The best cheap acoustic drums for adult beginners in 2022

The best cheap acoustic drums for adult beginners in 2022

Ranking of the best cheap complete acoustic drums for beginner and intermediate adult drummers: five or six piece drums with hardware and cymbals.

Table of Contents

Large acoustic drums for learning to play

Guide to the best cheap full-size acoustic drums for beginning and intermediate adult drummers in the sub-$1,000 price range. We only carry complete drum sets that you can play right out of the box, which means they come with all the hardware, including stands and pedals, along with hi-hats and cymbals. We also put as a criterion that it has at least an 18″ bass drum, and it had to have a minimum of 5 pieces. The only parts not always included with the stool and the drumsticks.

The order is by price, from cheapest to most expensive, they not only improve in quality, but also in quantity of pieces and cymbals. The first ones are 5-piece drum set with two cymbals; and the last ones with 6-pieces with three cymbals. They include cheap acoustic drums for beginning players from top brands like Tama, Pearl, Ludwig, and Ashthorpe.

If you’re short on space and need a not-so-loud instrument, consider our list of the best cheap electronic drums for beginners.

The Best Acoustic Drums for Beginners and Intermediates

  1. Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533
  2. Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive
  3. Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C
  4. Tama Imperialstar IE52C
  5. Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220
  6. Tama Imperialstar IE62C
  7. Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220

Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533

Street Price: $336

Ashthorpe Drum-S-AB-5533 is an affordable all-round acoustic drum ideal for beginners

The Ashthorpe Drum-S-AB-5533 is an affordable all-round acoustic drum ideal for beginners. And for the price, this drum doesn’t skimp on features and size, getting you a full-size kit that’s bigger than what others offer at higher prices. In addition, the brums are also equipped with Remo heads.

It comes with everything you need to play, including all the necessary stands and pedals. Finally, as if that were not enough, it includes a stool and drumsticks. Pick up an Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533 drum set and you’re ready to rock.

Items included in the Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533:

  • Drums sticks included
  • 14″ x 6″ snare drum
  • 12″ x 9″ rack tom
  • 13″ x 10″ rack tom
  • 22″ by 16″ bass drum
  • Floor tom 16″ x 16″
  • Hi-hat 14″
  • 16″ crash cymbal
  • drum bench
  • All hardware -support hardware-
  • Drum adjustment wrench

Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533 Drums Specifications:

  • Poplar shell drums
  • Paddle heads
  • Stainless steel hi-hats and cymbals (brass color)

Pros of the Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533

Reviewers attribute its value for money as its main selling point, value for money. Owners find that the overall build quality of the drum kit exceeds their expectations given the price. There are also plenty of compliments on how good it sounds, though keep in mind that most of the reviews are from students and parents who bought the drum set for their kids. Ease of assembly is another feature that is often praised.

Cons of the Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533

There are some who don’t like their sound too much, some advise having an experienced drummer tune the heads for best results.

Overview of the Ashthorpe DRUM-S-AB-5533

If you are looking for a full-size beginner acoustic drum kit for beginners, then this is the ideal option to buy.

Manufacturer: Ashthorpe

Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive

Street Price: $470

Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive, cheap five-body acoustic drum with hardware and cymbals ideal for beginners.

This cheap Ludwig acoustic drum kit has some nice features like a 22” kick drum, 16” floor tom, 10” and 12” toms and a 14” snare drum. For your cymbals, this set features a more basic and compact package, including 13″ hi-hats and a 15″ crash cymbal.

Items included in this drum kit:

  • Drumsticks are NOT included.
  • 14″ x 6.5″ snare drum
  • 10″ x 8″ rack tom
  • 12″ x 9″ rack tom
  • 22″ x16″ bass drum
  • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
  • 13″ hi-hat
  • 16″ crash cymbal
  • drum bench
  • all hardware

Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive Drum Specifications:

  • 6-Ply Poplar Shells
  • Fittings or Double Reinforced Hardware

Pros of the Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive

Several people are impressed with how this drum set sounds more expensive than it really is. The quality of the shells or hardware reinforcements are also often praised, even by those who are critical of the cymbals.

Cons of the Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive

The quality of the cymbals gets the most complaints, with many owners recommending replacing the cymbals for best results.

Overview of the Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive

The Ludwig LC175 is a solid drum kit for beginners and intermediates on a budget.

Manufacturer: Ludwig

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Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C

Street Price: $529

Pearl Roadshow RS525SC 5-Body Starter Drum Kit Red Wine

The Roadshow is Pearl’s entry-level acoustic drum kit, the brand’s cheapest option. However, it does come with quality features like double-braced hardware and 9-ply poplar shells. To keep the price down, the Roadshow series only has a single crash/ride, but as your skills and knowledge improve, you can add more crash or splash cymbals.

Items included in this drum kit:

  • 14″ x 5.5″ snare drum
  • 10″ x 8″ rack tom
  • 12″ x 9″ rack tom
  • Floor Tom 16″ x 16″
  • 22″ x 16″ bass drum
  • 16″ Crash/Ride Cymbal
  • 14″ hi-hat
  • all hardware
  • drum bench
  • 2 set of maple drumsticks
  • Pearl Drumstick Bag
  • 2-year limited warranty

Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C Drum Specifications:

  • Double braced hardware
  • 1-ply coated snare drumhead
  • Transparent 1-ply drum head for tom
  • 1-ply clear bass drum heads with auto-damping rings
  • 9-ply 7mm shells made from poplar on all drums

Pros of the Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C

The quality and sound of the drums are repeatedly praised in customer reviews, many of whom are experienced drummers. Several reviewers positively cited the quality of the kick pedal, which sometimes fails on cheap drums.

Cons of the Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C

Cymbals are sometimes listed as too basic or of low quality, a common complaint with drum sets in this price range. Some critics point out that the hi-hats are too flimsy.


Backed by one of the biggest drum brands, the Pearl RS525SC is easy to recommend.

Manufacturer: Pearl

Tama Imperialstar IE52C

Street Price: $700

Imperialstar IE52C is a 5 drum kit that carries the quality of the Tama brand, perfect for beginner and intermediate drummers.

The Imperialstar IE52C is a 5-shell drum kit that carries Tama brand quality, perfect for beginning and intermediate drummers. The five pieces include a 22″ bass drum, a pair of 10″ and 12″ toms, a 16″ floor tom, and a 14″ snare drum. It also includes with 3 cymbals, a 14″ hi-hat, 20″ ride and 16″ crash. It is included with all the necessary mounting hardware for assembly, from the tom stands to the cymbal stands, along with the kick pedal.

The drum set even includes a Tama Imperialstar drum stool, so it really is a complete cheap acoustic drum set, and the only thing not included is the drumsticks.

Items included in the Tama Imperialstar IE52C drum set:

  • 10″ and 12″ toms
  • 16″ floor tom
  • 22″ bass drum
  • 14″ snare
  • 16″ Meinl shock
  • 20″ Meinl ride
  • Meinl 14″ hi-hat
  • Mounting brackets and hardware
  • Sidewalk
  • kick pedal

Tama Imperialstar IE52C Drum Specifications:

  • 6 ply poplar
  • Double braced hardware

Pros of the Tama Imperialstar IE52C

Quality is the main reason this kit rates highly in reviews and reviews, from its polished visuals to its solid construction, to the way each acoustic drum part sounds. The level of quality it provides is uncommon in its price range, making owners appreciate the Tama Imperialstar IE52C even more. It is described as having a warm and balanced sound, which many feel is a step above what is normally expected in this price range.

Cons of the Tama Imperialstar IE52C

There are some concerns about the durability of the kick pedal

Overview of the Tama Imperialstar IE52C

It’s hard to go wrong with Tama, check out the Imperialstar IE52C Acoustic Drum Kit if you’re looking for an affordable yet high-quality set.

Manufacturer: Tama

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Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220

Street Price: $799

Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220 Inexpensive 5-body drum kit for intermediate and beginner drummers.

Ludwig is a longtime US-based manufacturer of percussion instruments. Its most popular patron is none other than Ringo Starr of the Beatles, who single-handedly increased the company’s sales in the ’60s. These days, they continue to offer quality drums like the Ludwig Element Evolution LEE220, a 5-piece acoustic drum kit with a 22” kick drum, 16” floor tom, two 10” and 12” toms, and a 14” snare drum. This cheap drum set also comes with Zildjian I series cymbals, including 14″ hi-hats, 16″ crash and 20″ ride.

It is included with all necessary mounting hardware, including stands and pedals, as well as a double-braced drum stool. This cheap drum kit even comes with 2 boom cymbal stands for better driving and positioning of the crash and ride.

Items included in the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220 drum set:

  • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
  • 10″ x 8″ rack tom
  • 12″ x 9″ rack tom
  • 14″ x 5″ snare drum
  • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
  • Mounting hardware, hi-hats with pedal, 2 Boom stands, kick pedal, drum bench
  • Zildjian I Series Cymbals: 14″ Hi-hats, 16″ Crash, 20″ Ride

Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220 Drum Specifications:

  • Poplar shell drums
  • Zildjian cymbals

Pros of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220

The union of Ludwig and Zildjian already gives you an idea of ​​the general quality of this acoustic drum set at an affordable price. This Ludgwig drum set delivers an excellent price-quality ratio. The cymbal set is also remarkable.

Cons of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220

There are some experienced drummers who aren’t that impressed with the snare drum, and note that properly tuning the drums improved their overall experience.

Overview of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE220

You don’t have to be a fan of Ringo Starr or the Beatles to appreciate the quality of this Ludwig and Zildjian 5-piece drum set.

Manufacturer: Ludwig

Tama Imperialstar IE62C

Street Price: $800

Tama Imperialstar IE62C cheap drum kit complete with 6 shell cymbals and 22" kick drum, ideal for beginner to advanced and intermediate drummers.

While most drums have the 5-barrel configuration, the Tama Imperialstar IE62C takes it up a notch with its 6-barrel configuration, featuring two floor toms instead of one. Since it comes from Tama, you can expect quality designed for professional use, while retaining a price that even beginning and intermediate drummers can afford.

It features 6-ply poplar shells and comes with 3 Meinl cymbals: a 14″ hi-hat, a 16″ crash, and a 20″ ride. It also comes with all the necessary brackets and hardware to set up the kit. In addition, as if that were not enough, it includes a drum bench. You will only need to buy separately are the drumsticks.

Items included in the Tama Imperialstar IE62C:

  • 22″ x 16″ bass drum
  • 10″ x 7″ rack tom
  • 12″ x 8″ rack tom
  • 14″ x 5″ snare drum
  • 14″ x 13″ floor tom
  • 16″ x 15″ floor tom
  • L-Rod and Omnisphere tom holder, Tama Imperial Star hardware, stands, pedals, drum bench.
  • Meinl HCS Cymbals: 14″ Hi-hat, 16″ Crash and 20″ Ride.

Tama Imperialstar IE62C Drum Specifications:

  • 6-Ply Poplar Shells
  • 3 level height adjustment

Pros of the Tama Imperialstar IE62C

Professional quality at a cheap price – it’s a common sentiment that many agree with in reviews of this great acoustic drum kit. Even those who rate the Tama Imperialstar IE62C an excellent quality price ratio. In addition, many are satisfied with its 6 pieces and 3 cymbal setup, it also receives high praise for its overall quality. The included cymbals also get a lot of positive feedback, even from those who own more expensive cymbal sets.

Cons of the Tama Imperialstar IE62C

There are some experienced drummers who have changed the snare, but this is probably more of a personal preference than a quality issue. Given its 6-barrel configuration, this is not the ideal kit for drummers who prefer minimalist setups.


The Tama Imperialstar IE62C is hard to beat when it comes to value for money, definitely worth a look if you want a fully stocked high quality 6 piece drum at a reasonable price.

Manufacturer: Tama

We also recommend you visit our review of the best affordable acoustic guitars for beginners.

Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220

Street Price: $899

Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220 6 Body Drum Kit with Hardware and Cymbals - Gold Sparkle, ideal for intermediate drummers.

Ludwig takes another place in this guide with his Element Evolution series, this time with the 6-pieces LCEE6220 that comes with an additional floor tom and 3 Zildjian cymbals. This is similar to its 5-pieces sibling, the main difference being the additional floor tom and mounting hardware needed to put it together.

While Ringo Starr is the most popular endorser, there are many other big-name artists who helped put Ludwig center stage, including Queen in their famous Live Aid performance, Ginger Baker of Cream, and many more.

Items included in the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220 drum kit:

  • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
  • 10″ x 8″ rack tom
  • 12″ x 9″ rack tom
  • 14″ x 5″ snare drum
  • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
  • 14″ x 14″ floor tom
  • Mounting Hardware, Pedal Hi-Hat, 2 Boom Stands, Bass Drum Pedal, Drum Bank
  • Zildjian I Series Cymbals: 14″ Hi-hats, 16″ Crash, 20″ Ride

Specifications of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220:

  • Poplar shell drums
  • Zildjian cymbals

Pros of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220

Owners are very pleased with the overall quality of the Ludwig LCEE6220, describing it as a stage-ready professional kit, but at a more affordable price. As for the price, although this acoustic drum is far from being the cheapest, many appreciate that you do not need to buy anything else for a long time. Compared to cheaper alternatives, this one has no weak spots that might require upgrading or replacement. The inclusion of Zildjian cymbals is a highlight of this Ludwig LCEE6220 drum kit.

