First off, I want to say that I've said several times in other threads that you can get drumkits in this price range to sound really good with top tier heads and proper tuning, and I still believe that. I have recent experience and am currently playing with the Tama Superstar Classic after years away from playing. It's not my kit, but I won't go into the whole story as to why, it's complicated. Anyway, it's a good sounding kit. I have clear Emperors on the toms and a pinstripe on the kick. A reverse black dot coated ambassador head on the snare. The kit was purchased only a few years ago. I was used to birch my whole life, so maple is definitely (in my view) a little harder to control and keep focused, but I do think the kit sounds good. The hardware, as I've said many times, is where things change. I do have to fine tune more due to the thinner hoops, the snare strainer is what I would only call serviceable. And the tom holder is the weakest part of the kit IMO. You, or maybe I should say "I" can definitely tell I'm playing on a "budget" kit when it comes to that tom mount/holder. I had to really crank down the wingnuts on everything related to the tom holder and toms to get everything to remain stable. Think Little Ceasers Pizza and you've got the idea I'm going for when it comes to the aforementioned hardware quality. For the money it's fine, you really can't complain, but in comparison to higher end kits there is going to be a really big difference. The only reason I'm bringing this up, and I debated internally whether or not to do so, is because I just don't want some inexperienced young kid coming on the board for the for the first time and thinking they can get this kit, or one like it, and be playing on an amazing sounding kit with top quality hardware that is flawless etc. You can get kits like this to sound really good, but the hardware will be what it will be, and what it won't be is top quality. Again, think Little Ceasers, for the money it's good, certainly a fair price for what you're getting. Lastly, the caveat to all this is that I'm a pretty heavy handed and footed player, if you're not (and many aren't) you'll likely not notice the flaws in the cheaper hardware as much as a guy like me, and that's great because you'll probably really love a kit like this (sincerely). No intended offense to anyone, but I felt to compelled to give my 2 cents on this one.