How Much Does A Drum Set Cost?
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If you want to buy a new drum set, you may be wondering how much a good one will cost. The prices vary drastically, so the easiest way of understanding prices is to break kits down into categories.
Kids’ drum sets typically cost between $100 and $600. Full-sized beginner kits normally cost between $300 and $800. Intermediate drum sets cost anywhere between $600 and $1500. Professional drum kits for performing and recording cost from $1500 to as much as $10 000. Electronic kits have similar pricing structures, except that intermediate e-kits cost between $1000 and $2000.
There are specific factors that determine those prices, and we’re going to dive into all of those in this article.
Beginner Drum Sets
Kids’ Drum Sets
Kids’ drum sets come in various shapes and sizes, and there are distinctive differences between toy drum sets and real drum sets for children.
If you’re looking to buy a toy drum set, you won’t need to spend more than $100. There are dozens of fun and exciting toy kits for small toddlers. They’re all made of plastic, they’re vibrantly colored, and they’re good entry-point options to see if a child is excited about drumming.
If you want to get a proper drum set for a child to grow into, you’ll need to spend a bit more. I’d suggest getting a dedicated kids’ drum set from an established drumming brand. Those cost anywhere from $100 to $600.
They last a lot longer than toy drum sets, and they mimic everything you’d find on a real drum set. They’re just a lot smaller and lighter.
The more affordable kids’ drum sets are built with cheaper materials, while the most expensive ones are compact kits that can be played by adults as well.
Most kids’ sets come with hardware and cymbals, but you get a few high-end ones from brands like DW that only come as shell packs.
Full Drum Set Packages
Entry-level kits with full packages of drums, hardware, and cymbals are the golden pick for beginner drummers. You can buy these as a first set, and most of them come with everything you need to have a full kit setup.
You can expect to pay between $300 and $800 for these. The most popular drum kit brands have entry-level kits that cost around $500 or $600.
These kits are the most affordable full drum set packages, as they typically come with brass cymbals. Brass cymbals don’t sound too good, but they’re incredibly affordable to make, and they’re usually good enough for beginner players.
All drum sets in this price range will also have poplar shells. Poplar is a common wood used to make affordable kits. It produces decent tones from the shells, and you can make them sound better with good tuning and a bit of muffling.
The hardware stands that come with entry-level kits are typically double-braced ones that are fairly sturdy. However, their legs are thinner than the hardware stands that come with higher-priced kits, so they’re not as durable.
Intermediate Drum Sets
Full Drum Sets
You can also find a few intermediate-level drum sets on the market that come with full hardware and cymbal packages. There aren’t as many of these as there are beginner sets, so your choices are limited.
Full intermediate drum set packages cost from $600 to around $1000. They also come with brass cymbals, but the brass cymbals with these kits are far superior to the cheaper ones from beginner sets.
These brass cymbals are from big brands like Meinl and Zildjian, whereas the brass cymbals from beginner kits are cheaply made ones from the drum brand of the kit.
These intermediate full drum set packages also have slightly superior hardware than what comes with beginner options.
You also get a few intermediate kits that come with hardware and no cymbals. These cost from $800 to $1500, and they have better shell design quality. The full-package intermediate sets all have poplar shells, while the ones that just come with hardware often have maple or birch shells.
Getting an intermediate set with hardware and cymbals is a good option if you want more longevity from your setup. Entry-level sets get outgrown quickly, whereas these ones offer longer usage benefits.
Shell packs are the most common kind of package that you’ll find drum sets being sold as. A shell pack only includes the drums themselves, with no hardware or cymbals to go with them.
With intermediate sets, shell packs cost anywhere from $600 to $1500. The more affordable ones are made from poplar wood, and they don’t have extravagant designs when it comes to shell hardware.
More expensive intermediate shell packs have maple, birch, mahogany, or oak shells, with maple being the most common wood that you’ll find in this segment. Most drum brands have a maple intermediate kit available.
