Best PDP Drum Sets (Jun 2022)

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Are PDP drums good? PDP drum sets are well-known for their affordability, durability, and use of high-quality DW hardware. They’re fairly popular in the drumming world as they bring more accessibility to DW’s design qualities. 

If you’re looking for a new drum set, you may be wondering what the best PDP drum sets are. I’ve got you covered, as we’re going to look through all the kits under the PDP name and see exactly what they bring to the table.

What Are The Best PDP Drum Sets?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
PDP Concept Maple
  • Maple shells
  • DW Inspired features
  • 5-piece shell pack
PDP New Yorker
  • Poplar shells
  • Compact drum set
  • 4-piece shell pack
PDP Spectrum
  • Poplar/Maple shells
  • DW inspired features
  • 5-piece shell pack
PDP Center Stage
  • Poplar shells
  • Includes cymbals & hardware
  • Complete drum set package
PDP Concept Maple Classic
  • Maple shells
  • Vintage-inspired looks and sounds
  • 3-piece shell pack

PDP Drum Sets Reviews

PDP Concept Maple Drum Set

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Maple shells
  • DW Inspired features
  • 5-piece shell pack
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PDP Concept Maple Drum Set Review

The PDP Concept Maple is undoubtedly the most popular PDP drum set available. It’s the most easily found PDP kit out of all of them, and it offers fantastic tones and incredible DW-inspired features.

You can choose to get this kit in either a 5-piece or a 7-piece setup, and there are dozens of finishes to choose from. 

The shells are made from Asian maple, and they have a well-rounded tone that is full-sounding. This means that they give a pleasant and warm tone when struck. This tone has a larger presence the larger the drum is that you hit. The bass drum, in particular, is quite meaty! 

The true value in this kit comes from the borrowed DW hardware features. The shells have true-pitch tension rods to keep the hoops locked. These make tuning incredibly easy.

The snare drum included with the kit has the DW MAG throw-off, which is a fantastic magnetic lever to control the snares. The shells also have dual turret lugs that are inspired by DW’s turret lugs. 

You get a set of Remo batter heads with the drums, but they aren’t of the highest quality. That’s the only slight downside of the kit, but it’s relatively minor compared to how much value is offered here. Overall, it’s the best PDP drum kit for all budgets.

Pros

  • Features DW’s True-Pitch tension rods that enhance tuning stability
  • Fast tones with plenty of warmth thanks to Maple shells
  • Several excellent finishes to choose from

Cons

  • Stock drumheads should be replaced to get the best possible sound

PDP New Yorker Drum Set

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Poplar shells
  • Compact drum set
  • 4-piece shell pack
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PDP New Yorker Drum Set Review

The PDP New Yorker is a compact option by PDP. This is a small kit that packs a sizeable punch. With poplar shells, you get a focused tone that is relatively clear. However, these tones aren’t as rich as the ones you’ll get from the maple set above. 

The two ideal applications for this set would be for gigging or for being used as a children’s set. The small drum sizes are what make it an excellent gigging option. The 16” bass drum is the same size as many floor toms, so you’ll be able to fit the set almost anywhere.

The kit also allows you to place a cymbal holder in the tom mounting bracket on the kick drum, further reducing the footprint. 

The kit has three color options. The Rose and Electric Green Sparkle finishes are fantastic for children and more vibrant drummers, whereas the Black Onyx Sparkle finish is a bit better for adults who want a plainer look. 

You also get mini turret lugs here, and they do a fantastic job of keeping the drums in tune. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to get the right tuning due to the shell sizes, but most drummers get the hang of it after a while. Once you know how the kit responds to various tunings, you’ll be able to dial them in easily. 

There’s a special Daru Jones version of this kit if you’re interested in something along similar lines!

Pros

  • Compact kit that is great for gigging or for children
  • Two vibrant color options and one more reserved option
  • Large sound considering the size of these small drums

Cons

  • Can sometimes be hard to tune

PDP Spectrum Drum Set

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FEATURES
  • Poplar/Maple shells
  • DW inspired features
  • 5-piece shell pack
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PDP Spectrum Drum Set Review

The PDP Spectrum is slightly more affordable than the Concept Maple, bringing it to the lower side of the intermediate drum set range. This set has an interesting combination of poplar and maple shells.

While the poplar makes the kit light, the maple adds an element of warm tonal responsiveness. It’s a unique blend that you won’t find in many other intermediate drum sets. 

However, out of all the PDP drum kits, the Spectrum gets spoken about the least. This is mostly because a 5-piece Concept Maple is very similar in price. If that kit is just out of your budget, this is an excellent one to consider getting. 

It shares the same lug design, supported by the True-Pitch tension rods. It just doesn’t have the MAG throw-off on the snare. All the counter hoops on the drums are also slightly lower in quality. 

If you want an affordable maple set, the Spectrum is one of the most affordable full-sized kits you can buy that has maple in its shells. So, it’s still a worthy option to consider.

Like the Concept Maple, it doesn’t feature the best stock drumheads, so the drums would benefit from an upgrade in this department.

