In the market for a new drum kit? Don’t spend a nickel until you’ve read the final verdicts of our expert review team on these kits from GMS, Pearl, DW, Mapex, Ddrum, Crush, Gretsch, Yamaha, Whitney, and Tama.

Take a tour of these top kits and you can vote in a poll at the end to choose your favorite. [Editor’s Note: These reviews were done over the last few years and combined for this article. Features of these kits have changed or been upgraded in some cases. For ordering details on any kit, visit the manufacturer web site.]

First Up: GMS Special Edition Pro kit with superb finishes, clear tones, and a great price.

#2. Pearl Reference Series Pearl succeeds in blending wood species for optimum sound.

#3. DW Collectors Series Birch See what happens when John Good gets his hands on high-quality birch.


#4. Mapex RetroSonic A unique vibe and limited edition status makes this kit a collector’s item.

#5. Ddrum Reflex A pro kit at an affordable price — great for the gigging drummer on a budget.

#6. Crush Drums A very impressive showing from such a promising young drum maker.

#7. Gretsch Catalina Club Save your back with this great jobbing set for relatively quiet gigs.

#8. Yamaha Absolute Birch Custom Game changer — when Yamaha introduced the Nouveau lug on its Absolute Birch Custom kits.

#9. Whitney Nesting Penguin A lightweight, portable, and eccentric kit with professional-quality sound.

#10. Tama Silverstar Remarkably affordable drum kit that delivers excellent features.