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Beginner Considering A Used Roland TD-30

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  • Beginner Considering A Used Roland TD-30

    I'm recently retired and learning to play drums is on my bucket list. I came across a used Roland TD-30 set for sale for $4000. The set is complete with Roland TD-30 Sound Module, 8 dual zone drum pads: 1x PD-128S, 3x PD-125, 2x PD-105, 1x PD8 and custom made 22” kick pad. V-cymbals included: VH-11 hi-hat, CY-15R Ride, CY-14C Crash, CY-12C Crash, CY-12R/C Ride/Crash.
    Roland drum rack with clamps and cymbal holders, all cables, Roc-n-Soc Throne, “Pearl” hardware ( double kick pedal, hi-hat and snare stand ). The set is likely too much for a beginner like me. However, I'm committed to buying a nice V-drum set. Please review the attached images. What advice would you give regarding this set? What should I be cautious of if I decide to move forward with it. Am I on the wrong track? Any help would be appreciated to avoid a serious error.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Dereck!

    I'm a retired beginner as well. I've spent my first year making sure I'll stay interested. I'm using a Roland Octapad and some software, and I got a sweet deal on a Pearl Export kit still in boxes for $375 and equipped it with mesh heads and L80 quiet cymbals. Working out well, wife still supportive, and I've stayed with daily practice. Time for a real eKit.

    I'm planning on a new TD-17KVX. Good mesh heads all around (assuming you like them. there are advocates for other systems.), two crashes, nice ride, and a hh setup that uses a real hh stand. Add a current sound engine in the module, bluetooth support, sd card, and it's looking pretty good for a beginner like me at $1800 just about anywhere. I've already got a hh stand, a DW 5000 pedal, and my trusty Roc-n-Soc, so patch that baby into my mixer and let's go!

    If you went that route, you'd have a kit that probably exceeds most beginner's technique level and $2200 in your pocket. In a while you may see a great deal on a top-o-the-line touch screen super module for $1800. Cool, you'd have the cash available. Perhaps another cymbal? No problemo. Or after a year, sell the whole thing outright, add the proceeds to the $2200, and get whatever you want.

    Of course, you're going to need a decent throne regardless of your kit. At my age, I want a decent, comfortable seat with a backrest. I don't ever want to worry that it's going to let me down, or that I can't get parts. I've got a Pork Pie as a backup. Don't scrimp. You'll be in contact with it every second you play or practice. Ergonomics, man!

    Pedals are personal. Go try a bunch. For me, the DW5000 struck the balance between "buy once, cry once!" and "I'm paying for stuff I'll never even notice." And my preferred musical styles work just fine without a double pedal. YMMV.

    HH stand sorta depends on if your chosen hh uses a stand or a separate controller pedal with cymbal pad. At my level, and for my hobby use, I'm keeping the budget for the stand to $150. I've got a decent enough for me hh stand with the Pearl kit. I like 3 leg stands over 2 leg, (no double bass pedal), and I'll probably not be good enough to appreciate the nuances of a $350 stand. So plenty of choices. Again, I'm buying new to avoid hassles with gear that I find out is worn out, binding, not quite right.

    For me, it's like buying cymbals for my acoustic kit. I'm not going to buy something I'll hate in 30 days. But I'm not really qualified yet to say which decent ones I'm confident I'll like. So I'll keep practicing and watch for cymbals that will retain some good resale or trade value later on. Some day I'll fall in lust and say "Oooh! I just gotta have this ride! How much? Never mind, here's my card." Until then, I'll watch for sales, and remember that for me it's a hobby, and I"m here to have fun, share the fun, and spread the fun!

    Safe travels,


    • #3
      For almost the same price you could get an ATV A drums kit and Pearl Mimic pro Module. That would give you sizes closer to a real drumset and the best current module and pads .


      • #4
        Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.


