The 7 Best Drum Sets for Adults (2022)

The most common question among drummers, whether young or old, is what drum set should you get? There are many options to choose from and depending on if you’re after a full set or shell pack, the answer may vary. For adults, however, a full set takes the edge of looking for independent cymbals.

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! I took into consideration quality and affordability when picking these top seven drum sets.

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

My second recommended drum set for adults is the Alesis Nitro Mesh. This is a good e-drum kit for beginners and intermediate players with an affordable price tag.

The 7 Best Drum Sets for Adults (2022)

1. Tama Imperialstar
Top Pick - A great-quality drum set with very decent Meinl HCS cymbals and good hardware included.
2. Alesis Nitro Mesh
Budget Pick - A great, affordable e-drum set for the beginners and intermediates.
3. Roland TD-27KV V-Drum
Pro Pick - One of the best e-drum sets based on value and features.
4. Gretsch Drums Catalina
A very good-quality shell pack (cymbals and hardware need to be purchased separately).
5. Pearl Roadshow
Quality, budget-friendly, full set from a renowned manufacturer that is great for beginners.
6. Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220
Complete set with Zildjian cymbals with excellent value for money.
7. Yamaha Stage Custom Shell Pack
Classic 5-piece, quality shell pack from Yamaha.

Let’s compare them in more detail.

1. Tama Imperialstar

Top Pick
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 fine to start with, if you put a good set of remo, evans, or 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
MaterialPoplar
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. It’s the ultimate value-for-money drum kit.

2. Alesis Nitro Mesh

Budget Pick
A great, affordable e-drum set for the beginners and intermediates.
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. 

Pros

  • Great for quiet practice
  • Has the space for 40 kits
  • Super value for money

Cons

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

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

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
MaterialMesh
Number of Pieces5-piece
Number of Cymbals3

For beginners especially, this electronic drum kit has an excellent value-for-price ratio and is quite versatile with different sounds, presets, and songs.

3. Roland TD-27KV V-Drum

Pro Pick
One of the best e-drum sets based on value and features.
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). 

Pros

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

Cons

  • Pricey

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

4. Gretsch Drums Catalina

High-quality
A very good-quality shell pack (cymbals and hardware need to be purchased separately).
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

  • Shell pack
  • A bit pricey

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
MaterialMaple
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, especially for a shell pack, but it’s a kit that’s worth it. 

5. Pearl Roadshow

Popular Choice
Quality, budget-friendly, full set from a renowned manufacturer that is great for beginners.
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 drumsticks and a stick bag that come with it.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Stock cymbals and drum heads might need an upgrade

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.

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. 

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

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.

6. Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220

Value For Money
Complete set with Zildjian cymbals with excellent value for money.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220 is a complete, 5-piece drum set that comes fully equipped with Zildjian cymbals. For adults, this drum kit screams value for money!

Pros

  • Versatile sound perfect for any genre
  • Super value for money
  • Full set with Zildjian cymbals
  • Sounds great out the box

Cons

  • Factory heads are decent at best
  • Wooden kick drum hoop prone to damage

This drum kit comes with a 22-inch kick, a 16-inch floor tom, a 14-inch snare drum, and 10 and 12-inch rack toms. On the cymbal side, it comes equipped with quality Zildjian cymbals that include a 20-inch ride, 16-inch crash, and 14-inch hi-hat cymbals.

Additionally, you also get the drum throne with this kit and the hardware which brings so much value to the table and eliminates the bonus costs of purchasing these separately. The poplar shells are amazing and the only letdown might be the wooden kick drum hoop which will probably get damaged easily due to the clamps.

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

Factoring in the included stands, tom holders, drum pedal, and double-braced drum throne, this kit is about as ideal for any adult as you could get.

7. Yamaha Stage Custom Shell Pack

Classic
Classic 5-piece, quality shell pack from Yamaha.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5-piece shell pack is a classic drum set from a renowned manufacturer. Even though it’s just a shell pack, if you invest in quality cymbals and hardware, you’re looking at an intermediate-to-pro level drum kit.

Pros

  • Quality, Birch shell pack
  • Versatile-sounding kit
  • Quite the remarkable tone and sustain
  • Air Seal System

Cons

  • Shell pack

The Yamaha Stage Custom shell pack includes a 22-inch kick drum, a 16-inch floor tom, a 12-inch rack tom, and a 14-inch snare drum. The Birch shells ensure that quality Yamaha sound that is sought-after by many and the Air Seal System provides great tone and adds durability.

One of the main points of this shell pack is the quality of sound. It has a remarkable sustain and tone with low-mass lugs that ensure good vibration.

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

In a nutshell, the Yamaha Stage Custom shell pack is a classic, quality, great-sounding choice. With the right cymbal choice and hardware, this kit will sound amazing!

Full Set vs. Shell Pack

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

A full set is better suited to beginner drummers who have no hardware. 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, electronic kits are a great alternative.

You can get more detailed insight from 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 top pick is the Tama Imperialstar, which is one of the best beginner-to-intermediate kits you will find.

My budget pick is the Alesis Nitro Mesh, a good, affordable e-drum kit for beginners and intermediate players.

Photo of author

Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

Leave a Comment