The Alesis DM10 is a fairly good mid-range electronic drum kit option. You may be wondering if it’s something you should consider getting. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place as this is something I wondered myself when I was looking to buy an electronic drum set.
In this guide, I’m going to give you a full review of the Alesis DM10 kit and give you a few pointers on how to decide if it’s the right kit for you. Let’s jump right in.
What is the Alesis DM10?
The original Alesis DM10 was an innovative kit from Alesis that was one of the first large and affordable electronic drum sets. While companies like Roland and Yamaha were selling large kits, they were all incredibly expensive and unattainable to many drummers at the time.
The original Alesis DM10 has since been discontinued. The current kit on offer is called the Alesis DM10 MK II Pro. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but this kit is superior to the original in every way. It’s taken all the revolutionary designs from the first kit and expanded on them a bit.
Here is everything you get with the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro:
- 8” kick drum pad
- 12” snare pad
- Two 10” rack tom pads
- Two 12” floor tom pads
- 12” hi-hat pad
- Two 14” crash pads
- 16” ride cymbal pad
- Alesis DM10 MKII Pro drum module
- Chrome rack and snare drum stand
When looking at those features, you’ll see that the big benefit of this kit is the number of pads you get. This is a 10-piece electronic drum setup, hence the name. Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of the kit.
The kit comes fully equipped with a set of dual-zone mesh heads. Each one of them has a trigger on the surface and the rim.
They also have an adjustment knob that allows you to alter the tension. This lets you choose how many rebounds the pads have. My suggestion would be to attempt to get them to feel similar to how acoustic drums would feel. The highest rack tom being the tightest and the last floor tom being the loosest.
The ride cymbal pad has three trigger zones, allowing you to crash it along with playing the bow and bell. While this is an impressive feature, it’s expected of every drum kit in this price range.
These Alesis mesh pads are decent, but they don’t feel as high-quality as the mesh pads on Roland sets. I could see this bothering a few people, but most will find them satisfactory.
The module has enough to keep you busy for quite a while. It comes loaded with 80 drum kits. Fifty of those are preset kits, while 30 of them are open slots for you to create your own drum kits with all the onboard sample sounds.
There’s a sequencer onboard to keep you entertained. I’ve found it incredibly fun to sequence sounds and then play drums to the patterns whenever I’ve played on this kit.
You also get all the typical drum module features such as a metronome, recording function, and an aux input to play your own tracks.
While all the fancy features will keep you entertained, it always comes back to the onboard sounds with electronic drum kits as you start to grow bored over time and simply revert to playing.
I have to say; I’m not too fond of the drum kit sounds on this kit. It’s the biggest downfall of the set. However, everything else is fantastic, so finding a workaround for the sounds is what I would do. You can connect the module to your computer and run a VST program such as EZdrummer to get better virtual sounds.
The construction of the kit is my favorite aspect of the whole setup. The kit is set out on a sturdy chrome rack. Since most electronic drum kits have black plastic racks, I think it’s a huge breath of fresh air to have a kit that is laid out on something a bit different. This chrome rack is visually striking as well, further adding to my love for it.
The snare drum pad also sits on a real snare drum stand. This gives you a better feeling when playing that is closer to what you’d feel when playing an acoustic snare drum. It also makes it a lot easier to position the snare drum pad comfortably.
The chrome rack is quite large, allowing you to space the pads out to have a large drum setup. The only complaint I’ve heard people have about the rack is that you can’t raise the pads high enough for certain tall people. This is an issue you’ll come across with cheaper electronic drum kits, and it’s present here.
You’re going to be paying anywhere between $1200 to $1600 for this set, depending on when and where you buy it. This puts it into the category of intermediate electronic drum set that costs under $2000.
When looking at it from that lens, you’ll see that it’s one of the most affordable drum kits that comes with a large setup. You won’t find any cheaper kit that has six drum pads and four cymbal pads. That feature alone makes it well worth its price tag.
You’ll undoubtedly find better-sounding drum kits for the same price, but they won’t offer the sturdy chrome rack and huge setup to play.
Alesis as a Brand
After talking about the price of the DM10 MK II Pro, I think it’s a good time to talk about the Alesis brand. They specialize in producing kits that are more affordable than the kits from Roland and Yamaha. You would have seen that fact shine through with this set.
Their samples don’t sound as good, though. This means all the sounds on their kit don’t sound as authentic as the other electronic drum brands. If you want an electronic drum set with a full set of mesh pads, the sound quality dip is a sacrifice you’ll need to make.
This is how I see it as a professional drummer. I know dozens of hobbyist drummers who have no issues with the sample sounds on Alesis drum kits.
If you’re like me, connecting the kit to a VST is a fairly simple process, so the lower-quality sounds shouldn’t stop you from buying Alesis drum sets.
Pros and Cons
- 10-piece electronic drum set
- One of the most affordable, high-quality large sets on the market
- The chrome rack is excellent
- Snare drum pad mounts onto a real stand
- Large ride cymbal pad
- Sound quality isn’t amazing compared to similarly priced kits from other brands
Is the DM10 MKII Pro a Good Electronic Drum Kit?
I think the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro is an excellent electronic drum kit. I can’t tell you a better deal for a kit that comes with so many large and high-quality drum pads. What you lose in sound quality, you gain in a sturdy rack with fantastic drum pads.
I can also only see the sound quality being an issue for experienced drummers who want pristine sounds from their set. If that doesn’t sound like you, this would be the perfect drum set to get.
Alternative Options to Consider
The Roland TD-07KVX is the similarly priced equivalent to the Alesis DM10. This set has a drum module with minimal features. However, its strength comes in the pads, setup, and sounds.
The toms are Roland’s standard tunable mesh pads, while the snare drum is Roland’s popular PDX-12 pad. It’s a 12-inch drum pad that has a thick rim, making it feel closer to an acoustic snare. Even though it’s a 12-inch pad, it still gets mounted to the rack, unlike the DM10 pad, which gets placed on a snare stand.
The best feature of this kit is that the hi-hat pad gets mounted onto a proper hi-hat stand. Most electronic drum sets in this price range have a hi-hat trigger instead of an authentic hi-hat pedal. This kit has the real deal, and it’s amazing.
The sample sounds on the module are also incredible. Roland’s samples are much better than the sample’s from Alesis, so all their kits tend to sound a bit better.
If you’re looking at the pure quality of everything, this is a superior kit to the Alesis DM10. However, it’s a bit smaller and doesn’t offer as many pads.
- Hi-hat pad uses a real stand
- Excellent sample sound quality
- Highly responsive drum pads
- The very sturdy kick drum tower
- The snare drum doesn’t mount to a snare stand as the Alesis DM10 snare pad does
The Yamaha DTX6K2-X is incredibly similar to the Roland TD-07KVX. However, it’s a bit better in certain areas and a bit worse in others. The first thing you’ll notice about this kit is that it doesn’t have a full set of mesh heads. In fact, it doesn’t have any. Yamaha electronic drum kits use silicone heads instead of mesh.
The only silicone pad on this kit is the snare drum. The rest of the pads have rubber surfaces. With that being said, this snare drum pad is incredible. It has three trigger zones, allowing you to play anything you can think of with a snare drum. It’s also highly responsive.
Each cymbal pad also has three trigger zones, allowing you to choke them and play typical things that you can play on acoustic cymbals. The hi-hat pad on this kit also uses its own dedicated stand, which is a fantastic bonus.
In terms of sound quality, Yamaha uses their range of acoustic drum kits to record samples for all its electronic drums. This gives you authentic drum sounds on all their modules, including this one.
- 3-zone snare drum and cymbal pads
- Hi-hat pad has a dedicated hi-hat stand
- Excellent sample sounds
- Toms have rubber pads instead of silicone or mesh
Alesis Command Mesh
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, the Alesis Command Mesh is a decent option to look into. It costs a few hundred dollars less than the DM10 but also provides a set of adjustable mesh heads with a sturdy chrome rack.
