Which electric drum kit to get?

roncadillac

Member
All I have to add, in my limited experience with electronic kits, is: one time I recorded with a top of the line Roland set up that was about $4k all told and I was blown away by how good it felt and how responsive the drums and cymbals were. Around the same time I played a Yamaha electric kit with rubber pads and half cymbals and it was mearly ok, serviceable but occasional mis-triggers and not as many playable zones as the roland but really not bad for only being around $800 at the time. Then, I recently recorded on a lower-middle range alesis electric kit and that thing is junk. Mis-triggers, limited zones, 'cheap' sounds, stiff pads, crappy rack...

What I am getting at is it really seems like you get what you pay for with Electrics. With acoustic drums I firmly believe it's "the player, not the gear". With Electrics, obviously a good drummer will play better then a lesser drummer but the sounds you get at simply the sounds you get regardless of skill level. Newb drummers never talk about their Ekit not being sensitive enough for ghost notes because they don't know what the hell that even is or how to execute it, seasoned drummers will very quickly find all the limitations of a lower end Ekit.

I'll never in my life spend more then $1,000 on a single acoustic drum set but I'll also never in my life spend less then $1,000 on an ekit, economy of scale and 'bang for your buck' are in totally different realms with ekits.
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
... cheaper stuff as well and it's still going it may not have been used as much as some other stuff as I think you have quite a lot of gear?
Cheaper stuff? only Alesis

But, as for:
Alternate Mode Trapkat £1,700 ish so more than an entire TD-17 kit.
Roland Handsonic about £500-600 ish

(and yes, loads of gear and it's all gigged)
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
All I have to add, in my limited experience with electronic kits, is: one time I recorded with a top of the line Roland set up that was about $4k all told and I was blown away by how good it felt and how responsive the drums and cymbals were. Around the same time I played a Yamaha electric kit with rubber pads and half cymbals and it was mearly ok, serviceable but occasional mis-triggers and not as many playable zones as the roland but really not bad for only being around $800 at the time. Then, I recently recorded on a lower-middle range alesis electric kit and that thing is junk. Mis-triggers, limited zones, 'cheap' sounds, stiff pads, crappy rack...

What I am getting at is it really seems like you get what you pay for with Electrics. With acoustic drums I firmly believe it's "the player, not the gear". With Electrics, obviously a good drummer will play better then a lesser drummer but the sounds you get at simply the sounds you get regardless of skill level. Newb drummers never talk about their Ekit not being sensitive enough for ghost notes because they don't know what the hell that even is or how to execute it, seasoned drummers will very quickly find all the limitations of a lower end Ekit.

I'll never in my life spend more then $1,000 on a single acoustic drum set but I'll also never in my life spend less then $1,000 on an ekit, economy of scale and 'bang for your buck' are in totally different realms with ekits.
I may look into Yamaha. Basically I would need a Yamaha kit that has two crash cymbals and also a 3 zone ride that hopefully has a reasonably sized bell area on it and larger than the one on the Roland TD-17KVX. Also cross stick rim function on the snare at least. The kind of Yamaha kit would probably be perhaps an intermediate kit roughly and a kit with a 3 zone ride would probably be intermediate or above anyway. Have you any thoughts on a Yamaha model? I see what you're saying in terms of getting what you pay for but what you need a kit to do with also perhaps some future uses / functions considerations and maybe more advanced / more technically difficult stuff will probably come into it.

I'm nowhere near a seasoned drummer or even an intermediate one and I found a major fault with the Roland TD-17KVX as well as maybe one or two other small things. This major and several other small faults was not advanced stuff or even intermediate I don't think. This kit is I think beginner - intermediate roughly speaking. Again your requirements heavily come into it but mine aren't extensive or even intermediate which made the Roland TD-17KVX a bit of a disappointment but again it all depends on your requirements, preferences and opinion.

Thanks for you reply, it was interesting.
 

roncadillac

Member
I may look into Yamaha. Basically I would need a Yamaha kit that has two crash cymbals and also a 3 zone ride that hopefully has a reasonably sized bell area on it and larger than the one on the Roland TD-17KVX. Also cross stick rim function on the snare at least. The kind of Yamaha kit would probably be perhaps an intermediate kit roughly and a kit with a 3 zone ride would probably be intermediate or above anyway. Have you any thoughts on a Yamaha model? I see what you're saying in terms of getting what you pay for but what you need a kit to do with also perhaps some future uses / functions considerations and maybe more advanced / more technically difficult stuff will probably come into it.

