Top 5 Best Electronic Drum Set Under $1000

If you are looking to spend up to $1000 on a new e-drum kit then you are going to get some decent equipment. With any other instrument if you were spending a thousand big ones you would expect to be getting in to the high end of things. Unfortunately for drums and more specifically electronic drums, this is not the case. In fact, under $1000 is considered to be relatively low end for this gear! Don’t be disheartened though, yes, you may not get the full complement of tri-trigger heads and the onboard features and sounds won’t match up to those under $1500, but as someone who is serious about progressing as a drummer, these will be perfect for your needs. They will have more than enough features to get you going and it won’t feel like you are just banging on a dead surface, there will be a response. Most have USB and midi slots so you will really be able to experiment and won’t outgrow them within a year.

Difference Between $500 and $1000?

If you look at those under $500 then you are really going to be sacrificing response, quality, sound and just in general how accurately they represent you striking an actual drum. We talked more about this in our article looking at the best electronic drums for beginners, as well as our write-up on Acoustic vs Electronic, which looks at the pros and cons of the electronic drum kit. As we discussed, if using lower end kits be sure to turn off the brain and unplug your headphones so that you can hear the actual contact of the stick of the pad. This way you won’t develop a false impression of your technique.

Top 5 Best Electronic Drum Kit Under $1000

ModelName/ RatingSummaryCheck Price
Roland TD-11K

Roland V-Drums TD-11K

Score: (4.75 / 5)

Lower end price with high-end performance. Incredibly realistic
AMAZON
 
 
Best Electronic Drum Set Under $1000

Yamaha DTX522K Score: (4.60 / 5)

Amazing sound bank. Tri-zone triggering snare pad and responsive feel
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND
WHD 517-DX Pro Mesh Kit

 

WHD 517-DX Pro Mesh Kit

Score: (4.65 / 5)

All-mesh heads and good hardware for under $1000. Best bang for your buck UK based company
 
GEAR 4 MUSIC
 
Roland TD-1KV

Roland V-Drums TD-1KV Score: (4.85 / 5)

Perfect beginners kit with lots of onboard coaching programmes. $200 cheaper than the TD-11K
AMAZON
SWEETWATER
 

Alesis Crimson

Score: (4.65 / 5)

All mesh-heads and slick design. Lots of FX sounds. Great for budding producers and samplers
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND
 

 

Roland TD-11K V-Series

Roland TD-11K
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Roland are widely held as the best electronic drum makers, rivaled only by Yamaha and with this kit you can see why. A perfectly compact life-like set, ideal for any starter with limited space or who values portability. Enhanced with Roland’s SuperNATURAL power module this set does have something quite magical about it in its response and range. With an incredibly realistic playing experience, it is a great way for a fledgling drummer to start their electric journey, getting the full range of e-functions and programme without compromising on the natural touch. The 11K is an incredibly high-performance kit for a lower end price.

Pros

  • Superbly realistic and responsive feel
  • Incredible and easy to use onboard functions
  • Authentic pre-loaded sounds
  • Clever in-built coaching system
  • Dual-triggering technology (apart from Toms)
Cons

  • Pads are a bit small a take getting used to

Yamaha DTX522K

Best Electronic Drum Set Under $1000
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Nipping at Roland’s heels in at our number 2 is, of course, their eternal rival Yamaha. At the same low-mid range price as the TD-11K, there is in fact not much separating these two kits so ultimately it will come down to whether you want to be team Yamaha or Team Roland. Since Yamaha topped our other list we thought it only fair to give Roland its time in the spotlight (also the Yamaha toms are a bit of a letdown). Just like the Roland, at this price, you get a magnificent kit at an incredibly reasonable price. Packed with Yamaha’s tech developed for their higher-end models, the DTX522K is being sold at an electrifyingly low price considering you get a fully equipped, high performance, real response kit without breaking the bank. It is a mouth-watering kit for a rookie to start on.

