We reviewed 18 different seating setups in search of the best drum throne, and after comparing each model based on design, comfort level, and build quality, the Roc-N-Soc Nitro Throne topped the charts in every way imaginable. With a thick padded bicycle-style seat wrapped in a premium velour material, plus a unique hydraulic shock absorber built into the shaft, this throne is ultra-comfortable and specially designed to reduce leg fatigue and back pain to help you play better and longer. There's even an available backrest attachment for extra support, if you want it. Although its on the higher end of the price spectrum, the Nitro is worth its weight in gold. Article Summary
Drums are one of the most exciting and difficult percussion instruments to master. Among the most important aspects of drumming is technique. Now, this is something you can say for any instrument out there, but this is amplified significantly in the case of drums. In order to learn the proper technique, you have to start from the ground up, which starts with your drum throne. A good drum throne will give you enough support, elevate your body to a very comfortable height, and most importantly, stay that way.
Finding a good drum throne is crucial if you want to be serious about drumming. It might not sound like a tough thing to find considering how many different options you have available, but most of them are what we’d call ‘disposable’ thrones. These are the ones that get all wobbly and pretty much useless after a couple of practice/live sessions. Although their affordable price tag can reel you in, these will undoubtedly slow your progress and end up being more expensive in the long run after you have to continually replace them.
We spent a few days going over different seating setups with the goal of finding the best drum throne out there. In total, we looked at 18 thrones. We reviewed several models of each style (there are two main types: standard round shape and bicycle-style designs) and compared thrones on their comfort, stability, and overall build quality. This lead us to three impressive options, all of which offer phenomenal performance. If you’re a drummer looking for a new throne to call home, we recommend the following models as the top options.
The best drum throne overall
Roc-N-Soc is a brand that is dedicated to providing only the top gear for their customers. When we say top, that doesn’t necessarily mean expensive either. Within their lineup, you can find products which match a variety of price ranges, however most of them adhere to this brand’s relentless quality control. Roc-N-Soc’s Nitro Throne is among the most popular aftermarket thrones on the market, and there is a very good reason as to why it is our top pick as best drum throne.
The whole thing comes down to one simple fact. That is that Roc-N-Soc fully understands what a good drum throne needs to offer. They have designed the Nitro around this ideology of zero compromises, thus giving us a product that doesn’t disappoint. Let’s break that down into details. The first thing you will notice is that Nitro isn’t your standard round throne. Instead, it features what is called a bicycle design. Compared to the standard round shape, this one is far more comfortable for longer playing sessions and offers better support for your back.
Height adjustment is standard and a feature that you would only expect to see on a chair of this caliber. What is impressive about the height adjustment mechanism is how smooth it is. Most lower grade thrones will make a lot of noise when you change the height, not to mention that awful wobbling effect you get when the mechanism’s locking elements start to give way. Those issues are nonexistent on the Nitro.
Here’s another fun fact for you: the reason it is called Nitro is not only because it is a cool sounding name. On the contrary, the name was inspired by a nitrous shock absorber built into the shaft of the throne. Not only does this add support to the entire structure, but it also increases comfort as you are no longer facing resistance as you play. Once you add the thick padded seat, you are looking at a combination that will greatly reduce leg fatigue and improve your overall stamina. For further back support, you can even add a padded backrest attachment.
Another thing worth mentioning is the swiveling action of the seat, as well as the fact that it features pretty heavy stitching. Swivel function is important as it reduces the strain on your back as you twist during playing. There are some pretty great non-swiveling thrones out there, but it’s a common understanding that you definitely want to have this feature at your disposal. When it comes to seat sizes, Roc-N-Soc offers a wide variety, so don’t worry about having to deal with a throne that is too small or too big for you.
Moving down the throne, we see a standard three-prong support setup. Each lag is connected to the shaft with two points of contact. As it is common by now, one of these is fixed while the other moves along the shaft, thus folding or unfolding the throne. An important thing to note here is that the legs are solid. The joint is pretty heavy duty and the connecting bars are all made of durable metal. Lastly, with the soft plastic caps, the ends of the feet won’t damage even the most delicate floors.
When it comes to proper seating, Roc-N-Soc’s Nitro Drum Throne is the best there is. It’s definitely not the most affordable model on the market, but hopping on this thing is like hopping in an old school Cadillac. There’s room everywhere, the ride is smooth and you are as comfortable as you will ever be while playing drums. All of these reasons – and so much more – are exactly why we chose the Nitro as our number one pick.
