Re: Roland vs Yamaha vs Alesis?
at my band's rehearsal space we have a Roland TD-11 kv with all mesh pads. It's good, I've grown to like the mesh pads, but the hardware has a tendency to slip a bit. And I'm not crazy about the built in sounds. It's not my kit so I'm not going to get into reprograming or tweaking it.
At home I have an older Yamaha Dtxtreme IIS which I picked up used for $1200. Totally different league to me. Actual real Yamaha rack and Hardware. The drums are all are rubber 3 zone pads, so on the tom I get a tom sound, on the lower rim I get a rimshot tom sound, and on the high rim I can have a cowbell or any other sound that's in the module. I also prefer the sounds in the yamaha to the ones in the roland. My only complaint about the yamaha is the rubber snare tends to give me blisters on my left hand after a long session of playing with the band. I don't get them on my right hand or when practicing alone. I really like the new yamaha TCS pads. I prefer them to the Rolands mesh, but this is different for everyone.
The best recommendation is to try the different pads and see what you like the best. The snare pad is the one that makes the biggest difference to me. For the rest rubber is fine if you want to save some money. Expanding - the yamaha has more inputs, and the add on toms and cymbals are generally cheaper as well.
I haven't used a modern Alesis kit so have no opinion there.
Gretsch Catalina Maple Amber 7 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals