Roland TD-17 Review

We are big fans of Roland’s V-Drums, and for many reasons. They feel good, are more compact than a full acoustic kit, and they are quiet. For people who live in apartment blocks or have neighbours who don’t appreciate a finely played beat, this is a blessing. We were delighted to try out Roland’s new offering: The TD-17.

What You Get

The Roland TD-17 comes in 3 versions: the TD-17KL (Lite) with rubberised tom pads, the TD-17KV with mesh pads, and the top of the range TD-17KVX which has the all mesh pads and VH-10 stand-mount hi-hat. We’ll take a look at the TD-17KV in this review.

roland_td-17kv_front

Taking it out the box, it’s surprising how compact this kit is. It’s far easier to assemble that their older kits. It can be completely set up within ten minutes is you know what you’re doing, perhaps a bit longer if it’s your first time.

The TD-17KV has the new PDX-12 which is a dual-trigger 12” snare, with realistic response for buzz rolls and rimshots, and it’s tunable to meet your playing needs. This snare, wow, it’s a joy to play.

The KD-10 kick pad has a small surface area but feels responsive. It has spurs to avoid slipping, however die to habit we put it on a non-slip mat. It’s responsive to double kick pedals too.

The cymbals are 2 CY-8 dual trigger pads and a 10” hi-hay cymbal pad. The hi-hats along with the pedal are surprisingly realistic and sensitive to dynamic and fast playing.

The Brain

All of these components are connected to the TD-17 drum module which has 50 preset kits, a metronome, backing songs, and a coach mode too.

roland td17-module

What are the sounds like? There is a total of 310 sounds, which are stores into 50 kits. Roland have added a nice touch with it being able to import your own sounds via the SD/HC card (not included) and these can be saved into another 50 blank preset slots. The acoustic sounds are great straight out of the module – realistic and true to their genre. The jazz kit, for example, is very well set up.

The electronic sounds are excellent as you’d expect from Roland – their 808 and 909 kits are splendid.

There are various controls too such as adjustable reverb and compression, and adjustable EQ per pad. Add to this the virtual tuning and muffling and you’ve got an electronic kit with a lot of flexibility.

roland td17_module back

We connected the module via MIDI out to the Arturia DrumBrute Impact, to use that as the sound source, and it works excellently with no latency. The sounds of the DrumBrute Impact are amazing so connecting the two together via MIDI is a great touch.

There’s also the option to stream music form your phone via Bluetooth or send MIDI data output over MIDI. Clever stuff.

Conclusion

This new electronic drum kit from Roland surely has to be one of the best on the market. We absolutely love it. For any serious drummer looking for a practice kit, or a beginner after a quiet kit, get you headphones on and get ready to be impressed.

PROS:

  • Excellent responsive pads
  • The PDX-12 snare pad is a dream to play
  • Easy to set up
  • Good value for money

CONS:

  • Kick pedal not included
  • More songs to play along to would have been nice

See more at https://www.roland.com/us/products/td-17_series/

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