        • #5

          There is a lot of good advice in your thread thus far. Myself, I note a few things about the kit you're looking at, as follows:

          (1) The components are of high quality, however, all are at least one generation old and some are two or more generations old.

          (2) The kit uses pads with center-mounted triggers and these cause hot spots in the center of the drums. Hot spots are areas where the volume suddenly jumps much louder in an unmusical and uncontrolled way. This is hugely detrimental to learning drum technique. The kits I recommend later solve this problem.

          (3) The price is high. At that price, as Peter Warren suggests, you can buy brand new ATV aDrums (the best pads and cymbals currently available) and Pearl Mimic Pro (the best, most realistic drum sounds currently available in a drum module). You'd need to spend a little more for the aDrums / Mimic Pro solution, but you're in the ballpark. Thus, the kit you're looking at is not good value, despite the fact it has many pieces. If you could buy that kit for half off (say $2K), it would be a more attractive option..

          (4) Regardless of cost, that kit is huge and I do not recommend it for a beginner. And indeed, many skilled, professional drummers would not want a kit of that size. More is not always better. Each drum and cymbal you add must be placed somewhere, sometimes displacing more important instruments in the kit.

          So, where do I recommend you start?

          Start with a four piece kit: snare drum, rack tom, floor tom, and bass drum.

          Add a hi-hat, the pair of cymbals that close together and that are operated with a foot pedal.

          Add two more cymbals: one crash cymbal and one ride cymbal.

          Finally, because we are talking electronic drums, add a drum module, the electronic device you plug the pads and cymbals into, and that makes the sound.

          These are the most important instruments of an electronic drum kit. With fewer instruments, you can place each instrument exactly where it is easiest to reach and easiest for you to play. Myself, I play a four piece kit for almost all my gigs. (Note, the number of pieces typically includes only the drums, not the cymbals.)

          That large kit you're looking at is pretty much unplayable as currently set up. There is too much stuff in the way of important instruments. For example, I'd get rid of the cymbal and rack tom in front of the hi-hat, so I can move the hi-hat forward to avoid twisting my hips to the side. The rack tom immediately in front of the snare drum - I'd leave that. But the rack tom one over - I'd remove that and put the ride cymbal there, so the ride cymbal is lower, nearer, and easy to reach. Ditto for other parts of the kit - I'd likely get rid of half the drums and cymbals to move other instruments around for easier access.

          Basically then, I say forget that kit you're looking at, unless you can get it inexpensively ($2K or less). And even if you can get it inexpensively, you'll still need help to get rid of all the stuff you don't need, and you'll have to deal with hot spots. All of these are negatives. You'll learn faster and more easily without a bunch of unnecessary drums and cymbals cluttering your progress, and without hot spots hindering your technique.

          For your needs then, what kit do I recommend?

          I'll provide two options, one high-end (like the kit you're looking at, but with fewer and better pieces) and one low-end yet very playable (so you can save money). Fancy drums are great, especially fancy electronic drums! However, you can learn on a less expensive kit, so it depends on your finances and priorities.

          Let's do the high-end kit first.

          I'm going to second Peter Warren's suggestion and recommend the four piece version of ATV aDrums without the ATV aD5 module. This kit is called ATV aDrums Artist Standard Set No Module. It's a four piece kit (13 inch snare drum, 10 inch rack tom, 13 inch floor tom, and 18 inch bass drum), with 14 inch hit-hats, 16 inch crash cymbal, and 18 inch ride cymbal. Important: This kit uses a three-way, side mounted trigger system that prevents hot spots. That's one of the most important features of this kit and it will help you learn proper drumming technique. This kit sells for $2,549 USD.

          You need a drum module. I skipped the ATV aD5 module because it's too limited in terms of features, sounds, and adjustability. So, for the module, I'm also going to second Peter Warren's suggestion and recommend Pearl Mimic Pro. This is, without question, the best sounding drum module currently on the market. It's not cheap, but this is a high-end module to match the first-class aDrums kit. This module sells for $2,199 USD.

