Best Drum Set Reviews 2018

Drummers might not always be in the spotlight like guitarists or vocalists, but just like the old saying goes, “A band is only as good as its drummer.” They are a crucial element of the whole ensemble that keeps the band in sync and on time. While most drum sets can look considerably similar, there are a few key aspects that set them apart, including the number of pieces and overall quality. But one thing’s for sure— whether you’re an aspiring player or a seasoned drummer, there’s definitely one out there that’s right for you. And to help you sort through the maze of options and buy the best percussion gear, we explored every corner of this space, compared various options, and these five best drum sets made the cut!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Pieces
User Level
Color
Weight
Our Top Choice
Gammon Percussion Adult 5-Piece Drum Set
A family owned business, Gammon Percussion is a top name when it comes to percussion equipment such as drums, pedals, and other accessories.
Designed for both novice and seasoned drummers. Appointed with chain powered pedals. Choice of blue or black glossy finish. Adjustable tilt memory locks on the mounted toms.
You will have to assemble it all as nothing comes prebuilt.
Acoustic/adult
5 pieces
Novice and professional
Black or blue glossy finish
82 lbs.
Best Value
Alesis Nitro Kit Electronic Drum Set
Founded in 1980, Alesis offers professional grade recording products at affordable prices with the help of award winning industrial designs and semi-conductor chip technology.
Electronic eight-piece drum set. Packed with 40 ready to play modern and classic hits. 385 percussion sounds available. Backlit LCD screen.
Rack sits a bit lower than a traditional drum set
Electric/junior or adult
8 pieces
Novice to professional
Black
21 lbs.
Roland V-Compact Electronic Drum Set
Established in 1970, Roland is one of the premier manufacturers and distributors of class leading musical instruments including synthesizers, keyboards and guitar products.
Highly compact yet advanced electronic drum set. Ideal choice for teaching, practice, recording, live performance and more. 3 effective training functions. Amazing sound quality.
Kick pedal not included
Electric/adult
10 pieces including stand
Novice to professional
Black
47 lbs. 7oz.
Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set
The Pearl Musical Instrument Company is one of the biggest distributors of percussion musical instruments, drums, and flutes across the United States.
Can be ordered in a choice of four different color variants and four different styles. Package includes drums, cymbals, and double braced hardware.
Smaller than expected; tough assembly
Acoustic/small set
5 pieces
Beginners to intermediate
4 different finishes
50 lbs.
Mendini 5-Piece Junior Drum Set
Brought to you by Cecilio, Mendini is a young name in the music instrument space, but has garnered a surge of appeal rather quickly owing to its excellent lineup of products.
Fully functional drum set comes with five pieces including floor tom and features a height adjustable throne. Six different colors including green, silver and bright red.
Hardware designs could be a bit better
Acoustic/junior
5 pieces
Beginners to intermediate
6 different finishes
50 lbs.

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Drum Set?

The famous Chinese philosopher Confucius said that “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” What he forgot to add was that this could be in the form of singing, playing whimsical melodies with your silver-plated flute, mouth organ aka harmonica, or drum set with the best drumsticks. Playing the drums is a go-to choice for budding music enthusiasts and professionals alike, mostly because it does not require any specialized talents or advanced physical abilities, and best of all, no participants to deal with.

First thing to consider is the space you are working with, not only because the kit should look right and not out of place, but also because some drum sets tend to travel a bit during a session. The next important aspect to consider is whether you want an acoustic or electronic drum kit, where the former is an excellent choice for beginners and generally takes up more floor space, and the latter is easy to assemble and has a smaller footprint to fit into tight spaces. Our short drum set buying guide will fill you in on the basics on what to look for in a setup that works for you!
Price
The price of a drum set depends on a few different factors, most notably size, type, brand, and the level you’re playing at. Cheap drum sets can be had for $200 or less, but for the most part, they won’t come with everything you need for a satisfactory drumming experience. Junior and entry level drum kits start at roughly $300 and mostly come with drums, cymbals, necessary hardware such as the stand, but probably not the drum thrones (what you sit on). Decent intermediate drum kits are what you should really buy from the get go, because drums are somewhat easy to learn so you won’t have to upgrade anytime soon.

