Wanting to upgrade your skills or your drum set? Well, surely, your next gear will be on our list of the best professional drum sets. Since we made a thorough research on the latest and greatest products in the market, this will be very relevant to you, too.
Some drummers come and gone. One moment they hit 1M views on YouTube, the next they hit rock bottom.
Do you think they don’t have talent? No.
Sometimes, they just don’t have the right gear for the race and we mean, the right professional drum set.
So, before losing your appetite for drums or jumping into buying something really expensive, why not check out our list. Who knows? Maybe your career will have a 180-degree shift once you read this round-up article.
Here are the best professional drum sets in 2021
If you need a professional drum set that doesn’t break the bank, choose an electronic drum kit. The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit is probably the cheapest electronic drum set you can buy today, but it has tons of features that professional players are excited to try. This is an 8-piece drum configuration, which will cost you a fortune should you wish for an acoustic drum set.
This drum kit not only offers a cheaper alternative to acoustic drum sets, but also a more realistic playing experience for modern drummers. You’ll enjoy over 40 lessons from Melodics, 60 play-along tracks, and over 385 expertly curated drums and cymbal sounds. We purposefully put this product at the top for you to know that an electronic drum set could also be the best professional drum set.
- Drum heads aren’t the best, but they are playable
- Straightforward and hassle-free setup
- Quieter than acoustic drum set, perfect for night practice
- Features are limited, no advanced features for different sounds of the cymbals
- Double bass pedals are not reliable
- Snare drum could be a problem since it’s just 8-inch
Gammon Drum Set
We’re especially interested in Gammon because we are amazed at how this small company managed to produce cheap drum sets. Like this full-size adult Gammon Drum Set, which is a 5-piece drum set including a hi-hat, crash cymbals, stand, and full-size real wood drums. This drum set is aesthetically pleasing, but not too flashy.
It’s highly-accepted, not just in the beginner community, but anyone who is looking for professional drum sets. The best thing Gammon does to this drum set is providing a replacement for all the parts. You’ll definitely enjoy good sounds from a good drum manufacturer.
- Full-size complete pack with replacement parts
- Real woods and beautiful black finish
- All are working fine if you are in need of a practice drum set
- Setup instructions aren’t that easy to follow
- Good sound, but not the best
- Stock heads are okay but could be better
Professional drummers know what’s the best drum set for them, and they choose Pearl. If you’ve played a Pearl Roadshow, you’ll know what we are saying. The set is practically ready out of the box — this 5-piece bundle is hard to beat.
You’ll surely enjoy the 22-inch bass drum, 16-inch floor tom, 8- and 12-inch tom-toms and a 14-inch snare drum. All made of 9-ply, 7mm poplar shells, so you’ll be in awe of the sound out of it. Not only will you get optimal power, but you’ll also get a playable professional drum set ready to take over the stage.
- 5-piece high-quality poplar shells
- With durable and reliable hardware
- You’ll get a nice sound out-of-the-box
- Initial setup is quite challenging (takes up more than two hours)
- No instruction’s manual, so you need to visit the website
- Stock cymbals need replacement
Not all drum sets are best for professional settings, because most people believe that it needs to be big and bold. However, Ludwig proves otherwise with the Ludwig Breakbeats 4-Piece Shell Pack. This just comes with 16-inch kick drum, 10-inch rack tom, 13-inch floor tom, and 14-inch snare drum.
To offer a more affordable professional drum set, Ludwig didn’t ship this with tons of accessories and hardware. However, you’ll enjoy the great craftsmanship and the quality of the wood used. You can’t experience any buzzing sound, hence, you’ll play beautifully.
- Unbelievable sound from this small and compact kit
- Has a big punch, given that it’s not a full-size drum set
- Versatile and highly portable
- The snare drum may sound like crap out of the box, needs tuning
- No cymbals and hardware, after all, it’s just a shell pack
Yamaha is an attractive brand with its years of being a leader in the music industry. Now, it offers a nifty Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Shell Pack for those who want quality drums without a doubt. As a shell pack, you don’t get hardware, but Yamaha is generous enough to include the YESS tom mounting system that’s designed to be placed on the bass drum.
