Top critical review
27 people found this helpful
Great starter kit, despite having intermediate features, but lifetime is a bit short
on January 20, 2012
Alesis has been known for being affordable, unfortunately we have seen that it usually is accompanied by a bunch of kinks and iffy quality. This kit is absolutely an exception to that reputation.
This is an intermediate level kit, it has multizone crash and ride, and has room for an extra trigger. The sounds are pretty good, it isn't all that difficult to create your own kit and alter triggers and sounds to get a "real" sounding kit of your preference. The hihat pedal is pretty good, haven't had any real big problems, though I do see a few "ghosts" of pedals past from Alesis. Occasionally during fast play the open and close sounds will fight each other and you get a very unnatural sound, which has definitely thrown me off for a second. The chokable cymbals are nice features but when you choke them the sound goes immediately to 0, not exactly a good replication of a real cymbal choke.
I would recommend this kit to any beginner, because for the same price as an entry level, you get a few more features and some room for it to grow with you.
My main beef with this is that the pads with the "real head" technology are a bit counter-effective. The RealHead technology is really nothing new at all, it's just an option for you to put actual drumheads over the trigger. However the gap between where the head rests and the trigger itself is millimeters at the most, and the trigger is not forgiving. Like others have said, the pads will hit back. They are very loud so don't get this if you are looking for a kit you can play quietly, and you will find them uncomfortable to play on. Vibe-reducing sticks and really good noise-cancelling 'phones are must-haves. I'd be glad to answer any questions you have, leave em in the comments.
Having had this for about 5 months now, I feel an update would be fitting. Over the past months with medium play hours, the kit has really started to age. The pads are becoming even louder, believe it or not, as the god-awful 1/8" foam that protects the trigger gets flattened. The kick drum has become altogether broken. The plate itself is now bent as there was an insultingly thin layer of protection over the trigger. It now triggers randomly and seems beyond repair. This is a kit to be played VERY delicately.
The kick trigger has completely died. It lasted 10 months, which doesn't sound awful, but the last 7 months of it's life were wretched. It is destroyed and beyond repair despite all my efforts to keep it alive. If you do get this (or any Alesis kit; the pad quality will be the same no matter which kit) I recommend preparing to replace the kick. I have seen that Yamaha makes a well-reviewed one for about $65, which is what I plan to put onto the kit. Until then, no play for me.