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Peace Paragon

5/5

The Peace brand is one we don’t hear too much about in the UK but Peace Music who manufacture the marque are a large conglomerate based in Taipei, Taiwan. They have been making drums and drum accessories for over 30 years and make a huge range of instruments. They also make drums and drum parts for other brands so it’s quite possible you’re already be playing one of their products. OK, so the first thing to say is that it’s not a sexy brand from the UK, USA or Germany but if you’re buying a used Peace kit, you already know that. You’re looking for value not brand prestige. For that reason alone, some drummer might be put off but read on.

 I bought a second hand Peace Paragon kit in 2019. The kit in question was a 7 drum set up which was built around 2010 and was, at that time, their top of the range.

The first thing that hit me about this kit was the finish. The Paragon has a lacquer finish rather than a wrap, which you might expect to find on kits in this price range. It gives the drums a quality look. The finish of my kit is black sparkle, a description which doesn’t really do it justice. It is simply stunning under lights and gives the impression of a far more expensive kit. Peace’ own design tubular lugs are unobtrusive, adding to the kits sleek “custom” look. One slight issue is that all the tuning rods seem a bit short which doesn’t affect tuning but do seem to detune quickly and can drop out if not checked before and after every gig.

As good as the lacquer finish looks it is quite soft and marks very easily. With decent soft cases it’s fine to lug around the small venues I play (it’s not a very kit heavy either), but any slight bump can lead to a noticeable gouge or dent in the lacquer. I found that most will polish out with a bit of T-Cut, but not all, so these kits can look shabby quite quickly if you’re not careful.

The shells are 9 ply Canadian Rock Maple (the bass may be 6. I haven’t counted but it’s often the case), formed, treated and finished by hand, one at a time. The inner shells are formed, finished and then sealed repeatedly for optimum projection and tone. This is drum making of the highest order using manufacturing techniques you might expect for a kit costing two or three times the price. New this kit cost around £1,600.00. Each Paragon kit was bult to order to the buyer’s specs.

Kit Configuration

Bass Drum 22” x 18”

Tom 1 10” x 8”

Tom 2 12” x 9”

Tom 3 13” x 12”

Tom 4 14” x 14”

Tom 5 16” x 16”

Snare 14” x 6.5”

The bass drum is supplied undrilled. It’s an absolute beast. Loud and full of character. Even damped it moves some serious air. The mounted toms use Peace’s own LIFT mounting system which works just fine. Floor toms are on standard three leg configuration.  The toms don’t have a huge tuning range (see my tuning rods comment above) but each has an optimum sweet spot, which when you find it makes them sound stunning. They have punch, character and sustain in buckets.

All the chrome on my kit was like new when I got it but perhaps could have been finished a little better on the very edge of the rims which I find surprising given the attention to detail elsewhere. The kits were originally supplied as drums only except for tom mounts, so if you pick up any additional hardware that’s a bonus.

This is what Modern Drummer magazine had to say in August 2006.

All in all, the Peace Paragon is a remarkable set of drums for the money. I have had many compliments about the sound of my kit from audiences, sound engineers and fellow drummers, often surprised when I tell them what make it is but, here’s the best bit. You can pick these kits up for a song. I bought my 7 drum Peace Paragon for £350.00 and that’s cheap enough to forgive its minor failings. You really can’t buy a better set of drums for the money.

mood_bad
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