Expect to pay around $600 to $1000+ for an intermediate drum kit that comes with drums, shell pack, and cymbals. Seasoned drummers generally prefer to buy the shell pack (toms and bass drum) and hardware, and add other drums and components as they see fit. This type of professional drum set could cost between $3,000 and $5,000, and if your kid is drumming like Charlie Watts, this class of drum sets is what you should be considering.
Features
Gone are the days of traditional drum sets, which came with just a pair of drums. Today’s sets can include sticks, hi-hat cymbals, even the throne, and some can even help you play arena-worthy beats.

That said, here are a few features to look for in a drum worthy set.
  • Number of pieces –drum sets can be ordered in several different pieces such as three, six, and larger sets
  • Acoustic or electric – the former does not have any electrical amplification, while the latter offers more possibilities
  • Drum hardware –unless you’re are purchasing a shell pack, drum hardware can include the drum throne, bass drum pedal, and snare stand
  • Cymbals –most of the best drum sets do come with these common percussion instruments, which are essential if you’d like to play different genres of music including jazz and R&B
  • Drum Sticks –can be had in a plethora of sizes and shades, and allow you to play different styles of music
  • Easy to assemble –each set should come with manufacturer assembly instructions
  • Drum module –usually included with electric drums, and gives you access to sampled and synthesized drum sounds
  • Floor tom vs. suspended tom –the former is more stable and easier to position, but the latter works well when space is tight
  • Warranty –most modern drum sets come with some level of warranty against manufacture defects at the least
Construction and Design
Drums belong to a family of percussion instruments that are an essential part of almost all music created across the globe. They are generally topped by a stretched membrane usually made from plastics such as polyester or Mylar, and referred to as the head that covers the top, bottom, or both ends of its body, also known as the shell. Furthermore, they can vary in shape and size, and you can choose from sets with several different pieces starting from 4, 5 and larger. The different types of drums included in a drum kit vary, but common ones are toms (either suspended or floor design), bass drums, and the snare drum.

When shopping for the best drum kits, you will hear the term “drum hardware” crop up often, which simply refers to components that position and support the drum set such as stand and drum throne. And lastly, you’ve got cymbals, which can be made from several different materials including copper and silver. The construction and design of electric drums somewhat differs when compared to acoustic drums as they are fitted with a set of pads rather than hollow shell.
Performance and Ease of Use
One of the biggest questions you will be faced with when choosing the best drum set is how many pieces is just right for your skill level? Do you need 3, 4, 5, 6 pieces, or do you wish to go all out with a much larger kit to prevent upgrading a few months down the road? Small drum kits generally do not include tom-tom drums and consists of two pieces, making them easy to play in a standing position. Moving up a notch, three-piece drum sets are great for juniors or those simply getting their feet wet with drumming. Four, five, and seven-piece drum kits are a preferred choice for seasoned drummers as they allow them to play a wide range of music. After choosing the best drum configuration, you will to decide between an acoustic or electric drum set.

Acoustic drum sets are great for juniors and beginners, as they allow them to learn and perform buzz rolls, hi-hat cymbal techniques, drum rolls, and cross stick to a more realistic level compared to electric drums. Further, they are incredibly sensitive and subtle, and offer superb dynamics that aren’t possible to recreate with electronic drum sets. On the downside, acoustic drums are loud, but you can always add drum silencers to tone them down. Moving on to electric drums, perhaps the biggest advantage to them is the ability to turn down the volume or play them with headphones. Adding to this, they boast a smaller footprint that can be plugged in to other recording equipment for writing or practice sessions. Even though most electric drum kits are appointed with modules that allow you to experiment with a variety of inbuilt sounds and tones, they may not be able to fully match the quality of sound emitted by their acoustic counterparts.

What is the Best Drum Set?

Buying a new drum set is an exciting moment for any novice or seasoned drumming enthusiast. But with the sheer number of possibilities, it may seem like a tricky affair. If you’re a beginner just getting your feet wet in the drumming world, a simplistic five-piece drum kit should work well. Small drum sets are easy to haul around, take up less space, and are great for genres such as blues, jazz, and rock. However, if you want to be the Ringo Starr of several different genres including reggae, country, R&B, and good old rock and roll, you’re going to need nothing less than an expansive eight or nine-piece setup. Now that you’ve read our drum set buying guide, and have a good insight on what to look for, let’s get right to our top five drum sets, so that you can make an investment you will truly love!
Our Top Choice
The Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete 5-Piece Drum Set is truly a top class product that is designed for adults. However, if you’d like to get your budding drummer a great set of drums without breaking the bank, the Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit is worth exploring. It can be had in a choice of four appealing color variants, and comes with real wood shells, hi-hat stand and cymbals, two tom drums, drum sticks, and a drum key.
Gammon Percussion Full Size 5 Piece Drum Set - Available in 2 Colors

