The Definitive Guide to the Best Drum Kits
Finding the correct Best drum kits for you can be overwhelming what with the number of drum sets that you can find on the market. This article, however, will help your shopping become a bit easier as it lists down the best drum kits today.
Best Drum Kits comparison table:
Keep in mind, though that the word ‘best’ is relative. What may be best for a drummer may not be good enough for another? But to come up with a list of the best drum kits, we considered things such as:
- Part and features– drum set come in various parts and features. For instance, an acoustic drum kit may or may not have a throne, bass pedal, cymbal, and other parts. An electronic drum set usually has MIDI in/out, auxiliary ports that allow an electronic device to be plugged in, and the ability to upload the drummer’s sounds, and more.
- Durability—drum kits typically need periodic head changes, depending on how hard the drummer strikes them. Drumsticks may need regular changes, too, especially if the drummer’s style is aggressive. Shells, however, can last a lifetime while cymbals can also last long as long as these aren’t dented. For power drummers, quality, heavy duty hardware is recommended.
- Price—not all expensive drum sets are durable and high quality. Some just are costly because of the brand they carry.
- Brand Reputation- Some brands like Yamaha and Ludwig are known to have expensive drum kits.
All things said, here is a listing of the best Electronic drum sets according to the level of musicianship of the player:
Best Drum Kits for Beginners
- Alesis DM6 USB Kit Five-Piece Electronic Drum Set
Electronic drum kits are particularly recommended for beginners because it is muted compared to an acoustic drum kit. By playing with an electric drum kit, a novice drummer will not have to worry about disturbing the rest of the family or the entire neighborhood.
This five-piece electronic drum set from Alesis is highly recommended for drummers who are still learning the tricks of the trade. For starters, it has everything they need to start drumming. It includes kick, snare, tom, cymbals, a hi-hat pad, hi-hat controller, kick pedal, and even a pair of drumsticks. Simply, the kit is ready to use or play after taking it out of the box.
The pads have a nice, natural bounce. They’re fun to play, just put it. The sound is very realistic as well, so novice drummers would be more encouraged to practice.
It can also let users interface with their computer through USB, so they can include MIDI or any other recording that they may have been on any recording software.
The price may be prohibitive to some, but for most drummers who are serious to hone their skills, it is very reasonable.
How popular is this drum kit? It’s just the top best seller on Amazon.com for electronic drums, with a 3.6 out of five-star rating.
- Yamaha Gigmaker 5-Piece Standard Shell Pack with 22″ Bass Drum Burgundy Glitter
Yamaha is known as one of the premier brands when it comes to drums. Many drum enthusiasts may think that it is impossible to find a standard drum set with the Yamaha logo on it, but this unit dispels that notion.
One of the first things you’ll notice the moment this group arrives in your house is how well built the drums are. The hardware quality is very impressive, and it certainly doesn’t look like a sub product. The wood shells are well constructed, while the outer shell wraps are tight. Even the metal hoops and heavy duty ball-socket tom mounts are well built that you wouldn’t think that this is a starter kit.
However, you might need some help in tuning this instrument. The snare throw is made of plastic, which isn’t the most durable material. Other than those obvious drawbacks this five-piece drum kit should be good enough for novice players who just want to improve their skills.
- Pearl Sound Check 5-piece Drum Set with Zildjian Cymbals Red/Black
This is another excellent entry level kit for drummers who want to hone their skills. Its drum shells are made from high-quality, 9-ply mahogany and finished in a classy, durable and impressive high-gloss covering. Then Pearl adds a Zildjian cymbal set (an 18-inch crash ride, a couple of 13-inch hi-hats with a free 14-inch crash) to complete the deal and make this set highly recommended for novice drummers.
There’s also a Sound Percussion hardware pack as a bonus which includes a chain-drive bass pedal, a snare drum stand, a hi-hat stand, and a boom cymbal stand. The snare drum stand, hi-hat stand, and cymbal stand are all double braced for durability and toughness.
