Best acoustic drums for beginners, intermediate and advanced drummers

Ideal for Beginners

Mapex TND5294FTC

Intermediate Level

Yamaha Rydeen Standard Black Glitter

Advanced Level

DW PDP CM6 Fusion White

Which acoustic drum set to buy? The best options for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

The acoustic drum set is an instrument that became known in the middle of the last century, and has since conquered hearts and stages, becoming essential to almost every musical composition.

The complexity and diversity of this universal instrument have made it a pillar of the musical world, and in honor of its great importance, we will dedicate this article to divulging everything there is to know about acoustic drums, as well as guiding you towards the best options on the market.

Let’s learn more about this amazing instrument, acoustic drums.

Composition of an acoustic drum set

Both electronic and acoustic drums are made up of a few fundamental parts. The acoustic drum kit is composed of five main parts, which are: snare/drum, tom 1, tom 2, Grenadier/Goliath and bass drum. These parts, in turn, are made up of a set of parts particular to each one.


In Europe, specifically Spain, it's called Goliath. In the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, it's called redoblante. In addition, as far as a symphony or martial orchestra is concerned, it's classified as a redoblante.

In turn, this piece of acoustic drums is composed of several parts, such as:

  1. Body: Traditionally made of several sheets of wood and usually measures 14″ to 16″.
  2. Leathers/patches: There are two. The one that receives impacts with the drumstick is called (beater) and is located at the top. The one that performs resonance functions is called resonator and is located in the lower part.
  3. Hoops: These are the ones that hold the drumheads, both the beater and the resonator.
  4. Wrenches/tensioners: These are the screws that tighten the hoops that in turn tighten the drumheads to tune or give a pleasant sonority to each piece of the acoustic drums.
  5. Squeaker/Cracker: A mesh that is installed on the resonator head and can be tightened to create a sound with less vibration (drier).

Basically, all drums parts are made up of the same parts, although they vary in size, for example:

  • Tom 1: The standard size is 12″ and. Depending on the drums model, it may be smaller, up to 8″, considered as Tom 1 drums “Fusion”.
  • Tom 2: Its standard size is 13″. Like the Tom 1, it can be smaller, up to 9″ if it's a “Fusion” drums.
  • Goliath/Grenadier: Its traditional size is 16″ and in the proposed “Fusion” batteries it measures up to 12″.
  • Bass drum: Basically measures 22″ and in the “Fusion” proposals it measures up to 16″.

All of them have the same parts that a redoblante has and they only vary in three things: 1. Size; 2. Some have a greater number of tensors because they have a larger circumference; 3. Only the snare drum has a squeaker/cracker.

Are acoustic drums tuned by pitch?

Yes, they can be tuned by musical notes and in fact they should be. However, the confusion in this respect derives from being unfamiliar with two analogous terms that have the same origin, but have different interpretations:

  1. Determined sound: It's the sound of music, such as that of a tuned string, tuned piano, tuned oboe, tuned voice. It's called determined because it's aware of the notes it emits.
  2. Indeterminate sound: It's called “noise”. It's the one that comes from the impact between two bodies and of which there is no awareness of which are the notes it emits.

Now, this is academic and many purists are unable to accept that the fall of a book can produce a musical note, but science puts them in their place and it has been proven that any impact between two bodies produces a vibration, which implies a sound frequency, which means a musical note.

Checkmate against academia and a point in favor of science, as it should be!

In addition to the myth about tuning and musical notes, we find the myth of tuning to eliminate harmonics from the hooves. This is not true and it's never possible to eliminate the harmonics. In fact, the idea is that the harmonics are perceived, but correctly tuned so that the stable vibrations are pleasing to the human ear.

How to tune an acoustic drum kit by tones

To do this, a wrench is used to turn the bolts/tensioners. But if you expect to do it by ear, you won't have an easy time.

Basically, for a leather to be considered in tune, each of the tensioners must exert the same pounds of pressure per square centimeter. This means that, if a part has ten tensioners, each of them must indicate the same amount of pounds of pressure in each of their positions.

Generally, an experienced drummer uses the thumb to exert pressure on the leather, at the edge of the tensioner. This is done in each of the parts where there is a tensioner, to “check”, by touch, if they appear to have the same pressure. Also, the millenary technique (X complete laps) is often used and that all should be taken to the same number of “complete laps”.

These rudimentary techniques can give “acceptable” results if the drummer has a lot of experience, but nowadays there are devices that are placed on the leather, on the edges of the tensors, and indicate with total precision the pounds or notes that exist at a given moment.

Tightening the keys of the acoustic drums

It should be carried out as indicated above and taking into account the following:

  • Tension: Must be the same on all box keys, Tom or Goliath/Floor Tom. Exactly the same unless the acoustic characteristics of the room require something different.
  • Shape: The shape should be cross-shaped and the drummer should assign a number to each tensor/key, i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6 and adjust as follows: 1, 4, 3, 6, 2, 5.

