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best drum kits under 1000

Top 5 Best Drum Kits Under $1,000 For Drummers On A Budget

audiosorcerer
|
February 27, 2024 
|
Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Hey there, inspiring drummers! Ever jam out to your favorite tunes and wish you could sound just like the drummer? But maybe a fancy, expensive drum set seems out of reach? Don't worry, you're not out of luck! In this post, we'll countdown the Top 5 Best Drum Kits Under $1,000, proving that you can totally rock on without breaking the bank. Let's get to it!

Included in this guide:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Pearl Roadshow RS525SC 5-Piece Drum Set

Pearl Roadshow RS525SC 5-Piece Drum Set

  • All-in-one set—drums, cymbals, and hardware
  • 7mm Asian white poplar shells, wrap PVC finish
  • 1.6mm triple-flange steel hoops
4.7
Check Price
Runner-up
Yamaha SBP2F50 Stage Custom Birch 5-Piece

Yamaha SBP2F50 Stage Custom Birch 5-Piece

  • Shell pack with snare
  • 6.6mm birch air-sealed shells, high-gloss lacquer finish
  • 1.5mm triple-flange steel hoops
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
Tama Imperialstar IE52C 5-Piece Complete Drum Set

Tama Imperialstar IE52C 5-Piece Complete Drum Set

  • All-in-one set—drums, cymbals, and hardware 
  • 8mm poplar shells, wrap finish
  • Accu-Tune GFRP hoops
4.1
Check Price
Top Pick
Mapex Armory 5-Piece Fusion Shell Pack

Mapex Armory 5-Piece Fusion Shell Pack

  • Shell pack with snare
  • 7.2mm hybrid shells, olive-wood veneer lacquered finish
  • 2.3mm power hoops with rubber gaskets
5
Check Price
Lowest Price
Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit 4-Piece Complete Drum Set

Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit 4-Piece Complete Drum Set

  • All-in-one set—drums, cymbals, and hardware
  • Hard basswood shell, sparkly wrap finishes
  • Rubber-protected hoop
4.5
Check Price

Related Article: Top 5 Best Drummer Headphones For Every Budget (2024)


The Top 5 Best Drum Kits Under $1000

Despite being affordable, the Roadshow has everything you need to start drumming, from the hardware to the drumsticks. However, the configuration changes based on the model, with the “Rock” model RS525WFC being the most expensive (but still under $1,000). The RS525SC “New Fusion” model, however, is a well-balanced option, with a 22”x16” bass (with a port), a 14”x5.5” snare, a 12”x9” tom, a 10”x8” second tom, and a 16”x16” floor tom. The kit also comes with a 16” brass crash and a 14” brass/metal hi-hat.

Pros
  • Ultra-responsive and smooth pedal
  • Comes with a throne, a two-pair maple 5A stick pack, and a stick bag
  • Poplar shells create smooth sounds with a boosted low-end warmth
Cons
  • Brass cymbals can sound rough

Yamaha’s Stage Custom Birch set includes 10”x7” and 12”x8” rack toms with a 16”x15” floor tom. The snare is 14”x5.5”, while the kick is 22”x17”. You could get the kit in a cheaper configuration (SBP0F5) with a smaller kick and floor tom (20”x17” and 14”x13”, respectively). 

In both cases, the pack only includes five shells and a tom holder—no pedals, cymbals, or stands. Technically, you could get the kit with the hardware. But this would take the price tag beyond the $1,000 mark. Plus, even then, you’d have to buy the cymbals separately.

Pros
  • Stable tom mounting system with enhanced sustain
  • Low-mass lugs for improved tone and sustain
  • Good low-end punch and fat notes from the birch shells
Cons
  • You need to double-check the model no. once the package arrives—some people got the smaller SBP0F5 model by mistake
  • Not ideal for softer music styles

The only thing standing between the Imperialstar kit and the true “complete set” title is a pair of drumsticks. Otherwise, it covers the basic shells, a snare, stands, a pedal, a throne, and cymbals. The included 16” crash, 20” ride, and 14” hi-hat are all part of a Meinl HCS pack. While they can feel a bit cheap, they’re still up to the task.

