2020 Best Intermediate Drum Set For Beginners; Yay!

Learning anything is hard at first before it gets easy.

This is only true if you’re limited in resources, time, and passion.

So, suppose you are passionate about becoming the next drum set legend, say a  Neil Peart or the legend Ginger Baker.

And you have just enough time to throw into practices.

Without the right drum sets choice, learning will never be fun.

Exactly why I have taken then pain, handpicked 20 of the best-in-class beginners’ drum sets models, and reviewed my top 7 picks for your success and convenience.

In this review, you will find the best intermediate drum set that aligns with your level, budget, and your rehearsal space.

Let’s dive in.

See my complete list first.

The Ultimate List Of The 10 Best Beginners’ Drum Kits

  • Best overall; Tama Star Maple Piece drum
  • Premium Choice; Drum Workshop Collector’s Series Drum Kit
  • Best For Recording; Yamaha Recording Custom Drum Set
  • Legendary Choice; Tama Starcassic Walnut/Birch
  • Choice For The Studio; Sonor SQ1 Piece Drum
  • Best For Gigging; Mapex Saturn V Piece Drum
  • Budget Pick; Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Set

See my critical overview of each rack toms and bass drum as illustrated below.

The 7 Best Intermediate Drum Sets

  1. Best overall; Tama Star Maple

The Tama Star drum sets lean more unto what a vintage drum set is but with added features to take it a few steps into the future whilst eliminating most of the snags that make a vintage drum set irks both beginners and experts.

Starting with the overall tone and the distinct woody timbres, Tama opts for an extra-thin kit shell for this model to enhance tone resonance whether for your first live performance or your studio drum recording. This together with the integrated sound-focus ring and the broad head-to-shell contact achieved via a more rounded off edges, all result in a greater, warmer tone impact with a minimum attack on a sturdy drum set kit

A glance at the toms and bass drum sets in the kit, you find a bridged cast lug design in lieu of the conventional lug in most vintage designs. This choice for a bridged cast lug gives the drums kit an aesthetic curvy body structure topped with four-faced ridges whilst reducing shell contact at the same time.

Finally, steering a bit off the usual vintage style, the Tama Star Maple drum sets kit replaces the regular triple-flanger hoops with die-cast hoops which are supported and held solidly in place by Hold Tight washers. The Hold Tight washers’ choice is to keep Tama Star Maple drum sets in-tuned for longer even during a heavy-duty performance.


  • 5-ply thin shell pack
  • Hardware; chrome
  • 22” size bass drum shell pack
  • 12” tom-tom
  • 10” tom-tom
  • 1 piece of floor-tom
  • Lacquer high-glossy shell finish
  • 3.5mm position bearing edges
  • Super Resonant Mounting System for toms
  • Tom sells with die-cast hoops
  • Remo Coated Power Stroke 3 bass heads
  • Remo Coated Ambassador tom heads
  • Hand-oiled inner layer drums


  • A warmer, rounder sound character
  • An improved tone resonance
  • Classic and superb drum shells construction
  • Great for recording and stage performance
  • Practical and easy to grow with for the beginners
  • Optimum drum head fit that keeps it in tune through hours of performance


  • Not for the tight-budget buyer

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Premium Choice; Drum Workshop Collector’s Series Drum Kit

If you’re looking for a high-performance, high-end drum set with incredible drum shells craftsmanship for an entry-level into the bass drum and floor toms, these drum sets are for a beginner who’s ready to pay the price. This DW drum set model coming straight from the Collector’s series of DW is the premium alternative drum set for maple shells. 

With an even combination of 100% cherry wood/100% mahogany wood chosen for the shell’s beauty, layered with hard satin matte lacquer for radiance, good feel, and protection. Besides, due to the fact that the mahogany bass drum shell pack produces warm musicality whilst cherry woods drums shell pack is recognized with darker tones, it’s quite sensible to expect a clear articulation with a chunk load of more open tones from this hybrid kit. Right?

But how does this set of drums fit in for a beginner? Ease of setup, control, and ease of use. I’d say. DW collector’s series drum set features a responsive and intuitive lever for decreasing and increasing snare tension, as the case may turn out to be.

