Roland really launched an amazing drum kit with the TD-17KVX. Many of the features available with this drum set have only been available for Roland’s top echelon kits. It seems to me that Alesis has been eating into some of their market share and they decided they needed to step up their game to compete. I for one am certainly glad they did. This is an amazing electronic drum set for under $2,000.
The TD17KVX comes with the following:
- Sound Module: TD-17
- Snare: PDX-12
- 3 Toms: PDX-8
- Hi Hat: VH-10
- 2 Crash Cymbals: CY-12C
- 1 Ride Cymbal: CY-13R
- Kick Drum: KD-10
- Drum Stand: MDS-COMPACT
Roland TD17KVX Setup
The rack for the TD-17KVX is pretty simple to setup. It is lightweight and compact. You can easily fold it up and throw it in the back of your car. It is worth noting that this set ships with the MDS-COMPACT drum rack. Many of the promotional videos are seen with the MDS-4KVX rack. This is an upgrade that is sold separately. The main difference is that it gives boom arms for all of the cymbals.
Still, even if you stick with the standard rack that it comes with it does a lot of things really well. We’ve already mentioned that it is light and convenient with it’s small footprint. The other great thing about it is the use of ball joints for the snare and the cymbals. This lets you adjust the pads to be a comfortable angle for your playing style.
The floor tom can be moved horizontally which is nice to get it positioned where you like it. Unfortunately the rack toms are where they are. Given the compact nature of this drum rack the two posts that the toms are on are where they are. This also limits you to only using the KD-10 kick drum that it comes with. If you wanted to upgrade later, a larger kick drum would not fit.
Still, the rack works well overall. It is sturdy, ready to take some abuse, and has enough flexibility that just about any drummer will be able to get the pads in a comfortable position. If you want more adjustability for the cymbals upgrade to the MDS-4KVX and you will have boom arms to move and swivel to your heart’s delight.
The KD-10 Kick Drum – Double Bass Ready
I find the KD-10 kick drum to be a really good bass drum. It is basically the newer version of the KD-9 which Roland has been using on sets for quite some time. It works well, it’s a little sturdier than the KD-9. One thing I want to point out is that the pedal is not included. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. You can choose a kick pedal that you prefer, and the KD-10 kick drum does accommodate a double bass.
PDX-12 Snare Drum
The PDX-12 snare drum does not disappoint. It is a good size being about 12 inches. The mesh head is responsive and provides good bounce and feedback. You will not find hotspots. It gives consistent sound regardless of where you strike it. What’s more, the rim is a normal height and space making it easy to avoid mistakenly hitting it while being a comfortable distance from the head to allow for rim shots and cross stick work. The only thing it is missing is positional sensing. To get that you would need to upgrade to the TD-25. I just don’t think it is worth it though. The TD-17 drum module is superior and positional sensing on the snare just isn’t worth the added expense.
As far as toms go these are okay. They are serviceable, dual-zone pads. The mesh heads are good. They do not have positional sensing, but really that isn’t needed for your toms. It would be nice to have a larger pad for the floor tom. Instead all three are the same size. One thing I dislike, and has been reported by many others, is the extra plastic rim. Between the extra plastic rim and the smaller size it is pretty easy to mistakenly hit the rim. Overall though, the toms do an adequate job and do not detract too much from the many other positives of the kit.
VH-10 Hi Hat
This is where the TD-17KVX really shines. The VH-10 high hat is one of the best on the market. It is basically a slightly smaller, less expensive version of the VH-11. You will need to supply your own hi hat stand. This does add to the expense but at the same time lets you get one that you are really comfortable playing. I can’t say enough good things about this hi hat. Roland makes the best hi hats for electronic drums and the VH-11 does not disappoint.
CY-12C Crash Cymbals
There are no big surprises here. Roland has been using the CY-12C cymbals in kits for a long time. They are very good, sturdy, and responsive.
CY-13 Ride Cymbal
Overall this is a pretty good cymbal, but it would be nice to have a little larger ride. It feels a little small and the bell is tiny. While playing I’ve found it is easy to miss the bell when playing which leads to mishits when trying to take advantage of the 3 zones.
TD-17 Drum Module
As drum modules go the TD-17 is about as good as it gets. It feels like Roland made a light version of the TD-50. It comes with many of the features that make the TD-50 so good but at a fraction of the price.
Now it doesn’t have as many instruments or sounds as the Alesis Strike, but the sounds it has are top notch. Roland uses 310 sounds to make up the pre configured kits. Other kits have more sounds, but the quality here is so high that it works well.
You will get 50 preset kits with the option for the user to add 50 of their own kits. The sounds are used in different configurations to make up the 50 kits.
The snares are really good with authentic sounds that really pops. It responds well to the sticks and does a good job with ghost notes.
The cymbals also sound great. It is easy to build swells and they respond well to playing quietly. All things considered, we think that the TD-17 module is a big step up over the TD-11.
Add your own sounds!
For the longest time Roland hasn’t really let users add their own sounds. This has changed with the TD-17. Users can upload their own sounds and there is even the ability to layer. Layering is what really gives realism to the sounds. Roland has avoiding allowing users to add their own sounds and avoided layering because it impacted latency. With the technology available now this is no longer a concern.
Editing and adjusting drums is much easier with the TD-17. You can adjust specific pads and zones on the pads. With the split zone it gives you so much control. From adjusting ambiance, room size, volume, and more. It gives complete control. You even have a global EQ for the whole kit and a local EQ by pad.
About the only thing I don’t like is the snake cable. All things considered I can deal with it though. The TD-17 is one of the best drum modules you can get at this price point.
I just love the TD-17KVX. There is no reason to even look at the TD-25 any longer. The TD-17KVX does everything as good if not better. The only thing you are missing is the positional sensing on the snare. Even still the snare is quite good.
For under $2,000 you will not find a better quality practice set. It’s good enough that you can even take this on gigs and record with it. Bluetooth connectivity to your phone makes it easy to play along with tracks. We think this kit is just about the best in this price point. About the only thing that comes close is the Alesis Strike. The quality issues Alesis has had make us hesitant to recommend it though.