Best Professional Drum Sets

Ultimate Buying Guide

Introduction:

No matter if your old drum set is limiting your playing or you are just stepping up to a newer model. Whatever your reasons for buying a new drum set are, you need the best that money can buy. 

However, choosing the right set can be confusing because there are many brands, and each drum set comes with its perks. This best professional drum set buying guide is here to help. You will get to know the top brands and models that you can buy. 

Read on to discover their specifications, build, quality, value, pros and cons, and whether they are worth your money.


What makes a drum set professional?


Professional drums are different from other standard sets in terms of quality of materials and build that impacts the final sound. Most professional kits are sold as shell packs.

A shell pack comprises of drums only without hardware. You can buy as many drums as you want, but you have to buy racks and stands separately. Expert drummers can easily pick the hardware they desire, given that they have vast knowledge.

Professional drums are made from high-quality material and have a range of tuning, customizable, and wrap/finish options. This way experienced drummers have control over the components and settings producing the sound they desire.

Table of Contents

The 5 Best Professional Drum Sets

The DW performance series 4-piece shell pack is a beauty and a favorite for many. That is because it is hand-made from one wood type and is the perfect choice for you if you like one organic drum sound.

Specifications

The shell pack specifications comprise of various Tom sizes including 10” x7”, 12” x9”, and 16” x14”, a bass drum measuring 22” x18”, impressive 14” x6.5” Snare drum and a maple 5.6 mm thick, 8-ply and 45° shell material. You will have to purchase the cymbals and hardware separately.

Build quality

It is a unique set that has special lacquer, wrap and satin finishes that give the drum set an outstanding appeal. The collection offers you great tuning options, thanks to the True pitch tension rods that enhance accuracy. Also, excellent HVX shells, suspension tom mounts (STM), and 45º bearing edges that make the drums produce the perfect resonance and beat.

The set is made of steel and has suspended mounts, triple-flange hoops, and patented lugs.

These quarter turret lugs give the drums a sleek and modernized look making them appealing to the eye. You can also choose from the many available finishing designs.

Value

The DW performance series 4-shell pack comes with lots of features and benefits and is worth your money.

The DW performance series 4-shell pack will not disappoint you. The set offers reliability and aesthetic appeal that you need and supersedes most brands in the market. 

 

Build Quality
100%
Performance
99%
Price to Value Ratio
94%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • It has state-of-the-art quality and craftsmanship
  • Offers a unique ‘organic’ sound
  • Produced in California
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • The set does not include Cymbals and hardware

The Yamaha Recording Custom shell pack drum set is an excellent choice if you are looking for premium tones and resonance. Behind the creation of the kit was Steve Gadd, a famous and iconic drummer and percussionist. You can tell that the set is indeed ideal for recording and live performances. 

Specifications

The feature specifications include 6-ply birch shells, 10” and 12” Rack Toms, a 16” Floor Tom, and a 22” Kick Drum. There are also 30-degree bearing edges, high tension lugs, die-cast BD hooks, and a TH945B Double Tom Holder. 

Build quality

The 6-ply birch construction of the shells is superb. First, it fosters your kit’s clarity by eliminating interference from other drums that might be mounted nearby. 

30-degree bearing ages facilitate speedy response, easy tuning, and bring the best out of your drum heads. The 22” snare is also lifted to produce a punchy sound. 

Yamaha’s Recording Custom is also one of the best professional drum kits because of its hardware characteristics. It is of the highest quality and is designed for stability, ease of use, and tone enhancement. 

The high-tension lugs are constructed with increased weight to reduce unwanted noises and the ringing from the shells. The Y.E.S.S mounts attach to the shells with the least contact, and the drums can resonate freely. The bass drums also have ‘T’ handle tensioners, and you can tune them easily.

Value

This Custom 4-piece Shell Pack provides all the quality and versatility that you desire in a professional drum set. 

The Yamaha Recording Custom is a set you should consider buying for all your professional performances. You can be sure of getting quality sound from this kit.

Build Quality
97%
Performance
98%
Price to Value Ratio
92%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • The build quality is magnificent
  • Exceptional hardware
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • None

The Sonor AQ2 Stage Maple drum set is a value-packed set with a professional finish and tone. It is a smart choice if you play rock and its matching hoops and excellent finishes make it suitable for your stage performances.

Specifications

The tech specifications include a snare 7” x12”, Mounted toms (7” x8”), Floor toms 12” x13”, Bass drums 13” x14” and Maple shell material.

Build quality

The Sonor’s 7-PLY maple shells emit powerful projection and make you enjoy every drumming experience.

The hardware benefits include the Sonor SmartMount tom suspensions that reduce metal and shell contact. In return, there is greater resonance and sustainability.

The Sonor’s redesigned die-cast lugs also make the set more tunable and tour safe. If you are the type of artist who is always on the move, this could be the right set for you.

The 7-ply maple shells consist of three plies of Chinese maple and Four plies of Canadian maple. The shells can produce different tones from classical rock to fusion making it super versatile.