Not only the snare drum set but the accompanying bass drum set is quite practical for a firm, fast, and slamming bass sound for the beginners. Unfortunately, the only problem you can have with this drum set is the bulkiness of it. But that won’t be a problem if you have enough space for usage and storage. Right? See the complete specs below.


  • 1 piece of 22” bass
  • 1 piece of 14” snare drum
  • 1 piece of 10” tom
  • 1 piece of 12” tom
  • 1 piece of 16” tom
  • Hardware material; nickel
  • Hoops type; true hoops
  • The layup of the shell; 100% cherry and mahogany
  • Inner and outer ply mahogany


  • An aesthetically pleasing set drum kits
  • A touch of warmth and darkness in tone
  • Recommended for both easy learning and professional performances
  • An easy and intuitive snare tension control


  • Quite heavy and bulky; definitely not easy to travel with

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Best For Recording; Yamaha Recording Custom Drum Set

Gone are the days when the custom recording series drum sets used to belong to the professionals in the studio. Immediately the collaboration with Steve Gadd, they were able to come up with the decision to give beginners a smooth entry into drum sets recording in a professional way. This, they were able to achieve with high-tension lug holding all-birch American 6-ply drum shell onto the 360 degrees bearing edges as an update. And the result? A more pronounced low-frequencies output to zone in a beginner completely so they can keep track of their progress not only on high-frequencies. In addition to that, the set kit is designed and finetuned to be easier to tune, and using it has been made a walk in the park.

In my opinion, this is the beginner’s drum set kit you want to cash in on if you are looking to stay in the middle of the road in terms of budget. At $5000, this set kit falls in between the 10grands models and the 1grand models out there.


  • Die-cast hooks
  • 360 degrees bearing edge
  • Y.E.S.S tom mount system
  • One-piece high-tension lug
  • Bottom head; Remo US Clear Ambassador
  • Top head; Remo US Coated Ambassador
  • 6-ply shell pack
  • 100% birch shell pack
  • 24” bass drum
  • 18” floor tom
  • 16” tom-tom


  • Best drum set with intuitive tuning and setup
  • Maintained stability of a punchy sound
  • Fantastic tuning range
  • Solid construction
  • Great gear for studio and live performances


  • Slightly sensitive

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Legendary Choice; Tama Starcassic Walnut/Birch

This is my second recommended best drum set with, though not 7-ply, from Tama on this list. And this time, I am recommending this one as the best drum set with good quality to all the old souls out there looking to start their new journey with a hybrid drum shell kit birthed by the crossing of birch and walnut. This Tarma Starcassic is a sound-focused 5-piece best drum kit that has found the balance within itself. As the contact between the shell and the head of a drum largely determines the quality of sound and sensitivity, or call that resonance, Tama quickly adopts a 25mm inner to outer drum shell surface angle for the top edge, and then finally cutting the edge into a rounder collar to create a better fitting between the bearing edge and the drum heads.

And the result? High-quality, warm low-mid frequencies sidelined by birch projection of high-frequency with a clear attack. Sounds familiar? Other than the punchy sweet mellow oozing out of this hybrid design of a high-quality 5-piece drum, the integrated quick-lock tom bracket on the star-cast mounting system saves up your initial positioning, thereby letting you make the next setup easier done than said. See the complete features below.


  • 1 piece of 22” bass
  • 1 piece of 10” tom-tom
  • 1 piece of 18” floor-tom
  • Suspended steel hardware
  • Quick-lock tom bracket
  • Die-cast hoops
  • Standard lugs
  • 6-ply walnut/birch shell
  • Rounded bearing edge


  • Great sounds and huge tones
  • Highly responsive and versatile
  • A more professional intermediate outlook
  • Wide frequency response
  • Quality drum pedal
  • Advanced hardware

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Choice For The Studio; Sonor SQ1

If you want a studio-quality intermediate drum set kit to take you straight into the venture of studio sound quality music production, this is for you. Sonor SQ1 is not a hybrid but a 100% birch shell material instrument for a well-defined dark tone that honestly keeps you in the track of your performance improvement regardless of if you use the 5-piece drums at high or low tension. The 100% birch choice makes for the best drum with high versatility that is reasonably dynamic but giving much of its concern to establishing the perfect balance between high, low, and mid. And that is just what makes it a great entry-level companion into the studio for all newbies. But here’s more to it.

