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The Top 5 Drum Sets of 2011 - Figuring out the Best Drums Online Today

Updated on April 19, 2011

The Top 5 Drum Sets of 2011

You might not have the money to pay for these...

...but these are the Top 5 drums in my honest opinion as a professional drummer of 6 years. I measured my rankings based on the following criterion: tuning capability, sound quality, paint job, sturdiness and capacity to take a beating from all-nighters. Note that I only tested these drum sets for 3 weeks each, as it would be impractical to test them for years on end. So without further ado, the top 10 drums of today to help you figure out which drums online to buy.


5th - Gammon Drums

Gammon drums may not be the creme of the crop, but they are famous for being cheap and quality drum sets.
Gammon drums may not be the creme of the crop, but they are famous for being cheap and quality drum sets.

Gammon drums aren't going to be on anyone's dream wishlists any time soon, but they deserve a strong nod considering that they are claimed by many to be "the best entry-level drum sets around". Gammon Drums Review, a site primarily on the brand Gammon, shares its insights and information on people's reactions to its merchandise. 

4th - Mapex Percussion

Many drummers start off with Mapex instead of Gammon, but the only drawback is that some lose interest in the art and waste their money on the expensive top-tier set.
Many drummers start off with Mapex instead of Gammon, but the only drawback is that some lose interest in the art and waste their money on the expensive top-tier set.

The Mapex brand has long been a favorite for new drummers in the upper tier of buyers. It's generally considered to be a very good long-term investment, with a consensus of the drums being a "higher quality than everyone else's".

3rd - Tama (and the Incomparable Snare)

Tama is famously known for having the best snare drums in the entire world.
Tama is famously known for having the best snare drums in the entire world.

When it comes to overall drum quality, Tama is a strong contender well above Gammon and Mapex. However, where it really shines is its respected Snare drum quality production. If you were to build a custom drum set, Tama should be at the top of your priorities for purchasing a snare drum.

2nd - Ludwig Series

In the past, Ludwig was considered by a select number to be the "luxury drum set" of the world, for its relatively high price.
In the past, Ludwig was considered by a select number to be the "luxury drum set" of the world, for its relatively high price.

Ludwig has gotten a bad reputation for just being a white elephant when it comes to drum quality, as opinions have been going around about how its too expensive for its worth. However, time and again, performers and professionals have looked to the brand to showcase their talent on. 

1st - Pearl Drum Sets

Although the brand has shown its age when put up against newer age brands, Pearl continues to be the dominant classic drum set.
Although the brand has shown its age when put up against newer age brands, Pearl continues to be the dominant classic drum set.

The granddaddy of all drum sets, Pearl has long been the dominant first choice for drummers looking to seriously take up their art. In recent years, cheaper models of the top brand have been released, but Pearl truly shines in its top-tier sets, coupling exceptional design with unmatched sound quality.

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    • profile image

      Scott 

      11 months ago

      I have a set of Premier Signias, maple with the Beech re-rings, although I'm still a habitual peruser of drum catalogs, and frequent drum shops almost as a second hobby, and even though I once had a mongo DW satin maple with gold hardware kit, I don't ever find myself saying "Dang. I wish I had a set of those instead." I am eminently and permanently satisfied.

    • profile image

      Julian 

      14 months ago

      What about the monster Premier kits, played by Keith Moon? They took one hell of a battering.

    • profile image

      Silk 

      3 years ago

      It's not the Brand, It's the Drummer. Any Professional Drummer can take a decent kit and Make it sound Incredible. I play Guitar and a little Drums, But I have a Classic Maple Keystone Ludwig set that sounds Incredible

      I always liked DW or Pearl Masters but Ludwig puts out some Sharp ass Drums.

      I just couldn't beat the Deal on it. My Neighbor Moved in with his Girlfriend and was selling this set. 6 piece with brand new Hardware and 6 Zilgian and Zabian Cymbals. It was 4 yrs old still with the Plastic on it. I wasn't even looking for a Set until J got him down to a Price that was insane. Poor Guy Brike up with her and is begging for them back. Haha. NOPE. Sorry Buddy !!!!

    • profile image

      Laurdess 

      3 years ago

      You might be able to afford these... Gammon. Hahahaha f...ing tool. Gammon can be bought for 100$

      D.W.

      The end.

    • profile image

      JCBourque 

      3 years ago

      I never really understood why Rogers stopped manufacturing their drums back in the early 80's.. I mean, thy were a great drum trap set, sturdy, with solid stand equipment, technical advanced hardware, and sound that could not be duplicated by any other drums made on the market! Sure, thy were expensive, but they were worth the cost too. I have a PowerTone set that was made in 1979 and is a great condition, and today it is worth about ten times more than what I paid for it back then! Besides, three of the four drums sets that are played at the Local 47 Musicians Union in LA are Rogers sets for studio recording! That should tell you something right there! Just can't understand why people these days hardly know about these drums!?

    • profile image

      Vittiosus 

      5 years ago

      Actually the Pearl Masterworks line is the most customizable of the major companies, you can specify different woods for each ply of your kit. But the best drums in the world hands down are made by Noble & Cooley. Established in 1854 they got big making toy drums then switched to military snares during the civil war. Today they use wood cut down in their own back yard to custom make amazing products. Used drum kits can go for as much as $5,000 online. They make great snares and currently have the best tom mounting system on the market. I got to play a snare and it was the best drum I have ever played. It's was used for $900.

    • profile image

      cvjr 

      5 years ago

      All drums are good. Depending on heads and tuning. The Gretsch & Sonor are

      hard to beat.

    • profile image

      CVjr 

      5 years ago

      Gretsch & Sonor

    • profile image

      UNKNOWN 

      5 years ago

      GRETSCH

    • profile image

      drummer 

      6 years ago

      this guy doesn't know anything about drums, For the major drum brands, DW is the best kit out there and then yamaha. Pearl is like buying a Crysler, it may look ok and sound alright at first, but in the end you regret buying it.

    • profile image

      jakorian jackson 

      6 years ago

      that was really awsome

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