Besides, their great finish options give you endless variety. The White Marine Pearl is a favorite you should consider as it looks attractive, classy, and professional too.

The SmartMout dual tom suspension also shields the shell from direct contact with other drums maximizing on resonance and longevity. The die-cast lugs are excellent as well as they come in handy for precision tuning.

Value

The Sonor AQ2 Stage Maple drum kit is one of the best professional drum sets in the market and worthwhile too. It is excellent for all your performance needs.

If you want a quality and cost-effective professional kit, the Sonor AQ2 Stage Maple is a great option.

Build Quality
92%
Performance
96%
Price to Value Ratio
98%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Easy to travel with because of its compact size
  • An excellent choice for different music styles
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • None

The Tama Starclassic Maple 4-piece Shell Pack is a blend of robust and soulful maple shells given an excellent finishing by shell experts that have been behind TAMA’s hardware advancements for 40 years.

Specifications

The drum specifications include mounted toms 7” x10”, 8” x12”, Floor toms 16” x16”, and a bass drum 16” x22”.

Build quality

The drum kit comes with a set of Evans heads that increase its value and promise a great tone. Also, its thin multi-ply maple shells make the drums robust and enable for easy tuning.

Light drums have the highest energy transfer from the head to the shell, and that is what you should look for in a drum. The thin cross-laminated shells comprise of six and eight piles and are 5mm and 7 mm thick. They are capable of producing incredible power and resonance. The cross lamination also makes the shells stronger.

The Tama Starclassic is visually appealing as well because of the outer veneers made from movingui. The set is excellent for all needs, from studio to tours.

Other excellent features are the die-cast zinc hoops that offer consistent tuning and quality tones. Tama’s quick-lock tom brackets also make it easy to set up your kit.

Value

This remarkable set is designed to take your drumming experience to the next level.


Overall, the Tama Starclassic Maple 4-piece Shell Pack comes with attractive features and specs, and you should give it a shot.

Build Quality
94%
Performance
97%
Price to Value Ratio
90%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Saves set-up time
  • Comes with Evans heads for excellent sound
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Costs slightly more than other kits in the market

The Roland Td50 electronic drum set is a high-level professional drum set that produces incredible sounds. It comes with a digital snare that will make you fall in love with its acoustic feeling.

Specifications

The tech specifications include 14″ PD-140DS Snare, 3 x 10″ PDX-100 Toms, 12″ KD-120-BK Kick drum, 18″ CY-18DR Ride, 12″ VH-11 Hi-hat, 12″ CY-12C Crash, 13″ CY-13R Crash, TD-50 Drum module, 5 x Reverbs, 25 x Rooms, Compressor, Delay, Master EQ, 14 x 1/4″ (hi-hat & ride use 2 inputs), 1 x 1/4″ TRS (mix in), 1 x 1/8″ TRS (mix in), 2 x XLR (master out), and 2 x 1/4″ (master out), 8 x 1/4″ (direct out)

Build quality

This is Roland’s flagship and they didn’t take any shortcut while deciding materials and finishes. This is a robust drum kit that mimics the acoustic drum set experience.

Through SDHC cards, you can import personal libraries, and you can also determine the composition and size of every piece. You can also take snapshots of your kits and save them and analyze any changes before committing.

The one-up/two-down tom snare pad set up with multi-sensor technology gives the kit superiority. If you are an acoustic player, this kit is made just for you.

Ronald Td50’s sound modelling engine also increase its performance. You can control the overtones, shell thickness of every drum, and even virtual mic placement. Additionally, you can record ten channels of home recording via USB.

Value

The Roland Td50 brings a new digital experience to the drumming world, and that makes it stand out in the market.

The Roland Td50 comes with a range of excellent features, and you should think of buying it and enjoy its value.

You can also check it’s rival ATV Adrums or our buying guide oneElectronic drum sets.

Build Quality
99%
Performance
96%
Price to Value Ratio
94%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Excellent digital features that give you total control of the drumming experience
  • Versatile
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Some players suggest that VSTs have better acoustic sounds compared to this set

Things To Consider:

Who should buy a professional drum set?

It is essential to know who is best suited to buy a professional drum set. The kits are ideal for drummers who have some experience. That is because the drums come with advanced components that require to used skillfully to produce quality sounds. Such skills are only developed after playing the drums for a while, and beginners need to practice more before they can comfortably use them.

Beginners and intermediates are better suited for complete sets that do not require advanced skills to operate. Most drums for beginners and intermediates are less costly as they are made from cheaper wood and they are simple to use. Drummers typically use pre-set settings when playing and have little to no control over individual drum equipment and final sounds.

Conclusion

With this best professional drum set buying guide should now have the advice and knowledge to make a good buying decision. 

All the listed drum sets have different features that make them fit various professional requirements. They guarantee top-quality and they can make a difference in your drumming experience. 

Don’t forget that these drum sets won’t come with cymbals included. You can go over our specific guides on Hi Hats, Rides, Splash and China’s or decide if a cymbal pack is better choice. 

You need to evaluate your needs and budget to pick the perfect drum kit for your specific needs.

 

 

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