Best Intermediate Drum Sets

Ultimate Buying Guide


So you’ve been hammering away at your first drum kit and are ready to move on to something that offers you a little bit more. While beginner drum sets are great for starting off, you’re skills have progressed and you are looking to enhance the quality of your sound.

While it may be tempting to immediately begin looking for the best professional drum sets, it makes more sense to find a kit that will allow you to continue honing your drumming techniques while searching for a style and sound all your own.

Not only will these intermediate drum kits allow that, but they will give you the opportunity to experience the sound and quality of the best drum brands at a price that fits your budget.

We researched and put together a list of the 5 best intermediate drum sets.

These kits will give you best bang for your buck!

We will help you find a great looking kit capable of producing beautiful sounds as you continue on your journey to becoming a better drummer!

Quick Rundown:

If you are in a Hurry these are Our top Picks For:
17th January 2022

What Makes a Good Drum Set For Intermediate Drummers?

When looking to purchase an intermediate set there are a number of things to look for.

The quality of the shells as well as the components included in the kit are important things to consider.

Drums are considered by many to be one of the more difficult instruments to learn.

Beginner kits are great for that reason, as they offer very basic set-ups that allow you to get comfortable.

But now that you have some experience under your belt, it’s time to find a drum set that will allow you to develop your skills while offering better sound quality.


Table of Contents

The 5 Best Intermediate Drum Sets


Our first acoustic drum kit on the list, and wow, what a beauty!

Pearl is a very well known and respected brand in the industry. The Pearl Decade drums are made with maple drums which is what will offer an incredible sound.

Not only is the wood excellent for producing the tones you are seeking, but they have an awesome sunburst finish that makes you look professional too!

The Decade DMP927SP is a kit that offers you the opportunity to experience one of the best drum brands at a mid level price.


The main draw with this particular kit is the use of high quality materials for the shells and lugs, producing clear and resonant tones.

Besides the durable construction, the Pearl Decade Maple Drum Kit comes with a lifetime warranty, making this a great road worthy set.

One thing to keep in mind when considering this set is that you are purchasing the shells only. This can be a good thing if you have particular preferences as far as hardware and cymbals go.

Our site offers an excellent article on choosing the best cymbal pack and double bass pedals

  • 7 piece set that includes Bass Drum, Snare, two floor toms, and three suspended toms.
  • Stunning Lacquer Finish
  • Shells are 6 ply and 100% maple.
  • Superior mounting and lock systems to keep the toms perfectly angled and in place
  • Lifetime warranty
Build Quality
Price to Value Ratio
  • Excellent tone due to construction and wood type
  • Great for gigging
  • Durable
  • Shell pack only, meaning no stands cymbals, stands or pedals


Our second offering is actually an electronic kit. Now that you’ve gotten comfortable behind the drums you may want to consider choosing an electronic set over an acoustic. Both have their advantages, and you can check our in-depth guide about electronic drums.

The Roland TD-17KV-S is a very good intermediate kit that offers many great features that would make it a solid choice for your next drum set. Though they are compact, they offer a good realistic and natural feeling in terms of the playability. This drum set is not built to mirror the setup of an acoustic set. The reality is that the most expensive kits tend to mimic flawlessly the sensation of playing an acoustic set.

Never the less this option is an excellent start to the electronic world.

Learning drums is about building the habit of correct motion, so if you intend to move back and forth between an acoustic set and this one, the Roland TD-17KV-S has does a good job.


Roland has built into TD-17KV-S a large variety of preset kits that have been sampled from real instruments therefore offering high quality authentic sound.

Not only can you use a variety of the onboard kits, the set offers you the chance to customize any aspect of sound, even down  to the smallest details, such as the snare buzz.

Just be aware you need to consider purchasing some good headphones, in ear monitors or speaker.

  • Includes the bass and snare drums as well as three toms. 3 cymbal pads, and the hi hat controller.
  • Offers 25 preset kits, as well as the ability to completely customize the sounds.
  • Offers the ability to plug into an external source, such as your smartphone or stereo so you can jam along to your favorite songs.
  • Built in ports to allow for home recording
  • Coach mode will help monitor your timing as well as provide warm up exercises.
Build Quality
Price to Value Ratio
  • Lightweight and easy to set-up
  • Great for practicing when noise is a concern
  • Realistic sound
  • Unless you plan to use headphones, you will need to purchase a speaker or some sort of amplification device


When deciding what the best intermediate drum sets for the money were, Gretsch Drums Catalina Maple were another kit that stood out. The Catalina maple is a five piece drum set.

The number of pieces in this set as well as the size of drums make it more compact and portable than other kits.

This is a set that is perfect for gigging or practicing where space is limited.

Though the set is more compact it does not sacrifice in sound quality or volume. The combination of the all maple shells with remo drum heads offer versatility in sound based off of your attack.


Softer hits will produce sharp and clear tones while a heavier hit elicits full open sounds. Gretsch Catalina Maple CM1-E605-WG is another shell set, so keep in mind cymbals and hardware will not be included.

  • Constructed with a 7 ply maple shell
  • 5 piece set that includes bass drum, snare, two rack toms, and a floor tom.
  • Gretsch signature locking and mount system
  • Remo Drum Heads
  • Lacquer finish that is appealing to the eye as well as adding durability to the shells.
Build Quality
Price to Value Ratio
  • Easy to tune
  • Quality sound
  • Perfect for gigging and smaller spaces
  • Does not include cymbals and hardware



As far as intermediate drum sets go, the Ludwig Element Evolution interested us for a number of reasons.

Ludwig is a very well know drum band, their kits have been used by the cream of the crop when it comes to rock music, including Queen and Led Zeppelin.

Ludwig’s Element Evolution Drum Kit is a great option for an intermediate set because it includes everything you need to get started immediately!


This is a full size kit that includes all hardware and cymbals. The cymbals are not anything cheap or dull sounding, they are USA made Zildjian Cymbals.

The included hardware is also very nice, including some very solid legs and mounts. The Ludwig Element Evolution drum set offers a a big and low sound that makes it ideal for rock.

  • 5 ply poplar shells
  • 5 piece kit that includes bass drum, snare, two rack toms, and two floor toms.
  • 3 Zildjian ZBT Cymbals
  • Cymbal stands, drum throne and kick pedal included
  • Triple Flange Hoops and Keystone Lugs
Build Quality
Price to Value Ratio
  • Includes everything you need, from shells, cymbals, hardware, even a drum throne!
  • Easy to tune
  • Price
  • None


Our fifth and final drum set to consider is the Tama IP52KCMB Imperialstar. The Imperialstar is another great candidate for best intermediate drum kit because it offers everything you need.

It not only includes the shells, but also the cymbals, hardware and drum throne. As we mentioned before, do not get tricked into believing the more money you spend on a drum set the better it will be.

You need to keep in mind that at an intermediate level you are looking for a drum set that will allow you to quickly get set-up while offering good sound quality.


The size of the Tama Imperial stars drums make it a midsize set-up but it offers a lot of power and projects well.

In spite of having a smaller set-up than a full size kit, the hardware allows the positioning of the drums, particular the rack toms, to still have the seem feel and comfort as a larger kit allowing for fluid and comfortable range of motion.

  • 5 piece drum kit that includes bass drum, snare, two rack toms, and a floor tom.
  • 3 Meinl cymbals. Crash, Hi Hat and Ride
  • 8 ply shells made of %100 poplar wood.
  • Cymbal stands, kick pedals and drum throne included
Build Quality
Price to Value Ratio
  • Built with the intermediate drummer in mind. All necessary equipment included
  • Easy to change and tune drum heads
  • Price
  • The included cymbals are not particularly high quality

Things To Consider:


As always, youtube will be a wonderful resource from a visual standpoint, but we have gone ahead and put together a short list of tips that will allow you to quickly get started or at the very least follow along with any of those videos.

  • Find a place where you can set-up your kit that allows space for you to comfortably play without having to keep all of the components too close together. This will hinder your playing ability.


  • Take a seat on your drum throne and position your feet shoulder width apart. Where you have your right foot you will setup your bass drum pedal. The left foot will be where you position the hi-hat pedal.


  • The bass drum after having its legs secured will need to be secured to the bass drum (kick) pedal. If the Bass drum has a hole on one side, make sure that is the side facing away from you. The legs of the bass drum should also face away from you.


  • Experiment based on your style and sound. Different players use their hi-hat differently so play around with it to find the sound that you like best.


  • Position the snare drum stand between the high hat pedal and the bass drum. Set the snare drum into the stand and make sure it is securely resting evenly between the three arms that hold it in place. From there the angel will be a matter of personal preference, but it is always best to have it horizontal when starting out.


  • Take the two toms and make sure they have the arms attached. Place them into the mountings on the bass drum. The right slot will hold the larger of the two, the smaller one belongs on the left. Securely fasten them in place.


  • Attach the legs to the floor tom. The floor tom will go to the right of the bass drum, but will be closer to you, essentially diagonal from the bass drum. Height will ultimately become a personal preference, but it is best to set it to the same height as the snare to start with.



You have a brand new beautiful kit and it only makes sense that you want to keep it looking great. Here are a few basic steps to ensure it stays looking sharp!

  • NEVER NEVER EVER use an abrasive cleaner or cleaning device. This will ruin the beautiful finish of the kit. Stick to gentle cleaners that do not contain ammonia or create your own by blending equal parts white vinegar and water.


  • For the stands and hardware you can use the same cleaner. If the cleaner does not work due to stains or tarnish, choose a suitable product for treating these types of metals.


  • Coated drum heads can be gently wiped down with a slightly damp cloth. Do not apply water directly to these heads. For clear heads, the same cleaner used on the shells can be used.


So there you have it!

Five great offerings from the best drum brands on the planet. These drum kits are perfect for the someone looking to upgrade from their beginner set-up to something that will be offering them a chance to grow musically and boost their talents.

Our team has thoroughly researched these offerings and we hope you find among them something that works for your style and budget!

Leave us a comment below if you have any doubt.

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