Nothing is better than grabbing a few sticks and making a rhythm with a high-quality and one of the Best Drum Sets. We remember when we received our first drum set for Christmas when we were about 4 years old and immediately fell in love with the whole process. There is something nasty about being able to jam (or join a band in a certain song) with a few different tones of drums and let our bodies do the rest of the work. Because we are such big drum fans, we decided today to view, compare and contrast the best drum sets on the market.
List of the best drum sets of 2021
Ludwig Breakbeats drum kit
Since its launch in 2013, this small drum kit has been considered by many to be the king among mini-kits for portability, small stages and even younger players. It consists of a 16 “x14” bass drum, a 10 “x7” rack tom and a 13 “x13” floor tom, with a standard 14 “x5” snare. The chrome-plated shell hardware feels solid, with a sturdy tom holder, smooth hoops and a solid bass drum riser.
The most striking piece is the bass drum. It’s unlikely to replace a larger kick in a conventional rock setup, but given its shell construction and size, it’s capable of acting as a small cannon. The Breakbeats snare also has a lot of character – a bit of trashy, grittiness, and even at lower tunings it finds a good combination of bright response and full overtones. Whipping them up results in a distinct vintage funk sound.
The small tom diameters don’t really give them a “power-tom” sound, but it is possible to squeeze a fat, clean, sustained note out of them at the mid-tension sweet-spot. Originally offered in the Azure Blue Sparkle finish pictured, Ludwig has since introduced Black, White and Red sparkle finishes, as well as the brand new Sahara Swirl. For that money, the Breakbeats is a kit to be hard to fault. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
The first is a fantastic 5-piece from Pearl, it’s a full base kit and available in 4 gig-ready setups with a selection of 4 different durable wound finishes. The bass drum, toms and snare are all made of 9-ply poplar with triple flanged hoops. The dimensions of the drums are as follows 22 x 16″ (bass), 1 x 8″ & 12 x 9″ toms, 16 x 16″ floor tom and a 14 x 5.5″ snare. The snare and rack toms are pre-tuned, so you only need to play with the bass and floor tom.
All stands, bass pedals and tom holders are included. Despite its affordable price tag, it features a number of professionally upgraded components. Like a chain driven bass drum pedal and geared locking stands, which are reinforced and double braced for longevity. The 14″ hybrid hi-hat cymbals are bright; the 16″ crash cymbal failed to please some people. This kit is on the quieter side, making it ideal for those who need to be aware of their neighbors.
The throne is probably suitable for pre-teens; if we had to poke holes in anything, it would be the initial upgrade. Overall, the entire kit has a slightly smaller footprint, making it ideal for apartments and younger students. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch drum set
The Yamaha Stage Custom has been an important mid-priced kit for more than three decades, and the brand has continued to evolve the setup to maintain its relevance. Yamaha’s track record of building birch shells speaks for itself. The Stage Custom’s 6-ply shells are 6.6 mm thick, straight-sided and butt-jointed with Yamaha’s signature diagonal seams, while the bearing edges are carefully cut at a 45° angle.
Wide open, the bass drum is straight to the point and delivers a huge wallop of low-end. It’s an unabashedly resonant kick with a breathtaking decay. The toms are equally full, delivering fast, fat notes at amp-bashing volumes. Birch shells generally make for focused-sounding drums, and the toms tune quickly to a point where this is achieved. The snare delivers a typically bright and birchwood performance – tuning variations are carried into their rhythm, whether they are sharpened into a funky crack or relaxed into an expansive clonk.
Yamaha’s credentials run through the Stage Custom Birch like the words in a rock. It is beautifully made; solidly built to take the blows of real life and produces a sound quality that defies its price tag. This is a kit you won’t outgrow anytime soon. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Next on our list is a new and improved full-size model of the EXX705/c which, budget permitting, is another top choice from the Pearls Export series. It’s not surprising that their name is on it, given their reputation in the drum industry. It is a step up in price; we lose the extra cymbals, so we would have to buy our own. But in terms of product quality and drum sound, the upgrade is significant. The shells are a mix of 6 layers of poplar and mahogany, which provides a harder resonance and a stronger sound.
The quality of the covered wrap is also an improvement. The included hardware is from their popular 830 series. It features an advanced Opti-Loc Tom suspension system. In direct comparison to the starter Pearl discussed above, it has a 2-inch larger bass drum and floor tom (22 x 18″ and 16 x 16″) and incorporates Pearl’s superior shell technology (S.S.T.). It also comes with an upgraded pedal, the very popular P930 Demonator. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Mapex Saturn V
The Saturn V is built around hybrid shells composed of layers of American rock maple and walnut. One of the most important features of the kit is the Soniclear lagging. While the inner edges are trimmed to 45° for the rack toms and 60° for the kick and floor toms, instead of the usual sharp top, the edge has a slightly rounded, flattened back-cut that continues to the outer edge of the shell. This allows for more contact between the batter and the shell, which is designed to get maximum depth out of the drums and help with tuning.
