£450 Budget - Used Yamaha or New Alesis?

MBP13

New member
Hello All,

I'm looking at getting an e-kit and have seen a few things i'm interested in with a budget of about £450 absolute max. I am happy to buy used and the main uses will be practicing, home recording and getting ready to one day move on to an acoustic kit when my living situation allows.

Things I'd like but not set on:
  • 3 symbols, 3 toms
  • Proper hi-hat stand
  • A mesh or silicone head on snare and maybe bass drum
  • Fold up flat
  • On the quieter side if possible
  • Recording with Pro Tools
  • Multi-zone on as many drums/cymbals as possible
  • Double bass pedal compatible essential, included with kit optional
  • Reasonably customisable in terms of placement so I can find what works best
Some kits I think might be good are:
- Yamaha DTXpress IV Special: Selling about £300-450 on Ebay but very old. Is the age an issue? Does it hold up well or should I look at a comparable kit that's newer by Yamaha or Alesis?
- Yamaha DTX532K: Looks like it has exactly what I need but will need to get a good deal for it to fall in my price range.
- Alesis kits: Seem to have a lot of positives such as affordable mesh kits but often missing a few of my criteria above.

I am aware the Roland's should sound best (perhaps except the Yamaha's cymbals) but I think to get a Roland in my price range I will have to compromise on a lot of the things in the list above (particularly the hi-hat stand). After doing some research it seems that if I am ruling out Roland, I am basically left with Yamaha or Alesis as my best options. I have heard a DTXpress IV and am happy with the sound it has so anything from there or up is fine. Therefore I don't think I need to go Roland unless I can get a really great deal.

I know I can probably get a good deal on something if I'm patient but I'd like to get one soonish, so I don't want to wait and hope on something much better coming up exceptionally cheap.

Are there any things I should ask/check for when buying used? Are there other kits I should look for that are usually the same sort of price? I'm hoping for something with a base kit that covers most of my desirable things as I don't have a lot of time to research all the individual pieces to look at customising the kit or buying a customised used kit (and this may cost more).

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
What I found is and what I've heard from a good source is that often you may end up spending more and in some cases a lot more than you planned in order for your needs and requirements to be met. This can apply to other stuff in life unfortunately as well. As you are probably aware electric drumming is an expensive business (especially Roland / Yamaha although I heard they last) and even more so than acoustic at least at the lower or even intermediate end generally speaking. If you're serious about your drumming and therefore your needs chances are you'll need to spend the cash. Yeah it's a bit crap that you need to spend it but you could end up paying more in the long run by not investing now. I got my 2nd kit that met most of my needs but I was made to pay for it alright. That said if it does that and lasts it maybe worth it in the long term. It could also keep your options open for the future. You could get a cheaper kit now and that's great but it may not sort you longer-term either quality or needs wise or both.

You could maybe get a good deal second hand but personally I'm not convinced. The more expensive stuff (Roland / Yamaha) can keep its value which is better for the seller rather than the buyer unless you got a really good deal which is less common. You also don't know what the previous owner(s) has been doing to it or for how long including any faults. Some sellers could also be perhaps a little less honest than they should be. You will also have no warranty at best a couple of months if bought from a shop which will be charging even more than eBay. You can get 3 years warranty on a new kit and 2 years interest free from PMT. I heard Roland / Yamaha were ok second hand then I saw Roland modules with LCD fading faults. Maybe particular models are better than others fault wise. I'm not sure if electronic stuff generally second hand is a great idea or even more so than some other second hand stuff. It can be ironic in life that by going cheap / cheaper you can end up paying more in the end than you would have by making a reasonably good choice first time or by paying cheap / cheaper getting just that and it not possibly sorting you out. I realise it can be tough making a reasonably good choice first time but should pay off longer term. Life can be like that. Upgrading / replacement parts I've found can be really expensive as well at least with new stuff. One new upgrade / replacement part and not even anything massive can be that expensive that you may as well buy another kit that has the upgrade etc. Again this can apply to other stuff in life but especially stuff like this.

