2019 promises to be an exciting year for drummers, particularly those looking to level up their equipment. This year’s drum sets deliver both an auditory and visual feast, adding key details that take the music-making experience to a whole new level. If you’re in the market for a new drum set, you’ll definitely want to check out these top options:
TAMA: S.L.P Big Black Steel Drum Set
The name ‘TAMA’ speaks for itself, but the brand is certainly not about to rest on its laurels. With sets such as the S.L.P. (short for Sound Lab Project), TAMA once again pushes the creative envelope. TAMA’s musical geniuses have achieved their goal of upending the world of percussion, this time delivering maximum power without sacrificing sound quality.
TAMA’s revolutionary set is named not only after its experimental nature but also after the steel shells that grant it such a robust sound. Despite being undeniably loud, however, the ensuing sound is surprisingly warm and resonant. Easily controllable dynamics ensure that drummers can operate the versatile set in a wide array of settings. A matte black finish gives the set a gritty, almost industrial look that feels effortlessly modern.
Yamaha: Live Custom Hybrid Drum Set
The Live Custom Hybrid Oak from Yamaha breathes new life into the traditional oak concept. The set includes a bass drum, a snare drum, a floor tom, and multiple rack toms. REMO heads are fitted throughout the set. Yamaha’s Bass Drum Frequency Control adds strategically placed dark chrome lug weights, which amp up low tones while ditching unnecessary frequencies. The YES III Tom Mount makes it easier for the set’s shells to vibrate freely.
This set’s defining feature may be its hybrid shell, which harnesses the power of traditional Japanese uzukuri finishing to deliver a distinctively artistic appearance. With uzukuri, an intricate brushing technique is used to carve only the wood’s softest grain. The result? An awe-inspiring finish that grants the drum set an appearance just as rich as its sound.
Pacific Drums and Percussion: Spectrum Series Drum Set
Primarily designed as an entry-level kit, the Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP) Spectrum Series features a maple-poplar hybrid shell fitted with a floating tom mount. The set is easily accessible to beginners but still provides a rich sound. It’s available in three matte lacquer finishes, including a violet hue that’s sure to stand out. The Spectrum Series comes in both four and five-piece shell packs, with cymbals and hardware sold separately. Like all PDP sets, the Spectrum Series displays the company’s recently revamped logo.
British Drum Company: Wild Etimoe
Although released in 2018, the British Drum Company’s limited edition Wild Etimoe remains a top pick for 2019. Constructed from mahogany and birch, the kit boasts a gorgeous Etimoe veneer, the likes of which you will not find anywhere else. Palladium hardware offers further embellishment, complementing the set’s distinctive appearance.
Of course, looks alone will not deliver an exceptional drum set; the Wild Etimoe also produces controlled delivery and an edgy tone. Flexible tuning ranges provide plenty of room for personalization, although many drummers quickly find that they prefer higher tuning with this particular kit. Because this is a limited-edition collection, each kit is numbered â€” allowing you to feel like part of an exclusive group.
Gretsch: Brooklyn Micro Kit
The micro edition of the beloved Gretsch Brooklyn may be compact, but it still delivers a full sound. It comes with a kick including a single tom mount, plus a rack tom with a direct mount, a floor tom, and a snare drum. While the kit’s drums are small, they offer exceptional musicality. In fact, recognized drummer Mark Guiliana believes that the micro edition actually delivers “more expressive qualities” than its larger counterparts. You’ll be amazed by the impact such a small set can provide.
Pearl: Masters Maple/Gum Drum Set
After a full two years of research and testing from knowledgeable musicians, Pearl made its mark with the Masterworks Sonic Select Shell Recipes, an innovative collection featuring five distinctive drum sets designed for use in a variety of settings and situations. Each of these sets provides a signature sound, allowing drummers to better tailor their performance for specific genres.
The Masterworks Sonic Select collection was first released in 2017, but a few key updates have been added for 2019. Chief among them: the Studio Recipe is now available as the Masters Maple/Gum set. As R&D Director Raymond Massey admits, the new set lacks some of the hardware customization options of the Masterworks program, but it still definitely qualifies as a Masterworks set.
Pearl’s limited production kit features a premium EvenPly-Six layered maple and gumwood shell. MasterCast hoops provide plenty of attack, while Pearl’s beloved CL Bridge lugs dramatically reduce surface-to-shell contact. Take your pick from a variety of hand-lacquered finishes, all of which grant the set a sleek look.
Whether you’re on the hunt for classic equipment or are looking to push the envelope with something a bit edgier, you’ll have no trouble finding a drum set that matches both your desired auditory and visual aesthetic. Don’t hesitate to check out the most innovative drum sets of 2019, you won’t be disappointed.