11 best drum kits in the world today
16th Jun 2010 | 11:18
11 best drum kits in the world today
This is a constantly updated gallery of the best drum kits on the planet - from budget electronic drums to custom pro sets. Scroll through the thumbnails below to find a category to suit you (beginner, semi-pro, synthetic kit-lover, etc).
Our picks are collated from Rhythm Magazine’s gruelling review process, buyers’ guides and MusicRadar’s own best-of-the-best drum round-ups: the best drum gear for pros and the best kit for players on a budget.
We’ll kick off with an update to the all-important budget category…
First up: Mapex’s Horizon HZB drum kit
Best budget kit: Mapex Horizon HZB
Raising the standard of what to expect from a starter kit, the Mapex Horizon comes in a choice of all-basswood shells in four monochrome wraps (HX), or hybrid basswood shells with stained and lacquered outer birch laminate (HZB). Includes Mapex’s newly redesigned Isolated Tom Holder System and new 500 series hardware with throne (no cymbals).
If you like Mapex's Horizon HZB kit, you'll also like:
Best professional kit: Tama Starclassic
"Tama's reputation suggests that it would never rush into a decision and a great deal of preparation has clearly taken place before the transferral of the production of one of its flagship lines to China. It has all the components of a fully-fledged pro kit - solid build, quality components, careful detailing and amazing sounds - just like the more expensive kit it replaces."
FULL REVIEW: Tama Starclassic Bubinga drum kit
"Combining the bubinga with birch makes for an interesting blend of characteristics that brings out the best of each wood. Another solid pro-level kit from a brand firing on all four cylinders."
FULL REVIEW: Tama Starclassic Performer Bubinga/Birch drum kit
If you like Tama's Starclassic, you'll also like:
Best semi-pro kit: Pearl Vision VSX/VMX
"Pearl may have taken time over the introduction of the Vision Series, but the results are definitely worth the wait. Of the two kits, the maple VMX is unsurprisingly the more versatile and musical, but both give impressive performances."
FULL REVIEW: Pearl Vision VSX and VMX drum kits
If you like Pearl's VSX and VMX kits, you'll also like:
Best beginners' kit: Cannon Adder
"Kits such as the Adder are all about perspective. Any half-serious drummer would find it underwhelming in terms of build quality and tone, but, as mentioned in the review, when judged on its own merits it acquits itself well. It's certainly a better budget kit than what was doing the rounds even five years ago; the full complement of stands, cymbals, bags and silencers is very welcome, and it comes in at a remarkable price."
FULL REVIEW: Cannon Adder drum kit
If you like Cannon's Adder kit, you'll also like:
Best electronic kit: Roland TD-20KX
"What at first might appear to be cosmetic tweaks in fact add a great deal to the feel and functionality of the set-up. It might be getting boringly predictable, but it's another V-Drum victory. An amazing top end electronic drum kit. Just about every aspect of it is outstanding."
FULL REVIEW: Roland TD-20KX electronic drum kit
If you like Roland's TD-20KX, you'll also like:
Best budget electronic kit: Roland TD-4K
"Boringly predictable or reassuringly consistent depending on your viewpoint (not that the former is particularly valid), Roland has done it yet again with the TD-4K. And while the functional focus is on practice, rather than heavy-duty editing of sounds or production capabilities, the kit is a million miles from a sterile learning tool."
FULL REVIEW: Roland TD-4K electronic drum kit
If you like Roland's TD-4K, you'll also like:
Best super league kit: DW Collector's Series
"For a custom drum-maker, moving into more affordable pastures is a tricky manoeuvre to pull off without diminishing the brand's core qualities and reputation. The TL kit succeeds because it feels and sounds every inch a Spaun set of drums - the design, attention to detail and performance is unmistakable."
FULL REVIEW: Spaun TL Series Drum Kit
Best American custom kit: Spaun Custom
Gary Noonan makes some of the most beautiful drums available anywhere. A stickler for detail and a totally uncompromising character, no-one knows more about making drums. Plies, solid, stave, block, steam-bending, exotic veneers, spun and cast metals...Gary does it all superbly.
If you like Noonan's MR10-8, you'll also like:
Best British custom-built kit: Noonan MR10-8
"Handmade in America, RCI have the most solid and resonant acrylic shells we've seen. Additionally, the range of colours and patterns is massive, while the prices - considering American custom drums are never cheap - are realistic. The attack is sharp, the tone exceptionally pure. It's a slightly different sound from wood and metal, but not as much as you might imagine."
FULL REVIEW: RCI Starlite drum kit
If you like RCI's Starlite kit, you'll also like:
Best synthetic kit: RCI Starlite
"With the supplied cymbals and hardware, Traps makes a bargain starter package. It would also work as a convenient trigger unit for your electronics, and/or as an easily-miked studio tool. It's perfect for practice in confined spaces and for lugging along to rehearsals."
FULL REVIEW: Traps A400 drum kit
BUY: Traps A400 kits are currently available from Thomann
If you like Traps' A400, you'll also like:
Liked this? Now read: 10 best snare drums in the world today
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