Counterclosing on the conventional mounting system, Sonor SQ1 rack toms, and floor mounting systems are inspired by the automotive industry’s vibration-control technology. In this spirit, Sonor was able to design a first-of-its-kind mounting system that integrates rubber as a shock absorber as an intermediary between shell and mount thereby improving on sustain and resonance. Mind you, this mounting system invention, though more functional, has a lower footprint on the drum for portability and sturdiness. See the complete features, pros, and cons below.


  • Shell material; 100% birch
  • Multi-ply construction
  • 45 degrees bearing edge
  • Suspended mounting system
  • Triple-flange hoops
  • Proprietary lugs
  • Lacquer finish
  • Branded heads
  • 1 piece of 22” bass drum
  • 1 piece of 12” tom
  • 1 piece of 16” floor tom


  • Full tone at both high and low tension
  • A sensible balance between high, low, and mid
  • A long-lasting, clean decaying sustain
  • Quality drum pedal
  • The best thing to kick off your journey in the studio
  • Hands-on and incredibly practical


  • Hardware over-engineering
  • You may need to replace the drum heads

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Best For Gigging; Mapex Saturn V

While other musical instrument manufacturers produce all kinds of instruments, Mapex focuses on just one thing; quality drums and quality drum set. Mapex has got some of the finest vintage designs and has a solid standing in the modern market as well with various drum kit series. And coming from the Saturn series is the Saturn Studio ease quality 5-piece drums set designed from the ground up as a revolutionary 5-piece for future bands. The idea was to engineer a hybrid shell from birch and walnut for accuracy in the projectile of rich sound in a live setting whilst cutting down on attack. That dream for accurate projection is made possible with Mapex custom-design Mapex SONIClear™ bearing edges, the standard bearing edges that make transmission more directive and isolated from unwanted frequencies. Not only does this make your fundamental pitch stronger but it equally brings that effortless effort sort-of tuning experience into the band.

Overall, whether you want an easy-to-tune quality drums set kit for your rock and roll or for your jazz performances wherever you’re gigging at, Mapex Saturn’s 5 drums set in its space-wise drums kit set is a perfect choice. This drums kit is meant to churn out exactly the amount of sound resonance you need once tuned right to give you a superior feel. Check the specifications list below.


  • Shell material; maple and walnut
  • Black chrome hardware
  • Mapex SONIClear™ bearing edges
  • SONIClear tom suspension
  • 7-ply construction
  • 2.3mm power hoops
  • 22” bass drum
  • 10” toms drums
  • 14” floor toms
  • Proprietary lugs
  • Flat black maple burl finish


  • Great sound with massive tones
  • Best sensitive and responsive rack toms and snare drum
  • Beautiful finish on both the bass drum and the snare drum
  • The floating tom legs allow the tom to sing better
  • Gorgeous chrome finish
  • Great quality drums at a steal price


  • The warranty is somewhat misleading. Really? Mapex?

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


  1. Budget Pick; Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Set

The last drums kit on the list is a budget-friendly birch drum kits shell design coming from the lines of Yamaha. The Yamaha stage custom is a custom-made drum kit of 5 sound-focused drums, each with low-mass lugs for a heightened vibration of the shell to make both sustain and tone incredible.

As a beginner or a working professional, you’re ready to pick this system up for as low as $680. Yes. you read that right. See the complete specs of these drums below.


  • Birch shells construction
  • 22” bass drum
  • 10” tom drums
  • 16” floor tom
  • 14” snare
  • 6-ply construction
  • 45 degrees bearing edges
  • Steel hardware
  • Suspended mounting system
  • Triple-flange hoops
  • Standard lugs


  • Budget-friendly quality drum kit of 6 drums for beginners and professionals
  • Perfect for any style of music sound
  • Beautiful deep rock and jazz sound
  • 100% birch shells that tune-up without stress
  • Superior craftsmanship with a flawless finish


  • The reverb can be too much

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon


As you have seen, there’s never a one-solution-fits-all drum kit that satisfies everyone. It depends more on what you’re looking for. I hope you’ve been able to find the best intermediate drum set for you from the 7 reviewed so far. See our other pages for more recommendations for your next instrument purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *