Premier drums have been around for decades with some extremely successful lines. In the 90s, perhaps the Genista Birch was the most popular, with the flagship Signia close behind. Striking looks and punchy tones meant that everyone was interested. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Genista has returned.
IT’S ALL IN THE BUILD
The original Genista was an exclusively of Birch construction. Premier has re-released the kit with the option of two shell types – American Maple or the classic and original Birch. I got to have a go on the birch variant in a Stage 22configuration featuring a 22x18” kick, 10x8”, 12x9” quick toms, 14x14” floor tom and a 14x6” matching snare drum. There are a lot of other very useful configurations to suit with shorter toms and smaller bass drums, as well as full rock set ups with two floor toms. You can also add on drums as you please, pretty handy really. There’s also some great wraps, lacquers and finishes available including some striking sparkles such as the Burnt Orange I tried.
Each Genista features 5.6mm 7 ply internally lacquered shells the toms and floor toms undersized by 3mm for easier tuning. You also get the awesomely oversized Genista Diamond Chrome lugs, Die-cast ISO tom mounts (only on the Maple variant), 2.3mm triple-flange hoops, Roklok Tom Mount and Supersonic Premier drum heads. Crucially, you get a full set of double braced awesome hardware with memory locks and including a second boom/straight stand and bass drum pedal. Overall, it’s a convincing argument so far.
THAT PREMIER FEELING
The kit immediately felt good to play with a little give in the heads. The overall sound is full and punchy. In a way, it’s almost a fraction EQ’d. Birch has always had this characteristic to me. You get more focused tone with fewer overtones. The undersized toms are easy to tune and responded to minute adjustments well. The Bass drum was nice and full with a fat tone. Interestingly, it sounded fatter when I stood up and leant forward meaning that your audience is really getting the full sound. The snare drum, despite being an 8 lug drum, still responds well to tuning and yields a really full tone with a heap of balls. There’s decent crack when cranked higher but really, the drum preferred medium to low tuning. I put a zero ring on the snare when tuned low and it was deep and oh-so studio like. You can thank the 6” depth for that. I would prefer a 10 lug snare to be able to handle higher tensions though. The throw off was smooth enough but not life changing.
Overall, Premier have done a good job bringing this kit back to life. Some will buy just on the looks alone. The lugs really do have great presence. I would be curious to hear the Maple version to compare, but for me, Birch is a really nice alternative with a fuller tone. It’s also great that the price of this kit isn’t astronomical either.
Hits and Misses
Punchy Sound, Great looks
8 Lug Snare Drum
No floating toms on Birch variant