Best Drum Throne 2020 – Play Better and Save Your Back

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best drum throne is, then I’d recommend the Roc-N-Soc Nitro Throne as the best option.

As drummers, we mostly rely on two things to sound in our best: comfort and our level of strain. Today we are going to talk about something that enhances both and helps us a lot in long term drumming: drum thrones.

When we are young, a drum throne is not something we care about. What we really care is about our cymbals, how loud our drum set sounds.

Only when we start to feel our legs stain or even our back hurting, we realize how a good posture is important, and then finally, drum thrones come to mind.

Something really surprising is that drum thrones can ever matter more than just comfort and avoiding pain. Drum thrones significantly affect a drummer’s practice with best drum practice pad and a drummer’s footwork, especially when using a double-bass pedal.

In this guide, we are breaking down the best drum thrones out there, and in the end, we will choose the winner.

Here are the drum thrones we’ll be reviewing:

  Best Overall Budget Backrest Mobility Comfort
Brand

ROC-N-SOC Nitro

PDP By DW – PDDT700

Gibraltar 9608MB

Pearl (D930)

Gibraltar Pro Oversized 

Height 18-24″ 20-25″ 20-28″ 18.59-25.98″ 21-27″
Seat Shape Motorcycle Style Round Motorcycle Style Round Motorcycle Style


What differentiates a drum throne

So, you know how important a drum throne can be and need to buy one. To do this correctly, you need to know what factors are important to you and what isn’t so much.

Backrest

An option when buying a drum throne is the backrest. Some will say it’s a waste of money, but it isn’t.

Do you have back problems as I do? If yes, a drum throne with a backrest is a must for you. It’s a compelling feature to maintain a proper posture.

You probably won’t lean back all the time. But it’s good to have it by your side when you need it.

In my experience of 29 years as a drummer, I can say it makes your life much more comfortable, especially in long gigs (6+ hours).

But it isn’t all good. If you like to move your body a lot, a backrest will make it slightly harder. 

When we talk about price, it’s higher than the drum thrones without backrest. But It’s worth to prevent back pain in your future drumming years. Save your back.

Seat

This part is crucial because the drum throne seat isn’t removable like the backrest.

There are two main configurations of seats: motorcycle style and round. Neither is better than the other; it’s down to personal taste; it depends on how they sit and are built. Your experience matters most (If possible, try to make an effort to try both styles).

The round throne is more basic, and it’s also the most popular. It’s the authentic drum throne. Many drummers claim it’s the best option because their cylindrical shape makes them move better when playing and encourages a better posture.

Motorcycle style thrones are bigger than the round style. They are often more comfortable and productive in reducing strain. That’s because of it’s more significant weight distribution and shape – that allows an extra room for your legs, greater comfort for extended periods playing. Are generally preferred by the larger/heavier drummers, which would include anyone over 240 lbs.

Material

The material of drum throne seats has a significant impact on its durability. The better are the ones that use a high-density foam – that doesn’t become uneven over time. Different brands use a diverse variety of materials within the cushioned seat. But this matter is also down to personal taste – as the pillow of your bed. 

Just make sure you buy your drum throne from a well-known brand with a good reputation. 

But don’t worry, all the choices in this article are quality options. 

Swivel

To swivel or not? The big question.

Some drum thrones have a smooth swivel action, so the drummer can rotate their body to play the entire kit, making the feature pretty useful. Be aware of your preference when buying a drum throne. If you like to feel more in control of your movements, a swivel throne can be really annoying. 

Height

There are four main types of height adjustments. The first three are good, but the last one PLEASE try to avoid.

Pneumatic Height Adjustment

The newest and most advanced mechanism available in the market. Found on the top-tier drum thrones. The Pneumatic Height Adjustment works by using pressurized air to lift and lower the seat. It makes the height change extremely precise by only pushing its flat tab. There are two issues here. The first is durability, as what happens in office chairs: the cylinder that allows the throne up and down adjust over time, and after excessive use, the seal in the cylinder starts to wear out and leak, causing the drum throne to sink. The second issue is that some drummers complain that seating in a throne “feels like you are floating.” Overall It’s an excellent option, but don’t expect the mechanism to work for decades.

Friction Knobs

This excellent method is simply a hand-turned screw that holds the throne to a specific heigh using friction. It’s straightforward to use and excellent for making fine adjustments (not as easy as the Pneumatic). The flaw of the design is that it can wear out – but it’s an easy fix, doesn’t need to change the entire mechanism.

Spindle Height Adjustment with memory

A very simple to use mechanist, it works by spinning the seat in both directions – depending on how you would like to adjust the heigh. It offers excellent stability to the drummer and also allows you to make fine adjustments to the height.

