How do you feel about drums made in Taiwan?


Silver Member
Player not the gear.
Exactly. How many videos have you seen of street drummers using home depot buckets, cracked cymbals, pots and pans that can out drum the person with DW, Paiste high end equipment? AND, twirl sticks, throw the sticks in the air, catch them and NOT miss a beat?

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Good perspective.
I've been off the gear buying merry-go-round for about a year now. It's interesting looking at it from a different perspective. I never thought I'd reach a point where I would say to myself..."I'm good gear-wise. I'm done." I think it might be like quitting cigarettes for example where you think about it, but don't act on it.
That's probably a pretty easy choice in that you have Guru shell bank. Great place to be though. I'm also done messing about as I have a pretty damn nice kit (Prolite) and a couple beautiful snares (Sonor Phonic Reissue 515 and a Hendrix Archetype Walnut Stave.) As Johnny Guitar Watson said....."Ain't nothin' left to be desired." That said, there's a lot of nice kits that come out of Asia. Find what you like and buy it. Enjoy!



"Uncle Larry"
That's probably a pretty easy choice in that you have Guru shell bank. Great place to be though. I'm also done messing about as I have a pretty damn nice kit (Prolite) and a couple beautiful snares (Sonor Phonic Reissue 515 and a Hendrix Archetype Walnut Stave.) As Johnny Guitar Watson said....."Ain't nothin' left to be desired." That said, there's a lot of nice kits that come out of Asia. Find what you like and buy it. Enjoy!

It is an easy choice. So much so that temptation is no longer there. It feels strange. It really clears my head and allows me to focus on my playing instead. I still love talking about gear though.


Silver Member
I'm thinking of starting a 12 step program to help those that can't stop buying one more cymbal, another snare drum etc. I think Terry Bozzio should be my first sponsee.



Platinum Member
As of June 2019, the top 3 car manufacturers by sales are:
1. Toyota (1937)
2. Volkswagen (1937)
3. Hyundai (1967)

Mercedes is the world's oldest car company (founded as Mercedes-Benz in 1926, can be traced back to 1886 and Karl Benz [inventor of what is considered the first car]). It didn't even make the top 10, nor did BMW (1916).

People want value, something that works. German cars are electrical nightmares, way over engineered, and cost a small fortune to fix. My 15 year old Hyundai has over 200,000 miles, is extremely reliable, and everything in it still works. How many German cars can you say that about?

Oh yeah, as of 2014, vice president of engineering for BMW Albert Biermann moved to Hyundai. That's got to mean something.

The drum world reflects no differently. Pearl is the top selling drum company years over, yet is no where near as old as Sonor. Age is a number, quality and affordability dominate.
The question is ‘How do you feel about ...’
not ‘Where do most sales come from?’
Quite a different question.


Platinum Member
Same with German cars vs. Korean cars - there’s a perceived extra value or refinement which makes people pay extra for a car with similar specs because the company behind it has a long history.
The question is ‘How do you feel about ...’
not ‘Where do most sales come from?’
Quite a different question.
The quote I replied to earlier eludes to people buying from companies with history over newer companies. I pointed out with cars and drums, this is definitely not the case. If it were, MB and Sonor would be on top.

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I own a Chinese made Sonor Bop kit. Love it. Would I trade it for an equivalent American kit? Yes. In a second. There’s something special about owning things made in your own country, especially one in which most of its consumer manufacturing jobs have been lost.


Platinum Member
I play higher-end, USA-made drum sets. With that said, right now my Pearl Masters snare drum (made in Taiwan) is my go-to snare for every gig. It sounds absolutely fantastic.
No need to be depressed. As you stated so well, many of the major drum companies have built their products in Taiwan for at least 40 years now. I myself have played Pearl products for over 30 years now, and they were made in Taiwan. This includes drums as well as very sturdy Hardware. So if you are concerned that there really isn't a homegrown brand of drums and percussion products, then perhaps you and some friends can get together and start your own Drum Company. 😊
I think this also related to Taiwan’s music industry.
U.S.A. is the leading country of music industry. This is no need to say.
And Japan has an open mind to various genre of music and also has stunning creativity.
So they have flourish music industry, too.
And the people in the music industry would have demand to buy their gear,
so that makes the their musical instrument industry could grow up.
When the musicians become the world famous level, they can also be the endorser of the brand.
This makes some people who respect the musicians would choose the same brand.

Although we produce some superior drums and hardware,
but we don’t have a well music industry to support the these brand.
There’re some culture or lifestyle difference, but this is not the point of the topic.
So we could only doing OEM/ODM to earn few money from these brands.
Or some companies would choose to make their brand feel like foreign brand like Mapex.
Then they can earn more money by their brand value.

I have some plan to have a workshop to build guitar with my friends,
but it’s difficult to quit my job for doing this.
It’s not easy to run a musical instrument company in Taiwan.


Well-known member
I've got no problem with Taiwanese drums. But like you say, Taiwan produces a lot of drums FOR other companies. And a partnership like that leaves all the glory to usually go to the parent company, usually. Also, the parent company usually produces the "flagship" lines, relegating the entry and mid-level drums (which they sell more of).

Secondly ..... partnerships like this usually mean the parent company is fully in charge of design and build specification.

Now, Mapex is 30 years in the game. That's fairly young. Yamaha's been doin' drums for 52 years. Pearl for 73.

Dixon, from what I understand, started in 1979 in St. Louis. And they faced the same battle here .... Ludwig being around since 1909. Gretsch, since 1883. I think the current Dixon line started around 2011. And the Artisan series (top line) get great reviews. Problem is, right now, I've never seen one. I'm not sure where I'd go to buy one. Can I buy one from Sweetwater, or Guitar Center, etc.? I do a google, and I can't find a dealer. I go on the web site, and I can't locate a dealer within 500 km. So they have a lot of work ahead of 'em, if they want to bust into the US drum market.