The price is very reasonable little high Price, and because it is from Pearl, you can be assured of the quality. Overall, this is a pretty good deal for any novice drummer.
- Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove 4-Piece Shell Pack Azure Sparkle
There are several good reasons why this is highly recommended to greenhorn drummers.
First, the price is less on Amazon.com. You will be hard pressed to find a Ludwig drum set that is priced as competitively as this, considering that Ludwig is regarded as one of the most premium brands today.
The drum set may be priced like a toy, but it doesn’t look and sound one. Even intermediate to experienced drummers will be surprised at how the drum set sound likes.
The tom and bass drums boast of lower fundamentals partly due to the basswood from which the shells are made of. The 45 degree, rounded edges limit attack and facilitate a low pitch sound. The tuning range is also impressive, while the floor tom is very easy to dial in. The rack tunes down well, while the bass drum is very responsive.
There are some weak links like the snare drum which has an unfocused sound, and the riser which alters the geometry of the beater to the bass drum head. Still, considering the very affordable price of this drum set, a novice drummer would be foolish not to include it on his short list of prospective buys.
- Pulse 5-piece Junior Drum Set
This is a drum set that is best suited for the kiddo. It’s a sub drum set which should be sufficient to train a future Dave Grohl.
The five piece junior drum set is durable and very functional. It’s not a toy but an amazing starter kit for an aspiring drummer.
The bass drum sounds fantastic, and the bass pedal feels very responsive. A little tuning can make the toms sound great. While the snare drum could use a heavier head, it still works well. The cymbals aren’t the best, but these should be good enough for kids.
The lack of instructions can frustrate owners, but there are lots of instructional videos online that you can refer to in putting this drum set together. This five-piece junior drum set is highly recommended for kids who want to get started on drumming.
Best Drum Kits for Intermediate Drummers
Drum players who have progressed in their playing skills will require a more advanced kit. An ideal drum set for the intermediate drummer sounds loud and great at home, in the recording studio, and even in a live environment.
Drums for the intermediate drummer are expectedly more expensive than starter kits. You can expect to pay more than a thousand bucks if you’re looking into this type of drum kit. But you’ll get your money’s worth as you can produce a sound that cheaper, starter kits won’t be able to churn out.
Here are the best drum kits for intermediate drummers:
1. Pearl VBL905P/C Vision Birch Lacquer 5-Piece Drum Set
Pearl is a reputable maker of drum sets, and this five-piece drum set of the company shows why. It can produce incredibly full, organic, and rich sounds. And it’s not limited to a particular genre, as this bad boy is versatile enough for rock, pop, jazz, and even metal.
It has birch shells that play a significant role in improving the audio quality, particularly at the low end. Drummers will love that they won’t miss bass with this set. Once the drums have been tuned, they don’t need a lot of maintenance. This works best for drummers because they can focus on their performance.
Musicians who are into modern, guitar-drive music will love this drum set as it can produce sounds with the very strong low end. The elegant black look is a bonus, as well as the lifetime warranty.
The price high may initially scare you at first, but it’s fairly reasonable for the type of sound that this drum kit produces. And remember, we’re talking here of Pearl which is not a pushover of a brand by any means.
- Pacific Drums PDCM2217PW 7-Piece Drumset with Chrome Hardware
First, let’s go into the specifics. This drum kit has a 22 inch by an 18-inch bass drum with a tom mount. It has a 5.5 inch by 14-inch snare drum, and a couple of floor toms one measuring 14 inches by 16 inches and another, 12 by 14 inches. Then there are three toms of various sizes—7 by8 inches, eight by 10 inches, and nine by 12 inches. This massive seven-piece set also includes a set of three cymbals with stands included and a hi-hat.
The drums are well-built, made of maple. The shells are almost a quarter of an inch thick, with crafted piles of layered maple wood. The rich and full sound that the kit makes can work well with any genre—blues, hard rock, and metal, to name a few.
Setting up should be a breeze for seasoned musicians, who will be amazed at the excellent sound quality of the drum set. The included heads aren’t fancy like what you’ll find on more expensive kits, but still good enough for the price range of the drum set.
