Updated on March 6th, 2018
The good news is there are a couple of drum kits that you can score for under $1000 that are really decent options. Gretsch has done a really good job of putting together a kit that offers a great deal of value. We took a closer look at the Gretsch drum kit to evaluate it for you. This review will reveal everything that you need to know about this kit so that you can make a decision about whether it is the one for you or not!
But don’t forget about Sonor Bop Drums and Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II!
|Gretsch Energy Series||full review|
|Sonor Bop Drums||full review|
Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II
Gretsch Energy Series Review
The Gretsch Energy Series is exactly what you’d expect from a less than $1000 set. It’s a complete 5-piece set of good-quality units, the hardware is included.
This is the only kit in the list that’ll come with cymbals, usually they are purchased separately. However, Gretsch put together an awesome deal for you. The cymbals provided with this set are Sabian SBR cymbals and they’ll do just fine.
The kit comes in a standard size: a deep 22” bass drum, 10”and 12” mounted toms, a 16” floor tom and a 14” snare. This is the perfect setup for any kind of music style. The snare is made out of maple and sounds amazing, so does the rest of the kit.
Gretsch additionally sprinkles a few other unique-to-Gretsch features throughout the Energy series. For example, toms are cut with 30-degree bearing edges and receive five lugs (rather than the standard six found on different brands).
Every piece of the setup is beautified with the delightful teardrop-formed Gretsch lug, which, as we would like to think, is still one of the prettiest lugs around.
The hardware on this kit is not the best, but still pretty decent for its price. You can’t expect much from the hardware when you buy a complete kit.
The stands are double brace chromed and they can take some heavy hits.
As for the snare, the stand is simple to use and pretty sturdy.
The toms are ball mounted and they can be configured in endless possibilities. The bass pedal and hi-hat stand seem sturdy, but if you’re looking for a speed bass pedal, consider upgrading it right away.
The shells are made of poplar instead of maple or the combination between the two, this is fair since the price range is quite low. The Gretsch heads on this set are decent, but if you want achieve the professional sound you should definitely consider upgrading the heads. This won’t cost you a lot.
However, the overall sound of the set is great, especially with upgraded heads. We can safely say that this kit is well suited for live plays, studio recording, and practice.
Configuration: 22″ x 18″ virgin bass drum, 10″ x 7″ tom (five lug), 12″ x 8″ tom (five lug), 16″ x 14″ floor tom, and 14″ x 5.5″ snare (eight lug).
Shells: Poplar with natural interiors. 30-degree edges on toms and bass drum. 45 degree edges on snare.
Hoops: 1.6mm on snare and toms; metal hoops with wrap inlay on the bass drum.
Heads: Gretsch clear single-ply.
Finish: White wrap. Also available in Black and Grey Steel wrap.
Hardware: Gretsch Energy medium-weight hardware pack (double-braced stands): boom stand with tom holder; straight stand with tom holder; snare stand; hi-hat stand; and single-chain bass drum pedal.
Cymbals: Sabian SBR cymbal pack (sheet brass cymbals): 13″ hi-hats, 16″ crash, and 20″ ride.
Overall Grade : The hardware and the heads on this set are decent, everything else is of very good quality and this is a good set to begin with if you’re looking for drum sets under a $1000.
Sonor Bop Drums Review
The Sonor Bop drums make a perfect designed jazz kit when it’s combined with Sonor’s medium weight 200 series hardware pack or the 400 series hardware pack.
The Sonor Bop is a 4-piece shell pack with a 16” or 18” bass drum, 12” mounted tom, 14” floor tom, and a 14” snare. Add the hardware and you’ll be able to keep the price under a $1000.
Both the 200 and 400 series hardware packs are exceptionally alluring from the perspective of design. The double braced legs have long parallel lines that look very different compared to the legs on the most of the drum brands.
The rubber feet are shaped like hammers, so it looks like Sonor’s mallet logo. The scaled booms have quite enough length to permit cymbals to be situated at any angle, yet no additional length that would make them look or feel strange.
The bass drum pedal has a tough bass plate, a solitary chain, a round cam, and a moderately little footboard.
The shell pack is available in several colours, but in our opinion Sonor’s Silver Galaxy wrap is one of the best ones available. The Bop drums were not difficult to tune, so we assume they have equally cut bearing edges.
All things considered, it would be not fair to give a nitty-gritty description for the sound of these drums in light of the fact that the drumheads are pretty mediocre. Still, the toms had an acceptable tone, the bass drum had a decent punch, and the snare had a crisp crack.
To us, Sonor drums have mostly an identifiable and unique, centered sound. These drums had that sound, even with the drumheads. In expert hands, this pack would truly sing.
