While there are some amazing acoustic drum kits with the Yamaha name, the brand also has an extensive line of electronic drum kits worthy of checking out. The naming conventions of Yamaha’s kits have always baffled me. Still, all the ones I’ve played on have felt and sounded amazing. If you’re looking for a kit, I will take you through some of the best Yamaha electronic drum kits available.
A few things make Yamaha kits stand out in the electronic drumming world, and we’ll identify all of those in this list. Read through everything below and see if a Yamaha kit sounds like a good fit for your next drum kit purchase.
Bottom Line Up Front
Yamaha’s electronic drum kits all fall under the DTX name. The brand has a wide array of options that cater to beginners, intermediate players, and professionals. Yamaha mostly uses silicone pads on their kits, with mesh pads only being found on the flagship models. Another thing to note is that the drum models are more universal across all the kits than other electronic drum brands.
Here are the top kit options:
My Top Picks at a Glance
- Yamaha DTX452K – Best beginner kit.
- Yamaha DTX6K-X – Most affordable kit with the DTX-PRO drum module.
- Yamaha DTX6K3-X – Best intermediate kit.
- Yamaha DTX8K Mesh – Best professional kit.
- Yamaha DTX10K Mesh – Highest-quality kit with the best features.
Yamaha Electronic Kit Buying Advice
Drum Pad Material
Most of the kits I’m going to suggest on this list were released in 2018 and afterward, yet Yamaha has been selling electronic kits for decades. This is because they did a complete overhaul of their product line, starting fresh with a new set of kits.
With that being said, Yamaha electronic drums have always been known for their TCS drum pads. These pads are made from silicone, which feels slightly different from the common mesh material that you’ll find on most other electronic pads.
Both their old and new kits have TCS silicone pads. However, the top-quality kits also have mesh pad options. This is the first time Yamaha has ever offered that choice with an electronic kit, making it quite a significant choice. I’ll get into more detail when talking about the kits themselves but know that you’ll need to decide whether you want to have a kit with mesh or silicone drum pads.
Also, the more affordable kits from the brand have rubber pads that come in very small sizes. While that’s fairly common with all brands, just know that Yamaha and Roland have the smallest pad sizes in their entry-level kits. Alesis kits have much larger pads. Depending on who you are, that may be a big swaying decision with your purchase.
One of the things that I really appreciate about Yamaha electronic kits is that the same module is used for many of them. This means that you can buy a more affordable kit that has the same sounds and editing features as a top-quality expensive one. The only difference will be the pads and cymbals.
At the moment, Yamaha only has three electronic drum modules available. These are the DTX402, DTX-PRO, and DTX-PROX. The DTX-PRO is the module that you’ll most easily find on its own, and it’s used in most of the drum sets available from the brand.
While I love this aspect of Yamaha, I know a few drummers who don’t. Having more drum modules available gives you more of a benefit when you buy a higher-priced drum kit. Like with the mesh against silicone debate, this is something you’ll need to form an opinion on when looking to buy a kit. It could decide whether you get a Yamaha set or something from a different brand with more module options.
Included Drums and Hardware
When buying an electronic drum set, make sure to check out everything that comes with it. Electronic drums give you everything you need, for the most part. However, most of them don’t come with a throne, bass drum pedal, sticks, and headphones.
If you want to run the drums through an amplifier so that people around you can hear what you’re playing as well, you’ll need to buy one separately. This is always the biggest realization that drummers have when buying electronic drums. Headphones are fantastic, but it’s great to jam without having anything sitting tightly on your ears.
A few of Yamaha’s kits come with hi-hats stands when it comes to hardware. Yamaha is one of the only electronic drum brands to do this. They have an extensive range of hardware for their acoustic drums, making sense.
Only the affordable kits come with bass drum pedals, so that’s another thing that you’ll need to buy separately.
Setting up a budget for yourself is the best way of getting the best value for your money. To do this, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, establish whether you’re a beginner drummer, slightly more experienced, or a professional looking for the best kit possible.
If you’re new to drumming, you’ll be good with an electronic drum kit that costs under $1000. More experienced drummers will need to spend more to get a kit that has features more similar to acoustic kits.
Professional drummers will need top-quality kits that have positional sensors and realistic responsiveness from all the drum pads. Yamaha has drum kits covering all these aspects, so see which ones fall within your budget.
Consider saving for a bit longer to get the next model up if the current kit you can afford doesn’t have the exact features you need. On the flip side, you may be able to save a bit of cash by getting a kit without unnecessary features that you won’t end up using. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to do this with Yamaha kits than with other brands, as all the models have very clear upgrades that are easy to identify as the prices increase.