The module has 50 preset drum kits with 700 sounds to make your own with. It also has 70 play-along tracks to jam to.
I’d suggest this kit to any beginner drummer who needs a relatively good electronic drum kit to get started on. I can’t see any experienced drummer enjoying this kit, especially compared to the DM10 with everything it offers.
- 70 play-along tracks
- Tunable mesh heads on a sturdy chrome rack
- Excellent for beginners
- Not ideal for experienced drummers
The Alesis Strike is the next step up from the DM10 in the Alesis product line. While it has fewer drum pads, the pads are higher-quality and attached to shallow acoustic drum shells, making the kit feel more authentic. The drum module is also much better, with dozens of superior features.
This kit is structured the same way an acoustic drum kit would be. The drums get bigger as you go around the set, and the ride cymbal is much larger than the crash cymbal. The snare drum and hi-hat pads both have their own dedicated stands, and the bass drum pad is much larger than your standard bass drum pads.
The Strike module has a full volume mixer for you to adjust all the pad volumes. It also has extensive mixing features for you to dial in the sounds that you like. While the Alesis sample sounds aren’t as good as the ones from Roland and Yamaha, they seem to be a lot better on this kit. You also have more control over them.
Overall, this is a professional drum set that feels incredible to play on. If you have another $500 to spend, I’d suggest getting this kit over the DM10.
- Full drum kit with acoustic shells
- Snare and hi-hat pads have dedicated stands
- Extensive drum module with many features
- More expensive than the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro
Answer: I think the biggest reason is that the price point is quite close to the Alesis Strike. With the Alesis Strike being the superior kit, more drummers gravitate toward buying that instead of the DM10.
The other reason is that all of the Alesis kits that cost under $1000 are incredibly popular. The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a top-seller around the world as it’s one of the most affordable beginner’s electronic drum sets. These cheaper kits are simply more popular than the DM10 as there’s a larger pool of buyers for them.
Answer: Roland, Alesis, and Yamaha are the 3 top electronic drum kit brands. They all produce the top kits that are the most popular around the world. However, they’re not the only electronic drum kit brands out there.
Pearl has produced a few good e-kits over the years. They’re a renowned acoustic drum kit brand. Some other brands that produce electronic drum kits are Simmons, Millenium, and Gewa.
Answer: Ideally, you should get both. Everyone should learn to play on an acoustic kit, as that is what most drumming is all about. Electronic drum kits are excellent practice tools, so it’s good to have one to play on when you can’t play on your electronic kit.
If you can’t have both, it depends on your setting to which one you should get. If you live in an apartment, you’ll have to get an electronic kit. If you have no sound complaints around you, an acoustic kit will always be a better option to go with.
Answer: I’ve already mentioned the Alesis Strike in this article. However, the upgraded and updated version of the kit called the Alesis Strike Pro SE is the best kit that Alesis has on offer. It’s a full-sized electronic drum kit with acoustic shells that has everything a pro drummer would need.
Some other great Alesis kits are the Turbo Mesh, Nitro Mesh, and the Command Mesh.
Answer: Electronic drum kits are constantly evolving, and Roland seems to always be the driving force behind this. Their electronic drum kits always have the latest innovations, and all the other brands tend to follow suit with their kits at later stages.
Roland has the best mesh pads. In fact, the company invented the original mesh pad. So, the rich history of innovation and the high-quality aspects of all their kits make Roland the best electronic drum brand.
I’d suggest the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro to anyone who wants the best bang for their buck with an intermediate electronic drum set. I feel that it’s well worth the price as you get a whopping ten drum pads to set up and play.
The sounds aren’t as good as the ones on other electronic drum kits, but that can easily be fixed with VST software. You just need to learn how to use that sort of thing, and you’ll unlock a whole new world to explore.
We’ve done a few articles on other Alesis kits, which you can check out here: