10 Best Reviewed Kits of 2019

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Probably one of my all time favorite sets is the Premier Signia and the BDC set reminds me of them in both looks and tone, but still better! If I could choose any, I’d go for those, but any of the 10 and honorable mentions are just killer. The Tama wins it for competing at such a great price. Super tough to knock that!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
They were all wonderful sounds for sure. There's a few I heard that...today...I preferred over the others. Tomorrow might be different.

The tuning on the last Tama kit was just exquisite.

One thing I noticed is that, unless I'm hearing things, the sonority of the mix seems to change with different days and recording sessions. That makes it a bit harder to judge, but boy is it fun.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
When you get to hear great drums back to back like that, recorded with the utmost care the way DCP does it, one can only come to one conclusion: they ALL sound great within their target sounds. To be honest, a bass drum is a bass drum, and a snare is just a snare when all things are considered. To me, it's the quality of the toms that determine the overall greatness of a kit. With that in mind, some observations:

- Did you notice which toms Shane spent the most time on? The Yamaha Live Customs. The reason is that Yamaha makes tom-toms of the very first class. They speak with beautiful sustaining tones and do so at the same VOLUME as the other drums in the kit. Note how the toms on the Ludwig Mahogany kit could not speak with the volume of the other drums (and I love the mahogany tom tone). But only the #1 Star kit produced tom sounds of the same volume and quality of sound as the Yamahas.

- The toms on every DW drumset have such strong familial responses and tone characteristics as to not only make them easily distinguishable from other brands but also indistinguishable from each other except by pitch. All DW toms have the short decay and downward pitch bend that John Good declares the standard by which all toms should be judged. To a large swath of the drumming world, that Dr. Good philosophy is gospel. Personally, I can live with it. But I much prefer much longer decays and tone centers that sustain rather than bend.

- I expected a lot more beautiful tom sounds from the lone Pearl kit, but that didn't happen in this video. Why? Deeper toms. So the Pearls were at a disadvantage in this contest. I will not hold it against them, though, because listening to normal-depth Pearl toms has proven to me that the brand can hood their own with any of the other top-shelf kits.

- The same "problem" existed with the Gretsch kit tested. The lone upper tom was simply too large to lend the tested kit the higher tones needed to allow for proper comparison.

- The toms on the kits from the smaller manufacturers did well for themselves in this respect. With proper sized toms onboard for the testing, each of them offered up a full basket of slap, resonance, tone, and projection to allow the owner to adjust each, as needed. It's a much better proposition to be offered an excess of these sound values with the ability to attenuate each as needed, than to be crippled by a lack of any one of them.

So, many, many thanks to Shane and crew at DCP. You guys continue to show yourselves as THE drumshop against which all others must be judged. Your efforts are educating every one of us - and hopefully enriching your business simultaneously. May you continue to do what you love, while making a lot of customers happy in the process, and producing a lot of well-earned $$$$$$$$$$ for this wonderful enterprise.

GeeDeeEmm
 

All_The_Drums

Senior Member
They were all wonderful sounds for sure. There's a few I heard that...today...I preferred over the others. Tomorrow might be different.

The tuning on the last Tama kit was just exquisite.

One thing I noticed is that, unless I'm hearing things, the sonority of the mix seems to change with different days and recording sessions. That makes it a bit harder to judge, but boy is it fun.
Our audio guy is constantly trying to get a better sound from the room. He's never satisfied with the mix. In a way, I guess that's a good thing.
Thanks for watching, and for the feedback, Larry.
 

All_The_Drums

Senior Member
When you get to hear great drums back to back like that, recorded with the utmost care the way DCP does it, one can only come to one conclusion: they ALL sound great within their target sounds. To be honest, a bass drum is a bass drum, and a snare is just a snare when all things are considered. To me, it's the quality of the toms that determine the overall greatness of a kit. With that in mind, some observations:

- Did you notice which toms Shane spent the most time on? The Yamaha Live Customs. The reason is that Yamaha makes tom-toms of the very first class. They speak with beautiful sustaining tones and do so at the same VOLUME as the other drums in the kit. Note how the toms on the Ludwig Mahogany kit could not speak with the volume of the other drums (and I love the mahogany tom tone). But only the #1 Star kit produced tom sounds of the same volume and quality of sound as the Yamahas.

