If you’re thinking of buying a drum set, you may be wondering how much it costs to get one of these glorious instruments. There are multiple layers to that question, as the answer differs according to the brand and quality of the gear.
In this guide, we’re going to give you a full rundown of all the costs of buying a set. After reading through it, you’ll have an idea of the price differences between beginner, pro, acoustic, and electronic kits.
- 1 How to Identify Drum Kits
- 2 Brands
- 3 Drum Set Prices
- 4 Cymbal Prices
- 5 Hardware Prices
- 6 Final Thoughts on How Much Drum Sets Cost
How to Identify Drum Kits
Before we get into the different kits, it’s important that you understand how drum sets can be categorized. Knowing this makes it easier to look through different sets and understand why their prices are higher or lower.
The main three categorizations for drum sets are entry-level, intermediate, and professional. However, we’re also going to add kids’ drum sets and compact kits into the mix. Kids’ drum sets are mostly below entry-level when it comes to quality, while compact kits can fall under any three of those categories.
Electronic kits are the other available type of kit, and they can also be categorized into beginner, intermediate, and professional options. The difference with electronic kits is that the entry-level range is a lot broader than the entry-level acoustic range, while the intermediate and professional electronic kits are generally more expensive compared to the acoustic ranges.
Another thing to take note of when checking drum kit prices is what brands are available. Most drum brands stay very competitive with each other, so they offer drum kits at very similar prices in each category.
However, there are a few brands that are known for being more affordable or expensive. A good example is DW. The DW drum company offers pristine drum sets that are all made in the US. This makes them more expensive than most other drum sets.
Alesis is another brand with a reputation for having big price differences. Alesis electronic drum kits are a lot more affordable than the ones from Roland and Yamaha, which are the other two big electronic drum brands.
Unknown drum brands may also have lower prices on their acoustic and electronic drums, but the lower prices often mean much lower quality.
With all that being said, let’s check out the costs of actual drum sets.
Drum Set Prices
Kids’ Drum Sets
Drum sets for kids are the most affordable sets available. Some of them are mostly toy-like, while others have more serious construction.
If you want to buy a drum set for a kid, you won’t need to spend much. Kids’ drum sets range from $20 to $500. However, the serious kids’ drum sets with sturdy components start at around $100.
If you’re looking for a kids’ drum set that will last a few years and allows your kid to progress their skills on, we suggest spending at least $200 or more.
Here’s a list of a few kids’ drum sets to check out:
- Vangoa Junior Set
- Donner Kids’ Set
- Mendini by Cecilio Kids’ Set
- Pearl Roadshow Jr.
- PDP Player Junior Drum Set
Entry-Level Drum Sets
Entry-level drum sets are aimed at beginners, and they often come with everything you need. This includes drums, hardware, cymbals, and various accessories. If you’re a new drummer who’s never had a kit before, an entry-level kit will be your best option.
Entry-level acoustic kits cost between $500 and $1000, with the sound quality of the drums and cymbals increasing as the price gets higher.
Most major acoustic drum brands offer an entry-level drum kit that comes with double-braced stands and brass cymbals. The shells are always made from poplar, which is the cheapest hardwood used to make acoustic drum sets.
Here’s a list of entry-level drum sets to check out:
Intermediate Drum Sets
Intermediate drum sets mostly come as shell packs, meaning they don’t come with cymbals or hardware. However, some intermediate kits come with a few stands.
These kits are considered intermediate as they have superior tone quality compared to entry-level sets. Intermediate kits are made from higher-quality woods such as maple, birch, and mahogany.
Since they come as shell packs, some intermediate kits are slightly more affordable than full package entry-level sets, but the price adds up when you get cymbals and hardware to go with those kits.
Intermediate drum sets range from around $600 to $1500. To have a good intermediate setup with relatively decent cymbals, you’ll be spending closer to $1500.
Here’s a list of good intermediate drum sets:
- Yamaha Stage Custom Birch
- PDP Concept Maple
- Tama Superstar Classic
- Mapex Armory
- Gretsch Catalina Maple
Professional Drum Sets
Professional drum sets have the widest price range. They can cost anywhere from $1500 to $10 000. Pro drum kits exclusively come as shell packs, and most of the higher-priced ones don’t even come with snare drums (which alone can be anywhere from $50 to thousands).
These kits are considered professional as they have the highest-quality tones. They also have premium construction features. A lot more effort goes into making them, and they have more innovative design technology.
The superior construction makes professional kits feel a lot better to play. There are so many small details in the drums and hardware that many of us hadn’t noticed until we were eventually able to play pro kits.
Most pro drummers are happy with kits that cost between $1500 and $4000. Any kit more expensive than that is a luxury dream kit.