Nut & Bolt

The last type (that I don’t recommend) uses a nut and a bolt to hold the throne in place. This mechanism is usually found in cheap drum thrones. It limits you to a selection of height options; if you are taller than 6’2, I suggest you try one of them before buying. Another flaw with this mechanism is that it breaks easily. Last year (2019), I played in a Church (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and wasn’t using my drum set; after the third song, the throne broke, I felt on the ground. I had to finish the gig seated in a chair, not the most pleasant experience in the world – it happened because one of the little holes on the mechanism wore out and bent the structure.

We’ve searched through many different products and chosen five different models to compare. Take a look through all pros and cons for each one to find your best drum throne.

1. Best Drum Throne Overall – Roc-N-Soc Nitro Throne

Key Features:

  • Height Adjustment Range: 18-24″ Tall
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism: Pneumatic Height Adjustment
  • Seat Shape: Motorcycle Style

This throne is one of the greatest. To get started you must know that Roc-N-Soc has a really good reputation; they’ve been one of the leaders of the drum thrones market since 1987. If someone knows how to build good quality drum thrones, its Roc-n-Soc.

Also called “The Aston Martin of Thrones” or “The King of Thrones”, this throne features a contoured motorcycle seat cushion with a nitrogen gas shock absorber that helps prevent back and leg fatigue during those long jam sessions. 

The pneumatic lift is terrific to adjust your heigh with precision, allowing a quick 1-handed height adjustment. The mechanism eliminates all the grease and metal dust from screw-up spin seats. But be advised, for some drummers, the pneumatic lift can take some getting used to.

This throne is build to last. It features solid hardware, and it swivels from right to left with ease making it easy to play, especially if you have a big kit. The seat is firm for double bass support and also extremely comfortable.

Some drummers complain about the seat that rocks a bit, and as a result, it tends to creak. Definitely not a big deal, but it can become a problem in a studio setting.

Another complaint is that some users accidentally hit the lever causing you to drop while playing. Suppose you think that may be an obstacle to you. In that case, the Gibraltar Pro Oversized Motorcycle Style Throne (also reviewed by us) can be a solid option.

Overall, buy this with the optional backrest, and you will never worry about back pain again. This is a throne made with the comfort of drummers in mind. 

Fun fact: Some reviewers love using this throne at gun clubs when shooting at benchrest matches.

Fun fact 2: The pneumatic mechanism doesn’t let your kids accidentally change the height of your throne when they decide to spin it repeatedly.

Pros:

  • Nitrogen gas shock absorber
  • An optional backrest is available to purchase separately
  • Available in black, red, and blue
  • Swivel
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable
  • Recommended for people over 250 pounds.
  • Comfortable for 4+ hours sessions

Cons:

  • Expensive in comparison to other drum thrones reviewed
  • Heavy

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Budget Option – PDP By DW Drum Throne (PDDT700)

Key Features:

  • Height Adjustment Range: 20-25″ Tall
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism: Hand-turned Screw with Preset Heights
  • Seat Shape: Round

Built to perform for working drummers, this is a high-quality drum throne made by PDP hardware and Designed by industry leader Drum Workshop.

Some of the great features of this drum throne are a lightweight and stable under-seat metal X brace with sturdy double-braced legs, and also large rubber feet—which makes this throne a really sturdy option and really easy to transport between gigs, fold down the legs, and take off the seat if you want.

The height adjustment mechanism isn’t infinitely adjustable. It has preset heights with holes drilled into the main tube. It looks like a friction knob adjustment but it is similar to a nut & bolt adjustment – not the most recommended mechanism.

The main feature of this throne is its price. In comparison to other thrones in the same price range, it’s the sturdiest you can get.

Unfortunately, it’s not the most comfortable for drumming sessions of about two hours or more. Some drummers complain about pain in the lower back or tail bone area, depending on how you sit.

Another disappointing thing about this drum throne is there is no swivel—feature that can limit your motion in a large drum kit. So we can definitely say that this drum throne isn’t made for players who enjoy moving a lot.

Be aware that the minimum heigh adjustment range from 20″ can be too high for some drummers shorter than 5’4″. If you are taller than 6’3″, I recommend you upgrade to the PDDT800; this other model can be adjusted to 28″.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Lightweight
  • Really easy to transport

Cons:

  • No swivel
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism isn’t reliable
  • Comfortable only for 2-hour max sessions

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Best with Backrest – Gibraltar 9608MB Bike Seat Style

Key Features:

  • Height Adjustment Range: 20-28″ Tall
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism: Spindle Height Adjustment with memory
  • Seat Shape: Motorcycle Style

This throne is made by Gibraltar, a leading manufacturer of accessories and hardware for percussionists. One of the most inventive producers out there. 

Gibraltar achieved a good reputation with various artists using its hardware on their drums (like Chris Adler of Lamb of God’s, Luis Conte, and Aquiles Priester). Since 2014 they became part of DW (Drum Workshop).

The Gibraltar 9608MB Bike Seat Style with Backrest features a firmly padded seat, comfortable through long sessions. The anti-slip velour like fabric is cool and much more comfortable than vinyl. It’s a sturdy double-braced throne developed to withstand the roughest treatment between gigs.