The best bang for your buck
Next in line, we have a drum throne that comes from Gibraltar. Compared to the Nitro we just talked about, Gibraltar’s 6608 Heavy Drum Throne is a much more affordable and less sophisticated version of the same bicycle-style design. This level of overall quality is the reason why Nitro took the first place and this throne landed second. With that said, Gibraltar also has a lot to offer to its users who care more about getting a great bang for your buck.
Let’s begin with the seat itself. Much like the Nitro, the Gibraltar 6608 features that bicycle type seat. The size is very decent and pretty adaptive, as they have contoured the seat in a way that makes it functional with many different user heights and constitutions. Those cutouts are pretty wide and forgiving. The seat itself is less padded and features regular stitching and materials, as opposed to the Nitro’s premium padding and materials. Even so, the foam they have used is pretty good at forming to your body’s shape, so the comfort is definitely there. The seat also swivels, which is a big plus in this price range.
Below the seat itself, we see a standard shaft that doesn’t feature any kind of active suspension but is pretty sturdy. The outer tube is made of relatively thick metal, making it pretty stable and secure. Tolerances between the inner and outer tube are very tight so you don’t have to worry about the throne wobbling below you as you lay into the drums.
Just like the Nitro, this Gibraltar design features a three prong configuration. The legs are connected to the outer shaft with a set of double-braced bars, making them extremely durable even after prolonged use. Overall, the whole throne gives off a sense of confidence and reliability. It might not be the fanciest one on the market, but Gibraltar 6608 is certainly one of the best value for your dollar deals available at the moment.
Head to head, the Nitro and Gibraltar thrones are not really in the same plane of quality, but each offers a great value in their respective price ranges. Now, figuring out which one of these is the best drum throne for you comes down to how long and how often you play. If you are a session drummer, or someone who gigs pretty often, a more comfortable throne like the Nitro might be in your best interest. On the other hand, if you are just looking for something to use at home with limited performance use, the Gibraltar 6608 Throne is a great choice.
The best throne for those who prefer a round style
Last but not least, we have the affordable DT700 Drum Throne made by Pacific Drums (and designed by DW). Unlike the previous two models we looked into, this one is as old school as it gets. If you’re not into the newer-age bicycle-style designs, this one should be right up your alley.
As you can see from the picture, this seat is round, which makes it a bit more versatile. However, this type of seat design does reduce comfort to a certain extent. That is unfortunately not the biggest issue here, though. This seat does not swivel. For some, that’s a positive, but for most, that’s not ideal. The thing is, when you start looking at this price range, you are bound to run into some compromises. Not having a swivel on this model is just one such case.
The seat itself is nicely padded with a type of foam that is quick to spring back even after longer sessions. Naturally, after a prolonged period of time, the seat might start to deform, but it will be a while before that happens. The stitching and the material used to cover the seat are both average-level. In other words, you are getting the industry standard that is very cost effective while still offering a good deal of durability.
PDP by DW 700 features a standard shaft with manual height adjustment. As you can imagine, there are no shock absorbers or similar gadgets there to take care of suspensions. This is as old school as it gets. With that said, the thickness and the quality of both the inner and outer tubes are great. Their diameter is a bit on the skinny side, but the whole thing is pretty stable no matter what. Legs feature a double bracing design with a bit more space between the two bars that connect each leg to the main shaft. While there is no significant benefit to this design, having the support bars so widely spaced does help with weight distribution.
Speaking of benefits, you have to ask yourself what are the benefits of going with this type of throne over something else. The main thing with PDP by DW 700 is its price. No one will deny that. This throne is one of the cheaper models which still offers a good deal of quality and a decent support. In addition, if you are traveling frequently, this throne might prove to be a good solution. The whole thing comes in at 8 lbs, which is pretty light for a drum seat in general. If you have a car, weight becomes a nonissue, but there are those who need to carry their gear by hand from time to time. If that is the case with you, you probably know how quickly ounces tend to turn to pounds when you have to walk a lot.
With that said, we still believe Pacific Drums’ DT700 should be the final alternative if the previous two models don’t work out for you. This throne, no matter how great it is, lacks some pretty important features which are necessary to put it in the mid-tier range. Without them, we can only recommend this model to those who are on an extremely tight budget or those who just plain prefer the round shape.
Other drum thrones worth mentioning
In addition to the selection we have already shown you, there are several great drum thrones which didn’t quite meet our strict standards when scoring models. We know how thrones can come down to personal preference more than materials and specs, so these can be good alternatives if you feel like none of our main picks work out for you.
