The future of music

10 Best Cheap Drum Sets

December 29, 2023
best cheap drum sets

Are you a drummer who wants the best quality drums without breaking the bank?

Modern innovation has allowed the functions and features of top-quality drum sets to be put into an inexpensive package, accessible to all.

Because there are so many options on the market in 2023, it can be hard to separate the cheap, flimsy sets from the inexpensive yet high-quality sets.

We’re here to help you find a cheap drum set for you, without breaking the bank.

In this article, we will discuss the ten best cheap drum sets in 2023 and then we’ll talk through some commonly asked questions about drum sets.

We hope you find something in this article for you.

1. Pearl Roadshow

Pearl Roadshow

The Pearl Roadshow is a fundamental drum set for individuals who are serious about learning the drums and want the greatest kit without going over the price. 

Some individuals feel that the hardware is a little cumbersome, despite the fact that the shells are of the best quality and sound amazing.

However, this isn’t a problem and doesn’t change the fact that this drum set is inexpensive and of reasonable quality.

The set includes a sixteen-inch crash-ride, two fourteen-inch hi-hats, a twenty-two-inch kick drum, a fourteen-inch snare drum, a twelve-inch rack tom, two fourteen-inch and two sixteen-inch floor toms, a drum stool, drum sticks, and a drum key.

Drum setups that come with cymbals don’t often sound that great.

However, these cymbals are the best you’ll find on a budget drum set for a novice and are rather great.

There are many variations available for kids and adults to choose from, which is great for beginners because you can pick the perfect size for you.

They cost between $300 and $/£600 depending on the set, which is a fantastic deal given the high caliber of this equipment.

2. Ludwig Questlove Pocket Drum Set

Ludwig Questlove Pocket Drum Set

One of the most reasonably priced small drum kits on the market, the Ludwig Questlove was created with kids and complete novices in mind.

Although the drums are smaller, this kit is still enjoyable for adults.

Despite the small shells, it’s a terrific-sounding kit that has everything you need to get started and sounds of excellent quality.

The instruments in this set are a kick drum, a snare drum, floor toms, rack toms, hardware, cymbals, a drum throne, and drumsticks.

It’s excellent for beginning drummers because it’s enjoyable to play, projects sound well, and can readily fit into any location thanks to its small size.

The cymbals sound surprisingly good, and it is powerful and sturdy as well.

It’s also very portable, so it can be taken to gigs or lessons if needed.

At only $/£400, this cheap drum set has everything you need.

3. Tama Imperialstar

Tama Imperialstar

The Tama Imperialstar range is one of the most well-liked series for beginning drummers because of its inexpensive price and variety of sounds.

Its robust 7.5mm, eight-ply poplar shells produce a strong, sharp sound.

There are two layouts and three bass drum sizes to choose from, and tuning is straightforward thanks to the sharp bearing edges.

The way you purchase here is highly flexible and personalized.

Poplar shells often cost less than birch or maple ones, albeit occasionally they don’t sound as good.

This is not a problem for a beginner player because they still sound great.

Natural zebrawood, black oak, classic white dazzle, candy apple mist, and hairline black are just a few of the finishes that are offered for it.

This kit may be used at home or in crowded areas and has a stylish design.

It also comes in a variety of sizes and configurations.

Depending on your budget, there are a variety of kits that generally cost around $/£600.

The design and adaptability of this drum kit make it ideal for novices, and it is a great cheap drum set.

4. Pearl Export

Pearl Export

The Pearl Export sells the highest number of any drum sets around the world.

It features mixed shells, which is quite rare for such a cheap drum set.

They were modeled after and inspired by Pearl’s Flagship Reference Series, and feature the same great sound at a fraction of the price.

The shells are a mixture of poplar and warm Asian mahogany, and use Superior Shell Technology, which is also known as SST, to achieve the best tonal response and sturdiest construction possible.

It’s impressive that a kit this inexpensive features this technology, and that makes the Pearl Export stand out from the rest.

It includes the full drum set and cymbals, and although the cymbals are nothing to write home about, they’re decent enough for a beginner or at-home drummer.

While it isn’t quite as cheap as some of the others ($/£800), it’s still very affordable and is definitely the best sounding on this list.

5. PDP Centerstage Complete Drum Set

PDP Centerstage Complete Drum Set

This cheap drum set is a great entry-level kit, designed to help you get started on your journey.

It comes as an all-in-one package, including a kick drum, toms, a snare drum, and cymbals.

This is super handy for those just starting off and makes your buying experience far more intuitive.

The shells are made of poplar, which emit rich and warm tones that are pretty booming for such an inexpensive kit.

The hardware is solid, however, the cymbals have been critiqued for being less than impressive.

However, they’re playable.

It is one of the best all-inclusive cheap drum sets on the market this year, priced at just $/£500.

6. Mendini MDS80

Mendini MDS80

This is one of the cheapest drum sets on the market that isn’t of poor quality.

The basswood and poplar shells produce a warm sound and allow you to play versatile pieces.

You can get started right away since the Mendini MDS80 comes with a bass drum, two rack toms, a floor tom, a snare drum, two cymbals, a bass drum pedal, a drum throne, and drum sticks.

It’s great for young drummers thanks to the different sizes available, and it comes in a variety of colors and finishes.

They are pretty decent sounding too, however, the cymbals aren’t as great as you often find with complete sets.

Still, it’s nice to be able to play right out of the box.

The Mendini MDS80 costs just $217, which is an awesome bargain!

7. Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

The birch shells have elevated the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch, a well-liked cheap drum kit, even further.

Yamaha spared no detail when it came to the diagonal seams and 45-degree bearings on the 6-ply, 6.6mm-thick shells.

The focused sound of birch shells is well-liked, and the toms and bass drum provide a powerful, full-bodied tone.