You can adjust its height by spinning the top in either direction and lock it in place, an excellent mechanism.

Another great thing is your back will thank you for its adjustable backrest; which provides good lower back support. Another pleasant characteristic is that the backrest easily swivels when you turn as it is attached to the seat.

Its firmly padded motorcycle-style seat is comfortable through long sessions, and it also leaves room for freedom of movement of your legs, a nice feature especially in double-bass practicing. 

Something disappointing about this throne is that users over 250lbs noticed a slow bend developing in the backrest. And a small part of reviewers complains that the backrest is too far back to provide support while playing.

Be aware If you want to use this throne for activities that require leaning your body backward. Make sure the three-leg stool is positioned so that one leg must point backward; otherwise, the seat ends up unbalanced, and you can experience a backward fall.

Overall, this is the best throne if drummers are looking for a throne with a backrest for a fair price.

Pros:

  • Swivel
  • Reliable Height Adjustment Mechanism
  • Comfortable for 3+ hours sessions
  • Durable
  • Adjustable backrest

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Most users find it difficult to set up

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Best for Mobility – Pearl Drum Throne (D930)

Key Features:

  • Height Adjustment Range: 18.59-25.98″ Tall
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism: Friction Knobs with Memory Clamp Included
  • Seat Shape: Round

The last throne we are reviewing is made by Pearl, based in Japan, a family-owned company in the market since 1946. Well known players like Ian Paice, Joey Jordison, Mike Mangini play Pearl.

This well-made throne features a pretty thick seat that makes it comfortable for sessions over 3 hours. 

Some of the great features of this throne are lightness and stability, only possible because of its Pearl’s Signature Trident Design Tripod. So it makes independent playing easier when not struggling for balance. 

Pearl utilizes friction knobs as the height adjustment mechanism of this throne, which makes it really easy to set up with only one hand. As its height adjustment range starts at 18,59″, this drum throne is also recommended to the youngest drummers.

Something really cool is the option to swivel or not, a feature not available in most drum thrones out there.

Another feature is that it comes with memory clamps on the stem and base, ideal for a quick set up and break down.

Drummers over 230lbs complain that it’s height adjustment mechanist struggles to keep its adjusted height in use.

Pros:

  • Swivels or lock in place
  • Comfortable for 3-hour + sessions
  • Lightweight
  • Has a stop lock for security
  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Not recommended for drummers over 230lbs

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5- Best for Comfort – Gibraltar Pro Oversized Motorcycle Style Throne

Key Features:

  • Height Adjustment Range: 21-27″ Tall
  • Height Adjustment Mechanism: Spindle Height Adjustment with memory
  • Seat Shape: Motorcycle Style

A remarkably good drum throne also designed by Gibraltar. This one is for those who value comfort at most; some players describe that this throne “feels like buddha.”

It’s an oversized seat with a luxurious Cordura top and vinyl edges. It is deeply cushioned, perfectly sculpted for support, a good looking and comfortable seat. 

One of the most exciting things about this throne is that the slightly flocked material feels soft, grips really well, and does not add noticeable warmth. Its a drum throne that is fully assembled in less than 5 minutes.

Just like the ROC-N-SOC Nitro Throne (also reviewed by us), this is a terrific throne if fatigue is an issue when playing for long hour sessions.

Its height adjustment mechanist is just great. It works by spinning the seat in both directions to set up the throne’s height with precision featuring a friendly memory lock system, really easy set-ups. And yes, the seat swivels comfortably. A drummer can entirely focus on performance without distractions.

Are you looking for an extremely sturdy throne that will last for many years? You found it, and won’t be disappointed.

In opposite to Pearl Drum Throne (D930), this throne is a great option for drummers over 210lbs. It’s really outstandingly well-built, and its motorcycle seat gives a great sense of secure balance.

A disappointment is that all this size and comfort comes at a price. The price is its weight. This throne is the heaviest we reviewed with 20 pounds. Not the type of throne to move around quickly.

If you prefer a large backrest, check the Gibraltar 9608MB Bike Seat Style with Backrest (also reviewed by us).

Pros:

  • Well-built
  • Easy to set up
  • Recommended for people over 250 pounds.
  • Durable
  • Swivel
  • Comfortable for 4-hour + sessions

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Premium price

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Conclusion

There are many drum thrones to go along with it that it can be an overwhelming decision to make. We hope this article has helped ease that decision a bit for you.

One of our favorite drum thrones that we have ever reviewed and the winner of this roundup is the Roc-N-Soc Nitro Throne.

It’s the best of all of them. Extremely comfortable, a great choice for long sessions, and as we said previously – it’s definitely made with the comfort of the drummer in mind. 

Roc-N-Soc quality, the nitrogen gas shock absorber, and the height-adjustable from 18″ – 24″ and other excellent features are why we picked this as the best drum throne.

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