- The toms on every DW drumset have such strong familial responses and tone characteristics as to not only make them easily distinguishable from other brands but also indistinguishable from each other except by pitch. All DW toms have the short decay and downward pitch bend that John Good declares the standard by which all toms should be judged. To a large swath of the drumming world, that Dr. Good philosophy is gospel. Personally, I can live with it. But I much prefer much longer decays and tone centers that sustain rather than bend.

- I expected a lot more beautiful tom sounds from the lone Pearl kit, but that didn't happen in this video. Why? Deeper toms. So the Pearls were at a disadvantage in this contest. I will not hold it against them, though, because listening to normal-depth Pearl toms has proven to me that the brand can hood their own with any of the other top-shelf kits.

- The same "problem" existed with the Gretsch kit tested. The lone upper tom was simply too large to lend the tested kit the higher tones needed to allow for proper comparison.

- The toms on the kits from the smaller manufacturers did well for themselves in this respect. With proper sized toms onboard for the testing, each of them offered up a full basket of slap, resonance, tone, and projection to allow the owner to adjust each, as needed. It's a much better proposition to be offered an excess of these sound values with the ability to attenuate each as needed, than to be crippled by a lack of any one of them.

So, many, many thanks to Shane and crew at DCP. You guys continue to show yourselves as THE drumshop against which all others must be judged. Your efforts are educating every one of us - and hopefully enriching your business simultaneously. May you continue to do what you love, while making a lot of customers happy in the process, and producing a lot of well-earned $$$$$$$$$$ for this wonderful enterprise.

GeeDeeEmm
This is a superb evaluation. You've got a gift for writing, GDM. Thanks for your feedback! Happy holidays.
 
Thanks for posting this video, it was great. I felt the honorable mention should have been in the top 10, and a few of the top 10 could have been honorable mentions 😁. I really liked the Ludwig Mahogany, British Drum Company, and Canopus Yaiba. That Gretsch was the coolest though. Again, thanks for putting this together, it was fun.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I agree that Yamaha tends to make the best-sounding toms of all the major brands. Now if they would just make some stave kits....lol
Funny because the Yamaha toms were my least favourite from this selection. Short, lack of sustain or depth, just attack.... Matter of taste of course. The Star and the last Dw were my favourite among that selection.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
It’s a bit funny because in a lot of discussions, you’ll read that it’s the drummer or the skins, or the tuning that makes the difference. This video shows that good - and awfully expensive kits - do sound better. Not meaning that the others don’t sound good (except for the Yamaha - strictlypersonalIknow), but the top end kits do stand out.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Our audio guy is constantly trying to get a better sound from the room. He's never satisfied with the mix. In a way, I guess that's a good thing.
Thanks for watching, and for the feedback, Larry.
He does a great job with the audio. Almost too good. It's made it quite clear to me that under the mics, the difference between top shelf and midrange is no where near what it used to be.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Love it. Great video. Helps me decide which kit I'd like to have. But I guess I'd need two of them. One for loud rock gigs and one for softer inde gigs. Yes, we really do need a special video just for snare drums. They are a very different drum voice compared to toms and bass drums.
One little nit picky thing about the video: The bass drum sounds may not be a fair comparison. Because some of them had ports and some did not.

.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I've got to admit the Ludwig Legacy Mahogany was my favorite.
Close second is the DW Cherry/Mahogany kit. Gorgeous tone. Bonus points for that kit having a mile high Hi-Hat Upper Pull Rod.
Glad to know the next generation is in good hands with Barrett's man-sized Gretsch Broadkasters. Everyone should own at least one bass drum that requires its own license plate.
 

theseer2

Junior Member
I was not impressed with any of them for those prices. To me the Maple Ludwigs and the Neusonics sound better, and are way cheaper.
 
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