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best drumkits under 1000

Best drum kits under $1000: You don’t need to spend a lot for great sound

Drum kits come in different setups. Some are full kits that include shells, cymbals and hardware, and some are just shell kits. The options here for the best drum kits under $1000 are a little bit of both, but they all provide great value for the cost. They are masterfully built, sound amazing, and best of all – affordable. So if you’re working with a limited budget these are some of our top choices.

There are a few things to consider before you buy a new kit. You’ll want to make sure it has your preferred drum sizes, and take a look at the construction of the shells to get an idea of how the drums might sound. You’ll also want to buy from a brand that you trust. Luckily, all the brands on this list make amazing products.

Here are seven of the best drum kits under $1000.

Best drum kit under $1,000 overall: Pearl Export EXX

pearl export exx
Best drum kit under $1,000 overall
Pearl Export EXX
For around $1,000 you won’t find a better mix of quality and sound in this 5-piece kit that includes cymbals and hardware.
Includes shells, cymbals, and hardware
Superior Shell design gives enhanced resonance
Just a little over $1,000

It’s never easy to choose a “best overall” category. But all things considered, the Export EXX is high-quality and sounds great. It even includes Zildjian cymbals and 830 series hardware!

The shell tone woods are a poplar and mahogany mix. This provides solid attack with a warm, round bottom perfect for cutting through the mix while providing a strong lower-end fundamental. They’re forged with Pearl’s proprietary Superior Shell Technology that helps maintain a balanced resonance.

It costs a little over $1,000 but considering all features this is a non-issue.

Best compact drum kit under $1,000: Gretsch Catalina Club

gretsch catalina club drumkit
Best compact drum kit under $1,000
Gretsch Catalina Club
The Catalina Club is just a shell kit, but it’s easy to transport, has a warm and balanced sound, and a classy look.
Easy to transport
Warm tone with good attack
Classy glaze finish
Doesn’t include cymbals or hardware

Gretsch is renowned for the punchy presence of their compact kits, and the Catalina Club is one of their best-sellers. The mahogany shells provide warmth and a rounded tone while the smaller profile gives them a pleasing attack that can hang with the best kits.

The small profile and portability of the Catalina Club makes it the perfect choice for setting up and tearing down quickly. And if you travel, they take up a lot less space in transit than others. To top it off, the retro satin wrap finish adds a sexy aesthetic.

Best drum kit under $1,000 for big sounds: PDP Concept Maple Classic

pdp concept maple classic drumkit
Best drum kit under $1,000 for big sounds
PDP Concept Maple Classic
While it’s only a 3-piece, this kit with larger shells provides great volume and sustain with a sound that’s a little bit vintage and a little bit modern.
Sound has a lot of volume and projection
Walnut hoops provide a rounded, warm sound
Sound is hybrid of vintage and modern
Only a 3-piece kit

Conversely to the Gretsch listed above, the Concept Maple Classic is purpose-built for massive sounds that could fill an arena. This 3-piece kit comes with a 22” kick and 16” and 12” toms that will play nicely with your favorite snare. Walnut counter hoops provide a warm, rounded sound that is a little bit vintage and a little bit modern.

It might only be a 3-piece, but you won’t have any volume problems with a sound this massive.

Best 5-piece drum kit under $1,000: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

yamaha stage custom birch drum shell kit
Best 5-piece drum kit under $1,000
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch
This 5-piece birch kit gives you plenty of sound options. The birch shells are warm with great fundamentals. It doesn’t come with cymbals or hardware though.
5-piece kit provides good sound options
Birch wood has great fundamentals
Doesn’t include cymbals or hardware

For the drummer who likes to have a few more kit piece options comes this Custom model from Yamaha. Included pieces are a snare, kick, dual rack toms, and floor tom. The Birch wood shells provide warmth with a very pleasing fundamental.

Yamaha’s low mass lugs allow for more resonance than other types. You’ll need some other items to make for a full set, but this is a great starting point.

