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Electronic drum sets have come a long way over the years with the quality improving to the point that they're now used not just for practice, but everywhere that you would find acoustic kit being played from cover bands, to major concerts, and recording sessions.
Today's premium kits offer impressive realistic playing surfaces and sounds that could easily trample the best electronic drum kits of past years. After reviewing all the major brands available, we have selected the very best electronic drums currently on the market - ones that feel and respond remarkably close to acoustic drum kits, while providing the advantage of digital audio convenience and sound flexibility.
Tip: Many electronic drummers use Keyboard Amps to amplify their kits - for more information see Gearank's guide to The Best Keyboard Amps.
At the top of this list is the latest monster electronic drum kit from Roland, the TD-30K V-Pro. It features Roland's SuperNATURAL sound and behavior modeling technology giving you supernatural expressiveness, feel and sounds! On the outside, the TD-30K looks and responds like an acoustic set, but it does not end there because it will greatly expand your sound palette while remaining rooted to the drum setup familiar and comfortable to you. Its advanced sensing technology, combined with its powerful sound processor results in convincing and impressive responsiveness, faithfully reproducing the nuances and dynamics of your strikes, chokes, and other drumming techniques. With the Roland TD-30K, you are truly getting the best of both worlds - acoustic and electronic. Get the latest Roland TD-30K price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Roland dominate this space and they also get the 2nd spot on our list. If the flagship model of Roland is too much for your budget, you don't have to fret because they have a whole range of electronic drums that are more affordable while retaining high quality. Case in point is the Roland TD-11KV-S, giving you convincing acoustic feel and loaded with hundreds of Roland quality percussion samples in a more compact and budget friendly package. The snare's mesh V-pads are responsive and the entire kit sits on Roland's most space-saving drum stand. Aside from having quality sounds and hardware, the TD-11KV is also a powerful practice kit, offering nifty features like Quick Record/Play and a virtual Coach function. The Roland TD-11KV-S highlights the many advantages of modern electronic drum kits over traditional acoustic sets. If you are looking for a quality kit that doesn't hog too much space, then go for the TD-11KV. Get the latest Roland TD-11KV-S price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Checking on Gearank.com shows Yamaha are definitely the second most popular brand in this category and the DTX532K was the highest rated Yamaha set over $500. The sounds of its DTX502 module are highly regarded for both recording and live performance with many professional drummers using this as their main kit. The drums and cymbals all have 3 zones and from the video demos it appears the velocity sensitivity is quite good too. The cymbals also have a DTX exclusive feature which lets you choke them, or even mute them before you hit. As an added bonus the hi-hat pedal can be switched to act as a second kick pedal so you don't need to buy a double kick pedal. Get the latest Yamaha DTX532K price & reviews at Amazon.com.
This 6-piece drum kit is a great value electronic drum set, having features that are usually found on kits that are priced twice as much. This is the big brother of their more popular KT2 kit, and it features larger toms and drum pads at 11", and both of which come in nice looking white finish that contrasts the usual black/gray colors used on electronic drums. All drum pads are dual zoned (separate rim sensors) and feature dynamic tracking, something that you normally only find on more expensive kits. The pads are also design to be quiet while having natural stick rebound and feel. The 12" hi-hat, 14" ride cymbal and two 12" crash cymbals are also bigger and features a bell trigger for variation, all of which come with versatile boom arms for quick set up. In addition to great playability, this kit comes with 550 studio quality percussion and DJ sounds, with 45 pre-configured drum sets and 25 slot available for saving user configured ones. It is also a great practice kit with 100 built-in play along songs. If you're looking for a different looking drum kit that gives you great value for your money, check the KAT kt3 out. Get the latest KAT kt3 Advanced Electronic Drum Set price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Alesis is well known for their drum machines and other electronic percussion instruments, so it wasn't much of a surprise to find that they have a great electronic drum kit - the DM10X. It features upgraded "RealHead" pads instead of the rubber pads used on their cheaper models, these new pads come with real mylar drumheads and counterhoops that allow for good playing feel and response. Alesis knows their way around drums and percussion samples, and as expected the DMX10 produces quality sounds. Expressiveness is provided for by Alesis Dynamic Articulation multi-sample technology, allowing the pads to capture the minute details of your drum playing. Its ergonomic design, great sounding samples, sensitive pads and reasonable price make for a great portable and practice drum kit. Get the latest Alesis DM10X price & reviews at Amazon.com.
So there you have it - the electronic drum sets that we rate as the best. If you're looking for a less expensive set than the ones above, then check out our reviews of the budget range of electronic sets or Gearank's guide to Cheap Electronic Drum Sets For Beginners.
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