Here’s a list of popular professional drum sets:
Portable Drum Sets
Portable drum sets fall under all three categories of drum set prices. Some compact kits are very inexpensive as they have poplar shells and lightweight hardware. Other compact kits are costly as they have premium shell construction.
A compact kit refers to a drum set that has small shell sizes. The biggest identifying point would be a bass drum that is 18” or smaller.
Portable drum sets can cost anywhere from $300 to $2000. If you’re looking for a compact kit to use as a secondary option, we don’t recommend spending too much on one. It’s better to invest in high-quality cymbals and a better snare drum.
If it’s going to be your primary kit, then it would be better to invest a bit more into it.
Here are some of the most popular portable kits available:
Electronic Drum Sets
Electronic kits vary slightly in their prices. There are so many entry-level electronic kits available, and their price range is much wider than the one for acoustic kits.
A good entry-level electronic kit will cost anywhere from $300 to $1000. The more affordable ones tend to come with drum thrones, kick pedals, and drumsticks.
The kits that are a bit more expensive don’t come with those, meaning you need to spend a bit more to be able to play. The kits that cost from $600 to $1000 sound far better and have more features. According to electronic drum companies, they’re still considered entry-level, though.
Here are a few good entry-level electronic drum kits:
Intermediate electronic kits cost between $1000 and $2500. These sets have better playability and expandability. They also have larger drum pads that are more responsive and often have more trigger zones.
Check out some of the best intermediate electronic drum sets:
Professional electronic drum sets cost from $2500 to $10 000. They have the best module features with the highest quality sounds available. They’re most resemblant to playing acoustic drum sets.
Here are three of the best pro electronic drum sets available:
Cymbals can be bought individually, or you can buy premade cymbal packs that give you a full set to use with a drum kit. You can save money by buying a cymbal pack, but buying an individual cymbal is great if you’re just looking for a small addition to add to your set.
Cymbals are priced according to the materials used to make them. The cheapest cymbals are made of brass, and a single brass crash cymbal can cost as low as $60. Hi-hats and ride cymbals are typically more expensive, while all the other cymbals are priced according to their size.
The next step up from brass are cymbals made from a B8 alloy. B8 cymbals cost between $100 and $200. B10 and B12 cymbals cost between $150 and $300, depending on their type and size.
B20 cymbals are the highest-quality cymbals available, and a single B20 cymbal will cost anywhere from $200 to $800. The cymbals that sit on the higher end of that price range have typically been hand-hammered, and they have the best tonal qualities.
Cymbal packs can also be sorted into entry-level, intermediate, and professional categories. Entry-level cymbal packs cost between $150 and $500. Intermediate cymbal packs cost between $500 and $800. Professional cymbal packs cost between $800 and $2000.
If you buy a shell pack, getting a cymbal pack will be the most affordable way of completing your drum kit setup.
We also have a full rundown of the best cymbal packs, but if you’re in a rush, here are a few cymbal packs that we strongly suggest checking out.
Drum hardware is something else you need to look into if you choose to buy a shell pack. The easiest thing would be to buy a full hardware set, but you’ll also need to buy single cymbal stands every time you want to add a cymbal to your setup.
The sturdier the hardware, the higher the price. Also, higher-priced drum and cymbal stands typically have more moveable components, giving you more adjustment options.
A single cymbal stand can cost between $60 and $400. The most affordable stands have single-braced legs, meaning there’s only one metal beam supporting the stand at each foot. Higher-priced stands have double-braced legs and more room to maneuver your cymbals.
Snare drum stands also cost between $60 and $400. The more you spend, the more innovative the tilter will be, allowing you to angle your snare drum much easier.
Drum thrones range from $40 to $500. The quality of the cushion, as well as the height adjustment mechanism, is what determines the price.
Bass drum pedals cost between $60 and $1500. The cheapest pedals are lightweight and very simplistic. The most expensive ones are double pedals with an incredible number of adjustment options. As the prices of pedals get higher, they start to feel a lot more smooth and secure to play.
Hardware packs come with every piece of hardware that we mentioned above with a single purchase. Some of them don’t come with a drum throne, though. These packs range from $250 to $1500.
Here are a few good ones to check out:
Final Thoughts on How Much Drum Sets Cost
While the cost of a drum set may seem quite high, remember that a drum kit is one of the most durable instruments out there. We know so many drummers who are still playing vintage kits that got released decades ago. So, whichever drum set you buy, it’s going to last an incredibly long time.
Here’s a quick recap on how much drum sets tend to cost. Entry-level acoustic sets cost between $500 and $1000. Intermediate shell packs cost between $600 and $1500. Professional shell packs cost between $1500 and $10 000.
Kids’ drum sets cost anywhere from $100 to $500. Compact shell packs sell for $300 to around $2000. Electronic kits are fairly similar to acoustic kits, except that entry-level ones have a wider price range.