27 Best Drum Sets 2024

Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

With thousands of drum sets available, it can be extremely challenging to pick out just one. Luckily, it’s a bit easier to narrow your choices down once you separate kits into brands and price segments.

Here’s the ultimate list of all the best drum sets available on the market. You’ll find a wide array of sizes, shapes, and materials in every option, and there’s a kit on this list for every specific need.

Tama Starclassic Maple – Best Overall

Tama Starclassic Maple

The Tama Starclassic Maple (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most loved drum sets in the music industry. It’s a seriously popular set amongst gigging drummers, and it was popularized as one of the best kits for rock music at a stage.

It’s a brilliant kit for every musical style, though. The maple shells offer powerful tones that are both warm and responsive, and the die-cast hoops add a bit of bite to each drum. They also add a bit of resonance.

Apart from the beautiful looks, it’s the hardware that holds this kit together that makes it so appealing.

The quick-lock tom brackets work very well, and they make it easy to set the kit up in the most comfortable way possible. The toms also stay surprisingly secure when they’re set up.

The floor tom has incredible resonance, and part of that is due to the Air Pocket Rubber feet that stop the legs from touching the ground.

These Starclassic kits have some of the best finishes available in the drumming world. Any drummer could sit and stare at most of them for ages due to how beautiful they look.

Overall, the Tama Starclassic Maple is one of the best drum kits on the market. It’s a high-end option, but it’s not as expensive as all the flagship kits from every drum brand.

Shell material: Maple

Included hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

DW Collector’s Series Exotic – Premium Option

DW Collector’s Series Exotic

The DW Collector’s Series Exotic is an absolute dream drum kit. It’s one of DW’s finest pieces of work, and it’s essentially one of those kits that you’ll buy for life. It blends premium looks with beautiful tones, giving you the ultimate drum set package.

The standout feature of this kit is DW’s SSC shell optimization. Every shell on the kit is created differently to suit its dimensions. This sets it apart from most other sets where the shells are made in the same way.

Each shell offers the most musical tones possible, and that’s what makes the set sound so good.

To get the pristine appearance that you see here, DW has used rich-grained African chenchen veneer and a natural lacquer finish. They’ve then given the kit polished nickel hardware. The combination gives the most stunning visuals, making it a drum set that you want to display for everyone to see.

If you’ve been wondering what kind of drum kits go for the top dollar, here’s your answer. Naturally, this is a kit that is way out of most people’s price ranges.

Shell material: North American Hard Rock Maple

Included hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” and 12” rack toms, 14” and 16” floor toms, 22” kick drum

Pearl Roadshow – Best Budget Option

Pearl Roadshow

The Pearl Roadshow (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) has been one of the top beginner drum kits for several years. While it’s not a very high-quality kit, it offers a full drum kit setup with everything you need, and it comes with a seriously compelling price tag.

This is the ultimate package deal for any beginner drummer who needs to get their first drum set. The hardware is the standout part for me, as these stands are heavy-duty enough to comfortably use when you eventually upgrade to a higher-quality shell pack.

The drums sound somewhat boxy, but you can get them to sound decent with good tuning and a bit of muffling. For beginners, the tones are perfect, though.

The cymbals are the weak point of the set. They’re quite flimsy, and they won’t last very long with drummers that hit them hard. You’ll be using them as target practice at first, and then you’ll need to upgrade them to cymbals that are better and more durable.

Shell material: Poplar

Included hardware: Hi-hat stand, cymbal stand, drum throne, kick drum pedal

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

DW Design Series Frequent Flyer – Best Compact Option

DW Design Series Frequent Flyer

The DW Design Series Frequent Flyer (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the highest-quality compact drum kits on the market. It forms part of DW’s Design Series line, but it has smaller shell sizes to suit drummers who need something to fit in tight spaces.

The beauty of this kit is that it maintains the high-quality standard that the DW Design kits are known to have, whereas other compact kits tend to dip in quality as the shells get smaller.

You get DW’s popular HLVT/HVX maple shells, and they make the drums sound warm and resonant. They also allow you to tune the kit to sound quite large, even though it’s a lot smaller than a standard set.

The snare drum is one of the best parts of the kit, which is a pleasant surprise. The snare drums that come with compact kits are typically quite poor in quality.

The bass drum is also full of life. It’s still 20″ like larger kits have, but its depth is a bit shallower to make it compact.

The downside of this set is the price. While it’s the best compact kit available, it’s also one of the most expensive. Drummers typically want to get smaller kits as secondary options to use, and that means they’re not willing to spend as much as they would on a standard kit.

If that sounds like you, you’ll need to check the other options that I’ve mentioned below on this list.

Shell material: Maple

Included hardware: None

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 12” rack tom, 14” floor tom, 20” kick drum

Best Beginner Drum Sets

Ludwig Accent

Ludwig Accent

The Ludwig Accent (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is Ludwig’s entry-level drum kit option. It’s designed to offer everything you need when getting started, and it’s a solid pick for drummers that want to get their foot into the door with the Ludwig brand.

