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Searching for the greatest value ekit

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  • Searching for the greatest value ekit

    Hello vdrum forum members!

    I'm in the process of finalizing a list of parts to build my first 'dream' edrum kit. I've gathered info from all round the internet over many months, a lot of good advice has come from vdrums in particular, thanks everyone! So the next best thing really was to make my own thread. In short, I'm looking for experienced eyes to glance over my shopping list and tell me if I've forgotten anything important or have any advice on the parts I've selected.

    I have a fairly powerful PC already, small speakers, xfi sound card, (latency tested about 7ms mic jack with guitar VST) Importantly, I know I want to play the drums! - Since I’ve been using practice pads to play along to music for about a year now, time for a real kit me thinks.
    I have made a google spreadsheet to help me plan this. Publicly viewable here
    I've already done the whole “visit the music shop” thing. Had ample time playing the mainstream offerings from Yamaha and Roland (but not 2Box) originally thought I could get away with buying the TD-11K... but in person, the kit seems smaller than I thought. The TD-15KV however, I was immediately comfortable with, except however the price. My budget is under £2500.

    Roland makes the best quality gear, no doubt about that, by which I mean the actual drums and cymbals. - I didn't think playing area (drum size) or mesh head actually mattered before I went to the shop. Now I see it as a necessity. Hell, I didn't even think looks mattered until I saw it in person.

    But the sounds my edrums make were always priority 1 no matter what, and through headphones they were indeed spectacular - without any music playing, the sounds the roland kits make are represented in their best light, i.e. it's very easy to go dopey eared and think it’s great. However, I wasn’t that impressed when sitting at home and listening to MP3 previews of vexxed TD11 and TD15 modules, supposedly the best it can sound right? The vexxed TD30 is amazing though, but the COSM system only sounds acceptable (to my ears) on the TD-30.
    I am primarily looking to emulate this drumkit sound on my ekit:

    I believe BFD3 has this kit sound, however If anybody knows any better, please do share your knowledge.
    What I wanted therefore, since I wasn't going to be happy with any of the Roland sounds below TD30 was to get the TD-15KV and use its better pads with the TD-11 module, save a bit a money, plug it into the PC + VSTs – a setup not available to buy new.

    I researched 2box heavily after that. I ruled out buying it straight away because of the looks and cymbal reviews, but the module showed promise. I had a play around creating new samples using the software. It's very simple, since I do allot of video editing and fine audio editing in my past time, I have no quims about getting the best out of the 2Box module provided I make the 32gb mod and put on the VSTs I want.

    But I have doubts over their hi-hat being better than the VH-11, the sounds may be great, but the actual playability (being a musical instrument) concerns me. The engine seems really too basic I.e. No multiple hit detection, swells, no microphone adjustments, very simple effects (like EAX pre-sets) is there a compressor, tone colour? Furthermore I would have to void the warranty modding it and also spend yet more cash, putting it over the cost of the TD15. But then again the latest VST instruments are getting even more complex engines that exceed what the 2box can do with brute CPU force.

    To be honest, I can only see that this PC invasion is going to continue in the future. Perhaps what 2box should have been; is actually just a laptop with ¼ jacks, a fully integrated low latency sound card and midi triggering circuitry.

    So Megadrum then; spend only £195 and get positional sensing, something only the TD-20/30 can do, has all the inputs (I’ll never need a cable splitter) the internal latency is supposed to be even lower than Roland and 2box, it works with any piece of kit, that’s a huge saving right there! Is there a catch? Well, it doesn’t do anything but midi triggering and needs a computer with a sound card that can keep low latency - “But why should I spend £1800 on a device that can only be a drum module?” Is the question that keeps coming to mind, when I could have bought a laptop/surface pro 2 and have a drum module that surfs the internet. I have to purchase BFD3 anyway for its sounds to rip, and it’s not cheap… I wouldn’t feel right not using the actual program too.

