Drum kit ratings by brand

moxman

Silver Member
Doesn't sound like you've tried enough stuff to make an informed choice.
That's my next step.. narrowing down choices and then finding specific kits to try out. Like I said, I've played or own many top of line kits.. I'm looking for something that's really unique and worth blowing a lot of money on - not just another version of what I'm already familiar with. Fortunately I live in an area where drum kits of all stripes are plentiful - either new or used in stores.. and great used deals on Kijiji if you know what to look for..
 

moxman

Silver Member
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?
Yes those sizes are in the ball park.. as for sound Punchy, bright but warm tone, articulate, is it..
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That's my next step.. narrowing down choices and then finding specific kits to try out. Like I said, I've played or own many top of line kits.. I'm looking for something that's really unique and worth blowing a lot of money on - not just another version of what I'm already familiar with. Fortunately I live in an area where drum kits of all stripes are plentiful - either new or used in stores.. and great used deals on Kijiji if you know what to look for..
If you want really unique and one off, build them yourself. You can pick shells, bearing edges, lugs, hoops, everything. Granted, you must be good with tools and be mechanically inclined, but it's another option to explore.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Yeah! That's what I'm looking for.. along those lines. Just looking for groupings of higher end models to check out... Thanks!
Most manufacturers list their highest end kit at the top of the list on their sites,
and work their way downward in price and quality from there.





and so on. It shouldn't take you long at all to make a list. You could even post it here when you're done. ;)
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
If you live near shops with some selection of higher priced drums, then get out and play em. If there’s nothing nearby and you’re looking to drop some serious money on something unique or special, then maybe plan a trip to one of the big shops...Forks, DCP, Chicago Drum Exchange, Memphis Drum...etc. nothing beats checking things out up close.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Yes those sizes are in the ball park.. as for sound Punchy, bright but warm tone, articulate, is it..
Since you aren't too familiar with Tama and Gretsch you absolutely need to check out the Tama Starclassic Birch/Walnut, and the Gretsch Renown. I've played both and they are incredible. Both very punchy and loud (in a sonorous way) that really gives back to you behind the kit. The Tama B/W has a shorter note, the Renowns have tremendous resonance (that can be tamed through tuning or head choices).

If you're feeling high-brow you should check out George Way drums. They're modern yet classic at the same time. Very classy. The Walnut kits and Acacia kits sound articulate and warm and have a distinct resonance usually not found in drums with 1 center lug. Unlike other drums that are seemingly in the same category (like C&C drums, Ludwig Club Date) they have an immediate attack, not a slower rounder tone most associated with kits like the Ludwig Club Date.
 

Vandalay

Member
I was discussing this with a friend the other night, to me it's all about price range/value...
in the $500-$1000 range, the Tama superstar classic is the winner for me,
in the $1000-$1500, it might be Gretsch Renown (although I wish they made shallower kicks)
in the $1500-$2000 range & beyond it becomes more about personal preference.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TJK

DaleClark

Senior Member
I have played Ludwigs for 45 years. If I were shopping for a new kit, I would be all over Gretsch and Sonor. I think both make the best mid tier drum sets.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If you're feeling high-brow you should check out George Way drums. They're modern yet classic at the same time. Very classy. The Walnut kits and Acacia kits sound articulate and warm and have a distinct resonance usually not found in drums with 1 center lug. Unlike other drums that are seemingly in the same category (like C&C drums, Ludwig Club Date) they have an immediate attack, not a slower rounder tone most associated with kits like the Ludwig Club Date.
Someone is selling these locally:


To the OP: With a $5k budget, you should be able to get pretty much what you want IMO. Just go play everything you can get your hands on, and enjoy the journey!

At this point, I'm a big fan of Ludwig Classic Maple, but I'd look into Legacy kits too.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Someone is selling these locally:


To the OP: With a $5k budget, you should be able to get pretty much what you want IMO. Just go play everything you can get your hands on, and enjoy the journey!

At this point, I'm a big fan of Ludwig Classic Maple, but I'd look into Legacy kits too.
Yes George Way has some very nice $$ stuff.. I've also heard GMS id great .. and Classic Maples are cool - big in recordings in the 70's!
Someone mentioned Sonor and Gretsch - I'm definitely looking into those (and Tama).

I should have mentioned.. I got this one past my wife by explaining that I was going to sell my Recording Customs (22,10,12,13,14,16) which are in emaculate condition (even though I gigged with 'most of them' a lot many years ago) and are awesome drums. Looking for something that has that killer sound but has an ergonomic fit with my body (low profile etc.). The first kit I ever owned was a Ludwig Club Date (1967) the sound of those drums just got better with age - and they fit me like a glove. Although I bought them as a kid for $350 (4 piece).. I sold them 10 or more years ago for $700, and now I see them in used stores for ridiculous prices in the thousands.
I have found that a lot of modern kits these days are so well built, sound so good and have great hardware that's reliable and quick setup.. I'm not interested in vintage at this point.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
If you can afford it, definitely check out the Sonor SQ2 line. They are (in my opinion) the best sounding drums in existence. The cleanest tone, super articulate, resonant, everything about the sound is perfect.

Don't be afraid to buy USED. Owners of SQ2 drums generally keep them in pristine condition. You could basically get a like-new SQ2 for several thousand less.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Best brands and their products is a moving target-and some of the older discontinued series are highly praised though modest in price. Since my interest in Renown's seems the year you buy one can vary from latest?? Sometimes it seems like they just reshuffle the deck and add a new name for a series. The higher end products has always been good but the lesser have made dramatic improvements over time. I'd rather spend my money on high end snares and cymbals and fudge on the rest of the kit-if I financially was limited to that option. Then too gigging a smaller investment hurts less when some singer jumps on your kick drum and it cracks like an egg. Just shows you should have bought Pearl-with the Lifetime warranty and that's normal "wear and tear" for a gigging kit so should be covered LOL.
 
Top