Top positive review
Great sounding, great playing, lightweight kit!
January 22, 2015
First let me say that, overall, this is an excellent drum-kit for someone learning to play drums. It is small. Can be quiet when needed. It has everything you need except a throne, sticks, and a way to hear the sounds (speakers or headphones are required).
Why five stars? I think has a lot of pros and is nearly perfect given its size and price (and beats many kits that are much larger or more expensive)
- The sound "samples" of the kits are amazingly accurate and "natural"
- The samples seem to change depending on how I hit the drum, like a real kit!
- The sounds sustain for a natural length of time, and fade out or stop abruptly when appropriate (more ways to say they sound completely natural as if from a real kit)
- The pedals, pads, and cymbals feel very close to the real things (if not perfect), which is impressive for the size.
- You can upgrade the kit with a better snare and kick pedal, as well as another cymbal (there's another wire anyway)
- Easy to use controls with valuable practice modes, 15 great sounding kits, and halfway-decent accompanying music when you need to play to a song (you can also plug-in anything that uses a stereo-mini jack to play along)
- MIDI connectivity
- The options for positioning of the pads are quite limited
- The wires (not visible in the picture) are all visible when the kit is together (one from each pad and pedal all the way back to the brain)
- The pads are "pads." They are very nice gum pads to be sure, but not real heads or metal cymbals *(these pads feel better than other electronic kits I've played though, with the exception of mesh heads)*
- No built in speakers. This is a con, because you need to provide your own to get any sound from the kit. This is also a pro, because you can get whatever you want and not have to deal with lugging around/paying for inferior "built-in" speakers.
- Did not come with sticks. A con because a complete newbie would have to go get some to actually play. A pro because you should go pick sticks appropriate to your size/playing style (and likely already have them if you are buying a kit)
- The "brain" is simplified from higher-end kits. This is a pro for folks who just want to play a great sounding kit (honestly, I can't say how great it sounds often enough). This is a con for anyone who is looking to do more complicated things, though the MIDI connectivity opens some doors to solve that.
In my opinion the pros are all on the key important points and the cons are all less important (or can be solved with a more expensive kit/frame to mount to/software, etc.). In particular the con concerning "pads" is not even really fair, since I'm comparing them to either real drums or the nearly-real mesh heads. I'd say those are both more "real" feeling (especially the real ones amiright?); however, these are the best of the "gum" style pads I've used.
I usually don't like to qualify things by cost in reviews, since the merits of a product should cover it. But for the price I feel I got an excellent practice kit. For this price I would expect a very poor real drum kit with no cymbals, hardware, pedals, etc. This kit has all of the basic pieces for a kit. It sounds great. It feels natural. It is not huge or heavy. I can play at night with headphones. Perfect for me and, while it is not professional looking, it certainly produces sounds that would sound professional (natural) at a gig.
Hope that helps!
Update, I still love this kit, but just noticed the price shot up to nearly double what I paid. Makes the "value for money" comments above seem a little off... Anyhow, do yourself a favor and look for this kit at the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (searching "MSRP Roland TD-1K" on google works).