The Yamaha DTX6K-X is the entry level for Yamaha’s new DTX drum kit lineup. It’s a very compact kit with smaller pads and a small overall footprint. It also utilizes the DTX Pro module which immediately puts it in the mix with other compact intermediate level kits. Let’s take a look at this kit and how it compares to the other DTX kits.
Drum Pads & Cymbal Pads
This kit uses a combination of TCS and rubber drum pads around the kit. The drum pads have a good feel during play but are not mesh drum heads like many other competitors are using at this point. Yamaha is sticking with their TCS and rubber drum pads for the DTX line.
Drum Pad Sizes & Zones
This kit comes with the following drum pads:
- 8 Inch XP80 Snare
- 3x 8 Inch XP70 Toms
- KP90 Kick Pad Tower
The first thing you might notice is that this kit has an 8 inch snare and toms. In terms of other drum kits in this price range, those are smaller in size than you will find on competing kits from other brands. I think the reasoning from Yamaha here is that they are designing this kit to be the top of the line compact kit using their compact DTX pads. Some drummers prefer to have a more compact kit and smaller pads for many reasons, and this kit is here to deliver for that crowd.
The snare pads is a 3-zone pad that can do standard head strikes, rim shots and also cross stick sounds. It’s quite versatile and not a beginners snare pad.
The tom pads are only single zone pads. This is a bit of a drawback as you can’t assign separate sounds to the rims, for example.
TCS Drum Heads
TCS stands for Textured Cellular Silicone Head. TCS pads have a textured surface and have a good sticking response. Drummers who play on TCS pads say they don’t feel as bouncy as other mesh head options out there. At the same time, the TCS pads are designed to provide a quiet, textured and firm-yet-giving playing surface that won’t fatigue your hands during play. They are also acoustically much more quiet than a practice pad type of surface.
The snare pad on this kit is the only TCS pad on this kit. The tom pads are Yamaha’s rubber pads, which have a good feel but aren’t the same as the TCS pads.
Check out this quick video from Yamaha that explains the TCS pad design.
The Cymbal Pads
The cymbal pads that come with this kit are playable and dynamic, but a little on the small side. What pads are included with this kit? You get three total cymbal pads:
- (1) PCY135 Ride Cymbal
- (1) PCY95 Crash Cymbals
- (1) PCY95 Hi-hat Pad with an HH65 Hi-hat controller pedal
The PCY135 ride cymbal is a 13 inch cymbal pad with three zones. The zones are the top bow, edge and bell. The ride cymbal also has choke zones all the way around so you can choke it like an acoustic cymbal. With the multiple zones and the choke it nearly plays like an acoustic cymbal, minus the feel of the rubber surface and the smaller diameter.
The crash cymbal and the hi-hat cymbal both use the same PCY95 10-inch pad. When used as a crash, the pad has the ability to do a cymbal choke. The PCY95 pads are single zone pads.
This is probably the most compact rack you’re going to find on a $1000 kit. The RS502 rack has a very small footprint and is basically just big enough to fit the pads that come with this kit. It’s lightweight and sturdy, using a 1mm steel piping for it’s bars/supports.
If you need to have the ability to move and store your kit when it’s not in use, the smaller size of this rack and kit overall make it easy to fold in the side arms and move it out of the way. One person can lift it easy.
The rack is sturdy enough for a compact kit like this. Pads mounted on it will bounce a bit if you play hard, but the rack will stay in place. The quality of all the rack hardware is excellent and you can tighten things up enough to keep them in place during pretty aggressive drumming.
The overall sturdiness of this kit is quite good. It’ll hold up to most styles of play, even more aggressive rock drumming. The pads stay in place when tightened down properly. If you use a good rug, the rack doesn’t move around during play. The kick drum pad stays in place nicely, as well as the hi-hat pad – once again if you use a good rug.
Feel & Playability
The biggest drawback with playability on this kit is the size of the pads. Many drummers will find the 8 inch snare, the 7 inch toms and the 10 inch cymbal pads to just be too small. However, if compact is your goal or preference, that might not be a drawback for you.
The feel of the snare pad is great due to the TCS pad design. It’s quiet, it responds well, it doesn’t fatigue your hands. It’s a very playable pad even at just 8 inches in size.
The smaller tom pads feel ok. They are single zone pads and utilize Yamaha’s rubber pad design. In practice, they feel similar to a TCS pad, but not quite the same. 7 inches is a pretty small hit zone target.
