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Roland TD-1K Electronic Drumset Review

Electronic drum kits have a lot of advantages. They can be small and even collapsible, so they’re often way more portable than acoustic kits. They’re also quiet. This means that you can simply pop on a set of headphones and play to your heart’s content at any time of day or night without causing a riot.

But they have their disadvantages, too. They need amplification to be heard. Additionally, they might not have the same feel and responsiveness as real drums.

In this Roland TD-1K electronic drumset review, I’ll look at all the pros and cons of this kit. Then, I’ll see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages so you can decide if this is the kit for you. So, let’s get straight to it…

Roland V-Drums

As you probably know, Roland is a BIG name in electronic instruments. Let’s face it; they’re probably the biggest. Although they’re best known for their pianos, Roland has been making electronic drums for decades now by using some of that same technology.

Roland electronic drums are called V-Drums, the ‘V’ standing for virtual. These very real electronic drums usually represent very real investments as well. Roland drums are the cream of the crop, and the prices reflect that.

TD-1K Electronic Drum Set Overview

TD-1K Electronic Drum Set
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

For starters, it’s pretty important to point out that the TD-1K model is the cheapest and simplest model of V-Drums that Roland has on the market. They cost only about $550, while other kits can range into several thousands of dollars.

The more expensive kits have more components, simulate acoustic drums more accurately, and have far more extensive modules. Therefore, this can be considered a budget electronic drum set.

With the TD-1K, you’re getting a simple 5-piece drum set with three cymbal pads to round it out. The entire kit is mounted on a single, sturdy, 3-legged rack. You have two control pedals on the floor for your feet as well. However, a throne is not included with this kit.

Kit Components

All four drum pads are the same size and construction. They’re made from solid gum rubber surfaces with embedded triggers. The fifth drum pad isn’t a pad at all. The bass drum doesn’t exist as a pad but instead is controlled remotely through the kick pedal.

The hi-hat pedal controls the opening and closing of the hi-hats and can also be stomped or splashed just by your foot alone. Of course, playing the hi-hat cymbal pad will give you standard hi-hat sounds as well. You also get two dual-zone, choke-able cymbal pads for a crash and a ride.

Expandable Drum Set?

It is possible to extend this kit slightly by adding one more crash cymbal pad. You can buy a Roland OP-TD1C cymbal pad with a stand and clamp, although there is limited space to clamp it onto the rack.

You can probably squeeze it onto the end of the second level tube next to the floor tom pad, though this will force you to move that drum pad over slightly.

A Reliable Module

Finally, this electronic kit has to include a drum module, the computer that runs the whole show, or the brain of the beast. Here, it’s the TD-1 module that Roland has been making since 2014. This is a very simple module that allows you to control all eight pads plus the extension cymbal pad.

It gives you access to 15 pre-programmed drum kits that vary from rock, pop, jazz, electronic, and even percussion sounds. This module has a built-in metronome, coaching functions, and play-along songs to help you improve your chops.

Top Features of the Roland TD-1K Drum Set

Top Features


Now that you know the general setup of this electronic drum kit, it’s time to look at a few of the features. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get into it.

Construction

Roland is no slouch when it comes to drum kits. And, there’s no way they would slap their brand on a piece of junk. While the TD-1K is made in China, it’s still a high-quality Roland instrument that ticks all the right boxes.

The tube rack this set is based around is sturdy and well-designed. It has big rubber pads on the three legs to keep the kit from moving around. However, if you have slippery floors and are a hard hitter, you might see it move a bit since it’s so lightweight.

Away you go…

Furthermore, the whole kit weighs just 25lbs (11 kg). I don’t know about you, but I think I have single stands that weigh almost as much. So, it’s one of the lightest electronic drum sets you can buy. This makes it easy to transport or just move out of the way if you need floor space.

The kit itself takes up a footprint of only about 31” x 28”. If you add in a throne, you’ll need a little more space – about 40” x 47” to play comfortably.

Therefore, this is one of the most compact electronic drum sets you will find. In fact, it may feel too squished for those drummers used to larger acoustic kits.

Playability

This is where we get into the meat of this review. Roland drum kits are well known for their excellent playability and life-like responsiveness, at least at the middle and top ends. This low-end kit, though, has a lot of limitations which I am going to take you through.

First and foremost, the drum pads are rubber and not mesh. This means they are harder on your wrists and can lead to more fatigue than mesh. They also produce more noise, though they’re still not loud by any stretch of the imagination.

Additionally, there’s no way to adjust them for tension/bounciness as you could with mesh heads. They’re very responsive, though, giving you lots of texture and velocity differences.

