The 5 Best Drum Sets for Adults (2021)

If you’re looking for the best adult drum sets, then you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of options out there, but not all are created equal! We took into consideration quality and affordability when picking these top five drum sets.

My top recommended drum set for adults is the Tama Imperialstar, which is one of the best beginner to intermediate kits you will find anywhere. It includes very decent cymbals and hardware, which is a big selling point for this drum set.

My second recommended product is Gretsch Drums Catalina. A brilliantly elegant kit for jazz, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Don’t stop your exploration here, though.

The 5 Best Drum Sets for Adults (2021)

1. Tama Imperialstar
Editor's Choice - A great-quality drum set, with very decent Meinl HCS cymbals and good hardware included.
2. Gretsch Drums Catalina
A very good-quality shell pack (cymbals and hardware need to be purchased separately)
3. Pearl Roadshow
Great for Beginners
4. Alesis Nitro Mesh
A great e-drum set for the beginners and intermediates
5. Roland TD-27KV V-Drum
Our pick as the best e-drum set based on value and features

Let’s compare them in more detail:

1. Tama Imperialstar

Top Pick as the Best Drum Kit for Adults
All you need to get started on drums. This is a great-quality drum set, with very decent Meinl HCS cymbals and good hardware included.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Tama Imperialstar is the ideal starter kit that is bound to accompany you through your transition to the intermediate level. The kit offers pretty much everything you need to get started with drums.

Pros

  • Includes very decent cymbals
  • Sturdy and durable hardware
  • Suitable for all drumming levels

Cons

  • Factory drum heads are not amazing, but can be easily replaced.

Although the stock drum heads are certainly be fine to start with, if you put a good set of remo, evans, aquarian heads on this, you’ll get a really super-sounding drum set.

The shells are made of 6-ply poplar wood. Tama’s hardware speaks for itself and with Imperialstar, you get quite nice and durable chrome hardware. On top of that, the kit is easy to install.

The set includes a 22” bass drum, 14” snare, a 10” and 12” tom-tom, and a 16” floor tom. With this kit, Tama also takes care of your cymbal needs. There are 14” hi-hats, a 16” crash, and a 20” ride. The hardware includes a snare stand, a hi-hat stand, a cymbal stand, a boom stand, a bass drum pedal, and even a throne.

Full Set or Shell PackFull set
WoodPoplar
Number of Pieces5-piece
Number of Cymbals3

Honestly, the Tama Imperialstar may have the price tag of a beginner kit, but it works well for all levels.

2. Gretsch Drums Catalina

A very good-quality shell pack (cymbals and hardware need to be purchased separately)
Great kit for the grooving drummer.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Gretsch Drums Catalina kit is not only gorgeous-looking but also sounds gorgeous. It features warm and sweet 7-ply maple shells that give the kit nice sonic dynamics. 

With its earthy sound and fast response, the kit is ideal for jazz, funk, and rock settings. You could just unpack it and start recording with it and it would sound perfect. 

Pros

  • Sonically vibrant
  • Brilliant 7-ply maple shells
  • Looks and sounds elegant

Cons

  • No cymbals

This kit is a shell pack, which means there are no cymbals and accessories included. It does, however, feature 30-degree bearing edges and a double lacquer finish. The hardware is high-end and pretty decent.

The shell pack includes a 14” snare, a 20” bass drum, 10” and 12” tom-toms, and a 14” floor tom. It comes preinstalled with decent Remo drum heads.

Full Set or Shell PackShell Pack
WoodMaple
Number of Pieces5-piece 
Number of CymbalsNone

The Gretsch Drums Catalina is a great starter kit for drummers who see themselves as groove masters. The price tag may be a bit higher than other kits on the list, but it’s a kit that’s worth it. 

3. Pearl Roadshow

Great for Beginners
The complete set for the beginner drummer.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Pearl Roadshow is a well-made beginner kit by one of the biggest drum brands in the world. This is another acoustic kit on this list that is the complete thing. It also has sticks and a stick bag accompanying it. 

