BY AJ DONAHUE
The growing problem of shrinking stages is plaguing drummers around the globe. Tiny spaces are not just a nuisance, but a nightmare. There’s barely any room for our second crashes, much less our Rototoms and chime trees (Yes, I do need my gongs for this coffee shop hit, Brian). On top of that, small stages usually come with the added frustration of volume control.
Thankfully plenty of small-minded (sorry) manufacturers have helped tackle this issue with a variety of sub-sized and modular kits that are better suited to the music industry’s ongoing eminent domain campaign against drummers’ real estate.
This year, however, saw the introduction of two new takes on the mini-rig idea: one is a high-end, fully professional-caliber entry into the market; the other, an extremely stripped-down set that delivers only the essentials in a space-saver package.
Gretsch Drums’ new Brooklyn Micro Kit features the same 6-ply Poplar/Maple shells with silver sealed interiors, 302 hoops, and lugs found on standard Brooklyn series drums. To better handle small stages or tighter sounds, the Micro Kit includes a 16” x 12” bass drum with adjustable riser, a 10” x 7” mounted tom, a 13” x 12” floor tom, and a 13” x 4.5” and snare drum. A 4825 mount for the rack tom, which is drilled directly to the shell, fits the accompanying bass drum mounting post and cuts out the need for an additional stand. Currently, only one finish is available: Satin Grey with Satin Natural bass drum hoops. Street price comes in at $1,899.59.
For the budget-conscious tiny home enthusiast, Tama’s latest addition to the Club-JAM fam is the Club-JAM Mini, a two-piece rig built around an 18” x 7” bass drum and a 12” x 5” snare drum. Wrapped, 6-ply Mersawa/Poplar shells offer clear, deep tones that belie their size. Triple-flange steel snare hoops, and natural wood bass drum hoops complement the available Aqua Blue, Charcoal Mist, and Galaxy Silver finish options. Two-piece shell packs start at $269.99 street price, while sets including a throne, bass drum pedal, snare stand, and hi-hat stand are also available. Gig bags and add-on 10” x 7” and 14” x 7” toms can be are offered separately.