Yamaha has a few lines of electronic drum kits, including the DTX400 Series, the DTX-6 Series, the DTX-8 Series, and the DTX-10 Series. All the kits that I’m suggesting below are my top choices from each of those lines. These are the Yamaha drum sets that I’d happily recommend to anyone looking to buy a new drum set.
They cover all the bases of fitting different budgets and being appropriate choices for beginner, intermediate, and professional drummers. I’ve also selected them because they’re strong competitive options to similar kits from other brands.
Best Yamaha Electronic Drum Sets
The Yamaha DTX452K is an excellent kit for beginner drummers who aren’t looking to spend lots of money on a set. There are a few more affordable options from Yamaha, but they don’t have a kick tower for a proper pedal, so I don’t suggest getting those.
This kit has an incredibly simple drum module, but everything it offers is excellent. You get 10 preset kits that sound high-quality, 10 different training functions, and 10 play-along tracks to jam with. There are a few editing features, such as reverb settings. However, they’re not very extensive.
The most impressive thing about this kit is that you get a 3-zone drum pad. It allows you to play rimshots, cross-sticks, and standard hits. You don’t often find that in snare pads that come with kits under $1000, so it’s a fantastic addition.
All the pads of the kit are made from rubber, and they’re quite small, so experienced drummers may find them a bit frustrating to play on. The kit is perfect for beginners, though. It’s a bit more expensive when comparing it to other beginner kits on the market. However, it makes up for that with high-quality sounds and responsive drum pads.
- Excellent drum kit for beginners
- 3-zone snare drum pad boosts the kit above many others
- Top-quality sounds
- Drum module is very easy to use
- Drum pads are quite small
- Experienced drummers won’t like this kit
The Yamaha DTX6K-X is the next upgrade from the previous set. This kit is also great for beginners, but it caters to experienced players as well, thanks to a few additions. The first major difference you’ll see is the higher-quality snare drum pad. It’s one of Yamaha’s famous TCS silicone pads, and it feels a lot better to play on than a rubber pad. It also has three zones and is very expressive.
The biggest selling point of this kit for me is the DTX-PRO drum module. Yamaha uses this module for most of their electronic kits. This is the most affordable kit that you can get with. For just under $1000, you’re getting Yamaha’s top-quality drum module.
Another upgrade that you’ll find with this kit is the higher-quality ride cymbal pad. It’s a bit bigger, and it has three zones as well. This means you can play the bell, bow, and edge. You’re also able to choke it when needed.
Overall, I’d say this is the better option compared to the DTX452K. However, you’ll need to buy a bass drum pedal separately if you don’t have one already, and that’s what makes this kit quite a bit more expensive and more appropriate for experienced drummers.
- Responsive silicone snare drum pad
- 3-zone ride cymbal pad
- Most affordable kit that comes with the DTX-PRO drum module
- The small rubber tom pads will chase many drummers away
The Yamaha DTX6K3-X is my top overall option for intermediate drummers. It boasts many similar qualities to the last set, yet it has a few upgraded parts that make your playing experience feel a lot better.
Starting with the cymbal pads, all of them are the same pad as the ride in the previous set. You get two crash cymbals and a ride, giving you a basic setup that you’d typically find on an acoustic drum set. They’re all 3-zone pads, allowing you to play some cool things.
The hi-hat pad sits on a dedicated hi-hat stand, and it feels a lot better to play on a pad like this as opposed to a hi-hat with a trigger pedal. The amazing thing about this is that the kit comes with the hi-hat stand. Other companies make you buy the hi-hat stand separately, so it’s a great addition.
The snare is the same as the previous kit, but the toms are upgraded silicone pads that feel a lot more responsive when playing. They’re a bit small, but their size tends to strengthen your accuracy.
I’d recommend getting this kit if you want something compact that still feels amazing to play on. With all the features and sounds of the DTX-PRO drum module, you’ll be occupied for hours in every practice session.
- Best option for intermediate drummers
- Hi-hat pad sits on a dedicated stand which is included
- Full set of silicone drum pads
- Drum pads are a bit small for the price of the kit
Yamaha DTX8K Mesh
The Yamaha DTX8K Mesh kit is my top option overall. It’s the best choice for professional drummers. Still, it’s also a fantastic kit for anyone to get if you can comfortably afford it. Compared to all the previous kits, most aspects have been improved.
