Can You Get a Good Deal with Refurbished Drums?
If you look for used drums, you'll typically find them in two classes: as-is and refurbished. In some cases, there will be a significant price difference between the two. Here are some things to think about when deciding whether to buy old drums as-is or if you should spring for the cost of the refurbished drums.
First, not all used options require drum repair. There are plenty of people who thought that they could become drummers, but as life went on, they realized that they didn't want to put in the practice time to get good at it. These people often end up with barely-used drum sets, which they then sell to stores to recoup some of their investment. If you buy one of these sets, you'll often find that no drum restoration is needed.
Other people sell drums after they've been playing on them every day for years. The reason they sell is often that they bought a new set and consider their old ones to be "used up." These drums typically need extensive restoration before they can be sold to a final customer.
Finally, some stores do not refurbish all of their worn-out sets. Instead, they sell them for prices that are very low compared to a new set of the same kind. Even though this will give you a great deal up front, you'll have to put a lot of work into refurbishing them yourself before you can play them.
Which option is best for you depends on your goals and your own skill at drum repair. If all you want is a practice or student set, then getting a used student set as-is will often do the job. That's because these sets usually aren't worn out.
If you're looking for a way to get a high-end set without the expense of new, refurbished drums are typically the best bet. These have had professional drum repair done, and typically will be as good as the new version. At worst, some cosmetic damage may remain. Even better, the store may have a warranty on their refurbished instruments.
On the chance that you have skills in drum restoration and enjoy using those abilities, then a well-worn as-is set will be the start of a great project. Not only can you take care of the drum repair, but also add your own personal touches to the finish to make the set truly yours. This is an option that is great for those with the right abilities. For everyone else, however, an already-repaired (or never broken) drum set is the best choice in the used category.