The cymbal pads are excellent…

They’re weighted very well and swing like regular cymbals to give an authentic feel. The crash and ride pads give you dual zones – the shoulder and the edge – to play with.

However, one thing I don’t particularly like is that when you hit the shoulder of the ride hard, you get a bell sound. You can get used to that, but it does limit your expression on the ride.

The hi-hats feel really good…

You can adjust the tension on the cymbal pad to help you get the exact feel you want. The hi-hat pedal controls the hi-hats very accurately. A big bonus here is that the hi-hat and kick pedals are independent, which means you can position them anywhere you want.

Since you’re not limited by stand feet like with an acoustic kit, you can find a comfortable foot placement. Or, you can move them around to prevent fatigue during long sessions.

But there’s a catch…

The kick pedal isn’t the greatest. It has velocity control but just doesn’t have the same feel as a real kick pedal. It’s also completely pre-adjusted, and there’s no way to increase or decrease the angle or tension of the pedal.

However, you do have the option of upgrading to a KD-9 or KD-10 pedal in the future if you don’t like the standard one. So that’s something.

Now for the big issue…

I’ve already mentioned the footprint of this kit. It’s very, very tight. This is great if you live in a tiny apartment and need to get home practice in. But, you may very well find that the components here are placed way too close together. And there’s no wiggle room.

The rack is small, and you will have to place the pads at the farthest extremes of each rack level just to make them fit. The height of the pads is set, though you can change the angles a bit. Only the cymbal stands give you any flexibility. But because they don’t have booms, they’re also limited.

Sounds and Module Features


For an inexpensive kit, I think the sounds here are spot on. Roland has only given you 15 preset kits to play with. But remember, that’s 15 times what you get with an acoustic kit.

The triggers here are very well tuned and sensitive. The sounds have tons of velocity layers and give you great texture. They’re not the biggest, boomiest rock sounds, though. So, heavier players might be a little disappointed in what’s available.

The module lets you change between kits quickly. You can also adjust your volume whether you’re playing through headphones or a monitor. This makes it one of the easiest to use electronic drum sets on the market.

In the module…

You get a metronome with five rhythm types (like 4/4, 3/4. 6/8, etc.), eight sounds, and ten volume levels. Also, you can improve your playing by using the coaching mode with ten different functions. These give you challenges and then check your playing with real-time feedback.

Furthermore, you get 15 drum-less songs to play along to. It’s not the best variety, but at least it’s a start. You can even record your playing and play it back to evaluate your own beats. In other words, the TD-1k is one of the best electronic drum sets for home practice.

As for connections…

There’s not a lot, but you have all the bases covered. There’s an audio out for your headphones or an amp. A mix in if you want to listen to a song from your phone and play along. And finally, there’s MIDI-via-USB – this lets you play out to a computer to record and mix your drum work.

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drumset Review – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small footprint and light weight make this a very handy and mobile kit.
  • Sounds are authentic, and the pads are very responsive.
  • Module is easy to use and comes with lots of tools to help improve your playing.
  • MIDI-via-USB lets you output your beats to any desktop DAW.
  • Cymbal pads are excellent.

Cons

  • Small rack confines your ability to place components comfortably.
  • Drum pads are rubber which can be fatiguing.
  • With only 15 kits, sounds are limited compared to other e-drums in this price range.
  • Sounds can’t be manipulated, and you can’t import other sounds.

A Desire to Drum?

We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Electronic Drum Sets, the Best Cheap Beginner Electronic Drum Sets Under $500, the Best Electronic Drum Pads, the Best Beginner Drum Set, and the Best Portable Drum Kits you can buy in 2022.

And, don’t miss my detailed Roland TD-25KV Electronic Drum Set Review, my Roland Octapad SPD-30 Review, my Yamaha DTX562K Electronic Drum Set Review, my Alesis DM10 MKII Review, and my Alesis Surge Mesh Kit Review for more great e-drums currently on the market.

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drumset Review – Final Thoughts

For this price, I think there are a lot of things that Roland has got right with the TD-1K. It sounds great, and with excellent triggers, you can get realistic texture and volume from this kit. It’s small and sturdy, making it easy to stick into the smallest of rehearsal spaces.

At the same time, it’s tightly designed, and that can be uncomfortable for many drummers. You also have limited sounds compared to many other inexpensive kits.

Final Thoughts


Bottom line…

If you are a big, hard-hitting drummer, this is probably not the kit for you. But for kids, smaller adults, or drummers with a lighter touch, this compact kit could be great for practicing your chops.

It has limitations, but also some of the great features that we’ve come to expect from Roland. So, it comes down to what you’re looking for in an electronic drum kit.

Until next time, let the beat go on.

5/5 - (38 votes)
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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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