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Alesis Alesis DM5 pro Electronic Drum Kit
Overall Rating
Submitted: September 18th, 2010
by I_need_more_cowbell
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Sound Quality
Sadly, one of the biggest down points of the DM5 pro kit is the DM5 module itself. Anyone familiar to the e-kit world will be well aware of the Alesis DM5 drum module. It's been an industry standard for years now, and sadly when compared to other modules on the market, it shows. The sounds that the DM5 provides are pretty dated, and you'll find yourself not being particularly impressed with what you get from it. That being said, it's an industry standard for a reason. It's an incredibly reliable piece of kit, and is flexible with what you can do with it. It comes with a standard MIDI In/Out/Thru port, so plugging into a pc or mac is an option here, though naturally with MIDI, latency issues may crop up. Of course, drum pads are drum pads. You always have the option of replacing the DM5 with pretty much any model which is on the market. Alesis' DM10 drum module for example is a vibrant replacement, with good sounds and a USB port. This does come with Alesis DM10 pro kit, of course, but buying cheaper pads an upgrading may leave you with some extra pennies left over. If you want to avoid hassle however, and sound is something which is first priority when investing in an e-kit, then this kit may perhaps not suit your needs.
The first thing that is perhaps the most striking about the DM5 pro kit, along with most of the other kits Alesis produces, is the pads themselves. Rather than opting for the typical rubber/mesh pad options that most companies go for, Alesis instead have gone with a more realistic drum skin. This for the acoustic drummer feels a lot more natural as a hit, but the volume results are perhaps a bit of an issue. A thwack to the skin produces quite a loud and abrasive sound. Though naturally this is much quieter than an acoustic kit, its still pretty loud for an e-kit. With a bit of motification with a soldering iron and screw driver, you can turn these kit heads into mesh heads, and, as a result, give them a little more bounce and make them much quieter. A wealth of guides exist on the internet (such as the one on hellfiredrums.com, who also shows how to make these pads dual zone for the cost of aroundx 12 USD) and its pretty self explanatory, but again if modding isn't really your thing, then the volume of the pads is something that should be taken into account before purchasing.Another added perk of the Alesis DM5 pro kit is the surge cymbals. These both look and feel just like real cymbals when struck, but naturally don't come with the volume of an acoustic cymbal. In fact, acoustic cymbals with triggers attached is essentially what they are, with a layer of thick clear plastic on the base to stop them from resonating. Similarly to the pads, although they are not incredibly loud when hit, they're still quite loud when compared to a rubber pad cymbal on a Roland or Yamaha kit. Though the natural feel of an acoustic cymbal on an e-kit is certainly a welcome change to the feeling of striking a rubber cymbal pad (especially the 'fixed' ones, such as the ones on Yamaha's DTXtreme kit) the volume of them again should be taken into account. One great quality of these cymbals is that both the crash and ride are dual zone. Again something of a rare quality in kits such as these.The frame on the DM5 pro kit is suprisingly strong, and with joints at each point held in place with drum-key sized screws, its both easy to put up and also to make sturdy. The quality of the hi-hat pedal thats supplied is also a welcome change to other kits with similar price tags. It's very strong, and feels close to a good quality pedal from gibraltar, or other high quality drum manufacturer. No kick pedal or drum stool is included with this kit, though at this price, this really shouldn't come as a shock.In short, the DM5 pro kit's durability is definitely it's strong point. Alesis have done a great job in emulating the feel of a 'real' kit, but one thing that should be taken into account with any of Alesis' skinned kits is their volume.
General Comments
the Alesis DM5 pro kit could best be described as a 'modders' kit. If you don't mind making modifications to it, and possibly swapping the DM5 module for something a little better in the market, then this is a kit I would definitely recommend. However, modding is a past time that isn't to everyone's tastes, and if you're looking for something which is going to be perfect straight out of the box, then it would be best to keep hold of your money and go for something which is a little more up market. A solid, no frills kit, with the potential to be something a whole lot better, if you are willing to dedicate your time to it.
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