Are hardware packs the way to go? They might be!
You should always pick the Best Drum Hardware Pack you can afford. Why?
Well, mainly because drum hardware is to a drum kit, what your skeleton is to you, it acts as the foundation.
You can’t have a drum set without hardware, since it holds all your drums and cymbals, plus you actively use some of the hardware, like the drum pedal or even the throne you sit in.
Hardware is one of those things that it’s important to not cheap out. No one wants to see their cymbal stand break in the middle of an important gig.
There are two ways you can get your hands on a hardware pack:
- Buying a drum kit that includes some sort of hardware pack. Usually happens with lower-end kits, which means the hardware is sub-par quality too.
- Buying the hardware pack as a standalone, with good quality at a significant discount.
Most, if not all of the premium drum kits are sold as “shells only”. In other words, you get a bass drum, a floor tom, one or two rack toms, and if you’re “lucky”, a snare.
That means you need to buy a drum hardware pack or pick all your hardware piece by piece, which will end up being way more expensive.
As a beginner, a hardware pack is the way to go, as it’s an easier and cheaper way to build a solid foundation for your drum kit.
In this article, I’ll focus solely on drum hardware packs, since drum kits that include drum hardware are a totally different story.
What to look for in a drum hardware pack?
First, you need to focus on the build quality. Unless you’re rich and money isn’t a problem, you should aim for something robust and durable.
Robust so it can steadily hold all the gear you need, and durable so it can survive all the setups and disassembles, the storing and the long travels.
Secondly, get something as complete as possible, to avoid the need to buy expensive individual hardware.
The pack should have:
- a hi-hat stand;
- a snare stand;
- a bass drum pedal;
- at least two cymbal stands that can be either straight or boom stands.
Straight stands are the classic ones with a good center of gravity and more stability, but less versatility. Boom stands are the exact opposite.
If possible, get a pack with at least one boom stand since they offer more flexibility and you can also set them up as straight stands (while the opposite isn’t possible).
All of that hardware should be enough for a basic 5-piece drum kit, with three cymbals (e.g., Hi-Hat, Crash and Ride)
On that note, let’s check the best of the best:
- H-930 Hi-Hat Stand
- S-930 Snare Stand
- P-930 Bass Drum Pedal
- BC-930 Boom Cymbal Stand
- C-930 Cymbal Stand
With this high-quality, solid, and affordable hardware pack, Pearl brings you everything you need to set up any 5-piece drum kit.
For a bass drum pedal, you get the insane P-930 which I absolutely love. It’s, for me at least, the best pedal you can get for less than $100. More about it HERE.
For your Hi-Hat, you get an H-930 stand with a footboard that matches the one on the P-930 bass drum pedal and adjustable Hi-Hat spring tension.
Your snare will be right where you need it with the double-braced S-930 that rocks Pearl’s Patented Air Suspension Rubber Basket Tips, and Uni-Lock Basket Tilters, also found in the cymbal stands.
Your cymbals can stay in the:
- C-930 cymbal stand, which is straight, more stable but less adjustable. Perfect for your ride or any heavy, but less mobile cymbal.
- BC-930 which is a boom cymbal stand, highly adjustable, but not as stable as the straight one. Will place any of your cymbals right where you want them.
The cymbal stands also feature uni-lock tilters for smooth and gearless positioning, insulated pipe joints for stability, no matter how high they are, and large rubber feet to prevent unwanted movement.
The BC-930’s arm fits back inside the main pipe so you can easily convert it from a boom cymbal stand to a straight one.
Everything in the pack is considered heavy-duty and professional-level hardware that won’t ever let you down.
Even though it’s a matter of personal preference, I consider it a pretty good-looking hardware pack that will make any drum set shine.
The price is quite modest too and the only downside I could find is the fact that it’s a bit on the heavy side, which might not be ideal for someone that plans to regularly travel with it.
- HS800W Roadpro Snare Stand
- 2 x HC83BW Roadpro Boom Cymbal Stands
- HH905D Iron Cobra Hi-Hat Stand
- HP900PN Iron Cobra Single Pedal
This another pack that includes 5 pieces, like the HWP-930 one, but with a couple of significant differences.
Let’s start with the best part. The pack features an HP900PN Iron Cobra Single Bass Drum Pedal, which for many is the best drum pedal out there.
The HP900PN is smooth and fast, has a patented design named “cobra coil” that quickly returns the footboard to its original position after each kick.
Thanks to a wider frame and baseplate, the HP900PN is as stable as you could hope for, and the LiteSprocket design makes it way lighter than the previous generation.
Enough about the bass drum pedal, there are still many great things to talk about. For example:
The HH905D Hi-Hat Stand’s footboard matches the one on the bass drum pedal and rotates in position. You can also adjust the footboard angle with a basic drum key.
