The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more

13th Dec 2011 | 11:53

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Drum kit of the year
Mapex Black Panther Velvetone kit, £2210

Mapex’s Black Panther snare range has been a massive success story ever since launching well over a decade ago. It’s unsurprising then that this year the company decided to expand the line to include four full Black Panther kits.

With this eventual quartet to choose from, which one will prove most popular remains to be seen, but this Velvetone kit impressed us greatly and is sure to be a hit.

FULL REVIEW: Mapex Black Panther Velvetone kit

Honourable mentions:

There were several other kits that impressed us in 2011. Firstly, Yamaha unleashed something new on us with the Club Custom kit, which had a warm but punchy sound - and our review kit’s Orange Swirl finish looked the business too! Premier revamped its ‘90s favourite the Genista range, and we were big fans of the new Genista Birch kit. Finally, percussion company Natal, now owned by Marshall, made its first move into the world of kit building. We found the Natal Bubinga kit in particular to be a more-than-assured debut at a competitive price.

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Budget drum kit of the year (under £1000)
Odery Fluence Fusion Series kit, £599

Our favourite sub-£1000 set of the year comes from Brazilian company Odery. The Fluence Fusion kit was the first Odery we’d ever reviewed and we found it to be one of the best value kits we’ve ever tried. It looks fantastic, sounds great and comes with top-notch hardware; all for less than £600. What’s not to like about that?

FULL REVIEW: Odery Fluence Fusion Series kit

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Electronic drum kit of the year
Roland TD-9K2, £1499

This time last year, Roland’s V-Drum range walked away with the titles of best electronic kit (TD-20KX) and best budget electronic kit (TD-4KX). This year the TD-9K2 was our favourite electronic kit - an important upgrade to the V-Drum range, keeping the kit at the top of its game with new mesh heads, improved hardware and refreshed sounds.

FULL REVIEW: Electronic drum kit of the year

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Budget electronic drum kit of the year (under £1000)
WHD DD516-Pro Electronic Drum kit, £400

This year’s top budget kit sits very much at the budget end of the scale, coming in at a mere £400. But, as our reviewer Dave Holmes found, the DD516-Pro is packed with playability and just wills you to have fun; which is exactly what you want from a budget kit like this.

FULL REVIEW: WHD DD516-Pro Electronic Drum kit

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Cymbals of the year
Impression Rock & Jazz Series Cymbals, from £69

Turkish cymbal company Impression is a real newcomer, having only been founded in the latter half of 2010. Yet the manufacturer seems to have emerged with a fully formed catalogue of cymbals - it already offers 10 different ranges - all made by hand in Turkey. We only tested this sample selection of Impression’s Rock and Jazz Series recently, but we were very impressed.

FULL REVIEW: Impression Rock & Jazz Series Cymbals

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Snare of the year
Morgan Davies Gold Glitter snare, £529

This year’s top snare comes from independent Sussex-based drum-maker Matt Morgan Davies. We tested two of his finely crafted snares earlier this year and found them to be two of the finest drums imaginable, this Gold Glitter snare in particular just blew us away.

FULL REVIEW: Morgan Davies Gold Glitter snare

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Acoustic percussion of the year
De Gregorio Maestral Cajon, £250

Paolo De Gregorio is a hugely respected name in the world of Cajon making, and this latest addition to his range is nothing short of beautiful. Not only is the Maestral cajon exceptionally well built, but it sounds spot-on too.

FULL REVIEW: De Gregorio Maestral Cajon

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Electronic percussion of the year
Korg Wavedrum Oriental, £575

Last year Korg picked up our nod for electronic percussion of the year for the excellent Wavedrum. Well, in 2011 the company has done it again, this time with the Wavedrum’s more esoteric sibling - the Wavedrum Oriental.

FULL REVIEW: Korg Wavedrum Oriental

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Drum microphones of the year
Blue Microphones Drum Kit Kit, £2555

They’re not exactly cheap, but if you’re looking for a serious piece of kit for miking up your drums, you can’t really go wrong with the Blue Microphones Drum Kit Kit. The performance of these mics entirely justifies the price.

FULL REVIEW: Blue Microphones Drum Kit Kit

The best drum gear of 2011: kits, electronic drums, cymbals, snares and more
Drum accessory of the year
Puresound Custom Pro Snare Wires, £29

Puresound's innovations with the Custom Pro range have made the drummer's life incrementally easier. These snare wires make head and wire changes quick and easy, while reducing buzz and improving dynamic range.

FULL REVIEW: Puresound Custom Pro Snare Wires

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