Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set Review: Small Set, Big Sound


Roland drum sets are known for their great sounds. Even in a starter kit like the Roland TD-1K, they use their signature V-drums which just might be the best electronic drum in the business. (The “V” may stand for “virtual”. If it doesn’t, it should.)

Let’s take a quick look at what you get in this drum set. You can also watch a very good video demonstration of the set that will probably convince you that this is the kit you were looking for.

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you are already pretty sure you want the Roland TD-1K drum set, click this link to check it out at Amazon.

If you would rather collect a few more details about the features and specifications first, read the rest of the article below. You can click an item in the box to go directly to that section.

What Do You Get When Purchasing the Roland TD-1K Drum Set?

The TD-1K includes everything that virtually all starter drum sets have. You get 5 drums – snare, toms 1 and 2, floor tom, and kick drum. You get 3 cymbals – hi-hat, crash, and ride.

There are at least three (depending on how you count them) significant differences in this set compared to many other beginner drum sets.

The first difference you will notice just by looking at the set. It is quite compact. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. So if you don’t have much space in the room in which you intend to setup your kit, you will be happy to know that it likely will fit.

Part of the reason this set is smaller is that the drum pads for the snare and toms are just 7 inches in diameter. Many other sets are 8 inches across, but that extra inch is basically the rim around the edge. The Roland drum pads don’t have such a rim.

I don’t see this as a negative in any way. Normally you (especially as a beginner) will just hit the center of the pad. Also, most beginner sets don’t produce a different sound when you strike the rim, like some of the more expensive sets do.

The second difference is in the sounds themselves. They very accurately reproduce the sounds of an acoustic set.

As you will hear in the video below, the sounds change volume depending on the force you use to strike the drum pads and cymbals. The cymbals even have different sounds depending on where you hit them, just like acoustic cymbals.

The third difference is that there is no beater and pad for the kick drum. You still get a great bass sound, but the set overall is quieter because there is no big beater striking a pad. Obviously this really only makes a difference when you play with headphones attached instead of an amplifier.

Here is that video I’ve been mentioning. Take a look and a listen and see if you agree that this set sounds great.

Check the availability of the Roland TD-1K set at Amazon.

Note that the TD-1KV (Amazon link) is the same set with one difference. The snare pad is mesh, which is more realistic compared to an acoustic set, instead of rubber.

What Else Sets the TD-1K Apart from the Rest?

Many other electronic drum sets in this price range do not have chokeable cymbals. The TD-1K does. After you hit a cymbal with your drumstick, you can grab it with your hand to dampen and stop the sound. (This feature is demonstrated in the video above.)

While this is something a beginner might not do when learning how to play, it’s good to know that it’s an available feature. It might be something that would make you keep this set longer, as opposed to upgrading to a more advanced kit when you get better at playing.

There are 15 different drum kits programmed into the sound module. While some have said that there’s not much difference among some of them, you can hear in the video that there is a vast difference between some as well.

You get 15 pre-recorded songs to play along with. There are apparently no options for recording your own within the sound module itself.

If making your own recordings is important to you, then the USB capabilities of the module might be what you are looking for. You can easily connect the module to a computer where you can run software like GarageBand, Cubase, or another Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).

In addition, you can connect to Roland’s own V-Drums Friend Jam series to play along with songs that don’t have the drum track. You get to fill them in on your own.

This series gives you access to Roland’s extended practice and learning library. You can even connect to other drummers around the globe to have your own drum-off.

What Is the Warranty on the Roland TD-1K?

The manufacturer’s warranty on this set covers parts for 1 year as well as labor for 90 days from the date you purchase the kit.

The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and other exclusions. It’s pretty much standard stuff as you would expect.

Are There Any Negatives with the TD-1K?

The only feature that I would consider a negative is that you have very little choice when positioning the pieces of the drum set.

Part of this goes back to the compactness of the set as a whole. Since it doesn’t take up much space, there just isn’t much space within the set itself to move things around.

You might not even think of this as a negative though. As a beginner, you have little, if anything, to compare it to. You’ll just accept the placement of the pads and cymbals where they are and simply get used to playing with them in those locations.

If this doesn’t seem like the set you were looking for, go to this article that has brief reviews of several others you might be more interested in.

If you want a Roland kit but this one wasn’t what you were looking for, check out this overview of all the Roland electronic drum kits. I think you’ll find one that suits you.

Did you decide the TD-1K is for you?

Yes, please! Take me to my Roland TD-1K electronic drum set at Amazon now!


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