For depression, I suggest you start playing drums. I'm not a doctor, but it works for me.

:):) Welcome to Drummerworld.
Hello there, I don't play Dixon drums but a friend of mine represents the Dixon brand here in the Netherlands true a European distributor( he works for them). He has an Artisan set and it looks and sounds killer. The quality is very high just like any Pearl Masterworks or Tama Starclassic or... . If you like I can ask him where to find a USA dealer or where you can get them. I must say that here in the Netherlands Dixon is an unknown brand drum wise, if people know the brand it goes back to the cheap drum kits they had years ago and none expensive hardware they sold. I think that's what stops people from looking at the drums they sell now. The Artisan series in mine opinion is up to par with any Reference or Starclassic kit only for a 1/4th of the price.
My Taiwan made 2007 Gretsch Renown stacks up against any of the kits that have passed through my hands over the years - multiple Recording Customs, 1960's - early 2000 Ludwig's, Premier Genista and vintage Premier, Pearl Masters, Tama Starclassic, as well as my 60's Round Badge and early 80's Gretsch USA Custom drums. In fact, the Renown is better is better made than all of those kits except for possibly the Recording Customs.
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If they use the same quality components, and best practices in production it shouldn't really matter. Isn't Dixon drums based in Taiwan-I've never played but look like solid quality drums?? Maybe the problem is people "think" inferior (don't take that personal as a diss to your ancestry) in manufacturing because of misinformation-it's often the case.
I live pretty close to the Gretsch South Carolina factory that makes USA customs (I don't think they manufacture the shells or hardwares-just assemble-I stand corrected if wrong??)-but I don't think anything magical happens there-put on my flame suit LOL. I've thought about buying their formula Keller shells , and hardware-then pull up to their parking lot and assemble the knock-off there by myself. So I can later sell it-as produced at the Gretsch Ridgeland SC factory USA Custom drum kit--"honestly" LOL. No I wouldn't but now I've the idea in my head. Crap-it could become an obsession.
Actually, the hardware, parts in the drum industry are almost from Taiwan.
So the shell would be the key point to make the difference.
Some old brand like Premier, Gretsch, Ludwig might have their core technology.
But I don't think it would have a significant difference between Taiwan made and their own factory made.
People are buying their brand value.
I have 2 Taiwanese Gretsch sets I’m as happy about as my USA Gretsch. so from a quality standpoint I have no problem.

However the new brands, inclusive of Asian brands, have no history, no famous music associated with them, few strong artists., etc So a potential customer have no emotions to connect to Dixon, Mapex, etc. so there’s no point to buy those drums.

it’s like a Stratocaster. Everybody have a similar guitar in their range. But there’s really no point to buy it unless there’s budget constraints. So Fender wins.
Yeah... Asian brand's weak point is that we don't know how to promote our product by brand history or telling story to make extra value on our product. And we also don't have many world famous artist to be endorser.
But I think if someone have playing drum for a long time, they would think the quality and sound or practicality are the most important thing.
So they would find if the Taiwan made drum sets are better or worse.

Actually, I have Stratocaster and Jazzmaster by Fender.
But they're made in Japan. Because I think the Japan made Fender would have more strictly quality control and better craftsmanship.
Even many people consider that Japan made Fender isn't Fender.
Because they have different material supplier or something, but they still make good guitar.
I found many people mentioned that the Taiwan made Gretsch Renown have nice quality and sound pretty nice.
So I just found there were some guys discussed in the Taiwan drum forum.
And a guy hint that our company and Dixon's company had cooperated and doing OEM for Gretsch. OMG


Gold Member
Hello folks,
I'm a Taiwanese and working in a drum manufacturer in Taiwan.
Sorry for my poor English first, there would have some strange grammar in my post lol.

I started this job as a sales a year ago.
I feel really surprise, because I found so many Taiwan companies are doing the OEM for world famous brand from 80's or earlier.
Like TAMA, DW, Yamaha, SONOR, Sakae etc.. Even Pearl has their own factory in Taiwan.
There are also some Taiwan brand you might know like Dixon and Mapex. (Actually Mapex produce their drums in Mainland China)

I'm a guitarist playing in a semi-pro band and can't play drum.
So I don't really know if drum sounds terrific.
I had seen some guys prefer the USA or Japan made drums more than Taiwan.
I'm wondering how do you guys feel about the drum's quality or craftmanship which made in Taiwan.
The factories here have drum making experience over 20~30 years, and using the same material as USA or Japan factories.
But there isn't any Taiwan brand success like TAMA or DW.
As a Taiwanses, this make me feel really depressed :((


Gold Member
Build quality and craftsmanship matter. Place of manufacture does not. The Pearl Reference Drums that I once owned we’re premium, well-crafted products, built in Taiwan. They were some of the better production drums that you’ll find. Conversely, lower level drums built in Taiwan with cheap materials likely compare with similar products made elsewhere.

I’m at a point in my life where I only own great gear. I have drums made in the U.S., the UK, Japan, Germany and China (Tama Starclassics). They are all well made and sound great.


Senior Member
I have only heard great things about Taiwan. Friendly people, great culture, great food... Maybe I will retire there someday!


New member
Whatever. The point is more about technology and know-how than even the worker who made the drums. I bet the Taiwanese workers from Pearl or Tama, in parity purchase power, receives more than the mexican who works at DW or Ludwig in US headquarters lol

I can garantee that, at least, it's way better than any brazilian drumset or the ones made in Eastern Europe, that are cheap as ****.