Drum kit ratings by brand

moxman

Silver Member
I'm looking at picking up another kit - this time my ultimate 'forever' kit Lol (just like the other ones!) I'm taking my time and really researching the market. I have very specific requirements in mind.. but I was wondering if anyone has come across an up to date list of ratings or ranking of various kits/shell packs by brand/price?

I remember seeing a great list by Mike Dolbear several years ago.. broken down by entry level - intermediate - pro level kits listing all the brands and model types.. but I can't find it anymore.

My problem is some brands I can't keep track of the model names.. like Tama - rockstar, superstar, really-superstar, hyperstar, megastar, wtf-star.. !
I'm really only interested in pro-level kits -or that gray area between intermediate and pro where they are awesomely great drums but way cheaper then a Gretsch USA or DW collector or Sonor SQ2 etc.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
A list doesn't exist to my knowledge, and if it did it would be subjective.

However, I did extensive research before I bought my Renowns earlier this year, so I may be of help to you. (with my subjective opinions haha) I spent way too much time...months...watching nearly every video on Youtube. It was fun and I had the time...stop hasslin' me. :p

What exactly are your requirements? Genres you'll play, sound characteristics, versatility, drum dimensions...and what's your BUDGET?
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Seems like that "grey" area gets grey-er with time.

I haven't found any lists that really work like your asking for. Most lists now days are geared towards "selling" drum kits. Read review .... click here ..... buy kit. And problem with that ..... they mix $400 and $500 kits in with $2000 kits.

Tama ..... that's easy, however ..... Star, Starclassic, and S.L.P, I would consider them pro rigs. Superstar, that grey area intermediate kit that may or may not suit your requirements.

Just about any drum manufacture web site you go to, the pro (high end) kits are listed/pictured at the top of the page. You'll also find them the most expensive.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That chart is cool for expense, but that's it. Pearl for example, the Midtown is lumped in with the Roadshow and Traveler. But the shell construction and hardware belongs with the Export. To me, that info is more important than the cost of the kit. Money doesn't necessarily mean quality. And once you get into the $$$$$ range, there are so many options to choose from the chart doesn't really mean much. Unless money is the only consideration.
 
The only thing I can say is these "Best of " Or ranking lists are what someone else already said completely subjective. When someone asks me especially a newbie what is the best........ Fill in the blank. There is no " best " anything in drumming. It's all what you like. I cringe when I see online article or Drum magazine articles that have the Top 20 or Top 10 whatever. Oh yeah ? says who ? Just do your research check out stuff and you'll find something that suits your needs.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh heck there are bunches of articles rating drum kits. Drums du jour. They go from beginner to top line-mostly hit the big makers-blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah-ad infinitum. Tells you nothing but we could pool the comparisons from 2017-2019 and perform a Meta-analysis to see if something pops up LOL.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
It's definitely intermediate, and I don't know your intentions/musical style, but I think a Yamaha Stage Custom would be a great way to go. They're built well, the hardware is durably simple and hasn't changed much over the years, and they sound great. They also don't seem to have fallen into any faddish trappings so they should age well (unlike, say, a kit with power toms)
 
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Jml

Senior Member
It's definitely intermediate, and I don't know your intentions/musical style, but I think a Yamaha Stage Custom would be a great way to go. They're built well, the hardware is durably simple and hasn't changed much over the years, and they sound great. They also don't seem to have fallen into any faddish trappings so they should age well (unlike, say, a kit with power toms)
+1 Can’t ever go wrong with Yamaha Stage Custom.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Best at what? It's about your taste and wallet.

Tama isn't that hard. Current production is listed by price, high to low. https://www.tama.com/eu/products/category/drum_kits/

Doesn't sound like you've tried enough stuff to make an informed choice.

