Is DW a good drum brand? Do DW drum kits sound good? Are DW drum kits reliable and durable? What are the materials and technologies used in making the DW drum kits? DW Drums is maybe one of the most popular drum brands today, but if you are still unfamiliar with the brand, you are now in the right place at the right time to get familiar with this drum brand as we are going to take a deep look into this drum brand.
So, how did DW Drums become one of the most famous drum brands in the world? DW, or Drum Workshop, started as a teaching studio in 1972 by its founder, Don Lombardi. As DW offered some private lessons and occasional workshops, Don and one of his students, John Good, decided to start a drum equipment sales operation to be able to cover the facility’s operating expenses.
After some time, they were able to create the company’s first product available to consumers, which is a height-adjustable trap seat. The product became in demand; they purchased all of Camco’s drum manufacturing equipment, leading DW to focus more on becoming a drum hardware manufacturer. The second product they were able to make was the 5000 series nylon strap bass pedal, which was followed by their first double bass pedal, cable remote hi-hat stands, and the rotating base.
Today, DW’s manufacturing facility is located in Oxnard, California. The company also oversees a new drum company, Pacific Drums and Percussion, which focuses on making more affordable drum kits and hardware. The company has many famous drummers under its artist roster, like Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aaron Spears, Dave Grohl, Abe Laboriel Jr., Tony Royster Jr., Thomas Lang, Travis Barker, and many more.
DW Design Series
The DW Design is the company’s entry-level drum kit, but although it is advertised as one, it can be considered by most drummers as a top mid-level drum kit because of its impressive quality. The shells of the Design Series are all made of North American Maple wood, which gives the kit a nice and warm tone, perfect for its versatility. The Design Series also used a Vertical Low Timbre shell with a horizontal outer ply, resulting in a very nice response as it resonates freely.
The drum kit also has the renowned Tru-Pitch tuning rods, which the company is known for, as it greatly helps in tuning the drum kit, especially if you want to have a specific tone for playing the drums. The snare drum has a MAG throw-off design, which incorporates a magnet in the snare lever, which allows you to turn the snare on and off quickly and without any hitch.
One of the Design Series’ unique features compared to other DW products is that it uses mini turret lugs to hold the tuning rods. The product line is available in a standard 5-piece configuration and a 4-piece setup designed for traveling. Lastly, the Design Series is also available in Acrylic, which is perfect for rock and metal genres.
DW Performance Series
Although the DW Performance Series is one of the more affordable drum kits by DW, they are still one of the more expensive drum kits you can find on the market. Most drummers would consider the Performance Series as a professional gear rather than a mid-level drum set. The shells of the drum kit are made of North American Maple, similar to those used on DW custom drum kits.
The shells are made using a new technology called the HVX, which is an incorporation of the VLT and X-shell construction method. The new method helps the drum kit to produce an impressive tone with low fundamentals and an abundance of natural resonance. It comes with a set of DW drum heads made by Remo USA specifically for the company.
The product line uses Quarter Turret lugs, which are smaller than those lugs you see on classic DW drum kits. The lugs have less mass, and there is less resonance-dampening contact with the shells. The snare drums, however, use Dual Turret lugs, which are different from the other parts of the kit. Like other DW drum kits, the Performance Series also has True-Pitch and MAG throw-off designs for its tuning rods and snare drums, respectively.
DW Classic Series
The DW Classic Series is one of the best drum kits that DW offers in the market. The Classic Series is said to be designed as the company aims to recreate the drum kits of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The shells of the drum kits are made of a combination of Poplar and Mahogany and come with oversized all-Maple reinforcement hoops. It has a soft bearing edge, which helps in producing a punchy and dark tone.
The DW Classic Series features the company’s patented Suspension Tom Mount System, which helps the drum kit to vibrate independently, resulting in maximum resonance while the drum kit is still secured to its place as it is safely held in the mounting system. As no grommets or washers are hindering the lug rod receiver, there is also less choking and easier tuning with the drum kit.
The DW Classic Series also comes with the True-Pitch rod system, which has its rods having 20 percent more threads compared to typical tuning rods. When purchasing a Classic Series drum kit, it also comes with a DW 6000 Series hardware, which is one of the best drum hardware sets on the market. The complementing hardware is lightweight and durable as it uses aluminum as its primary material.
DW Collectors Series
The DW Collector’s Series is DW’s flagship drum kit available in the market. All drum kits under the product line are made in its main manufacturing facility in California. The shells of the drum kit are either made of North American Maple, Heartwood Birch, Cherry, Red Oak, a mix of Maple and Gumwood, a blend of Mahogany and Cherry, or a combination of Maple and Mahogany.
One of the unique features of the DW Collector’s Series is that it has the largest lugs in all the drum sets that DW offers on the market. Like other DW drum kits, the Collector’s Series also uses True-Pitch tuning rods for quicker and easier tuning and the MAG throw-off design for the design drums, as it allows the drummer to quickly turn off the snare without any hitch.
The product line is available in three different configurations: a 4-piece, a standard 5-piece, and a 7-piece setup. The 4-piece configuration means that the drum kit does not come with a matching snare drum, so you have to use or buy a separate snare drum. For the 7-piece setup, it is the largest configuration available for a Collector’s Series drum kit.
The DW Collector’s Series is really a dream drum kit for many drummers, as it is one of the best drum kits you can ever find. Its quality is really exceptional; however, they are also one of the most expensive drum kits available on the market.
So, is DW Drums a good brand? No, the DW is not a good brand but an excellent drum brand. It is one of the best drum brands you can find in the market, and it is evident in its superb drum kits. They are really of high-quality sound and design.