- Alesis SR16 Drum Machine: Review and Guide - December 28, 2021
- Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit Review and Guide: Here’s Why I Wouldn’t Recommend It - December 9, 2021
- How Much Or How Little Do Drums Cost? - December 7, 2021
Bottom line up front: I wouldn’t recommend the Alesis Mesh lineup. It doesn’t allow you to connect a second pedal for the bass drum, so it isn’t a very functional mesh kit.
We’ve already talked about three other sets of the Alesis Mesh lineup – and for a good reason. Alesis has managed to bring electronic drumsets to become very accessible and affordable.
The usage of mesh in all of the sets gives even the most beginner player the chance to get a feel of mesh heads, used in most medium-end electronic drumsets, and that gives you an excellent resemblance to what a real acoustic drumset “feels” like.
The Alesis Mesh Kit lineup:
- The Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit: Featuring 3×08″ Toms, the smaller 08″ snare and pedals for bass kick and hi-hat.
- The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit: 385 sounds like the Surge kit. This kit upgrades the bass drum by including a pedal that hits a bass drum.
- The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit: 385 sounds, 40 kits, a 08″ bass drum, 3 x 08″ toms and the 10″ dual-zone snare. Ride and Crash have a choke system.
- The Alesis Command Mesh Kit: Boasts an advanced Alesis drum module with 600 sounds, an 08″ bass drum, dual-zone 10″ snare, 3x 08″ toms and 10″ crash cymbals with choke function.
- The Alesis Crimson Mesh II SE Kit: Its most prominent difference is the introduction of “Dynamic Articulation”, which helps make the pad sounds not as monotonous and “sample” sounding. The snare is 12″, and now even the Toms are dual-zone.
The Turbo Mesh is the most affordable option of all the above, setting you back 266€ on Thomann. The next in line- the Alesis Nitro Mesh kit will cost you 355€.
Even though we are starting from a budgetary point of view for either a second set if you’re already an experienced drummer and need a silent kit or something to practice at home, or a newcomer who is still not sure if drumming is their thing, the main question I have is: Is that extra 100€ really worth saving, getting the lowest of the Mesh line, instead of directly investing in a more sturdy and IMO, useful and realistic drumset?
The Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit
Turbo, as in, it’s the fast option to get you all set, up and running on your first drumset. With the much-appreciated touch of mesh heads, it has the bare minimum, dramatically improving our playing experience.
- 8 inch Snare (not dual-zone)
- 3x 8 inch Toms
- 3x 10-inch cymbals: Hi-hat and two crashes.
- 2x floor pedals that act as hi-hat pedal, and bass drum kick.
- Alesis Turbo Mesh Sound Module, with 120 sounds, 10 Drum kits and 30 play-along tracks.
- Aluminium rack
To be fair, it does come with everything you need. Alesis offers us an electronic drum kit with all its accessories included so that you only have to assemble it and it will be ready to play. It includes the power supply, all the necessary cables for connection, drumsticks and a drum key so you can assemble it yourself.
Another great thing is its highly resistant structure. Forget about flimsy drums that become unbalanced at a moments notice. Its ultra-strong aluminium chassis provides the stability you need to play your favourite songs without worrying about the integrity of the drum kit.
It’s normal, being a novice, to feel that the drum kit may be more flimsy than you first thought. We sit in front of it and, being smaller than acoustic drums, we take that size difference as a measure of the theoretical resistance it will have.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if the electronic drum set is smaller and does not look bulky, its resistance is guaranteed. So, thrash away!
It delivers a realistic playing experience. The Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit is specifically covered with mesh. Using this material aims to achieve a playing sensation similar to that of sitting in front of an acoustic drum kit. The feel and the rebound obtained when playing are authentic and give us an excellent feel when playing our songs.
The Turbo Electronic Drum Module and Drum Coach
Thanks to the Turbo Electronic Drum Module, the electronic brain that manages the drum’s performance, you will be able to take advantage of the countless capabilities and features that the brand offers with this model.
Among the many configurations, I can mention the more than 100 different drum and cymbal sounds or the 30 accompaniment tracks. These are included and definitely make for much more entertaining and creative practice sessions.
With the Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit drum kit, you can improve your drumming skills while having fun at the same time. Thanks to the Drum Coach function, we have a coach that will help us to improve, step by step, our skills with the instrument.
Thus, your practice sessions will be much more productive and your drum skills will increase without you even noticing. This will later prepare you for when you switch to an acoustic set, hopefully.
In addition to the classic 3.5 mm mini-jack headphone output, the auxiliary input (also 3.5 mm) allows you to connect a microphone for a singer or any accompanying instrument. The TRS stereo output with 6.5 mm jack connection, together with the USB-MIDI port, enables your drum kit to be output to a speaker or a recording device.