The snare performs brightly and has been praised for its flawless tone.

This attractive kit is available in pure white, raven black, crimson red, honey amber, and natural wood finishes, making it easy to match it to any type of home.

This drum set’s sturdy construction and reasonable pricing of $/£700 make it a reliable investment.

8. Gammon 5-Piece

Gammon 5-Piece

The Gammon 5-piece is a really cheap drum set, priced at just $300.

This is an exceptional price for the quality of the kit and is worth checking out.

It comes in standard sizing (explained below, in the FAQ section) and includes a floor tom, two mounted toms, a bass drum, a snare drum, two cymbals, a drum throne, stills, hardware, and pedals.

You can start playing right out of the package, which is great!

This is a sturdy drum set when compared to some of the cheaper models, so it will be able to stick by you until you’re ready to upgrade.

It comes in two finishes, black or blue, and has a sleek and sophisticated design.

It’s hard to believe that you can get genuine hardwood poplar shells with a high gloss finish and triple-flanged hoops for just $300!

Overall, this is a great choice for a cheap drum set for beginners.

9. Alesis Nitro Mesh

Alesis Nitro Mesh

The fact that this is electronic sets it apart from the others.

When seeking for diversity and good value, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is one of the top cheap electronic drum sets.

For the first-time drummer, this kit is a wonderful price for just $299.

The set-up includes a ten-inch dual-zone crash (choke-able), an eight-inch dual-zone mesh snare, three eight-inch single-zone mesh toms, two extra single-zoned cymbals (one for the hi-hat and one for the ride), a hi-hat controller pedal, and a four-post drum rack.

Even better, it has a true kick pedal, which benefits beginners by giving them a more authentic experience.

The rack mechanism is a little shaky, but this is the main drawback compared to other electronic drum kits in this price range.

For a kit in this price range, it is amazing because it comes with forty kits and a sizable 385 sounds.

In order to put together the sound you want, there are sixteen spaces for user-created kits.

The fact that kit editing is incredibly simple and that the mesh drums feel genuine and equivalent to an acoustic set are two major factors in the popularity of this set among drummers of all skill levels. 

This drum kit has all the connectivity options you could want.

It offers stereo line/headphone outputs, a USB/MIDI connection, a CD/MP3 aux input, and MIDI in/out capabilities.

This implies that you can perform your drumming or simply practice in silence.

Overall, this is one of the best cheap electronic drum kits available because it will provide you with all you need without breaking the budget for solo practice, recording beats, and group rehearsal.

10. Tama Club Jam

Tama Club Jam

With a light and punchy tone that is suited for jazz, funk, and small performances, this compact, affordable drum kit is great for young drummers and beginners.

It’s a pretty eye-catching set with off-colored hoops, vintage-style chrome hardware, and finishes in Satin Blonde, Aqua Blue, Charcoal Mist, and Galaxy Silver.

The shells’ blend of poplar and mersawa produces a lovely, jovial sound when struck.

For novices, the relatively modest kick drum is excellent since it cuts through the music without rattling the walls.

This drum set is excellent for performances since it enables beginners to showcase their talents without worrying that their starter set sounds tinny.

You can’t go wrong with this retro-styled set at only $400!

In our ranking of the top 10 cheap drum sets for 2023, we hope you found the right drum set for you.

Let’s now talk about some essential knowledge for purchasing a cheap drum kit.

Things to Consider When Buying a Cheap Drum Set

  • Buy from a drum brand with a good reputation.
    You want to ensure that you’re not sacrificing style or sound quality just to get a good deal (Think Gretsch, Pearl, Yamaha, Sonor, and any other brands mentioned in this list).
  • Choose a nice-looking finish.
    Some finishes will look higher quality than others, and you don’t want to end up with a cheap or tacky-looking drum set.
    Most will come with plenty of options!
  • Check what the kit comes with.
    Some kits appear cheap but only include the shells and hardware, with no throne, sticks, or cymbals.
    This can rack up and become costly quickly, so it’s best to either factor this in or choose a complete set.
  • Keep in mind that cymbals are the worst part of cheap drum sets.
    It may be worth spending some extra money and opting for bronze cymbals if you want your kit to sound better.

What Features To Look for in a Cheap Drum Set

  • Shell type.
    Poplar is the most common shell type for cheap drum sets, and sometimes hardwood. Poplar creates a pretty decent sound, but it doesn’t really compare to maple or birch which are more expensive.
  • Size.
    Some cheap kits, especially from brands that aren’t well known, sell in odd sizes.
    A standard drum kit setup consists of a fourteen-inch snare, ten and twelve-inch rack toms, a sixteen-inch floor tom, and a twenty or twenty-two-inch bass drum.
    Many will offer different sizes and configurations, so make sure to measure the space you’re putting it in and do your research.
  • Build quality.
    Make sure to read reviews, since the last thing you want is a flimsy set that can’t hold up against your playing.
    Kits that come with double-braced stands are far more sturdy than single-braced stands.

How Much Does a Cheap Drum Set Cost?

A cheap drum set costs between $100 and $800, generally.

At the higher end of the range, you may be looking at birch or maple shells as opposed to poplar or generic hardwood.

This will have a better sound, but there’s nothing wrong with the cheaper ones!

Are Cheap Drum Sets Worth It?

Beginners and those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their passion may find cheap drum sets to be well worth the investment.

As you advance, though, you might want to upgrade to a more costly drum kit with a better sound.

Best Cheap Drum Sets 2023 – Final Thoughts

In 2023, there will be a huge variety of inexpensive drum sets on the market, so we’ve tried to explain which ones are the greatest and how to pick the ones that are best for you.

Despite being cheap, it’s critical to have confidence in the durability and quality of your drum set.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and good luck with your new, cheap drum set!

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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