Firstly, the kit has much larger drum pads with mesh heads. This is one of the first drum sets that Yamaha has ever put mesh heads on, making it significant in its history. I know a few drummers who love the Yamaha sounds but don’t like the silicone pads, making this kit ideal. The drum pads also have shallow acoustic shells, making them look a lot beefier than all the previous pads we’ve seen.
The kit comes with the DTX-PROX drum module, meaning all the sounds and features are the same as the previous drum sets that we’ve looked at. However, the quality of the pads allows you to get a lot more out of the sounds.
You get to choose between black and natural wood color options. You also can get this kit with silicone pads instead of mesh. While some drummers prefer mesh, others are die-hard fans of the Yamaha TCS pads. The silicone option is a bit more expensive, though!
- Responsive mesh drum pads with acoustic shells
- Looks incredible
- Feels fantastic to play on
- Larger ride cymbal
Yamaha DTX10K Mesh
The Yamaha DTX10K is the flagship kit from the brand. I haven’t suggested this kit as the best overall option, simply because the previous kit offers more value for your money. However, you’ll get a few superior features from this kit if you buy it.
It comes equipped with the DTX-PROX drum module. Compared to the standard DTX-PRO module, it gives you more control over all the sounds that you can play. If you’re someone who loves to sit and work on getting the best sounds possible from a drum module, this is for you. While the stock sounds are the same, I’ve heard a few drummers saying that they somehow sound a bit better coming from this module as well.
Most of the drum and cymbal pads are the same as the previous kit. However, the bass drum is a major upgrade. It’s a lot larger, giving it more weight to throw back at you when you’re playing. This makes it feel more like an acoustic bass drum than any of the previous bass drum pads do.
Like with the last kit, you can choose either a mesh or silicone option. I’ve suggested the mesh as the silicone pad kit costs $500 more.
- Highest-quality electronic drum kit that Yamaha sells
- Large kick drum pad
- DTX-PROX module offers extensive sound editing features
- Competes with the top Roland kits
- Very expensive
Answer: Yes, for the most part. You’ll be able to trigger sounds from the Yamaha pads through the Roland modules. However, it will be pretty difficult to set up. Roland drum modules tend to recognize all Roland pads, so it often works as a plug-and-play situation since the module is already optimized for the pads.
When plugging Yamaha pads through to a Roland module, you’ll see that they aren’t optimized. This means that you’ll manually need to set the pads up, which can take ages with plenty of trial and error.
Answer: This will depend on how much drumming experience you have. Electronic drum kits with authentic qualities that make them feel like acoustic kits tend to cost a lot more. If you’re an experienced drummer, you’ll need those qualities. On the other hand, beginner drummers won’t mind more affordable kits as they haven’t learned to recognize those qualities just yet.
My general suggestion is that beginners should get a kit that costs under $1000. Any drummer with a bit more experience should get a kit that costs from $1500 and up. While the flagship models from all the brands have amazing features, you don’t need to spend so much money on a good kit if you don’t want to. There are more affordable options.
Answer: Yes. Electronic kits available today have amazing technology compared to the older ones that were around when I was learning to play. Beginner drummers can easily learn on them and then transfer those skills over to an acoustic drum set.
However, make sure to get a kit that uses a proper kick drum pedal. The cheaper kits with kick drum trigger pedals can be detrimental when you want to switch over to an acoustic set.
Answer: Yes. Living in an apartment is one of the main reasons to get an electronic drum kit. They’re a lot softer than acoustic drum kits. However, some electronic kits may still be too loud. It’s always ideal to live on lower floors, as the drum sound will come through the roof to the apartment below you.
If that’s the case and it’s bothering your neighbors, you can put the drum kit onto a raised platform to help eliminate a few of the bass drum vibrations.
Answer: Roland. Roland is the major pioneer of electronic drumming. They invented the mesh head, and the 808 is one of the most famous samples in the world. If you want to buy a top-quality electronic drum set, Roland is the first brand to look for.
You’ll see that their kits are very expensive, though. That’s why brands like Alesis and Yamaha are excellent alternatives.
The simplicity of Yamaha’s product line is a strong brand feature. While the names of all the kits may seem confusing at first, you’ll quickly learn what is what when you look through all the options.
Many drummers prefer the feel of the TCS silicone pads over mesh ones, and you’ll only be able to get those on a Yamaha drum kit. Whether that’s you or not, you should consider getting one of the kits above. Yamaha has a top-quality range of acoustic kits, and samples of those can be found on all the electronic drum modules.
Go listen to a few demos of all the mentioned kits. You may find that one of them will become your next drum kit purchase.
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