Once the sound has been captured, you can process it, edit it, etc., from your music editing software. In this way, the creative capabilities of the drums increase exponentially and are limited only by your own talent and ideas.
Pros and Cons of the Turbo Mesh Kit (Compared to the Mesh Kit Lineup)
- An official extension to the Nitro Mesh Kit can also be mounted on other “Mesh” kits: An extra 08″ Tom and 10 “Crash. It comes with the necessary clips to join it to the existing drum set and turns your kit into something resembling a bigger acoustic set. It’s very useful if we feel it’s time to invest in a bit of upgrade.
- Connectivity. It does have many options for setting it up with speakers or headphones.
- Easy assembly.
- Price, price and price.
- No real bass drum. That, for me, is a significant drawback. When learning to drum, getting a feel for the kick pedal is quite important—subsequently, no space for a double pedal kick drum.
- Build quality of pedals, both the hi-hat one and the bass pedal.
- Some users have had problems with mesh ripping soon
- No customizable metronome sound.
- The hi-hat pedal feels quite unrealistic.
Other Budget-Friendly Options
There are other very good options if you want to keep your spending to a minimum. Millenium, Thomann’s own brand has some good options here in Europe, and if you’re not that invested in getting a decent drumset or just want a toy-like instrument for a child, here are a couple of options:
Millenium MD-90 Mobile Drum
This compact “mobile drum” is a mini electronic drum kit with a bunch of sounds and two pedals (hi-hat and bass drum). It is more a toy than an instrument; given the ergonomics and the fact you place it on a tabletop, it has no real drum structure.
But it can be a child’s first contact with a percussion instrument and will prepare him to make the leap to an electronic drum set. For all it’s worth, it’s pretty cool, and it costs less than a normal drum pedal.
Millenium HD-50 E-Drum Set
This is one of Millenniums cheapest options, It shares the drawback of not having a real bass drum, like the Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit, but costs quite a lot less. Its toms are aligned in a straight and unrealistic manner, and the structure seems much more flimsy, with two centre stands. It has more drum sounds, is easy, and easy to assemble, and doesn’t even cost 150€.
Answer: No, the Turbo Mesh Kit is not equipped with a speaker system. To hear it, you will have to connect external speakers or an amplifier that outputs to speakers. You can also listen to it through your headphones, which will potentially allow you to play without disturbing anyone.
Answer: The sound produced by the hitting of the pads is pretty muffled. In fact, the brand itself announces a very quiet playing experience, thanks to the mesh used to cover each tom.
The cymbals are the loudest element of the kit since having a rigid surface emits a louder sound. In any case, the sound itself is not annoying, and of course, it can’t be compared to the sound emitted by metal cymbals in a conventional drum set.
In concrete terms, the overall set is extremely quiet and allows you to play the drums without disturbing anyone, even if they are with you in the same room.
Answer: The pads can be mounted as you wish. You just have to decide where to place each of them, and secure them well, so they don’t move while playing. So don’t worry about being left-handed. You won’t have any problems in that regard.
Answer: The Alesis Turbo Mesh drum kit comes with drumsticks. However, you will need to purchase the stool separately. It is not usually included, but it may depend on the store where you purchase it.
More advanced features have been placed in more affordable electronic drum sets thanks to Alesis’s appearance in the drumming world. The Alesis Turbo Mesh drum kit is one of the best options when starting out in electronic percussion or improving already acquired skills and progress in our musical abilities.
Its advantages become evident after a glance at the technical features it has. The durability, connectivity offered by its multiple input and output ports, and realistic mesh heads are just the tip of a musical iceberg that promises to cover any expectations you may have as a complete novice.
As negative points, I would like to highlight the impossibility of connecting a second pedal for the bass drum, which forces us to opt for a superior (and more expensive) model if we want to have this functionality. I personally think that investing a bit more into an electronic drumkit is a must.
For just 100€ more, you can get the “Nitro” Mesh kit, which does have a real bass drum. If you’re coming from an acoustic set and already have a notion of how a drumset feels, I doubt you’ll feel too comfortable with this set.
If, on the other hand, you are a complete novice and still first have to get a hand of independent limb flexibility, and don’t care at all how it feels compared to a “real” drumset, then this would be a good option.
You can always upgrade in the future, and if you’re not sure how much you are going to like drumming, then go for it. If you have got a hundred or couple hundred to invest in something better I would recommend the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit or the Millenium MPS-150 E-Drum set.
Whichever way you go, the basic features of the Alesis Mesh drum kits will allow you to cover all your needs to unleash your talent.