We’re going to take a look at why and how some drum sets are less expensive even though they carry a major label and why some drum sets from the same manufacturer can be significantly more costly. Also, we’ll talk about how some unknown brands are in the “why did I buy this” category.
Drum sets sale cheap
A lot (almost all) of drum makers nowadays, in addition to their prestige or flagship models are making beginner drum sets that sale cheap. The goal is to get their name or brand out there in public eye for the beginner or intermediate level of player to have a drum set with a brand name on it just like their favorite band’s drummer is playing.
The consumer’s concern isn’t for sound or recording, more for just owning a label that they saw in a magazine. Mainly, the occasional percussive hobbiest that’ll end up selling them a few months later or storing them in an attic or garage and to be forgotten.
On the other hand, the three or four handfuls of actual working drummers use less expensive kits to set up and tear down every weekend because they don’t want to scuff, destroy, or damage in any way their prized kit that sits back at the house or they want something that won’t break their wallet but also doesn’t sound like a toy drum set.
Cheap drum sets
You’ve seen them. They’re out there. These are kits that have a brand name on them that you’ve never heard of before but have a great price tag. These are the kind that are good for students to have something to bang on, or a child just starting out, or maybe someone that’s “always wanted to play” but never does. There’s something else I find weird about them, they’re always red for some reason.
The wood used for the shells aren’t that great (if they’re wood at all) and the construction of lugs and rims have been scraped for quantity obviously not quality. The heads – forget about it.
If you’re a serious player, or need that second kit to take on the road, look around a bit and you’ll find some major brands that may even have the same price as some unknown brands but built with much better quality and with actual wood shells, nicer metal lugs and casings, even brand name starter heads.
Why search all over for those deals? That’s why you’re here!
There are certain sets out there right now that can go into the multi-thousands of dollars with a lot of different options and upgrades, just like a car. Without a little research, some of these manufacturers can really take advantage of the common gigging drummer. Here are most brands that have really gone the extra mile to get into a better set without sacrificing quality.
Tama drums – Their starting price point set is the Imperialstar line. While using less expensive poplar shells and getting good tone they haven’t skimped on other features found on their high end lines. Also they’ve paired a Meniel cymbal set and Tama hardware to make this a true set up and play kit right out of the box.
Gretsch drums – (also owned by moi) Their introductory set is known as the Energy line. 7ply poplar shells (common with intro kits), 30° bearing edges for better tune-ability plus a Zildjian Planet Z cymbal set and all of Gretsch’s nicer hardware. They’ve even thrown in Remo heads to get ya started. Again, another set up and play kit right out of the box.
DW drums – These drum makers don’t offer an actual what you’d call a beginners set. This manufacture’s intro line has actually sprouted into a whole other line of drums that are called Pacific Drums and Percussion or PDP. PDP’s starter set is called the Mainstage. They don’t give an actual wood description other than “hardwood” which means it’s a conglomerate of different woods, usually plies of poplar and beech. Plus they grouped their hardware with a seat (throne) and a set of beginner Paiste cymbals to get ya playing right out of the box.
Yamaha drums – This very popular drum company which made one of the first electronic kits ever has revamped their intro/beginner sets deemed the Rydeen. The drums are 6ply poplar and comes with (as you’d expect) their own hardware and a cymbal pack. Wuhan has teamed with Yamaha to supply the cymbal pack. Wuhan made famous by the true original sounding China cymbals.
Ludwig drums – These guys have been around since the creation of drums. Legends in the field. Their beginner set is known as the Accent. The 5 ply shells are described like the PDP’s earlier as hardwood which may have mahogany in addition to poplar and beech. This one very does come with a small amount of hardware (hi hat and cymbal stand) and no cymbals.
Pearl drums – If you can believe it, Pearl has managed to make a drum set even less enticing and cheaper than their Export line (if you remember those). The “Roadshow” is Pearl’s new beginner series. Starting off with 9 ply hardwood including poplar and mahogany (the same shells as the more expensive “Export” model) they’ve also included hardware and cymbals. Since pearl makes their own line of beginner cymbals they’ve packaged them with the set.
Sonor drums – Doesn’t really have a line dedicated to budget but they do offer a great variety of shells with kits to rival all other brands.
Main pricing reasons
All these previously mentioned brands have other sets available that can go into the upper thousands of dollars with different types of all maple, walnut, birch, bubinga, or mixed variety of those drum shells. Some of them don’t include any hardware except the lugs and casings that are attached to them. They call these kits shell packs. Some drummers prefer using different manufacturers for their hardware and mounting.
When you’re wanting some best sound for recording or playing live maple, birch, and bubinga are really undeniable. Not saying that they are the absolute best because I record with poplar and or birch and I love them both.
Whichever brand or shell type you choose, I am here to help and find the lowest possible price. You could rack you’re brain for days deciding which one to go with and find pluses and minuses about each one. If you need help to narrow down choices feel free to ask. I’m always here to help. Keep the beat going and never give up living you’re dream.