Tama offers the 5-piece kit in three variations. The most affordable one is the IE58C 18” bass drum kit. However, we went with the IE52C 22”x16” bass for this review since it’s more versatile. On this size variation, the snare is 14”x5”, the floor tom is 16”x15”, and the mounted toms are 10”x7” and 12”x8”.

Pros
  • Smooth and fast single-chain drive pedal
  • Grain detail on the finishing wrap looks good for the price point
  • Delivers a full, warm tone, and the 10” tom sings
Cons
  • Hardware feels a bit flimsy and not super isolating
  • 12” tom could sound muted, compared to the 10” tom

Mapex’s Armory line-up features a hybrid shell construction on the 22”x18” kick and toms (10”x8”, 12”x9”, and 16”x16”). Maple is used for the core and sandwiched between two plies of birch. This way, the shells get the best of both worlds: the resonance and projection with a focused attack.

The Tomahawk 14”x5.5” snare shell, on the other hand, is made with 1mm stainless steel. It’s optimized for long-range projection and accuracy. Mapex used to have a “trade-in” program that allowed customers to exchange their snares for different models in the Armory line (Daisy Cutter, Dillinger, Peacemaker, or Exterminator). This program is discontinued, though, and the Tomahawk is now what you get with all kits in the lineup.

Pros
  • Suspension mounts provide powerful resonance from the toms
  • SONIClear bearing edge makes it easier to fit heads flat on the shells for a wider tuning range
  • Deep, throaty growl on the Tomahawk, ideal for rock and metal
Cons
  • Coated heads might sound slightly dampened

The Pocket Kit is created for kids (ages 4–10). But that doesn’t mean it’s a toy. It’s actually more of a small-scale (yet legit) drum kit. Included in the package are a 12”x5” snare, a 10”x6” mounted tom, a 13”x10” floor tom, a 16”x12” bass drum, a hi-hat, and a crash/ride cymbal. All hardware pieces (stands, foot pedal, boom arms, etc.) are included, too. Ludwig even tossed a throne, sticks, and drum key into the mix.

Pros
  • Comes with six beginners’ lessons from Questlove (setting up the kit, tuning, drum rolls, etc.)
  • Loud sounds despite the down-scaled size
  • Covered hardware reduces the risk of corrosion
Cons
  • Drumsticks can be slightly big for kids

Related Article: The Best Drum Sticks Of 2024: Find Your Perfect Match


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I choose an affordable shell for my drum kit?

Since you’re on a budget, you’ll want to steer away from mahogany. Your topic picks are poplar (soft highs/mids and low-end warmth), birch (full basses and highs with balanced mids), maple (full low-end), and basswood (comparable to maple). A hybrid construction like the one on the Armory kit will work as well.

Are all-in-one drum kits more budget-friendly?

For beginners, an all-in-one starter kit can cut the hassle out of the equation and provide a decent value for money. On the other hand, a shell pack gives you room to mix and match. Of course, this only works if you have some experience and already know what feels best to you

Are drum kits with clear heads better?

Clear heads aren’t necessarily better than coated ones. But they do tend to sound bright and deliver strong attacks. So, they can work well on bass drums. Meanwhile, coated heads usually sound subtle. Some kits will feature both head types to balance things out.

What’s the point of a bass drum port?

Sound holes in the bass help you create more focused and punchy sounds. Plus, you can use it to mic the drum. It’s usually off-center, and some people attach a ring protector over it. If your bass doesn’t come with a port, you could cut it out yourself.

What other costs should I consider besides the drum set itself?

You may need to factor in additional costs like drum sticks, headphones (for practicing quietly), and possibly a drum rug to protect your floor.

Product Recap

For value, the Pearl Roadshow is hard to beat, offering everything you need to start drumming at a budget-friendly price. If sound is your priority, the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch delivers rich, professional tones with its birch shells, but comes at a slightly higher cost. For igniting a child's musical spark, the Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit is a compact and age-appropriate option.

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"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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