A few of the pricier intermediate kits also come with decent stock drumheads. Up to this price point, all the cheaper sets have very weak stock drumheads, and getting pro drumheads from Evans, Aquarian, or Remo will make those drums sound a lot better.
Professional Drum Sets
Pro Shell Packs
Professional drum sets come exclusively as shell packs. You may find a few package deals with hardware, but those are specials created exclusively by whichever music store you find them at.
The price range for pro drum sets is a lot bigger than what you’ll find with beginner and intermediate kits. Some pro kits cost around $1500, while others can cost up to $10 000.
The price depends on what materials are used to make the drums. Rarer woods and more detailed hardware designs increase the cost of making the drums, which boosts their selling price significantly.
For example, DW drum sets are expensive as they use wood sourced from the US. They also have a very unique shell creation process that strengthens the shells and improves their tone.
A few professional Tama kits are more affordable as they’re made in Japan and have lower production costs. However, premium Tama kits with features like die-cast hoops cost a lot more.
Every drum brand has a flagship drum kit model. For brands like Tama, Mapex, Yamaha, Ludwig, and Gretsch, these flagship kits cost between $4000 and $6000. With brands like DW, Pearl, and Sonor, these flagship kits cost a lot more due to the sheer quality of materials used.
Custom Drum Sets
There are several drum brands that offer custom drum sets to customers. These are kits where you can personally choose which materials they’re made from and how big you want the shell sizes to be.
Custom kits are a lot more expensive than standard pro kits that come as prepackaged shell packs. It’s very normal to pay between $6000 and $10 000 for a custom-made drum set.
A few popular custom drum brands to mention are A&F Drum Co, C&C, Truth Custom Drums, and SJC Custom Drums.
Some of the major drum brands also have custom drum set programs, like the Pearl Masterworks and the Sonor SQ2 lines.
Custom drum sets are luxury options, and they’re typically what drummers choose to buy when they want a lifelong kit that has been highly personalized.
You can buy kits from custom drum companies that have already been made. They’ll be a bit cheaper than if you were to personally order them, but they’re still very expensive.
Compact Drum Sets
Compact drum sets fall into their own category as they have fairly different price points depending on what materials they’re made from.
Some compact drum sets are made from poplar, but they’re still commonly used by professional drummers for certain gigs. So, it’s difficult to categorize them into beginner, intermediate, and professional categories, as most of them also cost less than $1000.
The cheapest compact kits cost between $200 and $400. Slighter superior ones with better design quality cost between $400 and $700. The best compact kits cost between $700 and $1000.
You get a few luxury compact kits that cost over $1000, but these aren’t as popular as drummers usually aren’t excited to buy small kits at that price when the more affordable ones work just as well.
All compact drum kits come as shell packs, so you need to already have hardware and cymbals to pair with them.
Electronic Drum Sets
Beginner Electronic Kits
Entry-level electronic kits are very similar to acoustic kits in that they come packaged with everything you need for a full setup. They often include a pair of sticks, a bass drum pedal, and a drum throne.
Beginner electronic kits cost from $300 to $1000. The differences in what you get depend on the brand. Alesis offers mesh pads on all their cheap kits, whereas Roland and Yamaha only put their mesh and silicone pads on drum sets that cost $600 or more.
Beginner electronic kits have very limited drum modules. They typically have the lowest-quality sounds, and they don’t have as many features as high-end drum modules.
Regarding the pads, all beginner kits have single-zone drum pads, meaning you can’t play different areas to get varying sounds. You may find a few kits with a dual-zone snare pad, though.
The only thing missing from beginner electronic kits is a pair of headphones or a drum amp, so you’ll need to get that separately to listen to what you play on the kit.
Intermediate Electronic Kits
Intermediate electronic kits are far more extensive in both their physical design and the features offered on their drum modules.
Most intermediate electronic kits cost between $1000 and $2000, and all of them have mesh pads or Yamaha’s silicone pads. All of them also have dual-zone snare pads, and some of them have dual-zone tom pads as well. You’ll also find a few that have cymbals with multiple strike zones.
