The Best Drum Thrones - Round - Saddle - Backrest

The Highest Rated Drum Thrones

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One of the biggest factors that dictate how well you perform is comfort. For guitars this means the right strap width and length, for singers a good, solid mic stand at the right height, and for drummers, a great drum throne. We've all heard horror stories of venues and rehearsal spaces with plastic chairs (or worse, wooden boxes) as drum thrones. While many drummers can adapt, it's more often than not, a miserable experience.

A bad drum throne creaks, rocks and poses potential dangers. They're accidents waiting to happen.

A great drum throne is key for maximum enjoyment and peace of mind. Proper playing posture is key to long term comfort. This is especially true with multiple long sets or long recording sessions.

This guide has been updated based on new research we conducted in November 2020. 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

DW DWCP3100

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
DW DWCP3100 3000 Series Drum Throne

The DWCP3100 is a basic drum throne with ample 3" thick cushioning and solid ear casting.

The sturdy tripod base ensures stability and keeps the throne from "bottoming out".

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 13"
  • Height Adjustment Range: 21" to 27"
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Friction

Pros

Many owners that liked it bought it because it was "Affordable" and "simple". Another positive remark commonly mentioned in reviews is the comfort thanks to the plus 3" thick padding and solid base.

Cons

The leatherette material tended to become too warm after a while, according to a few users.

Overall

Looking for an affordable, yet comfortable and stable drum throne to replace an old or cheap throne? The DW DWCP3100 is a great pick on a budget.

Gibraltar 9608

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Gibraltar 9608 Round Vinyl Drum Throne

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.

It's very portable, yet still sturdy enough for larger framed musicians.

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.

Key Features

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

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 solid option.

Gibraltar 9608SFT

95
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$141
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 may find that it offers more support.

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.

Key Features

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

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

98
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$160
Pork Pie Round Drum Throne

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Round Drum Throne.

The Pork Pie Round, 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.

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 this throne is lacking is a memory lock.

Key Features

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

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.

Ludwig LAC49TH Atlas Classic

94
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$169
Ludwig LAC49TH Atlas Classic Round Drum Throne

The Ludwig Atlas Classic is a round seat drum throne with a locking spindle for security.

Double braced tripod legs provide great stability.

The two-tone olive and and blue Ludwig livery gives the Atlas Classic a distinctive look compared to other drum thrones.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: none specified
  • Height Adjustment Range: none specified
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Spindle

Pros

Many praise the Atlas Classic not just for the comfort but the quality. The stitching is nice and thick and the material lasted a several tours. A 6'4" tall user also noted that the throne stays stable despite his stature and weight.

Cons

Lock needs to be tightened firmly for maximum stability.

Overall

Need a solid drum throne with a little bit more color? The Ludwig LAC48TH Atlas Classic is a stylish and comfortable pick.

Best Saddle Drum Thrones

DW 5120

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$150
DW 5120 Drum Throne - Tractor Seat

The DW 5120 is an ergonomically designed, saddle drum throne with a double braced tripod base for excellent stability as well as an oversized locking nut for security.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: 13"
  • Height Adjustment Range: 21" to 29"
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Spindle
  • 1-1/8" full-size double-braced base

Pros

The saddle style DW5120 was noted to be a great improvement over stock thrones. One user with posture issues while drumming quickly felt more comfortable with the DW5120. The plush padding also kept posterior soreness and pressure to a minimum.

Cons

One user noted that the screws tend to wear out if overtightened.

Overall

For an ergonomic drum throne, the DW5120 scores big on comfort and stability. Get it if you need a good, anatomically shaped throne at a good price.

Roc-N-Soc Manual Spindle Original

96
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$189
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.

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.

Key Features

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

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 LSG O-K Lunar Series

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$192
Roc-N-Soc LSG O-K Lunar Series Gas Drum Throne

The Roc-N-Soc LSG O-K Lunar series is a gas lift drum throne with a motorcycle saddle shaped cushion topped with a soft velour flocking for comfort.

The gas shock absorbing mechanism floats your body at the optimum playing position without sacrificing leverage or power.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: not specified
  • Height Adjustment Range: 19" - 27"
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Gas Lift
  • 5 - Point base for Stability

Pros

Many users praise the LSG O-K Lunar Series for its comfort, particularly over long hours behind the kit. The shock absorbing mechanism gets a lots of thumbs up from people who have complained about back problems while performing. People also loved the stability the 5-point base provided.

Cons

Some found the throne to lack portability. Because of the large base, it was hard for some to position on smaller, cramped stages.

Overall

If drumming in comfort and luxury is what you're aiming for, the Roc-N-Soc LSG O-K Lunar Series has got your back in more ways than one.

Roc-N-Soc Nitro

98
GEARANK

98 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$204
Roc-N-Soc Nitro Drum Throne

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Saddle Drum Throne.

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.

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 a nonviable option as a gigging drum throne.

Key Features

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

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

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ 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.

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.

Key Features

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

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 Thrones With Backrest

Gibraltar 9608MB Motorcycle Seat

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$171
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.

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.

Key Features

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

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.

Tama HT741B 1st Chair Ergo-Rider

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$350
Tama HT741B 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Drum Throne with Backrest

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Drum Throne with a Backrest.

The Tama HT741B 1st Chair Ergo-Rider puts stability and and support at the forefront.

Featuring a hybrid seat that takes the best of round and saddle shapes and a backrest, the Ergo-Rider was built to cradle your body to keep your posture as comfortable as possible.

Key Features

  • Seat Size: not specified
  • Height Adjustment Range: not specified
  • Height Adjust Configuration: Spindle
  • Extras: Backrest

Pros

Many users loved how heavy-duty the throne is. Touring musicians that own it swear by how solid it feels on stage for long sets. While others opted not to use the backrest, those who do felt that he lumbar support prevented lower back pain and leg cramps in longer sessions.

Cons

Being heavy duty, it is not as portable as some want it to be, adding a significant weight to traveling. Taller users above 6'3" had trouble with the height range of the throne.

Overall

If you want a heavy duty throne that could withstand the rigors of touring or simply want a throne for long studio sessions, the Tama HT741B 1st Chair Ergo-Rider is worth checking.

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 from 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

The first edition was published in 2017 written by Mason Hoberg and the latest edition was written by Raphael Pulgar and published on November 28, 2020 with additional research and contributions by Mason Hoberg and Jason Horton.

We looked at all the popular and highly rated options available from major retailers in the USA and placed 33 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 7,900 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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