The ride cymbal is the best feeling pad of the cymbal pads. The 3 zones allow for expressive play styles. The crash and hi-hat pads are ok, but are just single zone pads and don’t feel as dynamic as the cymbal pads on the higher level DTX kits.
The hi-hat pedal suffers from being a standalone hi-hat controller, so it looses some of that real hi-hat pedal type of feel. It’s a little springy but it plays ok and is enough to get the job done.
The kick pad feels decent during play. It doesn’t quite have the more natural feel of the kick pads used on the higher level DTX kits, but once again it gets the job done and isn’t necessarily bad.
Overall, this kit plays great. The snare and ride pads being more premium help it feel better than it really is overall. It’s just the smaller size of the pads will be the biggest drawback for most drummers.
Double Kick Bass
The KP65 kick drum pad is just big enough to fit a double kick drum pedal. It should fit most double kick pedals. It’s designed to accept a standard kick pedal and the kick pedal attaches just like it would to an acoustic kick drum.
The DTX Pro Drum Module
While this is the cheapest drum kit in the DTX6 lineup, it still gets the DTX Pro drum module. This module is the best part of this drum kit as a whole.
The DTX Pro module does a good job of putting the most accessed functions up front and keeping it simple for drummers who don’t want to deep dive into menus.
- On/Off Switch
- Ambience Knob – quickly adjusts room ambience on the kit you have loaded up
- Comp Knob – quickly adjusts the overall compression on the kit you have loaded up
- Effect Knob – tweak the multi-effect you have assigned
- Master Volume Knob – adjusts master volume on the module
- Audio Volume Knob – adjusts volume of anything that isn’t your drum playing or click track (like audio routed into the aux input)
- Click Volume Knob – adjusts volume of the click track / metronome
- Click Tempo Knob, Click Start/Stop Button, Click Temp Display – for managing the metronome options quickly
- Digital Screen that shows kit and settings info, with corresponding buttons for:
- 3x Function Buttons – for making on-screen selections
- Menu – shows advanced options on the screen
- Kit – kit selection screen
- Training – training option selection screen
- Click – metronome options screen
- Exit – exit/go back from the screen you are viewing
- Store – saves kit or click settings changes
- Recorder – recording/playback screen when using the performance recording mode
- Aux Input Jack – 3.5mm input
- Headphone Jack – 6.3mm input
- All of the trigger input jacks – these are individual jacks and not a single cable snake connection, which is really nice
- Midi Out
- USB Flash Drive connection (only for USB flash drives, not other devices)
- Power Adapter Jack
- Stereo Output Connections – two 6.3mm jacks
- USB connection for computers or other devices – can send audio and midi signals
The Trigger Input Jacks
There are enough input jacks to connect up to 14 total pads to this kit. This is achieved by the tom/kick inputs allowing for Y splitter cables to attach two pads to a single input. The Hi-hat input is designed for a hi-hat controller. The crash and ride inputs support 3-zone single piezo pads. The snare input supports 3-zone multi and single piezo pads. The kick/tom inputs support multi or single piezo pads and also the Y splitters as already mentioned.
Scope & Quality of Sounds
Yamaha has produced an entirely new collection of newly recorded sounds for the DTX Pro module. The sounds on this kit sound great as a result.
There are 40 preset drum kits split between categories such as Showcase kits, Acoustic Kits, Acoustic Plus Effects kits, Electronic kits and more.
The Showcase kits are interesting, as they are designed to be playable for certain types of music. Examples of these kits are the “Swedish Metal” kit which is designed for metal drummers, the “Vintage Nashville” kit for classic country sounds and the “AbsoHypeMaple” kit which is basically a studio sampled Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maples series acoustic kit.
You also get 200 user kit slots. You can create user kits by tweaking the included sounds, importing sounds, and layering sounds for each trigger on the kit. There is a pretty big range of sound design possible if you like to dig in and create your own drum kits.
There are 712 individual voices, or instruments, that are part of the preset kits or available for creating custom kits. The voices include all the typical drum sounds you’d expect from a pro level module.
The training songs in the module cross a wide range of styles, such as pop, rock, metal, hip-hop and more classic percussive styles as well.
Selecting a Kit
To jump into playing this kit – you simply press the kit button, use the dial or buttons to select one of the preset kits or a kit you created, and start playing. Kits that you’ve saved to user slots will save the ambience, comp and effect settings you saved along with it.
