Help for first kit.
Wonderful forum here. Been reading quite a bit about your experiences.
Let me give you a preamble about myself before the nitty gritty:
As a kid I learned piano cause all my friends were playing that. I never really gave it a thought when choosing which instrument to play. I played a little jazz as that's what my dad listened to. I stopped playing piano after 5 years cause it just wasn't popular. It wasn't often in the music I listend to.
So all forms of music playing stopped through my many university years. I of course continued to enjoy listening to music.
Finally my professional life has stabilised and I now have some time for music. Talking with my friend who recently picked up his guitar again, I realised that I too felt like returning to playing some form of music. He tried to teach me the guitar but my fingers were all wrong and unaccustomed to the various movements. So I tried drums. I picked up some sticks and a practice pad and I tried it out. I took a few lessons and it really piqued my interest. I then bought some instructional DVDs and I think that this hobby could be really fun for me. I'll still be taking lessons in the new year, but the DVD's will continue to be my alternate teacher when I have less time. I've gotten to the point where my practice pad is no longer sufficient for my ramblings. I now have the pad set up on a stand, a hi hat and a practice bass drum. But in the DVD, the guy now uses the toms and such; and thus my need for a kit.
I listen to different styles of music but I definitely enjoy rock, swedish death metal in addition to old school rock and roll. I like jazz, blues and classical. Pop music is more in the waste bin for me. But there are exceptions. Some bands that I like : Red Hot Chili Peppers, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, The Smashing Pumpkins.
So now I've been exploring my local kijiji and craigslist for some electronic kits. I initially wanted an acoustic set, but living in a condo for the time being, that might not be the best of ideas. Also, I'm a bit of a night owl, so being able to play at midnight is a definite bonus. After speaking with a vendor, he recommended Roland or Yamaha, though he seemed to prefer Yamaha.
After looking over your posts and conferring with the classifieds and the stores, these seem to be my options:
Roland TD-9 (maybe...)
Yamaha DTX 540
Yamaha DTX 700.
Now I haven't actually banged away on these kits in the store and that is obviously the next step. But having looked at the specs, these are my findings:
I'd like all mesh if possible though it's not a deal breaker for the rubber pads.
A hi hat on a stand would be fun to give it a better feel. The module obviously has to sound good and be able to teach me the proper time. Roland seems to have some software that would be good in that resepect.
Roland's modules also seem to have better connectivity to a PC than the Yamaha modules.
Also the TD-11KV has double bass drum possiblities vs the Yamaha which relies on usurping the hihat.
Is the TD-11 module that much more superior to the TD-4 or the Yamaha modules?
Here in Canada, I'm looking at 1900 dollars fot the TD-11KV new, about 1500$ fot the TD-4KX2S, 1200$ for a used TD-4K, 2500$ for a Yamaha DTX700 new or 2000$ for a used one possibly. I can't find the DTX540 at the moment.
I'd like to know your opinions on these sets as they would relate to a beginner but a beginner who is very interested in playing on a long term basis. Also know, that I'll probably get an acoustic set at some point, though probably in 10 years time.
How do I know if I'm getting a good used deal? At 70% retail price? Is there anything specific I should look at when looking at used e-kits?
Any thoughts, ideas, commentary or links would be very appreciated.
Re: Help for first kit.
If you can afford it, I'd get a new kit instead of used. It's just my personal opinion, but I like having the warranty and the knowledge that no one else mistreated it in the past.
I bought the Roland TD-11kv drumset recently and I love it. The reason I chose it over the Yamaha is because the sound module is so much more intuitive. I liked how easy and user friendly it is. There is almost no reason to read the manual because it literally is common sense (not saying you shouldn't read the manual). For example, if you want to record, just hit the quick record button. You're also right in that it connects to the PC easily with a USB cable or a flash drive. I've connected it to my PC and used the program Finale Songwriter. Finale was a bit of a headache to set up but after I figured it out it works nicely. The presets sound good but I quickly made my own drumset and it sounds amazing. You can tweak a lot of the settings .. down to how much snare buzz you want to hear when you hit another tom. I also liked the cross stick feature. That's something you will turn on with the press of a button when you first get it, but it's nice to be able to play it like a real drumset. Also, I think it's worth mentioning that the double bass trigger is the smoothest, most natural feeling electronic bass drum pad I've ever played. I play a lot of doubles and it's almost effortless with this setup. One draw back is that it tends to walk away from you no matter how you set the spikes. I have my set facing a wall and I just put a wood block on the floor to keep it from moving. Works perfectly.
I've played quite a few other electronic drumsets and was never extremely impressed until this set. For my price range, it's perfect and sounds amazing. It even feels nice to play. Here's a link to the video demo that sold me.
Re: Help for first kit.
Hi, since somehow you are discussing about TD-11KV, I just recently aquired one. But i'm noticing something on the snare mesh pad, somehow there are hits that seems weak despite being hit well. This occurs ussually when hitting the snare with two sticks or slightly adjucent two hits. Does anyone experienced or encountered this kind of situation while using TD-11KV? got any tweak advice to remedy it?
Re: Help for first kit.
I was also looking for some nice electronic drum kits on the market but since I had no previous experience, I decided to rent some kits first (on monthly basis) and see how it works and what is important to me and my drumming style and needs. The first kit I rented was brand new "Yamaha DTX-450" (all rubber pads). I loved the natural sound of the factory preset kit called "Maple Custom". But other than that, I was not very impressed. Pedals were hard to adjust and the pedal for hi-hat controller was making some squeaky sound (I guess it was the spring). Also the bass drum kick pad was pretty hard and it felt like the beater was hitting the concrete wall. Not very comfortable or natural. So after this experience I decided to try out some other kits. Just walked into some musical instrument stores and tried a couple of them - Yamaha and Roland, with my own headphones ("Sony MDR-XB800", great bass). And then I settled on Roland TD-11KV, all-mesh pads and nice sound module. No regrets at all so far. There was another candidate I seriously considered - KAT kt2. It's a new brand, I read some great reviews, the price is much lower than Yamaha or Roland kits, its sound module has tons of predefined kits (like 45) and individual instruments to choose from (like 510 different sounds in total for all drum pads). The downside was that there was no local customer support here in Canada (only in the US) and also it has only all-rubber pads. On the other hand, I really loved the features of Roland TD-11 sound module, the ability to connect a USB thumbdrive with my own MP3s and play them along with drum kit (without need for any external MP3 player).
My recommendation is - go out and try some of those kits and see which one you like the most.
Re: Help for first kit.
I really like the build quality of Roland, and I do note that you don't have to spend quite that much on the TD-11KV. It's $1599 at Long and McQuade, but of course you will need a throne and kick pedal, and then there's the tax. However, you might be able to hit a weekend sale at Tom Lee. I got my TD-11KS for $999 (the going price), but they had a weekend promo that gave you free $100 of in-stock gear, so you can get sticks, throne, or pedal etc. depending on what quality you want.They had this deal twice in the last month (Fri./Sat./Sun. only) and they said they are trying to clear stock before the March 31st end of year, so maybe this coming weekend? The TD-11KS is rubber toms, of course, and mesh snare. One point to note: Tom Lee has all the Roland models, but most are not on their website. Also, Axe Music in Alberta has very good pricing with no shipping charge.
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