Few areas of drumming have changed as rapidly over the last few decades as that of electronic kits.
Go back a few years and e-kits were often sneered at, but today, everyone from the bedroom drummer to the stadium-filling session sticksman is using electronics, whether it be in a hybrid setup or a full on electronic rig.
This is thanks to the huge technological strides that have been made in recent decades, and while this is an obvious boon for top-level players, it has also opened the door for beginners, as entry-level kits have dropped in price. It is jaw-dropping what a few hundred quid can get you in terms of features in today’s market.
So, here we present our pick of the top five electronic kits that can be yours for less than 500 notes.
We’re not saying it’s perfect, but a full kit for less than £200 cannot be sniffed at.
A solid choice for price-conscious beginners, the five-piece DD400 ships with everything an entry-level player would need. Better still, it all comes in one box – even the three cymbals.
This kit has an impressive drum sound, great triggering response and a mass of pads, all adding up to great value for money in anyone’s book.
It’s a comprehensive rig, coming with five 8-inch dual-zoned drum pads, four 10-inch single-zoned cymbal pads and a “variable” hi-hat controller pedal. It also boasts a full drum rack with boom cymbal arms, an Alesis Stealth kick pad and a solid looking Pro X kick pedal.
Billed as the perfect starter kit, Yamaha’s DTX400K is a no-frills setup, priced to entice any beginner, seasoned player (for warm-up/practice), or just about anyone wanting to get into the world of electronic drums.
One of the most exciting aspects of the DTX400 module (in a standalone situation), is its access to the many acoustic kit sounds that are derived from Yamaha’s own amazing acoustic kits, including those of the Maple Custom and Oak Custom.
Although the DD516 Pro setup is positioned at the top of WHD’s electronic drum range, it still manages to come in a snippet under £400 and offers terrific value. It simply wills you to play and have fun.
The most affordable of Roland’s TD range, the TD-1K and TD-1KV (pictured) come loaded with many features you would find on their more expensive stablemates.
The TD-1’s flexible pedal positioning, upgradeability and solid construction mean that, unlike with other budget setups, you’re unlikely to damage or outgrow this kit in a hurry. Opt for the TD1-KV and you’ll get a mesh snare.