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Author Topic: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)  (Read 3386 times)

SWriverstone

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Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« on: January 13, 2008, 08:33:26 AM »

Hi Everyone:

I'm a Juilliard-trained percussionist who left music as a career years ago, but continue to enjoy percussion and music for fun (and for some side income now and then). I've been involved in MIDI and digital music since the beginning (starting with an Atari 1040ST computer and C-Lab's Notator back in the late 80's).

About 4 years ago—unaware of the Zendrum at the time—I discovered the Roland HandSonic (HPD-15) and went nuts over it! I bought one immediately and played the heck out of it for 4 years, including a live performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Even knowing about the Zendrum, the HandSonic is an incredibly capable device, with the obvious benefit of having great-sounding world percussion samples from Roland. (And I don't think there is a better "electronic tabla" on the planet than the HandSonic!)

But over the years, one thing really bugged me about the HandSonic: it just looked dorky. I never liked Roland's "Flash Gordon" silver plastic design, and frankly always felt a bit embarrassed by the thing. Though, interestingly, nobody but me seemed to care...fascinated audience members were constantly coming up and peppering me with questions about the HandSonic. (As an aside, if Roland made the HandSonic with a hand-finished wood case, it would be a lot more appealing!)

I wanted something with the same degree of expressiveness in a hand controller...and an instrument which just looked cooler and had more of the qualities we appreciate in a finely-crafted musical instrument. I found out about the Zendrum a couple years ago and thought "Wow, this looks great!" But for some stupid reason didn't buy one right away!

Instead, I picked up a used TrapKat off eBay. The Alternate Mode gear has a good reputation and is certainly high-quality, and I figured I'd enjoy getting back to playing with sticks again (heck, I had 15 years of world-class training and performing experience using sticks, so why not use 'em?) Long story short, I never took to the TrapKat. It was just too much of a hassle to configure, and it was way too big and heavy to easily carry to gigs. I know—it's probably no bigger than an average drumkit...but I've gotta tell ya, after decades of hauling around timpani, marimbas, and other gigantic instruments...I'm OVER hauling big stuff around!

Flash forward to today...and I just sold my HandSonic *and* my TrapKat on eBay...and Monday morning, I'm ordering a Zendrum! (WOOHOO!) After all I've seen and read and heard, I really think this is "it," the ultimate hand percussion instrument I've been wanting for all these years! (You hear that Zendrum? Big expectations! LOL)

Like everyone else, I can't get one soon enough. I really want to get back into live performing again—I think I've subconciously been avoiding playing live for the past year because I didn't like any of my live instrument options. I'm hoping with the Zendrum, I'm gonna "bust loose!"

Regarding my choice of instrument: I studied (and watched video clips) of both the ZX and the LT...and for me, the choice is obvious: the ZX is just FAR cooler-looking than the LT. The LT—though a fine instrument—just has (for me) too much of the "HandSonic Dorky Factor" against it. (No offense to LT owners!) The ZX on the other hand is an instrument that ranks right up there with electric guitar, bass and acoustic drums with the "cool" factor. I'm not obsessed with appearances (after all, it's what you do with it that counts, right?)...but after years of playing the decidedly un-cool HandSonic, I want to look cool!  ;D

All that's left is to decide on a finish (but I won't let that delay my Monday morning order! LOL).

Scott
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jeff sanders

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2008, 02:26:41 PM »

not just a dork

a juliard trained dork

truth stings less that way

heh

welcome to the tribe, no need feel dorky here. great people with great knowledge ready to help anyone that should post for it.

good luck
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ralphieboy

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2008, 09:30:07 PM »

HI Scott...
What a timely post you have!!!!
I am thinking of the Zendrum ZX in the near future... the reason more than anything is I would be able to go Mobile with my drums during some songs! Our lead guitar is wireless and the audience enjoys him going up and down the aisles along with some of the singers. I would love to do that same thing and increase the level of entertainment!
In my mind... I have been trying to compare the handsonic to the Zendrum and wondered if the handsonic could go mobile and be able to be played in some sort of similarity as the Zendrum?????
I did not think about the dork factor... did not think of how uncool it might look...but I am very concerned as to whether or not I can play the Handsonic "mobile".
I don't dislike the Zendrum... in fact I think it is one of the coolest looking set of drums I have seen...  LOL
I just try to research all possibilities before I spend a good amount of money.  I am not an accomplished drummer, I am a basic drummer at best.
I would appreciate any input from anyone regarding this thought or comparison between the handsonic and Zendrum.
Thanks
Ralph

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SWriverstone

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 07:23:22 AM »

Hi Ralph...

