Roland TD-17KV Review

Roland TD-17KV Review

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The Roland TD-17KV proves itself to be a superb mid-range kit from Roland. With around 50 preset drum kits, impressive module capabilities, and a full set of dual-zone mesh pads, the kit boasts impressive capabilities. There are 3 versions in the Roland TD 17 Series, and the TD-17KV is the middle version.

Roland TD-17KV E-Drum Set

Key Features

  • 3 dual-zone mesh drum heads
  • PDX-12 snare drum pad
  • KD-10 kick drum tower
  • 3 dual-zone cymbal pads
  • Roland TD17 drum module
  • Roland MDS-Compact drum rack

88/100

Roland released the TD-17 drum sets in 2018, and the idea behind these kits was to have flagship sounds at an intermediate price. Since then, the TD-17 kits have become widely popular around the world.

Out of all 3 versions, the TD-17KV offers the most attractive package thanks to its price. While the module is the same amongst all 3 kits, the pads are slightly different between each.

The TD17KV was the first cheaper Roland kit to introduce the large 12-inch snare pad, and that is arguably the most attractive part of this drum set.

The kit also has the Roland KD-10 kick drum tower which is one of the better bass drum pads from the company.

While the set is highly impressive, it has a few downsides to it as well. In this review, we’ll look at all the good and the bad. By the end of it, you’ll know if this will be a good kit for you to buy or not.

Roland TD-17KV E-Drum Set Ratings

Sounds

4

Build Quality

5

Playability

5

Value

4

Module

4

Roland TD-17KV Sound Quality

Onboard sounds are one of the biggest things to take note of when checking out electronic drum sets. The sounds have the power to make or break a kit. Thankfully, the sounds on the Roland TD 17KV are fairly good.

If you’ve ever played on a Roland kit before, you’ll recognize many of the sounds here. However, Roland expanded on the sounds a bit with the TD-17 kits by incorporating many samples that were inspired by modern-day pop albums.

If you want to use some of your own sample sounds or ones that you’ve found online, you can easily import them to the module by using an SD card. The cool thing about doing this is that you can edit them the same way you can edit all the onboard sounds.

The module has 310 drum and percussion sounds on it, allowing you to create your unique custom kits.

While there are a large number of sounds to play with, you should know that the quality of all of them is excellent. Roland is known to make samples from scratch, and that makes the sounds transfer easily through to the pads. You can play all kinds of dynamics on the drums and the sample sounds will react accordingly.

Roland TD-17KV Build Quality

There are a few things to take note of with the build quality. These are the rack, the positioning capabilities of the pads, and the sturdiness of all the components.

The Roland MDS-Compact is used in all the TD-17 drum sets. At first glance, it may seem similar to the plastic racks that Roland uses in their lower-priced kits.

However, it’s actually an incredibly solid metal rack that has a black finish.  This rack is what gives the Roland TD17KV a fairly small footprint. Most Roland sets are known to have small footprints, and this kit follows that trend.

Each drum pad gets mounted onto a highly adjustable clamp. You can virtually place the drum pads in any position, and it’s incredibly easy to move them in place to resemble a standard acoustic set layout.

One of the most interesting things about the rack is how the cymbal pads are mounted. The cymbals are on ball-and-socket mounts, allowing you to twist them around to get to a comfortable position.

While this may seem wonderful at first, ball-and-socket mechanisms typically don’t last as long as rigid mechanisms. So, I’d suggest not moving the cymbals around too much once you’ve locked them into a comfortable position.

Other than my concerns with the cymbal adjustments, everything else with the set is incredibly sturdy.

Roland TD-17KV Playability

The feels amazing to play on. The biggest contributing factors to this are the snare drum and bass drum pads. Every Roland kit beneath the TD-17KV has a small 8-inch snare pad.

The PDX-12 pad gives you a larger surface to play around with, strongly resembling an acoustic snare. It’s quite sensitive to ghost notes, and it boasts a strong rimshot sound whenever you lay into it.