Gammon Percussion Drum Set BATTLEBK - Black


Features
When shopping for the best drums at the right price, Gammon Percussion is a name that you will hear often and for all the right reasons. It is regarded as one of the market leaders in percussion equipment that strives to bring give you the best of both worlds – affordable drum products and unsurpassed customer service.

The five-piece drum set by Gammon Percussion is an excellent way to get started with one of the best drum sets in the market without breaking the bank. It comes with everything you need including cymbals, sticks, stands and drums, a helpful DVD and full product support for add on items and replacement parts.

There are several great features that make the Gammon Percussion drum set worthy of our #1 pick including:
  • Tilt memory sticks are adjustable
  • Chain powered bass drum pedal and hi hat stand
  • Drummers key
  • Comes with drummers' stool and cymbal stand
  • Dual braced snare stand
  • 2-12" hi-hat cymbal
  • Mounted toms measure 12"x10" and 13"x 10” respectively
  • Wood snare drum measures 5 1/2" x 14”
  • Lug bass drum measures 22"x14" 16”
  • 1-14" crash/ride cymbal
  • Available in two colors; black or blue
Best Value
The Alesis Nitro Kit Electronic Drum Set is appointed with three 8-inch tom pads and a nitro module loaded with 40 classic and modern ready to play hits. However, if you’d like to take your drumming game to a whole new level, with an 11 inch dual zone snare drum and a forge module that offers an astounding 60-inbuilt tracks, check out the Alesis Forge Kit 8-Piece Electronic Drum Set.
Alesis Nitro Kit Electronic Drum Set with 8" Snare, 8" Toms, and 10" Cymbals

Alesis Drum Set Nitro Kit


Features
Established in 1980, Alesis is best known for delivering the first professional 16-bit effects processor under $1,000, aka the Midverb. Following the success of the Midverb, Alesis churned out hit after hit including a wide range of studio grade drum machines (HR-16 and SR-16), mixing consoles, and studio monitors. Other notable products from the Alesis portfolio include the most compact percussion multi-pad, the 2011 PercPad and the 2011 iO Dock.

The Nitro electronic eight-piece drum set comes with everything you need to light up the stage. It is outfitted with an 8-inch dual zone snare drum, three dynamic 8-inch tom pads, three 10-inch cymbals, and even comes with a kick drum pad with pedal.

That’s not all—the Nitro set offers other rich features including:
  • Solid and secure thanks to the sturdy four-post aluminum mounting rack
  • 64 maximum polyphony
  • Onsite electronic drum module offers 40 different kits and hundreds of cymbal and percussion sounds
  • Six play-along music tracks and several other learning features for newbies
  • Onboard performance recorder and advanced sequencer to help you reach your music potential
  • Integrated USB MIDI connection allows you to connect your other MIDI-equipped sound gear
  • Headphone jacks and stereo outs
  • Stereo aux input to groove to your favorite tracks on your CD or MP3 player
  • Comes with kick pad tower and bass drum
  • LCD screen for easy navigation
  • Measures 27.6 x 47.3 x 43.3 inches, weighs 21lbs, and is backed by excellent support
The Roland V-Compact Electronic Drum Set is lightweight and compact and is appointed with mesh toms. However, if you prefer to have rubber toms and a much more portable set, the Roland V-Drums TD-4KP Portable Electronic Drum Set is perhaps worth checking out. It comes with eight pads in all, TD-4 percussion sound module, and can be easily dismantled for transport.
Roland V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Set with Mesh Head V-Pad and Custom Stand

Roland Drum Set TD-11K-S


Features
Established in Osaka, Japan in 1972, Roland Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of a diverse range of electronic musical instruments including amplifiers, digital recording equipment, electronic percussion, and guitar products. Backed by 40 years of innovation, Roland sets the gold standard in music technology from classic styled instruments to award winning pianos that deliver unmatched touch and tone.

The Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Set is fitted with a mesh head V-pad that works great for both light and hard hitters. Its class leading technology combined with an onsite kick pad offer a realistic and natural playing experience, making it an excellent choice for several applications including teaching, practice, live performance, recording, and more.

There are several other features that make the Roland TD-11K-S V a hit among drumming enthusiasts including:
  • Drum sound module, snare V-pad, 3 mesh padded toms, 2 cymbal pads, 1 kick pad, hi hat controller and drum stand
  • Onsite 3 integrated training sessions, making it a good choice for beginner, intermediate, and advanced drummers
  • Packed with expressive sounds
  • Record and play functionality
  • 25 onboard drum kit, 25 you can define yourself from a choice of 190 sounds
  • Can be connected to PC via MIDI cable to play any sound in the library of your recording software
  • Backed by Roland’s “superNATURAL” sound technology, so you get nothing short of superior sound quality
  • Push of a button ambient effects allow you to switch from small-town bar to concert hall and adjust echoes, reverb, and more
  • Ability to connect with your smartphone, PC or iPod
  • Coach Mode allows you to enhance your drumming skills
The Pearl Roadshow is a 5 piece drum set that comes with a base drum, 2 tom drums, a floor tom, and a snare drum. If you need just one tom drum rather than two, the Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Drum Shell Pack is what you should be looking at. This four-piece drum set can be ordered in two eye-catching color variants—black gold sparkle and black cherry glitter.
Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set – Available in 4 Styles & 4 Colors

Pearl Drum Set RS525SCC706 - New Fusion – Charcoal Metallic


Features
A subsidiary of the Pearl Musical Instrument Company, the Pearl Corporation is headquarted in Yachiyo City, Chiba, Japan and is a leading wholesale distributor of a wide range of percussion musical instruments, drums, and flutes all across the United States. With a massive 14,000 warehouse and distribution facility located in Nashville, Tennessee, the company also operates a facility in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

The Pearl Roadshow drum set is available in four aesthetically appealing finishes including wine red and bronze metallic. It comes with several pieces of double braced hardware including snare stand, cymbal stand, drum pedal, and two tom holders. This drum kit comes with a bass drum, two tom drums, a floor tom and wood snare drum, a 16-inch brass crash ride cymbal, 14-inch hybrid hi hats, maple drum sticks, and professional stick bag. This gig-ready setup is appointed with several professional features such as geared locking stands and a chain powered bass drum pedal. With a 22 x 16” bass drum and 16 x 16” floor tom, the Pearl Roadshow 5-piece drum set is a suitable choice for students, beginners, and intermediate drummers alike.
The Mendini by Cecilio 16 inch 5-Piece Complete Kids / Junior Drum Set comes with everything you need to get your enthusiastic young drummer started on the right track. However, if you’d like a full size drum set for teens and adults, the Mendini by Cecilio Complete Full Size 5-Piece Adult Drum Set is an awesome choice. It can be ordered in seven different colors and is easy to assemble and get started with.
Mendini by Cecilio 16 inch 5-Piece Complete Kids / Junior Drum Set - Available in 6 Colors

Mendini Drum Set MJDS-5-BL - Blue


Features
Mendini, a division of Cecilio is has become increasingly popular ever since its inception a few years ago for several good reasons. It offers an extensive range of music equipment and accessories such as woodwind, percussion, brass instruments, learning materials and for both young and old and everyone in between.

The five-piece junior drum set comes with everything you need for an aspiring young drummer including tom toms, hi-hat cymbals, a bass drum, floor tom, and matching snare. That’s not all—the package also includes a bass drum pedal, cymbal and hi-hat stands, height adjustable throne, pair of drumsticks, and easy to read instructions. It makes a perfect gift for anyone looking give their young drummer a realistic experience and is backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. If you aren’t keen on this drum set in blue, you can also choose from black, green, silver, wine red or bright red instead!

Get the Best Drum Set of 2018!

Whether the grooves you hold down are reggae, jazz, R&B, or heavy metal, we’ve provided you with the intel on the five best drum sets available so choose one confidently, and get drumming the right way!

Our Top Choice
Gammon Percussion Adult 5-Piece Drum Set
Best Value
Alesis Nitro Kit Electronic Drum Set
Roland V-Compact Electronic Drum Set
Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set
Mendini 5-Piece Junior Drum Set