Roland TD-17KVX upgrades?


New member
Hey drummers,

This is my first post on this forum, so if this topic has already been discussed please point me in the right direction. I searched and didn’t find it yet though.

I’m about to buy the Roland 17-KVX (almost ready to pull the trigger) and I’m wondering if anyone out there 1) owns this set, and 2) has done any upgrades to it.

I’ll be even more specific, have you upgraded the toms or the kick? If so, how did it go and are you satisfied?

I’ve done a ton of research on which set to buy and it looks like the TD-17KVX hits a sweet spot for the mid-range price point and quality, with the exception of the size of the toms, which seem really small. I know there are Alesis kits out there with larger toms in a similar price range, but I’ve read enough concerns on durability and reliability of Alesis to make me veer away from that brand (if I’m wrong, please tell me).

I’ve also come across the Roland 27-KV which clearly has nicer/larger toms and a better kick drum, but also costs a lot more (~$3,000 vs $1,800). I’d rather not spend an extra $1,200 on the 27-KV, but if I’m going to do a bunch of upgrades to the 17-KVX anyway, the price might come out in the wash.

If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know! Thank you in advance!


Well-known member
Ok some of my other post on your other post addresses some of your enquiries. I'm sorry that it was a long post but hopefully some info there even if it means skimming it and seeing the parts of use although I don't know how much there will be.

This first part below is from the above longer post;

I have had some very good and helpful 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 (including the TD 17-KVX upgrade stuff you were enquiring about and as I remember a cymbal and floor tom upgrade replacing the floor tom with the snare pad and replacing the snare with another one as I remember) and some of your circumstances at present. Again it can take time and energy but should be worth it overall.

If you think some of the toms are small on the TD-17KVX I saw some and on a mid-range Yamaha as well that were around 7" that may have included the rim like the toms and snare on the TD-17KVX I think. I thought the ones on the Yamaha that I saw were both too small and also looked crap unfortunately. I didn't have a prob with the size of the ones on the 17KVX as I remember when just trying it out. I've never owned it though although the ones on the 27 KV are much better and at 10" I think. As I remember the TD-17KVX and the 27 KV have the same kick drum I think and as I was saying on my other post (and also said on 65 drums) the 27 KV should have had a larger more robust kick drum like on the more expensive models above it as I thought the price difference between the 17KVX and the 27 KV warranted that although that seems to be the expensive Roland business model. Like I was saying on my other post it's as if the ride on the 17KVX is a ploy to get you to go for the 27 KV with the much better ride on that and in my case it worked but only because I couldn't find anything else like it on any other makes let alone on kits that I could try out. I do appreciate the 27 KV does have other significant benefits over the 17 KVX even if it didn't include the kick drum...

In terms of the Alesis I heard similar but I couldn't try many out anyway around the cities where I live. Perhaps newer companies like that are making mistakes that the likes of electric companies like Roland and Yamaha had made and corrected maybe decades ago? They may just have so much more experience on several fronts. Again 65 drums covers some of this stuff and as I remember from a few of the videos I saw apparently Alesis have been sending out replacement pads etc that Roland and Yamaha probably wouldn't do. Also there could be better reports from the more recent Alesis kits possibly? 65 drums covers this and possibly much more.

I went for the 27 KV over the 17KVX but from several fronts I was kind of forced to and it was either that or nothing. However that was due to my main requirements and needs and also there weren't a lot of other kits to try out in several cities around where I live. PMT generally speaking have a good selection of Roland to try out but besides that and one or two perhaps mid-range Yamahas that was basically it.


New member
First and foremost, thank you so much for your detailed replies to this post and the one question I asked you on another thread. I also found 65 Drums on YouTube and had similar impressions. The owner of that channel is a very down-to-earth guy and generally gives great advice on a lot of different electric drum kits. I watched quite a few of his videos as well as read through many of the comments, and in some cases wrote questions to some of the commenters on his videos. All very helpful. I’ve been a drummer for 25+ years now, but this is the first electric kit that I’ll be buying so I took my time and did a lot of research.

Truth be told, I was almost ready to buy the TD-17KVX. I was convinced it was a great set for the price point, and I still think it probably is. I was initially torn between the 17 KVX and an Alesis kit (the exact one escapes me at the moment), and I just couldn’t get over how much nicer the Alesis ones looked and how much better the toms appeared. The reviews on all Roland kits are glowing with respect to durability and reliability, and I found plenty of good reviews on Alesis kits too actually, but no matter which website I was reading I found issues with durability with Alesis, especially with the cymbals. It clearly wasn’t everyone, but it was there. By contrast, there were really no issues on any Roland’s cymbals. The small toms on the 17 KVX were a big concern for me (although it may have the side effect of improving my accuracy) and the cymbals, as you mentioned, were clearly a newer/nicer upgrade on the 27 KV. Nevertheless, that was the impetus for me posting here. It’s clear that I could swap some stuff out, but I started adding up potential costs of replacement heads and the price slowly inched toward the 27 KV.

