EAD10...Pretty Killer, But...

AzHeat

Platinum Member
...I ended up returning it.

After reading all the reviews and watching seemingly every YouTube video, I managed to finally stumble across a decent price on a used one at GC. Surprisingly, outside of a few minor scuffs on the main unit body, it actually had all parts and manuals intact. All that was missing was the top piece of styrofoam from the box.

Anyway, I gave it a good run for the money and was originally pretty thrilled with it. I already have a nice set of AKG mics (Concert1) and a Focusrite 18i20 interface. My biggest motivation for buying it was to get my L80s and Super Pads to sound more like drums, which the EAD10 did...well, sort of!

I read other forum posts as well as posts on this forum, where if you have a traditional 4pc, the ride will be way too load and if you have a second FT, it will not be heard. 100% true on the ride issue, but I had no issues with my 16”FT coming through as well as my 14. This may have been resolved via the new low volume firmware which I was running. What I had the biggest issue with was getting my 12” rack tom into the mix. It sits in a snare stand, so lower than a traditional 5pc. This made it almost completely invisible to the EAD10 sensor unit. Moving it up to a traditional 5pc position and all was well, but I don’t like the tom in that position. I think those of us with 20” or smaller BDs won’t have an issue with this. It should put the unit in the proper position. 22” or larger and if you like the tom on the low side, the shell basically sits right next to the EAD unit, so it won’t pick up either head.

I solved the issue with the ride being too load by installing the sensor unit at more of a 10 to 11 o’clock position. The mics in the sensor unit are similar to handheld stereo recorders with the two mics pointing toward each other, so the right mic is pointing up and left and the left mic doing the opposite. Mounting the unit off center, moves the mic away from having a line of sight to the ride, so issue solved. I still had to go up on my rack tom a couple of inches for the mic to pick up the bottom head, but the ergonomics of a 1U configuration is what finally got me to give up on my 3U setup. I was finally so comfortable, I went for ergonomics over my liking of multiple toms. I’ve been there for over a year now and it’s home, so not willing to go back to the higher setup. Things just work and I no longer think about where things are. They are where the should be, so not changing them. For others, this is probably a non-issue, but I have shoulder issues, so lower is best.

The second issue I ran into was the BD trigger. I don’t know if this was because of the Super Pad Batman looking thing or not, but I read another reviewer stating that you had to really hit the BD hard for the trigger to work. I messed with settings plenty and for me this was true. While the mic would pick up the BD just fine, the trigger portion wouldn’t pick up doubles. The other issue I ran into was the BD was the loudest piece, actually painfully so. There was no way to turn it down.

There were a couple of scenes (programs) where compression volume matched everything much better, but at least with silent drumming, ghost notes were pretty darned loud. Compression is adjustable, as are things like reverb, etc., but I found those to muddy things up fast. All are pretty cool and 100% useable in a performance situation where one isn’t trying to play silently, but for me, I’m trying to really clean up my playing, so while the effects were cool, they were far from helping me grow as a drummer.

I considered just triggering everything, but then what do I do with my Super Pads? I should have gone with the OnHead versions if I wanted triggers, but while the Super Pads are already a super pricey option, the Aquarian OnHeads are way more. Additionally, you then lose your triggers when you go full acoustic, so that seems a pretty high price...at least to me.

I went the Super Pad route, because they have kind of a cool tone, compared to mesh, but most importantly, while they have a nice feel, they are just a bit less bouncy than an actual Mylar drum head, so if I can pull something off on the Super Pads, I can definitely pull it off when I go full acoustic. Not so with mesh, which was my main motivation for going the route I did. If you have mesh and love them, a full set of triggers and the EAD10 could just be the ticket.

Overall. After two weeks of fiddling and futzing around for hours, I got almost zero practice in, because I could never find anything that I could hear better than my existing 7 mic and interface setup. If I pull my laptop into the mix, I can add reverb and compression based on individual channels, so I already have a better setup than the EADs all or none (bleed through across mics is an issue for me though). I’m nowhere near as cool with the ability to switch things on and off, but in the end, playing more and tinkering less is what I need.

