Top critical review
Good kit but poor hardware
29 December 2018
Alesis is big brand and I had high expectations, but after the kit arrived the experience was about average. Here are the reasons why I am rating 3.
1. First and foremost the kick and hihat foot switch were not functional. Reason: there was no gap between the rubber switch and top. When there is adequate gap and when you gently tap on the kick, you will hear the sound. Due to the quality of plastic used, there is no elasticity in the kick.
When the most important part of the kit is not working you can imagine the frustration. Now, either I have to return the kit or find a way to make it work. I chose the later only because it was a Christmas gift for my son. The exchange process would take over a week alteast and moreover, what if I get another foot switch that is just as bad.
As a workaround, I found rubber eraser cut them into two and wedged between the the two ends of the quick to create enough gap to make it work. Used the same fix for hihat switch as well. The jugaad worked and was relived, but that too was shortlived :(.
2. Now to the second part of dissatisfaction. With kick now functional, we start to play the drums, we see the switch moving away from its position as its too light. Not what I was tapping it hard, it was just a gentle tap. Due to its light weight even a light tap several time would push it away and have to position it correctly every few minutes. The design team should have added some dead weight to prevent it from drifting away.
As another fix, I will add some flat heavy metal strips under the switch. it should work. Although a kick to be assigned to one of the pads, you will be unable to play other parts of the kit.
3. Built-in speaker quality is under par and sounds like a toy kit played directly. However, when you connect to external source, you will feel the difference and sounds amazing.
Despite a not-so-good experience, if I have to talk about the kit it self, its very good sound quality. As mentioned above, to truly enjoy the kit you need a good external speaker with amp. This is the only reason why rated it overall 3 of 5. I would sound quality via amp 5/5. If you dont have a amp its ok to take any of the less expensive models. Alternatively, you may purchase this kit and add-on a speaker with builtin amp later.
I felt Alesis was busy developing the pads and got the accessories from China from a cheap vendor :)
Finally, if you are wondering will I recommend this, my answer is Yes and No.
1. If you are going to take chances on living with light kick and hi-hat footswitches and go back and forth with the seller till you get a switch that is functional. Seller can do nothing about about weight. Alternatively, if you are willing to invest some more money and buy a professional kick for few more grand. Note, this is true for hi-hat switch as well.
2. #1 doesnt bother you and you just want to another toy for your kids or yourself.
3. There is no music store close by or you dont have time for buying one
1. If you don't want any hassle with the most important pieces in a drum kit, hi-hat and kick.
2. If you want to get started with drumming or your kids. You can always try at a local music store before you buy it
3. If you dont want to invest in external speaker. Its a good-to-have but not must-have
All the best and happy drumming!