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Electronic Kits: Roland vs. Yamaha for Beginner

Dave-in-TN

I'm not a drummer--I play a little bass and guitar. My 11-year-old son (who plays piano) is wanting to get into drums. We told him if he saved his money for a year we'd help him buy an electronic kit. We definitely want electronic--mainly for the volume control. :)
Anyway, we're still a few months away from making any decisions, but I've been reading up some on electronic kits. I mostly hear great things about the Rolands in terms of sound quality, expressiveness, etc. However, one thing that is very appealing about the stuff I've read from Yamaha is all the features their modules have for learning/practicing. Since there are no experienced drummers at our house, the more learnning helps and features a kit has to help with timing, etc. the better.
So I'm wondering whether Yamaha is really that much better when it comes to the learning and practice features or whether they just do a better job of marketing what they have to that crowd. How does Roland compare in the learning/practice tools, features, etc.
I know that budget will inevitably creep into the discussion at some point. I don't really have a budget in mind yet, but <=$1500 would be great.
Any advice would be appreciated... Thanks!
May 9, 2007 @01:37pm
Yuval Fuchs

Hi Dave, I am a big fan of the Roland V-Kits. In my professional opinion, these kits are the cutting edge of this technology both as learning/practicing tools as well as performance instruments. I have done extensive side by side comparisons with many competing products and I can wholeheartedly tell you that the Roland V-kits take the cake in every aspect and feature set.
May 9, 2007 @05:12pm
Dave-in-TN

Thanks for the reply. I have heard great things about the Roland kits, and I'm kind of partial to them anyway just because I own a Roland digital piano that we really like.
The one feature of the Yamaha DTEXPRESS kits that sounds really appealing is this:
The Groove Check function further hones your rhythmic skills by giving you a display that shows whether your playing is behind, ahead, or right on time. The rhythm gate function takes this method a step further by only playing the notes that are accurate and silencing errant strokes. The tolerance automatically narrows if your hits are accurate and widens if your hits are inaccurate. These are invaluable training tools for increasing accuracy of players at any skill level.
Do the Roland kits have anything comparable to this?
May 9, 2007 @05:50pm
Yuval Fuchs

Dave,
The Roland TD-3
May 9, 2007 @07:52pm
Yuval Fuchs

Dave,
The Roland TD-3SW kit truly excels in the training department as well. It has an advance rhythm coach feature (based on Roland's Rhythm Coach products - RMP3, RMP-5) built in that includes the following exercises:
*Rhythmic Notes - cycles up through rhythmic subdivisons
*Time Check - two modes, easy and hard
*Quiet Count - # of bars w/click, # bars quiet
*Speed Check - Tempo increases 5 BPM if played correctly for 8 bars
*Gradual Up/Down - tempo increases/decreases by 1 BPM every beat, every 2 beats, etc.
*Step Up/Down - Same as above, only every 8 bars
*Count In - OFF The click sound stops playing after the count in is finished, ON The click continues after the count in
Here is a link where you can take a closer look at this kit: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TD3SW/
May 9, 2007 @07:59pm
Dave-in-TN

Dave,
The Roland TD-3SW kit truly excels in the training department as well. It has an advance rhythm coach feature (based on Roland's Rhythm Coach products - RMP3, RMP-5) built in that includes the following exercises:
*Rhythmic Notes - cycles up through rhythmic subdivisons
*Time Check - two modes, easy and hard
*Quiet Count - # of bars w/click, # bars quiet
*Speed Check - Tempo increases 5 BPM if played correctly for 8 bars
*Gradual Up/Down - tempo increases/decreases by 1 BPM every beat, every 2 beats, etc.
*Step Up/Down - Same as above, only every 8 bars
*Count In - OFF The click sound stops playing after the count in is finished, ON The click continues after the count in
Here is a link where you can take a closer look at this kit: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TD3SW/

Thanks for the info. Do you know if these features are included in the TD-6SW and TD-6SXT kits also or do they just include it on the entry level kit assuming that it's the one that beginners will buy most often?
May 9, 2007 @08:20pm
Yuval Fuchs

That's exactly right Dave. They only include on this kit as it is the "entry level" model. I cringe to say entry level when this kit has so many pro features and sounds, but that's the reason.
May 9, 2007 @08:24pm
Yuval Fuchs

Dave, I can assure you that the pads that need to be dual trigger on this kit are. Here is the breakdown:
• 1 x PDX-8 New snare mesh pad with expanded 10-inch
rim size to improve the playability of rim shots.
• 3 x PD-8 dual-trigger rubber pads for playing rim shots on toms and bow/edge sounds on hi-hat
• 1 x CY-5 for Hi-Hat with 12-inch playing zone
• 2 x CY-8 Dual Trigger Cymbal Pad
• 1 x KD-8 Kick Trigger with vertical design for natural feel and reduced tremble; double bass pedal compatible
• 1 x FD-8 Hi-Hat Controller allows for smooth hi-hat sounds from open to closed
May 9, 2007 @10:59pm
Dave-in-TN

Dave, I can assure you that the pads that need to be dual trigger on this kit are. Here is the breakdown:
• 1 x PDX-8 New snare mesh pad with expanded 10-inch
rim size to improve the playability of rim shots.
• 3 x PD-8 dual-trigger rubber pads for playing rim shots on toms and bow/edge sounds on hi-hat
• 1 x CY-5 for Hi-Hat with 12-inch playing zone
• 2 x CY-8 Dual Trigger Cymbal Pad
• 1 x KD-8 Kick Trigger with vertical design for natural feel and reduced tremble; double bass pedal compatible
• 1 x FD-8 Hi-Hat Controller allows for smooth hi-hat sounds from open to closed

And the module has all the right inputs to take advantage of the dual trigger pads, right?
May 10, 2007 @12:37pm
Yuval Fuchs

Yes, that's correct and it's expandable with more pads since it has 9 trigger inputs. Feel free to call me at any time to discuss this in more detail.
May 10, 2007 @02:23pm
Dave-in-TN

Yes, that's correct and it's expandable with more pads since it has 9 trigger inputs. Feel free to call me at any time to discuss this in more detail.

Thanks. I appreciate all the help!
May 10, 2007 @02:28pm
rokgod

Definately Roland.
'nuff said.
May 20, 2007 @10:55pm
aeroastro

Well i own and love the Yamaha DTXPRESS III, it's a very good kit. But i really wish i'd bought a Roland instead, because the rubber pads on the Yamaha can get pretty annoying, and the Roland pads just feel amazing.
June 3, 2007 @04:18pm