When it comes to pro level, I think most but the cheapest kits would meet that criteria today. It's a really competitive market and you can't get away with making crap anymore. Comes down to your taste in sound and looks.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
It would take me years to truly evaluate any drum-need to measure all parameters, measure biomechanics properties with stress-strain curves, then sound analysis that'll be a huge undertaking, I'll need an AI drummer who can always play the same =so will be controlled for all applications. With just one drummer and need at least data sets it could take awhile-I know synchronized identical AI drummers-so ten of them. Once I do all that for one drum then I'll do the rest of kit and then do the same to the comparison kit. Now it's not fair to compare apples and oranges-so if aren't the same wood that's a problem-can't be mixing and matching. I'll need funding so I'll set up a GoFundMe page for the extensive five year research plan comparing drum kits. I'll have hard data-not biased human comparisons. In fact the study needs to be double blind so I'll need an AI robot to perform the experiments. Dang costs keep going up-and time now is ten years. I'll need more funding. I don't think current techniques will do so need to go quantum. Now I'll need a cyclotron-cost keep going up-and the answer is so close. I just feel it. I'm building a time machine now-cause I can't wait that long for the answer. When I return I'll have the goods for sure. Oh man I need a scanning electron microscope and a polarizing microscope to examine and compare the ultrastructural organization of the wood too-because the difference may come from structure-function relationships. Dang cost keep going up. Then of course one study doesn't prove squat so need more studies over years so a comparative literature to sort it all out. Give me mo money.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Here is my list; Budget, features, finish( wrap , stain, lacquer , color) Then go out and play as many with these criteria as you can. Most lists are going to be based on what the list maker likes and not any scientific method.
Absolutely-it's all about personal choice-which everyone has their own criteria. Science can't measure everything-nor is it meaningful sometimes when they do. Seems the more you know about something the more you expect out of it though like any tool can do the job but with experience you find some bells and whistles are worth the extra fuss.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I'd start with what kind of sound are you going for... Modern (e.g.Tama Starclassic)? Vintage (e.g. Gretsch BroadKaster)? Really warm/mellow (e.g. Noble & Cooley Walnut)? Bright/cutting (e.g. Yamaha Live Custom)? Low & thuddy (e.g. DW)?

One you figure that out, that will narrow down your choices considerably. Then play or watch videos of those kits until one speaks to you more than the others. There you go.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Some great replies in there - thanks! Lot's to think about. I've played all kinds of kits and backline equipment and have owned probably 15 kits ranging from Rogers, Ludwigs, Yamahas, Premiers, Mapex, Sonor, Tempus and DW.. so I know all those lines but I guess Tama and Gretsch are the ones I'm really not familiar with. I have heard good things about Renowns.. and then there's all those custom builders.. Canopus, Ayotte etc.
I'm looking for a pro kit under 5K that has a low tom profile over a 22" kick, 5piece shell pack 2up,2 down.. i go back and forth between birch and maple I love them both.. and it has to be easy to move.. and it has to have a stunning finish.. .and the sound has to be killer of course! Tone and attack with the right amount of resonance.. projection and wide tuning range etc..
Oh yeah and I'm not looking for ratings in terms of which is 'best' - cause yeah that's a subjective dead end - I'm just looking for models to check out that have a reputation for awesomeness.. just to help narrow down my search - or tweak me to a brand I've never heard of.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Some great replies in there - thanks! Lot's to think about. I've played all kinds of kits and backline equipment and have owned probably 15 kits ranging from Rogers, Ludwigs, Yamahas, Premiers, Mapex, Sonor, Tempus and DW.. so I know all those lines but I guess Tama and Gretsch are the ones I'm really not familiar with. I have heard good things about Renowns.. and then there's all those custom builders.. Canopus, Ayotte etc.
I'm looking for a pro kit under 5K that has a low tom profile over a 22" kick, 5piece shell pack 2up,2 down.. i go back and forth between birch and maple I love them both.. and it has to be easy to move.. some of the DW stuff is heavy. and it has to have a stunning finish.. .
10x7 and 12x8 are probably the most common rack tom sizes these days, is that low profile enough?

How would you describe the sound you're going for? Punchy, bright, dark, articulate, round, quick, long, resonant, aggressive, mellow, cutting, etc.....or just a versatile sound?
 
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