          Together, this is a kit and module that will last you many, many years. This is not a huge kit and it doesn't need to be. Rather, this is a very playable kit that will be great to learn on and great for gigging (small, compact, and easy to move) should you decide to play with other musicians.

          Okay! We've done the price is no object option! Let's do the save money option and still get a very playable kit.

          I'll go right to the punch: Roland TD-17KVX. This is a five piece kit (12 inch snare drum, 10 inch rack tom, 10 inch rack tom, 10 inch floor tom, and soft bass drum tower pad), with 12 inch hi-hats, 12 inch crash, 12 inch crash, and 13 inch ride. You get more drums and cymbals with this kit, but the larger sizes of the ATV aDrums kit are more playable. Still, the TD-17KVX is all-in-one (drums, cymbals, and module), and it is perfectly fine to learn on; the pads and cymbals are playable enough that they won't hinder your learning. Also important, unlike the TD-30 kit you're looking at, this kit has side-mounted triggers that avoid hot spots. It's not as fancy as the three-way system ATV uses, but it gets the job done. The TD-17KVX sells for $1,800 USD.

          Super Important: I'd take either of the kits I recommended over the TD-30 kit you're looking at, because both kits I recommended have no hot spots. Hot spots are a huge problem with Roland flagship kits, like TD-12, TD-20, and TD-30 based kits, and to a lesser degree the TD-50 based kits.

          Ultimately, which of the two kits do I recommend?

          If you can afford it, I might go the aDrums / Mimic Pro route. However, this is not a plug and play solution because it's a professional kit designed to handle many different playing situations. The module, especially, is designed to work with pads and cymbals from different manufacturers, and this means you'll need to configure trigger settings for the aDrums. This takes takes time, learning, and experimentation. You'll get phenomenal results when you're done, but don't expect instant results out of the box. These are two different products coming together to make the best sounding, best playing electronic drum kit currently available.

          If ease of setup, saving money, or both are important to you, then the Roland TD-17KVX is what I recommend. The entire kit is designed to work, plug and play, out of the box. Over time, you'll need to learn trigger settings in the module to match the kit to your playing touch, but the kit plays fairly well with default settings. Unlike the aDrums / Mimic Pro solution, this kit won't be as nice to play, won't sound as good, and doesn't look as good. But this is still a good sounding kit (it sounds better than the TD-30 kit you're looking at, for example) and it plays very well.

          Really, I suspect the TD-17KVX is a great place for you to start, because it allows you to learn about electronic drums without spending a heap of money and it works out of the box. As you learn more, your tastes will change, and then you'll be in a better position to make upgrade decisions. By that time, there will be better equipment available than even the best there is now! So yes, my gut feeling is TD-17KVX is a better path for a beginner than the more expensive aDrums / Mimic Pro kit.

          Good luck with all of this! It can be daunting learning about electronic drums, but it's also a lot of fun! If you have more questions, ask away. Everyone here is friendly and willing to help. I've learned a lot from this community!
          Last edited by TangTheHump; 12-05-19, 11:01 AM.


          • #7
            I stopped by my local chain music retailer, looking for some small items. I saw a new TD-17KVX in boxes with a sign saying $1549 and the sale dates. Those dates were, of course, last week of November. However, the boxes and sign were still on the floor, and one must ask....

            Yes, they will sell it at the price shown. Now, I'm a fairly frequent customer there, and I said I'd pay in full right now if they can load them in the back of the Mini. Done. It's a Clubman, so the boxes fit. Since that's the best deal on a new 17kvx from a legit dealer either shipped or within my pickup distance that I've seen, it came home with me.

            It went together fairly intuitively. Easy hh calibration. Connected to my computer and was instantly recognized by my software. Training software used tonight. I'll try Addictive Drums 2 tomorrow. Headphones only so far as my big speakers are still bagged up from a recent event.

