The Best American Made Drum Sets
There are multiple considerations to take into account when spending your money on a high-end drum set. For many of us living in the United States, an important factor is where the drums are manufactured. For those who align with this patriotic demographic, we’ve compiled a list of our 4 favorite drum sets that are hand-crafted right here in America!
Noble & Cooley Horizon Series
Noble & Cooley is located just south of us in Granville, Massachusetts. No other drum manufacturer has the history of innovation and production that Noble & Cooley has. The company can trace its lineage all the way back to 1854, when Silas Noble and James P. Cooley started making drums in the Noble farmhouse kitchen. It wasn’t long before they packed up and moved into a small building to create their very first factory. The rest was American history.
Horizon series drum sets feature a unique horizontal ply design and offer a sound distinct from conventional ply drums. The horizontal plies create a strong attack which is balanced with an inner veneer of Mahogany that adds warmth to the tone. The result is a clarity of sound which cuts through the music yet remains musical and vibrant.
While the matching Horizon Series snare drums are spectacular, we’d highly recommend browsing their historic Steam-Bent Solid Shell Snare Drum lineup, which they’ve been making the same way since the Civil War era.
Ludwig Classic Maple Series
Ludwig USA has been “The Most Famous Name on Drums" since 1909. Classic Maple series drums are our go-to recommendation when a customer is in search of the “ideal” maple sound. Its full tonality, rich sustain, and exceptional versatility has made these drums the premier choice for any performance application. Utilizing a process refined through over a century of drum making, Classic Maple drums preserve the signature Ludwig sound with optimal performance.
When it comes to snare drums, Ludwig Supraphonic snares are the benchmark for modern and vintage metal snare drum sounds. They are the most versatile line of snare drums. Use them for light jazz to crushing metal. Every year, manufacturers release drums aimed to duplicate or replicate these, yet they always miss one key thing; the sound! Whether you get the Imperial lugs or tubes, or hammered shell or smooth, it doesn't matter. They ALL sound great.
Gretsch USA Custom
For over 65 years, Gretsch USA Custom Round Badge drums have been the classic American drum sound. At the heart of "That Great Gretsch Sound" is the legendary 6-ply maple/gum shell with its expertly formed 30-degree bearing edge, the exclusive "Silver Sealer" interior finish and rugged die cast hoops. These custom drums are handmade in Ridgeland, South Carolina using the highest quality traditional finishing techniques. You simply won't find a higher quality drum than a Gretsch USA Custom.
For the perfect snare drum pairing, we’d recommend checking out the new Gretsch USA Ridgeland Series Snare Drums. These drums feature stout, ½" thick hybrid shell of maple, gum and poplar, finished with a soft 30º bearing edge that delivers a rich, full-bodied and woodsy tone—perfectly suited for a variety of playing applications. Faithfully maintaining the Gretsch USA build, Ridgeland Snare Drums are equipped with sturdy 4mm die-cast counter hoops, the ever-popular Lightning Throw-off, 20-strand snare wires and Gretsch Permatone drumheads. To perfectly match your drum set, Ridgeland Snare Drums are custom made in any available Nitron, Satin or Gloss Lacquer finish.
DW Collectors Pure Maple Exotic
Tonality. Thump. Resonant. These words best articulate our opinion of this DW Collectors Pure Maple Drum Set. If you are looking for a drum set that will inspire your playing, look no further than this Pure Maple kit from DW. The amount of R&D that goes into a DW drum shell is pretty staggering. The variety of shell types and configurations are seemingly limitless.
Our current favorite exotic wood DW snare drum is the 14x6.5 Collectors Purpleheart. Deriving its name for its purple hue, the shells are even more dense than oak and provide remarkable attack and punch.
It was difficult to only choose one drum set from each manufacturer. Sound is a subjective thing, and what we are currently digging might not resonate the same with you. Fortunately, here at the Drum Center of Portsmouth we carry a myriad of other premium American made drum sets - one of which will surely speak to your specific taste!