Pros

  • Snares, kick and cymbals have superbly realistic and responsive feel
  • Incredible and easy to use onboard functions
  • Authentic pre-loaded sounds
  • Clever in-built coaching system
  • Tri-trigger technology
Cons

  • Rubber toms are a bit disappointing

 

WHD 517-DX Pro Mesh

Pads and Stands:
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Next up is a brand you most likely haven’t heard of which can sometimes be a bad sign. This is gear4music’s own brand of premium drums. Gear4Music is a UK based company (so Brits rejoice). If ordering from anywhere else in the world there will be a $75 shipping fee, but even with the fee, this kit is the same price as our number 1 and 2 and represents fantastic value for money as it includes a drum stool, headphones and sticks. Lesser known brands have to do more than the big guys to justify their price and the WHD 517s do just that. With all mesh ‘micro-weave’ heads and an intuitive module, this set gives Yamaha and Roland a run for their money.

Pros

  • All mesh drum heads inc kick
  • Throne, pedals and sticks included
  • Sturdy lightweight rack, easy to assemble and take apart
  • Intuitive module control
Cons

  • Onboard library sounds are pretty poor
  • Control display is a bit basic

 

Roland V-Drums TD-1KV

Roland TD-1KV
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In at number 4 was very close between the Roland TD-1KV and the Yamaha DTX- 450K which both weigh in at the same entry-level price. When you drill down into it we believe that the Roland edges it. At the lower end of this under $1000 price bracket, so much so that it is pretty much in the $500 category, is this incredibly affordable kit that represents low cost with Roland quality. This is truly an entry-level kit so whilst you won’t get all the features of the TD-11K nor the mesh heads, you still get a solid compact starter kit that is great for practicing, especially in a small space. You won’t be recording in a studio or playing any gigs with it, but you will get a responsive kit with a range of sounds that will start you down the drumming path.

Pros

  • Responsive mesh snare and dual zoned cymbals
  • Beaterless kick and hi-hat pedal for silent playing
  • A host of onboard coaching programmes
  • Intuitive module
Cons

  • Preloaded sounds are ok, more functional than authentic
  • Single-zoned rubber pad toms are acceptable but not great
  • Fiddly to assemble

 

Alesis Crimson 5-Piece

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Just about making it onto this list, in terms of both ranking and price, is the Alesis Crimson. For 30 years Alesis have been giving new e-drummers an affordable point of entry in an otherwise pricey market, ensuring they give them as much bang for their buck with both hardware and technology. They are audio pioneers with creativity and innovation. With this slighter higher end model they continue to impress with top-end features in a mid-priced kit. With all mesh drum heads, this kit delivers a realistic feel and a fun drumming experience. Designed really with the e-drum kit crowd in mind it really focuses on the electric side of things like sampling and customization. This stylish kit shows Alesis at their best and is perfect for those who have a fairly strict budget of under $1000 but are happy to pay up to that.

Pros

  • Stylish and slick look
  • All mesh dual-zone drum heads
  • Easy to assemble
  • Module intuitive and massive functionality
  • Perfect for sampling and great synth and fx library
Cons

  • Snare stand too short and snare drum head not tight enough
  • Kick pedal not responsive enough
  • Acoustic pre-loaded sounds not great

A Grand Use Of Money

Everyone wants a new set. Nothing beats the feeling of getting those untouched boxes at your door, opening them up with everything pristine and immaculate. At the same time, nothing beats getting say the Yamaha DTK562K for under $1000, so sometimes it is worth considering getting a used set. You will get a lot more kit for your buck. If buying 2nd hand we would recommend going into your local music store or buying from a reputable online seller such as Guitar Centre who give you 45 days to return the kit if you have any problems, or even if it’s just not for you. Whilst buying used e-kits is not like acoustic as they are more durable, less prone to damage, rust, wear and tear, etc, it is always better to be safe than burnt.