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.
At the top of this list is the latest monster electronic drum kit from Roland, the TD-30KV V-Pro. It features Roland's SuperNATURAL sound and behavior modeling technology giving you supernatural expressiveness, feel and sounds! On the outside, the TD-30KV 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-30KV, you are truly getting the best of both worlds - acoustic and electronic. Get the latest Roland TD-30KV price & reviews at zZounds.com.
The DTX700K is part of Yamaha's high end electronic drum kits, and is the result of combining Yamaha's experience with digital audio technology and acoustic drum manufacturing. This set features Yamaha's DTX-Pad which is designed to be exceptionally quiet while providing exemplary rebound and response - perfect for practice and just as ideal for live performance. The pads are also convincingly expressive while having a uniquely modern and ergonomic look, making it more convenient for quick setups and teardowns, compared to the competition. The functionality and response of the hardware is matched in quality by Yamaha's digital sound technology, allowing you to use various pre-installed or even personalized samples. Be it for quiet practice, or playing live, the Yamaha DTX700K continues to be among the cream of the crop. Get the latest Yamaha DTX700K price & reviews at Zzounds.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 zZounds.com.
Yamaha is known for their professional quality, budget and student friendly instruments, and the DTX530K upholds this reputation. It is ideal for serious learners and working musicians, providing great quality at a very reasonable price. The DTX530K comes with impressive hardware for its price, most notably the DTX-Pad snare head that offers rimshot and closed rimshot voices, and the choke-able cymbals with bow and edge voices. The rubber pads are also well received, providing natural stick rebound without being too bouncy. The software side matches the hardware quality, giving you 427 drum, percussion and effect sounds sounds that utilizes Yamaha's years of experience with acoustic and electronic drums. The DTX530K is heaven sent for serious students and working drummers, the best bang per buck electronic drum kit in this price range. Get the latest amaha DTX530K price & reviews at zZounds.com.
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, 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 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 price & reviews at zZounds.com.
The DTX950K is Yamaha's current flagship electronic drum kit, it is a close competitor to Roland's top of the line kits. To create the DTX950K, Yamaha combined the best of both worlds - their digital audio experience as well as their expertise with acoustic drums. As expected, the feel, response and rebound of the Textured Cellular Silicone pads used on this kit is exemplary, and claimed by many as the best there is. It has the expressiveness of acoustic drums while having a uniquely modern and ergonomic look, making it more convenient for quick setups and teardowns. Being their top-of-the-line means that the DTX950K comes with a wide array of features, most notable of which are the ones that help in practice and learning. The sounds are great as expected, and you are given the freedom to tweak and customize to your preference. You simply can't go wrong with the Yamaha DTX950K.
Pearl e-Pro Live
If you love acoustic drums but you want to try your hand at electronic drum kits, then this is the best transition drum kit for you. Pearl's quality acoustic drums are well known, and so they used their expertise with acoustic drum hardware as a leverage to create the e-Pro Live, a sort-of hybrid acoustic-electronic drum kit. The Pearl e-Pro Live is an electronic kit that actually uses electronic pads on real acoustic drum hardware. It gives you the expanded sonic capability of electronic drums while having real brass cymbals, real wood drum shells, and real drum set hardware. And another cool thing about this set is that you can easily convert the e-Pro Live back into an acoustic drum set by simply swapping the electronic pads with real drum heads!.
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.
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