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As if having a large handful of electronic drum lines with more than one variation in most wasn’t enough, Roland continued its progress in the field in 2018 by adding the TD-17 series of electronic drums.
The TD-17KVX in particular were promptly voted the “Best Electronic Percussion product in 2018.”
The TD-17 series includes that TD-17KVX, the TD-17KV, and the TD-17K-L. You’ll sometimes see that last kit “spelled” TD-17KL without the dash; it’s the same set.
If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the latest pricing and availability of these kits at Amazon, you can click the links in the list below.
If you see a listing with “-S” appended to the model, that means the seller has added something else – most likely sticks – to the offering. Models designated “-S” are not official names from Roland.
Overview of the TD-17 Series
Following is a list of “standard” features that you get with each kit in the series.
Well, that’s not exactly true.
Roland calls this their list of “standard” features but then makes exceptions, depending on which of the three sets you’re talking about.
- 12-inch double-mesh snare (not on the TD-17K-L)
- VH-10 Hi-hat cymbal with natural motion and open/close detection (TD-17KVX only)
- Sounds inherited from flagship TD-50 sound engine
- KD-10 Kick pad
- Two crash cymbals (TD-17KVX only) with expansion possibilities
- Warm-up menu
- Bluetooth audio (not on the TD-17K-L)
- 50 premium preset drum kits
- Adjust the ambience of each kit
- Customize the preset drum kits
- Import your own samples
- Watch video lessons on your smartphone and play along
- Free to download ‘Melodics for V-Drums’ software (both PC and Mac)
The snare is larger in diameter than one you’ll find on many electronic drum kits. Most drummers really appreciate the extra head space.
The Coach Mode can be addictive, per one of the reviewers in a video below. Anything that can get you to play more and for longer periods of time is a good thing.
Here is an overview of each of these sets in one video. The reviewer also briefly mentions the TD-25KVX and the TD-50KVX at the end.
If it wasn’t obvious to you earlier, you probably guessed by now that the “L” in “TD-17K-L” stands for “Light”. It has fewer or lower-quality features – though still very good – than the KVX and KV kits.
Your hi-hat that can be mounted on an acoustic hi-hat stand for additional flexibility.
You can expand your TD-17 kit by adding an extra crash cymbal or second snare for those times you need more sound variation.
These TD-17s replace the TD-11 line. The main difference here is that the TD-17 uses a sound module that, while it may not be exactly the same, is based on Roland’s flagship TD-50 module. So you get the best (or nearly so) sounds available by default, and you can add more of your own, should those not be enough or the ones you need.
TD-17 Kits Side by Side
Here is a table that shows you how each TD-17 set compares to the other two. As you might expect, the differences aren’t that great, but they do affect your final cost.
|Hi-hat Pedal||(See below)||FD-9||FD-9|
|Crash||CY-12C (x 2)||CY-8||CY-8|
|Width (inches)||51 3/16||51 3/16||51 3/16|
|Depth (inches)||43 5/16||43 5/16||43 5/16|
|Height (inches)||47 1/4||47 1/4||47 1/4|
|Weight||54 lbs. 11 oz.||50 lbs. 12 oz.||48 lbs. 5 oz.|
The TD-17K-L uses an “L” version of the sound module which does not include Bluetooth capabilities.
Roland doesn’t list a hi-hat pedal for the TD-17KVX on their site. My guess is that’s just an oversight, since it is included in the cheaper sets.
Below is a video review of each TD-17 kit.
Conclusion about the TD-17 Series
As of this writing, I have not had opportunity to test any of these TD-17 kits, but I think you can tell from the videos above that they are something special.
If I could afford any of these, I’d get the TD-17KVX, since the price isn’t all that much different across this line. It’s also significantly less than a TD-50, yet you get virtually the same sounds in what has to be called a midrange set.
One reviewer seemed hesitant to use the TD-17 “on stage”. I’m not sure why. I understand that the visuals can be important, but aren’t the sounds even more important? As long as those are good – and they are – I wouldn’t be shy about playing any of these on a stage, in front of a congregation, or elsewhere.
If you can afford your own TD-17, I say, “Go for it.” I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.