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".

Tama Starclasic Bubinga (Japanese made) absolute best kit for the price. DW Performance Series now comes real close. Pair them with Paiste 2002's or Giant Beats and you're in Rock and Roll heaven. Harware also best for the money. DW Collector's Series way too expensive, but also killer sound.

I own a Gretsch USA custom kit, mid 50's round badge Gretsch kit and a
Pearl sessions custom kit, All the drums mentioned are great drums.
I do know for a fact that the Gretsch company are interested in their customers.

2 Pearl

My first drum kit was a Pearl Export Select. I was very fond of it and, now owning more professional kits, I can now see how good the quality was.

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.

This Brand Rocks in any series from low end to high end level you can get a great drum from Pearl, even that is Taiwan made there is not quality issues is a very reliable products and the sound is incredible from Exports to Refferences or Masterseries you can not mistake with this drums

Pearl means good quality for the price, no complains with hardware these are very resistant and solid. For drums it depends of anyone taste but for me are really good specially in grindcore, punk and heavy metal style also very versatil sound. The snares are outstanding! Pearl Rules!

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.

UnREal Sound from steam rolled one piece shells - Listen on YouTube Craviotto drum set Maple at Memphis Drum Shop - these drums are second to none.

Toms have a resonance and sustain unlike any other. And the snare drums have been famous for years for their great sound and playability.

4 Sonor

Is true they are expensives is true they are heavy but it not lest true they are fantastic, good sound amasing finishes, maybe low end series are not so good as other low end series brands in my opinion

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!

I have played pretty much most of the brands and nothing compares to the Sonor Delite thin maple. Best sounding kit overall, Quality second to none.

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?

Is true that Ludwig can have some issues from quality control it happen to me in my Vistalite lugs who came loss I had to re turn the screws, and my supersensitive snare guard was blend from factory but, the sound of my Classic Maple is just incredible is like having Bonham playing my drum its sound is so 70's is just pure Rock sound one of my favourite set after my Tama SCM

I've played on Ludwig. Then I've gone and tried Yamaha and Pearl. After that, I knew I'd do everything possible to always play on Ludwig. There was such a big difference... Yamaha sounded dull, and Pearl sounded normal. Ludwig had a sharp, clear sound that I'm SURE will never be found in anything else.

Have a vintage 1970's 4 piece, marine marble Kit. They still sound amazing. Parents paid $760 over 40 years ago. Maple shells. Made in Chicago at that time, and all ordered. Still can't beat that old Ludwig sound. Hardware over the years has definitely improved. Drums have not...

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.

Best kit for your money period. I was in a band where I lit my drums on fire and kicked them over at the end of every show - for YEARS! Started shopping for a new kit and I gotta tell ya that my 12 year old Yamaha Stage Customs still blow away everything I've tried so far. My old Yami's still sing and the sustain is re-dics! The bearing edges and the shells themselves are made to perfection. I looked and played some Sonors (With all the hype about being the best quality)and it was close, but my totally trashed Yamaha's had better bearing edges than some brand new Sonors I looked at. The bearing edges on my old Yami's are comparable to acrylic as far as the precision. I am convinced that no one makes a better shell until I see and hear it.

I play Yamaha rock tours and they sound great... Much better than my pearl kit and a little better than my DW kit... Much cheaper than both... Bought my Yamaha as a road kit... Now I use only it studio and road!

Vintage Yamaha Turbo Tour Custom 22"x18" 12"x12" 13"x13" 16"x14", 10'x9" Yamaha Recording Custom Tom, 14"x6,5 Vintage Recording Custom Steel Snare and 12"x5,5" Yamaha Stage Custom Snare drum. All drum perfect sound and Hardware fantastic. Yamaha FOREVER!

8 Premier

I started on Ludwig's. in my opinion pre 80s Ludwig kits stand up very well to anything built today. September 1978, I remember selecting a pristine chrome dual flobeam marching snare... I have been a Premier drummer ever since. 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. 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 when I sit behind my kit I play the finest drums handmade by the most skilled Craftsmen in the percussion industry. My 24" 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 Collin's Resonators. Nikko McBrain of Iron Maiden doesn't ...more

If you get a UK made one high end series you are not going to reggret this is a well constructed and good sounding drum, in the chinesse models my opinion is complete different

Premier Signia's will wipe the floor with the TAMA, DW and Pearl Kits Mentioned here. Literally no comparison. They are no longer made so the only way to get one is to buy a used one. People walk, not run when these things go up for sale 5-ply maple with undersized shells so they hit the sweet part of the drum head every time. This is the kit that made all the other up their game in the late 90's.

Premier has gone up and down over the years, but at the time of their Signia range they were at the top of their game, and the Signia kits are one of the best kits ever made, and still outclass many of the best available today. Of all my kits, my Signia is in the top 2 of my favourites

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.

The sound is great a little to much over tones but you can control that with the rigth heads the finishes are awesomes and the construction as well. A bit high prices

Everything which is made of German technology & science is so quality & reliable. In the drummers' world these instruments existed long before the Japanese instruments came. Ludwig, Gretsch & Sonor share the same professional sweet vintage sound. I love its sound, the power, the attack. I salute these quality products. the Japanese drums are also good. Its because of their constant research & study but personally, I prefer the German names in the drum category...

I've been playing drums for 48 years now, I've played just about every set known and in my opinion he's right, German Name drums are usually the best. The older the company the better or at least should be. I have many favorites in different catagories however Gretsch has been mine for many years. Ever since my 1st Broadkaster kit " 62 Gold Sparkle ". The bass back then was 22"x16"...I prefer a Ludwig snare ( usually either a 10 lug Supraphonic or 10 lug Acrolite depending on situation. reason being Die Cast Hoops on snare are good but a tad too heavy for good clean rim shots..Slingerland toms are nice but never liked the rounded rims on the snare.
DW are very nice and would probably be my second choice due to price. Japan makes good drums, They did they're homework and have upped the game in a lot of markets ( guitars & drums ) and many other markets ( cars etc ) My favorite here are Yamaha recording however for the money...Tama superstars are as close to Gretsch as you can ...more

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.

These drums are some of the best drums money can buy. Yes there made in China, but the quality is excellent. Their finishes are excellent and beautiful as well. Sound' with a walnut maple shell is unbelievable for the price and they cut wonderful with a deep rich tone' that's unique to Mapex. If you want to not spend 4000 on a kit and get a kit that can stand up against DW Ludwig, yourself tons of money' and get these drums, your wallet will greatly thank you.

Great finishes with an awesome eye for detail. Mapex is definitely the best bang for your buck. I have personally owned the V series, Pro M, Saturn and Mars Pro series kits and they all played well, tuned easily and stayed in tune. The one thing that was the same with all of the Mapex kits I've owned is the awesome bearing edges...clean, smooth and true!

Owned a gorgeous Mapex Orion Birdseye Kit from 1997 to 2003 - great set with great quality. Since 2014 I am owning a Saturn IV Exotic Kit which just blew my ears the first time I heard it. For the price you can't get any better I think. Superb sound, awesome look, top quality hardware and really cool features. Can not recommend it enough!

The Contenders
11 Dw

This is just epitome of drums you can just take it out of the factory and not tuning and you can bid that the sound will be perfect! The construction is just incredible not quality issues in any DW product I own from my very old 5002 twin pedal to my collectors series kit, the only issue is the high prices but it worth every penny

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.

I've owned (from beginning to my latest) Drumcraft ( Beginner ), Pearl Export, Yamaha Recording Customs ( birch ), Pearl MLX ( Maple ), Ludwig Maple Shells and my current and favorite is DW Collectors series Maple Shells. My DW Collectors sound great and are easy to tune up. As a hard hitting drummer I also find there snare drums stay in tune far better than other brands I've had. The tuning rods on DW drums are 10/32 threads rather than the 10/24 on most other drums, this may be one of the reasons they seem to stay in tune longer.

Come on let's stop with all the dw craze. Brady, craviatto, Qdrums and even unix drums blows dw out of the water! I'm not dissing dw or anything. They were my favorite drums too, until I realized the truth. Now everyone knows that solid steam bent and stave shells sound better than, ply drum. I mean even Brady are ply kits and yet they pack a punch that destroys dw. I'm just speaking my opinion, so don't hate me.

12 Ddrum

The d is for dangerous.

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

Dw quality without the price.

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.. ...more

PdP X -7 FAST Tom toms sing.
Bass drum 18" DEEP comes with damping pillow. Easy to tune.
The key to all drums is your drum heads.
love the quality of the finishes. will love the isolation TomTom mounts.
DW drum technology. love their hardware.

These have the best sound!

Love pdp drums because I have a pdp drumset at our church. It is black

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.

I bought a set of 9/72 Rogers in 1976. I know now that they were made in 1973. Blue Onyx finish. Still using them 42 years later with a Ludwig Black Beauty and Paiste 2002s all around. Nothing better.

I own two Rogers Dynasonic, (not a drum kit) but let me tell you talking about snares they are just amazing top of the top even the age they sound amazing

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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