KAT (I’m not sure where the apparent acronym comes from) makes four basic drum kits, known simply as the KT1, KT2, KT3, and KT4. What makes the KAT electronic drum kits stand out from the crowd is that they are all basically white.
Sure, there’s a little gray and black here and there, and the KT3 has some bright red accents, but the drum pads themselves are all white.
That’s rather refreshing. But is white your best color? Does that matter?
In this review, I’ll compare and contrast the four KAT kits, mainly through the use of several tables because it makes it easy for you to see differences at a glance.
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What Drums and Cymbals Do You Get in Each KAT Kit?
As you might expect, as you move up the line (or in this case, across the columns from left to right) from KT1 to KT4, you get larger pads, more pieces, and better quality materials in your drum set.
Check the first table below to see which drums and cymbals you can find in each kit.
|Snare||8 inch, single zone||9 inch, dual zone||11 inch, dual zone||11 inch, dual zone|
|Toms 1 & 2||8 inch, single zone||9 inch, dual zone||9 inch, dual zone||11 inch, dual zone|
|Tom 3||8 inch, single zone||9 inch, dual zone||11 inch, dual zone||11 inch, dual zone|
|Tom 4||n/a||n/a||11 inch, dual zone||Optional 11 inch, dual zone|
|Crash Cymbal 1||12 inch, single zone||12 inch, dual zone, chokeable||12 inch, dual zone, chokeable||12 inch, 3 zone, chokeable|
|Crash Cymbal 2||n/a||n/a||12 inch, dual zone, chokeable||12 inch, 3 zone, chokeable|
|Ride Cymbale||10 inch, single zone, chokeable||14 inch, dual zone, chokeable||14 inch, dual zone, bell trigger||14 inch, 3 zone, chokeable|
|Hi-Hat||10 inch, single zone||10 inch, single zone||12 inch, single zone||12 inch, 3 zone|
|Bass Drum||n/a||n/a||9 inch, pad on tower||8 inch mylar pad on tower|
If you need dual zone pads, you can eliminate the KT1 from the competition, since it only has single zone drums and cymbals.
If you need that fourth tom or second crash cymbal, you have to move up to at least the KT3.
Note that, even for the KT1, KAT says you get a “Silent Strike” bass drum pedal beater. No mention of this beater is made for the KT4 though. It’s common for a manufacturer to assume that someone who want a high end kit will have his own kick drum pedal.
Also note that for the KT3, the “bass drum pedal not included in models sold in North America.” I really can’t figure out why there is this exception, but it’s something to be aware of so you’re not surprised upon receipt of your KT3.
With each of the kits, you also get a pair of drumsticks. I can’t comment on their quality, but they’re probably not the best. You may already have a pair that you prefer anyway.
Finally, with the KT4, you get a hi-hat stand. You don’t have to mount the hi-hat on the rack. You can place it wherever you prefer.
How Many Sounds and Kits Are in the Sound Module?
Personally, I think these statistics are overrated. Most drummers stick to a few basic kits for the vast majority of the tunes they play. Only rarely will you need the odd sound or setup that even most basic kits can give you. I think it’s largely a case of manufacturers providing more just because they can.
Check out what KAT provides in the table below.
That said, 10 preset kits and apparently no kits that you can assemble yourself might be less than you need. If so, avoid the KT1 and get at least the KT2.
What Effects Are Available in Each KAT Drum Set?
Yet another table spells out for you the effects you can use on each drum kit.
Note that this is a partial list at least for the KT3 and KT4. I tried to pick out those features that you would consider most important.
|EQ||Yes, 3-band||Yes, 3-band||Yes, 4-band|
Here again the KT1 comes up a bit short, but that’s really to be expected.
What Can You Do with the Sequencer in the KAT Sound Module?
As you can see in the last table below, only the KT2, KT3, and KT4 have the sequencer built into the sound module.
|Resolution (ticks per quarter note)||120||120||192|
It seems a little unusual that the note storage decreases from the KT2 to the KT3. Perhaps the additional 20 songs take up space that would otherwise have been allotted to the notes.
Both the KT3 and KT4 have a touch button panel for editing and reviewing sounds without striking the pads. You may or may not find this useful. I can’t recall seeing it on other kits. Read what you will into that.
The KT3 and KT4 also have a programmable, 30/60 minute auto-power shutoff feature. Again, I’m not sure how useful this is. It’s not like you’re going to be using a lot of power if you forget to shut it off.
The sequencer in the KT4 has 7 tracks: 1 for drums, 2 for (other) percussion, and 3 through 7 for General MIDI sounds that you select. It also has 142 preset patterns for you to play around with.
What Ports and Connection Are Available on the Sound Module?
All four kits have the normal ⅛ inch audio input jack for connecting to gadgets like CD players, MP3 players, iPhones, and the like. They also have two ¼ inch output jacks to go out to a PA system or the equivalent.
The first three kits have ⅛ inch headphone jacks. For some reason, only the KT4 has a ¼ inch jack for this purpose.
All sound modules are USB compatible, but it seems the level here varies. The KT1 and KT2 are stated to have USB / MIDI output. The KT3 has USB 2.0, and the KT4 has USB 3.0. I would be very surprised though if the KT1 and KT2 didn’t also have at least USB 2.0.
Finally, the KT4 has an SD card slot for loading MIDI files and backing up custom user kits. You’ll have to be the judge as to how often you would use a feature like this.
What Do Other Owners Think of Their KAT Kits?
Some owners are very pleased from the start.
“Rim shots sound like rim shots and Head shots sound like Head shots.”
Others think you need to work at it a bit.
“Now when it comes to the actual output, this is where this set really takes a dive. The build in kits are a bit lack luster and you’ll definitely want to go in and build your own drum kits.”
Remember that white color for the pads I mentioned at the top?
“I would REALLY recommend avoiding any kind of painted sticks as whatever the color is, you might start noticing very small marks of whatever color the sticks are on the white pads.”
In general, users seem more satisfied with the KT3 and KT4. The lower you go, the more problems there seem to be. But as I mentioned near the top too, you should expect better quality the higher you go.