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    Categories: Drums & Percussion

The Best Acoustic Drum Sets

After carefully reviewing our top choices in acoustic drum sets, we were able to select our number one pick. The features and quality of this drum set made it a no-brainer for us, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

We realize you may be asking yourself why you should trust us and we want to reassure our readers that our reviews are conducted only after carefully evaluating each product we plan to recommend to our readers.

We pride ourselves on only recommending top products for our readers as your satisfaction matters to us. We have spent several hours going through a great number of acoustic drum sets currently available for purchase.

We know not all drum sets are created equal, so we evaluated many different factors before carefully selecting our top six choices. After selecting our top six, we were then able to narrow down to what we deemed to be the best acoustic drum set.

We are excited to share what we have found with our readers and promise to only share quality options with our readers. Our readers’ satisfaction always comes first.

Top Pick: Gammon Percussion 5-Piece Drum Set

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This drum set comes with everything you could possibly need to get started as a drummer: bass drum, snare drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, two cymbals, stands, pedals, hardware, sticks, stool, and a drum key to adjust the sound.

How to Choose an Acoustic Drum Set

When you’re looking for an acoustic drum set you will come to realize there are a lot of options to consider when looking for the best fit for you. There are many components that can be included in a drum set, but most beginners start out with the list of basics.

The basics include a bass drum, snare drum, toms, cymbals, and hardware. Having these main components will make up a basic drum set, but as you become a more advanced drum musician more can be added.

Kick Pedal

The bass drum is also often referred to as a kick drum because it is the floor drum with a kick pedal. There are a wide array of both single and double kick pedals.

The double pedals are most commonly sought after by rock, metal, and fusion drummers. There are many different bass drum pedal configurations to choose from. It’s all in finding what would for you and the style of music you plan to play.

Snare

There are many different options to consider when it comes to the snare drums you may want to see included in your drum set. Snares are generally made from steel, brass, aluminum, or wood.

The wooden snares generally offer a mellower sound, which is more preferred by most drummers. The metal snares usually provide a cutting tone. There are also snares that drummers may keep on hand for special occasions or performances such as the piccolo, soprano, and sopranino.

Toms

The number of toms is something you will want to consider. If you’re just starting out, two toms may be sufficient. Typically, a beginning drummer should have a drum set with one larger tom and a small tom.

However, if you are an experienced drummer you may find that you like four or more toms. Toms are used for fills to help transition from one part of the song to the next. More toms are also popular when playing rock, fusion, contemporary, and metal.

Cymbals

The two main makes of cymbals are cast and sheet. Cast cymbals are made through an extensive process of combining raw, molten metals. Each cast cymbal is unique. Sheet cymbals are made from large sheets of metal.

Their sound is pretty uniform making them less expensive than cast cymbals typically speaking. The main types of cymbals that have risen in popularity are the Ride, Crash, Hi-hat, Splash, and China cymbals. Each cymbal offers a wide range of effects for drummers to choose from.

Hardware

When you’re purchasing a drum set, it will come with all the necessary hardware. The only time this isn’t true is if you are purchasing a shell pack.

The necessary hardware includes the bass drum pedal, snare stand, hi-hat stand, and one or more other cymbal stands. That’s enough to get drummers started until you expand their skills and drum set.

Before You Buy That Drum Set

First, you want to see what components are included. Then you want to look at the materials used. Consider both the woods and metals used.

Study the cymbals that are included in the drum set and think about if they’re suitable for the type of music you plan to play.

Look at the type of finish the drum set has and assess that with where the drums will be played for the most part. Think about if the finish is suitable for your playing environment.

Think about how much space you will have to play. This will be a factor when considering the size of any drum set.

You should also think about the type of music you plan on playing. Certain types of components are best suited for specific music types. Others do just fine for virtually any type of music.

Considering the music you will be playing will aid you in finding the drum set that is best equipped for your needs instead of ending up with a drum set that isn’t ideal or even suitable for your style of music.

The last thing to think about is your budget. If you are on a budget, you will want to have a number in mind as the top dollar you are willing to spend.

While there are many affordable drum sets available on the market for purchase, his will prevent you from over-spending out of your budget. Considering all of these factors will help you choose the perfect acoustic drum set for you.

The Competition

After hours of testing and research, here's the final competition.

InstrumentRatingCurrent Pricing
Gammon Percussion Full Size

comes with everything you could possibly need to get started as a drummer$259.95
Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C707
comes with a bass drum, snare drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, two cymbals, and hardware$479.00
Sonor Drums SSE 12-SAFARI C1
produces nice sound without any upgradesOut of stock
Pearl EXX725/C
sound is beautiful and so is the set$649.00
Sonor Drums SSE 13 MARTINI TGS
great drum set for a beginnerCheck on Amazon
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch
a beautiful drum set that provides great sound$649.99
Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C707
sound quality is very good and a lot included for setup and play$479.00
Gammon Percussion Full Size
Great drum set for beginners or drummers on a budget$259.95

Our Top Recommendation: Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult 5-Piece

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This drum set comes with everything you could possibly need to get started as a drummer. With this drum set you get a bass drum, snare drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, two cymbals, stands, pedals, hardware, drum key, sticks, and stool.

The drum set is very sturdy, maybe not as sturdy as some other woods available but still quite durable. The hardware is a little on the lightweight side, but they can be replaced if that’s an issue.

This is a complete drum set at an affordable price under $300. You can begin drumming away right out of the box as there’s nothing else you need to purchase. Gammon Percussion is a well-trusted drum company, which makes us confident that this a quality set for any drummer.

It includes a drum key to adjust the sound, and everything else to perform well and produce excellent sound. The hardware is fully functional as is and gets the job done.

Runner Up: Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C707 5-Piece

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As we were trying to narrow down to our number one choice, we did have one runner up for that spot. Our second choice would have been the Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C707 5-Piece Drum Set.

This set comes complete with a bass drum, snare drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, two cymbals, and hardware. What made this our number two choice is that it doesn’t include quite as much as the Gammon and is a heftier price.

This set includes a bass drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, snare drum, and cymbals. We really liked the how compact this drum set is, making it great for traveling if you perform gigs. The sound quality is very good and a lot comes included with this drum set that is necessary to setup and play.

One thing we did find is the wrap on the bass drum has the potential to come loose. This is fixable or even replaceable, but we wanted our readers to be aware. Overall we were happy with this drum set and at around $450 we found this to be an affordable drum set by a well-trusted brand.

This drum set can be purchased for a little under $500, which is a $200 difference from our top choice. We still find it to be a solid choice if you have the cash to spare, but it also does not include a drum key, sticks, or stool. While these aren’t requirements, the drum key would be handy to adjust the sound as needed.

Other Products to Consider:

Sonor Drums SSE 12-SAFARI C1 BGS 4-Piece

Credit: SONOR

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We really liked the sound produced by this drum set. It’s a 4-piece set, which is great for playing in close quarters. Being a drum set produced by the Sonor brand was also reassuring as they are a well-trusted brand in the percussion musical instrument industry.

It’s a great drum set that produces nice sound without any upgrades, but upgrades would also aid in improving the sound with it only being a 4-piece set. The set includes a bass drum, snare drum, floor tom, and one mounted tom.

One issue we found was that it did not include the floor tom legs, so that would be one thing that would be needed in order to make this drum set fully functional.

Also, you should be careful when unpacking your drum set because the washers are mounted on threaded bars, which are held on by rubber caps that may fall off during transport. Overall we were impressed with the sound. This drum set can be found for just under $500.

Pearl EXX725/C 5-Piece Export Standard

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This drum set comes with everything you need except cymbals, but it does include the cymbal stands. This is a great drum set for the beginner or intermediate drummer.

We were really pleased with the tone without any modifications. The sound is beautiful and so is the set. The heads are adequate, but if you like a deeper sound you may want to replace the sound.

With a Pearl drum set, we weren’t shocked by the quality. The stands were sturdy; while they aren’t heavyduty, they do just fine. It’s easy to keep these drums in tune as they tune right up without any issues.

While we do wish this drum set included cymbals, that doesn’t make it a deal breaker for us.

We do feel that this set is a little on the pricey side at around $650, but if you aren’t on a budget and can swing the price this set would be a great choice.

Sonor Drums SSE 13 MARTINI TGS 4-Piece Shell Pack

Credit: SONOR

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This is a shell pack, which means there is no hardware included. However, we felt that even with having to purchase your own hardware that this was a good drum set on the market to recommend to our readers. This drum set includes a bass drum with

This drum set includes a bass drum with mouth, mounted tom, floor tom with legs, and steel snare drum. This drum set does not include hardware or cymbals. This is a great drum set for a beginner. It travels well and fits in small spaces.

The heads are functional, but as your skill level increaes you will probably want to upgrade the heads to something that wll provide more depth in sound.

This is a simple drum set to put together, which is nice for a beginner who is just learning. We were pleased with the cost of around $400 making it a pretty affordable drum set available on the market today.

While it is nice for its size for transporting, some may prefer it being a little bigger. But the output is still good even considering the size.

One thing we don’t love, the tom is a little too close to the bass drum in pitch. We wouldn’t recommend this drum set to an advanced drummer as we don’t think they’d be pleased with the simplicity.

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5-Piece Shell Pack

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This is another shell pack drum set, which means there is no hardware included. However, it does come with a bass drum, floor tom, two mountable toms, and snare drum.

This drum set also does not include cymbals, but those can be purchased and added on to your drum set if you wish. This is a beautiful drum set that provides great sound. It’s a Yamaha, so, it should be no shock that we liked this drum set even as a shell pack.

One thing we will say is the packaging was not up to par. We are hoping Yamaha changes their packaging in the future. It seemed as though the drum set was just thrown together in the box carelessly, which could have caused damage.

The bearing edges of the bass drum and floor tom are against the bottom of the box. Not smart packaging.

They are a trusted brand, but this drum set is also a little pricey at around $650. So, while this isn’t out top choice we do feel it is still an acceptable choice to share with our readers who are on the market for a new drum set.

Sources

  • Buying Guide: How to Choose Drums. (2013, November 14). Retrieved from The Hub – Musicians Friend, http://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/drum-buying-guides/drums-how-to-choose
  • Acoustic Drums Buying Guide. (2016, December 20). Retrieved from Sweetwater Musical Instruments & Pro Audio, http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/acoustic-drums-buying-guide/
Penni :Hi! I'm Penni. I've been obsessed with playing and teaching music since I was 10 years old. I've had hundreds of students over the years who have at some point asked for my advice on what to buy to support their learning. When you buy certain products from some of the sites which we link to, Hear the Music Play receives a commission that supports our work.Here is an explanation of what we do and how to support our work.