The 3 best new drum kits of 2021, as decided by you

Tama Starclassic Performer
(Image credit: Tama)

The acoustic drum kit category is full of options, from beginner kits to high-end and custom drums designed to our exact specification and everything in-between. The options keep getting better and better, though, with choices on configuration, styling and finishes offered at all levels.

This year saw some big releases from the big names, including old favourites and new concepts that all add up to bigger and better value for anyone looking for a new kit. The semi-pro level benefited the most, as reflected in your favourites for the year. Here are the kits you selected as the best of 2021.

1. Winner 2021: Tama Starclassic Performer

Tama Starclassic Performer 2021

(Image credit: Tama)

The Starclassic Performer from Tama is a returning hero, making its way back into the legendary Starclassic range once again for 2021, and you can’t get enough of it. 

Tama has packed it with features - maple/birch shells, die cast hoops, Star-Cast mounts, Evans heads as standard, made it available in two configurations offering drilled or un-drilled bass drums and an additional floor tom. But we’ve got to mention those stunning finishes too. No surprise that you voted it No.1.

2. Pearl President Deluxe

Pearl President Deluxe

(Image credit: Pearl)

Pearl unveiled a welcome surprise to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year with the President Series Deluxe, revisiting its vintage range. 

With 6-ply, 7mm Lauan shells, tone mufflers across the kit and some beautiful retro styling to go with it including Battleship lugs, script logos, Remo CS batter heads, Pearl has got your attention. That’s before we consider the two incredible Delmar ripple wrap finishes (Ocean Ripple and Desert Ripple). Excellent work!

3. DW Collectors Purple Core

DW Collectors Purple Core

(Image credit: DW)

Trust DW’s ‘wood whisperer’ John Good to come up with the goods. For 2021 DW introduced its Purple Core shell technology, with options of pairing Purpleheart and cherry, mahogany or maple. 

The strength of Purpleheart allows for only one horizontal ply in the shell’s lay-up, resulting in the lowest fundamental pitches DW has achieved. Judging by the video above, and the results of your voting, it works! 

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.