Top Ten Best Drum Brands

The Top Ten

1 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

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.

I have a masters in lime sparkle fade. Always gets compliments from other drummers and sound engineers on its sound and looks. The hardware is pretty good as well. I use a demon drive pedal which is solid and fast.

238 Comments
2 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.

130 Comments
3 Ludwig

I agree that Ludwig has it all over Pearl. I would say DW and Ludwig should be sharing the tops spots with Sonor close behind. I suppose if this is a popularity contest then a lot of people who buy Pearl or Tama vote their brand. But that would be like voting McDonalds as the world's best food because a lot of people eat there. Popular does not mean good.

The element evolution is the best drum set if your not looking to spend too much, and the element evolution has a legendary sound

Ludwig is making the best sounding drums in the world right now. Their build quality is back on top again and they offer better value than any of the other big premium drum companies. In terms of innovation, they have pioneered almost all of the most important concepts in drum making, you know, the ones that have any true sound advantages (not just marketing hype) and that have genuine staying power which withstands the test of time - and that *all the other companies copy. Their drums have a very unique, complex warm, fat yet airy percussive punchiness oozing with tone and harmonic complexity that are very much exclusive to them which other drums lack.

Most all of the greatest drummers all have used Ludwig. Many big names endorse other brands like DW and Tama, etc. for the huge endorsement money those companies love to dish out, but when it really counts, still use Ludwig in the studio.

Ludwigs sound and feel better than anything else. Most of the other big brands sound like generic plastic by comparison. If you don't believe me, do this: Put the same heads tuned to the same frequency and compare back and forth playing the whole kit with the snare, toms and cymbals. Ludwig will win every time. And you'll notice they have an incredible feel about them too. They are wonderful.

91 Comments
4 Tama

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.

Simply the best! Best combination of quality, innovation and price on the market in my opinion.

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

I own every hi ended drum of each brand, and I can tell you that in construction, finish and sound Tama are in the top of the list, they are amazing

185 Comments
5 Sonor Drums

Just the best in my opinion

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.

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

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.

45 Comments
6 Gretsch

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.

Amazing snares, vintage tones. Taylor Hawkins choice for drums!

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.

Recording studios all around, know nothings beats that great Gretsch sound.

55 Comments
7 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 - SoloPotato

Pdp is by far my favourite drum kit to play and that's speaking from experience with pearl,sonor,ludwig,tama,natal and Yamaha. Their kits are great for the value with awesome build quality and am awesome sound I have the concept maple 7pc and the concept hardware which is also exceptional

33 Comments
8 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

Hot

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!

4 Comments
9 Yamaha

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

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.

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.

70 Comments
10 SJC Custom Drums

Nice finishes and tone.

Josh dun is the best

josh dun

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.

21 Comments

The Contenders

11 Mapex

Top notch quality. Superior technology.

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 - LethalTortoise

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.

93 Comments
12 Premier

My favorite

You should always be in the top tens!

Premier artist series is both affordable and qiven the quality of finish and sound its not surprising many a pro use the artist series for studio work

"Best underrated drum brand"

24 Comments
13 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!

4 Comments
14 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.

20 Comments
15 Jinbao

Very sound has 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...

Jinbao Indian price

4 Comments
16 CB Percussion

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

Good quality, Great Price

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.

17 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.

18 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...

1 Comment
19 Slingerland

Iconic kits and snares. Very vintage sound and feel.

I have own slingerland drums for 50 years still sound great!

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

I shouldn't have refurbished my set... bad move

7 Comments
20 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.

6 Comments
21 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

22 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

23 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.

Jared dines

My cool dream sets punchy and low

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

2 Comments
24 Spaun

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.

Got a nice set been sitting in storage for about 10yrs,costume made,two22by24 kicks,14by8 snear,12by11,14by13 toms,16by16floor,Brocken glass glitter finish,visually,sonically stunning

25 Chancellor

NYC drums! I love it.

I love its snare drum..(Y)

It s a good drums kit...

26 Wuhan

They are great my dads uses them all his life

27 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

28 Taye

Makes some really great products, especially their snares. Personally, one of the best sounding snares I've heard.

