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When electronic drum kits first appeared, they were regarded as a gimmick that will fade out quickly. At the time this was completely understandable.
Those early models were expensive to a point where only a few could even consider owning one, and the sound they produced was limited in all regards. In simple terms, you had to pay a lot of money to buy something that sounded nothing like a real drum set.
Today the things are vastly different. Electronic drum kits of today are getting better and better when it comes to quality of the kit and the sound it is capable of producing.
Today’s best electronic drum kits are on par with their acoustic counterparts. However, it is the affordable category of electronic drum kits that is getting all the attention.
Today we’re going to take a look at Alesis DM5, an affordable electronic kit that offers a lot of performance for the money. These units are getting better and better when it comes to sample quality, and the fierce competition in this segment will only push the development of affordable kits even more forward.
Lot of performance for the money..
One of the main selling points of inexpensive electronic drum kits today is their mobility and overall simple design. Alesis DM5 is the perfect example of this ideology. The whole kit is compact, and comes on a tight but pretty decent rack.
This makes it a perfect choice for a drummer who needs a kit to practice on, but also wants to be able to transport that kit where ever he needs to without much hassle.
In terms of features, Alesis DM5 brings the most basic setup. The black drum rack is spartan but very effective. The build quality is decent to say the least, and nothing moves or wobbles.
There are five pads that come with the kit, along with two cymbals. The hi-hat pad is controlled by a dedicated pedal that simulates open and closed hi-hat position. Last but not the least, there is the DM5 module, the brain of the whole kit.
The pads are of decent quality. They are coated in some kind of rubberized material that has a nice bounce to it. They can’t compare to something like Roland’s mesh pads, but they are definitely better than what most of the competition has to offer.
Kick drum pad is maybe a little stiffer than we would like, but that doesn’t impede its functionality one bit. It bounces pretty well, and you won’t have to change your technique in order to play it. Cymbals are similar in this regard as well. They are lightweight, easy to adjust, and react well to drum sticks in most cases.
The module Alesis chose for this kit is an already proven unit that has been borrowed from their existing lineup. This allowed them to cut down the cost of this kit, and offer a good product to their users all at the same time.
The DM5 module allows you to store 21 drum kits that can have up to 61 sounds each. Drum voices are actually quite impressive for an affordable kit, and contain anything from acoustic drum sets to synthetic presets. It’s a very versatile module as you can use it as a standalone MIDI trigger box. The controls are simple and intuitive, and there are no complex features.
Since mobility was one of the main design goals of this kit, let’s talk a bit about how easy it is to assemble and disassemble the Alesis DM5. The rack is lightweight and pretty simple.
All of the components of the rack can quickly be broken down to pieces, and put back together. Pads are easy to instal, and are held in place by decent quality clamps. Once you put everything together, it will stay that way no matter how aggressive your playing style is.
For the amount of money you are required to spend for one of these, Alesis DM5 is actually pretty impressive. The module is capable enough to give you great voices that are alright even for smaller gigs, while the whole system just snaps into place flawlessly. The pads are obviously the most important factor when it comes to playability.
The ‘bounce’ is there, don’t even worry about that. For an electronic kit regardless of price, it’s decent to say the least. However, if you must have the feel of an acoustic drum when you play, you better start looking at something else.
If you are not a purist, this kit can prove to be a very versatile tool that will give you hours of operation for not a lot of money.
What we like
Cheap price combined with decent components is always going to be a success. That’s the case with this kit. Alesis DM5 is great on all fronts, and provides a well rounded experience when it comes to affordable electronic drum kits.
Alesis didn’t try to squeeze in advanced features in a low price model, so you won’t see some partial solutions in this kit. Everything is simple, but everything works.
What we don’t like
For some, the simplicity of this kit is not a good attribute at all. While we don’t share this feeling, the truth is that there is always room for improvement. However, the cost of this unit and its intended application tell a straightforward story. You get what you pay for.
Taking everything into account
At the end of the day, Alesis DM5 is one heck of a drum kit. It does exactly what Alesis claims it can do, and it delivers a constant performance which is what you really want to have with one of these. It’s not the most advanced kit out there, nor does it have to be.
The simplicity, quality of components, and a great module make this kit a great choice for those who need an electronic set at home or in a studio. In all honesty, you won’t find a better bang for the buck option unless you’re willing to spend a bit more money.