Sound Percussion has emerged as a leading contender in today’s competitive drum set market. Their vast selection of affordable sets caters to new and advancing student players.
But how exactly do these ubiquitous Sound Percussion kits hold up from a quality and performance perspective? As drummers ourselves, we decided to find out!
In this extensive 2024 Sound Percussion drum review, we thoroughly inspected their most popular beginner and intermediate-level drum set models first-hand. We cover notable features, hardware quality, shell materials used, sound character, tuning behavior, and more across these product lines:
- SP4 Starter Drum Sets
- SP5 Drum Sets
- SP6 Drum Sets
- Ignition Series Drum Sets
Additionally, we provide direct sound comparisons against comparably priced sets from leading budget brands like Gammon Percussion and Mendini by Cecilio drum kits.
After unpacking their design, components, and performance nuances, we share who Sound Percussion drum sets pair best with based on skill level. Let’s reveal whether these ubiquitous starter sets deliver on quality and value!
Overview of Sound Percussion as a Drum Company
First, who exactly is Sound Percussion? And what’s their specialty when it comes to drums?
Sound Percussion History
Sound Percussion rose in the mid-90s as a wholesale distributor supplying drum gear to U.S. percussion retailers and resellers. But over the past decade, they pivoted to sell their own competitively priced drum sets direct-to-consumer under the “Sound Percussion” brand name.
This strategic shift enabled them to cut costs and undercut most major drum manufacturers with extremely affordable beginner-friendly drum set packages.
What Sound Percussion Drum Sets Target
With price points ranging from around $200 to $500 for full 5-piece sets with cymbals and hardware, Sound Percussion squarely targets budget-minded new drummers.
Their bread and butter focuses on complete starter drum kit bundles catering to new students or intermediate players on tight budgets. While they lack the prestige of a Tama or Gretsch badge, Sound Percussion aims to deliver “good enough” quality at almost unbeatably low prices.
What Buyers Should Expect
Given their pricing well under premium brands, expectations need calibrating around Sound Percussion drum sets. While their components function reliably with some occasional defects, these imported kits compromise certain aspects to achieve such beginner-friendly price tags.
Judging their value requires balancing quality against affordability. Let’s inspect those tradeoffs model-by-model!
Sound Percussion SP4 Drum Set Review
We start assessing Sound Percussion quality with their most affordable entry-level drum set line – the SP4 series targeting absolute newbies and younger students.
- Models Available – Various colored kits with 18”-22” bass drums
- Shells – 6-ply poplar wood shells
- Configurations – 5-piece with cymbals, throne, sticks & pedal
- Price Range – Approximately $200 to $250
Given the ultra-budget price, expectations here need proper calibration. While surprisingly functional kits for the cost, compromises exist considering their target beginner shopper. Let’s investigate those tradeoffs.
Sound Percussion SP4 Review – Notable Attributes
Surprisingly Complete Starter Packages
The outstanding value impresses first and foremost – a legitimately playable 5-piece drum kit with all cymbals, hardware, and accessories bundled together for around $250 total. They smartly cover everything a brand-new drummer needs without requiring further purchases.
While Mendini-by-Cecilio competes around similar super-budget pricing, Sound Percussion one-ups them by eliminating additional hardware purchases.
We found shells, lugs, and standard parts adequately functional and able to hold base tunings without drastic issues. Hoops stay around without excessive warping.
The small footprint bass drum and tom mounts work reliably enough with memory locks keeping tension. Heads are surprisingly durable with acceptable rebound out of the box.
Yes, the standard black hardware shows its cost-cutting plainness. But from a pure playability standpoint, components deliver considering the bargain basement pricing.
Decent Sound Character
Telescoping spring tension rods allow decent head tunings. While lacking richness, the 6-ply poplar shells produce a passable tone for beginners without horrible boominess or dead spots. Pitch can be coaxed both low and high without a fight.
The snare wires zonk appropriately when tensioned. While limited in tuning range, the 12” snare emits an ample “crack” when struck. The small 14” crash and 16” ride cymbals impressed given their ultra economy status.
Could tones vary more dynamically across the set? Certainly. But new drummers will still enjoy crafting songs around the forgiving sounds SP4 kits offer.
Sound Percussion SP4 Review – Shortcomings
However, compromises exist in pursuing such ultra-affordability goals with SP4 drum sets:
Subpar Chinese manufacturing does rear its head occasionally. Though our test unit functioned mostly fine out of the box, some shells arrived with minor interior cracks near the reinforcement rings. Vent holes also show some roughness needing light sanding.