An important tip when it comes to the resonator head (the lower one): the tighter it is, the more reverb it acquires, while when it's less taut, the sound has less vibration.

Ideally, both the beater and resonator patches should have the same tension. But if you are going to play with your band in a large hall, it's best to lower the resonator tension. On the other hand, if you will be playing in a recording studio, it's recommended that you turn up the resonator tension to compensate for the action of the sound traps.

Care and maintenance of acoustic drums

This is a fundamental aspect if you want to keep your acoustic drums in excellent condition.

To do this, you need some basic elements such as:

  • Cleaning cloths: Beginning drummers generally assume that any torn shirt will do, but this is not true. If you want your instrument to have as few scratches as possible, you should use cotton cloths.
  • Liquid cleaner: There is a myth about liquids and many claim that you should not use the common ones for wood furniture, but this is false, because the chemical composition of these cleaners has the ideal characteristics to clean all the boxes of your drums. For this reason we recommend a multi-purpose cleaner
    for wood, varnished or polyurethane finished furniture.
  • Cymbals: To clean the cymbals, the cloths should also be made of cotton. Wash them first with degreaser and, once dry, apply a special liquid for metals without ammonia to delay the oxidation process and avoid protective layers that reduce the efficiency of the metal harmonics.

Also, it's advisable to handle the cymbals with gloves when installing and disassembling them, before and after each session or concert. At the same time, this general maintenance should be performed once a month.

Improve the sound of acoustic drums

The sound of your acoustic drum kit can be substantially improved by upgrading and acquiring certain elements, for example:

  1. Mutes: These are synthetic hoops that are placed over each drumhead and stabilize the resonance of the drums. There is a huge variety of materials and sizes and it's appropriate to test and see online reviews to know the qualities of each model.
  2. Patches: There are transparent and black oiled, corrugated, waxed patches. There are also models manufactured to cover certain sound characteristics. There are bass drum heads that are awesome, double layered, with integrated mutes, with resonance horns and much more.
  3. Tuner: In previous sections we mentioned two types of tuners, one by pounds of pressure and the other by musical notes. If you really want to improve the sound of your drums, buy one.
  4. Cymbals: There is a giant variety of them, perforated, gauges, materials, gong and each one of them greatly improves the sound of your drums.

In future publications we will dedicate one especially to talk about mutes, drumheads and tuners for drums, as well as all their qualities, so that you can get to know them and acquire the ones that best suit you.

Differences between acoustic drums for beginners, intermediate and advanced drummers

Fundamentally, the differences are threefold:

  1. Price: Acoustic drums for beginners cost between 100€ and 300€ and come in combos with cymbals and hardware. But the semi-professional ones range from 300€ to 600€ and the professional ones from 700€ to thousands of euros.
  2. Materials: In acoustic drums for beginners, the materials are usually low quality woods, brass, iron and plastics. While, in the intermediate and advanced levels, the woods are more carefully-selected, stainless steel, high-tech polymers and higher quality paints and inlays are used.
  3. Parts: The number of parts in an acoustic drum kit for beginners is standard (five). The intermediate level ones can have from five to eight pieces and the professional ones are a whole arsenal of war, such as Mike Mangini's. And yes, he uses all the pieces.

Best drums brands

There are currently a huge number of brands that have interesting selections in terms of drums. We will mention the most recognized in the world.

  • Yamaha: It's a company that has been manufacturing acoustic drums for more than 50 years, of which the most emblematic is the Stage Custom, a drum set that stands out for its number of sales and for being manufactured with high quality woods, resistant hardware and drumheads/leather of the best brands.
  • Tama: Although it has been manufacturing Japanese music technology for over a hundred years, it was only in 1965 that this company produced its first acoustic drum set (Star Drum), becoming the company's flagship series.
  • Sonor: It's one of the oldest manufacturers of percussion instruments (since 1872) and is almost one hundred and fifty years old. But it was in 1946 that its first drums saw the light of day to mark the beginning of a technology-driven empire.
  • Pearl: Another Japanese company that is a leader in the manufacture of percussion instruments, marked by exotic materials, state-of-the-art technology, amazing configurations and affordable prices for potential drummers.
  • Drum Workshop: Known as (CB Drums), is a recognized brand specialized in the manufacture of high quality acoustic drums. It was founded in 1972 and has been designing accessible and modern models ever since.
  • Gretsch: It's another of the oldest companies in the industry, founded in 1883 by the Gretsch dynasty. Since then, they have been dedicated to manufacturing a large number of high quality instruments and have been exclusively distributed by Drum Workshop since 2015.
  • Mapex: Founded in Taiwan around 1930, it's an icon in drums manufacturing, especially fusion.

