DWs PDP Concept Maple Series
By Dendy Jarrett |
About DW and PDP
DW (Drum Workshop) began as a drum school in 1972, and in 1977 purchased tooling from Camco Drum Co. to reintroduce the 5000 bass drum pedal. And from there, history has been made for the 40-plus years. The company produces the majority of their drums at their facility and drum plant in Oxnard, California, and have become one of the world’s top drum companies.
PDP (Pacific Drums and Percussion) was introduced as a subsidiary of DW Drums in 2000 to provide affordable high-quality drums to the drummer who might not otherwise be able to afford DW's high-end products. PDP drums share many of the same manufacturing techniques and benefits found in DW's other lines. To reduce labor costs many computerized processes allow making high-quality drums in large quantities.
Pro Drum Quality—
PDP Concept Drums are available in all Maple or all Birch. For this review, we'll explore the Concept Maple kit.
From the moment I opened the first box, I could tell—from the packaging, to the finish, to the features—DW’s influences are all over these drums.
The finish on the kit being reviewed is called Natural to Charcoal Fade, a color exclusive to Musician’s Friend and Guitar Center. If you’re into fades, then you’ll find this stunning. The tops of the drums are a natural finish, followed by a mid-line, yet quick, fade to a transparent charcoal (almost transparent black). You'll find the same caliber of finish work you would expect on a top-shelf drum kit. The drums were packaged very well and there was no damage as a result of shipping. Great care and thought went into the packaging to ensure the drums arrive safely.
The setup is straightforward, but the benefits come when these drums are set up and you start playing.
That bass drum! It is simply breath taking. You not only hear this drum but you also become one with i; there's something special about the guttural impact. The snare drum is equally surprising—it’s amazing they get a sound this keen out of a value-priced drum. I enjoyed this snare drum tuned wide open, as well as with a light dampening (using my wallet).
The Concept Maple has the fundamental foundations covered with the bass drum and snare drum, but they don’t stop there. The toms tuned up very well with minimal “ringy” overtones. Even though the drum heads supplied would not normally be my first choice, I was impressed with the sound they achieved. (I would probably change the heads to a different Remo model that better suits me.) The toms sing through and provide a very pure tone, compared to the “boingy” sound you might experience with other kits at this price point.
The PDP Concept Maple drums are 7-ply all maple construction with a 10 ply maple snare shell. Let’s cover some of the specific features:
- All Maple Shells provide a solid foundation for a vast variety of musical styles and genres.
- Specialty Lacquer Finishes provide choices to suit any drummer’s preferences. The paint is durable and available in pearlescent, sparkle, and stain color options.
- Proportional Counter Hoops are proportional to each drum size and mass. These are triple-flanged steel hoops.
- DW’s STM (Suspension Tom Mounts) come standard on these drums and are the same “floating” mounts found on the DW Custom Shop kits.
- True Pitch™ Tuning comes standard on these kits. This is a finely threaded tension rod that offers a more precise tuning.
- Bearing Edges are 45 degrees.
- Dual Turret Lugs are a low-mass version of DW’s trademark lug design. They come standard on the Maple Concept Series.
- Remo Heads are provided as standard on these kits. It's a single-ply thin head.
- Snare Drums in the Concept lines feature the DW MAG throw-off that are standard on their high-end snare drums and also feature the boutique-style snare wires.
The PDP Concept Maple kit I reviewed is a 5-Piece standard shell pack that comprises the following:
- Bass Drum: 22”X18” with mount
- Rack Toms: 10”X8” and 12”X9”
- Floor Tom: 16”X14”
- Snare Drum: 14”X5.5”
Other available configurations:
3 piece shell pack (no snare)
- 20”X16” Bass Drum
- 12”X9” Tom
- 14”X12” Floor Tom
4 piece shell pack
Same configuration as 3 piece but with a 14”X5.5” Snare
6 piece shell pack
- 22”X18” Bass Drum with mount
- 10”X8” and 12”X9” Toms
- 14”X14” and 16”X14” Floor Toms
- 14”X5.5” Snare
7 piece shell pack
- 22”X16” Bass Drum with mount
- 8”X7”, 10”X8”, and 12”X9” Toms
- 14”X14” and 16”X14” Floor Toms
- 14”X5.5” Snare
This kit reviewed was the Natural to Charcoal Fade.
Other available colors are:
- Pearlescent White
- Pearlescent Black
- Transparent Walnut
- Transparent Cherry
- Silver to Black (Sparkle) Fade
- Red to Black (Sparkle) Fade
Big sound—small wallet
Please keep in mind this is a shell pack—so aside from the bass drum mount, you'll need to purchase or provide all other supporting hardware.
One would expect drums that sound like these (and play with the feel and dynamic range that the Concept Maples offer)to have the quality reflected in the price tag. Somehow, DW has managed to pack all of the great benefits of their high-end line into these PDP Concept Maples yet kept the price extremely affordable. If you're on a budget but prefer a high- end look and (more importantly) sound, I highly recommend DW’s PDP Concept Maples. Your wallet will thank you.
DW Factory Tour:
DW's PDP Concept Series Drums:
Cobus Potgieter plays DW PDP Concept Series Drums:
Brandon Buckley Talks About PDP Concept Series Drums by DW:
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.