As others will know well, the DIY route can be tricky as hell, especially if you set out to make all the pads and electronics DIY. Up until recently I had an acoustic kit that I could play on, so building the ekit was more of a pastime than something I could actually use for practising or playing, but then I had to sell the A kit. So I decided to get my act together and do a proper job of finishing the ekit to make it enjoyable to play without being endlessly annoyed about how this or that wasn't really working properly.
Anyway, here's an ancient pic of the first incarnation of the kit, from about 10 years ago:
It was hideously ugly, simple and triggered terribly. But with very scarce knowledge about electronics I had managed to build Admir's eDrum module and was quite proud of that.
Then I bought some mesh heads (the previous ones were fibre glass mesh) and re-did the cymbals. This version actually triggered fairly well, but the PVC rack was very wobbly and overall it felt a bit like a toy.
It then went into storage for a few years after I moved houses. When I unpacked it again I decided to get a proper rack and jumped on a b-stock offer by Thomann. I also made some 2 and 3 zone cymbals, added a fully-working hi hat stand I found in a skip (!), a noise-reduction platform, built a Megadrum module and wrapped the shells in carbon fibre vinyl. It was a significant improvement, but the kit just looked very dull and too dark with nearly everything black, like something Darth Vader would play, and I wasn't very fond of the 8" toms; I found them just a bit too small for my liking.
So the final stage was to get a 10" tom, cut it in half and make a couple of toms to replace the 8" ones. I made heads for them with 3 layers of silkscreen mesh. They're ever so slightly bouncier than a Roland head but far, far quieter and triggering is fine. I decided to re-wrap all the shells with a wood vinyl and I revamped the module with a new, much larger screen, a new aluminium faceplate and some fancy backlit metal buttons. I also re-made the kick: I had a cheap old bongo lying around and an extra clamp on the rack. I made some beater triggers, each going to its own input for better control over each one, and filled the bongo with several layers of different density foams, finished off with fabric from a t-shirt held in place with a ring of rubber. Works great.
So, here are some pics of the "finished" version:
Detail of module and kick pad:
module and kick.jpg
Detail of how I attach the shells to the rack clamp arms:
The clamp arm goes inside the shell, making it more discreet. All you can see on the outside are a couple of bolts.
So there's my journey. I've spent more time playing on the kit during the last 10 weeks than during the previous 10 years... I'm still a terrible player but at least now I can get on with playing instead of continuously fixing and fiddling with stuff.
Hope I didn't bore anyone and maybe some can pick up ideas - feel free to ask!