Overall, this is a great deal given its price and features.
- Tama Superstar Classic 7-Piece Shell Pack
The Superstar Classic has been highly esteemed among drummers for its superior build quality, good design, and clear projection.
Intermediate drummers won’t be intimidated by this beast, which comes in three configurations. There’s one that consists of 10 inch, and 12 inch mounted toms, a 14 by 14-inch floor tom, a 14 inch by the 5.5-inch snare, and a 20 inch by the 18-inch bass drum. There’s also another configuration wherein the bass drum is bigger (22 x 18 inch), and the floor tom measures 16 by 16 inches. And the third configuration features an 8 inch by 7-inch mounted tom.
Whatever configuration an intermediate drummer decides to get, he’ll be assured of the build and design quality. Take for instance the mounted toms that make use of a black Star-Cast mounting system which suspends the drum from the angled frame. The mounting system allows the Tom to be the ring without any obstruction coming from the shell-dampening mounting hardware. There’s also Tama’s Omni-ball design for quick and accurate positioning of the Tom.
Regarding sound, the bass drum churns out deep and punchy tones. It has everything an intermediate drummer would want from a rock bass drum. The snare drum is also pretty impressive with outstanding rim clicks thanks to its die-cast hoops. The toms have defined pitches. The floor tom has clear low ends.
Regarding price, the Superstar Classic sells for around High, but budget-conscious buyers can nab a kit at 50 percent off its original price on Amazon.
- Mapex Horizon Fast Pack
As the name of this drum set indicates, it is an idea for working drummers who want to have an easy to load and transport drum kit. It’s not only easy to load in and out, but also great sounding.
The drum shells are blended with birch and basswood, delivering the type of tone and dynamic range that many intermediate to professional drummers want. This five-piece drum set includes a kick drum measuring 20 x 12 inches; two mounted toms measuring eight x6 inches and 10 x 7 inches, a floor tom measuring 12 x 12 inches, and a snare drum measuring 13 x 5 inches.
The drum sizes were designed not only to provide the deep tones but to make the set up of the drum kit quick and easy. Because the drum shells are made of birch, you can be assured of good tonal qualities from this drum kit, with peaks in the highs and lows.
- Pearl Export Series
This intermediate best drum kit is considered one of the best selling drum sets of all time. Its maker, Pearl, incorporated its trademark Superior Shell Technology (SST) in this drum set plus put Opti-Loc tom mounts and superior hardware. It comes in five attractive finishes— jet black, smokey chrome, red wine, electric blue sparkle, and Arctic sparkle.
The SST of Pearl is a unique technique to the brand designed to achieve the ideal air chamber. The inner of this kit is made of Asian faux mahogany which adds to the rich and deep tones produced by the drums. While the said material isn’t the same as that of top ranges of Pearl, it is still attractive nonetheless.
Pearl employs its Opti-Loc isolation bracket for the two mounted toms for increased stability. The snare and cymbals stand, meanwhile, have a Uni-lock feature that allows the drummer to achieve the exact position he craves. Topping off the list of exciting features is a brushed silver and oral bass pedal.
The snare drum, however, is the weakest link of this set as it is very lightweight. Drummers should also take some time in tuning it to yield a good sound.
Despite that flaw, this drum set is still highly recommended for intermediate players. It is pretty affordable with a price tag of less than a thousand bucks.
Other Things to Consider
Just like in buying any musical instrument, you should set a budget before starting to shop. For an intermediate player, you should be ready to part with a thousand bucks. Setting a budget lower than that may take you to longer to find the right drum set due to the limited selection.
You may also be forced to take a look at used drum sets if you have a budget of less than $1,000. In case you want to opt for used drum sets, check that there are no cracks in the cymbals and no huge dents on the drumheads. For the shells, check that the wood is not cracked and that the finish on the drums isn’t peeling.
Remember these things when shopping for a beginner or intermediate drum set so that you can get the right best drum kits without you breaking the bank, so to speak.