On a quick glance, you will probably find the Spinal-G Saddle by Ahead to be pretty similar to the Nitro which we reviewed above. However, it is fair to say that this model is a bit more complex than that. The main difference, aside from some smaller tweaks in design, is how they solved the seat. Instead of being a single piece, they have designed a two-piece saddle which offers individual support to each part of your behind. Naturally, with products in this price range, you are bound to see some aesthetic improvements as well. The top of the seat on Spinal G is covered with a nice red quilt.
Pearl is one of those brands that needs no special introduction when it comes to drums and drumming gear. Their seat, the Pearl D50, is of the more basic variety. It features a round seat with a good enough padding and a pretty stable support. The shafts are thick enough to facilitate prolonged sessions without becoming displaced, while the legs feature pretty solid build. Overall, this is one of the better affordable drum thrones out there.
Much like the Pearl we have just talked about, Mapex is another brand that is heavily involved in the world of drumming. Their Double Brace Round Throne belongs to the entry level range but manages to excel there quite a bit. It’s not that it brings any fancy features, far from it. This is your standard basic round seat design with adjustable elevation. Depending on your preference, it might not be the most comfortable drum throne out there, but what makes it so good is just how well it is built. This Mapex throne will keep up with you even if you are playing a more aggressive music style that has you moving your seat quite frequently.
Things to consider before buying
To those who don’t know any better, drum thrones are just glorified stools that don’t offer any differences from seat to seat. For those with experience, however, we know that this is simply not true. Even so, some people often tend to forget the basics when going shopping for one of these seats. Because of that, we are going to give you a short rundown of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best drum throne for your personal setup.
Let’s be real here for a moment. No matter how versatile or adjustable a seat is, if you are not comfortable using, the whole point of having one is defeated. The first thing you should figure out is what type of seat design you prefer. In our opinion, the best drum throne is one with a modern bicycle style, but you may be one of the people who can deal with a classic round seat. Bicycle seats just tend to be the most comfortable drum thrones because they are ergonomically designed, as opposed to round seats which are more plain.
On a similar note, the amount of padding also plays a big part here. There are drummers who simply can’t stand shallow padding, and require something with a bit more meat to it. On the other hand, there are those who despise thick seats. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, so make sure you know the style that’s going to fit you best while shopping.
Being able to establish the perfect height is imperative when choosing a seat. It is no secret that your sitting height not only dictates how comfortable you will be playing drums, but it also has a huge impact on your technique. If you sit too low, there will be quite significant consequences. The same goes for the other extreme. Once you know what height fits you the best, make sure to look for drum thrones which have a height adjustment range that includes your specific setting. Again, this is a pretty big one so it is imperative that you get it right. Even if you make a mistake, it is better to return that throne and get the one that actually fits you. Otherwise, you will be pushing through limitations with limited success. Not to mention the fact that
While there isn’t a single drum seat on our list that features a backrest, models which have this design detail are plentiful. A backrest on a drum seat is actually a fairly normal thing. It’s there more as a tool that would give you a couple of seconds of relaxation than anything else. You will rarely find a drummer who is using it all the time. On that note, the use of backrest is a completely personal decision. Some like it, other don’t. It is up to you.
Protecting your back and ensuring that you remain healthy, despite how long your session lasts, should be your number one goal. Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position where they can drop a pretty penny on Roc-N-Soc’s high-class seat. If that is your case, it’s recommended to get the best model you can currently reasonably afford and start saving up for a better solution down the road. Even though these things can often times be very pricey, it is your health that is on the line. If you want to remain far from back pain, the ideal way to do things is to get the best drum throne within your means.
Lastly, it is important to determine the quality of the product you are buying. The brands and models listed in this guide have all been proven many different times. However, there are many other lesser known brands which will try to lure you in with their cheap prices and decent looking thrones. The issue here is that the only thing from keeping you away from slamming to the ground is that frame beneath you. Not only can you really injure yourself if your throne fails while you are still using it, but you are simply wasting money on a product that doesn’t give anything of value back to you. That is why we recommend that you stick to trusted brands for this type of gear.
Wrapping it up
In the end, every drummer will go for a throne design they feel most comfortable with. If we are talking about professional drumming, that is a clear cut case. They will demand only the best in terms of performance, which is not all that surprising. Enthusiasts and intermediary players probably won’t commit that far, and will be more than happy with an entry level or mid-level design. We believe Rock-N-Soc’s Nitro the king of all thrones, followed by a couple alternatives that were in the lower price ranges. Figure out which throne works best for your playing style (and your lower back) and you’ll be drumming comfortably in no time.