More important than that is the fact that unlike most, it was designed with only two legs.
Those are great news for double-bass players or someone that’s lacking space as you can rotate the two legs as much as you want to provide extra space for something else.
The clutch has a special quick-set design, so you can install and remove it with a touch of a button. Once you try it, you will never go back.
It has a lever with 6 levels to adjust the tension and you can even tilt the stand for new Hi-Hat sounds.
Each leg as a spike that you can adjust with a simple drum key and the tension rod won’t get loose while playing thanks to a simple but useful design that involves specially shaped plastic and metal nuts – the pack includes two rods: one with 35cm / 13 3/4” and another with 50cm / 19 11/16”.
Even though these are my favorite parts of the pack, let’s talk about the rest:
For your snare, you’ll get the HS800W snare stand and even though they’re usually nothing special, this one includes some unique features.
First, you can adjust the position of the claws, making it great for any type of drum hoops.
The stand’s leg joints were made with nylon washers for improved durability and smoother action.
Finally, the stand includes Tama’s Omni-ball tilter for flexible, yet stable angle settings you are used to find in Tama’s stands.
To complete the pack you get not one, but two HC83BW boom cymbal stands.
They are sturdy enough to accommodate heavy rides and versatile enough to fulfill all your needs.
You’ll find Quick-Set Cymbal Mate in both stands, similar to the one on the Hi-Hat stand, for easier and faster setup and disassemble.
As I mentioned previously, even though they are both boom cymbal stands you can easily convert them into straight cymbal stands.
That’s why I always prioritize boom cymbal stands. You never know when the extra flexibility will come in handy.
As you should already know, this pack is considerably better than the Pearl one, but it’s also way more expensive. Still an amazing price/quality ratio though.
It’s hard to say one is better than the other, as they’re both great within a certain budget, so it’s up to you to determine how much you want to spend.
- 9706 Snare Stand
- 9707ML-DP Hi-Hat Stand
- 2 x 9709BT Boom Cymbal Stand
- 9710BT Straight Cymbal Stand
This is a 5-piece hardware pack made by Gibraltar, which is known for its high-quality hardware, like its famous drum racks.
Even though it includes 5 pieces, like all the other packs listed, it has a small but important difference: it has three cymbal stands and no bass drum pedal.
It’s a heavy-duty hardware pack with double-braced legs for increased strength and stability.
The 9707ML-DP Hi-Hat Stand couldn’t be easier to adjust and the direct pull drive system makes it really responsive.
The 9706 Snare Stand comes with Gibraltar’s “Ultra Adjust joint”, so you can position the basket in any way you want, thanks to a single T-Lock and the joint’s spherical design.
For your cymbals, you get two boom cymbal stands and a single straight cymbal stand.
The boom stands feature an 18” arm fitted with hinged memory locks to achieve the same angle every single time, and Gearless Brake Tilter for 360º position.
The straight stand, besides the fact that it’s straight instead of boom, is pretty much the same thing.
That makes mounting your cymbals a quick and easy process, perfect for someone that’s always on the road. Or is it?
Nothing is perfect, and this pack isn’t an exception:
Well, the 9701PK is a bit on the heavy side. That doesn’t mean it’s heavy, since I’ve seen even heavier hardware packs, but it’s not light either. Let’s call it medium-weight.
That might be something to think about. If you plan to move a lot, there are hardware packs more suited for travelers.
Besides the weight, the fact that it doesn’t include a bass drum pedal is another negative aspect of this pack. Since beginners are usually the ones buying hardware packs, a bass drum pedal is essential.
Other than that, if you already own a bass drum pedal that you find good enough, buying this pack will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Considering Gibraltar specializes in drum hardware and knows what it’s doing, the price isn’t that low but at least you know that with the additional cost, you’re paying for the extra quality, durability, and versatility.
In the pack there’s:
- FP-7210A Bass Drum Pedal
- SS740A Snare Drum Stand
- HS740A Hi-Hat Stand
- 2 x CS755 Cymbal Boom Stands
I’ve decided to include the HW-780 instead of the HW-880 because sometimes less is more.
All the other packs are the best of the best in terms of build quality, flexibility, and stability, but they are also kind of heavy and expensive.
This pack is cheaper than the Pearl HWP-930 one, but still not cheap, and honestly, it shouldn’t be.
Quality isn’t cheap and if you decide to pick a cheap hardware pack, I’m pretty sure you’ll regret it sooner or later. I know I did!
The pack itself includes an FP-7210A Bass Drum Pedal, which in terms of pedals isn’t as versatile as the best ones, but gets the job done.
It’s not as good as the Pearl P-930 you find in the Pearl hardware pack and don’t even try to compare it to the HP900PN Iron Cobra Single Pedal.
