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My own quick review of DTXpress2

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  • My own quick review of DTXpress2

    Finally! I found a shop with this little guy (havn't really been looking too hard, as I won't be in a position to purchase until January at the earliest).

    But I was quite impressed with the new Yamaha entry level kit.

    First, my limited experience with the old one was that it wasn't worth considering. I didn't like the sounds, I didn't like the HiHat action and the brain interface was just not usable when compared to the V-Club. The first two just may have been screwed up kits, but it was also influenced by the fact that Guitar Center always set up the kit (when they set it up) for 10 year old sized players.

    Next, the things I was looking for:
    1. HiHat pedal and sound. I found the DTXpress1 to either be open or closed, and you could not get it to do any normal HiHat things (stomp on it to get a clang sound, open it while playing to get a quick accent or swing sound out of it). Well, the new one works for all of these things. Not as sensitive as the Roland, but I suspect that can be adjusted in the settings.

    2. THREE-ZONE pads using a single interface plug. The Snare works, and you can really get 3 sounds. The Pad, and 2 Rims. Really neat.
    2.1 THREE ZONE Cymbals- sorry, the jurry is still out on this for me, but it looks like it should work. I plugged the snare pad into the ride input, but the 2 rim sounds came out the same. I could not get one to be the bell. I got the manual from the guy behind the counter, but did not have time enough to figure out how to assign sounds. The manual does indicate that inputs 2, 6 and 7 can take 3 zone pads, and a seperate sounds can be assigned to each zone.

    ***2.2 The manual mentions a 3 zone Cymbal pad designated "PCY-150" as the 3 zone Cymbal pad type you can choose. Anyone heard of this thing? Yamaha STILL has NOT updated their website, and I havn't seen it on any other web site selling Yamaha stuff either.

    3. The sounds themselves. Pretty nice. Everything I heard in my 45 minutes or so was pretty nice. A lot of cartoony/electonic sounds and things I don't care too much about, but it appears there are plenty of accoustic style sounds available to play with, and the few I played with it sounded good.

    1. Single Zone Cymbals that come with the kit. This is really just stupid IMO. The kit ships with a Single and a Dual Zone cymbal pads (crash and ride respectively) and they take up the 3-zone inputs. Worse than that, it appears there are no 3 zone cymbal pads you can buy for the kit yet (although the manual mentions something about a "PCY-150"). So, what are we supposed to do, get a couple extra snare pads and toss the cymbal pads? I suppose we could plug them into the 9/10 input, but it does seem a waste.

    2. No high end counter-part Brain or Pads. Maybe Yamaha is still working on this, or perhaps they're sitting on it until all their DTXTremes get sold. Or perhaps they have decided not to bother.

    3. the Interface still sucks. But I guess I could ge used to it.

    4. Who was the idiot Genius who assigned the default sounds to the Daul Zone Ride? You get the Ping of the Bow and the clanging crash of the edge. Excuse me, what drummer likes to crash his heavy 20-22 inch ride more than he likes his bell? On the upside, if it had a bell trigger I'd be happy to put a heavy crash sound on the rim of this thing.

    5. The pie shaped cymbals kinda flop around when you hit them. I could get used to it, but it is annoying when I'm sitting there in the store.

    6. The Pad mounts. This isn't so bad as the frame seems sturdy enough (and better than the V-club from my impression) but the way the pads mount is kind of weird. And they keep getting knocked loose when I played it at GC.

    If this thing had 3 zone cymbals it would be superior to the V-Club. (3x3= 9, + 6x2= 21 total potential triggers) for less than the price of a V-club. However, there appears (at present) to be now upgrade paths for the cymbals, and I'm not sure if there are easily attainable dual zone toms to be gotten. The V-club clearly has better upgrade paths (get a dual zone snare and you can keep the old one as an extra tom- same with the HiHat, and you still have room for one more pad)

    I can wait until January to make a decision fortunetely. But for those that are buying now, it is sort of a toss up between the DTXpress2 and the V-Club. I sort of feel the DTXpress2 to a little more durable (at least the cymbals are), but the V-Club has it on the interface, and may have it on sounds. But the DTXpress, with propper support from Yamaha could be real competition for it. (now if only Yamaha would do the same in the mid to high range...)

    Note: I edited this thing an hour after I posted it.
    Last edited by danielrg; 11-07-02, 08:30 PM.
    That Dan Guy

  • #2
    Good review - thanks! Most people wrote off the Yamaha after trying the first version, so it's a good thing that you checked it out.
    Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance


    • #3
      I use the DTXexpress v1.0 only as a second brain with my session kit. IMO, the DTXpress was targeted at the home-practice user or for those drummers looking for quick setup times. Frankly, if I could afford a second TD-10/8 I would give the system to my sons to learn on. The rack and mounting just won't hold under heavy play.

      I haven't tried the v2.0, but the downside of the orginal kit wasn't the brain, it was the mounting system, and the pad feel. It's nice to hear the 3zone pads work, but it's still plastic. As for the brain...Yes, the interface isn't easy, but I've learned to set it and forget it.


      • #4
        I have to admit I was really surprised by how nice the DTXpress2 is. I had had always encountered problems trying out the old one at stores.

        I checked this one out as I have so much time on my hands until all the moons and planets are aligned just right so that I can purchase a drum kit.

        I think the biggest problem really is the rack and way the pads are mounted. Horizontal stems instead of vertical means you have to adjust the main bars to adjust the height of the pads. Then the lack of 3 zone cymbal pads really kills the point of THE major feature (at least for me) on this kit.

        I didn't think the rubber pads felt all that bad, just that they got knocked loose too easily. Rubber pads are rubber pads. The V-Club uses them, and they feel the same to me. The big advantage the DTXpress2 has is that 3zone snare. If there was a version that used all the zones possible- 2 on the hihat and toms, plus 3 on each cymbal and snare, this would be a total kick ass little kit! But it ships with all single zone pads excpet for one dual zone cymbal and the tri-zone snare.

        I'm still holding out hope that the situation will be remedied since the manual mentions a "PCY-150" 3 zone cymbal pad. Hopefully by January or Feb of next year when everything is just right.

        I should also add that the V-CLub upgrade path seems better thought out than Yamaha's. With the V-Club you can add pads without throwing any away and gain the use of all your dual zone inputs. With the DTXpress, if they ever come out with tri-zone cymbals (or you use 3zone snare pads) you're going to end up throwing out some pads (or needing a TMC-6). I suppose I could live with this for the toms, (replace two with dual zone pads and use the old ones off the 9/10 input), but Yamaha should take a lesson from Roland and max out the cymbal pads.
        That Dan Guy


        • #5
          Originally posted by gingerbaker
          Good review - thanks! Most people wrote off the Yamaha after trying the first version, so it's a good thing that you checked it out.
          I am glad some will find it of use. I'm a computer geek that has to have everything organized and put in place (mentally at least) before I do anything (comes from setting up computer Servers and networks that contain the life-blood of businesses- DATA).

          So I just had to research it and why not share the information? Maybe some others will come forward and share what they know. Maybe someone knows what a PCY-150 is, where to get it and how much it is.
          That Dan Guy


          • #6
            Thanks Albator!

            I didn't know there was a seperate web site. Not surprising. I've known Web-Developers who quit for a company in one place, moved back to the 'states and got rehired there for significantly more money after being told they couldn't transfer. (I lived in Taiwan for 5 years).
            That Dan Guy