Top Ten Best Drum Brands

The Top Ten

Pearl

From the forum series beginner set to the pearl masters and reference high end sets, pearl delivers great sound quality, shell and hardare quality and they're not so expensive, I've tried out all of the pearl sets and each of them sounds amazing. (best one is the masters and the free floating snare drum )

Tama is good but I use pearl and I like it and I think dwdrums are better than Tamma not pearl though

I really love pearl.. Trusted for uncountable years of service )
We've been using it for our mini concerts and its very-good music makes our performance 'the best'.

Pearl just seems to have superior quality over the other percussion brands we have tried. We also liked Ludwig and Mapex in that order, but you really can't wrong with any of those three in my opinion.

DW Drums

All the other companies make great gear. However, the attention to detail that goes into EVERY DW Drum kit, is what makes the difference. John Good, has come up with some amazing ways to get drums to sound the way everyone wants them to. They are VERY pricey (my new 7 piece, drums only, comes to $5,000 - and I got a screaming deal). But I believe the quality is untouched. I have owned 1 Yamaha kit, 2 Pacific Kits (PDP), and a Taye kit. I am super stoked about my newest adventure.

Like I said, the other companies in this list make great gear too, just not as "perfect" as DW in my opinion. I spent MONTHS looking for a new kit. DW, came out on top, but a close second were Mapex and Tama. 3rd was the Yamaha PHX, 4th was Gretsch. Pearl and Yamaha kits were further down the line. Pearl has always seemed "mass produced" to me, and so does a huge portion of the Yamaha line. While I know people will tout about the Pearl Master Series. I had a friend who owned a set. And while he had ...more

Nothing beats DW in terms of build quality and hardware design. But ultimately it's the sound that matters and DW delivers. They're punchy, yet resonant with smooth overtones and are among the easiest drums to tune I've ever had. Amazing drums and an even more amazing feel when you play them. They make playing easier, believe it or not. I found a used six piece set of Performance series drums, their second tier line, for $1200 and it was the best purchase I've ever made. There's a reason why Neil Peart plays these things.

One of the best drum brands imaginable. A bit overpriced but a small price to pay for tonal perfection. With most of the greatest drummers of all time switching to DW at some point, you must understand why. Great sounds, great looks, and great quality.

I have played every major manufacturers drums over the past 29 years. DW is the most innovative company in the industry today, and has been since the late 90's. Their kits have the best sound and are the easiest to tune of any brand I have tried. Specific endorsees usually are not a good measure of a company as with the top drummers it is a business decision not a personal choice. I am not an endorsee, just a real experienced professional drummer that chooses to buy DW because they are a vastly superior product.

Ludwig

I play pearl now but for my money Ludwig are the best sounding drums on the face of earth!

Ludwig has a unique proprietary method of making their shells which makes for unreal tone and percussiveness. Very warm, fat and punchy. Very musical.

The US made Ludwigs have the best tone, and feel of anything being made out there right now. And believe me I get to play on a lot of drum setups so get to see a good lay of the land.

Don't forget Ringo from the Beatles. The set is awesome! I've used a Ludwig for the past 3-4 years. It's still standing. It still sounds great and I honestly love it! Pearl, DW, and Yamaha are good, but nothing beats Ludwig!

Tama

Tama makes drums for musicians who play more than one genre but don't want to have 80 million different kits for each gig. The quality of their drums is unmatched. Even their low-end kits sound amazing compared to other brand name drums. Explosive toms, powerful kick drums, and out of this world snares. Of course, everyone has their own opinion when it comes to sound, but when it comes to what I like, Tama and Meinl all day.

TAMA IS THE BEST HANDS DOWN
Lars Ulrich's favorite drums
I mean is there is anything else to say
I don't think so

One of the most iconic drum manufacturers of all time. Known for drummers such as Stewart Copeland, Dave Grohl, and Neil Peart at one point. Very punchy and loud drums with great tone.

I've been with Tama for years, in my own personal opinion they are the all round best drum company. They are built very strong with many attachments anyone can get. You can get custom made or just a basic set. I started with a simple 5 piece swingstar and now its a crazy set I play with my industrial band and sessions I do. They are just built to last that's why I've had mine for 13 years, not to say Tamas Iron Cobras are built just as strong and last forever. Just my own opinion, my best friend plays pearl which is just as strong but I stick with Tama baby.

Sonor Drums

Sonor is best for jazz music or even other music. It has good tone quality. The shells and the drums itself is excellent when it comes to durability and it is the drummer's drum.

It isn't so expensive yet its not cheap but it's price is affordable and the quality is so brilliant. Maybe other brands like pearl, yamaha, tama and other are far more bigger manufacturer of drumset but Sonor is far more better that those drumsets.