Using the Built In Mixer
There are no physical mixer sliders on this drum module. However the settings are easy to access once you get used to how it works. When playing a kit, the F3 button right below the digital display will correspond to Mix/FX – pressing that buttons brings up the mixer and then you can use the other function keys to navigate between the mixer channels and the dial/buttons to adjust the mixer levels. One thing to note about the mixer on this module is that the mixer settings do not save along with a kit. So if you make adjustments to pad levels with the mixer and then change kits, the mixer levels will not change on the mixer itself.
Using Built-in Effects
The effects are decent and you may find them useful. Most drummers will likely find the ambience and comp settings to be enough to tweak the sounds. However, if you want more options that those two types of effects, there are plenty of other built-in effects that you can use. You can assign effects to the master mix of your kit, which affects the entire sound of the kit. There are also two effects channels which can be applied to the pads in a kit. So for example, you can assign a reverb to effect channel 1, and then apply effect channel 1 to both the snare and the toms. You can do the same with effect channel 2.
Creating Custom Kits
This module allows you to create your own drum kits by selecting any of the sounds available on the module. There are 40 preset kits already programmed into this device, but there are also 200 user kit slots for saving custom kits. When selecting sounds for a kit, you can also tweak the sound by changing properties of the sounds. This includes tuning & muffling (for drums), size & sustain (for cymbals) and tuning & decay for other percussive sounds. With these settings, it’s possible to really dial in the sound of your user kits to your own liking. You can also modify the built-in kits and save them as new kits to your user slots.
This module allows you to import samples to use with custom kits. The samples must be WAV format and there is a 1000 file limit for importing sounds this way. Maximum sample time is 760 seconds (mono) or 380 seconds (stereo) so you can even import longer samples if you like.
User Click Settings
Another awesome feature of this module is the custom click settings. This kit is excellent for advanced timing practice due to the click features. To put it simply – there are a lot of options for sounds and for creating multiple timing layers within one click track. A click track can use different click sounds for each of the timings (quarter note, triplet, 8th, etc.) and you can mix the levels of the different timings. This allows you to create, for example, a click track with both quarter note and triplet timing, with different sounds, at the same time. Click settings can be saved to use slots as well.
This drum module has a pretty neat performance recording feature. It can take the input audio (whatever you are playing along with) and mix your drum track over the top of it, saving it as a new audio file after you are done playing. This can be useful for practicing and analyzing your playing afterwards. You can record in this way to both the internal memory or to an external flash drive.
There are built-in training features on this module, and beginner level drummers may find them useful. The features are designed to get you get up to speed playing along with the training songs in the module. Drummers working on technique might find the precision training features to be useful. There are options to play along with certain types of rhythms or to train you to strike the pad more dynamically. There’s also a rhythm change up feature that lets you play along with and work your way through various types of rhythm changes. If you don’t have access to lessons but want to learn some drumming basics, the training features can be useful. Most intermediate to more advanced drummers probably won’t use these features at all.
Setup & Assembly
Yamaha includes pretty good instructions that show how to properly assemble all the small pieces that you will unbox. The instructions are really good in just the right places. If you’ve set up an electronic kit before, nothing here will be too surprising.
You’re probably looking at about 45 minutes or less to get this kit setup and running. There’s not a whole lot of parts to put together, and it goes together pretty quick.
Here’s what included with this kit when you purchase:
- DTX Pro Drum Module
- Power Adapter
- XP80 Snare Pad
- (3) TP70 Tom Pads
- KP65 Kick Tower
- PCY135 Ride
- (2) PCY95 Cymbal Pads
- HH65 Hi Hat Pedal/Controller
- RS502 Rack Stand & Hardware
What’s Not Included?
Here’s what isn’t included with this kit that you should probably also get if you don’t have it already:
- Kick pedal
- Heavy rug
- Drum sticks
- USB Flash Drive
Yamaha’s drum kits all come with a standard 1 year warranty for defective products or workmanship. It’s not overly generous, but it will cover you if you notice something wrong with your kit in that first year of use. Usually this is plenty of time to find any defect issues.
- Compact design & footprint
- Great sound module
- Pads feel too small for this price range
- Too many single zone pads around the kit
- Hi-hat pedal could feel better
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The Yamaha DTX6K-X is designed to be a compact kit with a great sound module in the DTX sound module. That might be what some drummers are looking for. If you don’t want small pads, or want more multi-zone pads, there’s better kits to look at for not a whole lot more money. The highlight of this kit is the DTX Pro module. You won’t find a better sound module on a compact kit like this.