Five Complete Kits Under $1,000

DrumCraft integrates a modern-looking cylindrical motif throughout the entire design of its Series 6 kit. The DrumCraft lugs look like two half cylinders (one smaller, one larger) stacked atop each other. The die-cast bass drum claws look like full chrome cylinders (with nylon inserts to protect the wood hoops). The floor tom leg receptacles are also cylindrical. Even the rubber feet on the Series 6 hardware have an elongated cylindrical look. The overall effect is a set that looks well thought-out with a fully integrated design.

The Series 6 has many high-end features that you might not immediately notice or expect. The snare has a Nickel Drumworks throw-off. This is a super smooth custom throw-off with a simple clear plastic lever engagement mechanism that utilizes a patented design of pistons and, you guessed it, cylinders. Typically, these throw-offs only show up on expensive custom snares, so it’s nice to get one on an affordable kit. Toms and snare have 2.3mm flanged hoops, which are stronger than the thinner hoop varieties found on many other budget kits.

DrumCraft’s triple bass drum mount has two short tom holders with ball angle adjustments for the mounted toms. It also includes another receptacle for whatever else you might want to mount (say, a splash cymbal). This mount reminds me of Yamaha’s three-hole tom mount assembly, although DrumCraft’s looks a bit bulkier. Similarly, DrumCraft’s Zero Gravity tom mount reminds me of the RIMS suspension mount, but again, DrumCraft’s looks bulkier.

The chrome on the Series 6 hardware pack had a high-quality glimmer. The double braced stands felt substantial and sturdy — somewhere between medium and heavy weight. I like that the hardware pack comes with two boom cymbal stands (no straight stands). These stands have nylon inserts where wing screws tighten, two separate height-adjustable tubes, and gear tilters. The snare stand has a ball angle adjustment, like the tom arms. I prefer gear tilters for snare stands, but that’s just me. The hi-hat has a multiple-adjustment spring tension and a swivel three-leg base, which I always prefer. The bass drum pedal is a single-chain design with the adjustments you’d expect — beater angle, length, etc. It worked fine, but it did not feel particularly fast.

When I played this kit, everything sounded like what I would expect from a good-quality birch kit. Toms are punchy, the snare is full and snappy, and the bass drum has a nice punchy thud to it. If I bought this kit, I’d immediately replace the heads to achieve what I’m sure would be an even more impressive sound.

What Sets It Apart?

I don’t know how much it costs DrumCraft to make the Series 6 shell pack with hardware, but I was almost shocked the company could offer you so much for less than $1,000. You get five drums made from all-birch shells with a gorgeous lacquer finish, nice heavy-duty chrome hardware, and cool features like the Nickel Drumworks throw-off. You could show up at the gig and tell your bandmates that you spent $2,000 on this kit, and they probably wouldn’t blink. With professional heads and a better bass drum pedal, this is the kind of kit you could take with you to gigs (and be proud of) for years to come.


Configuration  22" x 18" kick, 10" x 8" tom, 12" x 9" tom, 14" x 13" floor tom and 14" x 5" snare drum with Nickel Drumworks throw-off. Toms have Zero Gravity mounts.
Shells  8-ply birch with staggered plies and 45 degree inner bearing edge and barely rounded sharp ridge 45 degree countercut.
Hoops  2.3mm on snare and toms. Wood hoops on bass drum.
Heads  Remo UK
Finish  Purple Haze lacquer. Also available in Pitch Black, Pearl White (pictured), Lava Red, Natural Birch, Deep Sea Burst, and Ocean Blue lacquer finishes.
Hardware  Series 6 hardware pack (medium-weight double-braced stands): two CBS-6 boom stands; SS-6 snare stand with ball cradle adjustment; HH-6 hi-hat stand with swivel tripod; and PD 6 single-chain-drive pedal.
Price  $968

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