The Roland TD-17KV2 drum kit is the second generation of the popular TD-17KV drum kit. This new version was announced in October 2022 and is now available from Roland retailers. This is actually a pretty nice refresh to this drum kit, with some key upgrades in key spots. Let’s take a look at what’s new and how it improves from the previous generation.
Drum Pads & Cymbal Pads
The drum and cymbal pads around this kit are using mesh heads on the drum pads and rubber surfaced cymbal pads. The mesh drum heads feel great to play even though they are smaller in size than their acoustic counterparts. The mesh drum heads remain the same as the previous generation. However, the crash and ride cymbal pads have received a very nice upgrade for generation 2.
Snare & Tom Pads
The drum pads with the mesh heads have a great feel and people who own these drums love how it feels more like a real drum. You can adjust the tension of the heads to give more or less rebound, depending on what feels better for your style of play. This is a big advantage over electronic drum kits with rubber drum pads.
The 12-inch snare pads uses the mesh PDX-12 pad. This pad is a dual zone pad that can generate sounds from both the head and the rim. While you can do rim shots with this pad, it doesn’t work well for cross-stick playing.
The crash cymbal has been upgraded to one of Roland’s new thin cymbal pads. The crash utilizes the CY-12C-T pad, which has a newer, thinner design and feels a little more like an acoustic cymbal compared to the previously used CY-8 pad. The new cymbal pad can generate sound from the edge and the bow, and sways more naturally like and acoustic cymbal.
The ride cymbal pad has also received an excellent upgrade. The ride cymbal is now using the CY-14R-T ride cymbal pad. This pad is one of Roland’s new thin-design pads and feels more natural during play. This pad has an edge, bow and bell zone as well as a choke. The addition of the bell zone is a huge upgrade over previous versions of this kit, which didn’t have a ride pad with a bell zone. This pad is really fun to play due to the overall design and how it sways like an acoustic cymbal.
The hi-hat pad is the CY-5 pad. This is the same pad as the previous generation. This pad is similar to the crash/ride cymbals but even smaller. This pad allows you to generate sounds from playing on both the edge and bow.
The hi-hat is controlled with the FD-9 pedal, which is designed for quiet, smooth operation. This pedal has a good feel compared to what you’d get on a cheaper kit.
Works with Double Bass
The kick drum pad is big enough to fit a double bass pedal. The pad surface area is 5 inches in diameter and the stand of the kick pad will fit on top of a Roland NE-10 noise eater with a standard sized kick pedal attached.
Feel and Playability
The thing that stands out most to people who own this kit is the overall feel. With the mesh V-drums, you’ll often feel like your playing on normal drums once you get into it.
For this price range, the 12-inch dual zone snare really stands out on this kit. The snare pad has a great feel and it’s only 2 inches smaller in diameter than a normal 14 inch snare drum. The mesh head of the snare can be adjusted for whatever tightness feels most natural for you. The feel of the snare pad allows you to play more natural sounding rolls and dynamic styles. It really does feel great to play.
The toms are similar to the snare pad, but smaller in size, therefore smaller targets. They also have the plastic rim on the inside of the rims, which some drummers don’t like due to accidentally hitting them sometimes with the sticks. Not too big a deal, but something to consider. They feel great when playing, much like the snare.
The cymbal pads feel much better with the generation 2 version of this kit. The hi-hat is still using the CY-5 pad, which is sufficient but probably the most budget option available. However, the crash and ride cymbals have been upgraded to much better feeling cymbal pads in Roland’s new thinner cymbal pads. The addition of a bell zone on the ride cymbal is a huge upgrade to play-ability in our opinion.
The kick drum head has a good feel during play and also does a pretty good job of absorbing the thump sound, which can be a problem with harder kick pads on some kits. The padding material of the head is neither too hard or too spongy, and just works well. The kick drum feel compliments the mesh V-drum heads nicely.
The pedal for the hi-hat doesn’t feel exactly like a normal hi-hat pedal, but it does work well. It’s better than what’s been on previous incarnations of Roland V-drum kits in this price range in the past.
As far as electronic drum racks go, this one is pretty small and compact, with a small overall footprint. There’s enough room for the included pads, with room to add more pads if you wish to upgrade.
There are three round bars that you can mount the drums on – the two side bars and the shorter center bar that is intended for the snare drum pad. The center part of the rack is an H-shaped support that isn’t designed to have any drums mounted on it’s center cross-bar.
The rack can be folded while assembled, for transport without taking it all apart. This kit is quite portable, in terms of electronic drum kits, due to it’s compact size and design.
The nice thing about Roland V-drums is that they are well designed for taking a beating. This kit sits sturdy on the floor with four solid leg posts, and doesn’t wobble much at all unless you get rough with it. The rack hold everything in place nicely, and if you have it sitting on a rug it stays in place during play.
The TD-17 2.0 Drum Module
Roland makes the TD-17 sound module specifically for the TD-17 series of electronic drum kits. The TD-17 is a fairly capable module, described maybe as a cheaper version of the TD-50.
The TD-17 Drum Module has received a 2.0 upgrade. The 2.0 upgrade adds 20 more drum kits, 10 of which were exclusive to the VAD306 drum kit exclusively and 10 that are new. There are 26 new samples added that can be used for custom drum kits. They also added more reverb and compression effects which are a nice addition to this module. There are also 11 new multi-effects for expanded sound design options. The TD-17 2.0 version can also integrate with the Roland Cloud to expand your module with new kits.
The TD-17 includes a limited set of sounds compared to the TD-50 along with some neat learning/practice features. Let’s take a look at what the module offers.
- A Ledge on Top – You might not even notice this at first, but there is a ledge on top of the drum module that can work great to place your cell phone, if you’re playing along with MP3’s on your phone on the aux input, for example.
- 70 preset drum kits and 30 user kits to save your own kits
- 310 sounds – Derived from the TD-50 module. Keep in mind that many of the sounds are variations of the sounds, such as cymbal tips and edges, drum heads and rims, etc.
- 7 songs to play along with for practice – Rock, dance, funk, jazz and Latin styles.
- Metronome/Click – Nice to have for practicing
- Ambience, Bass and Treble Knobs – Right on the front of the unit, it’s easy to dial in a quick EQ and room ambience while playing.
- Load Your Own Samples – You can load samples into this unit to create your own unique kits.
- A Built-in Practice Coach – Sounds weird but works well for practicing and learning. It guides you through various warmups and exercises, and can score the accuracy of your playing.
- Drum Sound Settings – For tweaking each sound of your kit.
- Drum Pad Settings – To adjust sensitivity and feel of the pads.
- 41 Built-in Effects – Such as reverbs, delays, flangers, bit crushers and stuff like that.
Overall, there’s not really much to complain about here, considering what you’re getting for the money you will be spending on this kit. The sound quality is great and the sounds are crisp and dynamic.
One potential negative is that people who have owned more advanced kits or modules might find the range of sounds to be a little lacking compared to the next level up. Of course, you have the option to load your own sample or use the midi out to control another sound module or a computer with a drum sampler – so you’re not too restricted with the sounds.
Connections, inputs and outputs
- Cable Snake Input – to connect the cable that connects the module to all your drum pads
- Two additional trigger inputs – labeled Crash 2 and Aux – so you can add another cymbal and tom pad, for example
- 1/4-inch x2 Master Stereo Output
- Headphones mini-jack
- Mix input mini-jack – for hooking up an MP3 player or cell phone, for example
- USB – to connect to a computer
- Power Adapter Connection
- Midi Out – To control external sources/devices with your drum kit
That’s a pretty standard set of connections without individual outputs for each pad, which is to be expected for a drum module in this price range.
Sound Quality and Sounds
The sound of this drum module is great. The sound set is a limited version of what Roland includes on the TD-50 module. Even though it might seem like a smaller sound set, what’s there is pretty good. I really like this video from Nick at Sweetwater that shows what this kit can sound like.
Combined with the range of response of the drum pads, especially the PDX snare/tom pads, the sound of the TD-17 module is pretty dynamic. The snare sound and it’s ability to mimic the subtleties of an acoustic snare especially stands out on this kit. So if you are a snare-happy player and this kit is in your budget range, this might be the one for you.
You’ll be able to play along with most styles of music with this kit, as there are enough kits and sounds to put together pretty much any combination you’ll need.
With the ability to set muffling on the sounds, as well as dial in reverbs and other effects, and then on top of that adjust the Highs/Lows and overall ambience with the knobs on the front – this is not a bad module at all for those that want to dial in a real specific room and kit sound.
In addition to the rack, module and pads, this kit includes the following accessories in the box:
- AC Adapter
- Cable snake
- Mount for the Sound Module
- A drum key – to put together the rack hardware and adjust drum heads
- Knob bolt – for mounting the snare drum to the rack
- Setup guide and manuals
This kit doesn’t include some things that you might expect. It doesn’t include:
- A drum throne
- A kick pedal
- Drum sticks
- SD Card
So if you need those things, consider that you’ll need to budget for them as well.
Setup & Assembly
This kit isn’t too hard to put together, and the included instructions are pretty decent. Roland shows you how to put the small hardware bits together and how to run the cables optimally, which is more than many assembly guides from other manufacturers are able to accomplish. You’re probably looking at 30-60 minutes to get it all put together and adjusted to your liking.
Remember to not crank all the joints and connectors too tightly until you have most of the kit setup, as you will find yourself mostly likely moving around and adjusting parts as you get more of the pieces put together. It’s best to not fully tighten most of the fasteners until you get everything positioned where you want it. Then as a final step go through and tighten up everything to keep it all secure.
If you new to electronic drums and a beginner drummer it might not be obvious how to approach setting up and arranging a kit like this before you play. Here’s a few good tips to help get you going in the right direction if this is your first kit.
Once you’re set up and arranged, you may want to run through the sound settings and configure things like the sensitivity and feel of the pads. The manual has lots of info about how those specifics work. It could be worth a quick read before you spend the money on this kit if you are a power user.
- The PDX-12 snare pad is great
- Kick pad has a great feel and acoustic sound dampening
- Drum module is excellent for this price range and has received a 2.0 upgrade
- The ride cymbal and crash are now Roland’s thin cymbal pads
- The ride cymbal finally has a bell zone on this kit
- High-hat pad feels weak and the foot pedal might not be ideal for some drummers
- No throne, sticks or kick pedal included
- Tom pads feel a little small
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3.5 out of 5.0 stars
The second generation of this kit, the Roland TD-17KV2, is much more playable now in it’s new rendition with the crash and ride cymbal upgrades and the bell zone added to the ride. The TD-17 module has received new upgrades which add some newer kits and effects. The mesh drum heads feel great. The kit remains compact overall and is a good option for apartment drummers.