With the SE Flyer from DDrum we have another compact drum kit under test today, even if it comes in the traditional bebop sizes 18″ x 14″ bass drum, 12″ x 8″ tom and 14″ x 14″ floor tom somewhat more mature. Even a 14″ x 5.5″ snare drum is included in the package, and everything together costs only 325 Euros. Is there a catch? We’ll find out.
The SE Flyer Kit comes in two very handy boxes. The lighter of the two only hides the Floor Tom, the rest is stacked compactly in the second box. With the exception of the bass drum, all other three drums are already completely filled, but the IKEA principle applies to the big drum. Not only the screws and skins need to be tightened, but also the rubber washers of the clamping hoop claws need to be threaded by hand before playing. An absolute novelty so far.
The boilers consist of six layers of basswood and are surprisingly well made for the price range. The burr falls off after a slightly rounded counter cut at an angle of 45 degrees. In contrast to the Ludwig Breakbeats or the Tama Club Jam tested last year, there are no frayed parts or other coarser failures to report. The kettle material is a rather soft wood, as it is often used in beginner sets, so touches with hard objects quickly leave traces on the burrs. Here one should proceed therefore somewhat cautiously.
The favourable price does not come from by chance
On closer inspection, however, I notice a few things that are undoubtedly due to the low purchase price. All boilers are sanded, but not sealed, there is a thin, but robust Blue Pearl foil on the outside, which shows some air at the overlap of the bass drum, so in some areas it could be a bit more tightly glued. I find the fact somewhat curious that the outer side of the bass drum’s tension tires are covered with a honey-coloured wood veneer, which is also well done, but not sealed on the inside and thus easily becomes a magnet for dirt and grease stains, as it turns out in the later test run.
The hardware of the set is chrome-plated, the tension tires are, according to the price class, thin 1.6 millimeter versions. Occasionally there are small chrome spots on the outer layer of the clamping brackets. The mounting is otherwise “official”: Eight screws per side are used for bass drum, snare and floor tom, the hanging tom is mounted on six screws each.
The latter even features a free-swinging tom holder, which is mounted on the bass drum with a single tom holder with ball joint and memory clamps. For the Floor Tom there are three legs with small rubber feet in the package. The snare drum has flat, simple snare beds. The carpet lift is an easy-running drop style model used on many Far East drums. The snare carpet has 20 spirals and is also of simple design.
The accessories are impressive
What else is in the box? Besides a pair of simple drum sticks, two spare tuning screws (for bass drum and tom / snare) and a small tube of thread grease, there is also a tuning key, assembly instructions for the bass drum and a riser. I am positively surprised by the latter, because it makes a very solid impression with its comparatively solid construction and the generously dimensioned screws. What do you need a riser for? With small bass drums, the pedal mallet doesn’t hit the middle of the drumhead, a riser can correct this circumstance, so even small drums can sound more rich. However, in most cases a riser also means a little more effort when setting up the drum.
If you want to play the bass drum classically without a riser, there is also a wide protective sticker for the tension tire in the package. From my side there’s nothing to complain about at this point.
The skins of the SE Flyer are, according to the price tag, a mixture of single layer Coated Remo UT skins and clear No Name resonance skins. Only the bass drum has a pre-damped skin with the DDrum logo on it.
Some head scratching occurs when mounting the tom holder.
I use the grease from the enclosed tube directly for two bass drum screws, which are difficult to screw into the threads, otherwise I notice that the brackets on Tom and Floor Tom run a bit more difficult than usual from other manufacturers. If you have to assemble and disassemble the brackets frequently, you should also apply some grease here. The tom holder turns out to be a real challenge as it doesn’t want to fit into the holder on the bass drum at the first try. After unscrewing the holder from the bass drum, I find the culprit. A plastic casing, which is responsible for pushing the tom holder into position when screwed tight, stands a little too far into the opening. There’s only one way around the problem: when threading the tom holder into the bass drum vessel, press it against the jacket from below at the same time. This is of course a real showstopper when the resonance skin is closed. If you have the same problem, it only helps to leave the tom holder always on the bass drum or to look for an alternative mounting. Because if it is dismantled by mistake, the complete skin has to be unscrewed again. Which is pretty uncool.