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DW Design Series | Premium DW Drums at an affordable cost

dw design series drum kit

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DW are renowned for making premium quality drums. The DW Design Series aims to give you that quality at an affordable price point. 

The DW Design series has become incredibly due to this fact becoming a favourite among many drummers. 

Let’s see what make this DW kit so popular and how they have managed to reach this lower price point.

Who has the DW Design Series been designed for?

The DW Design Series has been designed for players of an intermediate to a pro-level. They feature everything that you love from the premium DW Drums, such as the DW PurpleCore, but at a reduced cost. 

This reduced price point makes them ideal for a hobbyist that is looking for a nice drum sound or a professional drummer who is looking for a reliable and great-sounding kit on the road. 

What shell types are available in this series?

The DW Design Series kits are available in two different materials. A wood shell kit that is made with 100% American maple or an acrylic kit. Lets break down what makes up these two configurations. 

Full maple kits

The DW Design Series maple kits are made with 100% American maple. The shells are made from 1/32″ thick plies. The type of drum varies the number of plies. Due to the extra thickness of the plies you end up with a thicker shell, this means these kits don’t feature a reinforcement hoop inside them. 

Shell plies: 

  • Bass drum – 8 plies
  • Tom (8″) – 7 plies
  • Toms (10″-18″) – 8 plies
  • Snare – 10 plies

The shells are constructed using DW’s HVLT™ technology that you will find on the premium DW Collectors Series Kits. This is the process of how different orientation grains are used to construct the shells. 

Horizontal long-grain plies give the shells structure and raise the pitch of the drum. vertical short-grain plies have almost no structure but have a very low pitch. 

DW Design series drum kit maple shells explained

Combining these plies gives you a full resonant tone. Due to this these kits are ideal for a wide range of musical applications and genres. 

What hardware comes on the kit?

DW has become known for creating incredible hardware as well as drums. For example, the DW 9000 Bass Drum Pedal is considered one of the best chain drive pedals amongst drummers.

The toms feature the STM™ (suspension tom mount) holders. These feature on the premium line DW Collectors Series kits. They have minimal contact with the shell allowing them to resonate freely.

The lugs on this brand are brand new for this line. They are a mini turret lug which is the same in appearance as the lugs you will see on the Collectors Series Kits. The only difference is that they are smaller. This allows more of the shell finish to be shown whilst maintaining the classic DW aesthetic. 

The Design kits also feature the DW triple-flange hoops on the toms and snare with the snare also having a MAG throw-off.

The out of the box heads on the kit is the DW Heads by REMO. These are produced by REMO in their Taiwan factory. 

What configurations are available in the DW Design Series?

The DW Design Series kits come in a 4 piece configuration as standard.

  • 22” x 18” Bass Drum
  • 10” x 8” Rack Tom
  • 12” x 9” Rack Tom
  • 16” x 14″ Floor Tom

 These kits are available in the finishes:

  • Cherry Stain
  • White Gloss
  • Tobacco Burst
  • Black Satin
  • Steel Grey

Extra sizes can be ordered to make your kit unique for your desired sound.

Frequent Flyer Kits

The DW Design Series Frequent Flyer Kits have the touring drummer in mind. If you are often travelling or playing smaller spaces, this kit has been designed for you. It features everything that makes the Design Series great but comes in slightly smaller sizes and with lightweight hardware to make transportation easier.

dw design series frequent flyer drum kit
  • 20” x 12” Bass Drum
  • 12” x 8” Rack Tom Drum
  • 14” x 11” Floor Tom Drum
  • 14” x 5” Snare Drum

These kits are available in the finishes:

  • Cherry Stain
  • White Gloss
  • Tobacco Burst
  • Black Satin
  • Steel Grey

These kits give you excent DW sound with that extra portability that makes your life a bit easier. 


The DW Design Series Mini-Pro Drum Kit is designed as a high-end drum kit for younger players. When children are learning to play the drums one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the size of the drum kit.

dw design series mini pro drum kit

Other manufacturers do have smaller drum kits for kids but the sound quality is sacrificed in achieving the smaller kit. The DW Design Mini-Pro aims to fix this by providing the smaller size with great sound. 

