Drum Set Price - Best Drum Brands Compared (2022)

In this case study, I decided to determine drum set price of the 7 biggest drum manufacturers. To do this, I established my own measurement unit,PPS = price per shell.

Some sets are sold as a 7 piece, some as a 3 piece set. That’s why I decided to find out the average cost per single element.

I will compare drum set cost by seven best drum manufacturers:

  • DW
  • Yamaha
  • Pearl
  • Ludwig
  • Sonor
  • Mapex
  • Gretsch

If you are just here for the short answer on how much does a drum set cost, here it is:

Drum set for beginners cost around $300 (drum set, 2-3 cymbals, 2 stands, drum throne, drum pedal). Professional drum set goes from $1400 to $8000 or more just for shells. The rest of the equipment is bought separately.

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Quick navigation

  • Yamaha drum set price
  • Pearl drum set price
  • Drum Workshop drum set price
  • Ludwig drum set price
  • Mapex drum set price
  • Sonor drum set price
  • Gretsch drum set price
  • On what to pay attention while buying a drum set?
  • Beginner's drum set VS Pro drum set
  • Conclusion

Yamaha drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Yamaha Rydeen

$419

$83

Yamaha Stage Custom Hip

$700

$175

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

$710

$142

Yamaha Stage Custom Bop Kit

$724

$241

Yamaha Junior Kit

1,073

$214

Yamaha Tour Custom

$1,360

$340

Yamaha Live Custom

$3,406

$851

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid

$3,627

$906

Yamaha Recording Custom

$3,760

$940

Yamaha PHX

$7,410

$1852

*PPC = price per shell

Yamaha drums offer excellent entry point at only $83 per single shell for Yamaha Ryden, a set made of poplar, same as many cheap drum sets for beginners.

Yamaha offers great budget drum sets with a good value for money ratio like Yamaha Stage Custom. This drum set is one of the most exploited beginners drum sets worldwide.

This set is used by many companies who rent equipment, so it is not uncommon to see Stage Custom on a bigger stage.

Professional drum sets like Live custom (Ex-Oak), Recording Custom, and Yamaha Absolute made of Maple and Wenge also have a great price per shell.

Premium models by other companies such as Pearl and DW go higher than that. In the case of DW, even $500 higher per single shell.

Best value for money

Drum SetPrice - Best Drum Brands Compared (1)

  • All U.S. Maple shells
  • Warm and bright tone
  • Inverse Dyna hoop

8.2

ThatScore

Pearl drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Pearl Roadshow Jr.

$370

$74

Pearl Midtown Series

$590

$147

Pearl Roadshow

$630

$126

Pearl Export EXX

(Video) The 10 Best Drum Sets of 2021

$930

$186

Pearl Export EXL

$1,050

$210

Pearl Decade Maple

$1,342

$268

Pearl Crystal Beat

$1,570

$392

Pearl President Series Deluxe

$1,600

$533

Pearl Masters Maple

$1,800

$450

Pearl Session Studio

$1,970

$394

Pearl Masters Maple Reserve

$3,358

$839

Pearl President Series Phenolic

$3,690

$922

Pearl Reference

$3,790

$947

Pearl Masters Maple/Gum

$4,083

$1020

Pearl Reference Pure Studio

$4,092

$1023

*PPC = price per shell

Out of all manufacturers from this list Pearl has widest range of models, even 15 of them while others produce 7 on average.

Pearl does offer widest range of possibilities and has low entry point for the Pearl Roadshow Jr. ant only $74 per single shell.

Same as Yamaha, Pearl also has great intermediate level models exploited worldwide. Probably most knows is Pearl Masters, Crystal Beat and Decade Maple.

Anytime you can get maple shells at low costs it’s a great opportunity. With Pearl Decade Maple you get shells made of thin 6-ply maple.

When it comes to premium models such as Pearl Reference or Reference pure Studio price per shell is not overpriced but if we compare it to other manufacturers is somewhere. in the middle.

Drum Workshop drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

PDP Concept Maple

$900

$180

DW Design Series

$1,950

$390

DW Performance Series

$3000

$600

DW Collector's Series

$4,700

$940

DW Collector's Series Jazz

$6,160

$1540

DW Limited Editions

$7000

$1400

*PPC = price per shell

American quality comes with a price. That brings us to Drum Workshop aka DW, a company located in California with highest price per shell for the entry models and also highest PPR for premium models.

Is it worth it?

(Video) The Best Drum Sets Under $2,000 - A Complete Buyer's Guide

Only if you are a fan and you like the sound of DW more than others.

I had chance playing DW Collector Series on a big stage but on the other hand I tried Yamaha Recording, Absolute maple, Pearl Reference, Mapex Plack Panter and other premium models from various companies.

Collector series sound great, big strong, easy to tune with no over tones just like premium drum model should sound like but is it higher quality or better sounding than other manufacturers, NO.

It all comes to personal prefenrece.

Best value for money

Drum SetPrice - Best Drum Brands Compared (3)

  • Maple HVX shells
  • 45° and 60° bearing edges
  • True-Pitch tension rods

8.5

ThatScore

Ludwig drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit

$300

$75

Ludwig Breakbeats

$470

$117

Ludwig Accent

$600

$120

Ludwig Element Evolution

$1,200

$200

Ludwig NeuSonic

$1,300

$433

Ludwig Classic Maple

$2,410

$803

Ludwig Legacy Mahogany

$3,400

$1133

Ludwig Vistalite

$4000

$800

Ludwig Legacy Maple

$5,660

$1415

*PPC = price per shell

In the past, I’m talking about the ’50s and 60’s era when Ludwig ruled the world with almost no competition. Unfortunately for the company, the significant band era when all drummers played Ludwig has passed.

All left is legendary sound and quality that should not be underrated. Let’s leave legendary snare drums like Ludwig Supraphonic and Supersensitive for some other article and focus on drum sets.

Ludwig has great entry point drum kits for only $75, which equals Pearl. These are the drum kits with the lowest PPC made by famous drum manufacturers.

I would dare say Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit is worth more than $300, but I will not complain about getting it cheap. It’s one of the best beginner’s drum sets on the market.

I am not overwhelmed getting the maple shells at $803 PPC, the price per shell for Ludwig Classic Maple. Even DW offers maple at $600.

For old school rockers who chase the “John Bonham sound,” Ludwig Vistalite is out of the competition.

Best value for money

Drum SetPrice - Best Drum Brands Compared (4)

  • 14 hardware all in one package
  • Designed for 4-10 year old drummers
  • Affordable

6.5

ThatScore

Mapex drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Mapex Mars

(Video) Best Drum Kit In 2022 - Top 10 Drum Kits Review

$670

$134

Mapex Storm

$680

$136

Mapex Armory

$960

$192

Mapex Saturn

$1,290

$322

Mapex Saturn Evolution

$2,810

$562

Mapex Black Panther

$3,223

$644

*PPC = price per shell

Mapex is a company that has become highly popular in the past decade. I would say it’s because of modern-sounding drum kits and good value for money ratio.

Mapex is my personal preference. I play model from a few years ago, Mapex Saturn IV. The shell is Maple which gives it an open sound, and a Walnut provides a note of modern.

Having a “modern” sound was the reason I switched to Mapex.
Low entry series PPC is not that low. However, Mars and Armory series are not in the class “children drumsets.” These are well-manufactured drums made of poplar, that’s the low price reason.

Mapex Black Panther is the cheapest premium drum set, with the lowest price per single shell.
The built quality and quality of sound Black Panther offers are outstanding. There is no better value for money ratio drum set on this list.

Sonor drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Sonor AQX

$430

$107

Sonor AQ1

$1,208

$241

Sonor AQ2

$900

$225

Sonor SQ1

$2,700

$900

Sonor Vintage

$3,090

$1030

Sonor ProLite

$3,284

$1094

Sonor SQ2

$4,346

$1086

*PPC = price per shell

Like Mapex, Sonor emerged few years ago with complete makeover. All the series you see above are part of this makeover and I must say, I like it.

When I hear the word “Sonor” I instantly think of Benny Greb’s sound, but offcourse Benny would sound great on any drum set.

Don’t let this overshadow the fact these drums sound great. Maple shells come with AQ2 series, at the rate of $270 per shell which is outstanding.

After that we see substantial price increase. At this level Sonor started experimenting with ultra thin maple shells on ProLite series, beech wood on Vintage series and European Birch on SQ1.

Is it worth the price jump? It’s up to you, whether or not you like the sound and you are ready to sacrifice additional money.

Best value for money

Drum SetPrice - Best Drum Brands Compared (6)

  • 100% all maple shells
  • Warm and very balanced tone
  • Five beautiful finishes

7.2

(Video) The Best Drum Sets of 2020

ThatScore

Gretsch drum set price

Drum set

Price

PPS

Gretsch Catalina Club

$800

$200

Gretsch Energy

$980

$196

Gretsch Catalina Maple

$1000

$200

Gretsch Drums Renown

$1,600

$400

Gretsch Brooklyn

$2,590

$647

Gretsch Broadkaster

$3,925

$981

Gretsch USA Custom

$3925

$981

*PPC = price per shell

Gretsch doesn’t go wild with shell prices. As you can see from the table above even premium drum kits like USA Custom don’t go over $1000 per single shell.

