The Best Drum Thrones - Round & Saddle

The Highest Rated Drum Thrones

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Your playing experience is decided just as much by your accessories as it is by your actual instrument, and there’s no better example of this than drum thrones.

This guide has been updated based on new research we conducted in November 2019. If you’re looking for the best drum throne, check out the recommendations below.

If after reading through those you’re still not sure which drum throne is right for you, check out the section “Things to Consider When Buying a Drum Throne” to get more information on what makes a good drum throne.

The Best Drum Thrones

Best Round Drum Thrones

Gibraltar 9608

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 650+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Gibraltar 9608 Round Vinyl Drum Throne

At time of publication this was the equal highest rated round throne along with the Pork Pie Round.

The Gibraltar 9608 features double braced legs, rubber feet, and an adjustment range of 20” to 28”.

When compared to high-end drum thrones the 9608 is a bit minimalistic, but if you don’t need a backrest or a spot to stow extra sticks that might actually be a good thing. The throne is very portable, yet still sturdy enough for larger framed musicians.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 13"
  • Height Adjustment Range: 20” to 28”
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Memory Lock

The 9608 also comes with a “memory lock”, which allows you to set your preferred height. Then, when you disassemble the throne for transport you can snap it right back to the level it was previously.

The threaded construction (which means you have to turn the stand to adjust the height) ensures that once set the throne won’t slip down to a lower height.

Pros

The 9608 is a very strong and sturdy throne that large numbers of drummers have been gigging with for years and years without any damage or failures - this holds true for those who are on the heavy side. Many drummers say this is the best 'value for money' option available.

Cons

A very small number of drummers didn't like the padding saying it was too soft, but those complaints were from years ago and there have been no consistently reported negatives about this model in the last 5 years.

Overall

If you want an affordable throne that will last longer than your shells and you don't need a saddle or back support, then this is a great option.

Gibraltar 9608SFT

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$130
Gibraltar 9608SFT Softy Drum Throne

The Gibraltar 9608SFT is essentially the same throne as the 9608 above, with the only difference being that the seat of the 9608SFT is softer than that of the 9608.

It has a bit more give, so some musicians may find that it offers more support.

Key Features

  • Height Adjustment Range: 20” to 28”
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Memory Lock, Soft Seat

The only thing to worry about here is that if it has too much give for how you’re built it could negatively impact your posture and possibly cut off circulation.

Though this is going to vary based on how you set the height of your seat relative to the length of your legs.

Pros

Drummers who own this say it is soft, very solidly built and durable. Many of these reports came from drummers who are over 250 lbs.

Cons

Fewer than 4% of users felt the seat wasn't soft enough, although it wasn't clear if they had waited until after a bit of use to get past the break in period. Other than that there were no consistently reported negatives by users.

Overall

If your current throne feels too hard after long gigs or practice sessions, then you might find relief from this softer seat although it may take a few sessions to be properly broken in.

Pork Pie Round

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$160
Pork Pie Round Drum Throne

At time of publication this was the equal highest rated round throne along with the Gibraltar 9608.

The Pork Pie Round Drum Throne, while at first glance pretty standard, has a pretty unique feature that a lot of other drum thrones lack. Rather than just using foam, the Round Drum Throne uses a combination of therapeutic-grade gel (like what you’d find in a shoe insole) and memory foam.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 14.5"
  • Height Adjustment Range: 21.5" to 28"
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Gel/Memory Foam seat

This combination is a bit controversial, with musicians either loving or hating it based on how they position themselves on their stool. However, this combination of materials does provide a seat that is both firm and supportive.

As far as hardware is concerned, the Pork Pie Round Drum Throne features a level of quality you’d expect from a throne in this price range. The legs are all double braced, and the joints and metal are of a high-enough grade that they’ll hold up to consistent play and practice. The only thing lacking in this throne is a memory lock.

Pros

As you'd expect due to its high ratings, the vast majority of users are very impressed with the Pork Pie Round. Many say that this is the most comfortable throne they've used even after long sessions. Quite a few with lower back issues also say this one helped with that once they changed over. And it does get a lot of praise for quality construction.

