DW Design Review – An Affordable Kit With Drum Workshop Quality

Drum Workshop Design Review

The DW Design kit is an affordable alternative to some of Drum Workshop’s more expensive catalog. They are able to achieve this by building the kit in Taiwan. It does include chrome hardware and the STM tom mounts that DW is known for.

Prior to this series and the Performance series, all Drum Workshop kits were made to order like many boutique drum companies. They really have outdone themselves again and are offering a product at a much more affordable price for new and up-and-coming drummers.

DW Design Series 5-piece Shell Pack - Clear Acrylic
4 Reviews
DW Design Series 5-piece Shell Pack - Clear Acrylic
  • 5-piece Shell Pack with 10" and 12" Rack Toms
  • 22" Kick - Clear Acrylic
  • 14" Snare Drum

As I said, the drums are made in DW’s Taiwanese factory to keep the cost low. Whether or not you agree with the ethics of a company doing this, they are able to get the cost down to a price point that is more affordable for many more people. I know for a fact most of us won’t be dropping $7,000 on our new drum sets any time soon.

Even though the cost of labor is drastically reduced, the quality of the drums is just as high standard and they are produced with similar quality tools and experienced workers.

One set back is the add-ons for this series of kits are limited, to say the least. These drums are hand-picked North American Maple, which is a superb choice of wood for many players. Even some of the Collector’s Series drums are made from NAM.

The Design of the Design Kit

Some things that the DW Design does differently than other kits from the company includes slightly thicker veneers, the orientation of the grain, the lugs are smaller, and, according to DW, the sound. That’s not to say that these drums sound, bad. They sound incredible for the price-point.

Traditionally, DW drum are made with 1/36″ veneers, but the DW design shells are made of a thicker veneer, measuring 1/32″. This results in a thicker shell wall and eliminates the need for the reinforced hoops found on most other DW drums.

HVLT Shell Configuration

The DW Design series uses the same shell configuration process known as HVLT (Horizontal Vertical Low-Tension). This utilizes an arrangement of vertical grained inner, horizontal outer and cross- laminate plies mixed together.

It’s new to the series and John Good believes this process is what gives the DW Design the inital attack and articulation. The snare drum included with the drums is the only drum configured with the traditional HVX ply configuration as we see in the Performance Series.

Add ons

Drum Workshop is currently offering a set of concert toms, a piccolo tom, a pancake gong drum, an 8″ tom, and a 14″ floor tom for add-ons. Also, if you’re in the market for a DW Design drum set, Guitar Center is offering 0% interest for 24 months on basically everything in their store.

For $63 a month, you can have a brand new DW Design drum kit delivered to your door as a gift to yourself this holiday season.

If you need a kit that’s a tad more affordable, check out my Tama Imperialstar review.

Featured image courtesy of Christina Rutz on Flickr.

Hey there fellow drummer, thanks for reading the post. I’ve got a private Facebook group called Drum Junkies. It’s made up of people just like you and me who are sharing pictures of their drum kits, talking about industry trends, and sharing tips about drumming. I’d love for you to join! Here’s a link to the group; we’ll see you on the inside.

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