In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best cheap drum sets on the market right now.
I’ve compared design, build quality, sound quality, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Cheap Drum Set?
Cheap Drum Sets Reviewed
Pearl Roadshow Complete Drum Set Review
The Pearl Roadshow Drum Set is the best cheap drum set out there right now. This drum set offers amazing quality and value for money considering the price and it outshines all of its competitors.
It comes included with all the drum hardware and cymbals you need to start playing right away. The hardware and stands are robust and the drums are well built. These Pearl Roadshow drum shells produce really nice warm tones that sound fantastic.
The drums are made from poplar wood which is the same as Pearl use for the world’s selling Export series – and they produce a strong tone. These are without a doubt the best-sounding beginner drums available!
The drum hardware included is sturdy and durable and is far better than other beginner drum sets. The cymbals are not very good. Pro-level cymbals are expensive. You can expect any cheap drum set to have low-quality cymbals.
Pearl produces fantastic drums. They are the world’s best-selling drum manufacturer and the Pearl Roadshow is a fine example of the brand’s commitment to quality.
If you want the best cheap drum set out there then look no further – the Pearl Roadshow is the clear winner.
- Drums produce fantastic sounds
- Outstanding build quality for the price
- Best affordable drum set from the world's most popular drum manufacturer
- Included cymbals and stock heads could be improved
- Slightly more expensive than some competitors
Ludwig Questlove Pocket Drum Set Review
The Ludwig Questlove Pocket Drum Set is the cheapest drum set reviewed in this guide. It’s a pocket-sized drum set, with smaller drums but it’s still suitable to play for adults!
This is a really great-sounding drum set despite the small-sized drum shells, and it’s offered with an incredible price tag. It’s amazingly affordable and includes everything you need to start playing.
Despite being a small drum set, the drums project a big sound and it’s a lot of fun to play. This is a great-sounding drum set for new players. It provides a full-scale playing experience and I have very few complaints about this drum set.
The drum hardware is sturdy, and the cymbals sound acceptable for a beginner kit. Everything together just works great!
A bonus of this pocket-sized drum set is that it takes up much less space and is also more portable than a typical drum set.
If you’re on a budget, or you aren’t sure how much you want to spend on a new drum set, this is a fantastic cheap drum set to buy. Ludwig and Questlove knocked it out of the park with this drum set.
- Very affordable price tag
- Provides a full scale playing experience
- Great sounding package
- Smaller sizes might not be suitable for large adults
- Crash cymbal sounds poor quality
Tama Imperialstar Complete Drum Set Review
The Tama Imperialstar Drum Set is one of the more expensive cheap drum sets reviewed, but it is a high-quality drum kit and offers a really great playing experience.
Included with the Tama Imperialstar is a robust set of drum hardware and quality set of Meinl beginner cymbals to complement the drums. The hardware pack also includes a comfortable drum throne for added value.
The drums sound remarkably balanced and responsive, and it’s easy to find the tuning sweet spot. These drums sound impressive and they also project really well.
The Tama hardware included with the Imperialstar drum set is arguably the best found in any inexpensive drum set. It’s built to last and it’s rock solid. The included bass drum pedal and hi hat pedal are smooth in operation and everything holds up well.
The drums themselves are well constructed from poplar wood and feature precision bearing edges for enhanced sensitivity, tuning range, and resonance. These drums really sing!
If you are on a budget, you might not be prepared to spend the money on a Tama Imperialstar drum set, there are cheaper alternatives out there such as the Pearl Roadshow or Ludwig Questlove Pocket drum set. But the Tama Imperialstar also offers fantastic value for money and these drums will last you a long time.
- One of the best quality cheap drum sets available
- Outstanding build quality and sounds
- Will last a very long time before needing an upgrade
- A little on the pricey side compared to other cheap drum sets
PDP Centerstage Complete Drum Set Review
Up next we have the PDP Centerstage Complete Drum Set, and this is a strong all-in-one package that will equip you with everything you need to start rocking right away.
Once again we have another cheap drum set that takes advantage of poplar wood for drum shells, and to no surprise, they sound great; delivering warm tones with strong projection.
The included drum hardware is good quality, but the cymbals are somewhat disappointing, albeit playable. The drum hardware is robust and holds up well to play.
For a cheap drum set, the PDP Centerstage is a solid choice. It’s definitely one of the better cheap drum sets on the market, but it doesn’t sound quite as good as the Pearl Roadshow, in my opinion.
But the PDP Centerstage is one of the best all-inclusive packages that is designed for the new drummer to help create a solid foundation right from the start.
It’s affordable and perfect for beginners, with good sounding drums and high-quality components from one of the best drum brands you can trust.
- Warm sounding poplar shells
- Quality hardware and hoops
- Cheap all inclusive package
- Some minor issues with bearing edges
- Poor quality cymbals
Pearl Export Complete Drum Set Review
The Pearl Export Complete Drum Set is a killer sounding package and is the world’s best selling drum set! These drums are inspired by Pearl’s flagship Reference Series to offer unbeatable tones and projection for the money.
This really is a fantastic drum set for the money. The shells are a mix of poplar and warm Asian mahogany using SST (Superior Shell Technology) construction techniques for maximum durability and tonal response. This means stronger, longer-lasting shells and better sound across the spectrum.
The drums deliver a really nice tone, and it is clear they are very well constructed. The wood is poplar; which is the same as the Pearl Roadshow drum set. It’s definitely the best quality wood you can find on a cheap drum set.
Included with the Gretsch energy drum set is a set of Zildjian Planet Z cymbals and a durable set of drum hardware. The cymbals are by no means excellent, but they are adequate for a beginner drum set.
The drum hardware is strong and very easy to set up. Double-braced legs keep the stands stable as you play, and Uni-Lock tilters offer you infinite positioning flexibility.
Overall the Pearl Export drum set is the full package that offers unmatched durability and tones for the beginner drum set market.
If you are looking for the best cheap drum set and you want a quality musical instrument to start off your drumming journey, then this is just the ticket!
- Lifetime warranty
- Drums produce warm and resonant tones
- Killer sounding package all round
- Most expensive option reviewed, but sounds the best