The Roland TD-1KV claims to have both the features and quality of a professional electronic kit, with a beginner-friendly price point. It’s hard to get all of that in the same package. Does the TD-1KV live up to the hype?
Since their introduction, electronic drum kits have either been expensive and out of reach for most, or cheap toys. An alternative to a loud acoustic drum kit ended up being inaccessible to the average developing drummer. If you wanted to have a truly high-quality electronic drum set, you would often have to spend more money than you would for a normal acoustic kit!
These days, many manufacturers have made it their goal to create e-drum kits that are affordable and accessible to the general public. Roland provides a variety of different electronic drum kits that more than get the job done. Some are even pretty inexpensive. Here we review the Roland TD-1KV in our quest to find the best electronic drum set.
What Comes in the Box
If you order the Roland TD-1KV it is going to come in a big box with lots of little boxes inside. Here is what you should have when you unbox everything:
- Drum rack
- Kick/bass drum
- Three tom drums
- Two cymbals
- Drum Module
- Kick pedal
- Hi-hat pedal
- Three pairs of drum sticks
You may have noticed one glaring omission from this list: a seat, otherwise known as a drum throne. If this is your first drum kit you may be surprised, but this is very common. Most drum sets do not come with a drum throne. I don’t think this is a bad thing. You are going to spend a lot of time in that seat practicing. It’s best to get one that fits your behind well. Go pick one out that you like, and is comfortable.
So, how does the kit itself hold up? Pretty well! We like how responsive the toms are and they give plenty of shape to the sounds. A common issue with electric drum sets is that they don’t feel like your actions correspond to the sounds. This is not the case with the TD-1KV. You can feel a bounce when you hit the pad, and it feels pretty close to an acoustic head.
One of the most impressive things about this kit is the mesh snare drum. It is shockingly realistic, giving you the same type of rebound and feel that you would expect from an acoustic snare. The surrounding frame also feels very similar to acoustic snare stands!
If you are an experienced drummer who requires a detailed interface on the drum module, you might be disappointed. The module is great and more than does what it needs to do for the hobbyist. It has less features than more advanced models though. There is no EQ on it that you can adjust. We didn’t have any trouble doing that on our own in the digital audio workspace (DAW). We were using the kit with so there is a pretty easy work around for that.
How Easy Is the Roland TD-1KV to Assemble?
When setting up this kit you will enjoy how seamless the experience is. The instructions are easy to understand, and the kit itself doesn’t require any additional tools. The assembly only took us 30 minutes. As far as electronic kits go, you really can’t ask for any better than that!
As you start to put the kit together, you’ll realize that it does not take up much space. This is something that we really appreciate. It allows you to play in a small footprint without worrying about the surrounding space.
A negative aspect of the kit’s design is that the frame itself isn’t very flexible. If you prefer to customize the layout of your kit, this might not be the one for you. If you are willing to adjust your playing to the TD 1KV’s specific layout, you will be surprised how it feels!
One of the biggest issues with many electronic kits is that they are not able to handle aggressive playing. If you want a kit that can stand up to the abuse of drumming, you usually will have to purchase an expensive kit. This is not the case with the TD-1KV. Just take care during assembly. The first time we put the kit together it was not tight enough so things were loose and rattled. After we snugged everything up, the TD-1KV became one of the most sturdy electronic drum kits we’ve ever used!
The Drum Module
The main module comes with 15 pre-installed kits. This is a large variety for a product of its price range and we love how different each kit is. For example, the hip hop kit allows you to put a truly modern spin on your playing style. Traditional rock and pop kits are suitable for more traditional playing styles. The sound quality of each kit is also stellar and is just as good as some of the more expensive Roland electronic drum kits.
Possibly the best aspect of this kit’s module is the practice functions. The module has a metronome so you can play along to a specific beat. This is a wonderful addition that is incredibly helpful for drummers looking to practice certain tempos. It even has a “Coach” feature is helpful if you would like to be guided through a song you are playing. Most beginners will find these learning features very helpful.
As far as the drum module goes, the kit itself is not very customizable. There are no options to import your own custom drum kit presets. Although, a determined player could easily connect their kit to their DAW of choice and begin messing with it through there. It’s worth noting that this kit does not function like a MIDI controller, so you can’t use it to play custom drum sounds you have already loaded into your DAW.
The Roland TD-1KV excels at being a kit for beginner drummers who want the experience of playing a professional kit without having to spend a lot of money to do so. If you go in with those expectations, you will be more than pleased with the product. This is not the kit for professional musicians who want to have a drum kit to use as a MIDI controller.
- Great for beginners
- Comes with a good variety of drums and cymbals
- Helpful practice functions
- Drum pads feel very realistic
- Snare drum is superb
- Comes with 15 pre-installed kits
- Very durable design
- Easy to assemble
- Affordable price
- Does not work as a MIDI controller
- Not very customizable
- Doesn’t come with a drum throne
Our Overall Impression of the Roland TD-1KV
When we opened the box, we did not really know what to expect. Before we used the TD-1KV, we only knew Roland for their incredibly expensive and professional products. We were skeptical.
As you can glean from our review, the answer is yes. The Roland TD-1KV is an incredibly good drum kit for beginners that does more than simply get the job done. If you get this kit as a beginner, you will likely have it around for a while. It is very durable. If you are more interested in a kit that will function as a MIDI controller or come with more preset sounds, you may not get exactly what you are looking for.
Some drummers may be disappointed that not all of the drums have mesh heads. We don’t think that is an issue with this product. One of the things we appreciate about electronic drum kits is that they don’t have to sound like real drum kits. They can represent a wide variety of different instruments. An edrum kit doesn’t need to be 100% realistic when compared to an acoustic kit. When playing techno music that relies more on artificial 808 sounds than acoustic drums, it makes more sense hit a plastic pad. What we think is actually important is the associated rebound with each pad, something that the TD-1KV does very well.
The Roland TD-1KV is also an ideal kit for quiet practice sessions, with the pads making virtually no noise! The drums also don’t change position due to hard playing, so feel free to smash those cymbals as much as you’d like!