I'm nowhere near a seasoned drummer or even an intermediate one and I found a major fault with the Roland TD-17KVX as well as maybe one or two other small things. This major and several other small faults was not advanced stuff or even intermediate I don't think. This kit is I think beginner - intermediate roughly speaking. Again your requirements heavily come into it but mine aren't extensive or even intermediate which made the Roland TD-17KVX a bit of a disappointment but again it all depends on your requirements, preferences and opinion.

Thanks for you reply, it was interesting.
Like acoustic drums, you get alot more for your money then you did a decade or two ago. You will find positives and negatives with any kit, it's about checking the most positive boxes while staying in budget lol. The requirements you have should be easily met with a 'mid range' ekit. Something else to consider: most of the cost of edrums goes to the 'brain' with a hefty chunk going towards the fancy multi zone snare and ride pads... How about getting the cheapest kit you can find from the brand you prefer then upgrade just the ride and snare 'pads' since those are where your biggest requirements seem to fall. You get everything you are looking for and save some money. Similar to buying a low to mid range acoustic kit for it's serviceable toms, bass, and hardware, then upgrading the snare and cymbals.
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
Like acoustic drums, you get alot more for your money then you did a decade or two ago. You will find positives and negatives with any kit, it's about checking the most positive boxes while staying in budget lol. The requirements you have should be easily met with a 'mid range' ekit. Something else to consider: most of the cost of edrums goes to the 'brain' with a hefty chunk going towards the fancy multi zone snare and ride pads... How about getting the cheapest kit you can find from the brand you prefer then upgrade just the ride and snare 'pads' since those are where your biggest requirements seem to fall. You get everything you are looking for and save some money. Similar to buying a low to mid range acoustic kit for it's serviceable toms, bass, and hardware, then upgrading the snare and cymbals.
Ok cool that sounds like very good and sensible advice. I was hoping my requirements would be met with a beginner to intermediate kit, trouble is I haven't come across one yet! However I maybe checking out some Yamaha kits to see how that goes and could look at any possible upgrades with that as well. I have already enquired about this with a Roland, I'll hopefully find out if what I'm trying to do is possible with that i.e. to upgrade the 3 zone ride with one which has a larger bell area if possible on the 17 KVX with it hopefully not being ridiculously expensive let alone high cost. Doubt it but I'll hopefully find out the situation. I think what put me off with upgrading was that additional items and especially ones like 3 zone stuff can be very expensive both because additional stuff / spare parts etc have always been expensive for many things (and sometimes to the point of having to buy a brand new one) and that it's more expensive technology so two things that could really add cost but I'll consider what you've said when hopefully looking into this and go from there.

Something which I've also seen to complicate an already complicated situation it seems is one of these;


It comes with a set of Remo Silent Stroke mesh heads which apparently means you can play quietly with your electronic sounds as well.

I'm not sure if this is another option to consider as I couldn't get a full acoustic because of the noise levels.
 

roncadillac

Member
Ok cool that sounds like very good and sensible advice. I was hoping my requirements would be met with a beginner to intermediate kit, trouble is I haven't come across one yet! However I maybe checking out some Yamaha kits to see how that goes and could look at any possible upgrades with that as well. I have already enquired about this with a Roland, I'll hopefully find out if what I'm trying to do is possible with that i.e. to upgrade the 3 zone ride with one which has a larger bell area if possible on the 17 KVX with it hopefully not being ridiculously expensive let alone high cost. Doubt it but I'll hopefully find out the situation. I think what put me off with upgrading was that additional items and especially ones like 3 zone stuff can be very expensive both because additional stuff / spare parts etc have always been expensive for many things (and sometimes to the point of having to buy a brand new one) and that it's more expensive technology so two things that could really add cost but I'll consider what you've said when hopefully looking into this and go from there.

Something which I've also seen to complicate an already complicated situation it seems is one of these;


It comes with a set of Remo Silent Stroke mesh heads which apparently means you can play quietly with your electronic sounds as well.

I'm not sure if this is another option to consider as I couldn't get a full acoustic because of the noise levels.
In my opinion, unless you want Edrums that look like real drums for live playing or are frequently using hybrid set ups and/or switching between acoustic and Electric set up's... Shells are just extra unnecessary weight and stuff to dust off. If you are solely playing Electric, don't care if they don't look like 'real' drums, and never will be playing acoustic then just get a proper ekit. In the world of affordable gear compromise usually equals the worst of both worlds.
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
Cheaper stuff? only Alesis

But, as for:
Alternate Mode Trapkat £1,700 ish so more than an entire TD-17 kit.
Roland Handsonic about £500-600 ish

(and yes, loads of gear and it's all gigged)
Hi again I'm sorry you'll hopefully excuse some (or a lot most likely) of my ignorance here although I've heard a few things about Alesis and perhaps not one to go for it seems and is getting towards common knowledge? I guess you've probably given a lot of decent equipment a good hammering for literally decades and probably the amount of testing use that no company could perform.

