Are you wondering if the Roland TD-25KV drum kit is right for you?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this YMI review you will learn:
- The Key Features Of The Roland Td-25KV
- How The Kit Is Constructed
- How The Kit Sounds
- How To Tell If It’s The Right Kit For You
And Much More!
The Overall Verdict
The Roland TD-25KV is a fantastic mid-range electronic drum kit.
The combination of excellent build-quality, expressive pads and sounds, as well as a huge amount of functionality included on the sound module, makes for the complete package.
Roland kits tend to hold their value so finding a good deal on a TD25 can be a little tricky, but if you manage to snag one you definitely won’t be disappointed!
- Excellent build quality
- Good sound module
- Mesh heads on toms and snare
- Expressive kit sounds
- Robust trigger pads
- Good connectivity
- Small pads compared to competitors
- Higher price point
- Kick pad not mesh
The most important part of any electronic drum kit is the drum module (also called sound module or brain).
The brain is the unit that all the individual drum and cymbals pads plug in to.
It houses all the pre-recorded (sampled) drum and percussion sounds, as well as being the hub for connecting to computers, headphones, and other external devices.
Let’s take a closer look at the features of the TD-25 sound module:
- SuperNATURAL sound engine
- 18 Preset drum kits
- Multi-effects, reverb, and EQ
- USB ports (for USB card or USB MIDI)
- Aux In
- Coach functions
- Positional sensing compatible
- Quick-access metronome
- Tuning and muffling control knobs
I absolutely love the look and feel of this module.
It has a very classy vibe, with a glass front that has blue LEDs surrounding each knob and a large brushed aluminum center dial making it a very aesthetically pleasing piece of kit.
The layout is also incredibly well thought out, making accessing different customization features and selecting drum kits easy and fast.
Unlike most sound modules, the TD25KV has a large control knob on the front of the unit to select your different preset drum kits.
The drum kits are grouped into stylistic categories such as standard, rock, jazz, metal, funk, and electro.
Once you select the desired style, you simply cycle through the kits in that genre by pushing the knob.
This is a really nice design and I found moving between different kit presets super easy and fast (great for little tweaks during a gig!).
Overall it’s a very streamlined interface.
Everything you’d expect from a sound module at this price point is included.
There are coaching functions to help improve your drumming skills, multi-effects processing to apply to your various kit pieces, and aux-in for use with your mp3 player, smartphone or laptop, as well as USB compatibility so you can upload your own audio tracks (WAVs or mp3 songs, via USB memory stick) or utilize drum VST’s in your chosen recording software (DAW).
Roland has really thought about all the different ways a drummer might use an e-kit and have really delivered on that front.
However, there are some features that I haven’t seen before on other similar units that I absolutely love.
Firstly having knobs that change muffling and tuning for individual drums on the front of the unit is a fantastic addition.
These functions on their own have been around on e-kits for years, but have usually been buried within the various settings in the unit.
Being able to adjust the sound of each drum so quickly is a game-changer for recording or gigs and the graphic visualization of the various muffling options (with pieces of tape and rings on the drums) is a really nice touch.
The basic two-band EQ and backing track controls make customizing your headphone mix super easy as well.
Also, if you suddenly get a burst of inspiration and want to remember it for your next jam session, there’s an audio recording function that will capture drum performances straight away.
Overall the TD25 sound module is a very impressive bit of kit!
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The great thing about Roland v-drums is that pretty much all their kits are modular.
You’ll find so many components are the same from kit to kit, many of which haven’t changed in design or construction in years.
This is testament to the build-quality of Roland’s pads, they don’t feel the need to constantly mess with it...if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
The TD-25KV comes with an impressive list of triggers pads:
- X2 PDX-100 10” Snare and floor tom pads
- X2 PD-85 8” rack toms
- VH-11 V 11” Hi-hat
- X2 CY12c 12” dual-zone crash cymbals
- CY13r 13” triple-zone ride
- KD-9 Kick pad
A deeper look at these pads reveals some excellent premium features that, coupled with the Td25 module, make this kit incredibly expressive.
The toms and snare are all mesh-head pads, which have a much more natural feel than rubber. They’re also much quieter to the outside world, as well as being tunable with a drum key like a real drum.
The PDX100 v-pads have ‘positional sensing’ for use on the snare.
This basically means that the sound of the snare will gradually change as you move from the center out towards the rim...just like a real kit.
This level of expression really helps get rid of that nasty machine-gun-like that’s common in a lot of e-kits, ghost notes also feel responsive and crisp.
The dual-trigger pad also means that you can trigger rim shots or other sounds for cross stick playing, adding to the overall expressiveness of the drum.
The PD-85 mesh-head tom pads are excellent pads that have been in use on Roland kits forever. I still have some on my ancient TD8 that are still working like the day they were bought!
They’re also dual-triggering, meaning you can assign extra percussion or drum sounds to the rims to add to your palette of available sounds.
The cymbal pads are also tried and tested Roland triggers. The dual-zone cy12’s are excellent cymbals that have a great natural swinging motion, choke control, and edge and bow sensors.
Similarly, the three-zone cy13r v-cymbal ride is expressive and triggers accurately between the bow, bell, and edge sounds.
All the cymbal triggers emulate a realistic motion which adds to the ‘acoustic’ feel of the kit.
The KD-9 is a pretty solid kick drum trigger, but it’s a shame that the kit doesn’t include the mesh headed KD80 or KD120 instead.
