DW Design Review – An Affordable Kit With Drum Workshop Quality

DW Design – A Superb, Quality, and Affordable DW Kit

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.

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. This kit rings in at an average price of $1,499. 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.

DW Design Series Finishes

  • Clear Acrylic
  • Black Satin
  • Tobacco Burst
  • Gloss White
  • Cherry Stain


Some things that the DW Design does differently than other kits from the company includes slightly thicker veneers, 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 t he need for the reinforced hoops found on most other DW drums.

The DW Design series uses a 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, like we see in the Performance Series.

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 is offering 0% interest for 48 months on basically everything in their store. For $42 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.

DW Design Review
DW Design Series 5-Piece Drum Set
Build Quality9.1
Reader Rating0 Votes0
The "Dream" Touring Kit
Perfect For Beginners and Professionals
Same DW Quality
Amazing Sounding Drums
Lug Design is a Bit Different From Traditional DW Kits
The DW Design series 5-piece drum set is the perfect introduction to the Drum Workshop family. You will find that all the same love and care is crafted into these drums. This is one of our top recommended kits for beginner to intermediate players.