My Sonor kit sounds amazing - better than any other brand I've played. In addition, just by looking at how well the set it built shows that it is higher quality than other brands such as Pearl. Take a look inside the drum itself sometime, the shell is stronger, thicker, and the hardware overall is too.

acdc plays with sonor, sound is perfect I love it. this is an excellent brand and its quality is very high which is reflected on its sound

Sonor drums are pricey but you won't find anything that is done without the utmost attention to detail.. Also I have noticed over the years the their drums all have very clear fundamental tones that are musical, not just loud and booming but musical and that is something discerning musicians want from their drums...

Gretsch

I have many kits over the years from pearl, to yamaha to tama to ludwig and many others, but none have compared to the sound that Gretsch produces. Their kits are cheap and the sound is just as good on a cheap Gretsch kit than on a expensive pearl kit. The shells are some of the best I've had the pleasure of listening to, and their tone is pitch perfect. I've talk to many drummers over the years and most agree that Gretsch is either the best or second best make ever. Gretsch kits can accustom any type of music from Jazz to heavy rock. If you're a beginner I would recommend a Gretsch kit, their sound quality and feel would welcome a beginner easily. Their German engineering rings true when you hear the mighty beats of a Gretsch kit.

It's seems obvious to say, but Gretsch's specs are noticeably "different" from the standard kit (with less sharp bearing edges, the silver sealer interiors, etc.), and because of this, they have a "different" sound. Warmer, with more round and full tones. Gretsch kits are one of the few brands you can truly recognize by sound. Many renowned endorsers of other famous brands still use them to record with, and publically LOVE them. That speaks for itself, in my opinion.

Other than Ludwig, no one really touches them. DW and some of the really good boutique builders are in the discussion too, but in the end Ludwig and Gretsch are the best sounding and you can't go wrong with them.

While not the least expensive, Gretsch Renown's can go up against any kit in the marketplace. When I purchased my kit, there was a DW kit for twice the price next to it on the floor. I was amazed that the Gretsch kits tone seemed to be superior to the the DW. I tune my drums low and w/ Aquarian Performance 10 heads, I receive many compliments from sound engineers commenting on the quality of sound they produce. Just for jazz, I don't think so. These drums sounds like absolute thunder when properly tuned. Best of all, the American name is a true survivor. Gretch... Their slogan says it all... "That Great Gretsch Sound. "

PDP

Amazing quality that only pearl can match, great tone and feel to the toms

Affordable shells, affordable hardware & great size variations. (Highly Recommended : Concept Birch kits)

I have a custom kit, if a PDP bass drum is tuned properly, it sounds amazing. 9/10

Great Quality build, warm tone, and have nice looks! The main part is the shell's durably and sound quality, hardware is not to bad!

Pork Pie

I heard the Pork Pie kick drum and the depth of tone that it had and knew I had to have it. I then heard the snare sound and that finalized my decision. I bought a set 3 years ago and have never looked back. I have had Pearl, Tama, Ludwig and DW sets and the Pork Pie set blows them away. Their custom built drums are signed and dated and their service is amazing. They also have the coolest finishes. Check out the rosewood/zebra wood kits. Fantastic

Fantastic drums. Hands-down the best snares in the world in my opinion.

My first drum set, sounds great and customer service was absolutely amazing, I will have this set for many years!

Way underrated, some of the best feeling & sounding drums I've owned were Pork Pies.

Yamaha

Extremely punchy, very warm, and all around great drums. Players such as Jimmy Chamberlin and Tommy Aldrich.

Yamaha drums are by far the best sounding drums I've ever played (besides dw), yamaha's higher end drums, such as the maple custom series, produce a really deep, fat, warm, resonant tone, that I really haven't heard from some other companies. The durability of the drums is outstanding due to the fact they use the diagonal seem system which keeps the drums from warping. Yamaha also uses the airseal system which takes all the moisture out of the drums and keeps it out so you don't have to worry about humidity affecting the sound. I was really shocked to see Yamaha so far down the list, in my opinion Yamaha should be up in the top 3.

Just lovely instruments to work with. I like the craft, they are skilled men in Yamaha. Solid shells, top notch chrome fittings, professional painted finishes, easy to tune, versatile with any ply heads. The Stage Custom has nice tones for the working drummer especially now it's all birch. The Hip Gig series were fine drums. a combination of Birch & Mahogany shells. The MK Junior is back on the scene, designed for kids and pros like them too. Recording Custom's are back with a bang boom ra ta ta too boss. Beautiful sounds from these babies. Updated with a 30 degree bearing edge and north american birch with those famous weighted lugs. The finest sounding drums I've ever played and am blessed to own a set. They make slightly beautiful pianos too those boys in Yamaha.

Declan Campion
Drums

I love how the drums sound. They have a pronounced and great tone that comes from the drums, and they tuned really easily.

