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Whitney Drums’ Nesting Penguin 16 Kit

Great sound and playability with unreal portability

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Improving kit portability, an issue of real value to working drummers, has been an ongoing quest for manufacturers. When JT Whitney introduced his Nesting Penguin Series in 2002, he presented an intersection of form and function that continues to dominate among travel-friendly drum sets (or, for that matter, all drum sets). If you live in an apartment, have limited trunk space, often play cramped venues or just enjoy excellent-sounding drums, you need to check out Whitney’s work.

The SoCal-based drum maker, who also invented DW’s Sidekick pedal for what used to be called “cocktail” kits, has tweaked and refined his Nesting Penguins over the past decade, especially in the area of hardware, but the m.o. remains the same: preserve the warm sonic purity of wood while combining distinctive visual appeal with compact ease in cartage. Each of the five available Nesting Penguin kits is striking, and together they form a uniquely synergistic vision. I reviewed the Nesting 16 ($2,123 direct-to-consumer) with an add-on 7×8-inch tom ($275).

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