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First setup: ATV EXS-5 or TD17-KVX and module options

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  • First setup: ATV EXS-5 or TD17-KVX and module options

    Hi, I am a beginner drummer and looking for a kit that will last me a few years with good upgrade possibilities in the future. My initial requirement is to have a good authentic acoustic-sounding experience since the main reason I am not going acoustic is noise levels. Budget is in the region of EUR 2,000.

    My favoured option is ATV EXS-5 but am also looking at the TD17-KVX.

    If I go for the EXS-5 any suggestions for module choice - stick with the supplied ATV module or opt for TD17 or drumit 3 instead?

    All assistance and advice greatly appreciated....

    Cheers

    Howard

  • #2
    I'd stick with the supplied module. The ATV has very good raw acoustic sounds. Check out the Drumtec Youtube channel - there are 2 or 3 good videos demoing the sounds.
    TD17 will be very good also if you want a more processed sound. 2Box modules are great, but I wouldn't recommend them for a beginner.
    ATV aDrums, ATV aD5, eDRUMin, Presonus Quantum 2, SD3

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    • #3
      The DrumIt 3 is actually a really good idea if you are concerned about extensibility - it has plenty of individual trigger inputs and also has MIDI in for additional connectivity, which neither the TD17 or xD3 have.

      Roland modules are not the best when it comes to out of the box realism but you can always look at using a VST, but used availability and resale potential of Roland gear makes it a very good used purchase as you can generally sell stuff on again and more or less break even.

      If you want to keep things simple then the stock ATV kit is a good idea but I would give some serious consideration to trying to find a used TD-17KV and then consider later whether you want to swap the module out for a DrumIt or other more extensible brain,
      Roland TD-50 Digital Pack, Mapex V shells + UFO eBridge triggers.

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      • #4
        I would go for the ATV EXS-5 and maybe get as different module later if needed. The pads are much better than the TD17. It is almost the same as the A drum kit with shallower shells. The 3 cone design is amazing.

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        • #5
          I think whichever way you go, you shouldn't be worried about replacing the module right away. I used to have a TD-17KVX, and I don't really have anything bad to say about it. If you go that way, consider some of the sound expansion options offered by VEX and/or drum-tec. Personally, though, I think the EXS-5 looks like a better option - larger pads, better cymbals, more realistic sounds - and I think the supplied xD3 module would be perfectly fine for some time.

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          • #6
            Thanks all for your advice - looks like the EXS-5 with xD3 module is the way to go

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            • #7
              While I like the TD-17KVX, the EXS-5 has distinct benefits.

              The EXS-5 kit has much nicer pads and cymbals; every playing surface is larger and more playable, and the hi-hat is two-piece (opens and closes realistically) rather than one-piece as in the TD-17KVX.

              The EXS-5 drum rack is considerably more flexible, offering enough adjustability to set the kit up in a number of ways, especially in regard to moving the toms, snare drum, and bass drum around. With the TD-17KVX, unless you purchase a different rack, you're pretty much stuck setting up the kit as Roland decided, because the toms are locked on posts (and do not slide forward or backward, left or right) and the front rack bar is so short that adding clamps and/or moving the bass drum is infeasible.

              Build quality of the EXS-5 kit is more professional and durable than the TD-17KVX. This is especially true of the xD3 module, which features an all-metal case and chassis, with metal I/O bolted to the back panel. In contrast, the TD-17 module is built entirely of plastic, with plastic I/O that is PC board mounted.

              To be fair, there are some negatives to the EXS-5 kit. The two most notable are:

              First, the EXS-5 continues ATV's silly allegiance to single zone toms; the toms have no rim triggering and no rim sounds. That is a big deal to me personally, because I use tom rims for additional expressiveness when playing actual tom sounds and for extra instruments, such as x-hats, cross-sticks, cowbells, splash cymbals, and other percussion.

              Second, the xD3 module, at times, has noticeable machine gunning. This occurs during fast, repetitive strokes played on hi-hat, toms, and snare drum. For contrast, the TD-17 module has extremely minimal machine gunning and for the most part all strokes are rendered reasonably machine-gun free.

              So which module sounds better? The xD3 sounds much more acoustic, but when machine gunning rears its head, acoustic realism is lost. The TD-17 sounds more modern (some would say synthetic, though less so than previous Roland modules) and has almost no machine gunning. It's a bit of a toss-up, but I might pick the TD-17 sounds over the xD3 due to their modern cleanliness, v-edit adjustability, and lack of machine gunning.

