Best Drum Kits To Buy !EXCLUSIVE!
The world of drums and drum sets is an ever changing one, and whilst some companies come and go, there is a core group of brands which produce consistently impressive drums. The companies on this list all make great, versatile drums - but they all have certain qualities which make them more suited to specific styles of music or playing.
best drum kits to buy
Gretsch drums are iconic in the music industry. With a firm grip on the world of jazz drums from the early days, and now a roster which includes Underoath's Aaron Gillespie, Green Day's Tre Cool, and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, Gretsch drums have been proven to cope with plenty of different playing and musical styles. Gretsch fans often comment on how warm, rich and resonant Gretsch drums are - great for anyone who wants a really full drum sound.
Tama drums are another brand which has a rich and interesting history. Made in Japan since the mid-'70s, Tama drums have had a varied catalogue of artists, from Vinnie Paul and Lars Ulrich to Billy Cobham and Peter Erskine. Currently, Tama drums are loved for their punchy and bright tones, thanks to Maple and Birch being commonly used in shells.
Pearl makes some of the world's most highly regarded drum sets around. With the Export drums being the best-selling drum set in history, they know a thing or two about creating a versatile, value-for-money drum set - and their Masters, Reference and Masterworks kits are some of the best high-end kits money can buy. Expect punchy drums that respond well to your playing dynamics - as most Pearl kits use Poplar, Mahogany or Maple for their shells.
Mapex is another brand who seems to create drum sets which work in nearly all musical scenarios. Its Saturn drum set is an industry favourite due to its maple/walnut shell materials, and the more affordable Mars, Armory and Storm kits follow in the 'ultimate versatility' footsteps. Mapex drums tend to be pretty lively sounding - all about that 'punch'.
Of course, there are many other brands we could list. Yamaha, Ludwig, DW, Sonor - the list could go on forever. They all make killer drums, which are great in their own right. Go and find out which ones are best for you!
For those people where money is really no object, you can really go all out. Companies like Drum Workshop, British Drum Company and Yamaha will particularly satisfy your needs for some truly staggering drums, both tonally and visually. For this money, you can also start creeping into the world of custom-made drums.
If you'd like to read some expert buying advice to help you choose the best drum kit, we've included some at the end of this guide. If you'd rather get straight to our recommendations, keep scrolling. We've arranged them in price order to make finding a killer drum set just that bit easier.
Tama's Starclassic Walnut/Birch (opens in new tab) is a great new entry in the mid-range, offering top-notch sounds, a massive array of configurations and some fresh finish options for drummers who want to stand out.
This small drum set has been considered by many as the king of mini kits for portability, small stages and even for younger players since its launch in 2013. It comprises a 16"x14" bass drum, 10"x7" rack tom and a 13"x13" floor tom, with a standard 14"x5" snare. The chromed shell hardware feels solid in our hands, with a weighty tom-holder, smooth hoops and a sturdy bass drum riser.
The arrival of the Pearl Export in 1982 set a new benchmark and in 2007 the kit was revived with upgraded shells, new lugs, new tom bracket and a superb hardware package. The new, smaller sculpted lug with a reduced footprint allows the shells to breathe better. The supplied 830 series hardware pack and brushed silver and orange Demonator bass drum pedal are absolutely brilliant for the money.
Most budget kits at this price have poplar shells, however Pearl has reintroduced Asian mahogany into the mix and that inner lining of semi-hard red wood adds warmth and depth to the shell tone. The tom heads on this EXX model are Chinese-made transparent Remos and deliver the requisite blam with plenty of depth and authority.
The Saturn centres around hybrid shells comprising plies of maple and walnut. One of the most significant features of the kit is the SONIClear bearing edge. While the inner edges are trimmed to 45 for the rack toms and 60 for the kick and floor toms, instead of the usual sharp summit, the edge has a slightly rounded, flattened back-cut which extends out to the shell's outer edge. This allows greater contact between the head and shell which is designed to coax maximum depth out of the drums - and we found it also helps with tuning.
As we all know, Pearl is one of the biggest names in the drum world. You'd expect then, that they'd produce some of the best drums. In every price bracket, Pearl makes a drum set which is a true contender for the title of 'best' - the most iconic being the Export. With this - the Masters Maple Complete - they've thrown a 6-ply all-maple hat in the high-end ring too.
The available configurations offer up a Masters maple Complete kit for any style of playing, with any of the 22" bass drum toting options offering the best versatility if you're looking to spend a bit more on a drum set that will cover all bases. These are just shell packs, mind - a snare is an optional extra. You'll probably want one, though - they sound awesome.
The Legend series brings power, projection and sophistication to the table in spades. The 6mm Scandinavian Birch shells are punchy and present without taking your head off, and with a 45 degree bearing edge these drums are brilliantly versatile - perfect for both studio and stage. Two ply reinforcement rings help to just tone down those lairy overtones, achieving lower tunings and a gorgeous controlled sustain.
The Remo Ambassador-topped toms produce a long and sweet sustain, while the bass drum has an archetypally modern, tough and present tone. The lower regions - with wrinkles just about tuned out of the batter - bring more depth into the blend. The snare drum is a bit of a contrast as it is deep with a slightly more open and unruly voice.
There are also seven new Recording Custom snare drums with stainless steel, aluminium and brass shells should you wish to go all-Yamaha in the studio. A masterful return from one of the most famous drum sets ever made.
The thin shells also promote resonance of the respective woody timbres and bring out the deeper fundamentals. Toms and bass drum have a new cast lug, a bridged design for minimal shell contact with an attractive curvy shape and four-faced ridges.
Now, we're all too aware that taking up the drums can do some damage to neighbourly relations. If you're lucky enough to have understanding, drum-enthusiastic neighbours, or no neighbours at all, then an acoustic set will do nicely. For some, that's not an option - and one of the best electronic drum sets is the most ideal choice. If you're struggling to figure out which will be best for you, then check out our acoustic vs electronic drum kits feature. We've weighed up the pros and cons of each, to help you come to the best conclusion.
Gretsch, while most notable for guitars, also manufactures drums, and has since the early days of his first music store in Brooklyn, New York (1883). German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch first made and sold drums, banjos, and tambourines.
With my picks out of the way, what drum sets/shells do you think are the best? There are still a lot of companies and custom makers out there like SJC, A&F, C&C, Risen, and more. Do your research before investing in a new drum kit. 041b061a72