I really have nothing bad to say about the EAD10. It has its limitations. If Yamaha offers one with more inputs, or maybe a two sensor unit you could split, it would quite possibly be the ultimate, but the price would be outrageous. The new low volume firmware is pretty nice, but for me, it just wasn’t all that even. The L80 hats are still pretty piercing as are the pings on the ride bell. This would be much worse with the louder Sabian version of low volume cymbals. The snare is very thin and toms too low in volume, so I just couldn’t live with it. I have better, albeit a more complicated setup already. I can replicate a lot of the effects, except anything that really counts as an electronic sample with the individual mic and interface setup, so the EAD value was dropping for me fairly fast. It was go full trigger or go home, so I went home. Just not ready for triggers and their complications/expense at this point. I took the unit back and got more practice in 1 hour, than the previous 2 weeks fiddling with stuff.

This is no knock on the EAD10. It’s very cool, but has some striking limitations to work through which I haven’t read anywhere. Hopefully it helps some here if you’re considering options.

Kinda bitter-sweet taking it back, but if anyone wants the EAD10 unit I took back, best to jump on the GC used page now.

Oh, and....happy New Year!
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
My biggest motivation for buying it was to get my L80s and Super Pads to sound more like drums
You bought it to do something it wasn't specifically designed to do. Not surprised it didn't work out for you. As far as I'm concerned, everyone should own one for simple, quick recording, practicing and even live performance application. The benefits outweigh the limitations.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
You bought it to do something it wasn't specifically designed to do. Not surprised it didn't work out for you. As far as I'm concerned, everyone should own one for simple, quick recording, practicing and even live performance application. The benefits outweigh the limitations.
Well, in all fairness, Yamaha released the low volume firmware, so it is technically designed for low volume usage.

I agree on its ease of use and if I was in a gigging band, I would have kept it. As it sits, I’m not, so will wait for what may be a second version.

I was fair and positive in my review, but I will fault Yamaha for one thing. Their support is atrocious! Six emails and zero useable responses. Just shameful.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I updated my unit a few weeks ago, but I didn't realize there was an 'All data for Low Volume Drum set' download too. Interesting, but I have found the low volume cymbal and pad sets to still cause problems in apartment situations. It may work for some, but not me.

As for email support, it's been hit or miss with Yamaha. Sometimes I've gotten a response fairly quickly, and other times nothing. Add to that the fact that most retail folks no next to nothing about anything, and it can be frustrating. Best bet is probably posting somewhere on this site and hope that someone from Yamaha eventually chimes in.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The firmware definitely made a difference, but as mentioned, silent playing has its challenges. I was just hoping to help someone out who’s contemplating the same thing or may think the 4pc setup won’t work, without moving the ride way out.

silent drumming is just frustrating. Was hoping for something better than I had and it wasn’t. I really liked the one touch recording though. Was contemplating keeping it for just that, but if things don’t come through clear enough, there was no point. Really hoping for a version 2 with additional Flexibility. Maybe a set of mic inputs, so you can be more strategic? That will be sweet.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
The problem with having more inputs is that it would necessitate mixing those inputs, with additional level controls. Then it starts to get beyond the original goal of ultimate simplicity. As it stands, it probably works for most people, although in my case, it doesn't pick up my second floor tom much at all. For anyone with larger setups it may miss more than that. But for quick and dirty stuff, it's pretty great.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
But it sure would be nice if you could have multiple inputs and controls over their balance, then have the same processing capabilities as the EAD10 does now. You wouldn’t have the second FT issue and I could have easily balanced out my set. It would still add simplicity which doesn’t exist otherwise, even if not quite as simple as is now.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
I agree, the ride can’t sit over the kick, unless serious mods to the playing style or a very, very quiet ride.