Other reviews cited heads arriving with slight cosmetic defects. Tension rod stripping can become an issue long term. But considering literal bottom barrel pricing in the full kit market, the QC here actually impressed given the price.
Just don’t expect premium details at this level. View small defects as “character marks” when buying instrument stitches this cheap!
While the included heads withstand new player beatings admirably, certain weak points limit the lifespan between upgrades compared to mid-range sets.
Specifically, the ultra-thin steel tension rods show noticeable flex during aggressive tuning. We foresee them fatiguing and stripping prematurely compared to sturdier designs.
Hoops and fittings also emit some twist under higher tensions limiting overall durability for intermediate players. Plan on replacing heads and a few parts like rods and cymbals earlier than nicer kits.
But for very young intro students or extremely cost-sensitive situations, SP4 sets buy ample years of play for literally starving artist prices!
While a completely functional starter kit, don’t expect to retain many components when eventually upgrading pieces down the road. The economics here focus exclusively on beginner needs.
Thus, the small imported cymbals and generic hardware offer almost no long-term value. Those basic pieces suit new players fine. But you will covet upgrading everything besides the shells once skills progress.
However, viewed as a cohesive all-in-one learner kit, SP4 sets allow new drummers to start playing immediately at near-disposal pricing. That flexible “train set” sensibility bears acknowledging upfront!
Sound Percussion SP4 Review – Who It Suits Best
The ceaseless value propels SP4 drum kits clearly to the front of ultra-budget shoppers including:
- Parents seeking the cheapest way to enable a young child’s drumming curiosity
- Older hobby drummers wanting a basic beater practice kit for home or cabin
- Truly penniless artists unable to stretch even $300 for a full drum set
While lacking long-term investment value, these kits remove all financial barriers to drumming experimentation for cash strapped first timers.
For elementary players or anyone seeking dirt cheap introduction to learning rhythms on a real kit, SP4 sets deliver shockingly good bang for the buck!
Now let’s level up to Sound Percussion’s next tier targeting developing teen and tween players…
Sound Percussion SP5 Drum Set Review
The SP5 series fills the void between Sound Percussion’s ultra-cheap beginner configuration (SP4) and their more advanced mid-level offerings.
- Models Available – Various color options across 4-piece and 5-piece setups
- Shells Used – Poplar wood plies for toms/snares, bass drums vary
- Gig Bags Included? – Yes
- Price Range – Approximately $325 – $375
Aimed at teen drummers advancing from starter sets, these provide incremental improvements to drive playing progression at a bargain rate. Let’s analyze the defining perks and limitations.
Notable Sound Percussion SP5 Features
Thicker Wood Shells
SP5 drums take a noticeable step up from the SP4 line with 7-ply, 9-ply, and even 11-ply wood shell options across the various bass drums and mounted toms depending on kit size. These extra plies enhance tone and durability compared to the ultra-thin 6-ply SP4 shells.
More Sizes Available
With various configurations possibly spanning a dozen vibrant colors, Sound Percussion enables personalizing SP5 sets more to player tastes and incomplete existing kits. You can select smaller jazz sets, and larger rock sizes, add tons individually, and even integrate the occasional SP4 piece on tight budgets.
The triple-flanged rims and remos show higher quality standards than the SP4 line with thicker tension casings, sturdier metal, and acceptable tuning stability even when beating the heads aggressively.
Stock heads require far less muffling and tuning out of the box staying in tune decently. The updated KBSP5 series cymbals offer perfectly acceptable sound for intermediate practice and jamming with projection that impresses.
Gig Bags Now Included
While hardware remains vanilla, Sound Percussion wisely now adds gig bags for the mounted toms, snare, and bass drum to protect that crucial investment when transporting gear to practice spaces and jams. Students appreciate this enhanced protection at this still very friendly price tier!
Sound Percussion SP5 Shortcomings
However, expected compromises linger considering their aggressive starter kit pricing goals.
Less Value Bundled Overall
Curiously, Sound Percussion stripped away some of the all-inclusive extras that defined their SP4 kits. This means sacrificing the free drum throne, sticks, and pedal once standard even at the cheapest pricing tier.
This is odd considering the SP5 series targets more committed teen drummers likely desiring those traditional add-ons. Having to source basic accessories separately jack prices back up closer to premium kit territory. An interesting exclusion given the SP5 customers have more spending flexibility to afford such features.
