What's been your favorite or most impressive house/backline kit?


Platinum Member
Many of us complain about house kits (me included), but what's been the best one you've played? Which one has stuck out to you the most?

Mine was a newer round-badge set of Renowns. This was the most dialed-in house kit I've ever heard. They were running Emperors on the batters, and they had a Beta 52 on the kick, which I've never really thought the best of, but man, what a sound! I'm now running Emps on my Classic Maples because of this, and I love them. What a great kit it was!

How about you? Best house/backline kit? Go!
Last edited:
I auditioned once for a band, they had a Ludwig Accent kit....... pretty standard, nothing unusual.

But the 16" floor tom was simply heavenly.

To this day I just have no idea how those guys got it sounding so amazing.

I will never forget that night.

Both for the floor tom and the ride home on my motorbike.......they didn't like my playing so I was pissed off so I was a bit grumpy.

It was bloody freezing and there were kangaroos all along the road.
Best was one of my old custom kits I sold a guy who ran a local jam night.

Shells were amazing all Scandinavian Birch with reinforcement rings and sounded amazing. Bass drum was just too deep.

Bias aside the local jazz club has a decent Stage Custom with 2002s on.
For me it was a Yamaha Live Custom kit I played back in 2018. I played a 1960's Gretsch kit at a blues jam a few months ago that was nice, too.
I remember the first time I played a back line kit was in college.....It was a Mapex Orion and compared to my then Exports......yeah it was outstanding, as it should have been being their top of the line kit at the time.

Played a few DWs that were rented during the early 2000s, seemed like every company that rented drums thought everyone wanted DWs......so there was that. They were "fine". They went "boom" when I hit them, it was an "OK" boom but nothing special per se.

I played a Catalina kit a few years ago that was a standard "house kit" and it didn't suck......it punched above its weight class.
Its a Yamaha Absolute Birch Custom kit, with the deep snare that I get to play on occasion. Its killer looking too, a laquer black sparkle color ( maybe dark gray) with the fully sparkled hoops, super cool looking and through the sound system at this venue, it sounds fantastic.
Another venue had a script Rogers in copper wrap...beat to complete hell, all the stands were broken, wing nuts and everything, impossible to adjust the stands so i would bring my own, none had cymbal sleeves or non-stripped wing nuts! but it sounded pretty good too.
There’s a venue in town that will rent a backline kit to the drummer for $25, and it happens to be the sweetest Allegra bop kit I’ve ever heard. I look forward to playing there, because, while I’ll gladly pay $25 to not schlep, I’m stoked to play on this gem of a kit. I asked, and they said it was NOT for sale. :(
Got to play a Ludwig Classic Maple as a rented backline kit for the first time last fall, it was quite pleasant sounding, allthough the bassdrum tom mounting had definitely seen better days. Other than that I haven't had the luxury of very high-end drums being in the venues, usually around Stage Custom/Catalina standard, decent enough though. Never thought that it was better than my own kit though.
I was a regular at a blues jam where the host kit was a set of recoding customs. The dynamics of those drums were amazing. By that I mean, as you hit them harder, they of course got louder, but the drums matched each other loudness-wise and tonally in a very pleasant way. First time I played them I remember thinking, "Oh, so this is what a $3,000 3-piece kit sounds like."
  • Like
Reactions: TJK
Just had a wonderful Tama StarClassic kit at a show we played in the UAE.
And also was lucky enough to get my preferred Taye StudioMaple kit at a gig opening for Journey a few years back.

Great pic with Steve Smith's kit in the background........well done
This sounds a little slimy to me. :confused:

Agree. I'm not surprised by this, but it also feels a little "meh".

On principle I would bring my own kit if I could and have them clear the stage of said house kit if it was there.......