    Moving on, I'd be looking at Jobeky or Diamond to fulfill the drums here, depending on what I can get for the price, after all this is about piecing together a better value kit than what a new TD15KV or 2box offers, and I can get my dream drum-shells on top of that too. Otherwise I would just shop for used Roland kit – something I haven’t ruled out yet.

    I'm not looking to emulate an acoustic footprint here, just the sound. I'm looking to take the best bits of what edrums are: the ability to play in silence, the ability to hook it up with a computer, the more compact profile, big sound at a low volume, etc. That is why Gen16 or Surge cymbals are out of the question for me, I need triggers on my kit, the idea being to have rubber rimmed cymbals that I can smash without destroying drum sticks. I would also like to have a floating snare drum on my kit so it’s easier to just swing around and play, hopefully without too much crosstalk. I would like it in the centre of the toms too, not off to the left like Jobeky wants.

    But as my spreadsheet shows, I cannot match the Jobeky special offer with Diamond drums, although I could swap a KD-9 in place of the bass drum to make up the cost (good thing size doesn’t matter for electronic bass drums) I have even considered getting two KD-9's and 2 single speed cobras as a ridiculous idea to avoid the little compromises you get with double pedals.

    So if you want to help me out with ideas, and have successfully made it past the giant wall of text written above, *My brain hurts from all this research* I welcome any suggestions, or questions! I would very much appreciate any response actually. I’m not in a rush to buy anything, you might even have something on my list for sale and I’m very up for buying used parts if I deem it trustworthy enough.
    Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 12-09-13, 11:24 PM.
    ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
    ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
    PA Comparison Sheet

  • #2
    Wow - that is a lot of thinking right there.

    My 2 pence (welcome fellow UK-er by the way): you might be thinking too much? Sounds like you just need to take the plunge and start messing around.

    The advice often given out is "get the best module you can" which is sound - but as you seem to be pretty set on VSTs then you don't need an all singing all dancing module - just something with a decent range of inputs and a midi out - heck, a DTXplorer or TD3 can trigger VSTs like a dream.

    I currently own a td-11 module - running a frankenkit of pads and cymbals which i have acquired over time - and can tell you that VEXed up, it sounds amazing. I also play with Addictive Drums (I used to use it almost exclusively when i had a dtxplorer module) but with the vexxed td-11, it doesn't offer me enough extra to be worth the hassle - with a module you just turn on and play - no worries about latency, or setup or distractions or "my wife is using the laptop".

    R.e. pad size - I am currently running 8" throughout, and other than the snare feeling a little cramped (getting a 12" for xmas) it really is not an issue for playability most of the time - in fact it makes you more accurate with your strikes. I have found that the playing surface is more important than the size - i prefer mesh to rubber, but prefer the Yamaha TCS pads to both.

    Looks - this is completely personal preference. For me, functionality and space saving (my kit squeezes into a small space) are more important. As long as it looks tidy. I would LOVE the space etc to build a shiney monster kit.

    Not sure I have helped with your quandry at all - but i think my over-riding message is - don't over think it.
    --
    West London, UK.
    TD-11 module | DTXplorer rack | 3 x tp65 | 12" millenuim mesh head snare | cy-5, pcy65s and pcy150 cymbals | fd8 hh | krigg kick trigger w/ mapex raptor pedal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum, Kabonfaiba! This is really an exhaustive question. Where do I start?


      I'm a bit troubled by the fact that you search for 'the greatest value', yet your components on your publicly viewable spreadsheet (...which is a good idea, BTW!) seem to imply you've already found your combinations ...and simply want to get opinion on these...?


      -----------------------------------------


      As a general rule of thumb: "Start with the module first!- worry about pads and the hardware later!"

      This means you should be clear before-hand:
      - whether you want to go the VST-route or the module-route,
      - whether you want to have modeling or samples (that's if you decide you'll be going down the module-route).


      -----------------------------------------

      Since you've read alot over the months, you know that the best value in Roland-modules is going used - your spreadsheet reflects this.

      I've noticed, that you went with stands on the jobeky, but racks on all other kits. Is this a coincidence?

      Your shell choices looking good, but just to make sure, read through the 'Jobeky vs. Diamond vs. Drumtec'-thread.

      Also, you should have already read through our 'Once and for all: Monitoring' sticky. Your shopping-list is a bit meager in that department!

      ------------------------------------------



      This all said:
      Is your major goal "price-performance ratio" or simply "sheer build- and sound-quality?"




      Welcome aboard!
      Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-10-13, 08:16 AM.
      .
      .
      Greetings from Switzerland,
      - Dänoh



      "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello guys, thankyou for replying.

        I did have trouble naming this thread actually, originally I was just going to call this a megadrum kit building plan. But I'm so far down the rabbit hole now, I lost my way some time ago.

        To answer the questions, I think I'm going the VST route. To my ears, the COSM simply isn't nuanced enough (like perfection through imperfection? SuperNatural technology in the TD11 upwards did go a long way to solve that, but I see identical technology in VSTs), and with my background in video/audio editing I feel most comfortable behind a computer based module. The idea of plug in and play is very appealing and leads me to 2box, but not having played on it, then going online to read about it's pitfalls sets me back to square one, I've become paralyzed to the point I can't decide on anything.

        The stands on the jobeky, but racks on all other kits, is because the jobeky deal ships with a floor tom with legs and a kick drum with a tom tom holder that is non-negotiable. I feel I would need to adapt what I have and I know I'd probably be pleased once I got it. I don't think the snare has a rack mount either, meaning I would have to get a snare holder. If I had the choice I would always specify my drums to work on a rack. I will be writing to both companys at some point to see what quote they can offer me. - I don't care who takes my money at the end of the day, I just knew about the hotspot issue on the Roland pads and how it was non-existent on pads from Jobeky and Diamond. - I only discovered this from reading that extremely helpful edrum magazine.

        The monitors, yes another barrel of worms entirely, I'm still learning a tonne of things about speakers. I did dabble around on the subject of getting a PA. I need deep bass, crystal highs and stereo field as a priority, not huge volume - not gigging, not portability. Ones that could do everything where too expensive, yet the Roland CM 220 offered the best sound package imo. I probably need to do another visit to my music shop in my area to confirm it but the PAs stats don't better the rolands on paper in terms of below 50hz kick (I think the CM-220 is 32hz 10in, CM-110 38hz 6.5in) The home cinema system I have is an 8in, and I think that's fine. I just need a hi-fi that is instrument safe, because it will live under my PC - and will replace my current PC speakers.

        In pursuit of my dream kit, I would say this has indeed become a sheer build- and sound-quality. I can't help but put the more and more expensive items in my cart, like the speed cobras (I saw a black model has come out) I'm completely ignoring the fact that I may have to get something like an RME Babyface one day, putting my finance under even more strain. But then I discover even more expensive bits of kit that puts a bit of perspective on things. This music hobby/industry certainly is a bottomless pit. The overall fear that drives me insane; is not getting it right first time and having to sell something.
        Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 12-10-13, 01:56 PM.
        ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
        ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
        PA Comparison Sheet

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the one thing you left out is your goal. The best value at providing what? Simply to sound like that StarClassic Kit?
          I think a vex'd TD-11 can get pretty close. But you have a trade off to make. It will probably be driven by your goal(s).

          I just went through this choice so I know how I got to where I am. I was choosing between vex'd TD-11 and VST.
          For me it came down to this.

          I want to record live sounding drums into Logic Pro on a Mac. Layer it into productions. My focus was
          on the "live sounding".

          VST has tons of sounds. I couldn't get the hi-hat to work well with the demo download. Yes, I could have
          toyed with it, called their support and tried different drivers in Logic. It became a headache for me.

          VEX sounds amazing. It plays better than VST (to me). It is not quite as versatile in sounds. Some
          would find it limiting. I found it to be easy. Plug it in and record.

          I thought there was a slight trade off between playability and versatility. That's my take. It's
          pretty darn close.

          Vex won. I can plug it into Logic with my iMic. Record live. Apply effects and stuff in Logic.
          Away I go.

