Good upper-entry to mid-level e-kit?

Discussion in 'Drums & Percussion' started by JediMasterThrash, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. JediMasterThrash

    JediMasterThrash SS.org Regular

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    I'm a guitarist who just wants to pick up some drums for fun.

    Space constraints and sound-level constraints mean e-kit is my only option (and I understand e-kits aren't silent). I also like having fun, and collect strange audio-distorting guitar pedals, so I think it will be fun to play drums with some of those crazy preset kits.

    I have a full-size keyboard with drum kits too. But my goal isn't just to midi track. I want to whack something.

    I'll likely never play it live, and won't be practicing 4 hours a day. So a pro-level kit is probably overkill.

    But my minimum requirements of "doesn't suck" and "doesn't break" and "works with double-bass drum pedal" and "sounds good out of the box" and "is fun to play" I think puts me above the entry/budget category. And the consensus on the internet seems to be don't settle for any kit below 700$.

    I got some good feedback on minimum #drums and cymbals in another thread. So I'm thinking something with mesh heads, double-bass compatible, snare, three toms, two crash, hi-hat, and ride.

    First I was looking at the Roland TD-1DMKX, which has all mesh and adds the 4th cymbal. The downside seems the pads are rather small, and the controlbox only includes 15 preset drum kits. And there isn't any good resource on how well those kits metal.

    Then I saw the Alesis Command X Mesh, which is fairly similar on paper. All mesh and the 4th cymbal. Pros are that the pads are all larger than the Roland TD-1D, and the controller has 50 factory kits vs. 15. The downside is that there's a lot of complaints that the alesis doesn't track fast playing (or double-bass) well, and misses a lot of hits. There's instructions on tweaking sensitivity and retrigger settings to fix things. But I'd really like an "unbox and play" experience.

    Still researching further to see the quality of these drum kit sounds, it seems that this level of gear still has mediocre kit sounds.

    So then I looked at what the next level up might be. The Roland TD-17KVX was the first one that I can find decent youtube clips of metal covers and their kit sound is pretty good (to an untrained ear). But now we're talking 1800 vs. 700.

    Finally, i found a lot of people mention the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro, which is kind of overlooked since it's inbetween the budget tier and mid-tier. It's in between the 1K/command and the 17/strike level. But I wonder if alesis still typically requires lots of sensitivity/retrigger/threshold tweaks and breaks often, of if that kit would be a good out-of-box experience.

    I have no brand loyalty, so something from yamaha/simmons/whatever else is good.

    Though I'm absolutely amazed with the quality of the Yamaha TH10X amp.
     
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  2. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    I just bought an Alesis Surge Mesh kit on Black Friday for $500. I've been playing guitar all my life, have always wanted to play drums, and I finally said "fuck it" and got one. Altogether with a throne, rug, solid closed-back headphones, and double bass pedal, it came out to almost $900.

    The consensus that you should stay away from anything lower than $700 is slowly dying for one main reason. Stock sounds don't matter anymore because if you have drum programming software or any drum sample bundle, you can load those into your e-kit module and make your own kits using any 3rd party samples.

    I know you said you'd rather not mess with any settings and have it be perfectly enjoyable out of the box, but....that's lazy as fuck dude. It took me 2 minutes to change sensitivity levels on the stock kit without even referencing the manual. And the kit immediately felt better. The fact that you can get an e-kit with mesh heads for under $2000 nowadays is INSANE. And then when you include the modded aspect of being able to load 3rd party samples that make your kit sound like it's thousands of dollars...it's a no-brainer. Especially for people like you and me that aren't drummers, and don't plan on playing live with it.

    I was also feeling the GAS hard for something more high-end, but ultimately went with the cheaper version, and I'm so happy I did. The kit feels amazing. I'm just scratching the surface of its full functionality and can't wait to get better.
     
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  3. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    What double bass pedal did you get? I have no idea how much one should spend for a usable one.
     
  4. JediMasterThrash

    JediMasterThrash SS.org Regular

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    Heh. well 2 minutes is nothing. I was thinking along the lines of my guitar tone. I've think I've spent the last 4 years, two preamps, pickup swaps, new speakers, and half a dozen pedals trying to tune in a guitar tone I'm happy with. I don't even play songs anymore I just chase tone.

    Which is one reason I brought up the yamaha TH10X. I just bought it on a relative whim because I was going on vacation for a week and wanted a travel guitar system. I've probably spent an entirety of 2 hours tuning 5 usable tones, and never had to retweak them since. And it cut through the mix easier than thousand dollar tube setups.
     
  5. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    I got a PDP DP402 double pedal:

    [​IMG]

    $100, responsive, and the drummer in my band approved of em lol
     
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  6. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    This model seems to be not available here but good to know one does not have to spend 300€ on a usable double pedal!
     
  7. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    Yeah, the way I see it, you don't need excellent gear as a beginner. I'm actually of the old school belief that you need to master something on terrible equipment before moving on to something greater. I started playing guitar on a beat up acoustic, and slowly moved up from there. I think it's worked wonders for me to not rely on gear to sound good.
     
  8. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    I kind of agree. But I think a guitar with too high action is no fun. And probably a bass drum pedal that does not feel "direct" also wouldn't feel right. But I don't know really how good cheap pedals are because I've only tried a friend's one that is more on the high end side ;-)
     

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