Kits like Catalina Maple rule the market of intermediate level drums by offering maple shells at such a low rate.

Together with Mapex and Sonor, Gretsch offer maple shells at lowest rates. What is disappointing is that Gretsch Brooklyn series that come at such a high rate still use poplar.

If you are dedicated to “That Great Gretsch Sound” and won’t compromise having poplar wood in your kit go with Gretsch USA Custom with maple/gum shell.

Overal, Gretsch has good rates but introduces all maple shells very late in the lineup. In compare to other companies who use poplar only for low entry series, Gretsch use this wood in almost all their drum series.

Best value for money

Drum SetPrice - Best Drum Brands Compared (7)

  • 7-ply Maple
  • Ultra-low profile GTS mounting system
  • Natural shell interiors

7.3

ThatScore

On what to pay attention while buying a drum set?

When you go to a drum store to buy an expensive drum set, you will only get only 4-piece drum set (only wood without a snare drum) unless you pay for the rest.

When it comes to drums for beginners, they usually come with a whole package containing:

  • cheap cymbals (crash, ride, hi-hat)
  • cymbal stands
  • drum pedal
  • drum throne. (sometimes)

As a beginner on drums, you will search for a cheap drum set.

One premium cymbal cost more than entire set of cymbals for beginners. Have it in mind that music equipment, in general, are, is costly, so it will be hard to buy all you need at once.

After all, there are plenty of things that you may not get by default. Here is the list:

  • Cymbals
  • Bass drum pedal
  • Drum throne
  • Snare drum stand
  • Crash and ride stand
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Bags
  • Sticks

Disclaimer:

Depending on the stores, a beginner drum kit package can vary. Sometimes, you can get a cymbal set, drum throne, or some bags for the drums with a drum set.

The second thing I want to emphasize is that heads are as crucial as wood. There are no two kinds of wood entirely the same. This can, therefore, cause drum sets from the same series to sound different.

About sizes; if you buy on a low budget (under $1000 new) drum set, stick to smaller toms. It will be easy to tune them, and they will not quickly go out of tune. The larger and cheaper the drum, the more tone issues you should expect, especially when mic the drum kit.

Although any drum kit can sound good with a good drummer, there is a massive difference between a beginner drum set and an expensive drum kit.

Check out also:

Electronic drum set price

Beginner's drum set VS Pro drum set

Type of wood

Every drum company works similarly when it comes to drum lines. The most popular drum wood for manufacturing premium series is maple. The best and most expensive drum series is made of pure maple or maple mixed with exotic wood.

On the other hand beginner drum sets are usually made of poplar, some cheaper birch, maple, and oak.

In the beginning, you don’t need to spend a lot on drums. Focus on:

  • learning new rudiments
  • practicing technique
  • improving your dynamic and metrics

You can find maple in a cheap drum set but not wholly maple. It is, however, not the same quality as the more expensive series. That is for sure. Also, think about somecustom-made drums.

Hardware

For hardware, expensive series have hardware that will hold a tune longer.

You will have a tough time tuning beginner drums. They will not sound as good as expensive drums when you tune them and, they will not hold a tone that you set.

The reason for this is low-qualitylugs.

Cymbals

Professional cymbals are usually made out of B20 bronze.

From my experience, professional cymbals have a little more durability, but the main difference is sound.

I made a complete guide onthe best cymbals in the world right now.

I suggest for you check it out.

Conclusion

Only expensive drum series have some fancy, good looking finishes. Sometimes drum manufacturer will add one ply of some exotic wood in order to get a better finish.

So, when it comes to design, you can’t get much out of a $500 drum set.

Try listening to a sound in this video, see if you will notice the difference.

(Video) Top 8 Best Drum Set In 2021 | Amazing Drum Sets For Beginner To Pro Drummers

FAQs

What brand of drum set is best? ›

Read on to learn about the ten best drum brands of 2022.
  • 1 Tama.
  • 2 DW. Drum Workshop, also known as DW or DW Drums, is an American drum and drum hardware manufacturing company based out of Oxnard, California. DW is known as one of the classic American-made drum brands. ...
  • 3 Yamaha.
  • 4 Sonor.
  • 5 Pearl.
  • 6 Ludwig.
  • 7 Gretsch.
  • 8 Canopus.

What is a good price for a drum set? ›

Good beginner drumsets cost around $500, intermediate drumsets are between $700 to $1500 and professional kits start at about $1500. Price factors are the number of shells, shell quality, hardware inclusion, if it's custom-built or hand made. Used drums often are good quality for way cheaper.

What drums should a beginner buy? ›

Most all the major drum companies produce great beginner kits. It is generally recommended that you stick to the best known drum brands: Ludwig, Tama, Pearl, Slingerland, Sonor, DW/PDP, Gretsch and Mapex are all trusted brands.

Is Roland better than alesis? ›

For mid-range to higher-end e-drum sets, Alesis generally offers a lot more value in terms of features and quantity of parts, while Roland offers more quality in pad triggering, lower latency, and overall higher build-quality.

What is the best sounding wood for drums? ›

Best Drum Shell Woods
  • Maple Wood. Early iterations of the drum set were limited to only a few wood types like maple or poplar. ...
  • Birch Wood. Birch shells are vastly different from maple with its tone bing punchy and aggressive. ...
  • Cherry Wood. ...
  • Walnut Wood. ...
  • Oak Wood. ...
  • Construction Of A Drum Kit.
Mar 4, 2021

How much should you spend on your first drum set? ›

It totally depends on what stage you are at in your drumming journey. If you're a complete beginner, you can get a great value electronic drum set for around $350, but you can spend as much as $5000 on a top-of-the-range electronic drum set if you're a seasoned pro!

What is the price of a drum? ›

Amazon.in: ₹1,000 - ₹5,000 - Drum Sets / Drums & Percussion: Musical Instruments.

What is the most common drum set? ›

The most common configuration is a 5 piece kit consisting of a bass drum, snare drum and 3 toms (high, mid and low) – and then of course you also have the hi-hats, cymbals etc. but these don't count towards the number of 'pieces'. You could have a 5 piece kit with 100 cymbals – it's still a 5 piece kit.

What size drums should I get? ›

The most common size is 10″x 8″, but basically anything from 10″x 6.5″ to 10″x 10″ works very well. The shallower size responds a bit quicker, but all in all there's so little air moving inside a drum of this size that a deeper drum is easy to play, too.

Why are Roland drums so expensive? ›

The main reason electronic drums are so expensive is that they cost a lot to make. They involve a lot of different components, and to get a reliably good sound and feel, the parts are more expensive.

Where are Roland drums made? ›

It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on 18 April 1972. In 2005, Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has factories in Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and the USA.

Is electric drum set good? ›

For those with money to burn, a top-of-the-range electronic drum set (aka e-drums) by the likes of Yamaha, Roland or Alesis enables a playing experience pretty much on a par with that of a real acoustic drum kit, thanks to its full-sized mesh heads, stellar multisampled sounds, effortless studio connectivity and more.

Are Yamaha drums good? ›

If you're looking for a hard-working drum kit Yamaha Drums is a great place to start. Yamaha Drums has been in operation since 1967, creating high-quality kits for professional players that won't let you down.

Are drums hard to learn? ›

However, drums are by far one of the most difficult instruments to learn. The learning process is the same with any instrument. There is a definite learning curve, and like anything worth learning, it will take time, patience and practice.

What is a full drum set? ›

In general, these are the basics. Though there is no original standard configuration for drum kits, drum kits have a five-piece set, including two tom-toms, a floor tom, a bass drum, and a snare drum. The floor tom is a tom-tom that has a stand or legs and sits on the floor.

Is Yamaha a good drum brand? ›

Yamaha has had a loyal following for decades with their pro-level drums. Major recording and touring drummers have endorsed them. You'll find them in studios and stages across the world. Their hardware has had a lot of praise as well.

Are Ludwig drums any good? ›

Ludwig is undeniably one of the giants of the drum world. The company has been making quality kits for over a hundred years. These drum kits have been used by some of the most legendary drummers in history.

What is the oldest drum company? ›

Noble & Cooley is an American musical instruments manufacturing company based out of Granville, Massachusetts. Having been established in 1854, it is the oldest drum company in the United States and is one of the oldest in the world.

What makes a good drum set? ›

5 Things You NEED To Know BEFORE Buying New Drums ...

Who uses the biggest drum kit? ›

Mark Temperato (AKA RevM) describes himself as "an Agent of Rhythm" and is the owner of the world's largest drum set with 340 pieces.

Videos

1. How Much Money Should You Spend on a Drumset?
(Stephen Clark)
2. 🏆 TOP 3 BEST DRUM SETS 2021 ( COMPARISON & REVIEW )
(Shopedia)
3. Best Drum Sets for Kids in 2021 | Top 5 Best Drum Sets for Kids
(Best for Kids)
4. Choosing the Best Electronic Drum Set on ANY Budget
(Sweetwater)
5. Beginner Drum Set Comparison | Home Of Drums
(Home Of Drums)
6. Best Electronic Drum Set In 2022 - Top 10 New Electronic Drum Sets Review
(ToolBox)

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