          I can't apply different kit sounds/patches like a VST. I'm OK with it though. To me, it's easier
          to get the playability I want with VEX.



          Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
          Hello guys, thankyou for replying.

          I did have trouble naming this thread actually, originally I was just going to call this a megadrum kit building plan. But I'm so far down the rabbit hole now, I lost my way some time ago.

          To answer the questions, I think I'm going the VST route. To my ears, the COSM simply isn't nuanced enough (like perfection through imperfection? SuperNatural technology in the TD11 upwards did go a long way to solve that, but I see identical technology in VSTs), and with my background in video/audio editing I feel most comfortable behind a computer based module. The idea of plug in and play is very appealing and leads me to 2box, but not having played on it, then going online to read about it's pitfalls sets me back to square one, I've become paralyzed to the point I can't decide on anything.
          __________________________________________________
          https://soundcloud.com/loudspoken
          https://www.facebook.com/richardsosborn
          Logic Pro X, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
            To answer the questions, I think I'm going the VST route.
            (...) with my background in video/audio editing I feel most comfortable behind a computer based module. The idea of plug in and play is very appealing and leads me to 2box, but not having played on it, then going online to read about it's pitfalls sets me back (...)
            Okay, this question is begging to be asked: What is the one pitfall (or multiple pitfalls) that concers you the most? The beauty about our community is: if there's a pitfall, a problem - we brainstorm, we suggest ideas ...and ultimately, we find solutions!



            The stands on the jobeky, but racks on all other kits, is because the jobeky deal ships with a floor tom with legs and a kick drum with a tom tom holder that is non-negotiable.
            Thanks, that clarifies it for me!



            I don't care who takes my money at the end of the day, I just knew about the hotspot issue on the Roland pads and how it was non-existent on pads from Jobeky and Diamond. - I only discovered this from reading that extremely helpful edrum magazine.
            From what I've read, the closer the trigger is to the rim- or side of the drumshell, the less likely it is to experience hotspots.

            That Jobeky and Diamond don't suffer from them, despite having center-cones, speaks for their quality, IMO!



            The monitors (...)
            I won't even bother discussing this subject in all it's complexity, at this stage of your planning, at this point here. Period! Rest assured, that both CM's will be kicked pretty much out of the water by HK Audio's Lucas Nano 300, but even those will likely be unsufficient for gigging.

            If you play live, you look at different calibers, anyway!



            In pursuit of my dream kit, I would say this has indeed become a sheer build- and sound-quality.
            That's a very precise and clear statement - a vision/goal, which I think leads us to the core of the matter! Pretty much all lower-end modules need not apply, then. Be aware, that this goal is in somewhat stark contrast to these words of yours:

            Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
            My budget is under £2500.
            You will have to be content with the module and pads first (maybe the hardware/rack), and can start to factor out all things monitoring, if you intend to get 'sheer build-quality' at a pricepoint 'below £2500'.


            At the moment, there is one configuration in my mind, which you have mentioned, that *could*fulfill both, the 'sheer quality' and 'below £2500' criteria.
            (I will have to look this up first though, because you've listed everything in GBP.)



            That's it for now! I will come back at you later...
            Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-12-13, 10:53 AM.
            .
            .
            Greetings from Switzerland,
            - Dänoh



            "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

            Comment


            • #7
              Found some more time to write on here, and to thank everyone for your replies. Busy at Christmas... I managed to visit a few music shops actually,

              only 1 of them had drum kits and apart from low range TD-6 and Yamaha DTX700 with gen16 cymbals, (huge things, shame about the sound you get out of them) all the other kits were acoustic and fantastic looking. Loads of snare drums including my fabled bell brass for £1000, looks epic obviously. Although I primarily went in there to look at hardware bits for my research. Pearl, Gretsch, Custom Works, DW, Ludwig, Mapex, Gibraltar, Yamaha, for general stands etc, all built really well, apart from the design I really couldn’t say any were better than others, only that the Mapex is cheaper, I might just buy literally the cheapest hardware I can find for things like cymbal stands. They had 1 tama road pro snare stand, looks fine too.