Long story short, I bit the bullet and bought the TD 27-KV. FedEx will be dropping it off in a few days. Drumming is therapeutic for me and is a great stress reliever, so although I paid quite a bit more up front I’m hopeful I won’t have to worry much about reliability and durability in the future and it can remain a stress reliever (not a stress producer). I still think the vast majority of Alesis kits look A LOT better than most of Roland’s kits. It’s a little odd to me that Roland’s kits look so bland but function so well. On the other side, if Alesis is truly catching up in terms of quality and reliability (and it looks like they might be), then people will be able to get a much better looking kit for a much nicer price point. Time will tell.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and comments. They were very helpful and greatly appreciated!


Well-known member
No worries I guess it's also a case of working your way through all the bollocks and hopefully getting something ok from it such is life with some things. 65 Drums I thought along with this forum were good places to start and Justin seems quite knowledgeable and also pretty cool and people like that can take time to find and probably not as many about like him. 25+ years I guess you're a veteran by now!

I know what you mean regarding the 17 KVX and I was quite disappointed with it as per one of my main requirements (as you probably know by now the ride cymbal stuff). It probably is a good kit generally speaking and should have sorted me for the money but that's Roland unfortunately. The Alesis kit may have been the 'Strike' or 'Strike Pro'? I think with Alesis you may get more for your money (there is usually a reason for that) and I can easily believe that from seeing how Roland and Yamaha up to a point operate in that respect. You might not be able to always go on look / appearance alone (you physically can't see the quality of all of the electronics and the build perhaps from the outside if you're in the know here) although it can help I realise and again you wouldn't think so but it can effect the way you play. I discovered that from going from my first kit being a KAT KT2 to the 27 KV and it should due to the price difference. I thought the KAT KT2 was a great kit even if it wasn't my first starter kit which it was. It was very good value for money in my opinion and I learnt that to a high degree and extent when doing further research into Roland / Yamaha prices and what you got for your money. I have heard similar things regarding durability of Roland and Alesis but to be fair I have no experience of Alesis stuff but I guess you hear things if you haven't got that experience and may be all you have regarding that. Time will tell with the Roland but nothing is indestructible - some stuff may simply last longer than other stuff with similar and length of use. 65 Drums also mentions that surprise surprise! Also I'm not sure if this definitely applies to electric drums (although it easily could) but I heard and can partly believe that electronics and motherboards etc can get older / more tired if you like and not perhaps perform as well over time - I heard this can happen to computers and mobile phones etc. That DIDN'T come from 65 Drums! With regards to Roland cymbals hopefully they're more durable but again not indestructible - I found several Youtube videos for cymbal fixes for two different models of Roland cymbals. I thought the toms on the 17 KVX were ok but I know how you felt about them. They could have done without the wider rims on them again as explained on 65 Drums. Again you wouldn't have liked the size of the toms even on an intermediate Yamaha kit that I saw. I think they were 7" including the rim. The picture doesn't look too bad but another reason why you should try kits out if possible. I know electrodrummer on here said the tom size doesn't really matter as generally speaking drummers mainly hit within a 3 inch diameter or whatever and he may have a point but a larger tom I think looks way better and I personally discovered that it can effect your playing and a larger tom can leave your options more open especially if you're not a great drummer or starting out (accuracy wise) both of which I think are ok. In terms of improving your accuracy that would have probably been said by that bird at that shop from one of my other posts regarding the ride cymbal stuff if you remember that. I think you need to generally speaking try to get what you need for the present while also looking into possible future options as to try to avoid very expensive upgrades although I realise it doesn't always work that way but you can try. All of this only my opinion though. In terms of new upgrades / spare parts they're normally expensive and sometimes to the point where you may as well just buy a new one being a 'write off' as it were. That can happen with a water filter jug let alone stuff like this.

I think generally speaking and from what I've read so far you made a good choice with the 27 KV. I'm hoping it will go the distance even with very regular use but we'll see. It's not perfect as per the hi-hat stuff I've discussed but you may not run into any of those problems. There's no doubt about it that the 27 KV is a cool kit to play and again even Justin at 65 Drums of course agrees! I think the Roland 27 KV looks good but perhaps I haven't seen as many Alesis kits as you but even then I'd have to see them in the flesh - that's one thing I have learnt from more than several instances. Again 65 Drums talks about Alesis possibly catching up etc and I think he's probably right as long as the company learns from its past mistakes as well as any mistakes from any rivals as well as running the business reasonably well. In terms of you saying the Rolands don't look quite as good as some of the Alesis is that due in part to how close it looks to an acoustic? I can understand that if so and especially drummers like yourself who have been on an acoustic for so long. I think 65 Drums had a similar view and there are several vids on there concerning triggering up an acoustic kit etc. However although very expensive as no surprise have you seen the Roland VAD range? They maybe of interest to you to just check out possibly from what you've said so far.

Anyway I hope you enjoy and get some good use out of the 27 KV - for the most part I think you probably should even when considering your veteran acoustic background!
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