The shells are made from select hardwood, and they have deeper tones than you may expect. High-end Ludwig drums are very well-known for deep and musical tones, so I love how the brand offers those in their most affordable full set.

The stands that come with the kit are relatively sturdy and secure, and I love how smooth the pedals feel.

The standout part is the cymbals, though. Cymbals in this price range are never great, but some are slightly better than others. That’s exactly the case with these Wuhan 457 Heavy Metal cymbals. They sound a lot better than the cymbals you get with Pearl’s Roadshow, which is the main kit that this one competes with.

The drawback of this kit is that the toms can be very hard to tune at times. They also tend to go out of tune a bit quicker than other kits in this segment. That won’t affect you too much if you apply a lot of muffling, though.

Shell material: Select hardwood

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal, drum throne

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

PDP Center Stage

PDP Center Stage

The PDP Center Stage (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another decent drum kit for beginners to get as their first set. It has poplar shells that give all the toms a touch of boominess, and that makes them sound great when you tune them low.

Some drummers have mentioned the tuning process to be a bit easier with this kit compared to the others in the same segment, and it has a lot to do with the True-Pitch tension rods. These rods are used on almost every DW and PDP drum set, and they’re incredibly reliable.

This kit also has strong triple-flanged hoops on each shell, further adding to the tuning stability, but they also give a bit of bite to each drum.

As with all the other entry-level kits here, you get some solid hardware parts. The PDP single pedal is perhaps the best entry-level pedal out of all the beginner kits I’ve suggested.

The thing I don’t like about this kit is that the arms for the toms dig very deeply into the bass drum shell. They’re quite long, so you can clearly see them when looking at the clear batter head.

Shell material: Poplar

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal, drum throne

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

Mapex Venus

Mapex Venus

The Mapex Venus (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most impressive beginner drum sets that I’ve seen introduced to the market over the last few years. The Mapex brand is known for offering fantastic value-for-money sets, and that’s exactly what you get with their beginner option.

This kit has poplar shells that fill the drums with low-end punchiness, but it’s the SONIClear bearing edges that smoothen out their tones and make them a lot more stable than most other beginner drum shells.

The included cymbals are very interesting. They’re your standard low-quality brass cuts, but these cymbals have been hammered to make them sound a bit more musical. They have far more usability than the cheap brass cymbals that come on most other beginner kits in this price range.

However, they still won’t last very long for drummers who like to hit hard.

The final thing to mention about this kit is the studio shell sizes. I love when beginner kits offer 14” floor toms and 20” bass drums. You get that here, and it’s a great change of pace from the standard drum kit sizing.

Shell material: Poplar

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal, drum throne

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 14” floor tom, 20” kick drum

Tama Stagestar

Tama Stagestar

The Tama Stagestar is one of Tama’s latest additions to their product lineup. The higher-priced Imperialstar was their previous entry-level option, but this Stagestar kit has now opened up the floor to a whole demographic of beginner drummers.

Like most kits in this segment, this set has thick poplar shells that give it boosted low-end tones. They aren’t the easiest to tune, but you’ll find it becomes a lot easier when you add plenty of muffling.

The real strength of this particular set is the included hardware. Tama is one of those brands that offer top-quality hardware, and even their entry-level stands are heavy-duty and durable.

The most impressive part is the drum throne, though. You’ll see that you get a fairly flimsy drum throne with the other beginner kit options I’ve suggested. The drum throne here is a much better one with a spiral mechanism.

Shell material: Poplar

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal, drum throne

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

Pearl Export

Pearl Export

The Pearl Export (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most recognizable kits on this list, and it was stated to be the highest-selling drum kit in the world at a stage. These Pearl Export kits are one of the biggest reasons for Pearl being such a popular drum brand.

While this kit isn’t as popular as it was in the early 2000s, it’s still one of the best beginner kits out there. In fact, this is one of the only beginner kits that I’ll suggest to people to use for live gigs and studio recordings.

It has the ability to create fantastic tones when you tune it well, and the poplar and mahogany combination leads to some massive tom sounds.

This kit comes with hardware stands, but it doesn’t come with cheap cymbals. It’s the perfect package for drummers that want to spend a bit more on higher-quality cymbals to go along with it.

Shell material: Poplar/mahogany

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

Tama Imperialstar

Tama Imperialstar

The Tama Imperialstar (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) has been an iconic beginner option for several years. However, I’d put this kit a bit higher on the quality spectrum compared to most of the others in this segment.

It comes included with Meinl HCS cymbals. While these are still low-quality brass cymbals, they’re far superior to the thinner brass cymbals offered from the previous kits.

I’ve found that this Imperialstar kit can sound incredible when you tune it well. You just need to get some new drumheads from Evans or Remo, and it has the potential to sound highly musical.

The other amazing aspect about it is that you get highly unique finish options. Most beginner kits have single-color finishes to pick from, but Tama offers very creative ones here.

This is a brilliant set to get for someone who is just starting out but wants to take drumming very seriously.

Shell material: Poplar

Included hardware: Snare stand, hi-hat stand, crash cymbal stand, kick pedal, drum throne

Drum sizes: 14” snare, 10” and 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick drum

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *