I recently traded in my Roland TD-1DMKX for a Roland TD-17KVX2 at my local Guitar Center, which was a nice upgrade. I’ve been playing the new kit for a few weeks and am really liking it so far.

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It’s a Very Compact Drum Kit

One thing I liked about the TD-1DMKX during my time with it is that it was very compact. It didn’t take up much space at all and was easy to move around if I needed to get it out of the way. That made it a great option for my apartment. When I took a closer look at the TD-17KVX2 I realized it wasn’t really any bigger in terms of overall footprint, so that’s why I decided it would be a good upgrade. I would get a lot more capabilities from the module and pads without taking up any more space. I think both kits actually use the same drum rack, which is one of Roland’s more compact drum racks.

When fully setup in my apartment the TD-17KVX2 doesn’t take up much space at all and it would classify as one of the more compact kits I’ve used. Even with it’s smaller footprint and smaller rack I’m able to space out the pads, especially the cymbals, to keep things feeling more spread out and naturally placed.

Roland TD-17KVX2 Snare Pad

The Large Snare Pad

The snare drum pad is the PDX-12, which is a 12-inch dual zone snare pad. I was kind of skeptical of this one at first since it only has a single sensor towards the front of the pad, but after playing on it I really like it. It’s large enough that it feels close to a 14 inch snare drum, and the response is pretty good. It does rim shots well which I always appreciate. It did have some dead spots at the top center area of the head at first, but after tightening up the mesh head more it evened out and the dead spots went away.

Roland TD-17KVX2 Cymbal Pads

The Cymbal Pads

The cymbal pads on the TD-17KVX2 are awesome. They are all the newer, thinner style of pad from Roland, and they make this kit feel great in terms of playability. They all respond very well and they feel pretty similar to acoustic cymbals when striking them. The hard surface feels less like rubber and more like the surface of an acoustic cymbal, which is great, and they sway and move more naturally when playing them.

The VH-12 hi-hat pad mounts on a standard hi-hat stand, and it feels a little closer to acoustic hi-hats while playing. The hi-hat seems to have something like 5 stages between fully open and closed which helps it sound more natural when playing. I’ve been liking how the hi-hat feels when playing stuff that requires more active hi-hat use. I haven’t really run into any frustrations with how it feels or responds, so that’s refreshing.

The only complaint I have about the cymbals is that they seem like they are little louder acoustically than what I’m used to, and that’s mostly because of the harder playing surface that they present. I was a little worried about that increase in noise while playing in my apartment but it hasn’t turned out to be an issue so far.

Roland TD-17KVX2 Drum Kit Pedal Placement

The Kick Pad

The kick pad on the TD-17KVX2 seems like it could be a little larger but it fits well with this kit, especially considering the size of the rack and the limited placement options around the center rack poles. A larger or wider kick pad probably wouldn’t fit between the two center poles.

In most of the photos I’ve seen of this kit, the kick pad is always placed between those two center poles. I found that I prefer to place the kick pad to the right of the center poles to better match the pedal positioning and spacing that I’m used to. A larger kick pad might feel like it’s too far to the right when set up this way.

I have yet to try it with a double bass pedal, but it looks like it would work with my Iron Cobra double pedal.

The pad itself feels good to play and it feels a little softer and more natural than some harder bass drum pads I’ve used. I also use a KAT Silent Strike bass drum beater and the combo of pad and beater are pretty quiet in terms of acoustic noise, which is ideal for apartment playing.

Roland TD-17 Drum Module

The TD-17 Sound Module

The TD-17 sound module feels like a huge upgrade over the TD-1 module on my previous kit in every way. There’s a lot of preset drum kits to choose from, and some good sound editing options as well. Most of the kits sound pretty good overall so I don’t really have any complaints about the built-in sounds. I’ve been using the funk/jazz kits mostly since I like a more natural drum sound when practicing.

The TD-17 module is pretty easy to use and I haven’t really had to crack the manual open to figure anything out so far. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory and settings are easy to find.

One thing I really like about this kit is the module placement. It mounts in a way that allows it to extend out to the left of the left-most pole on the rack so that it doesn’t get covered up or hidden by the hi-hat pad. This is refreshing since so many other kits I’ve used have such awkward module placement options.

Early Impressions

So far this is shaping up to be an ideal apartment drumming kit. It’s combination of compact size, capable drum/cymbal pads and drum module make it feel like a great practice kit that doesn’t have much for limitations in terms of playability. I’ll be taking this one over to my studio soon for some more photos, so it’ll be interesting to see how easy it is to transport. I have a feeling this might become my mainstay apartment kit for a while.

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