We all want the best, but when it comes to drum kits, it's not always the most feasible. I have taken a look at kits where their quality far exceeds the price!
Drum kits rely on great craftsmanship, and as much as we’d all like the best, custom handmade kits, that’s not always the most rational, financial decision (or at least that’s what my girlfriend tells me). On the other end of the spectrum are low priced kits, but like any product that takes a certain level of craft, the quality control is significantly lower. However, there is a ‘golden window’, as I like to call it, with kits between £600 and £900 of which the quality far exceeds the price. I’ve taken a look at the top five that we have here in Wembley.
As Rhythm Magazine put it, the Fluence Fusion by Brazilian drum manufacturer Odery is “certainly one of the best value kits ever! 9 out of 10”. Designed to meet a variety of musical needs for ambitious amateurs to seasoned gigging drummers, this kit ticks all the boxes. This 6 piece kit has some serious punch, and some powerful, round low end. With 6 plies of Maple (Outer), Birch (Centre) and Maple (Inner), this is a seriously durable kit. It’s not just the brilliant shells you get for £769 though; this kit also comes with a snare stand, a hi-hat stand, two cymbal stands and a kick pedal (with base plate). All in all, a bargain!
The Pearl Export is the best selling drumset of all time, and the 2017 Pearl Export EXX is a perfect example of why. This kit, in a stunning Cherry Black Glitter wrap, grabs your attention before you even start playing. These kits are made from a blend of premium Asian Mahogany and Poplar, which gives a full-bodied and incredibly lush tone. The fusion sizes are particularly good, as though the smaller shells create less low-end, the sound of the kit is more precise, while still having enough versatility to fulfil the needs of a rock drummer. This adds, in my opinion, extra value to the kit. Combine all of this with the fact that it comes with all hardware and cymbals (excluding a drum throne), you’ll be sorted, just like that!
Tama’s high-end kits are of the ultimate quality, and they have maintained their exacting standards even with their lower-level kits. Here at Wembley, we have the kit in a gorgeous coffee fade finish to match the class of the Superstar Classic. The Superstar Classic gives a rich tone with a medium attack due to 100% Maple shells. All the crafting choices for this kit have been to enhance projection and resonancy, and these decisions really make a difference. From low-mass lugs to precision bearing edges, you’ll understand why this is serious value for money. This kit even comes with a Stagemaster hardware pack, so all in all, it far exceeds the price point!
The Mapex Armory is a dominant kit in the middle market. The kits take advantage of hybrid shells, with Birch inner and outer plies and Maple inner. This gives these kits brilliant warmth of Maple, while maintaining the powerful punch of Birch, meaning these kits are good from the get-go. The Armory takes advantage of Mapex’s SONIClear bearing edges, which allow the heads to sit flatter, resulting in a stronger, deeper fundamental pitch. This kit is a 6 piece, which includes a snare, meaning you get more bang for your buck. With a stunning Ultra Marine finish, it’s almost a no-brainer!
PDP is the budget brand of the parent company DW, which you will be familiar with. The difference between the two brands used to be, in my opinion, quite noticeable, but with the PDP Concept series, particularly the Birch kits, the distance between the two in quality has been dramatically reduced. The kit is relatively even in tone and has some brilliant attack which would make this kit cut through any performance situation. The kick drum has a depth that you wouldn’t really expect in a kit of this price. Hidden all around the build are elements of DW’s design, including the same standard of lacquer finish, and this kit in its cherry to black fade is flawless.
There are plenty of great kits in this price range, but for me, these are the 5 that stand out, each with quality that exceeds the price tag. All are out on display here, so as always, do come and check them out!