From all my years of playing drums, I’ve seen how DW offers some of the best hardware in the business. There’s something about a DW hardware stand that gives you an epic sense of comfort when you’re playing.
The big reason is that they’re super durable and incredibly stable, so your drum kit feels very secure in place when using these stands.
With that said, there are a few lines of DW hardware to choose from. The 3000 Series and 5000 Series are very popular, so this guide will explain the differences between the two.
DW Hardware Lines Explained
DW has some of the most extensive hardware lines on the market, with the brand having a total of six options. Within each hardware line, you get bass drum pedals, cymbal stands, snare drum stands, and drum thrones.
Here’s a quick rundown of each line:
- DW 3000 Series – Relatively affordable and basic hardware.
- DW 5000 Series – Top-tier durability with some neat features.
- DW 6000 Series – Retro stand designs.
- DW 7000 Series – Lightweight stand designs.
- DW 9000 Series – Professionals stands with the best features.
- DW MFG Series – Heavily engineered pedals with serious customizability.
The 3000 and 5000 Series lines tend to be the most popular due to the products within them having lower price tags. They still have that iconic DW quality, but they’re far more affordable than the other picks.
So, let’s look at what sets these two hardware lines apart.
At a Glance: DW 3000 Series vs 5000 Series
The DW 3000 Series and 5000 Series are both excellent choices, but they differ in key aspects.
The 3000 Series offers durability and smooth performance at a more affordable price. It’s an ideal entry point with solid construction and reliable response. This line is geared towards aspiring musicians or budget conscious drummers.
On the other hand, the 5000 Series targets serious drummers demanding top-tier features. Renowned for its precision and customization, the 5000 Series hardware boasts a responsive feel, robust build, and advanced adjustments.
If you’re a dedicated drummer looking for professional-level quality, the 5000 Series is the high-performance option. Meanwhile, the 3000 Series provides reliability for budget-conscious drummers.
DW 3000 Series vs 5000 Series In Depth Comparison
Bass Drum Pedal
In the 3000 Series, you only have one bass drum option. It’s DW’s most affordable single bass drum pedal, but it still has a great amount of durability and stability.
I’ve been able to use this pedal on a few occasions, and it felt great under my foot. The main reason it’s more affordable is that it doesn’t have many customization options. The overall build quality is slightly lower than the 5000 Series pedals.
The Turbo is the more traditional option, having a rounded cam that offers smooth performance. The Accelerator’s cam has a D-shape design that makes it respond slightly quicker. This makes it a great pedal for a bit of increased speed.
On top of that, both of these bass drum pedals feel very solid. They clearly feel a lot better to use than the DW 3000, with the DW 5000 pedal actually being known as one of the most loved pedals on the market.
You also get the option of both of those 5000 pedals with single chains, which further justifies the price increase compared to the DW 3000 bass drum pedal.
A last thing to note is that you get double pedal options too, but they have the same features as the single pedal options in each hardware range.
Both lines offer two different hi-hat stands, which are two-legged and three-legged options. The main difference is that the DW 3000 hi-hat stands have standard weights, while the DW 5000 hi-hat stands are heavy-duty.
However, the DW 3000 hi-hat stand is still one of the most durable lightweight stands I’ve used. It has such great stability compared to stands from other brands with similar frames.
The DW 5000 hi-hat stand has thicker tubing, which is one of the factors that makes it heavier and sturdier. It also has a spring-release footboard, making the performance of the pedal slightly more responsive.
When using the stand, it basically feels like the pedal is doing a bit of the work for you, which is great for playing consistent foot patterns and not getting fatigued.
The DW 5000 is clearly a better hi-hat stand, but I don’t think you need to get it if you’re not worried about having something very heavy and sturdy. The 3000 works really well for gigs, and it’s lighter to carry.
Both lines of hardware have DW’s Infinite Tilters on the cymbal stands. This is one of my favorite innovations, and it’s a big reason why I prefer using DW cymbal stands most of the time.
The Infinite Tilter design puts a ratchet lever on the stand that allows you to adjust the cymbal to any position. It makes angling your cymbals incredibly easy.
Again, the DW 5000 stands are heavier, but the difference isn’t as noticeable as it is with the hi-hat stands.
The only major difference is that the 5000 Series has a third option after your standard straight and boom stands. This option is a cymbal stand and tom mount combo, making it ideal for DW kits and others that don’t have toms mounted to the bass drum.
Within the 3000 Series, you only get a pure tom holder stand and not a combination option.
Funnily enough, I prefer the DW 3000 snare drum stand over the higher-quality option. The Glide Tilter basket adjustment mechanism works really well, allowing you to position your snare at perfect angles.
The DW 5000 snare drum stand is much sturdier, though. The tubes are thicker, making this my suggestion if you have a heavy snare drum. A large and bulky snare drum may wobble a bit if you use the 3000 stand.
I’m just not a big fan of the fine-tooth tilter on this one. It adds an extra step to angling your snare drum in the basket. While that’s great for drummers who love fine adjustment details, I’ve mostly found that you don’t need that extra bit of movement. So, it just makes setting up a snare drum take longer.
If that doesn’t bother you, the 5000 snare stand is better in every other aspect besides the price tag.
The final hardware type to look at is a drum throne. In the 3000 Series, you only have one drum throne option. It has a round top design with a thick cushion and sturdy double-braced legs.
It’s a standard drum throne that costs just over $100. You get reliability and great durability, so I have no complaints about it.
You get a bit more diversity in the 5000 line. Your first option is another round top throne, but this one is quite a bit heavier, making it feel more stable when you play.
The other throne option has a tractor-style seat top. This is the kind of throne design that most drummers prefer to use, so I definitely think it’s the best option of the three.
One thing I noticed about the 5000 thrones is that their locking nuts were slightly larger than the one on the 3000 throne. This subtle difference makes adjusting their heights easier, so I really appreciate that design feature.
Which Should You Choose?
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing drum hardware to get. When it comes to the DW 3000 and 5000 lines, here are the main things to think about.
The DW 3000 Series hardware line contains more affordable stands, thrones, and pedals, so it’s the easy option if you have a lower budget.
However, you may be wondering whether it’s worth spending the extra money on DW 5000 hardware if you’re able to.
For most drummers, I think the added stability and quality of the 5000 hardware pieces is worth the extra money. You also get more variety in your options, so it may be worth spending a bit more for something that isn’t available in the 3000 line.
If you don’t fuss too much about hardware, I’d recommend saving money and sticking with the 3000 line. It will be quite hard for most drummers to feel the difference between a DW 3000 and a DW 5000 cymbal stand, so why not just buy the cheaper option?
DW hardware has exceptional durability compared to a lot of other brands’ hardware, so even the 3000 series is a good long-term investment option.
If you want to keep your hardware bag as light as possible when you travel to gigs, you should stick with the DW 3000 hardware. These stands are much lighter than the 5000 ones, so they’re often a better gigging option.
If your kit stays in one place for most of the time, the extra weight of the 5000 stands likely won’t bother you. They make your drum kit feel a lot sturdier, which is an amazing feeling.
They just weigh a lot, so constantly lugging a full set of 5000 Series hardware in a hardware bag may just give you back problems after a while.
The thing I find most interesting about these two hardware lines is that one isn’t clearly better than the other. While the 5000 Series hardware line has more premium build quality, a lot of drummers would prefer using the 3000 Series options.
If you want to look at more than just those, you should also check out the other DW hardware lines that I mentioned. The brand offers something for everyone. It’s all quite expensive, but well worth the money you pay for everything!