Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
When you ask them, most drummers will be critical of electronic drum kits. They will say that nothing sounds like the real thing, and that there is no substitute for wood.
No matter how advanced electronic drum kits become, this sentiment will be hard to change. At this moment, if you look at entry level electronic drum kits, you can understand where this opinion is coming from.
However, once you dwell into the high end stuff, things change considerably. Roland was at the forefront of electronic drum kit development for years. Even their low and mid end stuff is comparable to what their competition considers to be high end.
With this kind of track record, it’s no wonder that Roland decided to go flat out and create the best electronic drum kit on the market. TD30KV is the flagship model of Roland’s line up, and you could say it’s the flagship model of the whole industry.
We are definitely trying to be unbiased here, but it’s hard not shower this kit with praise. You could say we drank the Roland Coolaid.
The flagship model of Roland’s line up
Unlike the majority of electronic drum kits, Roland TD30KV was specifically built for stage and recording use. There are no flimsy racks and joints that come lose after an hour of use. The framework is built better than that of most professional acoustic sets.
MDS-25 rack delivered with this kit is rock solid and comes with a very pleasing chrome finish. The weight is distributed evenly at the base of the rack, giving the whole setup a very stable platform. You would have to try really hard to tip this drum kit over, or compromise it in any other way.
Some pro drummers stated that TD30KV is the ultimate drum set. Once we go over the TD-30 module in depth, you will understand why they feel this way. TD-30 is Roland’s most complex and flexible module which features their SuperNATURAL sound engine. Unlike the entry level models from this family, TD-30 comes packed with 1000 on board sounds to choose from. This kind of library is immense.
This latest Roland module also enables the user to experience things that are definitely rare on electronic drum kits. TD-30 is capable of positional sensing which translates to you being able to achieve different sounds as you move across the drum pad. Don’t mistake this for a two-zone triggering system. Difference in sound and transition as you go from the rim toward the center of the pad is fluid and flawless.
This module registers anything from the weakest of finger taps, to a full swing hit with a drum stick. Choose a drum kit preset that you like the most, and you already have a setup that sounds like the real thing. Trigger response is on point, and every hit registers with no noticeable delay. Drum rolls or single handed buzz rolls come out flawless.
TD-30 module features a number of effects and a 3-band graphic EQ. Using these you can alter your sound any way you please. Add the ability to tune the drums, and change the positioning of each individual simulated recording microphone, and you can start to appreciate just how wild this kit is.
New series of V-Pads that arrive with the TD30KV are the real MVPs here. The PD-128S/128/108 pads belong to the mesh-head family, and come with a new and improved rim sensor. It’s worth noting that these pads look almost like real drums, aside from the depth. You can customize the metal shell of each individual drum to create an aesthetic that you want. D-140-BC 14-inch V-Kick pad is a thing of beauty when it comes to triggering and actual feel of the pad. It’s setup in a way that mimics the real bass drum. Chances are that blindfolded, you would be able to feel a difference between an acoustic bass drum and this pad.
Cymbals are impressive. Their dynamics and response mimics the real thing almost completely. V-Hi-Hat acts and feels like its acoustic counterpart. Everything you can do on the real thing you can do with this Hi-Hat. It also acts as a controller for some of the drum presets by changing the shape of the sound when opened or closed. D-140-BC 14-inch V-Kick pad
Sound you get with this kit is the closest any electronic drum kit has ever come to an acoustic set. SuperNATURAL sound engine drives this thing like a freight train, doing all the necessary work to deliver a realistic and dynamic sound.
This kit is often used for professional recording, which means that some of the best studios in the world trust it to do the job. Versatility is what this kit does best.
What we like
This is a redundant question in case of this kit. The sound, number of presets, versatility that is unmatched, and build quality are just some of the things we find impressive about Roland TD30KV. It’s quite literally the cutting edge of this technology, and you will be hard pressed to find something that comes even close to this kit.
What we don’t like
Now it’s time for the other shoe to drop. Roland TD30KV comes with a jaw dropping price tag. You can buy a decent used car for the amount of money you need to drop on this thing.
We absolutely understand why it costs so much, but we would definitely like to see drop in price a little at least. Sadly, there is no real competition to this kit, and hence no real reason for Roland to adjust the price.
There’s not much left to say about this kit. It’s the daddy of electronic drum kits, and by the way things are going, it will remain that way for quite some time.
It’s expensive, and it brings a tonne of features that no one else can offer. So, if money is not an issue, this is the crème de la crème piece of equipment for any drummer.