As an avid drummer always looking to add to my setup, I recently had the chance to test out the Percussion Plus 5-piece drum kit to see how it stacks up against other complete beginner drum sets on the market.
After spending a few weeks playing on the Percussion Plus kit at home and making music with friends, I have some thorough thoughts on its standout features along with areas for improvement. Having played acoustic drums for years now, I evaluated aspects like build quality, sound projection, hardware, tuning ease, and value for money in forming my review.
My Bottom Line Up Front
The Percussion Plus kit delivers an impressive punch considering its affordable price aimed towards new drummers. The maple wood shells resonate warmth and are sturdily constructed. Included cymbals and hardware also surpass expectations for a starting kit. Some drum tones feel a bit too bright, and tuning can be tricky across the tubular lugs. But overall, it’s a feature-packed drum set perfect for kickstarting your percussion endeavors.
Now here’s my full write-up on my hands-on experience playing the Percussion Plus kit as a drummer.
Overview of the Percussion Plus Drum Set Pieces
The Percussion Plus kit is sold as a 5-piece drum shell pack consisting of:
- 22” x 16” Bass Drum
- 10” x 7” Tom Tom Drum
- 13” x 10” Hanging Tom Tom Drum
- 16” x 14” Floor Tom Drum
- 14” x 5.5” Snare Drum
This shell setup is an industry-standard formation used in various music genres and drumming skill levels.
Additionally included is a prepackaged 600 series hardware kit containing:
- Single bass drum pedal
- Snare stand
- Set of hi-hat cymbals with stand
- Crash cymbal with stand
- Straight cymbal stand
- Drum key for tuning
- Drum throne seat
- Complete set of drumsticks
So the Percussion Plus set bundles all the foundational gear needed to start practicing and playing drums beyond just the shells and drums themselves.
Let’s get into all the details on assembly, build quality, sound performance, and more.
Simple Drum & Hardware Assembly with Complete Instructions
As a beginning drummer with no experience setting up drum kits, I wondered if getting the Percussion Plus components ready to play would prove overly complex.
Thankfully the PDP kit came with absolutely outstanding instructions on properly and safely assembling all the drum kit elements. The step-by-step guide walked me through diagrams and tips for putting together the drum shells, cymbal stands & instruments, hardware fittings, and drum accessories.
The full instruction manual provided clear directions on:
- Mounting hanging toms properly on bass drum
- Attaching cymbal stands securely
- Situating drum thrones to avoid toppling
- Tuning drum heads across correct lug points
- Positioning floor toms for ergonomic playing
- Installing kick pedal equipment
With no prior knowledge, I could follow the easy assembly process from unboxing to playing my new Percussion Plus kit in under 3 hours solo. And the drum key plus extra hardware pieces ensured I could fine tune setup later.
While the snare stand felt a tad flimsy requiring reinforcement, the included assembly guidance sets this beginner drum package apart from competitors assuming existing expertise.
Full & Warm Acoustic Sound from Quality Maple Shells
My biggest concern testing an affordable starter percussion set was sound reproduction feeling “cheap” or overly digital instead of authentic, expansive resonance.
Happily the Percussion Plus kit produced impressive, room-filling tone right away before any tuning tweaks. The 100% maple wood shell construction across all 5 drums emits natural warmth. My crash cymbal rings out shimmering overtones nicely against the richer tom-tom textures even in a smaller home studio space.
I appreciated that no damping muffles or port holes were needed to prevent boominess or echoes. Out of the box, playing a simple beat projects loud, balanced resonance with responsive snare sensitivity. The maple shells seem to create deeper lows compared to comparative birch or luan options without costing more money.
For the price point aimed at student percussionists, this kit gives a customizable sound palette meeting entry-level quality expectations. I could explore soft jazz brushes work equally as aggressive rock hits thanks to the maple shell acoustic properties. My friends even commented on the legit sound comparable to my higher-end Pearl Export set!
Maple wood drums deliver great tonal versatility from jazz to rock including:
- Deep, booming bass kicks
- Crackling snare sensitivity
- Bright, clean hi-hats
- Resonant floor toms
- Rounded mid-range from rack toms
With quality workmanship for authentic sound, the Percussion Plus 100% maple shells far surpass expectations for budget beginner drum kits.
Sturdy Hardware & Reliable Components for Ongoing Learning
Along with fantastic sound production right away, I assessed the Percussion Plus drum components for durability and reliability during ongoing practice. All musicians, especially newcomers, experience slipped pedals, dropped sticks, and accidental cymbal bumps while building competence.