The drum modules of intermediate kits have special editing features that give you more control over how the drums sound. Using these features will allow you to get the best sounds possible.
Another thing to note is that the pads on intermediate electronic kits are slightly larger than the ones on beginner kits. So, you get a much better playing experience.
The drawback of these is that they don’t come with bass drum pedals or drum thrones. However, that’s better than intermediate acoustic kits that don’t come with any cymbals or hardware. You’ll spend a lot less on buying extras to complete an electronic setup.
Professional Electronic Kits
Professional electronic kits have a price range that is just as large as the professional acoustic kit range. They can cost anywhere from $2000 to $10 000, with the most expensive electronic kits coming from Roland.
Roland’s e-kits are the most expensive in the business, so there are a few that cost between $2000 and $3000 that Roland classifies as “mid-tier.” They’re packed with professional features, though. The flagship kit from Alesis also sits in that $2000 to $3000 price range, whereas Yamaha’s kits are slightly more expensive in comparison.
These professional electronic kits have higher costs because they have the best drum pads and modules. All the drum pads are incredibly responsive and realistic to play, and the modules have extensive editing tools and amazing sound quality.
The most expensive electronic drum sets are ones that have wooden shells underneath the drum pads to give the appearance of an acoustic kit.
Cymbal costs depend on what type of cymbal you’re looking for. Hi-hats and ride cymbals are the most expensive, while the price of a crash cymbal will depend on how big it is. Splash cymbals are the most affordable due to their size, while china cymbals are usually quite pricey.
Cymbals can also be categorized into beginner, intermediate, and professional quality. Beginner cymbals are either made from brass or a B8 alloy, and a single beginner cymbal can cost from $50 to $200.
Intermediate cymbals are made from B10 or B12 alloys, and they can cost anywhere from $200 to $350.
Pro-quality cymbals are made from a B20 alloy, and they cost from $350 to $700 for a single cymbal.
Getting a cymbal pack is typically the best option to go with if you buy a shell pack, as it saves you a bit of money compared to buying each cymbal on its own.
Beginner cymbal packs cost between $150 and $500. There are dozens of beginner cymbal packs available, as every major cymbal brand has an entry-level line. Meinl has the most impressive beginner line, as there are several HCS cymbal packs available that include different cymbal types and sizes.
Intermediate cymbal packs cost between $500 and $800. Most of these come with two crash cymbals, a pair of hi-hats, and a ride cymbal. They’re a good option to go with if you want to upgrade from your beginner cymbals.
Professional cymbal packs cost from $800 to $2000. These include the top lines of cymbals from all the brands.
Individual pieces of drum hardware have varying costs that are difficult to classify, as it depends on the brand and extensiveness of the designs.
If you’re looking for a hardware pack, it’s a bit easier to pinpoint how much you can expect to spend. Most hardware packs come with two cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, a bass drum pedal, and a snare drum stand.
Hardware packs that are designed for beginner kits cost between $200 and $400. These have very light designs, and most of them have single-braced legs.
Intermediate hardware packs cost between $300 and $450. These have much sturdier stands, and the included bass drum pedals have base plates.
Professional hardware packs cost between $450 and $1000. These packs typically include an extra cymbal stand, and all the stands are very heavy-duty. The stands also have special designs that make them feel a lot better to use than more affordable ones, such as extra memory locks or spurs to keep them grounded.
How Much Does a Drum Set Cost? Final Thoughts
Unfortunately, drum sets cost quite a bit. Even the most affordable entry-level kits can set people back more than they initially banked on. However, it’s important to note that all drum kits have extremely long lifespans.
They’re designed to be beaten on for years, and if you take good care of them, the hardware will hold up as well. So, buying a drum kit is a good investment if you plan on playing the drums for years to come.
If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to get anything more than a beginner kit. If you’re experienced, you’ll need to spend a bit more to cater to your needs.
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