Gear

Drums

Since the beginning of my drumming, I’ve had probably 20 drum sets. On one hand I was searching for something extraordinary, on the other – an instrument that would fit my requirements. After many experiments I realized the best wood for me is maple. It has a balanced sound and a quite long sustain, it has a good amount of trebles and decent attack, but also covers some of the low frequency range.

Having said that I’ve been using DW drums for years now. Thanks to a successful cooperation with Krystian Czarnecki (Gewa) I own a set made personally by DW CEO – John Good. It is a standard DW Collectors from 2012 with a beautiful finish – Exotic – Emerald to Natural Fade – Olive Ash Burl. Sizes are as follows 22 x 18, 10 x 8, 12 x 9, 14 x 11 i 16 x 13 (all kettle drums are with hangers). I tend to attach a woofer to the bass drum for bigger concerts (e.g. Kombi), it adds more low frequency to the sound of the drum foot. One could say it’s a type of sub kick, but natural, as opposed to digital.

 

To the abovementioned set I use (interchangeably) a small bass 18 x 16 and a couple of trebles: 14 x 5 Edge – both upper and lower rings are brass, with maple wood inside, 14 x 5 Top Edge – brass ring on top only with maple body (X Shell), 14 x 5 Supersolid Edge – maple body with nut-wood ring inside. I also have quite a unque treble from Edge series, size 12”, which I use as piccolo. Its uniqueness comes from a fact that so small trebles are seldom made in Edge variety.

 

Photo Dariusz Gackowski

In 2016 I managed to buy a truly unique drum set from Custom 34 studio – DW Exotic with a very rare top layer of wood. Body is maple, but the external layer is made of 800-year-old bubinga wood. John Good found the log in Ghana wildlife reserve. The kit has a noble sound, has beautiful sustain and quite a lot of low frequency. Sounds extraordinary in a studio. Sizes are 22 x 18, 10 x 8, 12 x 9, 14 x 11 i 16 x 13. John Good has personally supervised production of the kit. It’s a limited edition, crafted to the finest detail. Inside every body of every drum there is John Good’s signature. The kit has a 24k gold finish. Only 100 kits have been produced and released to the world, due to limited availability of bubinga wood. It’s truly a Rolls Royce of drums, I’m ecstatic that I own this magnificent drum kit.

In 2018 I became a happy owner of 3 drum kits made by one of the most renowned drum making company – Gretsch.

DW with whom I’ve been cooperating for years has taken over Gretsch, which opened new possibilities for me to extend my arsenal. In a way DW is a modern sound, while Gretsch is history and tradition.

I own USA Custom Walnut finish – lacquer 22 x 18, 10 x 7, 12 x 8 (rack toms), 14 x 14, 16 x 16 floor toms. It’s a flagship model, for years highly appreciated for studio recordings. A lot of now classic songs have been recorded with USA Custom.

Brodkaster kit with Walnut satin finish 20 x 14, 10 x 7, 12 x 8, 14 x 14 i 14 x 6,5 (treble).

This one is a history of jazz. Before USA Custom, there had been the Brodkaster. It is the oldschool Gretsch sound, that’s warm and crisp.

Catalina Club (jazz) natural finish 18 x 14, 12 x 8 i 14 x 14.

A small kit that produces a noble sound, it’s quiet, though (especially useful when I’m playing in places with no sound suppression, e.g. a church or small clubs).

On top of that I purchased 2 trebles from Vinnie Colaiuta signature collection. The first one is from the year 2000 and bears the name Millenium. It’s a maple sized 14 x 5. The body is thicker than most Gretsch trebles – for a bigger bang and more power. The second of Vinnie’s trebles is a piccolo 12” x 4 from the last colbat blue finish series. The fourth Gretsch treble is a limited bell brass Brooklyn 14 x 6,5. I’ve had it for a year now and I still discover something new about it. Amazing! Very universal. Despite having been made of brass, it’s very warm (maybe it’s because of oldschool 8-screw rings from 302 hoops serires). The treble articulates beautifully, has a huge dynamic range, sensitivity and bang.

I also own Ludwig Supraphonic treble 14 x 5 from the 70’s.

I also have 2 electronic sets – Roland TD20 and Simmons SDS V which I use when I play with Kombi.

Cymbals

For years I’ve been playing on Zildjian.

I like its rich sound. For my needs I choose the ones with rather warm sound. I’m not a big fan of sharp and cold cymbals.

I use different series and mix them depending on the type of music I’m playing and conditions (live or studio, etc).

Recently, I’ve been using some darker sounds of K series or K Custom. For me the most important are main hi hat and ride. Quite often drummers spend their whole lives looking for “their” hi hat or ride. These cymbals are essential – we mostly play on them to make pulse and beats. On a day-to-day basis I’m playing on 21” K Custom Complex dark ride and 21” K Custom Organic ride. Size 21” for a ride is quite interesting for me. When I play jazz I use K Constantinopole . I have 3 rides from the same series – 2 Renaissance and 1 bounce. About the hi hats – long time ago I switched from size 13” to 14”. I managed to obtain limited edition hi hat from Hybrid Reverse series. I also own 14” K Custom session hi hat, Avedis New Beat hi hat. About crashes, splashes and other effects – as a Zildjian endorser, I’m well-equipped. Zildjian is distributed in Europe by Musik Meyer and Krzysztof Leśnik from MM caters to my cymbal needs.

 

Drumsticks – Zildjian