C&C Drum Company Player Date Kit review

  • £1755
  • $2820

Can this off-the-shelf kit keep the custom charm?

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Our Verdict

There is an unpretentious and honest feel to this kit that is appealing. The drums are based on uncomplicated designs, are well made from quality materials and sound utterly fantastic. The simplest of recipes can also be the tastiest.

For

  • Simple, solid design and build. High quality materials and components. Wonderful sounds.

Against

  • Not much.
Buying options

Since its quiet inception over two decades ago, C&C Drum Company has remained determinedly low-key, operating on little more than a word-of-mouth basis. This four-piece Player Date on review is from C&C's first ever range of production (off-the-shelf) kits.

Based in Gladstone, Missouri and run by Bill Cardwell and his son Jacob, C&C (formerly C&C Custom Drums) has is known worldwide for building beautiful-looking and classic-sounding drums, but can its off-the-shelf kits maintain that reputation?

Build

If the Player Date bears any resemblance to Ludwig's Club Date kit reviewed a few issues ago, let's just say that Bill Cardwell had been developing his concept for some time before Ludwig - entirely coincidentally - had a similar idea.

"Much like C&C's company history, once Joey had taken delivery of his custom-built Player Date kit, word got out and everyone who encountered it wanted one"

Hands On

"The full-contact bearing edges on the toms mean they generate virtually no overtones, so they can be played wide open and still sound in control"

The bass drum's vintage depth encourages a focused, almost abrupt response, walloping out a full, thick note. It's still deep and punchy but nowhere near as dark as a modern 'subwoofer-territory' kick. These qualities give it an unmistakable presence - especially when miking - that is achieved without resorting to sheer force.

Tuning the kick higher tightens up the sound without choking off its tone while slackening off the head brings a fruity, fat warmth to the proceedings that requires only the tiniest amount of dampening to shape.

The full-contact bearing edges on the toms mean they generate virtually no overtones, so they can be played wide open and still sound in control. They are phenomenally warm - think Motown warm - wonderfully resonant and full of woody character.

Fills bounce across the mix in the same way that toms on old recordings - compromised by primitive studio technology and smothered with layers of compression - seem to leap forth whenever they are hit. We tried tuning the toms at various pitches and each time they responded well; it was difficult, if not impossible, to extract a dull sound from them.

Clarity, shell timbre and yet more warmth are the dominant features of the snare. Here the bearing edges make the snare wires super-sensitive, giving the drum a really crisp tone. The simple 'beer tap' style throw-off is straightforward to operate and definitely subscribes to the 'less is more' school of design.

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Tech Specs

FinishesHoney lacquer, Amber lacquer, Silver Sparkle (as pictured)
Tom Lugs6
Drum Shell MaterialMahogany
Floor Tom Lugs8
HeadsSnare and toms: Remo/C&C Drums coated Ambassador batters and clear Ambassador resonants; bass drum: Remo/C&C Drums coated Powerstroke 3 batter and ported glossy white Ambassador front head
Bearing EdgesSnare and toms: full contact bearing edge; bass drum: rounded 45° bearing edge
Snare Lugs8
Plies6
Kick Lugs8