The Pearl Roadshow drum shells are made of 6-ply Poplar shells. They’re great for all kinds of music. The kit sounds nice both in recording and on the stage.

Pros

  • Loaded with accessories
  • Nice-sounding poplar shells
  • Quite durable

Cons

  • Stock cymbals and drum heads might need an upgrade

The 5-piece kit includes a 22” bass drum, 14” snare, 10” and 12” tom-toms, and 16” floor tom. The cymbals include a pair of 14” hi-hats and a 16” crash/ride. There’s also a pedal and a throne. 

The kit sounds quite nice and picks up intricacies as a high-end kit does. The hardware also stacks up well, making this kit a great option for both beginners and intermediates. 

Full Set or Shell PackFull set
WoodPoplar
Number of Pieces5-piece
Number of Cymbals2

4. Alesis Nitro Mesh

A great e-drum set for the beginners and intermediates
Great e-kit for the learning drummer.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

With the innovations in the drumming world, you don’t have to stick with acoustic drum kits to practice drums. You can buy an electronic drum set. And that is exactly what the Alesis Nitro Mesh is. 

It’s a nice e-kit for beginner drummers who don’t want to become a nuisance for the people around them. E-kits have mesh heads on drum pads and produce no more than a mere thud when you hit them. 

Pros

  • Great for quiet practice
  • Has the space for 40 kits

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the feel of an acoustic kit
  • Not as responsive as higher-end e-kits

The Alesis Nitro Mesh has a bass drum pad, a snare pad, three tom pads, and three cymbal pads. There is a rack and a pair of drumsticks as well. 

The kit comes with 25 preset kits and allows you to add 15 more. There are 60 songs in the kit along with a metronome. All you have to plug in your headphones and get started.

Full Set or Shell PackFull set
WoodNA
Number of Pieces5-piece
Number of Cymbals3

5. Roland TD-27KV V-Drum

Our pick as the best e-drum set based on value and features
Feel the power of electronic drums.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Roland has been producing top-tier electronic kits for a few decades now. And the TD-27KV is one of the best they have to offer (and arguably the best electronic drum set based on value). 

It’s a great e-kit to practice for hours without disturbing anyone. However, you can also record music on it. 

Pros

  • Multi-sensor pads
  • Offers wide range of sounds
  • Has bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Pricey!

The kit comes loaded with 55 preset kits and has space for 45 user kits. The sound technology is top-of-the-line, including wireless streaming. 

It includes a 14” snare pad, three two-zone tom pads, a 10” bass drum pad, a two-zone hi-hat, a two-zone crash, and a three-zone crash/ride. 

Full Set or Shell PackFull set
WoodNA
Number of Pieces5
Number of Cymbals3

With multi-sensor pads, the TD-27KV has more than 700 sounds to offer. The kit is quite expensive, but is definitely one of the better e-kits money can buy. 

Buyer’s Guide

Full Set vs. Shell Pack

It’s can get confusing when comparing a full set and shell pack. On one hand, a complete set has a lot to offer, a shell pack focuses more on the drums. 

A full set is better suited to beginners drummers who have no hardware to begin with. In such cases, full sets save time and resources as you get all you need in one place at a modest price. 

Shell packs are more likely to be picked by drummers who have good quality hardware and cymbals. They want to focus on getting high-quality drums rather than decent-quality everything. 

Acoustic or Electronic?

You can’t replace the sound and feel of an acoustic drum kit. So, if you can, go for that.

However, if circumstances dictate that you can’t make too much noise, then electronic kits are a great way to get your drumming fix. 

Take a deeper look at our article on acoustic vs. electronic drum sets

Verdict

Big drum manufacturers have upped their drumming game in the past few years. Now, there are plenty of incredible options for drummers of all levels to choose a drum kit.

My main recommended drum set for adults is the Tama Imperialstar, which is one of the best beginner to intermediate kits you will find.

Also, with the advancement in e-drums in recent years, there’s also no reason for you to limit your search to acoustic kits. 

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