The KD-10 kick drum tower is largely the same in quality. It has a slightly looser tension, perfectly encapsulating how it feels to play a large acoustic bass drum. It has two screws at the back that secure it to the ground, allowing you to play as hard as you want to without any nudges.

There are two downsides to take note of when playing the kit, though. Firstly, the ride cymbal pad only has two trigger zones which are the bow and the edge. Unfortunately, you can’t play the center of the pad to get a bell sound.

The other issue can be found in the hi-hat pad. The hi-hat is quite small and is a bit wonky to play on. You can easily adjust the tightness, but it will loosen over time.

If the two issues with the cymbals are a major concern for you, the Roland TD-17KVX would be the better option to go with as it has superior cymbal pads.

Roland TD-17KV Value

You’re going to be paying just under $1500 for this kit depending on where you buy it. To see how much value it has, it’s good to compare it to other similarly priced kits on the market.

The only other kit that has the exact same price is the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro. The Alesis kit is much larger, but the Roland kit has superior sounds and features on the module.

If you’re looking for the best quality sounds, the Roland kit is the most valuable option at its price. Also, Roland kits have much higher resale values. Something to think about!

With a few hundred dollars extra, you could aim to get a Yamaha DTX6K2-X or a Roland TD-07KVX. The Yamaha has more extensive module features, but tom pads are rubber. The Roland TD-07KVX has better cymbal pads, but the module is quite limited.

Looking at all of those factors, I’d say the Roland TD-17KV has excellent value for the money you pay for it. I’d happily recommend it to anyone with a budget of around $1500.

Roland TD-17KV Module

The TD-17 module looks fairly confusing when you first look at it. You’ll start realizing how extensive it is once you get accustomed to all the controls, though. Most of the preset kits are inspired by Roland’s flagship TD-50 line, and there is an extensive number of kits covering all types of styles.

The sounds and controls on the left side of the module are easy enough to navigate through, but the real meat comes from the right side. You’ll find effects knobs and control buttons that allow an extensive amount of customization to all the kit sounds. You also get some coaching functions that can be helpful in your practice sessions.

Something that I love about the TD-17 module is the extended piece at the top. This extra ledge allows you to rest your cellphone on. It’s not something you’ll notice when looking at the set online, but you’ll realize how useful it is when physically playing the set and having a place to put your phone.

One of the downsides of the module is that the effects buttons alter how all the preset kits sound instead of just the one that you’ve selected. So, you could dial in a great sound for one kit, but another kit won’t sound too good with the same effects settings.

Verdict

The Roland TD-17KV is a great choice for anyone looking for a decent intermediate electronic drum set. The snare, bass drum, and module are the highlights of the kit. The drums feel great to play on, and the sounds are highly responsive.

You may find yourself being frustrated with the hi-hat pad and ride cymbal pad. You could either replace those with higher-quality pads or buy the TD-17KVX instead.

Overall, you’d arguably be very happy with this kit and it will last a fairly long time, even with heavy usage.

What Comes In The Roland TD-17KV E-Drum Set Box?

The TD-17KV comes with most of what you need besides drumsticks and a throne. Here’s everything that comes in the box: 

  • PDX-12 mesh snare
  • KD-10 kick trigger pad
  • 3 x PDX-8 mesh pads
  • 2 x CY-8 cymbal pads
  • CY-5 hi-hat pad
  • TD-17 drum module
  • MDS-Compact rack

Roland TD-17KV E-Drum Set At A Glance

Pros

  • PDX-12 snare pad and KD-10 kick drum tower are excellent
  • TD-17 module is very extensive
  • High-quality sounds from Roland
  • The extra piece above the module is surprisingly useful

Cons

  • Ride pad doesn’t have a bell trigger
  • Sound effect knobs change the sound of every drum kit instead of just one
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