Alesis makes some nice electronic drum kits. Those in the DM10 line are some of the most popular. The only hitch is that they include the label “DM10” in so many of their model names that it can be confusing knowing which one you’re looking at. In this article, I’ll review two of them together – the DM10 X and DM10 X Mesh kits.
I might as well tell you up front (because you’ve probably already guessed it anyway) that the main difference between these two sets is that the one has mesh drums and the other doesn’t.
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What Are the Differences Between the DM10 X and the DM10 X Mesh Kits?
As I already mentioned above, it’s really the mesh that makes the difference here. Let’s look in a little more detail at what this means.
The Table below gives a nice comparison of the pieces you get in each DM10 kit.
|Item||DM10 X Size||DM10 X Mesh Size|
|Snare drum||12 inch||12 inch mesh|
|Tom 1||10 inch||10 inch mesh|
|Tom 2||10 inch||10 inch mesh|
|Tom 3||12 inch||12 inch mesh|
|Tom 4||12 inch||12 inch mesh|
|Hi-hat||12 inch DMPad||12 inch DMPad|
|Crash cymbal 1||14 inch DMPad||14 inch DMPad|
|Crash cymbal 2||14 inch DMPad||14 inch DMPad|
|Ride cymbal||16 inch DMPad||16 inch DMPad|
|Kick drum||Pad||Mesh pad|
Well, imagine that! The table shows just what we expected. The mesh kit has mesh pads for all the drums and for the kick pad. (Note that you do not get a kick pedal with either DM10 X kit.)
The snare and tom pads are all dual zone, so you can play rimshots or assign the second area to any other sound you prefer. (More cowbell?)
The ride cymbal has 3 zones giving you the possibility of 3 different sounds in that one area.
The snare is not mounted on the chrome-plated steel rack but has a stand of its own, so you can place it wherever you want – just as you can in an acoustic set.
I’ll mention here the other miscellaneous, but necessary, items that you get in both of these kits.
As with all Alesis electronic drum sets, you get a cable snake and wraps to keep your setup looking neat. You won’t have cords and cables hanging loose all over the place.
You get a pair of inexpensive drumsticks. You may want to upgrade them on your own, but at least you can get started drumming right away with those that Alesis provides. There is a drum key for adjusting the tension on the drum heads, the power supply, the requisite manuals, and the sound module.
What Is Programmed into the DM10 X Sound Module?
The DM10 X sound module (the same for both kits) includes more than 1000 sounds that you can choose and assign to the various drum pads and cymbals in the kit.
Alesis describes these sound samples like this.
“Discerning ears will notice that each sound is actually a series of different samples; multiple dynamic-level samples and articulations are all built in so as you play harder and softer, the drum or cymbal changes its timbre, not just its volume. This engineered realism is known as Dynamic Articulation™, an Alesis exclusive.”
I hope you and your listeners have “discerning ears.”
You get a built-in sequencer for recording your own tracks. You can add these to a larger mix or play along with them as if there were two kits in the room.
Watch this demo video from Alesis to get some idea of the sound it produces.
Here’s a second video from Alesis / Kraft featuring the mesh version. Hopefully you can get some idea of the differences between the two styles of kit.
There is also the standard metronome for practice time and a reverb effect for bigger sound.
What’s the Verdict on the Alesis DM10 X Kits?
All the above should make for a really good electronic drum kit, and in most cases (after you add your own kick pedal) it will.
However, reviews on these sets are rather mixed, slightly favoring the positive side. It seems that the kick pedal area is the most common for complaints.
The company claims that you can use virtually any single or double kick pedal you want, but maybe that is simply the cause of the problem. The pedal that some users chose just didn’t work well with the kick pad and sound module. I can’t say for sure, but this seems like a reasonable deduction.
Update: Per the second video above, it seems that you do now get a pedal with the mesh kit.
That said, most users have no problems and truly enjoy their DM10 X or DM10 X Mesh kits, so odds are that you will too.
If you have determined, though, that this is not the kit for you, check out this article about other Alesis electronic drum sets. You will likely see one that interests you more.