Cons

Only about 5% of users didn't find this throne was comfortable enough for them. Some say it's a little on the softer side, so consider a different one if you like a very firm seat.

Overall

Pork Pie Round thrones have been generating lots of positive feedback over a decade so you can be sure this is a reliable and sturdy option.

DW 9100AL Airlift

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 80+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$230
DW 9100AL Airlift Drum Throne

Drum Workshop has always been highly regarded in the field, their hardware especially. The brand is synonymous with quality, and the DW 9100Al Airlift Drum Throne is a perfect example of this.

Key Features

  • Height Adjustment Range: 20” to 27.5”
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Hydraulic
  • Extras: Optional Backrest (Sold Separately)

The throne uses a hydraulic lift system, making raising and lowering it as simple as pressing up or down on a lever. The throne is also very well made, with its double braced legs being one of its stound-out features.

While the throne is great for home, the inclusion of the hydraulic lift system may make it a bit too heavy to be practical as a gigging throne. It does fold up into a pretty manageable package, but if you’re going to be gigging consistently you may want to go with something that’s a bit lighter.

Pros

The hydraulic lift system makes height adjustments on the go a breeze. Long term users, including drummers with above average weight, say this is very solidly built. Having an additional double-braced leg adds to its strength and stability, although 3 legged thrones are stable enough for most drummers.

Cons

There are a handful of reports that the stand makes some squeaky noises with one user going so far as to say they wouldn't use it when recording, but this wasn't mentioned in 97% of user reviews. One downside mentioned by a few professional drummers is that the seat is not designed to be removed for transport so it might not fit easily in your current road case.

Overall

If you'd like the convenience of easy height adjustment and don't mind a little extra weight, then this is a good choice.

Best Saddle Drum Thrones

Gibraltar 9608OS Oversized Motorcycle

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$145
Gibraltar 9608OS Oversized Motorcycle Drum Throne

Another member of the Gibraltar 9608 series, the 9608OS is a saddle style drum throne. Basically, this means that the drum throne is modeled off of am old-style motorcycle seat.

Beyond that, there aren’t any features that differentiate the 9608OS from other members of the series.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 17"
  • Height Adjustment Range: 20” to 28”
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Memory Lock

As implied by the name, the seat on the 9608OS is oversized. The padding has more give than your standard drum throne, so it may be a good fit for someone looking for a seat with more cushion.

The only thing to be wary of is that because you sink into the seat more it may impact your circulation, though this risk is offset by the saddle design.

Pros

This is a favorite with many heavy drummers who appreciate the larger saddle size in addition to its solid build. But it also gets many thumbs up from regularly sized drummers who find it both reliable and comfortable during long sessions.

Cons

There aren't any consistently reported negatives by drummers.

Overall

This is a better option for those who want a large saddle.

Roc-N-Soc Manual Spindle Original

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$173
Roc-N-Soc Manual Spindle Original Saddle Drum Throne

The Roc-N-Soc Manual Spindle Original Saddle Drum Throne offers a great combination of affordability and quality.

Key Features

  • Height Adjustment Range: 18” to 24”
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Optional Back Rest

The throne is very solidly built, and the wide saddle-style seat is great for a variety of different builds and body shapes.

The hardware is also of a quality that you would expect from a throne in this price range, so you won’t have to worry about it failing you mid gig.

However, the Manual Spindle Original does seem to have a shorter max height than many of the thrones on this list. If you’re of an average height, somewhere around 5’10, or shorter you shouldn’t have any issues. But if you’re on the tall side you’re going to want to go with a different throne.

Pros

Comfortable and durable are two words that drummers use consistently to describe the Roc-N-Soc Manual Spindle Original. Many of the positive reports come from drummers who use it every day.

Cons

A small number of owners say that the rubber feet aren't durable enough and that they can break, but that was from less than 2% of reviews and those were written several years ago so it doesn't seem like it's a current problem.

Overall

This is consistently compared favorably with Gibraltar thrones, however if you don't want the manual spindle then consider the slightly more expensive Roc-N-Soc Nitro.

