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Alesis DM6

Electronic Drum Set

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Best Budget Electronic Drum Set

Alesis DM6

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: February 9, 2016

If I had to buy a new electronic drum kit for my home studio for under $500, I would get the Alesis DM6 electronic drum set. It has more features and flexibility than most similar kits available today, with a loyal following and great reviews. Mounts and clamps are sturdy as hell, and the drum module is realistic, responsive, with great tone.


Our Pick

We like the DM6 because there is a lot of room to grow and upgrade as your needs and skills evolve. It is hands-down the #1 best selling electronic drum kit on Amazon, with tons of great reviews.

The Alesis DM6 module (the computerized brain that makes the sounds) has 1/8’’ stereo input jacks that make it so easy connecting to your iPod or CD player and do some heavy mixing, or play along with your favorite tracks.

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One of the things our reviewers noted about the DM6 is that, for it’s relatively low price, has superior hardware. In particular, the tubing on which the drum pads are mounted, are remarkably sturdy. Most (if not all) of the others in this price range have rather flimsy tubing, which means the whole drum set can wobble and shake during heavy playing. Dawson Music noted this in their testing as well:

The frame is a stable design, with nice, thick tubing and robust clamps.

The Alesis DM6 USB is a kit that, in many ways, illustrates how far digital drums have come as much as the pricey, cutting edge kits. With robust build, a selection of high quality sounds and features and a price that is pretty ludicrous, this is a great kit for beginners, or anyone else looking for an inexpensive, convenient way to practice in the home without disturbing others in it (or the neighbors…).

 

The Upgrade

Ready for the ‘Cadillac Model’? The DM10X is the flagship electronic drum set by Alesis. One of my drummer friends remarked how the RealHead Pads provide an exceptionally realistic feel. Just look at them in the picture – they even LOOK real. You won’t just be hitting on rubber pads, you get the bounceback feel of real drum heads.

The other great thing is the drum module (again, the computerized brain that makes the sounds) has individual channels for each piece.

If you already have a considerable amount of drum experience and price is not an issue, you should definitely consider the Alesis DM10X. You can throw pretty much anything at it without worrying about needed upgrades. It’s got everything you need. Check it:

The Runner Up

The Yamaha DTX400K has less features and costs a bit more. It is still a lovely kit, but some users have complained the mounts and rack are a bit flimsy if you really start grooving.

However, the drum module (the electronic brain that makes the sounds) sounds exquisite, and you can easily upgrade the rack and mounts as you grow in your drumming skills.

Conclusion

The best thing you can do is think about your needs as a drummer. If your requirements are slightly different just move up or down accordingly.

However, our pick is guaranteed to give you maximum playability for the money you spend. It sounds great and is super reliable.

Happy drumming!


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Best Budget Electronic Drum Set

Alesis DM6

Best Budget Electronic Drum Set

Important Specs

DM6 Drum Module Plus aux input for playing w/ external audio
Snare Dual-zone 8-Inch
Toms Three Toms
Cymbals Two Cymbals
Kits 15 Programmable Drum Sets
USB-MIDI Output Send drums to your DAW!
Also hi-hat pad, kick pedal & hi-hat controller
more specs

Synopsis:

If I had to buy a new electronic drum kit for my home studio for under $500, I would get the Alesis DM6 electronic drum set. It has more features and flexibility than most similar kits available today, with a loyal following and great reviews. Mounts and clamps are sturdy as hell, and the drum module is realistic, responsive, with great tone.

Yamaha DTX400K

A Close Second Place

Yamaha DTX400K

A no-frills option for practice, studio, or rehearsals. The frame is a bit less sturdy, and the drum module doesn't have an USB-MIDI or Aux In. Still sounds great. Slightly more expensive than our main pick, which puts it squarely in second place.

Alesis DM10X

The 'Cadillac' Choice

Alesis DM10X

If price is not an option, get this. It will handle pretty much everything you throw at it. It's also sturdy as hell.

- M

Sources

  1. Mark Gordon, Sound On Sound, 20130601
    Yamaha DTX400K Review
    “The 10 factory preset kits sound fantastic and are all very usable. I'm not a big fan of kits made up of voices or the sounds of car horns, bells and whistles. I'd rather have a drum kit that sounds like drums! All the built-in sounds are more than good enough to use on recording projects, and the kit is the perfect tool for triggering virtual instrument drums from your DAW. All in all, I think the Yamaha DTX400K is a great entry into the world of electronic drums. ”
  2. Dave Holmes, Music Radar, 20130305
    An affordable electronic drum kit
    “Considering there is no display, the Yamaha DTX400K module is surprisingly powerful - with the raft of training facilities on offer and the song playback with its ability to loop any part of the onboard song is especially useful when trying to crack some outlandish rhythms. The response from the pads and overall sound from the kit is fairly impressive but the pedals are far better suited to a carpeted flooring. Though the positioning of the hi-hat with the snare is less than convenient, the most annoying aspect is that the hi-hat tends to droop, moving sideways on its round bracket which makes access to the module a pain. A better solution would have been some knurling on the hi-hat mount, placing the module on a lower mounting and raising up the hi-hat and snare. That said, minor gripes with the set-up didn't spoil our enjoyment of the kit.”
  3. D Nutt, Amazon.com, 20150106
    Best Sub $500 Electronic Drumset EVER.
    “I've had my Alesis DM6 drumset up and running for a couple days and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. Up until now any electronic drumset in the $500 range was nothing more than a toy. Because I know that Alesis knows how to make great electronic drumsets I was hoping that their experience making higher end kits would trickle down to this brand new DM6 line. It did. This drumset is fabulous when you consider the price point and, in fact, has no real competition that I could find.”
  4. Dave Holmes, Music Radar, 20150106
    Alesis DM7 USB Kit Review
    “There are many features available on the DM7 that are more often found on electronic kits costing several times more than this.”
  5. Rick Barr, TechCrunch, 20091113
    Review: Alesis DM6 Drum Kit
    “If you’re serious about playing and possibly recording, this is a great value. The amount of customizations from the hardware to the software, is impressive. All of the pieces are very sturdy, so the only chance at breaking something would be to tip the whole thing over…..but even then, you’ll probably be okay.”
  6. Joe, Dawson Music, 20131023
    Review: Alesis DM6 USB
    “The frame is a stable design, with nice, thick tubing and robust clamps. [...] The Alesis DM6 USB is a kit that, in many ways, illustrates how far digital drums have come as much as the pricey, cutting edge kits. With robust build, a selection of high quality sounds and features and a price that is pretty ludicrous, this is a great kit for beginners, or anyone else looking for an inexpensive, convenient way to practice in the home without disturbing others in it (or the neighbours…).”
Originally published: January 6th, 2015

Important Specs

DM6 Drum Module Plus aux input for playing w/ external audio
Snare Dual-zone 8-Inch
Toms Three Toms
Cymbals Two Cymbals
Kits 15 Programmable Drum Sets
USB-MIDI Output Send drums to your DAW!
Also hi-hat pad, kick pedal & hi-hat controller
more specs



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