You seem to have a lot of needs which isn't necessarily a bad thing and you want the kit soon on quite a low budget as electric drumming goes unfortunately. I realise £450 is a lot of money but not at least in the new electric drum market unfortunately.

It's only my opinion and some of my needs are different than yours but if you can save more cash up and afford to do this (as well as having perhaps a bit more patience which isn't always easy I realise) then I would. I'd get a new kit that met most of my needs generally speaking and of course the more important and crucial ones with the warranty and interest free. Yes you will pay for that but this method (and investment) in my view will sort it and get the job done well and for possibly the longer term. You'd need to further research and try the kits out though both new or second hand. I guess in a shop it's easier to do that pre-virus.

If you can only afford and save up £450 with no other perhaps more recreational financial priorities then fair enough. I realise what I've written isn't what you may have wanted to hear but I think there's some good elements of truth here and the truth normally is a bit crap unfortunately but better that than some of the possible alternatives in my view. If you prove me wrong and get the right stuff at the price you want, when you want and it sorts you longer term then fair play - it'd be good if you did. That said I normally do good deals but don't get hardly any myself and seems a part of my life unfortunately but sod it I've shifted some good stuff at reasonable prices generally speaking and normally get the job done one way or the other in the end even if I do find it very difficult at times.
 
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electrodrummer

Senior Member
[opinions as requested]

"Roland's should sound best " - nope. Can sound very processed and fake (uses modelling). Prob why most Roland users (including £5,000+ TD50 people) seem to end up using £200 software instruments ;) (Roland is the "Apple" of ekits)

Used Yamaha. DTXPress - age is not an issue - got some still 100% decades old Yammy stuff in my collection (which includes Roland and Alesis - no axe to grind)
DTX522K if you can't afford the 532K - "Proper hi-hat stand"s are anachronistic and unnecessary. You can always add pads (up to 12 in total) as budget becomes available. Also - as it's an ekit - you don't "need" an old-school double pedal - you can use two pads and two single pedals if you like. Many options.
e.g.
 
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MBP13

New member
Thanks to both of you for taking time to reply. It's been very informative to have opinions on each side of things. I'm going to keep playing close attention to what comes up for the timebeing in case of any really amazing deals but I think I'm going to try and save a little more so I can cover all bases without having to take any chances on anything.
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
Thanks to both of you for taking time to reply. It's been very informative to have opinions on each side of things. I'm going to keep playing close attention to what comes up for the timebeing in case of any really amazing deals but I think I'm going to try and save a little more so I can cover all bases without having to take any chances on anything.
Cool - so what's the issue with the £399 one I listed, of interest?
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
Thanks to both of you for taking time to reply. It's been very informative to have opinions on each side of things. I'm going to keep playing close attention to what comes up for the timebeing in case of any really amazing deals but I think I'm going to try and save a little more so I can cover all bases without having to take any chances on anything.
No worries. That sounds like an ok plan for now.

I have had some good advice from here but I also got some good advice from '65 Drums' on Youtube. The guy Justin seems a reasonably cool, helpful and genuinely honest guy which is some of what you need I think when choosing to buy something and especially something that involves more money. He's done a lot of videos covering a lot of different things electric drumming related. He's also reviewed a lot of hardware as well and a good bit of what he says I think does display a good element of practical truth at least in my opinion. I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said but enough I think to make him a good source. You will probably find more than several videos from him regarding some of the stuff you're interested in and some of your circumstances at present. Again it can take time and energy but should be worth it overall.

One more thing though, I'm not sure if a 'completely perfect' kit exists out there even if you spent 1000s. Mine should have been for what I paid! and it just goes to show. As long as you get the right kit for you in terms of your main needs and requirements with the money you can get. It may take a bit of time and research but after careful consideration hopefully you'll get to where you want to be in the end. I only had one chance to do that so I did what I could to make as right a choice as I could. Even if it didn't work out or you made some mistakes (which can be part of a learning curve unfortunately despite any preparation) you would know you did what you could which is I think far better than not that.
 
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