The best acoustic drums for beginners:

  1. Millenium MX222BX Standard Set BK
  2. Mapex TND5294FTC Tornado Standard YB

The best acoustic drums for intermediates:

  1. Pearl Roadshow 5 set
  2. Mapex Storm Rock Set Bundle #IC
  3. Yamaha Rydeen Standard

The best acoustic drums for advanced:

  1. Sonor AQ1 Studio Set Lite Yellow
  2. DW PDP CM6 Fusion White
  3. Pearl Export Limited Set White Limba

Now we arive at the most awaited moment, because everyone wants to know which drums best suit their needs or if their favorite drum set has been included in this review. But hey, if we didn't include your favorite acoustic drum set, remember that we have only picked a select few of the best and most versatile ones in our opinion.

The best acoustic drums for beginners

Millennium Focus 22 Drum Set Black


Good value for money; has had good sales volume with positive feedback.


The patches that come from the factory are not of very good quality.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/hulls: Low quality wood.
  • Patches: Synthetic of low quality.
  • Cymbals: Low quality brass.
  • Number of pieces: Five drums, two cymbals, hardware and stool
  • Sound: Regular.

This acoustic drum set from Millenium has gained a certain reputation on the market for its affordable price, and within its features we only find general, basic and typical aspects of a drum set for beginners.


This is an acoustic drum set designed with a standard configuration where the snare drum is made of metal, a low quality brass, but with a medium resonance. It comes with a squeegee and a wrench to adjust the squeegee.

It measures 14″ in diameter by 5. ½” deep, which means it has 4240 square centimeters of resonance.


The shells/drums are made of laminated maple wood and this is the reason for their low price. Although, in spite of being laminated, its resistance is high and withstands shocks very well. The hoops are not made of stainless steel, nor are they tempered, and this means that they tend to wear out or bend due to misuse.

The same applies to the tensioning bolts/tensioners, which, being made of the same metal , tend to jam when they have not been used for a long time.

The leathers are of a low quality synthetic material and therefore it's recommended to replace them with oiled paddle leathers when the factory leathers wear out. The cymbals are of low quality brass, but they sound good.


The maple wood, although laminated, has excellent bass response (above 7db), a little low in the mids (below 5db), although it improves with treble (around 6 db).

But, as in all acoustic drums, the difference will be in the tuning of the drumheads, that will require low voltages, especially in the resonator. (bottom patch) so that the sound acquires a good projection and the low frequencies, which are the strength of this drum set, can be exploited.

If the drummer achieves a stable low tuning, the resulting sound will be warm, full-bodied, with sustain, it will project without major difficulties. The tensions to achieve this tuning are between 400 and 500 pounds of pressure on each of the drum shell tensioners. This varies as the shells increase in size and so the figure is merely referential for the redoblante.

The cymbals, being made of brass, have little resonance and few overtones, but provide an optimal sound level for beginner drummers.


This is a drum set that has proven to be an adequate choice for those on a tight budget. It has a good value for money, provides good sound, a pleasant bass response and has a good brightness frequency. Only the quality of the patches would need to be improved, but this is not a priority and can be forgotten in the first semester of learning. Interested? Find the best prices at Thomann.

Mapex TND5294FTC Tornado Standard YB


Good value for money, quality sound.


The factory-fitted patches are of acceptable quality.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/Hulls: Good quality wood.
  • Pads: Mapex synthetics of acceptable quality.
  • Cymbals: Acceptable quality brass.
  • Number of pieces: Five drums, two cymbals, hardware and stool.
  • Sound: Suitable for a student.

Mapex has been offering some of the best models for beginner drummers for over 80 years. The Mapex Tornado is a very good quality, stable sounding acoustic drum kit with an amazing pack that a novice drummer can take full advantage of.


This is an acoustic drum kit with a standard configuration in the hoops, but varies a little in the depth of the shells.

The case measures 14 “x5 1/2, while the toms are 12 “x8 and 10 “x07, respectively. At the same time, we find a 16 “x14” grenadier and a 22 “x16” bass drum. The hardware is chrome plated and so is the hardware for the cymbals, having a straight stand without extension and a basic hi-hat stand, all of good quality.

The configuration chosen for the cymbals is 14″ Hi-Hat and 16″ crash. The Hi-Hat machine has good response to foot movement and both cymbals (Hi-Hat and Crash) are resistant and do not bend easily, which is really good because few drum kits have this quality.


The wood of this acoustic drum set is made of laminated linden, it's highly resistant to shocks and due to its thickness, it can withstand impacts of more than one thousand kilos of pressure (depending on the speed). This is enough to withstand any shock and the regular use that an entry-level drum kit is subjected to.

At the same time, the resistance to bending (buckling) provides great stability against heat and this is very valuable, because drum kits concentrate a great amount of heat inside their drums and when they are not of good quality they can bend (buckle). The finish is of a good quality, a thick layer of polyurethane (2.mm) that strengthens the resistance of the wood.

The rings are made of non-stainless steel, but are highly resistant to bending, which guarantees durability and low deformation.


Basswood provides an optimal bass response (around 8db), while the mids tend to respond between 5db and 6db, while the treble maintains its intensity at 5db. This produces deep, enveloping sounds with a nice reverb that is stable when the patch tension is high. If the resonator head is tuned at low voltages, the sound is warm and compact.

The snare/drum has a particular sound with a good sustain and the squeaker provides stable vibrations that greatly improve the sound.

The sound of tom-toms is what we like the most, because they have very good harmonics when looking for high tunings, and with a quality mute it improves the sound even more. The bass sound potential of the wood is fully exploited with the floor tom and bass drum, so we recommend low voltages and fitting the bass drum with an Evans 22″ EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum.

The reason is that this drumhead has a double layer and a built-in double attenuator ring that boosts the bass and provides excellent harmonics.

The Goliath/Grenadier on this drum kit gets its best sound with a double layer drumhead and we recommend the Evans Hydraulic Black Tom. This allows you to reduce harmonics to a minimum and, with a low voltage, to achieve a high quality envelope.


This Mapex drum set is a great choice for beginners who want a top quality pack. Its sound is really good and we like it very much when tuned at low voltages. Bass is stable and mids, along with brightness, improve with use. Find the best prices at Thomann.

Editor's recommendation:

Definitely, Mapex drums are the best option, because the quality of its materials is necessary for a beginner drummer who is initially learning, not only to play, but also to take care, protect and value this investment.

The best acoustic drums for intermediates

Pearl Roadshow


Ideal fusion size for children, reinforced hardware.



Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/Hulls: Good quality wood.
  • Patches: Good quality.
  • Cymbals: Good quality hybrid brass.
  • Number of pieces: Five drums, two cymbals, hardware and stool.
  • Sound: Suitable for a student.

Pearl is one of the major companies dedicated to the manufacture of drums and offers its users the Roadshow, a drum set for beginners and intermediates with excellent resistance characteristics that can be used by both adults and children from five years and older.


This acoustic drum kit has a Junior configuration ideal for children. The bass drum measures 18″x12″, is small and handy. The Tom-Tom are 10 “x 07” and 12 “x 08” and this means that they are aesthetically proportional for installation at a short stature, for children. The floor tom/grenadier, is 14 “x 10″ and the snare drum/box is 13″x 05”, both finished in high quality metallic bronze color.

The hardware is top quality chrome with double reinforcement and the bass drum pedal has a double chain. This impressive combo for beginners or intermediates has been equipped by Pearl with 5A sticks, stick holders and an adjustable drummer's seat.

Finally, the company has completed this pack with a very good set of cymbals with a 14″ Hi-Hat and a 16″ crash. It's everything the novice drummer needs to get started with one of the best packs around.


The drums/hulls of this drum set are made of high quality poplar wood, distributed in nine layers for a thickness of 7 mm. This is very good because it provides a resistance that few drum kits have: it can withstand wear and tear, about 800 kg of pressure with little chance of breaking.

The hardware is made of reinforced steel, especially designed for beginners who, lacking the necessary experience, tend to bend these parts and often cause the threads to become isolated. In this kit, this will not happen easily due to its reinforcement. Another element that suffers regular wear and tear is the bass drum pedal. Enthusiastic students usually break the bass drum chains, but on this drum set the chain is double and made of reinforced steel.

The plates are made of hybrid brass: 25% zinc, 8% tin and 67% copper. This alloy for industrial applications translates into high shock resistance and other sound characteristics described below.


Multi-ply poplar has a good response to all sound frequencies.

The bass is not very deep (7db) but it's stable and warm with a good resonance. While the mids have a 6 db response, producing full-bodied, sustaining and bass-boosting sounds. The brightness ranges from 6 to 7 db so the sound, in all its ranges, is very balanced and with vibrations that produce good harmonics.

One of the important aspects of poplar is that, depending on the head/hide configuration and tuning, similar nuances to birch and mahogany can be obtained, increasing its bass response and deepening the sound.

However, if you want to take advantage of the balanced frequencies of this wood, we recommend the use of Evans 18″ Calftone Bass Drum heads, which have the ability to enhance the sonic stability of this drum.

Also, being relatively small drums, the sound works best at medium voltages (300 to 400 PSI). We remind you that this measurement is referential for the redoblante, but it tends to go down or up in the rest of the pieces.


This great acoustic drum kit has excellent design features that make it desirable for intermediate drummers. In addition, the quality of their wood is remarkable for the valuable sound they generate. Find the best price at Thomann.

Mapex Storm Rock Set Bundle

Mapex Tornado Stand. Zildjian Set BK

The configuration of the parts is excellent and has Zildjian cymbals.



Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/hulls: Good quality wood and improved with SONIClear technology.
  • Patches: Remo UX of good quality.
  • Cymbals: Nickel/silver alloy.
  • Number of pieces: Five drums, three cymbals, hardware and stool.
  • Sound: Solid and robust.

The Storm Rock series is one of Mapex's best sellers due to its excellent sonic and technical characteristics, being one of the most preferred by intermediate drummers. In addition to their good price, the materials of their hulls and cymbals are impressive. An excellent configuration is the great value of this Mapex model.


This Mapex has a design that the company has classified as “Rock” and it really doesn't give us that impression. It looks more like a jazz drum kit with possibilities to be whatever we want it to be, because it's very versatile in its configuration. The color is like wood pulp or wood grain and provides a wonderful, classic, vintage, yet modern aesthetic.

The hardware is chrome plated, a highly resistant material that in MOHS range is twice as hard as iron and almost as resistant as diamond, with a rating of 9 on a scale of 10.

Their shell configuration is: bass drum 22 x 18″, Tom one 10″ x 07″, Tom two 12″ x 08″, Grenadier/Goliath/Floor tom 16″ x 14″, Snare/Redrum 14″x05″. This is what we mean by versatility: while the snare and bass drum are standard size, the toms one and two are Jazz/fusion, and the grenadier is Jazz, just as the bass drum depth is Jazz. All in all, it's a beautiful combination.

To finish enriching the design of this drum set, the manufacturers, in agreement with Zildjian, have incorporated a Planet Z cymbal kit (Hi-Hat, Crash, Ride) that are the desire of every intermediate drummer, along with a high quality Mapex T561 saddle.


This set has a nine-ply poplar wood veneer for a total thickness of 7.5 mm. It's stable in all frequency ranges and adds body to the sound, as well as being very resistant to breakage. The frequency range in this wood, when working with 10″ and 12″ diameter toms, acquires more than pleasant vibrations.

Remo UX patches are not highly rated by some users, but this is due to the type of tuning they are looking for. However, for us they are a good choice in single-layer patches, because their synthetic material is really good.

Planet Z cymbals are the icing on the cake, made of a nickel-silver alloy of high strength and sound quality.


This drums has built-in poplar wood that is highly stable in all ranges of its frequency.with bass ranging in the 7 db, mids in 5 and 6 db and brightness in 6 and 6.5 db, which gives it body, warmth and a good sustain to the drums.

The frequency range in this wood acquires very pleasant overtones and, if the tuning seeks high tensions, you will notice that the sound is enveloping.

The sound of Planet Z cymbals is very good. The harmonics are vibrant and disperse like a sonorous explosion. As you experiment with the edges, body and bell, you will notice that the possibilities improve greatly because they are rich in harmonics. In addition, the edges of the headphones feature SoniClear technology that cleans up the sound, making it very clean.


This Mapex drum set, besides having a great aesthetic presentation, has an impressive sound quality. The quality of its materials convinces us, but beyond everything, what catches our attention is the configuration of its parts, which offer versatility and expansion possibilities to adapt to any style. That is why we recommend it for intermediate drummers aspiring to advanced levels. Find the best prices at Thomann.

Yamaha Rydeen Standard


Good sound, versatile configuration, good cymbal kit included.


The cymbals are not Paiste's best and the patches do not contribute to the quality either.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/Hulls: Good quality wood.
  • Patches: Acceptable quality, but for the price it could have been better.
  • Cymbals: Copper/zinc/ MS-63 alloy with added lead.
  • Number of pieces: Five drums, three cymbals, hardware and stool.
  • Sound: Optimum.

Yamaha did not become the best-selling musical instrument brand just for the sake of it, but because of the excellent quality that users have found in Japanese products. This is the case of the Yamaha Rydeen Standard, an instrument with very good features and potential.


This Yamaha drum kit is well-liked by users. This is due to the characteristics of each of its components, which we will examine below. Design, materials and sound? This drums is very good in all these respects.

In this drum set we can see a bass drum that has a standard circumference measurement of 22″ but the depth differs from the common, being 16″, which makes it a little more compact.

For the Toms, Yamaha decided to work with Fusion's measurements to have a 10″ x 07″ and a 12″ x 08″ Tom respectively, which for us is one of the best options.

Also, the brand has chosen to keep the floor tom with a circumference of 16″ but an interesting variant is its depth of 15″. This produces a very interesting and distinctive echo.

The snare drum/box features the typical standard 14″ x 5.5″ size and is made of wood, which gives it a different sound than other metal ones.

Within its design, the manufacturer has incorporated a HW680W hardware pack, with an excellent HS650WA support for the Hi-Hat machine, as well as a SS650WA support for snare drum/rebass, two giraffe supports model CS665A for Paiste crash and ride cymbals, and a powerful bass drum pedal FP7210A series


This drums maintains the same line of the others. As it's made of poplar wood, is very resistant to breakage and has a great elastic capacity, so that a very good response of the resonators (lower patches) is obtained when low voltages are used.

The chrome hardware is another interesting feature on this Yamaha because, as discussed, it's a material twice as strong as iron and almost as strong as diamond on the MOHS scale, although that doesn't mean it's indestructible.

Another big plus in this pack are the Paiste 101 cymbals that have a very good reputation on the market. According to Paiste's characteristics, this pack has been manufactured with an MS-63 alloy (another material nomenclature). This is just one of the variations of brass (copper 63% and zinc 37%), but with added lead, the great novelty, because the lead gives it a characteristic bass sound that is not common in cymbals, as well as greater resistance.


The sound on this acoustic drum kit is optimal, with good stability in the bass, with almost even frequencies in the mids and brightness. As explained in the Mapex drum kit for intermediates, you can take advantage of this parity by installing double-layer or oiled drumheads to boost the bass.

The redoblante, being made of wood, emits acoustics with great resonance, while the tones are equivalent to those of the Mapex drum kit.

However, the main feature on this drum kit is the bass drum, which is only 16″ deep. This means that the sound is less resonant, drier, deeper and more booming. The same is true for the floor tom (grenadier) which is only 15″ deep. With a double-layer resonator and beater drumhead, with an oiled film in the center, it should sound great.

Another aspect that highlights the depth or bass emphasis of this drum kit are the Paiste 101 Brass cymbals. As mentioned, they emit low harmonics that are not at all common in cymbals and we like this very much because it's different from other acoustic drum setups. Paiste cymbals are a great choice for rock bands because they have depth, warmth, good reverb and harmonics that are very different from any other cymbal pack.


This Yamaha acoustic drum kit is as versatile as the Mapex Storm Rock because of its quality sound that could have been better if only it came from the factory with higher quality drum heads. But even so, this acoustic drum kit is convincing, which is why many users prefer it. If you want to see the best Thomann prices, follow the link.

Editor's recommendation:

In this review of the ranges for intermediate level, we do not have it easy because they are all very good acoustic drums. While the Pearl has reinforced hardware, the Mapex has a better sound due to SONIClear technology, Zildjian Planet Z cymbals and Remo heads. But, the Yamaha has in its shells some measures that produce interesting sounds and Paiste cymbals that are just as different.

However, for the sake of deciding, we'd go with the versatility of the Mapex Storm Rock, because if you want to expand it for more musicality, it requires less investment. The Mapex Storm Rock is the best choice.

The best acoustic drums for advanced drummers

Advanced drums are musical instruments that should stand out for the extra quality of their materials, a more compact and projectable sound, as well as for the beauty of their aesthetics. Below we will describe what we, at culturasonora, consider the best acoustic drums for advanced but with intermediate prices, because an excellent drum set is always within your means.

Sonor AQ1 Studio Set Lite

Sonor AQ1 Studio Set Piano Black

Its touch and sound are of the highest quality.



Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/hulls: Excellent quality wood.
  • Patches: Good quality.
  • Cymbals: No cymbals.
  • Number of parts: Five drums, hardware.
  • Sound: Excellent.

Sonor, at the forefront in the supply of high quality acoustic drums, offers the AQ1 Studio Set. A drums with impressive features and the best hardware on the market. But that's not all because it offers more. Much more.


In the world of acoustic drums, few are of such outstanding quality as SONOR's AQ1 Studio, whose parts configuration includes a small and aesthetically pleasing 20″ x 16″ bass drum. At the same time, toms 1 and 2 are 10″ x 07″ and 12″ x 08″ respectively, providing versatility to the sound and matching the volume of the toms to the bass drum.

On the floor/gritted tom, the sizes you'll find are 14″x13″. It's a small Goliath, but its performance is truly excellent when all the pieces work together. Finally, the snare/drum is 14″ x 06“, a large size but justifiably so, it stands out in the midst of so many pieces that present a good volume.

SONOR has named this acoustic drum set a ‘Studio' version, not for learning but for recording. Being inside an acoustically enhanced cabinet, the performance of these drums is impressive.

Something we at culturasonora love about SONOR is the impressive quality of their 100% chrome hardware, almost indestructible, and we believe they are the best on the market. Thus, we find a double arm for SONOR patented Toms and a set of Sonor HS2000 fittings that guarantee the greatest space saving.

Finally, its color is beautiful because it highlights everything in it with bright light yellow bordering on mustard color.


In this aspect, SONOR has come up with a configuration that provides vibrant treble, and we are referring to the 100% birch wood in its shells. This is a wood with high density and robustness that provides extra resistance to breakage, with great response to bending and that enhances all the qualities, not only mechanical, but also sonorous.