              Wrapping this up, which kit do I recommend? That's a tough call, because both kits have pros and cons. The EXS-5 playing surfaces are a very attractive feature and the overall build quality of the EXS-5 is, I think, the best of the two kits. However, the TD-17KVX is well built and, in some ways, the kit is more playable due to rim sounds on toms and the lack of machine gunning. And, the TD-17 module provides sound shaping capabilities (tuning, muffling, instrument layering, EQ, and effects) entirely missing in the xD3 module. With the xD3, there is no ability to modify sounds, so if a specific tom rings too long or doesn't fit the music pitch-wise, too bad, you're stuck with it or you must change the kit preset to a different kit. When I started writing this, I thought the EXS-5 was the clear winner, but upon comparing the two kits in detail, here are my recommendations:

              Recommendation 1: To the best of my knowledge, all EXS-5 pads are dual zone; it's just the xD3 module that does not support rims for toms. Validate that all EXS-5 pads are dual zone and if true, buy the EXS-5 kit without the xD3 module and add the TD-17 module.

              Recommendation 2: If recommendation 1 is infeasible, buy the TD-17KVX.
              Last edited by TangTheHump; 12-11-19, 02:26 PM.

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              • #8
                From my point of view I would recommend the ATV EXS-5 which I call my own. For quick and dirty practicing in my cellar I use the included xD3. This combination is sounding quite good and natural. Playability is exceptional.

                The negatives are listed by ThangTheHump. Also the module gives no chance for expanding with additional toms or cymbals. But that does not mean so much to me as the sounds are quiet good and you cannot have all for 2.000 bucks.

                For playing live I use the EXS with additional aDrum snare and aDrum kick instead of the original kick combined with the mimic and some ATV cymbals more...that’s pure fun...
                Last edited by rsm; 12-10-19, 04:07 PM.

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                • #9
                  ^^^ For anyone interested, I made considerable changes to my recommendations, one post upward, before rsm's post.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post
                    Recommendation 1: To the best of my knowledge, all EXS-5 pads are dual zone; it's just the xD3 module that does not support rims for toms. Validate that all EXS-5 pads are dual zone and if true, buy the EXS-5 kit without the xD3 module and add the TD-17 module.
                    Thanks so much for the advice - I could find no documentation online however I called drum-tec and they confirmed that the pads are indeed dual zone, and both the xD3 and aD5 modules do not support rims for toms.

                    So with the invaluable input from forum members, decision is made... EXS-5 with TD-17 module....

                    Thanks

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                    • #11
                      I would confirm with them that the ATV hi hat works well with the TD17. I think others have tested it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peter Warren View Post
                        I would confirm with them that the ATV hi hat works well with the TD17. I think others have tested it.
                        Thanks for adding this, Peter! I'm fairly sure I've read from others that ATV hats work well with the TD-17 module, but better for hlask to validate this with Drum-Tec and be certain.

                        Additional side note to hlask: The TD-17 module has no MIDI In capabilities of any kind; it only has MIDI Out, so you can drive VST software on a computer, but you cannot use a computer sequencer (or other external MIDI device) to drive the TD-17. The xD3 has MIDI Out over 5 pin DIN, and MIDI In and MIDI Out over USB. So, like the TD-17, you can use the xD3 to drive VST software on a computer, however, you can also use a sequencer on your computer to play back MIDI drum performances (your own performances, for example) on the xD3. This may or may not be important to you. I'm drawing your attention to it because for some users, MIDI In is a critical feature.
                        Last edited by TangTheHump; 12-11-19, 02:23 PM.

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                        • #13
                          ATV hihat can works easily or with more time spend, depend on clutch setting, hihat stand and setting
                          https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advance...JWiJ7l-78UR0ds

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris K View Post
                            ATV hihat can works easily or with more time spend, depend on clutch setting, hihat stand and setting
                            https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advance...JWiJ7l-78UR0ds
                            Thanks for that link - with a small dose of DIY looks like the ATV hats can be made to work ok. Have also been in further communication with Drum-tec... they advise swapping with VH-10 or VH-11 and they will custom configure for me. Waiting on pricing before finalising.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hlask View Post

                              Thanks for that link - with a small dose of DIY looks like the ATV hats can be made to work ok. Have also been in further communication with Drum-tec... they advise swapping with VH-10 or VH-11 and they will custom configure for me. Waiting on pricing before finalising.
                              I have a VH-10, really good bit of kit for the price. It might be worth seeing if there's a store you can travel to that stocks both of these kits and give them both a try - see which you like the feel and sound of best - and then choose one of the stock kits.

                              If you're not sure, I would (as a chronically indecisive person) try and get your hands on a used Roland kit purely because it'll be easier to sell if you develop different preferences in 6-12 months' time.
                              Roland TD-50 Digital Pack, Mapex V shells + UFO eBridge triggers.

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