Something which I've also seen to complicate an already complicated situation it seems is one of these;


It comes with a set of Remo Silent Stroke mesh heads which apparently means you can play quietly with your electronic sounds as well.

I'm not sure if this is another option to consider as I couldn't get a full acoustic because of the noise levels.
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
In my opinion, unless you want Edrums that look like real drums for live playing or are frequently using hybrid set ups and/or switching between acoustic and Electric set up's... Shells are just extra unnecessary weight and stuff to dust off. If you are solely playing Electric, don't care if they don't look like 'real' drums, and never will be playing acoustic then just get a proper ekit. In the world of affordable gear compromise usually equals the worst of both worlds.
Cool ok and thanks for that. I think you've described my view there pretty well which I guess isn't bad for electronic (no pun intended) communication! I guess I saw another option and considered perhaps a more cost effective idea although the ride cymbal that I'm after may mean an upgrade or switch on that kit anyway. I'd have thought a 3 zone would be compatible with the module at that price but who knows. If not it wouldn't really be an option unless I added my acoustic ride which defeats the object in a way.

What I intend to do now is check out some Yamaha kits and hopefully try them out, consider any possible upgrades with regards in particular to any 3 zone rides if necessary. I was going to head towards the Yamaha 500 series as I think they're beginner to intermediate both with features and cost. I could perhaps go lower than this which is one thing you kind of suggested but I think you may need to watch that as a module that is maybe too cheap may only be compatible with 2 zone cymbals etc which is the case with my KAT KT2 kit. I could also wait to see if the info comes through on the Roland but I'm not sure. I saw a 3 zone ride that caught my eye on the new 27 KV as it had a larger bell area like the one I've been used to on my acoustic ride that I've been playing in combination with the KAT KT2 but discovered this digital usb cymbal isn't compatible with the 17 KVX again probably due to the different module. Maybe a strategy by Roland to try to get you to get the 27 KV and there's a chance it may even work to give them credit.

If I find that I can't get a Yamaha 3 zone ride that has a larger bell area or one that's ok with an ok Yamaha kit and there are no Roland ones apart from the one on the 27 KV, I may find that I have little other option but to go for the 27 KV if I wanted hopefully more robust hardware. We'll see though and I'll only do it if all else fails. Hell I was even considering getting the 17 KVX and keeping my acoustic ride to go with it but that seemed to be defeating the object a little but there's a difference between the Roland 17 KVX at £1400 and the 27 KV at £2650 and this kit has only just come out so even more of an unknown. Perhaps I'll hopefully make a decision after a lot of research, thinking and testing and I'm not there yet. Hopefully in time with graft.

Anyway thanks again, you've been very helpful and I really appreciate that.
 
Last edited:

roncadillac

Member
Cool ok and thanks for that. I think you've described my view there pretty well which I guess isn't bad for electronic (no pun intended) communication! I guess I saw another option and considered perhaps a more cost effective idea although the ride cymbal that I'm after may mean an upgrade or switch on that kit anyway. I'd have thought a 3 zone would be compatible with the module at that price but who knows. If not it wouldn't really be an option unless I added my acoustic ride which defeats the object in a way.

What I intend to do now is check out some Yamaha kits and hopefully try them out, consider any possible upgrades with regards in particular to any 3 zone rides if necessary. I was going to head towards the Yamaha 500 series as I think they're beginner to intermediate both with features and cost. I could perhaps go lower than this which is one thing you kind of suggested but I think you may need to watch that as a module that is maybe too cheap may only be compatible with 2 zone cymbals etc which is the case with my KAT KT2 kit. I could also wait to see if the info comes through on the Roland but I'm not sure. I saw a 3 zone ride that caught my eye on the new 27 KV but discovered this digital usb cymbal isn't compatible with the 17 KVX again probably due to the different module.

