Roland TD-11K Electronic Drum Set Review: Best Compact Kit?

Roland TD-11K
Roland TD-11K

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While not as small as the TD-4KP, the Roland TD-11K electronic drum set is considered a compact kit. If a compact drum set is what you need due to a limited amount of available space, you should check out this kit.

In this review, I’ll look at the TD-11K in some detail and compare it to the TD-15K which is in many ways very similar.

For some reason, Roland doesn’t include the TD-15K in their list of electronic drum kits (see here).

They do have it on their site elsewhere though (see here) in what they call their Tour Series. Perhaps it was an oversight not to show it in the full list.

In any case, both the TD-11K and the TD-15K (and the “KV” versions) are worth your time when exploring new drum kits.

If you are in a hurry and want to check the pricing and availability of each of these kits at Amazon, click the links below.

If you want to skip ahead to a specific section of this review, click a link in the box below. Otherwise, you can just keep reading as usual.

What Features Are Worth Noting in the Roland TD-11K?

Let’s first take a look at what makes this a compact set.

The frame, or rack, is the MDS-4V. It is designed to make efficient use of space. Everything is just where you would expect it to be, yet overall it doesn’t take up a lot of room.

This would be a good electronic drum kit for you, if you live in a small apartment and can’t devote half a room to a kit with a large footprint.

Roland touts especially the center horizontal bar that contributes to “stability and solidness” of the entire frame. If you will frequently be tearing down and setting up your kit, this feature could make a big difference in the lifetime of the set.

The size of the drum heads and cymbals in the TD-11K help keep this set compact as well. In general, they range from 8 to 10 inches in diameter. (The TD-11KV may be slightly larger.)

This sound module training video gives you a good idea of what the unit looks like and much of what it can do.

The sound module shown in the video above has, according to Roland, an “icon-driven user interface for easy operation.” This means that it should be easy to press the right buttons at the right time. Whether you find that to be the case will depend on your experience with other sound modules and similar electronics.

The module, the “brains” of the kit, has Quick Record and Quick Play functions which presumably let you record and play your licks quickly and easily. This is probably no quicker than what you can do on most other sets.

There is also a “unique” Coach feature to help you get better as a drummer. Most sound modules have some sort of training feature, so I’m not sure that it’s fair to call this one “unique”. They are all going to do pretty much the same thing – improve your accuracy, increase your speed, etc.

As a compact set, the actual dimensions and weight are important to you. You need to know how much floor space you really will need and whether you think you’ll be able to carry it to and from a gig by yourself.

The designated size of the TD-11K is 47.25 inches wide by about 43.25 inches deep. It is 49.25 inches high and weighs about 47.5 pounds. That’s quite heavy, but you might still be able to manage it on your own, especially if you take some of the pieces off the rack first when tearing down.

How Does the TD-11K Compare to Other Similar Kits?

As I hinted at earlier, the TD-11K is in many ways very much like the TD-11KV, the TD-15K, and the TD-15KV. So let’s take a look at these 4 sets side by side to see how their components match up.

Snare DrumPDX-8PDX-8PDX-8PDX-100
Toms 1 & 2PD-8APDX-6PDX-6PD-85BK
Floor Tom (#3)PD-8APDX-8PDX-8*PDX-100
Crash CymbalCY-8CY-12CCY-12CCY-12C
Ride CymbalCY-8CY-13RCY-13RCY-13R
Kick PadKD-9KD-9KD-9KD-9
Hi-Hat PedalFD-8FD-8FD-8n/a**
Sound ModuleTD-11TD-11TD-15TD-15

*The Toms for the TD-15K are actually listed as follows. However, pictures show the largest Tom being the Floor Tom (thus the PDX-8) as usual.

  • Tom 1 = PDX-8
  • Tom 2 = PDX-6
  • Tom 3 = PDX-6

**I’m not sure if the pedal doesn’t come with the TD-15KV or if this was just an oversight on the Roland website.

The PDX-8, CY-5, and PDX-100 are all 10 inch pads. I wish Roland had named them more appropriately. Perhaps something like PDX-10A, PDX 10B, and CY-10 would have worked just as well or better.

The CY-5 Hi-Hat has both bow and edge triggers. The PDX-8 also has separate head and rim zones. With these features, you can get more realistic (compared to acoustic drums) sounds.

The owner’s manual for the sound module is the same for all of these kits. It simply notes several additions as needed for features that the TD-15 has that the TD-11 doesn’t.

You can see, based on the table above, that the TD-11KV and the TD-15K are virtually identical, with the main difference being the sound module.

The TD-15 has a Quick Edit feature, the ability to turn Multi-Effect on and off for each pad, the ability to use a pad as a switch, Crash 2 and Aux trigger-in jacks, separate volume control for headphones, illumination options, and a couple of other functions likely to be minor for most drummers.

If none of these functions and capabilities is essential to your playing, then you can probably take the TD-11KV over the TD-15K.

Conclusions about the TD-11K and TD-15K Drum Kits

In addition to the preference I mentioned just above, if you are looking for a compact electronic drum set, you will be hard put to find any better than these options from Roland.

Use the table above to compare and contrast the pieces in each. See which ones are necessary for your drumming and go with that version. Note that costs go up as you move from left to right in that table.

Get your Roland TD-11K or

Roland TD-15K (sound module) at Amazon now.

If you like what you see in these Roland sets but find that none of these is quite right for you, check out this overview of all the Roland electronic drum kits. You’ll probably find one that fits your needs and budget somewhere in the list.

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Gary Sonnenberg
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