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The Roland TD-30K and the Roland TD-50K (and their near relatives the TD-30KV and the TD-50KV) are arguably the best electronic drum kits in the market today.
If you need top notch equipment and sounds, you will want to check out these V-Pro flagship sets from Roland.
I’ll take a look in this article at each of these four sets and compare them so you can decide which one is best for the money in your situation.
If you’re in a hurry and just want to check the pricing and availability of these four kits at Amazon, you can click the links in the list below.
If you want to skip ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click a link in the box below. Otherwise, just keep scrolling and reading as usual.
How Do the Roland V-Pro Drum Kits Compare?
Tables are always nice for quick comparisons, so take a look at the one below. I’ll explain in more detail what you see here below the table, but for the most part, you can tell from the Roland part number what you are getting.
Generally, as you move from left to right in the table, components get better and, of course, more costly.
|V-Pad Toms 1, 2||PDX-100||PD-108-BC||PDX-100 (#1)||PD-108-BC (#1)|
|V-Pad Toms 3, 4||PDX-100 (#3)||PD-128-BC||PDX-100||PD-128-BC|
|V-Cymbal Crash 1||CY-12C||CY-14C-MG||CY-12C||CY-14C|
|V-Cymbal Ride (Crash 2)||CY-13R||CY-14C-MG||CY-13R||CY-15R|
As you would expect, the sound module, the “brains” of the set, is the TD-30 for the first two and the TD-50 for the last two.
When you get to this level of quality, it goes without saying that what you get in these sound modules is likely more than you’ll ever need. There are dozens of preset kits, and you can easily tweak those to make your own variations or import your own sounds.
Roland doesn’t even make it easy to find out how many kits and sounds are included (dozens and hundreds, respectively), but at this point, it doesn’t really matter. What matters more is the quality of the sounds and the equipment used to create them.
The TD-50 features all new sound samples (compared to the TD-30). None have been recycled from earlier kits.
Watch this overview of the TD-30K and TD-30KV kits for information directly from Roland.
And here’s a sound module demo of the TD-50.
One of the major improvements in the TD-50K set is the inclusion of two digital components. The PD-140DS is a digital snare pad with a mesh head. (The other digital component is the ride cymbal. More on that later.)
Roland says that you can transmit more information with this digital connection than you could previously. This means that the sounds can be more realistic (as in an acoustic set) and the sensing of the drumsticks can be more accurate and, well, sensitive.
Here is a TD-30KV specific overview by Ian Paice of Deep Purple for your enjoyment.
Rack and Floor Toms
The table above shows the possibility of 4 toms, but only the TD-30KV comes with all 4 initially.
The TD-30K and TD-50K each have 3 PDX-100 pads. Roland calls them Toms 1, 2, and 3 for the TD-30K but labels them Toms 1, 3, and 4 for the TD-50K. It’s essentially the same thing for each set, so I’m not sure why they number them differently.
The toms are upgraded to PD-108-BC and PD-128-BC models for the KV kits. You just get one less of the 108 pads with the TD-50KV.
The hi-hat is larger on the KV models. I haven’t been able to find the significance of the MG for the hi-hat used in the TD-30KV.
I also don’t exactly understand why, but they also do not include a stand for the hi-hat, so you’ll need to purchase one of those separately too, unless you already have one. I didn’t think this was as personal a choice as the kick pedal (also not included, as usual).
Crash and Ride Cymbals
Keeping things straight when it comes to the crash cymbals and the ride cymbal is difficult at best for these four kits.
For three of the kits (not the TD-30KV), Roland uses what would normally be a ride cymbal and tells you to use it “for crash” cymbal number 2. That’s why, in the table above, you see the CY-13R and CY-15R in the Crash 2 row. In the end, it really doesn’t matter, but it sure can be confusing.
Here is where you see the other digital item, the CY-18DR, used as the true ride cymbal for the TD-50K and TD-50KV kits. As with the digital snare, you should expect greater sensitivity and a more realistic feel compared to other models.
Besides the standard kick pad, which in this case is either the KD-120BK or the KD-140-BC, if you get the TD-50KV, you have the option of adding your own favorite 22 inch acoustic kick drum to the mix.
Roland makes a KD-A22 adapter that creates a hybrid setup for the bass drum.
“The KD-A22 package includes a front head and a batter head with a kick-pad sensor unit, plus metal hoop and shock-absorber cushions to retrofit your acoustic drum by exchanging its head and hoop.”
Additional Features and Options
There are more input jacks (Aux1 to Aux4) on each of the sound modules. There is also an additional Tom input, which is already filled on the TD-30KV.
Both TD-50 models give you a stick holder for easy temporary storage of your drumsticks.
Optional accessories, in addition to the KD-A22 mentioned above, include the following.
- Cymbal Mount: MDY Series
- Pad Mount: MDH Series
- Personal Drum Monitor: PM-30 or PM-10
- V-Drums Accessory Package: DAP-3
- V-Drums Mat: TDM-20
- Shell-Wrap Package: CV-20KX-BU (Blue) or CV-20KX-RD (Red)
- Wireless USB Adapter (WNA1100-RL or ONKYO UWF-1)
The DAP-3 package consists of a kick pedal, a pair of drumsticks, and a throne. There is also a DAP-3X package which does not include the drumsticks.
One final item to note is that even the lightest of these kits weighs over 85 pounds. The heavier kits are over 100, so don’t expect to cart these around by yourself all the time. You’ll either want to keep them in a studio or have your roadies help you pack up and move as needed.
This video shows the assembling of the TD-50K.
Conclusions about the Roland V-Pro Line
Briefly, if you can afford one of these kits, get one. They are as good as acoustic sets (for all practical purposes and for the vast majority of drummers) and they give you options approaching infinity.
If you can’t afford (or find) any of these, check out the Roland TD-17 instead.