Cons of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220

This acoustic drum is not the cheapest option, on the contrary, it requires a considerable investment. Perhaps a 6-piece drum set might be a bit overkill for some beginning and even intermediate drummers.

Overview of the Ludwig Element Evolution LCEE6220

If you are looking for a good quality 6-piece drum set with shells, hardware and cymbals from a renowned brand, this is the one for you.

Manufacturer: Ludwig

Things to Consider When Buying a Beginner Acoustic Drum Kit

Does it have everything you need?

One of the things that takes some people by surprise is that they get a bargain price only to find out that they hadn’t bought a complete kit with all the hardware. Often the really low prices for a particular acoustic drum model are because it’s just a set of drums/shells. That means it only contains the drum shells and nothing else. Sometimes it includes the drums and stands but does not include the cymbals or stool. Therefore, be clear about all the parts that a drum needs and check it against the detailed list of what is included in the kit you are buying.

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What does the word ‘hardware’ mean in acoustic drums?

You may have seen listings or ads that say “all hardware included.” What they are referring to is the hardware needed to hold cymbals, hi-hats, snare drums, rack-mounted toms, and any other percussion elements in the drum set. Many kits are sold without things like cymbals and snare stands because they are intended for drummers who already have that hardware and want to buy just the drums. You will sometimes see the phrase ‘double braced hardware’, this means there are two pieces of metal that add extra strength to the brace. The latter offer better drum quality and durability.

What does the number of pieces mean?

Traditionally, with acoustic drum sets we count the number of drums as pieces. Cymbals and other items are not included in the count. So, when a drum set has a snare drum, a bass drum and 3 toms -one is usually a floor tom-, it means that it is a 5-piece drum kit. This is the most common configuration on the market.

Why don’t we include 3 or 4-piece drum sets?

The standard setup for a basic kit is to have 1 snare drum, 2 mounted toms, 1 floor tom, and 1 bass drum. This is the best setting to start with when you’re learning because it’s the setting you’ll usually find everywhere. This is important because drummers often have to share sets in places like drum lessons and in some live performance situations because drums take longer than other instruments to put together -and take apart-. 6 piece kits are usually the same as 5-piece drum kits with the addition of an extra floor tom.

Are tonewoods important?

Yes but no. He may have heard things like ‘mahogany is better than poplar wood’ on his drum shells. However, these distinctions in tone are subtle and when you’re just starting out you probably won’t notice much of a difference. Don’t spend extra money on a beginner kit just to get a theoretically better sounding wood. Just shop around for the best sets you can afford for now, and in a couple of years you’ll develop the ears you need to know which types of wood best suit your style of music.


These are often included when you buy a drum, but not always. They are not very expensive, so we recommend buying a couple of sets of different weights: Vic Firth 5A or Vic Firth 5B.

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Cymbals quality

One of the ways manufacturers can produce drum sets at these low prices is by providing only very basic cymbals. The vast majority of people who bought a starter set and continued to play drums on an ongoing basis tended to buy new cymbals, including hi-hats, crash and ride; this is probably the most common point in verified customer reviews. You won’t usually find brand name cymbals like Zildjian or Sabian included with the cheaper sets.

Drum sizes

In this guide we indicate first the diameter and then the depth. So a 14″ x 5.5″ snare is 14″ in diameter and 5.5″ deep. We clarify this because sometimes manufacturers and retailers set the measurements backwards.

Some useful drum terminology

  • Ply: Drum shells are usually made from multiple layers of wood, so a 6-ply shell means that it is made from 6 plies of wood.
  • Cymbals: Crash, Splash, Ride, Hi-Hats. Hi-hats and Ride cymbals are the ones that are usually played continuously throughout parts of a song. While crash cymbals, splash cymbals and the rest are used for accents and fills. Splash cymbals are smaller, higher pitched versions of crash cymbals. For a basic standard setup, you’ll want to have hi-hats and at least 1 crash cymbal. Most cheap drum kits only come with a single crash cymbal or a combo crash/ride cymbal.
  • Drum keys: Used to loosen and tighten rim caps or screws to regulate the tension of the drum heads to tune them to the pitch you want.

Best Drum Selection Methodology for Beginners

The selection included reviewing all listings for acoustic drum sets under $1,000 at major online retailers such as Amazon. We selected only full-size sets that were complete with all the necessary hardware and cymbals to start playing the moment your new drum set is delivered. Although not all options include a drum bench or drumsticks.

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