Tom batter sheets are dual-ply Remo Emperors, combined with single-ply Ambassadors on the resonance side. The combination of relatively shallow depths, solid twin-ply heads and the rounded bearing edge all contribute to a great sound. The Mapex Saturn V is a fantastic all-rounder kit that is equally happy on stage or in the studio – at a jazz gig or playing rock. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch
Since the 2003 addition of Tama’s flagship Star series, the once-top-of-the-Tama-boom Starclassic is still a very serious choice for gigging and touring professionals. 2019’s revision of the Starclassic series comes in the form of the Walnut/Birch, effectively supplanting the Birch/Bubinga and sitting below the Starclassic Maple price-wise as Tama’s entry-point into the Starclassic family. Tonally, these drums have the warm punch of walnut combined with the sharp attack of birch for a modern drum sound suitable for all genres from rock and metal to funk, pop and fusion.
The toms are six-ply: four birch and two walnut, while the bass drums feature an additional layer of birch. Tama has adopted some of the features of the Star series, such as a streamlined Star Cast mounting system, super-convenient quick-release brackets for the toms, and hanging/clad legs for the floor tom to prevent resonance from being transferred to the ground.
The finishes are mostly lacquer, with Tama even managing to achieve some striking bursts, fades and oysters using paint instead of wraps, but there are currently five wrapped finishes available in the lineup, with an ever-growing array of finishes still being added. The Starclassic Walnut/Birch is a great pro-level drum set that you should definitely try if you are looking for a powerful, modern sounding drum set. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Sonor’s new Sound Sustainer mounts are backed by science – the drum firm collaborated with the German auto industry to create a system based on large rubber gaskets that isolate the toms and eliminate direct contact between wood and metal for better resonance. Birch wood offers decent lows and highs with reduced midrange frequencies that don’t muddy the sound, so this drum kit has a clean sound with guts – it’s focused and businesslike, controllable yet brilliant.
The Remo Ambassador-topped toms produce a long and sweet sustain, while the bass drum has an archetypically modern, hard and present tone. The lower regions-with ripples just about tuned out of the percussion-bring more depth to the mix. The snare drum is a bit of a contrast, as it is deep with a slightly more open and unruly voice. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
MAPEX Mars Series Crossover
This five-piece drumhead package will not disappoint you. It consists of a 15″ by 6.5″ snare drum, a mounted tom, two floor toms, and a kick drum. The MAPEX Mars now has a new SONIClear bearing edge to increase the contact between the drumhead and the shell. This creates a more centered pitch. Tuning is effortless, which means this drum set is especially suitable for beginners who find tuning intimidating.
A loss of energy can give the drums a stifled sound, but this kit’s suspension system increases resonance and preserves vibration in the shell, providing excellent sound quality. You can easily use the MAPEX for performances. In terms of style, you can choose what appeals to you, as the MAPEX Mars comes in four different colors: Smokewood, Bonewood, Zebrawood, and Bloodwood. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Ludwig LC179X016 Breakbeats
This stylish black glitter Breakbeats kit is another 4-piece model designed for use around town; it has a more compact nature to keep it fit for purpose. It plays like a full-size kit, but is stackable and packable, ideal for drummers on the go with its well thought out portability. It features a 14 x 16″ bass drum, a 7 x 10″ mounted tom and a 13 x 13″ floor tom and is topped off with a matching wooden snare drum, which measures 5 x 14″.
All shells are made of 7-ply hardwood, each bearing edge is cut at a 45-degree angle and hand-sanded for perfect sheet placement. Ludwig has priced this snare competitively and comes in just below the Pearl RS525SCC706. It does not have a snare stand, stool, pedal, sticks or cymbals like the Pearl so it costs a little more. In the end, it’s good quality and an affordable choice. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
Gretsch New Renown
Fresh from the new Gretsch Renown series, this fresh three or four-piece kit retains the classic Gretsch vibe, but with updated aesthetics and sound enhancing customization. In true Gretsch perfection, they feature a maple blend, a combination of North American maple with a softer southern growth species. The edges of the drums have a smooth 30 degree finish and are sealed with their exclusive Silver Sealer inner finish.
Just about everything about this kit is heavy-duty, from the molded hoops to the authentic lugs that adorn each drum. The 4-piece drum consists of a 22 x 18″ bass drum, 16 x 14″ floor tom, a 10 x 7″ tom, and a 12 x 8″ tom. They are much more expensive than a typical entry-level kit. You’ll need to add a snare and at least a few cymbals before you can play a few songs, but it’s an impressive drum kit. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets right now.
If you have just started learning to play the drums, you are looking for a reliable, budget-friendly, and one for the best drum sets that will last the first few years of your drum life. As you continue, you must decide whether your next drum kit will be used for recording, gigging, or both, and go shopping with this – and a specific budget – in mind. Whether you are just starting out, you are playing in a band or you are a professional session drummer, these kits should help you get the job done.