Best drum kit under $1,000 for heavy styles: Mapex Armory Studioease

mapex armory studioease
Best drum kit under $1,000 for heavy styles
Mapex Armory Studioease
Heavy drummers like to have options, and this 6-piece kit is perfectly suited for them. The snare cuts, the drums punch, and the sound is tight and focused.
Sound cuts through dense band mixes
SONIClear edges provide increased responsiveness
Tomahawk steel snare has great punch
6-piece kit that includes four toms
Might be too large of a kit for some players
Not as easy to transport as smaller kits

If you’re the type of drummer who needs to cut through a dense mix with ease this model might be perfect for you. This is in part to the hybrid birch/maple/birch shell design. SONIClear bearing edges add increased responsiveness, which is necessary in modern heavier styles of music like metal and hard rock.

This 6-piece kit that includes a Tomahawk steel snare that has no problem getting above the other instruments in the mix with a higher pitch than traditional wooden snares.

Best small profile drum kit under $500: Tama Club-JAM Flyer

Tama Club-JAM Flyer
Best drum kit under $500
Tama Club-JAM Flyer
A smaller-profile 4-piece kit that’s easy to transport and packs punch and tightness at under $500.
Easy to transport
Classic look
Classy, throwback look
Shells only, doesn’t include cymbals or hardware

Yes, you can get a great kit for under $500! Tama has long been one of the premier drum manufacturers, and even though this kit only costs a few hundred it’s not just for beginners.

You get a compact kit that is easy to set up and tear down, is easily portable, and sounds great. With the 6-ply poplar shells you get a deep sound that doesn’t skimp on clarity. There is a focus on the lows, while the mids and highs are a little bit softer than other builds.

Natural wood hoops give you a classic feel, just what you might expect from a legacy company like Tama. It’s a smaller kit but this translates in how it punches. So it doesn’t sound small, even though it’s a great travel kit.

Best drum kit under $1,000 for beginners: Pearl Roadshow

pearl roadshow drumkit
Best drum kit under $1,000 for beginners
Pearl Roadshow
This 4-piece kit is great for beginners. The shells have great attack, but they’re smaller so don’t provide as much projection.
A great-sounding, affordable kit for beginners
Poplar shells have great attack
Only $500
Smaller shells don’t have as much projection

Some of the best drum kits under $1000 are great for beginners. So, if you’re just starting out your drumming career it might not make sense to invest a lot of money into your first kit. But that doesn’t mean you have to necessarily sacrifice sound or quality.

The multi-ply poplar shells have a great attack that works across a number of genres and styles. The 4-piece kit even ships with everything a drummer needs to get started. This includes cymbals, stands, even the throne! At only $500 it is a solid choice for budding drummers and the intermediate alike.

Best electronic drum kit under $1,000: Alesis Crimson II SE

alesis crimson II
Best electronic drum kit under $1,000
Alesis Crimson II SE
Our pick for the best electronic drum kit under $1,000 packs in 74 kits. Mesh heads provide realistic feel, and users can load in their own samples.
9 pieces
Mesh heads provide realistic feel
Four-post rack provides stability
4-piece cymbal set with triple zone ride
Real-time recording and custom sample integration
Not the best electronic drum set for beginners

It seems like drummers either love or hate electronic drum kits. But they’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, and Alesis’ Crimson II is one of the best you can get under $1,000.

Mesh heads provide a feel that’s much closer to acoustic drums with dynamic range that rubber pads can’t touch. The module includes 74 drum kits that users can mix and match and save to 20 memory banks. Through USB custom WAV or MP3 samples can be uploaded – and not just drum sounds!

Everything mounts of a sturdy four-post chrome rack, the stands are reliable, and a more compact footprint works well in small spaces like bedrooms and project studios.


How much is a good quality drum kit?

At around $500 and above you’ll start to see the kit quality improve significantly. But any kit by good manufacturers like Pearl, Ludwig, PDP, DW, and Gretsch is a great starting point.

What is the best drum kit brand?

There are a lot of great brands that have their own sound and build quality, so the best drum kit brand is entirely up to you.

Companies like Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, and Gretsch have been making great kits for decades. Modern companies like PDP, Truth Custom, and Orange County Percussion don’t have as long of a history, but their products are every bit as good.

If you’re unsure what brand to go with, try out as many as you can!

What are the best drums for the money?

This totally depends on your budget. The Pearl Export EXX is our pick for the best drum kit under $1,000.

What are good cheap drum sets?

Every option on this list is a great choice. You have to consider your budget and keep in mind, some drum kits only come with the shells. So you’ll have to factor in the other things you’ll need to complete the kit like cymbals, hardware, and a throne.

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