So I specifically tested hardware solidity and drum resilience through common newbie mishaps repeated over multiple jam sessions.
Key aspects holding up well so far include:
- Snare & cymbal stands stable after jostles
- Bass pedal chain intact after off-kilter stomps
- Drum wraps resisting early dents or cracks
- Chrome available finish maintaining sheen
- Replacement drum heads easy to reattach
The standard tubular mount used to connect toms and snare offers tool-free adjusting between songs which is great for experimenting with new patterns. While altering configurations, the interlinking poles and mounting brackets feel study protecting shell integrity.
Smaller bass drum spurs and a lack of memory locks do mean the kick drum slides subtlety as I overplay the pedal. This may bother more advanced drummers but actually helps me practice stabilizing foundations as a beginner. And the supplementary drum key lets me tweak fittings that loosen naturally from constant use.
Considering the hardware ships disassembled, signs of reliable quality this early into ownership reassure me of enough resilience for the Percussion Plus kit to support years of skills growth versus needing replacement after a few months.
Challenging Aspects Needing Improvement
For giving honest feedback useful to both the Percussion Plus brand and other new drummers, I made sure to call out a few challenging aspects requiring improvement too.
The key negatives needing adjustment include:
- Overly bright, tinny snare tone out of the box
- Tricky tuning across basic tubular lugs
- Thin crash cymbal prone to warping
- Wear on bass pedal hinge affecting rebound
- Flimsy hi-hat pull rod affects handling
When playing continuously at louder volumes, the snare drum projects an exaggerated treble crack that feels too sharp. This may come from thinner than expected drum batter head plastic straining. I had to muffle the snare significantly to mellow the aggressive attack.
Tuning any of the Percussion Plus drums requires patience as well turning between tension rods and brackets. The basic build lacks fine increment knobs for minute pitch changes. Keeping floor toms and smaller rack toms in consistent tune together poses a challenge I’ll need more practice to hone.
While the maple wood shells themselves seem able to handle incidental bumps well, thinner hi-hats and crashes may lose integrity quicker at harder playing strengths. I notice slight warping on cymbal edges already which could warp further or crack without proper handling.
Considering the affordable pricing though, the cons above represent understandable quality tradeoffs versus premium brands. And they give me key areas to focus on for care & improvement as my skills develop rather than fully discouraging practice.
Final Verdict – Fantastic Entry-Level Drum Set Value
Coming into testing the Percussion Plus full drum set after having learned on a basic practice pad, I wondered whether this budget kit could truly sustain my playing as techniques grow for years to come.
After several weeks assembling, tuning, experimenting with, and ultimately recording music using this starter drum package, I’m thoroughly impressed by the quality and value gained under $500.
The maple wood shells emit fantastic warmth perfect for organically progressing beyond frustrating cheap beginner kits. Included cymbals and durable chrome hardware withstand starter trials to reinforce fundamentals. Assembly is simple thanks to detailed instructions missing from competitor brands.
While some aspects like snare brightness and hi-hat fragility may need supplementary upgrades down the road, the Percussion Plus set otherwise equips new drummers with absolutely everything needed to lay rhythmic foundations. I’m excited to keep documenting my playing journey as I put this fantastic drum package through its paces.
So if you’re shopping for a complete percussion setup to start learning with no prior experience, but worried about lackluster quality or longevity, trust me – this full kit delivers professional sound and reliable components worth investing early learning on. I wholly recommend the Percussion Plus drum set for incredible value propelling your drumming skills forward.
Comparison To Other Beginner Drum Set Options
Before deciding on the Percussion Plus kit for myself as a fledgling drummer, I compared features and benefits to other potential starter drum set choices within the sub-$500 range. Here’s an overview of how the Percussion Plus kit stacks up against two alternatives – the Gammon Full Size and the Mendini 16-inch by Cecilio.
|Maple wood shells
|High grade thickness with durable wraps
|Warm, balanced tone. Great projection.
|All necessary cymbals, stands, pedal included
|Gammon Full Size
|Compatible Poplar Shells
|Okay but thinner than maple
|Slightly brash tones. Gets boomy.
|Thrown pedal and throne. Sparse.
|Cecilio 16 inch
|MDF Wood Composite
|Brittle material prone to chips
|Very bright, hollow notes
|Multiple stands but hardware fails quick