By Dark Theory's drummer Sam Field.
One of the most daunting parts of any musicians life is thinking to themselves “what to buy”. The multitude of gear available means that people often don’t know what to choose, or they don’t even know that certain products exist! This weekly Gear review will be my top picks for Guitar / Bass and Drums, to find the best products and to fit specifics, this week;
TOP QUALITY PROFESSIONAL GEAR
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSH - £1739
Guitars need to be loud, and they need to grab the attention of whoever is playing it, whether it’s a dirty distorted sound for some Black Metal, or the higher clean solo squealer found in mainstream metal you want, you can’t go wrong with a good Fender, that’s pretty common knowledge. This guitar is the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSH.
This guitar can cover a whole range of sounds, if you want to play some classic Hendrix or Roses numbers, it can do it, if you want to play some Modern stuff, like Sevenfold or System, it can do it, amazingly versatile, the pickups are completely noiseless, it’s got S-1 switching and an LSR rolling nut, for the actual guitar’s sound, i give it 5/5.
As you would expect from Fender, the build quality is superb, featuring a maple neck, rosewood fretboard, Alder solid body, and a good quality 3 ply black pickguard with this model having a beautiful satin finish, under stage lighting it stands out, with the hardware glistening like diamond, i was actually surprised by how well the hardware just reflected the lighting, making the whole thing so much more beautiful. Sturdy, well built, and able to take being thrown around on stage (When i saw it being used, the guy was going mental, jumping all over the place, throwing it around his neck, dominating the stage). another 5/5
Now then, as with everything the part everyone dreads, the cost, Guitars aren’t cheap, especially not something as high end as this beauty, with the RRP being £1739, this guitar certainly isn’t a christmas present for an annoying sibling, this is a serious guitar, and it means business, if you’re touring on a county or country scale, or even globally, then this guitar is probably better suited for you, however for the smaller local band, this is something that you’ll be saving for some time for, however, it is less that it’s competitors guitars of equal quality, for the quality to price ratio, i’ve seen guitars of worse go for nearer the 3K mark, although it’s dear, it’s not extortionate. 4/5
Reliable, Beautiful, Professional, these three words i think best sum it up, if you’re going from local to the further stages, this is the guitar for you, if you want to be the envy of your local scene, this is the guitar for you, if you happen to find Donald Trump’s wallet, this is the guitar for you, One of the finest guitars i’ve heard and seen for a few years, and although the price tag is more than the multiplied IQ of a Post-Hardcore band, it is well worth the buy, all in all, i would give it a 4.5 out of 5, let down purely by the price tag.
DW Finish Ply - Red Twisted Lava finish - £3751
Drum Workshop, AKA DW is a household name for every drummer, their kits are both beautiful in their looks and their sound, the top dogs in the drum world, they know what they’re doing, and this impressive example just re-enforces that, This is from DW’s Finish Ply range, in a red twisted lava finish.
DW are famous for the sound of their drums, and this kit is no exception to the rule, the model i was lucky enough to be able to play was a maple / mahogany cross, and my lord it was wonderful! It had the ring of a vintage kit, and with a very quick quarter turn of each lug i could take it to deep and destructive, with the toms flowing into each other perfectly and the bass drum having an earthshaking boom, if i tuned them back up by a half turn i had a very modern and lively jazzy or poppy kit, perfect for Rock and the softer metals, this truly is versatile, the resonance was perfect, it rang for a good five seconds on the toms and a quick fat punch from the bass drum. Overall, 5/5 for sound.
The build quality of these drums is unlike anything i’ve ever seen, the shells had such a strong and rigid feel to them, with the hardware being exceptionally heavy duty, it felt like this thing would deflect a tank blast, i was quite amazed, the hardware itself never failed, the locks stayed where they should be, the bass drum spurs didn’t slip, and the drums didn’t untune at all, and i was playing it for almost an hour. This is helped by the Beautiful finish, the finish is a Red Lava finish that has been twisted, and there is no evident joints, everything lines up perfectly, and they have applied a clear lacquer over the top to provide that extra strength. 5/5
DW are famous for their drums, but infamous for their pricing, there are people who feel the drums aren’t worth their price tag, setting you back nearly 4K these thoughts are well founded, however, they are justified, if you want a kit that will last the rest of your life, and will always be the best kit, wherever you go, this is it, as well as being fully custom built, they are exceptional in sound and build quality, if you want something this good, this price is justified.
DW have really pushed the boundaries of quality drums here, they have created drums that just leave others looking and sounding terrible, looking dazzling under stage lighting and sounding almost unreal for their perfection these drums certainly earn their reputation. coming straight from the collectors range, these are part of the DW flagship, beautiful, elegant, and sounding amazing, these drums truly are a drummers dream, they have earnt a 5/5 rating from me.
Next week... THE BEST BUDGET GEAR.
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