What is the Best Drum Set Brand | 5 Low-Cost Sets

Choosing good drums can be quite a challenge. Sometimes it’s because we’ve started to play the drums but we still lack understanding of the instrument and haven’t developed a taste yet for the sound we really like. Non-drummers may also be looking for an instrument for the worship band, or for any other situation where a decent drum set is required. It should come as no surprise then that a very common question we hear is what is the best drum set brand.

Are we looking for a drumset for ordinary use that satisfies the player and still meets a medium-low budget? Let’s see which drum brands offer a product that satisfies these needs.

* This article contains affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you click the links and make purchases. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, we in no way recommend or suggest products/services that we don’t believe in or use ourselves. All reviews and comparisons are written with complete transparency to help the reader make the best choice for them, according to their own personal needs.


What makes a good drum set

What is the best drum set brand - Music GroupSomething to consider when looking for a good drum set is the construction of the drum shell. This will also help us understand what the best drum set brand is. When we are looking for a less expensive kit it’s obvious that in most cases we won’t find the most expensive materials, but this does not mean the drums won’t sound good. Drums can sound great if built properly.

 

Things we need to consider are:

  • The quality of the shells – The shell is what will determine the fundamental note of the drum
  • The quality of the bearing edge – This part of the shell is where the drum skin will sit. If there is not good contact between the skin and the edge the sound will be bad, and tuning the drum will be more difficult.
  • The quality of the hoops – The hoop is the ring that presses the skin on the edge of the shell. Usually, at this price, we find a triple-flanged hoop that works perfectly.
  • The mechanics and the hardware – Professional kits do not typically offer the hardware such as the hi-hat, cymbal stands, and drum pedal. If the kit comes with the hardware, check the quality of it since usually, the entry-level kits offer very bad drum pedals and hi-hat stands that have to be replaced.
  • The quality of the cymbals – If the quality of the cymbals is very bad, they will sound like metal.

How much should I spend on a drum set?

What is the best drum set brand - ThinkingLike always, I strongly suggest that we look at our specific needs before making a purchase.

Are you looking for a kit for a church? Is it for your son or daughter who wants to learn drums?

I never suggest purchasing entry-level kits. The quality is bad and if we want something that we’ll actually use for a while, buying the cheapest drum kit won’t meet our needs. They usually end up needing to quickly be replaced. Even if your son or daughter is starting to play and they look quite passionate, do not buy a kit that costs around $300-$400. I suggest looking for a higher-priced set that you can buy second hand. If drums are well kept they last forever.


Starting with the right budget

What is the best drum set brand - MoneyIf we want to know what is the best drum set brand for a lower budget, we need to look at a range that goes from $700 up to $1000 for these reasons:

  1. Kits in this price range offer good quality
  2. These drums are satisfying to play and are also good for live sessions.
  3. A drummer who starts studying seriously will use this type of kit for a long time before upgrading to a more expensive one.
  4. These drums are good for a worship team with a lower budget.
  5. These kits are very easy to resell since you will always find beginners who are looking for this type of kit.

If our budget does not allow for this price range of kit, but we still want the best drums possible, again, I suggest you look for a second hand one.

Buying low-quality stuff never pays back!


What about the cymbals?

We can’t talk about what is the best drum kit brand without mentioning the cymbals. We need to understand that drums and cymbals are not made by the same companies. However, I approach finding the best product in the same way.

There are very good cymbals at a medium price range. Some models I suggest are the Zildjian A Custom — they sound beautiful. There are many good brands that offer good quality.

These are the most common cymbal brands:

  • What is the best drum set brand - CymbalsZildjian
  • Sabian
  • Meinl
  • Paiste
  • Bosphorus
  • Pasha
  • Istanbul
  • And many others…

I wouldn’t buy super cheap models since they do not sound good. The problem is that if we add the price of the cymbals to the cost of the drum set, we will end up doubling the initial price. If our budget is limited, I suggest starting with a pack of cymbals. Then, later on, we can upgrade our set by buying one good quality cymbal at a time. Keep in mind that a good cymbal can easily cost more than a whole set of cheap ones.


Here is a whole set of cymbals pack that sounds pretty decent and is good to start with.

These Cymbals are quite similar to the 2002 series and definitely have the Paiste sound. The ride is a little heavy but still allows nice crash hits. Overall, they are nice especially if we want a Paiste sound.

What is the best drum set brand - Paiste Cymbals


Gretsch Catalina Maple

What is the best drum set brand - Gretsch Bearing EdgeThis model is a great solution for anyone who wants a rich sound. The famous Gretsch sound is present in all the Gretsch models. Most of them come with a bearing edge that is 30° instead of 45°. This allows the drum head to have a bigger surface of contact, creating a beautiful fat sound.

I personally have a Gretsch Catalina in the Club version, and I’m more than happy with it. I love this type of sound. Keep in mind that many other companies have always tried to replicate this sound.  If we are looking for what is the best drum set brand, Gretsch definitely stands out.

Maple is a very good wood for the construction of drums. (Maple and Birch are the most widely used woods for good quality drums). This kit is made of 7 ply maple shells.

This kit has:

  • What is the best drum set brand - Gretsch Catalina Maple7 ply maple shells
  • Bass drum 16 x 20″
  • Toms 7×10″, 8×12″, and a 14×14″ floor tom
  • Snare 5.5×14″
  • Drumheads – Remo
  • Hoops – triple flanged
  • Hardware – New bass drum mount plate. The tom holder also has a space for a cymbal holder. The brackets are the new low-profile.

Pros:

  1. Great sound
  2. Good quality
  3. Very good hardware
  4.  Reliable

Cons:

  1. The price is higher than the other models

What is the best drum set brand - Gretsch Catalina Maple pros and cons

 


PDP Concept Maple

What is the best drum set brand - DW tom mountThis is also a great kit to consider. I personally don’t have one, but I have tried it out and it sounds great. The sound is very round and strong.  If we are looking for what is the best drum set brand, DW has all the attributes to stand out. This kit has a very nice tom support and a good snare throw off. These are all little things that if put together can make a difference. DW was famous for drum workshops. (It’s where the name DW comes from.) They also have a lot of experience in building good quality drums. DW takes care of the details.

This maple Kit comes with:

  • What is the best drum set brand - PDP7 ply for the toms and bass drums, 10 ply for the snare drum
  • Bass drum 18×22″
  • Toms 8×10″, 9×12″, 14×16″
  • Snare drum 5.5×14″
  • Drumheads – Remo
  • Hoops -triple flanged
  • Hardware – Suspension Tom Mounts, good cymbal stands, drum throne

Pros:

  1. Good quality also in the detail
  2. Good sound
  3. Reliable
  4. Good hardware
  5. Good price

What is the best drum set brand - PDP Pros and Cons


Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

This is a widely known kit. Honestly, it’s not one of my What is the best drum set brand - Yamaha YESS tom mountfavorites, but it is a good kit. I have tried it many times and it definitely does the job. This kit is made out of birch (which is still a good material). Yamaha experts say that the only difference between this kit and the Recording Custom is that it has 6 ply shells instead of 7. The sizes are interesting since the kick drum is 17X22″ making the resonant head respond more if compared with an 18×22″ bass drum. The Y.E.S.S. Mount system allows very good resonance of the toms. Overall, a very good kit.

These are the details:

  • What is the best drum set brand - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch6 Ply Birch shells
  • Bass Drum 17×22″
  • Toms 7×10″, 8×12″, 15×16″ floor tom
  • Snare drum 5.5×14″
  • Hoops Triple flanged
  • Hardware – YESS tom mount system

 

Pros:

  1. Good quality
  2. Good sound
  3. Reliable
  4. Good tom mount

Cons:

  1. No hardware
  2. Buying the hardware will make it expensive

What is the best drum set brand - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch pros and Cons


Tama Imperialstar

What is the best drum set brand - Meinl Hairline BlueThe Tama Imperialstar is one of the most popular drum sets among beginners since it offers good quality at a decent price. This kit also comes with cymbals and hardware. Personally, it’s not my favorite, not because of the quality, but because I love the drum companies from the USA like Gretsch and DW since they have a pronounced sound. However, if this kit is so popular there must be a reason. The shells are made of poplar which is similar to maple — a little bit softer in the sound. Tama describes the building technique of the bearing edge as very precise since it’s done through what Tama defines as an advanced edge-cutting process. One thing I would like to underline is that in some reviews, customers complained that the hardware didn’t last long.

These are the details:

  • 6 Ply Poplar
  • What is the best drum set brand - Tama ImperialstarBass drum 16×18″
  • Toms 7×10″, 8×12″, 15×16″
  • Snare drum 5×14″
  • Hoops Triple flanged
  • Cymbals – Meinl Hairline Blue
  • Hardware – included

 

 

Pros:

  1. Shells of good quality
  2. Cymbals included
  3. Good price

Cons:

  1. Hardware not very resistant

What is the best drum set brand - Tama Imperialstar pros and Cons

 


Ludwig Element Evolution

What is the best drum set brand - HardwareWe can’t discuss what is the best drum set brand without mentioning Ludwig! This amazing Poplar kit also comes with Zildjian ZBT cymbals which are good for new drummers. Ludwig is a part of the American history of drums. This kit offers a great sound at a low price if we consider that it comes with two floor toms and cymbals. I have never played it, but I have heard that the drums have a great attack and also a good sustain. This kit definitely has character. This is a great deal considering what we get with our money.

Let’s look at the characteristics:

  • What is the best drum set brand - Ludwig Element Evolution 6 PieceBass drum 18×22″
  • Toms 8×10″, 9×12″, 14×14″, 16×16″
  • Snare drum 5×14″
  • Hoops Triple flanged
  • Cymbals – not bad quality
  • Hardware – good quality

 

 

Pros:

  1. Good quality
  2. Good price
  3. Reliable
  4. Good hardware
  5. Cymbals included
  6. Extra floor tom

What is the best drum set brand - Ludwig Element Evolution 6 Piece Pros and Cons


What is the best drum set brand – Final thoughts

What is the best drum set brand - Question MarkHonestly, there is no right answer about what is the best drum set brand. All these companies are great and are trustworthy brands. My personal taste is more for the USA brands. Maybe it’s because of their history. Who knows? I just prefer their sound. I believe they have a more distinct character, especially when I think of Gretsch. This is why I own one.

In any case, all of these brands are great and very reliable. This is why I didn’t feel that these brands had many cons to consider.

Maybe something I would consider is the cost of the cymbals and the hardware. For this reason, I would really suggest the Ludwig Element Evolution.

The choice is up to you.

I hope you have enjoyed the article and found it useful.

Click here to read more about the things you need to know when choosing a drum set for church

Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.

God bless you so much,

Andy


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4 thoughts on “What is the Best Drum Set Brand | 5 Low-Cost Sets

  1. Andy, this is an interesting review on drums. I went into reading this knowing absolutely nothing about drums. I am not a musician but I think after reading this review I could certainly make an educated decision on at least a couple that I would consider researching further if I needed to.
    I definitely like the look of the maple ones better and I am all for American made.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Thank you, Annette, you are very kind and you encourage me lots.
      If you are for the American made ones Gretsch is the one I like more.
      God bless you,
      Andy

  2. Man I loved going to to my friends place when I was younger and just going ham on their drum set, it’s one of the most fun instruments to play. I’ve been curious about getting a drum set for younger relatives who are looking to getting into playing the drums. These are great low cost options for drum sets! Great research and advice!

    1. Thank you, Will,
      I agree with you drums are so much fun.
      I’m sure that with these models you will find a great gift.
      Wish you the best
      Andy

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