The headphones/ear hardware is made entirely of chrome, virtually unbreakable, and features SONOR's patented technology to ensure maximum balance, fixation and space saving, so you don't have to carry a lot of parts.

The patches are the result of an agreement between SONOR and REMO. These are single-layer, high-performance UTs. These heads have good shock resistance and are stable for long-lasting, quality tuning.


Birch wood, compared to maple, differs in that it has a more aggressive sound, with punch, bright in the high frequencies (9 db approx.) and with a more intense projection and volume.

The bass (7 db approx.) is usable if you have a good standing technique, because its stable, and provides very rich harmonics to be mixed with the treble.

The mids are within about 4 db of frequency. We find that they balance the impact of the treble beautifully and add tremendous punch.

Remo UT drumheads are an improved version of the UX and, although they are not very popular among drummers, this is due more to the unstable tunings than to the serious use of the potential of these drumheads for acoustic drums.

To achieve maximum performance in the sound of this drum set, we recommend tunings with high voltages, above 500 PSI. Only in this way will the power of birch wood truly manifest itself (remembering that the pounds are for the reference of the snare drum/rebend, but decrease when the other parts are tuned).

An interesting aspect of this acoustic drum kit is the new Toms SmartMount mounting system, because SONOR has designed it for the drummer to obtain a more stable and higher quality sustain.


We believe this drum set to be the best on the market, it delivers what it promises, it has a powerful but balanced sound. It also performs great in a recording studio and in your live concerts. It will be a blast if you pair it with some stable percussion mics and enclose it in a good acrylic cabinet. Interested? Find the best prices at Thomann.

DW PDP Concept Exotic Walnut

DW PDP Concept Exotic Walnut

Excellent sound and construction.



Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/hulls: Excellent quality wood.
  • Patches: Excellent quality.
  • Cymbals: No cymbals.
  • Number of parts: Six drums, hardware.
  • Sound: Excellent.

Drum Workshop Percussion is one of the few brands that develops high quality and powerful drums with an excellent price-performance ratio. In 2000 they created the PDP brand so that virtually any drummer, from intermediate to advanced, can have an instrument with these wonderful features at their fingertips.


The DW-PDP drums of the fusion series have amazing features that stand out for the high technology involved that enhances all their sound capabilities. This one, in particular, has in each of its components a mutual contribution to achieve a wonderful kit.

This is an acoustic drum set classified as “Fusion” consisting of six shells with unusual measurements. Tom 1 and 2 are 10″ x 08″ and 12″ x 09″ respectively. This implies that the depth in measurements is one inch more than normal and therefore acquires more power and projection than other batteries.

Also, it has two floor grenadiers/tom whose measurements are 14″ x 12″ and 16″ x 14″, so they are shallower than usual. Because of this, its bending ability is drier, with more punch. The snare drum is 14″ x 5.5″, a standard size for snare drums, while the bass drum is 22″ x 18″.

Each of these shells incorporate a copper rim and are supported by the MAG Throw Off system that provides stability and eliminates the buzzing that often occurs on the bass drum shell. The STM suspension creates a sort of shock absorber to stabilize the tom-tom and the True-Pitch tension rods provide a very good hold on each of these parts.

The hardware system corresponds to the DW-PDP Concept series and consists of a Hi-Hat stand, snare stand, single bass drum pedal, straight cymbal stand and a cymbal ride or crash ride cymbal stand. Finally, the finish is in pearl white premium lacquer of the highest quality.


In wood, DW has opted for seven-ply maple for the toms and bass drum., while the redoblante contains ten layers ofAll rubberized and compressed to 740 lbs. to ensure maximum hold, so you can be absolutely sure that this wood is unlikely to break.

In this regard, DW has gone a step further to strengthen the construction of this drums by manufacturing the shell hardware in reinforced chrome, while the hoops are made of 1.5 mm gauge steel on Toms 1 and 2. The grenadiers have a caliber of 2 mm and the drum/box of 2.5 mm. The patches have been customized by Remo for DW.


The sound of this acoustic drum set without mutes is very good, it gives the impression of having a Caribbean, Latin/fusion type sound.

The seven-ply configuration on the toms with the Maple wood gives off a deep bass, but with extended sustain and reverb because the depth on the toms is deeper than usual.

Grenadiers/floor toms have less sustain and reverb as the depth is shallower than usual. But it remains stable and, combined with the toms, gives very interesting nuances that many drummers have liked so much.

The redoblante does maintain the traditional sound, you can notice how the sounds combine and contribute to achieve the characteristic tones of this series.

One aspect that we love about this acoustic drum kit is the brass rims incorporated in the snare tops, which provide harmonics that enrich all the sound capacity of this drum kit. In addition, thanks to the MAG Throw Off system and the STM suspension, hums common in any other drum set are reduced to a minimum so that you get the purest sound quality from the synergy between woods, hardware, heads and low off technology.


