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Sound Quality

The good:

- The internal samples definitely are better than your average fm / TR808 / TR909 samples.

- They are even better than your '80's or '90's drum computers.

- The samples are dynamic (meaning, they change in sound as you play louder, not just play back one sample louder, but they deform the sound, much like a real drum does; some kits have more samples within one pad, which can be triggered by striking the pad louder or softer).

-The internal samples have a greater dynamic in volume than the dynamics you can get out of the MIDI cable or software.

The bad:

- The samples are still far from realistic. For the untrained ear they might sound realistic, but even for beginner drummers they can easily tell the whole kit does not come close to a real drum in feel nor in sound. Not even the TD-9, which comes close to sounding, but not the feeling of a real drum.

- The pads are different in sensitivity (not all pads are as sensitive).

- Roland made a mistake in sampling the drumkit 2, where the kick at lower volumes actually sounds detuned. When kicking harder the kick sounds normal, but for the lowest 25% of volume the kick sounds just not realistic (like it's using another detuned sample for the first 25% of volume). This looks like a mistake, not meant to sound like this. I can not believe Roland making such a huge mistake!

- Like mentioned all pads are singlezone, with the bass kick pedal being too sensitive, and some cymbals and the snare are hard to get the max volume out of!

At times I accidentally hit the snare exactly where the sensor is located, and then the snare sounds more than twice as loud, something you'll never experience on a real drums!

- Most of the accoustic kits are ok, but I wished there where more kits.


Reliability/Durability

It seems like a sturdy kit! The toms are pads of solid rubber, the snare is a solid ring of plastic, with  the famous mesh; the mounting frame is made of aluminum tubes; it looks like this kit might be able to last for a long time!

I hope the plastic side of the cymbals is strong enough to endure beating...

The only bad about this kit is the cable snake!

Many already have mentioned the cablesnake is a 45pin printer port, with on the other side, mono 1/4" jacks. If one of these jacks or cables fail, you'd have to replace the whole snake, which might not come very cheap. On top of that many of the cables are built inside the frame, so it'll be hard to get them out.


General Comments

If you want to start out as a drummer this drumkit might look nice, but it has far too few feats for beginning drummers!

First of all the drumkit does not really feel like a real drumkit, the toms don't bounce very well, and the trigger pads don't trigger their samples at the same sensitivity.

 

Most drumkits of this price don't have the mesh snare, which is something you would want, but have way better triggering, and allow you to set sensitivity. Some even have dualzone snares and rides.

In fact, if you have the room, and are using software like EZdrummer or Superior Drummer, go with the similar priced Yamaha DTXplorer; which comes with a tripple zone ride, and better rubber tom pads (bounce better)!

 

Go only for the Roland HD-1 if the following apply:

1- You don't have much space and need to set this drums in a very tight corner (eg: you're living in a one bedroom appartment)

2- You are not using and are not planning to use software drum programs, and want better samples (The DTX line of Yamaha uses '90's style of drum samples, non dynamic ones, so they don't sound very realistically).

3- You really care about looks, and don't like the yamaha company...

 

In short: The kit is worth a full 399.99, but not 599! I find it overpriced for the feats and quality it has! If you have the money, and want to stay with Roland, the upgrade to a TD-4 is definitely a MUST, even for beginners!





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