Roc-N-Soc Nitro

98
GEARANK

98 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$183
Roc-N-Soc Nitro Drum Throne

At time of publication this was the highest rated drum throne including both round and saddle options.

The Roc-N-Soc Nitro uses the same seat found on the Manual Spindle, and as far as the majority of the hardware is concerned it’s essentially the same product.

The only difference between the two is that the Nitro uses a nitrogen shock absorber and height adjustment mechanism.

Key Features

  • Height Adjustment Range: 18” to 24”
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Hydraulic
  • Extras: Optional Back Rest

The cool thing about the height adjustment mechanism on this throne is that it allows you to adjust your height from a seated position, which is great if you need to make fine adjustments mid gig. Its inclusion does make the Nitro a bit harder to transport than the Manual Spindle, but not to the point where it’s an unviable option as a gigging drum throne.

Pros

Many drummers say this is the best drum throne they've owned. The shock absorber get the thumbs up from many who say this option is more comfortable than manually adjusted thrones. It is sturdily built and last for years even when regularly transported for gigs.

Cons

Only 1.5% of reviews are critical which is impressive compared to most other drum thrones. A couple of users have reported problems with the shock absorber and height adjustment system after extended use.

Overall

If you're looking for a saddle throne that is more comfortable than most, then put this at the top of your shopping list.

Ahead Spinal G

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$210
Ahead Spinal G Drum Throne

The Ahead Spinal G is built from the ground up to support your back and pelvis. This isn’t going to have an impact on your playing in the short term, but as you play the ergonomic seat will help to reduce muscle fatigue and possibly even injury.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 18"
  • Height Adjustment Range: Not Specified
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: N/A

Something that surprises a lot of musicians is that you can actually damage your body playing an instrument. It’s not really a labor intensive activity (when compared to other activities that cause long term damage, like manual labor jobs), but if you don’t use proper technique and have bad posture you can actually cause a repetitive strain injury in your back or arms.

You’re still going to need to warm up and stretch, but with this throne you increase your odds of preventing an injury that could either keep you from playing or hold you back from performing at your best.

Pros

This gets a lot of praise for having a very comfortable seat which the center cut-out helps by taking pressure of your tail bone. Some drummers describe it as having the perfect balance between firmness and softness with a number of them adding that this is the most comfortable throne they've owned.

Cons

We had to look very hard to try and find negative reports - there were only a very small number and they were primarily about shipping issues.

Overall

If you have problems with tail bone pain, particularly when standing up from a long session, then it's worth giving this design a try as many others have done with great success.

Best Drum Throne With Backrest

Gibraltar 9608MB Motorcycle Seat

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$185
Gibraltar 9608MB Motorcycle Seat Drum Throne

Another member of the 9608 series, the Gibraltar 9608MB Motorcycle Drum Seat Throne combines the fantastic features found in the series with the extra support of a back rest.

Key Features

  • Height Adjustment Range: 20” to 28”
  • Height Adjustment Configuration: Friction
  • Extras: Back Rest, Memory Lock

If you need the extra support, the 9608MB is actually a pretty good bargain. The throne is actually cheaper than buying a different member of the series and a back rest separately.

Beyond that, there isn’t a reason to buy this throne over another member of the series. There aren’t any features that differentiate it from other models in the series beyond the backrest.

It still comes with the great hardware the brand is known for, as well as the memory lock mechanism.

Pros

Positive reports primarily came from drummers although a few keyboardists and guitarists also gave great feedback. The wingnut locking mechanism is well regarded because it prevents dropping or sagging while playing which can happen with some thrones that use friction alone to maintain height.

Cons

There were several negative reports from non-drummers who bought this to use as a guitar stool and weren't happy with the level of comfort (although there were also guitarists who were quite happy with it), but these reports were far less frequent from drummers. Most of the negative reports from drummers were about the back-rest not being positioned or adjustable to where it can properly support their back, and a few who felt the seat could have had more padding.

Overall

If you need additional back support, and your playing style doesn't have you leaning in to the kit where the support is ineffective, then you aught to find this an improvement over your regular throne.

Things to Consider When Buying a Drum Throne

If you’re not sure which drum throne is going to be the best fit for your needs, check out the sections below!