This DW-PDP drum kit is one of our favorites because it offers quality construction, diverse nuances, very stable harmonics, variously sized shells that enrich the sound and high-tech noise reduction. Find the best prices at Thomann.

Pearl Decade Maple Standard S. Black

Pearl Decade Maple Standard S. Black

Excellent sound and construction.


Limited usability for young people

Technical Characteristics:

  • Drums/hulls: Excellent quality wood.
  • Patches: Excellent quality.
  • Cymbals: No cymbals.
  • Number of parts: Six drums, hardware.
  • Sound: Excellent.

Pearl, always at the forefront in acoustic drum manufacturing, introduced a limited series in 2016 that has since been captivating wider and wider audiences. We are talking about the Export Limited Set, an acoustic drum set with unique features that you will discover with us at culturasonora.


This limited edition drum kit not only presents itself as a fusion style option, but also has features that make it unique and valuable in every way. The nuances that distinguish it from other instruments and make it special are due to the breadth of its design, materials and sounds.

In this acoustic drum kit, we find a 22″ x 18″ bass drum and 10″ x 07″ and 12″ x 08″ toms, a normal configuration for a fusion series.

However, the floor toms do vary greatly from other models, with one measuring 14″ x 14″ and the other 16″ x 16″, The company wanted it this way to achieve a more uniform sound. The case, on the other hand, is standard 14″ x 5.5″.

The hardware is from Pearl, the renowned HWP830 set containing a giraffe cymbal stand, straight cymbal stand, snare stand, Hi-Hat stand and Demonator series bass drum pedal, with two TH-70I tom tech stands.

Finally, the paint finish is marble white with synthetic lacquer of the highest quality, protected with a vinyl film.


In terms of materials, this acoustic drum kit features mahogany on the inside of the shells/drums and poplar on the outside. Therefore, the mechanical characteristics of mahogany give it a strength that no other drum set on our list has.

Hull hardware is made of reinforced chrome for greater resistance to transport and unwanted shocks. The hardware of the hi-hat and snare drum stands and stands are all steel. Pearl included some synthetic patches of UT technology patented by the famous Remo company, which are of great quality.


Mahogany provides impressive bass response, over 10db. Poplar is very stable at all frequencies, low, medium and high. In this sense, as the mahogany is on the inside, the bass sounds are the most predominant and with the strength of the poplar on the outside, the sound acquires depth and stability.

Due to the depth of its components, especially the floor toms, this drum kit provides very nice harmonics when tuned using high voltages and has a good reverb. But if you like low tensions, the bass response resulting from the combination of these woods might be a bit exaggerated.

An interesting bonus that improves the sound of the bass drum is the drumhead resonator hole that works very well with the rest of the equipment.


Pearl's acoustic drums are a great choice because they bring a different sound thanks to the depth of their shells. In addition, the combination and quality of its woods integrate basses with great stability, making this drum set one of the best options on the market. Find the best prices at Thomann.

Our Recommendation:

Each of the drum kits proposed in this section for advanced users is special for something in particular. An example of this is the SONOR which, in our opinion, has the best hardware on the market, while the DW-PDP has a great combination of hardware, sizes, heads and sounds.

We also have the Pearl which, with its well-balanced woods and sound response, is unique. But we decided on the DW-PDP, a drum set that has more features and for a minimal difference in price.

We recommend you visit our culturasonora page. There you will find in-depth reviews by specialists on any type of percussion instrument, such as hangs, güiro, cajón flamenco or timbales.


Technical characteristics of acoustic drums


DrumsPatchesCymbalsNumber of piecesSound
Millenium MX222BX Standard Set BKLow quality woodLow quality syntheticsLow quality brassFive drums, two cymbals, hardware, and benchRegular
Mapex TND5294FTC Tornado Standard YBGood quality woodMapex synthetics of acceptable qualityAcceptable quality brassFive drums, two cymbals, hardware, and benchAdequate for students
Pearl Roadshow 5 seGood quality woodGood qualityheavy duty hybrid brassFive drums, two cymbals, hardware, and benchGood quality
Mapex Storm Rock Set BundleGood quality wood and improved with SONIClear technologyGood Quality Remo UXsilver/nickel alloyFive drums, three cymbals, hardware, and benchSolid and robust
Yamaha Rydeen StandardGood quality woodAcceptable quality, but could have been better for the priceCopper/zinc alloy/ MS-63 with added lead
Five drums, three cymbals, hardware, and benchOptimal
Sonor AQ1 Studio Set Lite YellowExcellent quality woodGood qualityNo cymbalsFive drums, hardwareExcellent
DW PDP CM6 Fusion WhiteExcellent quality woodExcellent qualityNo cymbalsSix drums, hardwareExcellent
Pearl Export Limited Set White LimbaExcellent quality woodResistant and comfortableNo cymbalsSix drums, hardwareExcellent

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