Best Sounding Drums
Ultimate Buying Guide
There are a few vital aspects to think about when buying a drum kit. Visuals, size, and brand are all important things to take into consideration. However, sound is the most important thing to think about. This is true for all musical instruments.
As a drummer, you’re going to need a great sounding kit to be satisfied. So, we’ve put together a list of the best sounding kits on the market. They’re not cheap, so prepare your wallets.
These are Our top Picks Summarised For:
25th January 2021
- Exotic Purpleheart Shell Pack
- Unshakable DW quality
- Next-level Electronic Kit
- Prismatic Sound Modeling
- Engineered with input from Steve Gadd
- Proprietary Yamaha hardware
- A Reproduction of Bonham's Iconic Kit
- Includes a Ludwig Supraphonic snare
- Select kapur shells
- Evans G1 batter heads
- Vibrant sound of maple
- 30-degree bearing edges
What Makes a Great Sounding Drum?
The main contributing factor to the sound of a drum kit is the type of wood the shells are made from. Higher-quality kits tend to use custom woods that aren’t commonly used in drums. These special woods allow the drums to produce significantly special tones.
Another contributor to sound is the type of hardware that the shells have. Although it doesn’t directly produce a sound, it controls how the sound comes out. The lugs, tension rods, and supporting structures all make sure the drum stays in tune.
The last contributor to a great sound is the type of drum heads the drums have. This is up to the personal choice of a drummer. Some kits have poor-quality stock heads, meaning they need to be changed immediately to get the best sound. Most top-end kits have good stock drum heads.
Table of Contents
The 6 Best Sounding Drums
This kit is undoubtedly one of the best sounding drum sets on the planet. Everything about it screams high-quality and class. The shells are made from a unique purpleheart wood that gives them an exceptionally beautiful tone.
These drums have a powerful attack as well as projection and sensitivity. The bass drum has a thick deep tone that will make you feel it in your chest every time you play. The toms have a warm earthy tone with the floor toms providing a significant amount of beefiness.
The snare drum is one of the best parts of the kit. It has such a great cracking snare sound that you probably won’t want to play other snare drums again.
Included with this shell pack is a 14” snare, 8”, 10”, and 12” rack toms, 14” and 16” floor toms, and a 23” bass drum.
All the drums are made with DW’s HVLT construction, ensuring that they look and sound amazing.
This is one of the most expensive drum kits on the market. If you’re ready to buy your dream kit, this is it.
Best Sounding Electronic Drum Set
The TD-50KVX is Roland’s current flagship electronic drum kit and it’s arguably the top e-kit money can buy. It uses the Roland TD-50 sound module which has a serious amount of features. All the built-in kits sound lifelike and there are several settings to change and adapt the sounds. You can also import your own sounds via an SD card.
The biggest selling point of the kit is the sizes of the drums. Electronic kits generally have smaller drum sizes whereas the TD-50 has sizes that match an acoustic kit. All the pads are incredibly responsive and give the same feel as an acoustic kit as well.
You don’t get much better than the Roland TD-50KVX. If you’re planning on spending your life’s savings, this may be something to get.
Best Sounding Drums for Recording
The most recent versions of the Recording Customs were developed with the help of legendary drummer, Steve Gadd. This kit is specifically designed to produce a warm and controlled tone that works wonderfully in studio recordings.
The shells are made from birch and produce serious punch and clarity. They have a wide tuning range and sound especially great when tuned low. Included in this shell pack is a set of 10” and 12” rack toms, a 16” floor tom, and a 22” bass drum.
The drums have 30 degree bearing edges that ensure they have a crispy response. Their high tension lugs eliminate any unwanted ringing and the general construction of the shells is very secure.
If you’re looking for a kit to use for studio work, the Yamaha Recording Custom is the perfect fit.
Best Sounding Drums for Rock
The acrylic shells are bigger than the standard sizes in order to get a bigger sound. Included with the shell pack is a 14” snare, 14” rack tom, 16” and 18” floor toms, and a 26” bass drum.
The amber acrylic shells produce a huge attack that is perfect for rock and metal. They sound best when tuned low and have a significantly thick tone.
If you’re looking for a loud kit with a beautiful tone, this kit is for you. It’s not the greatest option for quiet venues as it’s not very dynamically responsive.
Best Sounding Drums Under $2000
Tama’s SLP Series of drums aim to provide high-end features at a more affordable price. There are some unique products in that line and this kit is one of them. The drums are made from exotic kapur wood that gives the drums crispy attack and punch. This kit has a fat and open tone that is suitable for most styles of music.
It comes as a shell pack which includes 10” and 12” rack toms, 14” and 16” floor toms, and a 22” bass drum.
When looking at this kit, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful finish from the kapur wood. You don’t see something like this every day, so it will definitely turn heads at every gig you play.
Best Sounding Drums Under $1000
The Gretsch Catalina Maple 7-piece is a great choice for any beginner or intermediate player looking for a large drum setup. The maple shells provide a fast tonal response and are quite dynamically responsive. This responsiveness is loved by a lot of jazz drummers.
The 3 rack toms and 2 floor toms give you a lot of setup options. You can mix and match to create setups for different situations. The snare drum is particularly good, sounding best when tuned medium to high.
Overall, this is a great intermediate kit for anyone on a budget.
Things To Consider:
What is the best sounding snare drum?
This comes down to personal choice. Every drummer has unique tastes, meaning different snares will cater to different people. However, there are some snares that are widely popular thanks to their sound and quality.
A very well-known snare would be the Ludwig Supraphonic. It’s a steel snare from Ludwig that comes in 2 sizes and has been played by drummers for decades. The most famous drummer to play the Supraphonic was John Bonham.
DW is quite famous for their snare drums. You’ll find a lot of drummers playing other brands with a DW snare.
Are DW drums the best?
DW drums are certainly some of the most finely crafted drums in the world. All their Collector’s Series drums have a personal touch and sound that would make any drummer fall in love with them.
This doesn’t mean that they’re the best. Again, that comes down to personal choice. Some drummers find DW to be too expensive, meaning their kits aren’t the best choices for them.
Why are DW drums so expensive?
All DW drums are made in the US. Labor costs are more expensive opposed to the eastern countries where other drums are made. Another reason is that DW’s Collectors Series kits are all custom drums. This means that the buyer chooses the sizes and finish. Custom kits are more expensive than standard kits.
What wood is best for drums?
There are a few main types of wood that are used for drums. Each one has its own tonal quality to offer. The two woods that are most commonly used in high-quality kits are birch and maple. These woods give a balanced projection of highs, lows, and mids. They also produce a warm tone.
Many top-of-the-range drum kits use special woods like kapur and purple heart wood. These are unique to those kits and some drummers may consider them as some of the best woods.
You’ve probably realized from this article that the best sounding drum sets are incredibly expensive. Thankfully there are many options out there that sound great and are affordable.
However, you should get one of these kits if you can afford it. It may be the last drum kit purchase you ever make because not much will sound better.