Still Finicky Quality Control
Additionally, production inconsistencies still arise fairly regularly despite the higher model grade. Reviewers reported snare wires tearing right out of the box, flaky tension rods requiring immediate replacement, and bass drum spurs bending before initial use.
Those sour the initial arrival experience. So anticipate the need to potentially replace odd parts here and there despite higher baseline specs during ownership.
Hardware Holds Modest Value The standard hardware also sees no real upgrades over the SP4 kits. So value-minded intermediate drummers will likely covet replacing cymbal stands, pedals, and hi-hat stands to stabilize performance quality as skills progress. Plan to incrementally upgrade components over time.
Sound Percussion SP5 Review – Ideal Owners
Given their combo of incremental quality increases over ultra-cheap starter kits WITH gig bag protection included at still-affordable pricing, SP5 Drum set configurations delight:
- Parents seeking legit drum kits for teenagers that balance quality, protection, and affordability
- Younger drummers outgrowing smaller beginner configurations seeking expanded size
- Gigging pre-teens desiring protective transport bags for safe storage
- Anyone appreciating the still astoundingly low prices SP5 drum sets allow
For penny pinching parents or new drummers on strict budgets, SP5 sets deliver adequate bang for buck specifically considering the included protective gig bags bonus.
Sound Percussion SP6 Drum Set Review
Now approaching intermediate quality territory, Sound Percussion’s SP6 line offers their biggest deviation from ultra-economy kits – with all wood shells across the entire drum set.
- Shell Composition – All Birch Wood
- Available Configurations – Various 4-piece and 5-piece setups
- Hardware Upgrades – Improved cymbals, pedal and chain driven kick included
- Price Range – Around $450 – $550
With 100% all wood shells replacing cheaper composite builds, the SP6 sets target wavering new drummers tempted by premium brand upgrades but facing slight budget limitations still.
Let’s break down where these kits hit or miss at this elevated tier given their pricing crawl toward intermediate territory.
Noteworthy Sound Percussion SP6 Attributes
All Birch Builds
The birch wood shells emit expectedly richer, warmer tonality over the SP5 lineup. With higher density birch now across the bass drum and toms, tone complexity improves notably while retaining ample projection suiting most genres.
Sensitivity also increases thanks to the organic construction. Finessed playing activates livelier crack from snares and wider pitch modulation from the mounted toms compared to SP4 and SP5 equivalents.
Protection Extends to Hardware
Alongside the all wood shells, Sound Percussion wisely now adds gig bags for the bass drum pedal and hi-hat stand to prevent stick nicks and dings.
So besides protecting your prized shells, you can safely transport essential hardware to lessons, practice spaces and gigs worry free from damage.
Cymbal & Pedal Improvements
The new ME-751 cymbals shine as well with better balance, far more shimmer and a pleasing bell tone. While budget focused, their cleaner frequencies pleasantly surprised given import quality control roulettes.
The bass drum pedal also impresses for price class with smooth double stroke action right out of the box courtesy of the new chain driven MPS 66 design.
Sound Percussion SP6 Downsides
But expected cost cutting downsides plague certain facets still.
Hardware Holds Long Term Limitations
Generic stands and mounts anchor at the bottom rung of quality tolerances. So while cymbals and pedals improved markedly, items like tilters and wing nuts require eventual replacing when skill level outpaces their budget leanings.
Thus, the SP6 sets best suit patient drummers focused mastering rhythmic technique first before fixating on pro level hardware nuances later.
QC Inconsistencies Creep In
Additionally, production oversight consistency still nags considering their Chinese outsourced manufacturing aims to minimize expenses.
Multiple reviews cited hardware pieces arriving defective or requiring immediate replacement like flaking cymbals, off-balance thrones crumbing underweight and stripping stand bolts.
So expect to likely swap out random parts routinely despite higher baseline component grades overall. Thankfully Sound Percussion customer service quickly dispatches replacement items once alerted. But anticipate occasional lemons when buying gear crafted this affordably.
Sound Percussion SP6 Review – Best Fit Owners
Given the affordable leap to all wood shells AND extra protection for essential hardware, the SP6 sets delight:
- Advancing teen drummers seeking richer acoustic tonality
- Bargain-hunting adults eyeing premium sound on entry budgets
- Anyone wanting mid-tier components without breaking the bank
- Working drummers requiring durable gig bags
For sly intermediate shoppers focused purely on capability outpacing price, these respectable SP6 configurations start rivaling far pricier branded kit offerings.