Its main characteristics are the fact that it’s single-chain drive, has an individually adjustable beater angle, and no base plate, so it’s not as stable as it could be.
With that being said…
Even though it’s lacking some key features, it works great out of the box, it’s lightweight, smooth, quick, and responsive.
For your snare, you’ll get an SS740A Snare Drum Stand, and there’s not much to say about it.
It lacks some features, like the option to rotate the snare basket, but it’s light, stable, and won’t take too much space in your hardware bag.
The HS740A Hi-Hat Stand is more of the same. It features rotating legs to better accommodate all the other stands and a tension-adjustable chain-linked drive.
Lastly, for your cymbals, you get a pair of CS755 Boom Cymbal Stands. As you could tell by their name, they’re both boom stands which is great for additional flexibility.
They both rock a 17” boom arm, vertical tilter for easier positioning, and tube caps to prevent it from rattling.
All the hardware has single-braced legs for minimal weight and better transportation.
Yamaha is known for their high-quality products, from drum hardware to motorcycles, and usually offers great value, quality, and dependability.
This pack won’t bring the most options, but it offers a light, easy-to-pack and transport set. It includes all the basic features without missing the quality and stability we’re used to.
In my opinion, this is the best pack you can buy if you want something cheaper without necessarily feeling cheap, and plan to travel a lot without hurting your back before you’re 30.
The set contains:
- PDCB810 Boom Cymbal Stand
- PDCS810 Straight Cymbal Stand
- PDHH813 Hi-Hat Stand
- PDSS810 Snare Stand
- PDSP810 Bass Drum Pedal
PDP is a Drum Workshop Inc. sub-brand, created to sell their high-quality products at an affordable price.
Even though DW makes great pieces of hardware, they don’t have any hardware pack worth looking into. That’s because they want you to buy them individually.
Thankfully for us, PDP offers a nice pack with tour-grade durability that directly competes with the Yamaha HW-780 in terms of price and build-quality.
Let’s talk about it…
The PDSP810 is a dual chain drive bass drum pedal with a smooth and dynamic response. It includes PDP’s 2-way reversible beater, which is also great for electronic drum kits.
Underneath you find a solid baseplate, unlike the pedal on the Yamaha pack, and an offset hoop clamp for an easier and faster hoop attachment and removal.
There’s also a DW drum key between the footboard and the baseplate which is all you need to adjust the drum pedal.
Your snare will sit on the super stable PDSS810 Snare Stand that features Glide-Tilter angle adjustment, corkscrew basket adjustment, oversized rubber anti-slip feet, and double-braced legs.
The PDHH813 is the Hi-Hat stand with three double-braced legs for extra stability, a quick-release Hi-Hat clutch for easier and faster setups and teardowns, and a smooth cast footboard with an integrated needle bearing hinge.
It also includes oversized anti-slip rubber feet that matches the ones on the snare and cymbal stands.
Speaking of cymbal stands, this pack offers a PDCS810 straight and a PDCB810 boom cymbal stand.
They are stable with double-braced legs and oversized anti-slip rubber feet. Quick-release wing nuts make it easy and fast to set up and tear down.
You can find composite memory lock systems in every single stand to easily replicate the setup’s height every single night.
Overall, this a solid, reliable, medium-weight, easy to set up and teardown hardware pack. It won’t damage your budget or sacrifice any of your basic needs.
Older 800 series model, will replace with a more accurate video as soon as possible.
What’s the best drum hardware pack for you?
Well, like most things in life, it depends…
If you’re a beginner or someone that needs to replace most, if not all of the hardware you currently own, pick a pack that includes everything.
With that in mind, every pack I just listed has everything you need, besides the Gibraltar 9701PK since it doesn’t include a bass drum pedal.
Touring a lot? The Yamaha or the PDP one should be everything you need, since they provide high-quality, durable and most importantly, light hardware.
If you’re more of a studio drummer or play mostly at home as a hobbyist, then the weight isn’t a problem and you should go for heavy-duty hardware.
In that case, the Pearl HWP-930 is everything you’re looking for, since it has, at least for me, the best price-quality ratio of them all.
Money isn’t a problem and you’re only satisfied with the best of the best? Then you can’t go wrong with the Tama Iron Cobra 900 Hardware Pack. It provides the most flexibility and the best build quality at the expense of heavier hardware and higher price.
As you can see, there’s an option for everyone and none of the five packs listed above will disappoint you.
Just promise me you won’t pick one of those $150 complete packs, as you’ll definitely regret it in half a year.
If your drum kit included a complete hardware pack, that’s fine. Use it until it breaks or until you feel it’s preventing you from progressing.
Buying a cheap hardware pack is something that no one should ever do, as it’s a total waste of money.
I hope the article answered all the questions you had and helped you decide on the best drum hardware pack that matches your needs.