            Give it a try in a store if you haven't, and watch for good buying opportunities. They seem fleeting, but can be found.


            • #8
              Vicegrips wrote:
              I stopped by my local chain music retailer, looking for some small items. I saw a new TD-17KVX in boxes with a sign saying $1,549 and the sale dates. Those dates were, of course, last week of November. However, the boxes and sign were still on the floor, and one must ask. Yes, they will sell it at the price shown.
              Vicegrips is right. The prices I gave are full list. You can find lower prices if you shop around and/or if you buy in person. The aDrums / Mimic Pro kit is two different products, so if you buy both from the same retailer, you're more likely to get a deal. The TD-17KVX is a full kit, and yes, you can find deals on it.

              One more thought. A lot of people recommend buying electronic drums used. If you know what you are buying, this is the way to go. You can buy a high-end, flagship kit for half or less of its original price. A beginner does not know what they are buying, so it's a good idea to buy new and from a reputable vendor that offers a full money back return policy. Be on the watch for vendors that charge restocking fees - avoid these outfits. There are plenty of vendors that offer full money back, no questions asked, no restocking fees. Because electronic drums are a big item to ship and shipping fees typically apply (both when buying and when returning), I'd buy your first kit locally, to avoid this expense. This is risk mitigation and it's well worth having in your plan.

              In the second last generation of e-drums, the major manufacturers released flagship kits that were almost identical to their previous offerings. Thus, back then, if you bought the previous flagship kits used for half off, you were getting a great deal. This time around, the current generation kits are very different from their previous generation counterparts and there are many more companies in the marketplace.

              Getting a kit like the TD-30 you're looking at, even at half off, is not such a good deal anymore, because current generation kits perform better and sound better. For example, the newer TD-17KVX kit, while a fairly low-end kit, plays better (no hot spots) and sounds better (better sound engine with higher quality samples) than any of the TD-30 based flagship kits, and the TD-17KVX costs far less, even new. This is why buying used can be a good deal "if you know what you are buying", but buying the wrong gear used at the wrong price is not a good deal at all.
              Last edited by TangTheHump; 12-05-19, 11:33 AM.


              • #9
                I have a td30 and agree the newer modules sound much better whereas the td30 was not a great improvement on the expanded td20. Love how solid the td30 is and a great kit for triggering SD3. Its been quite while since I’ve even practiced with the internal sounds.
                Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.


                • #10
                  mkok wrote:
                  I have a TD-30 and agree the newer modules sound much better whereas the TD-30 was not a great improvement on the expanded TD-20. Love how solid the TD-30 is and a great kit for triggering SD3. It's been quite a while since I've even practiced with the internal sounds.
                  I have a TD-30, too. The module is well built and a pleasure to use, and the built-in sequencer is great for practicing and creative purposes (layering drum sounds with pad patterns, for example). However, the sounds are poor by current standards and were not great even by standards at the time. I do use the sounds for practice, but they are not inspiring and the machine gunning can get pretty bad. As a TTM device (trigger to MIDI), the TD-30 is great. Like you, the real magic happens when I use the TD-30 to trigger VST drum software on a computer. But as a standalone drum module, the TD-30 is hard to recommend nowadays. For example, the TD-17 module, while nowhere near the build quality and flexibility of the TD-30, sounds considerably better and has such minimal machine gunning that it's pretty much unnoticeable.
                  Last edited by TangTheHump; 12-05-19, 08:05 PM.


                  • #11
                    Thanks for all the fantastic feedback. This is exactly what I needed. A dose of reality. My wife was on my back regarding the price. Especially this time of the year. I agree with everything said. It makes perfect sense to me. That's why I joined the forum to tap into all the expertise. I'll pass on the Roland TD-30 set and start off simpler and with lower spend. I'll build up from there. I'm more excited now than before. Amazing what a little knowledge will do. Thanks to all.