But that’s not Yamaha’s fault, that’s how the kit sounds like with the mike in that position.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Wait...Guitar Center lets you return gear you bought there used? This is news to me. I just called them last week about a used Roland SPD SX they had for sale, and I asked them about a return policy if I get it home and it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. They said the only way I could return it is if I bought one of their extended warranties...which after the price of the warranty and the unit itself was within $20 of buying one brand new. Forget it.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
But that’s not Yamaha’s fault, that’s how the kit sounds like with the mike in that position.
Did I somehow communicate the EAD unit was junk and Yamaha missed the boat? This happens to me a tom on forums For some reason. I was pretty thorough in my writing. I wrote, by moving the sensor unit, one could resolve the ride issue, rather than messing with ergonomics. I wasn’t willing to move my tom, but that’s me. It puts the tom in too high a position and messes with my bad shoulder. I in no way blamed Yamaha for this shortcoming.

With two mics in a fixed position, it is what it is and even with their low volume firmware, there are still challenges with having all the parts in the mix. It’s just what it is. I saw no mention or videos of the unit with the new firmware anywhere, so I decided to try it. Way better results than what I had heard previously, but still didn’t work for me. If you have a traditional 5pc. I still say it’s a home run, even with silent drumming scenarios. The makes the unit perfect for 70% of us. It was no knock on Yamaha. They do need to work on their support response, but that’s the truth as well.

Was hoping what I wrote was beneficial, but it appears I’m just ruffling feathers! Strange!!!
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Wait...Guitar Center lets you return gear you bought there used? This is news to me. I just called them last week about a used Roland SPD SX they had for sale, and I asked them about a return policy if I get it home and it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. They said the only way I could return it is if I bought one of their extended warranties...which after the price of the warranty and the unit itself was within $20 of buying one brand new. Forget it.
Total BS. You have 45 days for a full refund, minus shipping.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I saw a few other videos that demo the low volume stuff, and I wasn't impressed at all. I'm surprised that they thought anyone would dig it.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I saw a few other videos that demo the low volume stuff, and I wasn't impressed at all. I'm surprised that they thought anyone would dig it.
I really think triggering is the right answer, but then you're fairly limited to either mesh, or drum mutes, but both feel terrible. Other option is to go with either Aquarian on head or in head, but those are pricey too. I would have considered triggers, but couldn't get the kick to trigger every time, so that's a challenge I'm just not ready for. Playing silently sucks. Was hoping to make it suck less, but failed with the EAD10. I still think the multiple inputs/mics thing could be the ticket, but it may be cost prohibitive.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I have zero complaints about the EAD10. However I'm not using it the same way you are.
Mine is attached to my studio kit and I use it for practice and quick recording. The kit's a 2 up 2 down setup, so the Unit sits perfectly in-between my two mounted toms. Picks everything up beautifully. No issues with the kick trigger, or volumes being too much or too little. If I want something louder in the mix, play it louder.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I have zero complaints about the EAD10. However I'm not using it the same way you are.
Mine is attached to my studio kit and I use it for practice and quick recording. The kit's a 2 up 2 down setup, so the Unit sits perfectly in-between my two mounted toms. Picks everything up beautifully. No issues with the kick trigger, or volumes being too much or too little. If I want something louder in the mix, play it louder.
I think that's the real trick to the EAD10 to get a nice balance. Traditional 5pc (6pc) setup is king. The kick wouldn't be too loud if I could have gotten a bit more of the toms in. Cymbals were fine. Also, by having to position the sensor unit more offset to lower the ride volume, it picked up more snare rezo, which thinned out the snare even more. Still, all around a cool unit and I'm not even sure how Yamaha has done what they have.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well, it's not surprising you don't like it as much as a 7 mic set up. It's not really supposed to replace a 7 mic set up.

Though I still want EAD10 because I hate setting up 7 mics, all the cables, and trying to get each mic just right every frickn time a recording thought comes into my head. Whatever the EAD10 lacks in features seems to be made up in convenience (?).

Though I've never actually played with one, so I may be over-romanticizing it's benefits.

Although I admit the inability to mix the kick separate from everything else does bug me.
 
Top