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Trigger quality of an E-Drum vs Acoustic Converted E-Drum

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  • Trigger quality of an E-Drum vs Acoustic Converted E-Drum

    Hey folks,

    I've got an e-drum setup consisting of various components that I've upgraded over the years (Roland, Yamaha and Pintech pieces). It's a really good setup, but of course there's always a drive to make them better. I've been considering upgrading my snare and kick, but then rather investigating the money there, I've thought about instead picking up a used acoustic set (like something that was originally $800, but is $250 on Craigslist) and converting it to electronic. Main reason to do so would of course be the feel of it all. However, some of the concerns I have are:

    1) The trigger I think is typically mounted on the side for conversions, rather than the center. Will this have an effect?
    2) Is the quality just as good with a conversion? Or might I end up with a lot of double triggers and missed triggers, and constant tinkering, etc that aren't currently present
    3) Is there support for dual zone and positional sensing on conversions?
    4) Anything else I might lose or that I'm not thinking of?

    What's people thoughts?

    Last edited by NullQwerty; 11-08-16, 05:15 PM.

  • #2

    1) If your module has positional sensing, it won't work with side mounted triggers. There is a lower chance of directly hitting on top of the piezo; so less issues with hotspot. For 12" and smaller, side mounted triggers have worked great for me. For 13" and 14" I tried, there were some issues for me. But others may have had better luck with larger drums and side mounted triggers.

    2) A2E conversions can be done to meet or exceed the quality of a OEM pad. It all depends on the materials, tools, skill & patience you have. A 8" conversion I did for my TD-9 worked (and looked) better than the PD-85 I had.

    3) If you do center mounted trigger, you can have positional sensing, but I could not test it as my TD-9 does not support positional sensing. Dual-zone (head & rim) worked with my A2E conversion on my TD-9. So far with my Yamaha module I have not been able to get good rim trigger A2E.

    4) Cost. With materials and tools, it cost me more to make my A2E conversion for my TD-9. Would have been cheaper to buy 2 PDX-100 & 2 PD-85. But it looked better and I got the satisfaction. For my Yamaha A2E, it is significantly cheaper since I already have the tools.
    Yamaha DTXtreme III Special Kit


    • #3
      Totally agree hameedx. Plus you get a lot of satifaction when you make your own stuff, and you usually learn a whole lot while doing it.
      TD-9_stealth Yamaha, HPD-15, HPD-10, Octapad etc.


      • #4
        I personally went A2E very soon after I got my 15-KV and never looked back.
        Few personal conclusions from my experience,
        - I haven't had good results with lug mounted trigger on anything bigger then 12" . Off center (~7-10cm from shell) Yes, lug mounted No.
        - For best rim detection, you need at least 3 contact points with the shell and the rim piezo mount similar to the original Roland pads.
        Look at the Drum-tec trigger approach to see what I mean, though actual mechanical fixation can be done in many ways
        - Pre-made triggers are usually not better then what you can do yourself with not much effort and much cheaper. They can save lots of time though if that's important.
        - Most important part of a DIY trigger is the foam. Quartz cones work great. Pintech cylinders too, but can be too tall.
        - Use at least 2 ply mesh heads. Not sure about availability in the US on that because of the Roland patents.
        ATV aD5, (Roland TD-15 for sale!)
        TAMA MetroJam2 TRB A2E


        • #5
          i have 2 22inch bassdrums i can't use anymore because of where i live so i just play my ekit ,i converted some of my toms to etoms using quarts trigger harnesses and roland mesh heads i plan to convert my bass drums as well but not sure what way i wanna go yet ,i have ddrum triggers already that i could use so i might just put a roland mesh head on cause i see they come in that size now and just use those or i might buy the new roland converter kit or buy another quartz cone trigger and make an internal trigger with a mesh head or go mesh head with axis ekit triggers because i use axis pedals anyway so they could be a good option for me

          what i wonder about though is if i use the mesh head will i need to buils an internal crossbar with a foam centre piece to help trigger better like i have seen on some a to e bass drums or can i just slap a roland mesh head on use my ddrum trigger and go? still not even sure what method of a to e i'm even going to use yet and thats the only reason i am still using my kd 120


          • #6
            There is a learning curve and some tinkering needed when going DIY. It's the nature of the beast. So, if you account the money and time spent, it is actually more expensive to go DIY. If time is not a factor, then you can save some money.

