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What to buy? Upgrading from Alessis DM6 ($1000-1500 budget)

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  • What to buy? Upgrading from Alessis DM6 ($1000-1500 budget)

    Hi folks. I'm a relatively new drummer (girlfriend bought me the Alessis DM6 a year and a half ago) and I think I've definitely got the bug. I've played a few live shows on friend's acoustic kit, and regularly use my DM6 for practice. I live in a small apartment so electronic drums are all I can manage at this time. I'm wondering, what should I go to next to upgrade from my current setup?

    Budget: $1000-1500 (somewhat flexible) (open to used or refurbished also)
    Primary uses: Solo practice, learning, occasional band practice (with an amp), possibly an occasional live gig
    Features I wish I had:
    • Half-open high hat (ideally with a smooth transition from closed to open)
    • Two or three zone ride cymbal
    • Better kick drum (the alessis kick is finicky and prone to double taps)
    • Cymbal choke
    • Quieter cymbal pads
    • (Maybe?) mesh heads
    • (Maybe?) flexibility to upgrade pads later

    I've tried out a few at Guitar Center and generally like the nice Roland kits with mesh heads. But I'm wondering if those with more experience in this area might offer me some recommendations? Any particularly noteworthy models stand out?

  • #2
    I recently got a good deal on a Roland TD11KV kit, ended up paying right in the middle of your price range. I would say it meets all of your criteria, except maybe the live gig part... not sure how portable you'd consider the kit. Seems that shops are willing to discount the TD11 kits now, not sure if that means that something new is on the horizon, but it's a very solid kit.


    • #3
      Hey folks. Update on this. So I ended up going higher end than I previously thought. I found a used TD-25K for $1600. Just set it up last night.

      Last night I was looking up info about the extra kit collection downloads and read about the 2box drums that I hadn't even had on my radar before. From some of the demo videos online they seems a bit more realistic sounding in terms of swelling dynamics (especially on the toms). So I'm having a bit of buyers remorse. I love the responsiveness of the TD-25K pads (with the exception of the Ride bell that is a little tough to trigger), but the sound is a bit "machine-gunny". I realize this will likely bring out strong opinions.

      I'm still well within my return window on the TD-25K, anyone have thoughts on whether a switch might be worth it? I also came across a thread talking about adding different drum samples to the TD-25K using VEX ( But I'm a little hesitant to shell out $40 sound unheard without knowing whether it would really boost the sound quality.


      • #4
        Note: to admins... I'm actually going to make a different thread for a more accurate title for this new question. Sorry for the double-post.

        New thread: