Which Brand Is Better? Dw vs Tama [Advice for Drummers]

When looking for a new drum kit it’s most likely that you stumbled upon both of these brands.

DW and Tama are industry leaders and have been making amazing kits for decades.

You couldn’t go wrong with any of these, but it’s important that you know clearly what each one has to offer.

If  you’re looking for a quick answer about this topic, here it is:

The main differences between DW and Tama drums are that DW drums are high-end, American-made, more expensive drums catered to advanced players that look for customized kits, resulting in a higher price. Tama drums are made in China and Japan, cater to a broader audience, and are a great off-the-shelf option.

If you want to stick with us for a bit longer, in this article we will talk about what makes each of these brands great, and then we will remark their main differences. Finally, we will give you our insights into which one we think might be better for you.

Are you ready to get started?

Let’s go!

DW drums brief history, quality, and overview

DW drums

DW drums or Drum Workshop is a company based in California, founded in 1972.

Nowadays it specializes in high-end drums and offers a lot of customization possibilities to its customers.

As you can expect, these drums are not cheap, and they don’t even intend to cater to the beginner or intermediate audience. They don’t have any entry-level products. That’s their business.

However, if you’re willing to break the bank and get any of DW products, you won’t be let down. Their quality is exceptional and that’s why many pro players choose them.

The options on their kits are limited for their more affordable products, however, customizations and alternatives increase when you look at the top tier of their catalog, such as the Collector’s series.

As a final note, all DW drums are made in the USA.

Tama drums brief history, quality, and overview

Tama drums

Tama is a Japanese drum company started in 1974 that, since then, has taken over the world.

This brand offers products for a broader audience. From affordable to intermediate drumkits to the top-of-the-line Starclassic series.

Many players gravitate towards this brand because of its extended lineup and the possibility to find different kit configurations at almost every price point.

Tama’s headquarters is located in Japan and there are all the designs and decisions made. Their most affordable products, however, are manufactured in China. Some of the Drums destined to the US market are assembled in Pennsylvania with imported parts.

Higher-end lines such as the Star series are produced in Japan.

Bubinga is Tama’s most iconic wood of choice and I completely recommend you try it out. It’s the brand’s staple and what defines its character.

This brand is an excellent choice if you want to get an amazing off-the-shelf drumkit and not bother thinking about customizations.

Main differences between the DW and Tama drums

When we talk about these 2 brands the main difference that will come to my mind is, of course, price. DW products start at Tama’s highest price levels.

And as I said earlier this price disparity is on purpose. DW focuses its business on the higher end of the spectrum and in offering customers custom drum kits.

Tama, on the other side, is more an “off-the-shelf” brand, that offers you more options at different price levels that you could mix and match or even take as they come without worrying too much. The quality is there.

I think that the difference noted earlier is the best argument to make when comparing these 2 brands.

DW is focused on offering their customers custom options at higher price points, while Tama offers more affordable variety and high-quality amazing kits, with less focus on customization.

As a finishing point about these remarks, Tama has the bad rep of having longer delivery times than its competition, so be aware of this when mixing and matching your drums.

Which one should you choose?

Here in GearAficionado, we don’t like making decisions for you. Getting a new piece of gear is always a very personal process that you should transit on your own.

We always encourage you to try out everything personally, if that’s possible for you.

You won’t get the same information from an article or a YouTube video as if you were to hit the drums yourself.

What we can offer you, however, is our opinion about what we think different kinds of players would like about each of these 2 drum brands.

Here are our insights into which you might prefer:

  • If you are on a budget you should surely look at Tama drumkits
  • If you want a custom kit tailored to your needs, check out DW’s lineup
  • If you want an off-the-shelf great quality drumkit, give Tama a try
  • If you value getting hardware made in the US, check out DW
  • If you can wait for longer delivery times, Tama might work out for you
  • If you can afford a top-of-the-line drum kit and you’re looking for exceptional quality, get a DW set