SJC Custom Drums

I love sjc they sound very cool even when I listen to Josh dun it sounds even better Josh dun you deserve SJC drums

SJC has the best service I've ever experienced with an instrument company. Yes, they may be expensive, but they are so worth it. Their custom designs are absolutely amazing, and it seems like there is nothing they can't do. Their customer support is absolutely perfect. Their network for artists, and personal artist relations managers are amazing. I've been talking to SJC for a while, and they treated me like I was an endorsed artist, before I was even endorsed. The SJC family is just perfect, and I have nothing bad to say about them. If I had to say one word to describe them, I'd say perfect.

To be honest I was not happy when I got the latest email from SJC drums. A custom SJC kit had been my dream. And when I finally got the money for one I got their app and sent them A FEW quotes to get an idea of the price and what I wanted. Later that week I received an email to stop sending quotes unless I am buying a kit which I was going to. They don't know if you will or buy a kit or not. They can't expect me to buy a kit without getting ideas of prices and examples of what I might want. So for THE SAME PRICE AS A SJC CUSTOM KIT I GOT A HIGH QUALITY DW SET!

SJC is the full package: Quality drums, Outstanding customer service, Amazing artist support. I feel like I am truly part of the family and they make it a great experience buying their product. Like no other drum company out there.

The Contenders

Mapex

Amazing drum kits! They've got probably the best Snare Drums out of all the drum brands, in my opinion, and nearly the best toms too. Although their cymbals suck but that's what Sabian is for. MAPEX

Great sounding kits all round, even for a beginner or even a professional! There drums sound really good but again like some others will say, their Cymbals need a bit of work, but hey, that's why there's Zildjian and Sabian Cymbals there! If you can find a good deal on a Mapex kit, go for it! There probably also one of few drum kits that you get a lot of value in for what you pay for

It is a amazing drum brand. I've tried many other drums and to me I think mapex is the best. My current drum set is the Mapex Meridian Maple series. The mapex drums provides great sounds no matter wood you prefer.

I have a Mapex Horizon and this sounds amazing. The heavy strong sound of the skins of all the drum part simply blows people!. I never had a problem with this set ever since 5 years. Tuning and built in facilities are not complicated to manipulate. So thus in my opinion Mapex is an excellent brand and deserves to be ranked in the! !

Premier

"Best underrated drum brand"

Played premier all my life. Never really thought of changing. Was given a Mapex shell pack through the summer, so will give those a go in a gig environment. I have been a drum teacher for 22 years now and am truly amazed when youngsters get an electronic kit for Christmas. The sounds are amazing and when used with an iphone / ipod the world of drumming is truly opened up.

Premier will always be the best sounding drums ever made.

Keith Moon, among many other drummers have used this brand of drum. I had the pleasure to play a Premier set a few weeks back, best set I've ever played.

Rogers

Are you kidding me 92! I've got a buddy rich headliner kit with a wooden dyna sonic snare nothing gets close!

Like the legendary Stradivarius violin, Rogers drums
From the Covington Ohio era in the early to mid sixties
Are simply the finest musical instruments ever crafted.
Only the highest quality materials were used in constructing the heavy shells that produced a rich,
Warm resonance. Superior machining ensured durable
Hardware built with precision unmatched elsewhere.
For those of you searching for the perfect snare drum,
I challenge you to come up with a better instrument than the legendary Dynasonic - No finer drum (including
The Gretch Billy Gladstone, Slingerland Radio King, or
Ludwig Black Beauty) comes close!

I started off on these drums. This is a line that needs to make a big comeback.

My first kit 1980... Wish they still made them!

Crush Drums

I played Pearl exclusively for over 20 years of World touring with a Pop Superstar and if Crush had been around back in the 90's I would have switched immediately! I only discovered Crush a couple of years ago and since then I sold all my Pearl kits and now have three different Chameleon series kits (Two ash and one bop) These drums are really modern with great attack and body. I specifically love the Chameleon Ash series as much for their sound as for their beautiful finishes with the black hardware!

The best sounding drums I've ever heard in my life! Amazing warmth and price point can't be beat by anyone else on the market! I can see Crush easily entering the top 10 in a matter of years! Beautiful sound with an amazing price point!

I have a sublime E3 Maple kit. The finish is beautiful! The sound is equally as impressive. I've played a bunch of local venues and I always have drummers from the crowd coming up to me to compliment me on the sound and appearance of my kit. I have not received one negative piece of feedback. It is truly a professional grade kit and a very reasonable price!

I have two Crush kits. I fell all over in love again with my drums when I changed after I played Pearl Drums for 25 year. Crush drums are A-MA-ZING. The finishes on their drums are stunning, deep and warm tones, and very solid build. I own currently the Sublime Maple and the Limited Reserve Wenge. The price - quality is another win win in my opinion. I do not believe you can find a better, more stunning, high quality kit anywhere else for the price you pay for drums like this.

