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The Ten Best Drum Sets of 2023

By :Adam Frost 0 comments
The Ten Best Drum Sets of 2023

The Ten Best Drum Sets of 2023

It’s been a busy 2023 here at Drum Center of Portsmouth! Over the past 12 months, we’ve been fortunate enough to play and review quite a few of the industry’s finest drum sets. We’ve curated this list of the ten best kits 2023 had to offer!

Rogers Tower Limited Edition 3pc Drum Set

Rogers Tower Limited Drum set

Fashioned after the vintage kits of the 1960s, the Tower series may look retro, but this kit packs a decidedly modern voice that lives up to its name. With our proprietary 5-ply maple/poplar shell, reinforcement rings and precision-cut bearing edges, this formula shines in Tower’s compact shell package - producing warm, resonant tones and projection across a wide tuning range. The Tower series drums feature the classic, center-mount lugs and Rogers' signature script logo badge, 2.3mm hoops and Rogers' trademark Fruitwood stain interiors. Tower kits also come outfitted with a new hex-rod, Ultra-Matic Tom Mounting System. Featuring the versatile Bi-Directional Mounting Brackets with Rogers original oval plate design, it's a low-profile mounting system that is ultra-adjustable and lightweight, yet sturdy and dependable.

Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch 3pc Drum Set

Tama Starclassic Walnut Birch Drum Set

Tama’s Walnut/Birch is number 8 on the ten best drum sets of 2023. The Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch shell combination brings the superior quality warmth and mid-to-low frequency tone of the increasingly popular and truly unique Walnut, with the well-defined and uncompromisingly solid attack of Birch. This 3-piece shell pack configuration consists of a versatile 20"x14" for sonic diversity, with a mounted single tom holder for quick/efficient set-up and tear-down. Tama successfully applied their trademark engineering with high-tech and efficient drum craftsmanship to create a distinctive sounding and highly flexible drum set. 

DW Collectors Mahogany/Spruce 4pc Drum Set

DW Maple Spruce Drum Set

Spruce has been a preferred tone wood for acoustic guitar tops for generations. You’d think someone would have experimented with the resonant qualities of this cherished wood species in drums long ago. DW’s California Custom Shop has begun mixing the soft material with favored drum tone woods such as maple, cherry and mahogany. At DCP, we’ve found the combination of Mahogany and Spruce, (particularly in larger sizes such as these) brings out the roundest bottom end we’ve heard in recent memory. If you like your drums low, and fat it don’t get no fatter than this!
The finish on this big boy kit is as unique as its tone. The Rose Copper Mirror wrap with Nickel Hardware absolutely EXPLODES under stage lights. 

Mapex Saturn Evolution Hybrid Drum Set

Mapex Saturn Evolution Hybrid Drum Set

The Saturn Evolution Has Evolved Into Something VERY Special. The build quality, features, finishes and attention to detail compete with other high-end brands, at an extremely competitive price. This particular Maple/Walnut Evolution Hybrid is the perfect blend of warm, dark tone and mid range punch. Don’t sleep on Mapex, they are quietly making some of the best drums your money can buy. That’s why they are number 6 on the ten best drum sets of 2023.

Gretsch Broadkaster “Purple Monster” 4pc Drum Set

Gretsch Purple Monster Broadkaster

The biggest, most purple Broadkaster ever ordered from South Carolina was originally a completely custom spec for one of our employees here at DCP. Our resident rawk expert, Barrett, wanted a Bonham-ish configuration with Gretsch’s legendary 6.7mm Maple/Poplar shells and 302 double flanged hoops. This 4-piece Gretsch Broadkaster shell pack in Purple Glass finish includes a 26x16 bass drum, 15x12 rack tom, and 16x16 and 18x16 Floor Toms.