Pros

  • Unique blend of poplar and maple for the shells
  • The poplar shells make the kit a lot lighter than many other kits in the same price range
  • DW’s True-Pitch tension rods make it one of the easiest intermediate kits to tune

Cons

  • No MAG throw-off on the snare drum
  • Poor-quality stock drumheads

PDP Center Stage Drum Set

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FEATURES
  • Poplar shells
  • Includes cymbals & hardware
  • Complete drum set package
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PDP Center Stage Drum Set Review

The Center Stage is PDP’s most affordable kit. While it’s only a few dollars less than the Spectrum, it’s a full drum set that comes with drums, hardware, and cymbals. So, you’re getting everything you need to start playing with only one purchase, making the kit excellent for new drummers. 

It wouldn’t work well for experienced drummers, as the thin poplar shells and weaker hardware are noticeably lower in quality compared to the other PDP sets on this list. The set is also quite small in comparison to the others, except for the New Yorker. 

You get the classic True-Pitch tension rods that are offered on all the PDP kits, but all the other hardware features are ones commonly found in entry-level drum sets. 

Aside from the drums, you receive cymbals, as well as a hi-hat stand, bass drum pedal, drum throne, snare stand, and a straight cymbal stand. You also get a brass pair of hi-hats and a brass crash to attach to those stands. 

These cymbals don’t sound too appealing, but they’re something for beginners to use while they save to buy better cymbals. 

The hardware feels surprisingly sturdy, though, as the stands are all double-braced and feel solid. The bass drum pedal and hi-hat stand have a smooth playing action to them as well.

It’s an ideal set for newcomers to the drumming world, and it strongly competes with the other popular entry-level sets such as the Pearl Roadshow. Just don’t buy this one if you’re not a new drummer!

Pros

  • Solidly built to last a long time
  • An ideal kit for beginners from a renowned manufacturer
  • Includes brass cymbals, cymbal stands, drum pedal, and a drum throne

Cons

  • Cymbals and drumheads will require upgrading quickly
  • Only ideal for beginners

PDP Concept Maple Classic Drum Set

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Maple shells
  • Vintage-inspired looks and sounds
  • 3-piece shell pack
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PDP Concept Maple Classic Drum Set Review

The Concept Maple Classic is an incredible drum set from PDP. While it shares many qualities with the standard Classic Maple kit, it has a few special features that make it highly regarded by pro drummers who use top-quality drum sets. 

The standout feature of this kit is that all the drums have maple hoops. Most drum kits have metal hoops, easily setting the Maple Classic kit apart. These wooden hoops add a sense of warmth to the drums, and it gives the toms a smoother tone. This makes it an excellent studio drum set. 

This is the only PDP drum set that doesn’t come with a snare drum. Rather, it comes as a 3-piece shell pack with a rack tom, floor tom, and bass drum. The rack tom is meant to be mounted onto a snare drum stand, keeping the bass drum pure with no mounting hardware drilled into it. 

You get three large size options for the bass drum, which are 22”, 24”, and 26”. Not many kits this affordable offer sizes that large, and you could easily get the classic John Bonham sound with that 26” bass drum. 

PDP sells Concept Maple Classic snare drums, but you’ll need to buy one separately when getting this drum set. 

Pros

  • Beautiful warm tones thanks to the wooden hoops
  • Looks and sounds incredible, especially with large bass drum sizes
  • Works well as a studio drum set

Cons

  • Most expensive PDP drum set

PDP Drum Set Buyer’s Guide

Are PDP Drums Good?

PDP drum kits are excellent options to consider when you’re looking for DW’s legendary quality at a more affordable price. 

All PDP kits cost between $500 and $1500, so you won’t be breaking the bank when you buy one. They have amazing sound quality, especially the intermediate ones that sit higher in the price range. 

Unfortunately, you can only get beginner and intermediate kits from PDP. If you want a pro kit with top-quality features, such as exotic wood materials and die-cast hoops, you’d need to buy a kit from another brand. 

How Are PDP and DW Drums Connected?

PDP is a company that runs under the direction of DW. They’re essentially the same brand, which is why the PDP brand is often known as PDP Drums by DW. DW drum kits are very expensive, so they created PDP to bring more affordable drums to a wider audience. 

With PDP kits, you get to experience many of the top-quality features that are offered by the higher-priced DW sets. The PDP kits are cheaper because they have more streamlined production processes, and more affordable materials are used to make them. Because of this, PDP kits don’t feel or sound as great as DW kits do.

What are the Other PDP Drum Sets?

In the list above, I mentioned all the PDP drum sets, like the PDP Concept Maple, PDP New Yorker, PDP Spectrum, PDP Center Stage and PDP Concept Maple Classic that are currently being made. These are ones that you’ll be able to easily find in music stores.

There have been a few popular PDP kits that have been discontinued as the years have gone by. A few notable ones are the Mainstage, Platinum, and X7. 

As companies advance with their ideas, they tend to stop making kits that they don’t find are selling as well anymore. You may still be able to find those kits at a few music stores and, more likely, at secondhand ones.

Are PDP Drums Not as Good as DW?

While PDP is often seen as a lesser brand than DW, it’s vital to know that you can find some excellent PDP kits that will work in professional settings.

The Concept Maple is a solid kit, and many drummers have used it on pro stages with no issues. Tuning the setup well and matching it with a high-quality set of cymbals will do wonders. 

All the other kits have their place as well. Go through them, see which ones you like, and keep them in mind for the next time you’re looking to get a new drum set. 

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