When I say the HandSonic looks "dorky" that's purely personal preference---some folks may like how it looks! I'm not a silver fan, and no matter how you look at it, plastic and metal just don't compare to wood!

You'd have a harder time trying to go mobile with a HandSonic, mainly because you've got audio line outs to deal with as well as MIDI. (So more cables to drag around or manage.) I suppose you could do it though...

Scott
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Bruce Richardson

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 08:39:25 AM »

Hi guys,

Congratulations on your choice, Scott.  Trust me on this, you are going to jump for joy when you start playing the Zendrum compared to the HandSonic.  There is no comparison in the feel, and you will wonder why you did not do this much sooner.

If you think people want to talk to you about the Handsonic after gigs, just wait until you dazzle them with your STUNNING Zendrum.  There are simply no words to describe how you feel when you unbox it, and unzip the bag for the first time.  David will send you pictures along the way...and you will be amazed at how much more beautiful it is than any picture can capture.

Congrats again.  GOOD choice.

B.
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ralphieboy

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 11:05:19 AM »

Bruce... thanks for your input!
I am watching this thread as well... I favor the Zendrum and agree with what most say about it... (I don't disagree)but I have to look at everything before spending$$$

Our band has already agreed with my getting the Zendrum to play while mobile walking off stage into the audience.

Any comparison between different mobile drum equipment would be interesting.
thanks again Bruce

Ralph
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SWriverstone

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 05:07:12 PM »

WOOHOO! Talked to David Haney today, placed my order, and shipped payment!

I must say it was a real pleasure talking with David. From our conversation, it was obvious that Zendrums are finely crafted by a few people who really care about the instruments---quite a difference from going to the local "Electro-Music-Mega-Store" and picking up a mass-manufactured instrument from a ceiling-high stack of them!  :)

David took time to tell me about the preparation and finishing of the wood body for the Zendrum, and even said he had a single piece of flame maple large enough for the whole body---fantastic! (I ordered the Honey Sunburst Flame Maple finish.)

So now begins the painful waiting period...but I know it'll be worth it!

Scott
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ralphieboy

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 08:47:07 PM »

I am excited for ya, Scott!
I am sure you will let us all know when it arrives at your door!   ;D
Ralph
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Bruce Richardson

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 09:36:49 PM »

Congratulations, Scott.  You are going to LOVE it.  The waiting is part of the entire Zen of it.  When that baby hits your porch, you're going to be ripping cardboard like a maniac, and then the moment!!!

You're right about the loving care, too.  You will feel the love pouring off of it...

Just wait until you get a "progress pic" in your email box.  That gets the old drool flowing...haha.
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Geosphere

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 08:05:11 AM »

Handsonics are cool, but just feel like fancy drum machines, not instruments.
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ralphieboy

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 06:47:02 PM »

Good thought Geosphere! :)  Thanks!
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SWriverstone

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2008, 10:37:30 AM »

WOOHOO!!! My Zendrum arrived today!!!  ;D ;D ;D It's the honey flame maple finish...with a body from a single piece of maple (big thanks to David for letting me have a piece he had reserved for himself!) Here are some pics...













I'm blown away by the quality and craftsmanship (even the bag impressed me!). Kudos to David & Kim for a spectacular instrument! I haven't even plugged it in and started playing it yet...so stay tuned for a full report!  ;D

Scott
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Ingo

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2008, 10:51:37 AM »

Wow. Looks great!

Ingo.
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Zennerman1

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2008, 11:50:47 AM »

WOW !
Stunning isn't it?
Words are difficult to describe it.

Cheers,
Steve
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timecutter

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Re: Ordering a ZX Monday! (Moving on from HandSonic...)
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2008, 11:52:13 AM »


looks great - congrats!

M
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