Which Drums to Buy


Silver Member
If you have a decent set now, i would buy nothing at all and invest everything in lessons and all other sorts of education, instead of gear..

I have no idea how you play, but, in general my theory is..:

When you can play, you will sound great on any set, which is way better than to sound mediocre on an expensive set..


Silver Member
I'd look at Sonor SQ1, Tama Star/Starclassic, DW Collectors, Gretsch and Yamaha RCs.. they all make top of the line kits that are awesome! (I probably missed a few others that also make fine stuff like Ludwig, Mapex etc.). take a tuning key and go to a store and try out well reviewed models. Sometimes store drums are not in tune so it's hard to judge and compare models.. once you decide on the 'one' then it's down to the 'finish' - why settle for a great set that is drab or ordinary looking.. find the chosen model with a killer finish that will knock peoples socks off.
Also if you are moving drums a lot balance weight and hardware into the equation.. some drum models can be too heavy to lug around.. and the hardware has to be well engineered - but not over-engineered!
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. There isn't a bad suggestion. I guess I'm looking at this as my mid-life crisis purchase. Don't want a car or boat etc. Just want to satisfy a bit of G.A.S. for the fun of it.

I love the N&C, Sonor SQ2's. The George Way kit I saw on Youtube is beautiful. Also found a drum maker close to me called TRS Custom Drums that have some beautiful kits.

This is turning into a labour of love. Could take a while.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Cost, features, finish. If those three don't agree with you, you won't ever be satisfied. With good heads and proper tuning most medium to high end drums will sound good.


"Uncle Larry"
Man I'd use some of the money to take an inexpensive trip to a place that has everything you could possibly want, like Memphis Drum Shop.

Get some hands on experience with some new kits.


Junior Member
As someone who just did this, I would strongly suggest a Sugar Percussion kit. I got an 18-12-14 Mahogany kit and it is quite literally the best sounding instrument I have ever heard.


Senior Member
Probably not a consideration for you now but I keep resale value in the back of my mind when shopping for new gear. Boutique and high-end kits are wonderful to own but they can be challenging to sell afterwards. I see some recommendations here that are terrific but might be hard to move afterwards. You might not care now but subsequent buyers of your kit might.


Senior Member
Yeah all you can really do is listen to a ton of drum kits, and pick what you like best. Going to a high-profile specialty drum store like MDS or Steve Maxwell's or Forks, etc. would definitely be worth it. Would probably make a pretty great weekend trip, and you might be surprised with what ends up calling your name. And you'd be supporting a small business, too.

For me, my Yamaha Birch Absolutes make the sound I've always had in my head.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you don't know what you want, don't buy anything until you know exactly what you want.

Figure out the shell thickness and wood you want and go from there.
Most times this often doesn’t work either. You have to actually go through and live with something to discover if you like it or not. You can research and research until the cows come home, but there will always be that voice saying “what if?” Maybe I was lucky since mom and dad bought me my first kit when I was a kid, as I played that over the years, I’m figuring out what could be better. Then as I got older I’d buy what I thought needed improvement and even then sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. So I think whenever someone asks what they should get, I’ll always say get what you want, because sooner or later you’ll get something else.

I know people who own Steinway grand pianos who still have a hankering to own a Bosendorfer.


Well-known member
I mull this exact question over every time I’m lying awake at night unable to sleep. I start on the drums and am normally asleep by the time I get onto cymbals... At the moment I’d probably go with a Gretsch limited edition river cypress 4 piece with a bell brass snare.


This may sound ridiculous, but if I’m honest with myself , I go by Aesthetics , I know it’s shallow
but it’s how I am. I can rule out several brands because I just don’t care the “look”
I also strongly suggest a shell bank .


Junior Member
I recently purchased a set of the Sonor Vintage Series. Why? Because they are a recreation of the tear-drop Sonors I played in the late 60's and it was a nostalgia thing, plus I knew that a Sonor kit would be top notch in quality. I am extremely happy with the Sonors. I also have a Gretsch USA Custom set and I would have a hard time recommending either over the other. I really enjoy the quality of the drums and the hardware with both Sonor and Gretsch.