Top Ten Best Drum Sets

The Top Ten
1 Tama

I have the original Tama Starclassic Bubingas (my studio kit) and also have a DW Performance Series for live gigging. These two kits are absolutely the best sounding kits I have ever played, and I have played them all. And yes I also use Paiste 2002's. Use a Tama Starclassic Maple G snare or a Ludwig Black Beauty and you have reached tone heaven.

TAMA Starclassic birch/bubinga, I've played many kits in my 35 years of drumming. These kits project with such clarity and tone, as well as look fantastic, cannot be beaten in my opinion. I love my Starclassic Performer B/B!
Every sound engineer comments on the quality, especially the kick, 'that's the biggest kick I've ever heard".

2 Pearl

No matter what Pearl kit you pick, the quality is amazing. The Export has the hardware which never needs replacing. The hardware is durable, reliable and has a stunning finish. The shells also are brilliant and the innovation for the price makes Pearl the best kits you can buy personally. (Leave the Pearl Roadshow), otherwise Export (which is amazing), Vision all the way up to Masters has fabulous finishes, hardware, quality, shells and sound amazing. What more can you ask for? A quality kit for a budgeted price.

3 Craviotto

After 5 years saving I ordered my 5 p Crav set..
Took about 28 weeks of waiting but it was so worth it!
8700.00 and that is the most by far I ever paid for
A set of shells but they sound so very fine. The detail in craftsmanship was unreal. In a top Nashville studio I was told that they love the sound of my set. Just wish I could have a 2nd set to keep at home to play with when I playing near where I live.

I've owned great sounding drums from DW, Yamaha, Pearl, Ludwig... I also have owned a vintage 67 ludwig kit in great shape. However, my Craviottos are BY FAR the best quality in craftsmanship and sound that I've every played. Beautiful and yet so incredibly pure sounding. No doubt they are expensive, but totally worth every penny.

4 Sonor

Easily the highest quality out there. Sound is subjective and changes from person to person but I've never heard a high-end sonor that didn't blow me away. Expensive but without a doubt worth it for those who want something that sets itself above the conpitition. Vertical grain shells and the highest quality finishes out there, Sonor SQ2 for the win

Sonor is a super good drum company! Sonor has nice thick wood to provide great sound! The kick drum can give a nice, warm sound for jazz, or a hard punchy sound for rock and roll. Sonor drums are handcrafted in Germany and they are made with no mistake!

5 Noble & Cooley

I'm not familiar this drum brand until tre cool used this. They started since 1854. I know dw, tama, yamaha, gretch, sonor. They made great drum sounds but nothing beats the original.

Love my N&C kit! Fantastic in R&B, blues, pop, jazz and rock.

6 Ludwig

The sound, tone, and playing feel of Ludwig drums cannot be beat. Both their sets and snare drums are probably the most recorded in history. The craftsmanship and quality control level is at a new high, and the drums offer a lot of value at each price point. You can get Ludwig's high-end drums for a relatively affordable price compared to other manufacturers and get drums that are commensurate in quality to the more expensive sets and better in sound. With the Atlas hardware, Ludwig now has cutting-edge designs that others (I.e. Tama) are begging to copy. So, why not get the real thing?

7 Yamaha

Yes I play the Rock Tour too. Sound, quality ans practibility of the hardware - you need to be able to replace those lugs and such on the road - etc, shell construction... some stave sets I came across sounds better but overall when you take every aspect into account... best drumset I know of. Cost 700 bucks with matching snare, used, but like new, mint condition. I have the matte finish which I scratched at the gig and I swear you cannot see the wood! It's not a wrap and when it gets scratched, you don't see the damn wood! I does not get any more roadworthy than this, not to mention how light the shells are. Best touring drumset that was on the market, in my opinion.

8 Premier

I started on Ludwig's. In my opinion, pre-80s Ludwig kits stand up very well to anything built today. In September 1978, I remember selecting a pristine chrome dual Flobeam marching snare. I have been a Premier drummer ever since. I traded in my 6-piece Ludwigs for a 9-piece birch Premier Elite kit.

I traveled the world with it for 23 years until a guitarist stole it. I would still have it today if not for that. I agree with other posters: Signias stand alone for tone quality and craftsmanship. After over 14 years of collecting individual drums, I am the proud owner of an 8-piece Black Shadow Resonator kit.

I know that when I sit behind my kit, I play the finest drums, handmade by the most skilled craftsmen in the percussion industry. My 24-inch twin-shelled Black Shadow bass drum thunders and responds with every beat issued by my Gibraltar Predator double kick pedal.

FYI for non-Premier drummers: "In the Air Tonight" was recorded on a set of Phil Collins' Resonators. Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden doesn't just endorse and play Premier. He's part-owner of Premier Percussion! Just because a company mass-produces an instrument and outsells everyone else doesn't necessarily make it the best item.

