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Old 05-31-2017, 11:08 AM
Ziemniak Ziemniak is offline
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Default Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

Hello :)

I've always been interested in learning to play the drums, and since I live in a family house with neighbors and everything, I figured Electronic drums would be a wise choice, being smaller and quieter.

Since I have absolutely no drumming background, I'd like to purchase a beginner's drumset - nothing too fancy.

The most important attribute for me is portability/compact size, as well as good build quality & durability (I wouldn't want the set dying on me within 2 months).

Since I live in Israel, I don't have as many choices and am forced to buy from Local stores who tend to really overprice stuff (import/taxation/whatever). I currently have it narrowed down to 5 options and would appreciate your insights:


1. Alesis DM Lite - costs $500 here, it's very compact, but kinda looks like a toy and from what I've seen and read it's oriented more to kids? It also doesn't look sturdy at all and I'm afraid it'd break down on me.

2. Behringer XD8USB - costs $620 here, it looks more serious than the Alesis DM Lite, however I'm not sure about its quality and size in comparison to Roland/Yamaha/Alesis. I've read mixed reviews about this one.

3. Alesis Nitro Kit - costs $700 here, It's got great reviews and looks like the ultimate beginner set - however it seems really overpriced for some reason, and it's also probably the biggest&heaviest of the bunch - might be somewhat of a pain to move around?

4. Yamaha DTX400K - costs $730 here, only $30 more over the Alesis Nitro Kit but possibly a better set overall? Not sure how it compares to the Roland TD-1K (which we'll get to in a minute) both sound-wise and size-wise but I guess it's a close call.

5. Roland TD-1K - costs $800 here, looks like I can't go wrong with this one in all aspects (quality, size, durability) - however it's obviously the priciest. Is it really worth the investment over the former sets?


I greatly appreciate your help and hope you could share some insights regarding the above drumsets :)

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Ziemniak; 05-31-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:46 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

I'd get something cheap.. None of the beginner ones sound amazing.

You can use midi and get better sounds with a program l like BFD3 or superior drummer also.

That being said. If you stick with it upgrade. Either switch to acoustic as it is a completely different instrument. or upgrade to a new electric. The high end ones sound really good.
You could use it as a reward for practicing and improving.

Also check the used market.. Much better bang for your buck. I got a roland td-11 for close to to what a td-1 would have cost new.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:58 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

You are in the same position that many of us were in. You want to spend ~$500 on something that is not trash or a child's toy. You want at least one non-hard-rubber pad to practice rudiments. You want a real BD pedal and not a piano pedal.

Sadly, that kit simply does not seem to exist. I ended up with a DTX 532K which was the cheapest package that met my minimum requirements.

I wish I had a better answer. Please ping if you find one.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:17 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

You buy the E-kit.
You learn some stuff.
You realize they're not real drums.
You yearn for the sound and feel of an acoustic kit.
You begin Googling everything you can to justify your E-kit purchase.
You come to the conclusion that acoustic drums are the best way to go.
You sell or trade-in the E-kit.
You buy the acoustic drum set that gets your juices flowing.
You obsess over your new drum set.
You play non-stop on your new drum set.
You take lots of pictures of your new drum set.
You have more fun with your new drum set.
You learn more with your new drum set.
You gain more confidence with your new drum set.
Life's good with your new drum set.

You can get the E-kit, but it'll only be a stop-gap until you come over to the other side. :-)

I'm speaking from experience!!
Gretsch Catalina Maple Drums / Ludwig Supraphonic Snare Drum / Paiste Giant Beat & 2oo2 Cymbals
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:07 PM
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electrodrummer electrodrummer is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

Two can play that game ;)
  • You learn some stuff.
  • You buy the E-kit.
  • You know they're not the same instrument as an acoustic kit, in the same was as your guitarist knows his electric guitar is not the same as an acoustic guitar, the bassist feels the same way, and the keyboardist knows his Korg is not the same as the Steinway he learnt on (but is much lighter and more flexible)
  • You can't believe how much more flexible the e-kit is in comparison to an acoustic and start to set things up all over the place without the physical and sound limitations associated with acoustic drums. Six snare drums for a middle-8? No problem. Meanwhile, the keyboardist is making string sounds and the guitarist is squealing like a bagpipe.
  • You come to the conclusion that you made best decision ever to not live in the last century in the same way the guitarist, bassist and keyboardist moved on in 1958.
  • Sound guys love you.
  • The audience loves you.
  • Your hearing loves you.
  • The band's hearing loves you.
  • You obsess over your new drum set.
  • You play non-stop on your new drum set.
  • You take lots of pictures of your new drum set.
  • You have more fun with your new drum set.
  • You learn more with your new drum set.
  • You gain more confidence with your new drum set.
  • Life's good with your new drum set.
  • You play e-kits for decades from pubs to the largest club in the world with nothing but compliments from every audience.

30+ years of live electronic drumming!
*** Never buy a module without MIDI IN! ***

Last edited by electrodrummer; 06-02-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:19 PM
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w3r1_drums w3r1_drums is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

ehhh I agree that acoustic sets are better and you will eventually want one after you get the chance to play one
I'm no expert, but the alesis kit will be enough to get you started, the one thing to worry about is pad size. I had a cheaper alesis (DM6) kit that I played for a couple years. After the first year it had some problems (the hi-hat became not as responsive, and some of the pads would start shifting around - the latter I think is my fault because I don't tend to tighten nuts and bolts and screws and stuff super tight). The pads and kit size were good for me because I was 11 when I started but now it's kind of small.

I would go with the Nitro kit but if you can, play everything and get what you like

The good thing imo from owning an electric kit first is you can use it later on after you buy the acoustic set as a set of practice pads and for extended practicing if the neighbors can't stand the noise of the acoustic set for extended periods of time - happened to me once last summer, a neighbor asked me to stop playing! I don't remember how long I was playing for but it was a bit of a long time. That's a story for another thread tho
My bands: We Are One, Twelve Foot Shadow, Natural Disaster
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:57 PM
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lefty2 lefty2 is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

I just recently bought a Nitro kit for under 300 dollars. I've only used it for one rehearsal with my band, and a couple of times at home. My first impression of it is, it's a great cheap kit. It has good sounds and responds pretty good as far as dynamics go. It also has learning features on board. I've not used any of that.(I've been playing 40+ yr. lol.) I think that it has lots of beats that you can play along with, and metronome. Probably some other learning features also. I think it would be a great first kit. But again, I haven't had it very long. Looks like they are selling for $300 on the net. Mine was an open box deal. However it didn't look like it was ever opened.
Tama SC performer 2003 5pc.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:49 AM
l0gan5 l0gan5 is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

Avoid the DM Lite at all costs, it is complete and utter rubbish.

Think of playing Rock Band on an Xbox 360, that's the kind of customer this product is aimed at.

Are there no 2nd hand kits you can get hold of over there? If there are, I'd set your sights on a better kit for the same budget ala BeyondBetrayal/Kamak's post.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:30 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

for your first kit ever just get a used ekit or a super cheap one..

I feel like if you want it to even sound half decent you need top end ekits for thousands of dollars.. otherwise just find the cheapest one that feels good when you play it.. The Roland and Yamaha are well built tanks so used is always a good option.

it is different and in time if you stick with drums or enjoy it you can buy a cheap used acoustic kit and some junk cymbals. If you STILL like drums you can now upgrade either your ekit or Akit.

I own 3 acoustics and an electric.. the wife prefers when i practice to use the ekit, but i jam with my bands on the others. Different tools for different jobs.

oh. and with a cheap crappy ekit you can put on a VST like superior drummer, or bfd3, or steven slate drums (google those vsts if you don't know what they are) and get amazing sounds from a PC or laptop.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:40 AM
Outlaw Pilot Outlaw Pilot is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

To actually answer you original question, I'd recommend the Roland with the understanding that you'd be buying their least sophisticated brain. If compactness or portability is the primary concern, there's another low-end Roland kit with a very compact folding rack - though the one you selected is also extremely small.

I have been playing drums for over 40 years, mostly acoustic - which were just called "drums" back in the day :) - and now I swear by my Roland TD-30 kit... as do my wife and my bandmates.

If you end up taking drumming seriously you owe it to yourself to try acoustics as well. But don't let anyone tell you electronic drums suck. I now enjoy no-compromise volume control, and the ability to make my drums sound like the band we're covering song after song. All while getting the same physical workout I've ever gotten smashing away!

The TD-30 is, of course, a long way away from the TD-1 you're considering so there will be an evolution if you a) stick with drumming, and b) choose to stick with e-drums.

