welcome to the forum maximus
first of all, you may want to consider getting a drum set (shells and hardware) and then buying a cymbal pack separately. $1500 is a pretty good budget. most people asking about which set they should buy have a much lower budget. you have many, many options. i will suggest a few kits and cymbal packs, and then you can look around yourself for some and try stuff out at the shop.
as for Tama
is a very prestigious company in the way of hardware, and almost as much so in the way of drums. i am very partial to tama
is what i have played in the past and what i will have for my next kit.
is another drum company, however i have never heard anything positive about their drums without hearing something negative as well. i have been told that they make poor hardware and mediocre drums. i would advise against Ddrum
there are also many other drum companies, you may have heard of some of them, of course.
is a high-end drum manufacturer, but they also make a line of drums called PDP, or pacific
drums. PDP is still relatively new as a company, but they are quickly rising. as they are a division of DW
, the hardware is fantastic and the drums are very good.
is an older brand, but i dont know much about them other than that they are highly respected. the same thing goes for ludwig
as you said, pearl
is a great brand. ive never heard anything negative about them, but for some reason i grew up the opposite of you, being taught that pearl
was a bad company
i know now that they are great, but i still probably wouldnt buy a pearl
kit. i still have a bit of reluctance towards them
two more good brands are Mapex
. both make good kits, but i think sonor
is a bit better.
as for cymbals, just about any choice you make is a good one, as far as brand goes. its when you get specific with lines of cymbals within each brand that it becomes complicated. the big four are Sabian
, and Paiste
. i play paiste
and love them. for your cymbals, just go to the store and test out cymbals to see what you like. i cant advise you on that anymore because its completely preference. like i said, you can find cymbal packs that will make it easier to match sounds and buy all at once.
to better match your needs, it would be helpful to know what genre of music you will be playing. certain companies make kits that sound good in different applications. right now i will assume you like classic rock, due to the mention of peart and of course carmine appice.
also, some woods are better for different genres. birch has a brighter sound, as maple is warmer. alot of companies are using basswood now, too. it sounds more like maple, but it is cheaper. think about the sound you want and try everything.
finally, here are some sets:
Superstar SK Hyper-Drive 6-Piece Drum Set | Complete Drum Sets | Musician's Friend
Drums by DW
FS 6-Piece Drum Set | Complete Drum Sets | Musician's Friend
Vision VBX926FP 6-piece Rock Drum Set | Complete Drum Sets | Musician's Friend
sorry if you didnt need so much information
i dont know how much yo do know and how much yo dont, so i just posted what i thought would suffice.
good luck, hope this helped