With so many products out there, choosing the right beginner drum set can be overwhelming. However, if you know where to look, things can get much easier for you.
Consider the brand. Whereas beginner drum sets are considered lesser in quality, some companies go the extra mile to make them better.
PDP M5 Best to buy in 2023
Fans of D.W. drum will be glad to have something cheaper but with comparable quality. PDP drums are a cheaper version of D.W.
But that does not mean they are bad. The design and construction quality of D.W. products have been retained. The only different thing is the construction process, which affects the price.
In this guide, I will be reviewing the PDP M5 Drum kit. This is one of the most affordable and yet useful drum kits I have ever seen.
PDP M5 Drum Set
Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP) is not a new name in the world of quality drum kits. It is a budget-conscious version of the Drum Workshop.
D.W. started PDP in 2000 with a focus on budget-oriented buyers. And nine years down the line, PDP has become an independent brand with its established image.
Although it will always be second to D.W., PDP offers a wide range of products that now include drum kits.
The M5 is part of this collection, and it stands out on any stage with great energy and vigor. The drum kit is designed for those who need a fast solution without spending too much.
I was not sure such a kit would retain its price until I made my order. Many drums you will find at this price range have nothing great to offer.
The M5 is an all-maple kit that sits in the middle range. However, it’s ambitious enough to find a spot among the top lines.
When it comes to manufacturing quality, I trust PDP. And many other drummers do because this is a brand with a reputation.
PDP M5 Drum Kit review
There is so much to talk about on the M5 drum kit. This line offers a wide range of options. All of them come with similar value characteristics, with minor variations.
The most important thing about a drum kit for me is its build. And in this case, PDP understands what the modern drummer needs.
PDP M5 drum kit features seven plies of maple on the shells. The out shell comes with 2-plies while the inner has a three-ply core.
The wood on this drum set is sourced overseas. That means it’s not the American rock maple found on the Platinum series.
But then, you wouldn’t expect anything better at this price point. I like the grain, only that it’s hidden under the relatively darker lacquered finish.
The inside has been carefully sanded with a clean and vertical butt joint.
Like the 45-degree bearing edge, glassy top finish, and beautiful finish, other features make this kit a worth investment.
The M5 is a complete five-piece shell pack offered at an attractive price. You can complement it with similarly priced hardware.
It comes in one snare option, wood 14 x 5-inch wood snare. The toms are said to be fast side. They are shallow rather than deep.
Here are some of the best options from this line.
PDP M5 5-Piece Fusion Floor Shell Pack Tobacco Burst
PDP has moved from the trendy one-up/two-down configuration onto a two-up/one-down. You can only get it at the moment on this five-piece shell pack.
I am a huge PDP fan myself because the value finds in their drums is unlike anything from the competition. This Fusion Floor shell pack in tobacco finish is an excellent example of what the brand offers.
In my experience, buying any of the drums in this line as a one-off is too expensive. It would be better to get them as a complete pre-configured kit.
The 5-piece PDP M5 Fusion Floor Shell pack gives the drummer everything they need in a high-end solution without breaking the bank.
It comes with all-maple shells, FAST tom sizes, oval tube lugs S.T.M. (Suspension Tom Mounts), and an incredible lacquer finish. The True-Pitch tuning aspect is a feature you could expect on higher-end kits. PDP has added it on these drums to drive their quality point home.
With the S.T.M., you get superior support and not shell contact. This also means maximum shell contact. This is a mounting system that enables the drums to sing freely.
It is very impressive that the mount does not interrupt its sound quality.
The snare is my favorite piece. It is fitted with a redesigned throw-off. This feature makes it easy and quick to set the snare in place; you can change from one snare to another without much hustle.
It does not come with cymbals and hardware.
• All-maple shells
• Excellent configuration
• None at this price point
PDP by D.W. M5 5-Piece Fusion Floor Shell Pack
PDP is a great brand, thanks to the D.W. tag behind it. Here is another product that proves their prowess in making high-end kits.
I had seen many reviews online about this kit, but none of them offered what I need. So, I ordered one piece to feel what it was all about.
My kit came configured with:
• 22 x 18-inch bass drum
• 10 x 8-inch rack tom
• 12 x 9-inch rack tom
• 14 x 12-inch floor tom
• 14 x 5-inch snare drum
The two small toms are mounted using traditional methods on the bass drum. They come with a sturdy central T post that goes through the bass drum shell. Also, it comes with two ball-clamp ‘L” arms.
Each arm is strategically set to support the tom through D.W.’s S.T.M. system. This makes it very easy to get the toms in place and have them sounding out loud.
Memory locks on the tom arms are not what you would expect. But they come with an incredible design.
Setting up the kit was pretty easy. It took me about 15 minutes, and I was ready to go. It came with pre-mounted heads, except on the bass drum, which is expected.
All the drums are made of excellent quality. The 14-inch tom roared hard and loud while the snare offered a decent response.
Well, I was not expecting to get such performance at this price range. But then, that is what PDP is all about.
• Incredible finish
• Good sounding
• The pulp-away bracket lever on the drums is quite stiff.
PDP by D.W. M5 Limited Edition Red Sparkle 5-piece Shell Pack
PDP is one of those brands you can always rely on when it comes to making impressive gear. Over the years, they have been serving the drumming community with high-quality and affordable gear.
One of the pieces any drummer would be thrilled to have from the M5 series is this Limited Edition Red Sparkle 5-piece shell pack.
The kit is packed with many of D.W.’s top features, making it the perfect investment for the modern drummer. I can summarize it as a great-sounding, all-maple shell pack finished in stimulating red sparkle.
This kit is made of all-maple shells. It offers drummers a serious packaged dressed in an exciting finish.
If you wanted a DW-quality drum kit but could not reach the price, here is your golden opportunity. This shell pack is everything you could expect from the best gear on the market.
The kit is configured with:
• A 22 x 18-inch bass drum
• 10 x 8 and 12 x 9 toms
• 14 x 12-inch floor tom
• 14 x 5-inch snare
It does not come with cymbals and hardware. But they are sold separately at an affordable price.
Features at a glance:
• All-maple shells
• Complete 5-piece kit
• F.A.S.T. sizing
• True-pitch tuning
• S.T.M. Suspension tom mounts
• Remo heads
• A high-quality drum kit
• Excellent finish
• Great sound
• It is only a shell pack
PDP M5 vs. Gretsch Catalina Maple
I was recently browsing online through some comments on PDP M5 and Gretsch Catalina kits. These are two brands that have been in constant competition on the market for affordable drum kits.
One reviewer on drummerworld.com says, “these kits get a lot of mixed reviews… I must admit that I have played these drums for a small amount of time; they sound pretty impressive. Very surprised, but in a good way. I wouldn’t expect anything less from PDP by D.W.
Both kits are made with all-maple shells. And that means you are assured of the warm and punch goodness of the wood.
The features of the PDPs are mostly impressive. You get 45-degree edges, S.T.M. mounts, Tru Pitch tuning rods, and good hardware. The M5 is made from China, but the older versions came from Mexico.
I also have a Gretsch Catalina Jazz kit.
The quality in the Catalinas seems a little higher. I am not sure if they feature a 30-degree rounded-over edge or they are cut sharper. But the beautifully looking lugs make you forget that. Besides, the Cats come in excellent finishes.
The only downside with Catalinas is that you get one less drum. And for the money, that makes a lot of difference.
The Catalina is configured with a 24-inch kick, a 12-inch and 16-inch toms, and a 14 x 6.5-inch snare.
With that said, I think both kits are pretty impressive in sound. And that is all that matters. You should love any of them.