We included drum shell packs in the list because as professionals, you have your preferences in terms of the hardware, cymbals and drumsticks. In this shell pack, you’ll get a 20-inch kick drum, 10-inch rack tom, 14-inch floor tom, and 14-inch snare drum — all made of 100% Birch shells. The die-cast claw hooks in these drums have rubber insertion plates to reduce noise.
- Versatile and highly compact setup
- Versatile and highly compact setup Could be loud, but the rubber insertion can reduce the noise
- Low-mass lugs offer better vibration and good sound quality
- No hardware, although tom mounting system is included
- Toms seem shallow, which isn’t a bet for other drummers
- Quite expensive for a shell pack
If you think you need to upgrade to a real drum set that’s best for professionals, you won’t be disappointed with Gretsch Catalina Maple. For the first five products, we only mentioned up to five pieces, except for the electronic drum kit. But, this one is a 7-piece drum set with a standard 22-inch bass drum, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-inch rack tom, 16-inch floor tom and 14-inch snare drum.
This drum set will surprise you, just as how it surprises us. From the 7-ply maple construction with 30-degree bearing edges to functionality and performance, you’ll definitely play like a pro. All drums are fitted with Remo drum heads and reliable Low profile GTS tom suspension system.
- An all-round drum set, accommodates jazz to metal
- Big kick sound for subtle playing
- Won’t take time to set up and has a great tune out of the box
- Might be too expensive for novice players
- Doesn’t come with cymbals
- Incomplete hardware
Perhaps, you badly want a Pearl and you don’t want the Roadshow, but something much better. What about Pearl Masters Maple? It’s a four-piece professional drum set made of 6-ply maple shells with a 22-inch bass drum, 16-inch floor tom, and 12- and 8-inch rack toms.
Designed and proven to provide warmth, versatility, and power to touring pros, you’ll enjoy Pearl’s legacy and craftsmanship. Drums feature Super Hoop III hoops and toms have Remo UT Pinstripe. With a Matte lacquer and lacquer sparkle finish, you’ll shine just as bright as your career on stage.
- Maple shells are undoubtedly the best quality drum shells
- Fantastic sounding, given the quality craftsmanship
- Holds tune pretty well
- Again, doesn’t come with cymbals and hardware
- Just a 4-piece drum kit and it’s quite expensive
- Finish is highly prone to fingerprints
Pearl Decade Drum Set
There are a lot of professional drummers out there who sought for Pearl in every upgrade. We, too, are a fan of Pearl, hence we’ve added a third Pearl in the list, which is priced between the Roadshow and the Masters. The Pearl Decade Drum Set offers a 7-piece drum shell pack made of 6-ply 5.4mm, 100% Maple SST shells.
Though not as expensive as the premium drum shell pack, Pearl ensures that it still offers great performance, excellent sound quality, and better value for the money. Maple shells are designed to produce a thunderous tone and complementing it with stunning finishes. To aid the maple shells, the Opti-Loc Suspension system is used to ensure better resonance and wobble-free performance.
- Exceptional sound quality, you think it’s an expensive drum set
- Great set with high-quality drums
- Wonderful drum set for the money
- Not complete, no drum pedal, no stands for cymbals and snare drum
- Sounds way better with Evans hydraulics heads
- Lugs lose quickly than other drums
You don’t want wood shells? It’s okay, you can try the acrylic drum shells. Perhaps, you might want to check the DW Design Series 5-Piece Set.
Yes, there are a number of drums out there that are made of acrylic material of different colors and finishes. This particular drum set is transparent with chrome hardware, which still has the standard 22-inch bass drum, 10- and 12-inch tom drums, 16-inch floor drum, and 14-inch snare drum.
