The DW Design kit is an affordable alternative to some of Drum Workshop’s more expensive catalog. We all know that DW makes fantastic sounding drums, so it’s nice to see a somewhat-affordable line of kits.
Table of Contents
My DW Design Kit Reviewed
I picked up my Design kit recently from Sweetwater. I picked the Black Satin finish—which is my favorite of the bunch.
The kit ships in two boxes (five-piece configuration), and some assembly is needed. The two rack toms come pre-assembled with heads, but the kick and floor require you to put the heads on. The snare also is pre-assembled.
The tension rods fit perfectly in their respective lugs and feel smooth when turning. The build quality is incredible for an entry-level DW line.
Once I got everything together and tuned up, I was so happy when I struck my first note. The floor tom is massive-sounding. The resonance is incredible—sustaining for more than a few seconds.
The bass drum is big and open-sounding. DW ships specialized pillows for inside the kick drum, but I haven’t tried them out quite yet. For now, the kick is big and boomy.
The snare drum is very comparable to my DW Collector’s Series maple snare drum sporting similar dimensions.
The shells are lush and warm-sounding. The stock heads included with the kit are surprisingly fantastic.
Available Color Configurations of the DW Design
DW’s Design kit comes in a variety of different finishes and colors including:
- Clear Acrylic
- Cherry Stain
- Gloss White
- Tobacco Burst
- Black Satin
The Black Satin is my favorite finish of the bunch.
Before the creation of the Design and the Performance series drums, all Drum Workshop kits were made to order like many boutique companies.
DW has excelled once again and is offering a product at a greatly more affordable cost for new and up-and-coming drummers.
DW gets the cost down to a price point that is more affordable for many more people. I know most of us won’t be dropping $7,000 on a new drum set any time soon.
Even though the cost of labor is drastically reduced, the quality of the drums is just as high, as they are produced with similar quality tools and profoundly skilled workers.
The Design Series also offers a wide range of add-on drums to expand the size of your kit.
The drums are hand-picked North American Maple, which is a superb choice of wood for many players. Many of the Collector’s Series drums are also made from NAM.
The Design of the Design Kit
Some things the DW Design does contrarily to other kits from the company includes slightly thicker veneers, different orientation of the grain, smaller lugs, and, according to DW, the sound.
I truly wish the lugs were the size of regular DW lugs, but this is just a small gripe. Despite variations in the build process, the shells sound incredible for the price-point.
Traditionally, DW drums
This results in a thicker shell wall and eliminates the need for the reinforced hoops found on most other DW drums.
DW gives you the option to choose between different sized kits depending on your drumming style and preference.
The DW Design series uses the same shell configuration process known as HVLT (Horizontal Vertical Low-Tension). DW 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
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, Sweetwater usually offers some sort of inter
For around $50 a month, you can have a brand new DW Design drum kit delivered to your door as a nice gift to yourself.
Drum Workshop’s Design Series is a fantastic entry-level option for those looking to enter the high-end drum market. The kit sounds, looks, and plays fantastic.