George Way Tuxedo Studio 3pc Drum Set 22/13/16

Geroge Way Tuxedo Drum Set

Coming in at number 4 on our list of the ten best drum sets of 2023 - these gorgeous George Way Tuxedo Studio drums in Kaddy Green Gloss, featuring unique 4-ply, electronic-bonded maple/poplar shells with 2-ply reinforcement rings and 30 degree bearing edges. The thin, gloss finished shells produce a classically fat, warm tone with good sensitivity and a surprisingly deep fundamental pitch that will fit well in any musical situation. George Way hardware is top-notch and is finished with AAA chrome plated parts. Rounding out these kits are the classic style streamline lugs; double-edged, triple flanged hoops; Waybest arch bass drum spurs; coated tom batter heads and clear, pre-muffled bass drum batter head. This particular kit is comprised of an 22x14 bass drum, 13x9 tom, and 16x16 floor tom

Pearl Reference One 4pc Drum Set

Pearl Reference One Drum Set

By leveraging specific woods, shell thicknesses, and bearing edges exactly where they are most sonically beneficial within a drum set, Pearl's Reference Series originated the modern hybrid drum concept. Building upon this recipe and adding revolutionary enhancements in mounting and shell hardware, Pearl takes the hybrid drum concept to new, unprecedented heights. Every element of each drum in the Reference One drum set's construction is fine-tuned to deliver optimal performance, from the wood type and thickness of each shell to the bearing edge. Delivering the best elements from Pearl's historic Reference and Reference Pure Series drums, its reduced-thickness EvenPly shells are fitted with MasterCast Die-Cast hoops, for a radical combination sustain and attack.

This Reference One shell pack features a 10x8 tom, 12x9 tom, 16x16 floor tom, and 22x18 bass drum in Pearl's Kobalt Blue Fade Metallic Custom Finish, and includes the R2 Air Tom Suspension System for perfectly balanced tom mounting and high-yield tonal clarity.

Ludwig Vistalite 50th Anniversary Jellybean Octet Drum Set

Ludwig Jellybean Vistalite Drum Set

Cracking the top 3 of the ten best drum sets of 2023 is a DCP Exclusive! Ludwig Vistalite Drums are known for being unrestrained, powerful, and cutting, with wide-open resonance with top-end projection and no overtone. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Vistalite series drums, Ludwig has teamed up with Drum Center of Portsmouth to offer a very limited quantity of this monstrous 8-piece "jellybean" drum set. This drum set includes the following sizes and colors:
Clear 22x14 Bass Drum
Pink 8x8 Concert Tom
Yellow 10x8 Concert Tom
Blue 12x8 Tom
Green 13x9 Tom
Amber 14x14 Floor Tom
Red 16x16 Floor Tom
Smoke 14x6.5 Snare Drum
Double tom stand (x1)
The toms feature Vibrabands with Classic brackets, and the floor toms feature Classic legs/brackets. The bass drum features satin black hoops with silver sparkle inlays.

British Drum Company Founder’s Reserve Legend Cherry 5pc Drum Set

BDC Cherry Drum Set

British Drum Company is the youngest drum company on our ten best drum sets of 2023, but their new Founder’s Reserve Series boasts a maturity of craftsmanship that surpasses most of the competition. This amazing exotic drum set features select Malaysian Tigerwood/Aspen center band veneer with double pinstripe inlays over 10-ply cold-pressed Cherry shells.
The Founder's Reserve series are small batch/special edition versions of BDC's Legend and Lounge series drums using a variety of different core materials and/or unusual or exotic veneer finishes. There are no special orders for these drums, and there is no guarantee that add-ons can be made (but that can be confirmed on request). They will be built and then offered to customers on a first come, first served basis.

Sonor SQ2 Maple 3pc Drum Set Fiery Red Semi Gloss

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Coming in at the very top of our ten best drum sets of 2023 list is the most beastly Sonor SQ2 kit to ever grace our showroom floor. This 3-Piece heavy maple German masterpiece sports the first 26” SQ2 kick drum many of us have seen, and it’s every bit as thunderous as we imagined it would be! The massive bottom-end produced from these thick, undersized shells is nothing short of miraculous, while the ornate Fiery Red interior and exterior veneers are a feast for the eyes.

There you have it! The ten best drum sets of 2023, according to us. Let the drum experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth help you find YOUR ideal drum set for the upcoming year! 

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