11 best drum kits in the world today

16th Jun 2010 | 11:18

11 best drum kits in the world today
11 best drum kits in the world today
From budget edrums to custom pro sets

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

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best budget kit: Mapex Horizon HZB
£679

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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:

Tama Imperialstar Rock drum kit (currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online)

Gretsch Catalina Club Rock drum kit (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next:Best professional kit: Tama Starclassic

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best professional kit: Tama Starclassic
From £1615

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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."

stars

FULL REVIEW: Tama Starclassic Bubinga drum kit

BUY: Tama Starclassic Bubinga kits are currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online

"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

BUY: Tama Starclassic Performer Bubinga/Birch kits are currently available from Andertons Music Co., and Thomann

If you like Tama's Starclassic, you'll also like:

Yamaha Oak X drum kit

Pearl Masters Custom MCX drum kit

Premier Series Classic drum kit

Next: Best semi-pro kit: Pearl Vision VSX/VMX

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best semi-pro kit: Pearl Vision VSX/VMX
From £800

MusicRadar’s verdict

"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

BUY: Pearl Vision VSX kits are currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann and PMT Online
BUY: Pearl Vision VMX kits are currently available from Andertons Music Co. and PMT Online

If you like Pearl's VSX and VMX kits, you'll also like:

Yamaha Tour Custom drum kit

Mapex Meridian Maple drum kit

PDP M5 drum kit

Sonor Force 3007 drum kit (currently available from Thomann and PMT Online)

Next: Best beginners' kit: Cannon Adder

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best beginners' kit: Cannon Adder
£199

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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."

stars

FULL REVIEW: Cannon Adder drum kit

If you like Cannon's Adder kit, you'll also like:

Performance Percussion PP300R Kit

Leedy NRG Rock drum kit

Next: Best electronic kit: Roland TD-20KX

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best electronic kit: Roland TD-20KX
£5769

MusicRadar’s verdict

"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."

stars

FULL REVIEW: Roland TD-20KX electronic drum kit

BUY: Roland TD-20KX kits are currently available from Andertons Music Co., Thomann, PMT Online and Soundslive

If you like Roland's TD-20KX, you'll also like:

Yamaha DTX950K electronic drum kit

Roland TD-12K electronic drum kit

Yamaha DTXpress 4 electronic drum kit

Roland TD-9K electronic drum kit

Next: Best budget electronic kit: Roland TD-4K

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best budget electronic kit: Roland TD-4K
£969

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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."

stars

FULL REVIEW: Roland TD-4K electronic drum kit

BUY: Roland TD-4K kits are currently available from Thomann, PMT Online and Soundslive

If you like Roland's TD-4K, you'll also like:

Roland HD-1 electronic drum kit

Medeli DD501 electronic drum kit

Techtonic DD502(J) electronic drum kit

Next: Best super league kit: DW Collector's Series

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best super league kit: DW Collector's Series
From £2000

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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

Next: Best British custom-built kit: Noonan MR10-8

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best American custom kit: Spaun Custom
£1799

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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.

stars

If you like Noonan's MR10-8, you'll also like:

Highwood Custom Exotic Ply Series Kit

Next: Best synthetic kit: RCI Starlite

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best British custom-built kit: Noonan MR10-8
£2091 (typical four-drum shell pack)

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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:

Highwood Acrylic Shell drum kit

Ludwig Jellybean Vistalite drum kit

Next: Best portable kit: Traps A400

11 best drum kits in the world today
Best synthetic kit: RCI Starlite
£2779

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"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."

stars

FULL REVIEW: Traps A400 drum kit

BUY: Traps A400 kits are currently available from Thomann

If you like Traps' A400, you'll also like:

Sonor Force 3007 Jungle drum kit


Liked this? Now read: 10 best snare drums in the world today

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11 best drum kits in the world today
Best portable kit: Traps A400
£399
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