electronic drums 101

so im a heavy metal drummer looking to buy the best bang for the the buck for an electronic drum kit. anything between 800$ to 1200$ is in my range ive seen a few but not enough to buy one which set is the best for the money?


Senior Member
Well, you've got a few choices. My recommendations in order of highest to lowest:

Simmons SD9K


Yamaha DTXPress IV Standard


Roland TD-4 V-Compact


I have a Yamaha DTXTreme IIs, but a) it is discontinued, and b) it is quite a bit over your budget.

I'd say your best bet would be the Simmons. It has four toms, compared to the Yamaha and Roland, which have 3, and it has 3 cymbals, compared to the 2 of Yamaha and Roland.

You said you play metal, so I'd say the bigger the better. Plus the Simmons is aimed at double bass metal players, because they designed it with them in mind. Take the kick pad, for instance. It has a large surface for double bass drum pedals.


Platinum Member
I'm curious about electronic drums too. The simmons looks good to me. Question though. In order to hear the drum sound out side of head phones you have to get an amp right? And can u also hook up an mp3 player through the module?


Senior Member
sweet thanks sd9k looks sweet
I know, eh? For the price, it can't be beat!

I'm curious about electronic drums too. The simmons looks good to me. Question though. In order to hear the drum sound out side of head phones you have to get an amp right? And can u also hook up an mp3 player through the module?
Well, you can use a guitar amp, but it could cause damage to the amp because it is not built for that kind of sound. I would recommend a monitor system.

Simmons DA50


Yamaha MS50 DR


The Yamaha is a bit more expensive, but the sound quality is impeccable, because it has two speakers and a subwoofer for monstrous bass.

I myself have the Yamaha MS50 DR, and could not be more pleased with it :)

As far as headphones go, I'd recommend:

Skullcandy Ti

Denon DNHP1000

Skullcandy G.I.

I have the Skullcandy G.I., but from experience, these three headphones have the best bass response and sound the most lifelike out of ALL the headphones I've tried on my DTXTreme IIs.

Hope that helped!


Platinum Member
So first let me tell you a little about my history with electronic kits.

My first E Kit was a Roland TD-10 kit. I loved it. I brought it home from the store, set it up and played it. I never had an issue.

Money got tight and I ended up selling it.

When money go better I decided to get another E Kit. I did a lot of homework and decided on the Hart Dynamics 6.4 and Roland TD-8 brain.

The Hart kits are built like a tank and the racks are great. But the down side was I had to configure the brain for the kit. Unlike when you buy a complete Roland, or any other complete kit, YAMAHA etc. . I placed many calls to Hart, their tech support is great. I also had to call Roland a few times. Their tech support is great as well. After literally months of tweaking off and on I never did get the kit to trigger as well as my previous Roland kit did right out of the box.

I finally got to the point where I decided I just wanted to play the drums not tweak them all the time and never be satisfied with them. I [put them on ebay and sold them.

I went out and picked up the TD-20 kit and have not regretted it at all.

So my advice is to get a kit that where everything is made by the same company.

I love the TD-20 kit, my only complaint is that the hi-hats are not perfect yet, very close though and I am used to them so I have no trouble playing them.

Here is my take on the subject over all:

First E drums are one of the best tools ever for practicing. They have a built in metronome and play along patterns. One of the things I discovered was that when I practice on an acoustic kit I know people can hear me. This tends to make me want to “entertain”. I tend to play solos and grooves that I know sound good. I tend not to practice repetitive patterns that I need to in order to improve my playing.

I find for me this goes away with the E Drums, I know nobody can hear me. I practice a lot more and my practicing is a lot more productive.

As far as the kits themselves,


Try to go with mesh heads; they will not harm your hands, wrists and arms. The thin rubber pads will. Here is what happens, when the pads are to thin they do not completely absorb the impact when you hit them. Some of that impact is absorbed by your body.
If you have to go with rubber pads you need the thick ones.

I personally tune mine down so they feel like an acoustic drum. I find most E kits are tuned to tight and feel like a tennis racket.


For strictly practicing, almost any of them out there will do the job. So if you are only going to be practicing then I suggest you find one that has sounds you like in a price range you can handle.

On the other hand if you plan on getting into recording then the TD-20 is the only way to go. The reason is OUTPUTS.

All of the brains lower in the line have 1-stereo out and 1- mono out. This means if you record you have to have all of the drums on one or two tracks. This makes it very hard to get a decent drum sound in the mix.

The TD-20 has the standard Stereo and mono out plus individual outputs designed with recording in mind.

You get:

Kick – Mono
Snare – Mono
Hi-Hat – Mono
Ride – Mono
Toms – Stereo
Crashes – Stereo

This means you can have individual tracks to mix as you would when you record an acoustic kit.

MIDI will also allow you the freedom to manipulate individule parts but MIDI is an entire subject all it's own ;-)



Junior Member
Nice set! I have the TD9S and have been doing really well on it. I like it's small compact size which really allows me quick response on all the pads and cymbals.

I have to ask one thing though... how can I connect to a computer to record some quick plays?? do I only need a MIDI cable? and if so, would a MIDI 5pin to a USB connection work?

Please let me know how to configure this and what I might possibly need.

Maybe by this year's Christmas I might just buy that TD20 for myself!.

Have a nice evening!


Senior Member
I have Harts with a TD-12 and haven't had any triggering issues. While there is some tweaking at the beginning it wasn't enough for me to give up on a great kit. I also prefer the Hart hats to the Roland; they have a very realistic feel for E-hats. As for a ride, I picked up a 3-zone Pintech Visulite. I love the feel, triggering and price. I moved my 2-zone Hart ride over to the left side as a second ride. Check out www.vdrums.com It is a Roland website but you will see that Roland is, by no means, the only game in town.