Configuration: 18″ x 16″ bass drum, 12″ x 8″ tom, 14″ x 14″ floor tom, and 14″ x 5.5″ snare.
Shells/Lugs: Select poplar 9-ply 7.2mm shells with 45-degree bearing edges. Tune Safe lugs on all drums. STH 274 single tom holder kick drum mount.
Hoops: 1.6mm on snare and toms. Wood hoops on the bass drum.
Heads: Remo UT single-ply.
Finish: Silver Galaxy Sparkle wrap. Red Galaxy Sparkle wrap (available fall 2012).
Hardware: Medium-weight 200 series HS 275 hardware set (double-braced stands): two MBS 273 mini boom stands; SS 277 snare stand; HH 274 hi-hat stand; and SP 473 single-chain-drive pedal with double-sided beater, support board, and adjustable toe stop.
Or Heavy-weight 400 series HS 475 hardware set (double-braced stands): 2 MBS 473 mini boom stands; SS 477 snare stand; HH 474 hi-hat stand; and SP 473 single-chain-drive pedal with double sided beater, support board, and adjustable toe stop.
Overall Grade : An amazing sounding and looking set. However, seriously consider upgrading the heads on this set. It’ll make the set sound 10 times better.
Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II Review
Probably the most beautiful set in this list, the Pearl Vision Birch Artisan 2 is available in several editions. Pearls is one of the biggest drum manufacturers.
They’re known for their high quality drum sets, even in the lower price range. The Vision Birch Artisan II perfectly resembles their high quality policy.
Due to Pearl’s size, it is able to manufacture its own shells, equipment, and so on, without outsourcing. This implies that when you purchase a Pearl pack, you get a few features that are unique to Pearl.
The Vision Birch Artisan II series consolidates large portions of these Pearl-just features, making it an exceptionally appealing and a one of a kind decision in this price range.
Although called Vision Birch, the 6-ply shells on this pack have one internal ply of birch. The remaining plies comprise of poplar, an alternate not very extravagant tone wood. Pearl uses a restrictive SST (Superior shell technology) to make these shells.
They’re known to be solid and consistent. This procedure includes cutting shell plies with covering scarf joint seams, immersing each ply with Pearl’s exclusive glue, and shaping the shell in a high-temperature mold under pressure.
There are two mounted toms, each mount off the bass drum into Pearl’s Bridge Type bass bracket. Drummers will either love or hate this mounting framework.
We adore that the bracket has a different repository for every tom arm so that every tom can be situated totally freely of the other.
This bracket doesn’t appear to have any negative effect on the sound of the kick. This 22″ bass drum sounded huge and open with a lot of volume. The rest of the set sounds amazing too, if you’re looking for a set under $1000 you should definitely go for this one.
Consider a cheap hardware pack though for example the 900 series hardware pack with double braced stands.
Configuration: 22″ x 18″ bass drum, 10″ x 8″ tom, 12″ x 9″ tom, 16″ x 16″ floor tom, and 14″ x 5.5″ snare (SR-900 Duo-Motion strainer can be converted from a side-lever action to a Gladstone-type throw-off). Toms have I.S.S. tom mounts.
Shells: 6-ply (inner ply birch, remaining outer plies are poplar).
Hoops: 1.6mm; wood hoops on bass drum.
Heads: Remo Pinstripe UT batters, Pearl bottoms, and Remo Powerstroke bass drumheads.
Finish: Old School Pinstripe wrap design by Nub. Vision Birch Artisan II also comes with Amber Burst Eucalyptus, Emerald Fade Eucalyptus, and Ruby Fade Eucalyptus lacquer finishes.
Hardware: 900 series hardware pack (double-braced stands): C-900 straight stand; BC-900 disappearing boom stand; S-900 snare stand; H-900 hi-hat stand with swivel legs, and P-900 single-chain-drive pedal with Powershifter plate and two-sided beater.
Overall Grade : Pearl has done an amazing job on this shell pack, the sound is unique and Pearl like. Probably the best set you’ll get in this particular price range!
It isn’t hard to find a shell pack + hardware and end up under a $1000. However, not every set in this particular price range is of the same quality. In fact many of the sets available in this price range are of bad quality.
The sets we’ve chosen for this review article are high-quality sets (sometimes a small upgrade is required) they all look like professional sets. And they feel like it. So if you’re considering to buy a relatively cheap set you should definitely take a look at these sets.
Our personal favourite is the Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II, but the Sonor Bop Drums and Gretsch Energy Series will do just fine.
Our advice is to follow this guide, do some extensive research and try out the drums before you buy them. But we can assure you that high quality is guaranteed with these three sets.
Table of Contents
- 1 Gretsch Energy Series Review
- 2 Sonor Bop Drums Review
- 3 Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II Review
- 4 Conclusion