Jinbao

Not sure why jinbao is even on the list. It's cheap and you get the quality you paid for.

This is also one of my drum set, I think it is good because I make it more better within just change all the toms and snare heads, and update all cymbals...

Very sound has jinbao

Jinbao Indian price

CB Percussion

Good quality, Great Price

Amazing value for money was my first real kit, still have it, great starter kits!

I have a1984 model cb set played it for years always lubed lugs and polished chrome on it,bought pearl maple awesome for gigs, but still have cb setup with aquarian heads as practice set sounds damn good worth every penny.

Great value for a great price.just put some new heads on it and enjoy playing! Can obrtaine the sound with more expencive kits.

Pulse

I believe pulse is underrated. The quality and sound that you get from this drum set is uncomparable considering how cheap they are to buy. Many people think that because they are less expensive means that they are cheaper, not the case. Make sure to give pulse a chance. I've played on a Yamaha Custum Stage and a standard pulse is better sounding and has higher quality

Just a great intermediate drum set

8-Piece Brand New $400 MSRP $1,099.

Slingerland

I played Slingerland in three rock groups from 1967 to 1972. They had great sound and the shells stood up well to hundreds of gigs. The chrome snare was the best.

Has Slingerland been forgotten? This was the kit to have in the 70s. Great sound and durability. Buddy Rich used these. An old reputable company. Top 5 for sure.

I played a Slingerland Super Dual for decades. Best snare ever! Neil Peart continued to use his Slingerland snares even after signing with Tama!

Did not see them on the list. I know they were quality drums and were used in many jazz bands

Fernando

This kit is yet to be the cheapest to be found in the market specially in Asia, but it won't fail you for the sound. Their beginner kits are good sounding even the high end ones. The only down side is the hardware from the lower end kits including the free drum heads. Just replace it and everything is good to go.

Because this is my drums

This drum is cheap and for me one of the best starter set, heads is remo coated... just tune it and put o-ring... and upgrade the stock cymbals...

Great sounds... even for a starting kit with a remo heads...

Dixon

Gives these drums another decade and because of their quality and affordability they will be the top drum provider in the world. Then they will realise how big they are and sell their good products for higher products and everyone will hate them and they'll die.

The wood work on the kit is good, which helps in delivering good quality of sound

The Dixon drum sets are great. I love the sound quality better than any other brands that's why I recommend dixon drum set thank you.

Great sounding set of drums and won't break the bank. Excellent quality.

C&C Custom Drums

I bought a clear acrylic from Mr Cardwell a few years back... The snare exploded after 3 gigs and the build of the kit looked like a 12 year olds first shop project. When I sent the snare back to him for some explanation and not only did he NOT return the hardware I purchased from said drum. He told ME that I must have been abusive to the drum. The man is of low quality just like his kits... Jake on the other hand at least "tried"

Awesome studio sound quality for the price. $ for $ BEST

C and C drums are real nice. They have 6 ply shells and every thing is custom.

Orri from sigur ros uses c&c sounds epic

Sound Percussion

Inexpensive. BUT 5 lugs per head, and thin heads. Decent shells. Made in China like all of the best toys.

Sounds a bit tinny, but overall a good set

I own a SPL drum set, the quality is good and the price is amazing. A very good beginner set.

I love my spl set decent for the $ great starter set

Truth

Have a look at what these guys can do in regards to not only sound but the presentation of the kit itself. Any design you can think of these guys can pull it off.

My cool dream sets punchy and low

Grate looks good wood good sound right way to go for metal bands

Look at the artists who play with Truth Drums as opposed to those who play Yamahas or Sonors. No comparison. Truth should be number 2, directly behind Tama.

Spaun

A GREAT boutique drum company that can do it all. Great fit, finish, and tone.

AMAZING got a custom series set used cheap! Blown away. 8ply maple. If you have the money buy them!

One of the best sounding drums on the planet

I have had the pleasure of playing many brands of kits. They go in this order, from my youth to current and their current state of gig time.. 1) 1968 Ludwig psychedelic red 4 pce. In protective storage! 2) Gretch. Sold. 3) Ludwig "mutt" kit. Traded for an assload of Remo Rototoms. 4) Pearl World series 9 pce, red. So AWESOME! Will NEVER EVER lose them. Many miles on them, now in "protective" storage with the Psych Reds. 5) Spaun Custom birch 5 pce.
My Spauns are so dynamic. Low end color with a subtle and variable high "thack". My kick was thunderous out of the box, actually the whole kit was unbelievable out of the boxes.

Roland

Top of the line, highest quality electronic drums in the market.

My church has a electro drum set witch I love to use so Roland is what I would get for a electro drums

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