Although this might be the most expensive on the list, DW strikes the perfect balance between quality and affordability. This newly designed set is equipped with Suspension Tom Mounts, True-Pitch tuning, low-mass die-cast claw hooks, and more.
- Very easy to set up with extra lug nuts
- 45-degree edges are perfectly cut and smooth
- Stock heads are of good quality
- No stands for the snare and toms
- Again, you need to buy the cymbals since this is just a shell pack
Tama has over 40 years of experience in the industry. Hence, we believe that its professional 5-piece drum set, Tama ImperialStar is worthy to be included as one of the best professional drum sets. It’s an affordable set, yet packed with exciting high-end features drummers will surely enjoy.
This drum set is made of 6-ply 7.5mm thick poplar shells for the 22-inch bass drum, 10- and 12-inch tom-toms, 16-inch floor tom, and 14-inch snare drum. So, you’ll get a full and warm tone combined with medium attack. With Tama’s cutting-edge technology, you’ll have perfect bearing edges so the shells can ring fully and openly.
- Expertly crafted to perfection
- Has excellent sound quality you’ll never expect from this affordable drum set
- Reliable double-braced hardware
- Stock heads are mediocre, but easy to replace
- Difficult to position the tom-toms
- High pitch snare drum
Factors to Consider When Buying a Professional Drum Set
If you want the best professional drum set, it only means two things — either you’re a professional who wants to upgrade your drum set or you have high hopes that you’ll become a professional. In both cases, you need a good and playable drum set with great sound quality. Whether you’re eyeing for a cheaper professional drum set or an expensive one, this guide will surely be of help to you.
Know Your Music
The very first thing you need to consider is the type of music you want to produce. Of course, blues and metal need a different drum set for each genre. But, if you aren’t so sure of what type of music you want to specialize in, a maple drum set is perfect. Otherwise, it’s important to study the different shell materials first and how they sound.
There are different woods used to make a drum shell, even plastic, like acrylic. Here are among the most commonly used wood types according to Woodwind & Brasswind:
Maple — The most popular wood type to offer a warm and balanced tone
Mahogany — Described to have a “vintage” sound, it’s widely accepted because of its strong mid-range and low-end tone
Birch — Commonly used in recording studios, it offers bright, tough and loud sounds
Poplar — Usually found in affordable drum sets, which has the same sound to birch.
Drum Set Types
What you may have commonly seen online or in the store is the 5-piece shell pack/drum set with a bass drum, a snare, two mounted toms, and a floor tom. But, there are different types and configurations of drum sets, explained thoroughly at Guitar Center.
Fusion — 5- or 6-piece drum set like the standard, except that the toms are smaller in diameter
Rock — a 4-piece drum set with two floor toms, a rack tom, and bass drum. Sometimes configured like the standard, minus the second rack tom.
Jazz/Bop — 4-piece drum set with a bass drum, a rack and floor tom, and a snare, but all are of smaller sizes and shells for higher tones
RELATED: Best Beginner Drum Sets
Drum Set vs Shell Pack
The difference between the two is very apparent. The drum set may include hardware, cymbals, and everything a drummer needs to start playing. The drum shell pack, on the other hand, only has the drum “shells” along with the lugs, tension rods, drum heads, and rims, clarified by Drumeo.
Drums, in general, are priced based on several factors such as the material of the drum shells, plies, and so on. You’re going to learn a lot more from this video.
Our Top Pick
The only electronic drum set in our list and our ultimate choice for the best professional drum set is the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit. You might have a lot of questions right now? Why not the expensive DW Design Series 5-Piece drum set or the Pearl Decade Drum Set? We’ll answer the question in two points — versatility and affordability.
In this day and age, you don’t necessarily need to have several drum sets played side by side. Why bother spending thousands for several toms and snare drums when you can get effects and sounds with just a press of a button? That’s versatility right there — a very in-demand characteristic for modern-day music production.
Of course, it’s unarguably affordable and feature-packed. This will help you progress even more and become a versatile drummer. It offers greater value both to your money and to your playing experience.