Comfort

There’s an old saying that you should spend more on the things that separate you from the ground, because in the long run the extra expense will pay off. Now that generally refers to shoes, tires, and mattresses but the same idea holds true for drum thrones.

Think about it this way, if you practice/play for an hour a day you’re sitting on your drum throne for 365 hours a year. That’s the equivalent to sitting for 15 days straight. The average person spends a ton on their mattress and their sofa/recliner, so why not invest in your drum throne too? You’re going to be spending a lot of time on it.

And that comfort is going to pay off in more ways than one. Something that you realize as you become more advanced as a musician is that a lot of your technique comes down to the subtle movements of your muscles. If you’re playing in an uncomfortable position, or in a way that limits your flexibility, your range of motion is going to suffer. This is going to result in sloppy technique, or even long-term damage if your playing position strains your body.

Round vs. Saddle

There are two configurations of seat on drum thrones: round and saddle. Round seats are cylindrical, while saddle seats are shaped more like a motorcycle seat. Drummers generally have a strong preference for one type or the other, depending on how they’re built and how they sit.

The only thing that you really need to keep in mind is that depending on how you sit one type of seat may cut off circulation to your legs during extended playing sessions. In this case, it’s best to spend some time on both types of seat to figure out which is going to be most comfortable for you.

Hardware

Drum thrones are pretty simple pieces of equipment, but if you plan on gigging you’re going to want one that is built with quality hardware. Low quality metal can strip or bend, resulting in a seat that is unstable and unreliable.

The quality of the bracing is also important. Bracing reduces the force exerted on an area, but too much bracing makes a stool unwieldly. This is why a lot of the nicer stools use double bracing. Double bracing uses two thin braces to create a compromise between strength and portability.

Seat Firmness

The material your seat is made of also has an impact, though it’s a subjective issue. A good analogy would be the type of pillow you use. I like firm pillows, some people like soft pillows, some people sleep without pillows entirely. It’s a combination of your preference, the condition of your back, and the techniques you utilize.

Height Adjustment

There are two main methods of height adjustment on drum thrones, friction knobs and hydraulic.

Friction knobs are hand turned screws which use friction to hold your seat at the desired height. The cool thing about friction knobs is that it’s really easy to make fine adjustments. And if you mark you’re preferred height it’s a snap to bring your throne to the desired height consistently. The flaw of this design is that it can wear out, and it’s a bit more labor intensive to make adjustments than it is with the gas pedal design.

Hydraulic adjusters are another method of height adjustment. In addition to drum thrones, they’re also commonly found on office chairs. They have a flat tab, and you push them down to raise the seat and lift them up to lower it. This method of height adjustment is easier than friction knobs, though it can be harder to set it to a consistent level when tearing down and setting up.

The standard male height is 5’10, so if you’re roughly that height the majority of seats are going to suite you just fine. If you’re significantly taller than this, there are specialty stools available (though they may require some independent research). Users as tall as 6’3 report being able to use seats with an adjustment range of 20” to 28” comfortably, so a maximum range of 28” will be sufficient for most individuals.

Portability

Portability is one of the main features you should look for in a drum throne, and the reason it’s coming last in this article is that you have to compromise between portability and the features above. The more portable a stool becomes the more it sacrifices comfort and stability, with the inverse being true as the stool becomes less portable.

Deciding what balance of features you need is a decision that starts with portability, but you need a knowledge of the other factors at play before you can make an informed decision.

Best Drum Throne Selection Methodology

This guide was first published on September 14, 2017 written by Mason Hoberg and the latest major update was published on November 12, 2019 with additional research and contributions by Jason Horton.

We looked at all the popular and highly rated options available from major retailers in the USA and placed 23 of them on our short-list for closer examination - you can see the list in our Music Gear Database. Then we collected feedback from over 3,900 ratings, reviews and comments from retailers, forums, blogs and videos which we used to report on the Pros and Cons of each one in our recommended list above in addition to processing them with the Gearank Algorithm in order to produce rating scores our of 100 for each one. Finally we selected the highest rated options in each of the 3 categories above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

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