The studio maple is the best sounding kit for the money and the hardware allows me to set up as never before with ultimate comfort and playability. the sliding double tom mount allows you to get your toms in a position so perfect that all my other 3 kits are hardly played anymore. so for quality, sound, ease of set up, and playability... NOTHING beats these drums, not even my SONOR, LUDWIG OR MAPEX KITS!

They actually build many of the kits higher on the list!

I have a kit of the taye originals with the maple hoops, and they are a spectacular set designed by Ray Ayotte. I realize these are the big dollar kit, but the comments I get are always from people wanting to know more about them. The lacquer black sunburst finish is insane and the black chrome hardware is absurd. I've owned, dw, ludwig, pearl, premier, rogers kits over the years, and only the dw kit has spawned responses equal to these...

4 Comments
29 Gabriel

The best drums from Greece

Drums ONLY HANDMADES from Greece

High quality drums witha a huge variety of wood to choose from.And an extremely intresting tone and full sound whick makes Gabriel irresistable and appropiate for any genre of music!

30 Stagg

I think stagg is just as good as pearl and sounds as good I have them for a while and I don't plan on getting a new set.

Great price and durability

Good

31 Maxtone

Is this good

This drums hadware is really great!... its really similar to tama.. as I have played in tama and maxtone and the hardware is really great!

Best drum in low prices

25 years set,everyday play with amazing sound,without problems...

32 First Act

Its all beast

33 Brady Drums

What is Brady doing at 55? I guess this is just a popularity contest not a quality contest... Brady drums are the bomb. Made in Western Australia from real trees!

These are the best in the world bar none. Solid one piece shells made from Aussie wood. If the secret gets out the owner whose name is Brady will need a bigger shed. The real deal.

Great sounding high end drums hand made in Western Australia. Definitely worth the money.

Not high on this list because most people haven't heard them and they (like Dunnett) don't have the advertising dollars like the majors to make the masses seek them out. But one only has to listen once, to be converted. Drums made by a genius.
After all it is a well known fact that many famous drummers who are endorsed by the majors all have a Brady snare hidden in the closet.

1 Comment
34 Drum Sound

Looking for a different sound, this is the best option, if you really want to be different to all, look no further, DS Drums is the best drum.

35 Natal Drums

Excellent sound, I’ll put it against anything. However customer service is GARBAGE, that’s the only issue.

Watch this Name, detailed drum kit awesome pro quality and sound.

Fast rising UK brand, great reviews, solid, detailed build, watch out DW!

36 Millenium
37 Kumu
38 PowerBeat

Lovely sound... VOTE! Search to prove

39 Supra
40 Le Soprano
41 TJS Custom

Custom made to order in AZ by hand.
At least 25 drummers from Arizona use them regularly.
DW quality...but less expensive

42 Alesis
43 Leedy Drum

Oh it gives a good sound

44 Percussion Plus

Good drums

I've had mine for years. I love it

GREAT QUALITY AND GOOD PRICING

I had a percussion plus drumset for a long time they were great sounding drums of course my new pearl drumset sounds better but I got a close sound out of my percussion plus set so yeah if you want a percussion plus drumset I would recommend them if you don't want a name brand set

45 Sleishman

In my opinion best drumkits in the world

Great natural resonating sound that in mixed out sounds the rest. L know because I tried.

Awesome Free Floating Drums full of tone!

46 Ahead

Hello reader

47 Tamburo

K got the Tamburo T5 set. It is a wunderfull kit!

48 Odery Drums

Bought one recently... very pleased with their performance. Good sound... Nice bright, punchy tones, that can be adjusted down to warmer, softer and deeper resonances. Can definitely hold it's own against other bigger brands. A good kit for an affordable price.

One of the best, much similar to Pearl, or DW.

Teak custom drums sound amazing.

Great drums warm and punchy!

1 Comment
49 Gammon

This is a total joke. You've gotta be kidding! This stuff is crap, and it breaks after one hit. I know you might be cheap, but for this price its not even worth it. Keep saving man, if you're a beginner go with Percussion Plus.

Gammon drums produce a really nice easy sound, and the snare is really unique! The cymbals get easily dented, but the crash really sounds great.

I own a gammon there not that bad

Gammon has good quality and its cheep,600

2 Comments
50 Exl Drums
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List StatsCreated 21 Mar 2008

6,000 votes
148 listings
11 years, 269 days old

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