I am complimented by everyday fans and musicians about my kit wherever I play. I am admittedly a self-described drum snob. I choose Premier, having played every major drum manufacturer's products over the last 50 years (yes, I am that old)! That doesn't mean Bubinga, DW, Pearl, Gretsch, and others don't make fine drums. I choose Premier out of personal experience and preference.

Loyalty to a brand of choice is admirable. But if Premier isn't in the top 10 discussion, that's just pure ignorance. Premier Percussion... since 1922! Pictures of Lilly.

9 Gretsch

I am a drum teacher and I tune drums Professionally. I have tuned practically every major brand of drums out there from entry level to top of the line with various heads and have owned something from almost every major brand and to put it mildly, Gretsch is without a doubt the best sounding drums you will ever play. I now own 2 Gretsch sets both of which are in the intermediate price range and I'm still waiting to tune any set from any other maker that sounds any better, and that includes any other makers high end sets.

10 Mapex

With this, I have to admit that I was just surprised. I'm not a fan of anything made in China, but when I heard the Mapex Saturn from my drum teacher, I said, "holy moly, this is a rock sound!" It sounds exactly like 90's rock, such as Pearl Jam, Collective Soul, or even Green Day (I know they use different brands, but the Mapex sound reminds me of that). Even though Orion used to be the top-of-the-line, I chose to buy a Saturn because the sound was just incredible. The construction is good as well, especially for a China-made drum. I love my Saturn; it's a great drum at an affordable price.

The Contenders
11 Dw

DW offers much, much more than other drum manufacturers. Their kits can be completely customized to your liking. Their quality control is absolutely outstanding as well. I've never seen a bad shell from DW. I definitely can't say that about any other manufacturer, except maybe Sonor, but DW has them beat on customization (definitely a preference between the two brands). The only drum kits that compare to these two brands would be some of the vintage Ludwig, Gretsch, Rogers, and Slingerland Kits. DW has these companies beat on overall quality and hardware however. No other company offers so many different shells (and NONE of DW's shells sound bad or even average, it's just a preference thing). PDP by DW also makes some GREAT drums at perfectly reasonable prices too.

12 Ddrum
13 Pacific

I've just bought pacific drum, it sounds awesome, the toms hit perfectly it is like DW little brother when you cannot afford DW drums you ought to buy this drum, the sound just like DW

14 PDP

I have a Pdp concept maple 7 piece and it sings sooo beautifully.. Punchy, nice amount of warm resonance, full tone, Amazing sounds! I still get impressed even after quite some time behind the kit.
Easy to tune, and has huge range of notes.. I use evans for my batter and resonate, didn't even try stock heads. The finish is truly beautiful and shines like a fancy sparkle that will leave your impression in awe.
The hardware is solid and legit, not like tama rock stars look, at least in My opinion. 2.5Mm hoops for that extra sensitivity, makes for a really nice rim shot. I truly could go on and on, but my suggestion is for you to get behind a properly tuned kit, and you'll understand exactly my reason to go on and on about it.
I'm in no way putting down any other kits.. I enjoy the pearl vision birch/poplar series, the mapex SaturnII, some nice tamas (don't care for rock star hardware, but sound was ok).. I don't know, guess my point is I've played on a fair share of drums.. That being said, as for me, personally, I wouldn't trade these drums for any other. If you're looking around for drums, do yourself a favor and check out the pdp cm7 kit, I promise, you'll fall in love with music all over again!
Thank you DW for coming out with pdp!

15 Pork Pie

Excellent craftsmanship. Sound amazing.

16 CB Drums

With good drumheads, top seven vote!

17 Crush
18 RJ

Because I feel fine.. So keep calm and shut up..

19 Rogers

There is still nothing that sounds as tough as a set of Power Tones. And the Dynasonic Snare still acetate of the art instrument. With all the technology post Rogers USA production, there's still no touching these timeless classics.The Swivomatic hardware still beats anything made and after 44 years my Swivomatic bass pedal is still faster and easier to play than anything made. Show me another foot pedal that'll even last 40 plus years let alone play like these do.,I've yet to hear another snare that can quite compete with my Dynasonic and the brutal tone from the splatter coated Power Tone shells speaks nothing less than legendary perfection.

20 Dixon

Dixon is one of the most underrated drum brand. Doesn't spend much on it's marketing, but delivers quality that's equal or better than tama

21 Peavey

The Peavey International 2 drum set is a great sounding drum set. They're not made anymore, but if you find a good deal on a used one, snag it!

Suprisingly, these are very decent sounding drums, very good for the money

22 Adams
23 GMS Drum
24 SJC Custom Drums
25 Hayman
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