            If you are someone who gets discouraged quickly when things are not what you expect, DIY can be frustrating.

            I had to try 4 or 5 different designs before feeling good with the triggering of my snare. Toms were easier.
            DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

            My new venture:


            • #7
              @demonocus - In my limited experience, using foam in the center of a bass drum conversion does not affect triggering. It only affects feel. You can't keep the mesh too loose or it won't trigger properly, but when the mesh is tight, the feel is too bouncy. Putting foam in the center cuts down on the bounce even with tight mesh tension.
              Yamaha DTXtreme III Special Kit


              • #8
                Originally posted by hameedx View Post
                @demonocus - In my limited experience, using foam in the center of a bass drum conversion does not affect triggering. It only affects feel. You can't keep the mesh too loose or it won't trigger properly, but when the mesh is tight, the feel is too bouncy. Putting foam in the center cuts down on the bounce even with tight mesh tension.
                ty that was very helpful


                • #9
                  For the KD, try lug mounted and loosen the head as desired first. Even a Triggera Intrigg does fine for the KD (type set to KT-10. sens set to 12-15), and its using piezo that's only 20mm! So I imagine it will be even better with something that uses 27 or 35 .. but bass drum is the only conversion that worked great for me with lug mounted and from the first try.
                  Last edited by pumpal; 11-11-16, 02:30 PM.
                  ATV aD5, (Roland TD-15 for sale!)
                  TAMA MetroJam2 TRB A2E


                  • #10
                    The Intriggs work on all drums (and use 20mm piezo, btw).
                    electronic drum triggers >>> | electronic cymbals >>>

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                    • #11
                      Corrected my post. My opinion on Intriggs is that they work to some extend, but are far from optimal.
                      Last edited by pumpal; 11-11-16, 02:33 PM.
                      ATV aD5, (Roland TD-15 for sale!)
                      TAMA MetroJam2 TRB A2E


                      • #12
                        I've got a question regarding piezo size. Is there a reason to use a smaller piezo? Does the piezo size matter based on what pad and where it is mounted?

                        Yamaha DTXtreme III Special Kit


                        • #13
                          Hello everyone!!! First post and a little late to the party but I do want to share my build because it is something I am proud of.
                          I decided to convert my Yamaha stage custom to be electric simply because I want the stage presence but I want the clarity of electric sounds. I am running a Roland td-50 brain with all Roland cymbals, (2-cy12c for splash and China, 2-cy15r for crash cymbals, cy18dr for ride) I’m using a pd140ds for snare.
                          The issue was having a drum set be visually pleasing and somehow duplicate Roland's sensitivity and durability.
                          I started by building my own saddles and buying various piezoelectric sensors and did create what would be a electric kit but had minimal excitement about how inconsistent the triggers were. So with some research I purchased “quartz triggers” from a chap in Quebec which seemed to do what I wanted... but with piezoelectric sensors something people need to realize is if you skimp you get what you pay for. The sensors he supplies are junk. Wires constantly broke and piezos even shattered under normal wear. He did replace the sensor piezos one time and honestly the quality was worse. I do have to say that the saddles he makes are quite nice and innovative. So it left me with a non functioning drum set that’s not electric nor acoustic... a little research and a few persuasive phone calls and I managed to order piezoelectric sensors for Roland pd128 pads. I built all pads to have both rim and head sensors and I built my own kick sensor with two piezos in strategic locations in the kick drum. I will say that once I plugged everything in the td-50 brain believed each pad to be pd128’s and the setup was incredibly simple. The kick was recognized as a kd140 which also works wonderfully.

                          What I need to reiterate is with the right amount of work and money and persistence anything is possible. You can indeed build an amazing performing drum set capable of making any drummer jealous.