The Design Mini-Pro is available in the following sizes:

  • 16” x 14” Bass Drum
  • 10 x 6” Tom Drum
  • 13” x 9” Floor Tom Drum
  • 12” x 5” Snare Drum


  • 18” x 14” Bass Drum
  • 10 x 6” Tom Drum
  • 13” x 9” Floor Tom Drum
  • 13” x 5” Snare Drum

These kits are available in the finishes:

  • Tobacco Burst
  • Black Satin

DW Design Series Acrylic kits

If you are looking for a head-turning kit look no further than the DW Design Series Acrylic kit. This is a great looking kit that has a stage presence. 

dw design series acrylic drum kit

It features all of the great hardware as on the other Design Series kits but rather than the maple shell, you are getting a 5mm thick seamless acrylic shell. 

This kit is available in the following configuration:

  • 22″ x 18″ Bass Drum
  • 10″ x 8″ Rack Tom
  • 12″ x 9″ Rack Tom
  • 16″ x 14″ Floor Tom
  • 14″ x 5.5″ Snare

The DW Design Series Acrylic kits have a fat sound and are worth considering if you are looking for something a bit different.

Check out this video of Gerald Hayward playing them. Considering this is just audio from a GoPro, they do sound incredible.

DW Design Series Extras

The DW Design Series also features some interesting extras to help spice up your kit. 

Black Nickel Over Brass Snare

The DW Design Series Black Nickel Over Brass Snare features everything the Design Series has to offer but rather than the maple shell you are getting a rolled 1mm, bead-reinforced, all-brass shell.

This is a great looking snare that packs a punch at this price range.

Available in:

  • 14″ x 5.5″
  • 14″ x 6.5″

Pancake Gong Drum

If you have always wanted to add a gong drum to your kit but didn’t want something that took up too much room, this is an option for you. This features everything you find on the design series bass drum but with only one head and tom mount. 

This is only available in a flat black finish making it a nice addition to any finish kit.

Pancake Gong Drum size:

  • 20″ x 2.5″

Even at this smaller size it still packs a punch.

Pancake Bass Drum

This DW Pancake Bass Drum is essentially the same as the Pancake Gong Drum but with bass drum spurs and a kick head as standard. 

Pancake Bass Drum size:

  • 20″ x 2.5″

Concert Toms

The DW Design Concert Toms feature everything you will find on other Design Series maple toms but they have no bottom heads. They are also only available in Satin Black and are sold in pairs.

Sizes available

  • 6″ x 5″ and 8″ x 5″


  • 8″ x 5″ and 10″ x 5″

Although concert toms aren’t as popular as they once were, it is good to know there are some high-quality DW ones available.

Rata Toms

The DW Design Series Rata Toms are made from 5mm acrylic shells. Concert toms seem to be going through a rival at the moment and these would make a nice addition to any kit.

All the Rata toms are 6″ in diameter but are available in four different depths. 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″.

Piccolo Toms

The DW Design Series Piccolo toms were designed with the legendary drummer Terry Bozio. These are made from chrome-plated steel and are 2.5″ in depth. These are available in three different sizes. 8″, 10″ and 12″.

Is the DW Design Series kit good value for money?

In short yes. For under $1700 (£1500, €1600) you are getting a lot of drum for your money. Almost every part of the kit matches up against the premium DW Collector Series kits. 

The main two differences are the smaller lugs and the cheaper heads that come as standard on the kit. When you eventually replace the heads with a premium brand of your choice, you will have an exceptional sounding drum kit.

The final thing DW has done to lower the cost is to offer up these drums in a limited number of finishes. If you like one of the finishes available you are getting a great kit for the money.

What other drums kits are available at this price?

There are a few other options to consider around this price. This has become an increasingly popular price point for drummers leading to manufacturers giving better quality drum kits at amazing value for money.

We recommend checking out the Tama Starclassic Performer or Pearl Session Studio Select drum kits. Like the DW they are jam-packed with incredible pro line features with an incredible sound.

What are our thoughts? 

The DW Design Series kit is a beauty. You are getting a professional sounding kit packed with premium kit features. It sounds great, it looks and it won’t break the bank.

There is also an amazing selection of add ons to make your setup unique to your style of playing. 

If you have been wanting to buy a DW Drum kit this is a great place to start. 

The author

I’ve been playing the drums for over 15 years and I still love them! I am mostly a metal drummer but I am currently working on groove and applying rudiments to the kit!

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