If I find that I can't get a Yamaha 3 zone ride that has a larger bell area or one that's ok with an ok Yamaha kit and there are no Roland ones apart from the one on the 27 KV, I may find that I have little other option but to go for the 27 KV if I wanted hopefully more robust hardware. We'll see though and I'll only do it if all else fails. Hell I was even considering getting the 17 KVX and keeping my acoustic ride to go with it but that seemed to be defeating the object a little but there's a difference between the Roland 17 KVX at £1400 and the 27 KV at £2650 and this kit has only just come out so even more of an unknown. Perhaps I'll hopefully make a decision after a lot of research, thinking and testing and I'm not there yet. Hopefully in time with graft.

Anyway thanks again, you've been very helpful and I really appreciate that.
Happy to help, good luck on your search, and keep us posted!
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
Happy to help, good luck on your search, and keep us posted!
Ok I will, just hope I don't mess it up which isn't hard unfortunately when making the best decision is. If I do mess it up some people could have a right laugh with this amount of money involved and chances are it probably won't be me. I don't mind that per se just not with expensive bulky hardware.
 

roncadillac

Member
Ok I will, just hope I don't mess it up which isn't hard unfortunately when making the best decision is. If I do mess it up some people could have a right laugh with this amount of money involved and chances are it probably won't be me. I don't mind that per se just not with expensive bulky hardware.
Want a real laugh? Check out Badger & Blade, dudes spend $100+ on an old rusted razor that someone else used 100 years ago... No joke
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
Less people using them. So less support. Up to you...go to your local store and try one. I wouldn't... proprietary cable snake.
 

roncadillac

Member
There are so many 'things' beyond the drums and sounds themselves. Solder, pins, wiring, etc will all be better with a name brand who is known for making Electrics. You can make a poorly made acoustic drum work but an electric either works or it doesn't work and most of the time it doesn't will be when you need it too the most to which you'll be kicking yourself for not dropping the extra couple hundred.
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
Less people using them. So less support. Up to you...go to your local store and try one. I wouldn't... proprietary cable snake.
Hi again I'm sorry for the late reply. I now know what cable snakes are I think. I'm hopefully due to try out the 27 KV out soon and could post here at least what I found from a first test. I'm trying to look into a similar Yamaha kit at least price wise and see what I find there. Again any thoughts? I may also be trying out a Yamaha 582 I think. I would try out some others but not many city areas in the general region where I live seem to have many Yamaha kits that you can try out. There are far more Roland. There maybe more Yamaha kits but they'd be even further away and maybe too far. I'm hoping the research I've done and hopefully will continue to do as well as checking out some places that have the 582 that I can try out will hopefully give me more of a flavour for Yamaha and hopefully including some perhaps around the 27 KV price range.
 
Last edited:

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
There are so many 'things' beyond the drums and sounds themselves. Solder, pins, wiring, etc will all be better with a name brand who is known for making Electrics. You can make a poorly made acoustic drum work but an electric either works or it doesn't work and most of the time it doesn't will be when you need it too the most to which you'll be kicking yourself for not dropping the extra couple hundred.
Sure ok I guess that's part of the problem with research - there are normally a lot of things at play (no pun intended). I hear what you're saying with regards to the cash.
 

roncadillac

Member
If this helps, I recently went into a Sam Ash store near a large city (I'm used to small mom'n'pops and tiny satellite Guitar Centers) and found they had easily 20+ different makes and models of electric kits set up and playable. Including offerings from Roland, Yamaha, and Alesis, just to name a few. I'm not an electric guy but I immediately thought of you and said aloud, "this would solve his issue" (to which everyone in the drum department tried to figure out why I was talking to myself lol).

This has gone on long enough, stop tormenting yourself and buy some damn drums! Haha

I'm of the mentality that the longer it takes you to make a decision, the longer it takes you to achieve results.
 

Mr_Runner

Well-known member
If this helps, I recently went into a Sam Ash store near a large city (I'm used to small mom'n'pops and tiny satellite Guitar Centers) and found they had easily 20+ different makes and models of electric kits set up and playable. Including offerings from Roland, Yamaha, and Alesis, just to name a few. I'm not an electric guy but I immediately thought of you and said aloud, "this would solve his issue" (to which everyone in the drum department tried to figure out why I was talking to myself lol).

This has gone on long enough, stop tormenting yourself and buy some damn drums! Haha

I'm of the mentality that the longer it takes you to make a decision, the longer it takes you to achieve results.
Ah I see you're in the USA as I've been watching some good Youtube videos from a guy in the USA (Justin from 65 Drums I think) for my research and recognise the Sam Ash I think from him. 20+! The best I've found are about 10 kits at PMT shops which I thought was pretty good in comparison to anywhere else (near the beginning I was starting to think that drum shops didn't really do display kits anymore) but they seem to be mostly Roland which I guess is ok but a similar selection of Yamaha would have been good as well although I've heard some higher end Yamaha kits aren't being sold at as many places in the USA? Not 100% sure about the Uk but PMT as well as some other places seem to be at least having generally speaking more Roland on display that you can try. There maybe more intermediate Yamaha kits in the Uk that you could try but maybe a bit too further afield and I'm hoping I can get some idea at least from a few places with a 582 on display as well as a good bit of research. I heard Yamaha maybe bringing out some new kits although the person who told me that may have been incorrect lets say? You're right about the Sam Ash alright from the sounds of it and I appreciate the thought a lot although you could be perhaps a bit more sincere and mail me a return plane ticket and accommodation for several weeks! Just joking!

Again you're right it has gone on for a bit but I need to get this as right as I can and if things do come up further down the line as they usually do at least I will know that I did basically as much as I could within general reason and scale of the thing. I'm hoping I'm heading towards the back end of things now and I know more than I did.

In terms of a decision with results stuff again you're probably right but I think it could partly depend on what it is. The higher the stakes the longer it may take to make a reasonable decision.

One more thing though you say you're an acoustic guy and from what I've seen so far electric drumming maybe more complex equipment and electrically wise and perhaps maybe in other different ways. It also seems more expensive than acoustic stuff generally speaking and I did consider acoustic partly because of this. It's not something I can really do though mainly due to noise levels and I think some of these companies know this type of stuff among other things and are heavily capitalising on it. Some of Roland's most expensive, recent and arguably some of the most sought after gear is the new VAD V-Drums Acoustic Design line of kits which are the ones which look the most like an acoustic kit. However I now know there are probably good and cheaper DIY methods to achieve this but in my view would take not only a very dedicated person with a lot of time to spare but also a very practical and experienced one. The quality could depend on the level and length of experience of that person.
 
Last edited:

roncadillac

Member
Ah I see you're in the USA as I've been watching some good Youtube videos from a guy in the USA (Justin from 65 Drums I think) for my research and recognise the Sam Ash I think from him. 20+! The best I've found are about 10 kits at PMT shops which I thought was pretty good in comparison to anywhere else (near the beginning I was starting to think that drum shops didn't really do display kits anymore) but they seem to be mostly Roland which I guess is ok but a similar selection of Yamaha would have been good as well although I've heard some higher end Yamaha kits aren't being sold at as many places in the USA? Not 100% sure about the Uk but PMT as well as some other places seem to be at least having generally speaking more Roland on display that you can try. There maybe more intermediate Yamaha kits in the Uk that you could try but maybe a bit too further afield and I'm hoping I can get some idea at least from a few places with a 582 on display as well as a good bit of research. I heard Yamaha maybe bringing out some new kits although the person who told me that may have been incorrect lets say? You're right about the Sam Ash alright from the sounds of it and I appreciate the thought a lot although you could be perhaps a bit more sincere and mail me a return plane ticket and accommodation for several weeks! Just joking!

Again you're right it has gone on for a bit but I need to get this as right as I can and if things do come up further down the line as they usually do at least I will know that I did basically as much as I could within general reason and scale of the thing. I'm hoping I'm heading towards the back end of things now and I know more than I did.

In terms of a decision with results stuff again you're probably right but I think it could partly depend on what it is. The higher the stakes the longer it may take to make a reasonable decision.

One more thing though you say you're an acoustic guy and from what I've seen so far electric drumming maybe more complex equipment and electrically wise and perhaps maybe in other different ways. It also seems more expensive than acoustic stuff generally speaking and I did consider acoustic partly because of this. It's not something I can really do though mainly due to noise levels and I think some of these companies know this type of stuff among other things and are heavily capitalising on it. Some of Roland's most expensive, recent and arguably some of the most sought after gear is the new VAD V-Drums Acoustic Design line of kits which are the ones which look the most like an acoustic kit. However I now know there are probably good and cheaper DIY methods to achieve this but in my view would take not only a very dedicated person with a lot of time to spare but also a very practical and experienced one. The quality could depend on the level and length of experience of that person.
I'm happy you received that well, I was joking of course but sometimes my tone comes off as a little forward. I unfortunately don't have much to add beyond what I've said already but you are making an informed decision which is great. I recently went through a regretful purchase on an acoustic kit in an attempt to save $200 and it didn't work out so mentally I'm fresh off that experience haha. I wish you well and I'll keep an eye on this thread!
 
Top