This is probably Roland attempting to keep the kit within a certain budget.
However, the KD9 is a solid and responsive pad...albeit a little loud acoustically so you may want to consider a drum riser if you have downstairs neighbors!
As you’d expect with Roland triggers, these pads are absolutely bombproof. They feel robust in your hands and they will last a really long time.
However, compared to some similar offerings from Alesis and Yamaha, the pads on this kit are a little on the small side.
The toms are a maximum 10” and the largest cymbal is 13”, compared to an Alesis strike for example, that has more realistic acoustic kit sizing (up to 14” on the drums and a 16” ride cymbal).
Roland hardware is consistently excellent and there is no change with the TD-25KV. The included MDS-9 rack is simple in design, yet feels very sturdy. As do the individual drum and cymbal trigger mounts.
There is a reassuring chunkiness to all of the hardware components that’s very reassuring for a hard hitter like myself.
Pads tend to stay put once you’ve positioned them where you want them.
The only major thing to note when it comes to hardware is that the kit doesn’t come with a hi-hat stand, kick drum pedal, or drum throne.
This is pretty standard with higher-end kits (acoustic and electric) as there’s a presumption that you will have a strong preference for those things as a drummer of a certain level.
Hi-hat stands and kick pedals are often a bit rubbish when supplied with an electric kit, so I’d suggest sourcing these yourself anyway.
The playability of this kit is fantastic. The 10” PDX100 snare pad feels very responsive and coupled with the positional sensing feature, gives a very satisfying and realistic playing experience.
Flams, ghost notes, and rimshots can be executed with ease.
The mesh heads are incredibly durable but also have a great feel under your drumsticks. I tend to tune the toms lower to mimic my acoustic kit, and the pads still do a great job of still being accurate and responsive.
The cymbals are also incredibly responsive, with the ability to execute swells and choke hits with ease and the ride cymbal is consistently accurate over its three zones (bow, edge, bell).
My favorite part of the kit is the VH-11 hi-hat. To me, the VH-11 is the best electronic hi-hat trigger currently available on the market.
Getting an accurate and realistic hi-hat experience is the hardest thing to achieve on an e-kit as there are so many variables and subtle nuances that can be elicited from the instrument.
The hi-hat mounts onto a real hi-hat stand which immediately makes you feel like you’re sitting on a real acoustic kit.
The VH-11 is the closest thing you’ll get to a real h-hat in terms of feel and accuracy and can handle various hi-hat techniques with ease.
I guess the only real ‘let-down’ on the playability front is the KD-9 kick pad. The KD-9 is by no means a bad unit and actually does a great job of being accurate and responsive.
However, compared to the mesh heads and realistic cymbals, it feels slightly out of place and a little cumbersome. The cloth head that it uses feels like a middle ground between full-mesh and rubber, it’s not bad, just a little dead.
However, the great thing is that you can always swap it out for a mesh headed KD80 at some point down the line (for relatively little cash, especially if you go second hand!).
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The 18 built-in presets on this kit do a pretty good job of covering all styles of music.
The rock and metal kits feel fat and punchy, with a good deal of expressive playability.
Some of these kits feel a touch over-compressed to my ears, but I’m sure with a little tweaking on the module you can tame that down.
The jazz and funk kits are nicely varied and make playing fast jazz ride patterns and solos feel immersive and fun.
There are also a few electronic and hip-hop based kits that do a great job of emulating 808 and MPC sounds… I’ve had a lot of fun messing with these kits!
The ‘advanced superNATURAL’ sound engine, as well as the positional snare sensing, do a great job of making the behavior modeling of these kits feel realistic and dynamic.
In general, I find that the one area lacking in Rolands’ sound quality is in the toms.
Often kits will have a great sounding snare, vibrant cymbals, punchy kick...and yet the toms sound slightly ‘fake’ and dare is say it, dated.
They don’t sound awful, but I feel like Roland needs to spend a little time updating these samples.
However, Roland does offer some free downloadable additional kits for the TD25 module, which seem to be consistently updated.
Also, companies such as ‘Drum-Tec’ make custom kits that can be downloaded straight onto your sound module for very little money.
Overall the expression you can get from this kit makes it a joy to play.
Rolls feel dynamic and gradual, with none of the robotic machine-gun triggering or accidental double-triggering of cheaper electronic drum sets.
If you’re not enamored by the in-built sounds on the TD25 (or extra downloadable Roland kits) then this kit is perfect for using to trigger external VST drum software.
Simply plug the module into your computer via a USB cable, open up your drum VST of choice (Superior Drummer 3 is excellent, or Steven Slate Drums as a more affordable option), assign your different pads (there’s often a TD25 preset) and away you go!
The sounds you can get from a drum VST, coupled with the accurate and detailed triggering from the TD25, makes for an incredibly powerful drumming package.
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Overall the Roland TD-25KV is an excellent electronic drum set. It shares so many of the features of Roland’s flagship TD30 and TD50 kits, without the eye-watering price tag.
The combination of top-quality trigger pads and acclaimed expressiveness from Roland, make playing the TD-25KV a very enjoyable drumming experience.
The module itself is packed full of clever design options and usable functionality.
This kit is slightly limited a little by smaller pads and lack of a mesh bass drum pad, but these are small oversights for a kit that seems to excel on every other level.
With Roland, you’re also getting something that holds its value and will last for many years to come.
If you’re looking for a complete electronic drum kit solution, that will deal with pretty much anything that you throw at it, then the TD-25KV is a great choice.