              Unfortunately they did not have many kick pedals, nothing special at least, the Pearl Demonator looks silly tbh compared to their nice hardware. I think I might have to get those Tama pedals after all. The differences in the stools were more pronounced. I found the ergonomic Roc-n-sock and Gibraltar chairs more comfortable than the cheaper round Mapex, But more a little more cash the Tama ergo with it's hydraulics was much more comfortable and dynamic to movement. The owner there had no idea about Diamond or Jobeky but handed me a Gibraltar magazine in which I discovered a GPRSSA Snare Stand Basket, so I could have my floating snare on my rack if I wanted after all, even if the snare drum didn't have mounts, pretty cool.

              There's one more warehouse I have yet to visit, it apparently has a Jobeky ekit, To my knowledge, the only publically available demo kit in the UK it seems. I can't wait to try that out as it should answer my question whether I feel impressed enough to pay out for an acoustic ekit or go with a used Roland. There's no chance of me getting new Roland parts separately. 4x PDX-100's would cost me £500 for crying out loud and they're only 10". £99 more would get me a 10", 12", 14" and another 14" from Jobeky plus a 16" kick.

              Yes that German made HK Lucas Nano looks awfully tempting, it's exactly £500 over here in the UK. But I simply can't believe those little satellite speakers would put out as much pleasing tone as the Roland does. Here's the specification for reference anyway;

              CM-220: CUBE MONITOR - £429.00
              (Main Unit 100 W + Satellite Speaker 50 W x 2)

              Subwoofer: 25 cm (10 inches)
              Satellite Speakers: 10 cm (4 inches, Magnetically-Shielded), 2 cm (3/4 inch, Magnetically-Shielded) (for each)
              Power Consumption 67 W

              Dimensions
              Main Unit
              381 (W) x 376 (D) x 413 (H) mm
              15 (W) x 14-13/16 (D) x 16-5/16 (H) inches
              Satellite Speaker
              162 (W) x 197 (D) x 243 (H) mm
              6-7/16 (W) x 7-13/16 (D) x 9-5/8 (H) inches

              Weight
              Main Unit 18.8 kg / 41 lbs 8 oz
              Satellite Speaker 3.1 kg / 6 lbs 14 oz(for each)

              HK Audio Lucas Nano 300 - £499.00

              Subwoofer
              Max SPL peak 118 dB
              Output power system 160 W @ 2 Ohm
              Frequency response 44 Hz – fx
              Maximum SPL, @ 10% THD
              116 dB
              Dimensions (WxHxD) 30 x 39 x 42 cm
              Weight 8.3 kG
              Satellite Single
              Mid/high unit dispersion pattern, horizontal/vertical 60° x 40°
              Max SPL peak 116 dB
              Output power system 35 W @ 8 Ohm
              Frequency response 190 Hz – 20 kHz
              Maximum SPL, @ 10% THD 112 dB
              Dimensions (WxHxD) 13 x 13 x 11.5 cm
              Weight 1 kg

              Wish I had the dispersion pattern for the Rolands. My current speakers stereo field is very sensitive, I'd certainly like a set of speakers that fill my room with sound as apposed to a perfect "best spot". At least I'm not getting something like an Aego M-System or a Corsair SP2500 for my drum monitors.

              I think if I'm not getting a 2box module and cymbals I'll get a used TD11 module and drum splitters for extra inputs that the TD11 lacks. I lose out on positional sensing and rim sounds (probably) once I use those extra inputs up, but I can still VST, I can still play without a PC connected. The Roland is a better training tool as well, with it's MP3 playback features. I'd have to buy a cheap audio switch I think so I can play the module and PC games through the monitors without pulling cables out every time.
              Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 12-15-13, 07:52 PM.
              ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
              ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
              PA Comparison Sheet

              Comment


              • #8
                Diamond Electronic Drums has launched a new entry-level shell pack that is available and ready for shipping - no waiting. check out their website for details.
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