The Best Drum Brands In Order Are????

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Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
This seems like a really pointless thread...everyone's got different preferences.

You can't just make an absolutely judgement, because different companies do different things better than others.

BUT if I were to do this little survey, I would have to say, of the MAJOR companies, these are the best...


1. Pearl/Yamaha
2. Tama
3. Sonor
4. DW
5. Gretsch/Ludwig
7. ddrum (higher end stuff only)

That being said, I think the hardware lines for some companies are definitely of a higher or lower calibre than the shells they make.

1. Pearl
2. Yamaha
3. DW
4. Tama
Any thread that starts out, Who, what, where, is the BEST is pointless


Platinum Member
I'm not even gonna make a list, but just one question. Seriously. How does anyone put Pearl ahead of Sonor? I mean, really?

OK, I will make a list. Whatever.

1. Sonor
2. Ludwig
4. GMS
5. Tama
6. Spaun
7. Yamaha
8. Gretsch
9. Mapex
10. Pearl
Indeed: there is no way that Pearl is ahead of Sonor. Just can't see that happening ever. I like some of Pearl's stuff, and used to play Pearl--they make good drums and hardware--but Sonor's professional-level kits (Designers, Phonics, S-Classix, Delites, SQ2, Hilites) simply out-class Pearl's Masters, Reference, and Masterwork kits.

What about Kumu? After hearing Wavelength's thin-shelled birch Kumu drums, I would think Kumu might be near the list.

Glad to see someone mention both GMS and Spaun. I was actually just researching both companies (again) and have found a lot of praise for them. Spaun, in particular, seems to be garnering tons of praise over the past 12 years: excellent lugs, overall quality, supremely pleasing sound and tuning range. I may have to consider a Spaun jazz kit for the future!


Staff member
. Spaun, in particular, seems to be garnering tons of praise over the past 12 years: excellent lugs, overall quality, supremely pleasing sound and tuning range. I may have to consider a Spaun jazz kit for the future!
You can take a wild guess as to my take on this. Spaun aren't the best. There's no such catch all as best. They are, however, superb at what they do. As with all drum companies, it depends on whether their particular range of features floats your boat.


Senior Member
4. yamaha
6. gretsch
7 tama
8. ludwig

not a fan of dw and mapex. dw have some great finishes though


Senior Member
Thats a hard question to answer. Its all subjective and each company has their strong points. Im a DW guy, love the sound and the look. Im not loyal to any company, I buy what sounds and more importantly feels right to me. Cant go wrong with the big 5 high end stuff.


Senior Member
Why do you think that?
DW has to be because they're the most expensive. Opinions all over the place, I see no consensus. All of the makers have upper, mid, and entry level products. I honestly would reject none of them because of some perceived quality of lack thereof.


Silver Member
Obviously this discussion is going in the way of rating drum makers in order, but I will instead attempt to rate the BRANDS in order.

for example obviously (or arguably) a bugatti is better than a ford, but FORD is a better brand than bugatti.

best drum BRANDS top 10:

ludwig probably the most recognized brand in drums soley because of ringo starr, not to mention their drums are used widely in education. "the most famous name in drums"

pearl another huge brand in education/marching plus a huge endorser list and the massive popularity of the pearl export series. they also have better retail placement that any other brand. I can't ever remember walking into a store that didn't have pearl on display for sale same goes with mailorder catalogs. there is ALWAYS picture of a pearl kit for sale.

tama another huge brand with alot of high profile endorsers, widely available, just not in some areas like education as much as pearl.

yamaha probably the biggest "brand name" in the drum game but I would guess alot of average joes don't know they even have a music division. that said they have a huge endorser list, huge in education and marching.

dw the most famous high-end drum makers your average musician who doesn't know anything about drums will go "ooh" over a dw kit just on sight of the logo alone. their brand is very well known.

sonor this is a huge brand in europe and well known worldwide. some highly visible endorsers.

gretsch This is a lesser known brand but ever since KAMAN music got involved with them their products are seen everywhere know in mailorder and in stores, and they have a rich history and one of the most used makers of the jazz era. If you google "drum" gretsch is the first brand website that comes up (not that that means anything, but interesting)

mapex their brand is pretty widely available and I know i've seen their gear in drum corp and several school systems.

premier this brand has fallen off in the states in recent years, I actually never see their stuff anymore but it was very popular through the 90's especially their top of the line kits. I put them on my list because of keith moon, and nicko mcbrain. Easily the most popular british brand.

pdp/pacific I separate this from DW because it is a different "brand". In a short amount of time they have taken over the market for beginner/entry-level sets. Search "drum" on any craigslist and there will be tons of pdp/pacific kits for sale. I see them in most stores and mailorder catalogs too.


Platinum Member
This will turn into WW III real quick!
I'm going to quote myself here. This is something that I have never done! This is something that I probably will never do again!

There are many drum manufacturers, Some big, Some small! That is a fact that all of us cannot dispute.
There are brands of drums that are popular, There are brands of drums that are obscure!
There are drummers that are popular, There are drummers that are obscure!

As drumming and music styles change, The drum manufacturers as well as the drummers change. The configurations of the drum kits change. The personalities of the drummers change.

This being said, Let's move on from here.

There is a drum for every drummer, and there is a drummer for every drum!

Lets just leave it at that! Shouldn't we? Why not?

I think that we shall!


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would like to see the rules changed to read,"Any thread title with the word Best in it, will be deleted immediately."


Platinum Member
So tama is the best brand?
Thats it! You got it! Whatever kit that I am playing is the BEST KIT!
All drums are the best!
I love all drums equally!
I love my drums, I love your drums, I love expensive drums, I love cheap drums, I love wrapped drums, I love pure wood drums, I just plain love drums!

PS, I love all drum heads also!

And don't get me started on cymbals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Funk, I love Country, I love Jazz, I love Pop.
Disco? I'm working on that!


Platinum Member
So if I buy a First Act drumset it will be the equivalent to a one worth much more?
It is a poor carpenter that blames his tools!
The "Statue of David" was made with a hammer and a chisel!
You can play a shoestring and people will like it, If you are sincere!

I'll translate it into drum lingo. You can play plastic tubs and garbage can lids and people will like it if you are sincere!
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Silver Member
1. sound x
2. austin & bazaar
3. gammon
4. gp
5. cb
6. first act
7. yoki
8. ion
9. westbury
10. hb

anything less would be uncivilized.....


Junior Member
For me....
No best and poor drums...
its in the matter on how yoo play it...
expensive or cheap,metal or wood,popular or not,
it's all in the quality of the drummer....
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