether it’s a live gig or a studio session. Here’s a configuration that’s been working well for me (for live shows), as it seems to cover lots of musical territory:
13″ K. Hi Hats
17″ A. Zildjian Fast Crash
19″ Armand “Beautiful Baby” Ride
16″ S. Trash/Crash
I normally prefer medium-weight coated single-ply drumheads on my tom-toms, for both batter & resonant. Lately I’m really enjoying the G12 coated head, which is just slightly thicker than a traditional medium. These heads provide the perfect combination of snap [due to the coating], resonance, and longevity.
Sometimes different types of heads (clear; double-ply, etc’) might be what is called for on a particular drum or a particular session, so I’m not inflexible. I’ll try whatever works best for the music.
Drum Workshop [DW] model 5000 ADS – the “heel-less” model.
The beater is [most often] a Danmar square felt.