In that price range, look in the used section of Guitar Center's website. You can find a lot of really nice used kits in the $200-$500 range.
currently using the stage custom compact kit range as gig kits and can thouroughly recommend. Excellent build quality and hard to beat sound wise dollar for dollar. Just upgrade the heads.I would look for a used Yamaha Stage Custom in great - excellent condition. Resale will remain high because intermediate to pros will dabble with them as a gig kits.
A used PDP CX/MX/LX is also a great option. I would just avoid the early years pre "STM mount" as manufacturing wasn't as good.. Granted.. Some the 2003's with STM were hit or miss. If any of these PDP kits have 10 lug per side bass drums, you're looking at late 2006+ which should be significantly better than the earlier ones in terms of quality control.
I cant comment on newer PDP stuff made in Asia. The older models I listed pretty much use DW hardware and Wood (Reject plies from the Cali factory at the time) manufacturered at a lower mass produced price point (Pre design/Platinum series).
My typical recommendation for entry level kits and adults purchasing for youths is:Thanks. My feeling exactly, but if I find something better in the price range I'm at might as well get that.
I'd argue against this to an extent. A low end new/used kit wont have the best resale as its bottom of the barrel in terms of desire and usage past the beginner phase.Total newb beginner - it won't matter much what you get, and I'd say don't spend a lot.
If you stick with it, you can upgrade later.
Any of the kits mentioned in this thread would be OK.
I think 500 is actually fair in some cases. Depends who's selling. Most retailers have significant profit margins and are willing to liquidate at times.. Brand new stage custom kits used to go for 550 on sale every 6 or so months from Guitar Center. You can prob score one easily for this price if Musicians friend hands out a 20% discount code for example.Thanks, but they sold. I'm now looking at some Tama Superstars, complete used kit for $450.
Also a PDP Concept 5 piece for $600, but only the drums, but they are brand new. I offered $350 and apologized for the low balling, but explained I'm a noob and my total budget is 500 clams.