Mesh heads would be very much superior to rubber, practice pad-type heads though. If possible, you might want to consider a used kit on eBay. You could find the same kind of portability plus maybe mesh heads and a better module and still be within your budget.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:37 AM
FuturSound FuturSound is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

I really like the Roland brand but it is a bit expensive. You could always start with a cheap brand like Legacy. Then if you are happy to continue then upgrade to a Roland or Yamaha.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:52 AM
Sevenchaos Sevenchaos is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

If you like to do stuff yourself, you could do like i did.
My 4yo son has started to show interested especially for the drums. Everytime when we go to my studio he wants to bash those drums so i decided to buy him his own drum fo xmas present.
So i bought Ludwig's questlove pocket kit, piezos and mesh heads.
I did triggers using this guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Byq9zh9g7aM i didn't have those cones so i just used heavy'ish foam and cutted them to barrel shape.

Then i just cutted wood bars so that they fit inside the drum shells and screwed u-bars and bought little longer screws so that they will stick to drum lugs.

You can buy DM5 module second hand for around 100's so total budget should be less than 500.

Here is kick drum trigger before the foam.

Here is dual zone snare

And i didn't want to drill any holes for the shells so i cut holes to resonant heads and used contact glue to stick jack plates on to them. Works great
Here is photo

Here is the whole set. I had 2box brain, cymbal and pad lying around so i used that brain ofcourse. But you could do it mostly any brain youll find out.

I also used that pocket kits cymbals, put some rubber on to them and installed piezo near the center and metal mesh closer to edge so it works as dual zone cymbal. Seems to work great.
I also modified 2 box own hihat. Took off the controller board and put it in plastic case, glued magnet at the bottom of the pocket kits kick drum pedal and added 1 stereo jack too so i can use it with any 2 zone e cymbal. Seems to work great and little kid'o is very happy.
He can keep the beat when he bashes Ftom and snare and sings at the same time :D He's songs are about monsters and Lego Ninjago :D

Those WHD mesh heads arent so bad or bouncy but im going to order drum-tecs real feels atleast for snare.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:00 AM
FunkyJase FunkyJase is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

Being a beginner myself and having just bought an electric kit, I feel qualified to give it a review from a beginners perspective. To be fair though, I am a gigging bass player so Im not totally new to good drum tone...

So I have the Alesis Crimson II which I bough for the sole reason that my neighbours are probably already sick to death of hearing slap bass and thumping solos from my back room so an acoustic kit may actually push them over the edge. I live in Australia so there's no real threat of bullets flying through my back window in retaliation but we do have knives and big sticks here ;-)

The Alesis Crimson II has mesh heads which Im told are very close to real drum heads. Not completely true but they are a lot better than the rubber pad version. I learn on an acoustic kit with my teacher and then come home and practice on the Alesis. It is VASTLY different from an Acoustic kit. The main difference is it's responsiveness. There's really no way you can get as many recorded tones and sounds packed into a module at this price range that can come close to the sounds available on an acoustic kit. The high hats are different in this regard too. I also find that the zones on the ride are difficult to change between. If you want the bell sound on the Alesis you have to be very precise how you hit it.

That said - i still love it. I whack on the headphones and Im good to go. For a beginner learning how to get my grooves together and get good separation and independence with my hands and feet - it's pretty awesome. It's all adjustable with a real kick pedal (a remote high hat controller though) and a real snare stand so it's probably a bit closer to a normal kit in that regard as opposed to the kits that are all on a frame with remote pedals like the Roland TD-1k...

Would I gig with it?
Hell no... well maybe at a school fete or something he he

Is it good for a beginner?
Hell yeah! It looks great - has some great sounds and feels great to play

Does it make me want an acoustic kit?
Absolutely but it will ALWAYS be in my back room even if i do one day spring for an acoustic kit... which Im already GASing for... My wifes gonna kill me but she may have to get in line behind my neighbours he he
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:18 PM
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Beefsock Beefsock is offline
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Default Re: Please help me choose a beginner's Electronic drumset

I am no expert and have only ever purchased 1 set of drums - 3 months ago.

After spending quite a bit of time on line and in quite a few stores in my city - 6 of them - I purchased the Roland TD1KV.

It was the best bang for my buck.

I live in a condo (will buy an acoustic set for the cottage one day) so I didn't want pedals ringing into my floor and it has a mesh snare.

Easy to play and set up and I am happy as can be with it.

I can imagine in 5 years moving up to another full mess head set, but we will see where this adventure takes me first.
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