Roland VAD506 Electronic Drum Set Review

Roland VAD506 Review

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After looking at everything the Roland VAD506 drum kit offers, I can confidently say that it’s a fantastic electronic kit for professional drummers to use for both practicing and playing on live stages. The sounds, build quality, and module technology are all incredible.

Roland VAD506

Key Features

  • Full-sized acoustic shells
  • Roland TD-27 drum module
  • Digital snare and ride pads
  • Prismatic Sound Modeling technology
  • PureAcoustic Ambience Technology
  • Uses standard drum kit hardware

88/100

Roland’s VAD drums were introduced to the market a few years ago. They’re alternative options to the brand’s popular V-Drums with acoustic shells to give a more authentic visual experience.

The VAD506 is one of the top kits in the VAD line, having full-sized drum shells and a powerful drum module that runs it. 

When you buy a Roland VAD506, you get the shells, cymbal stands, and the module. However, you don’t get a hi-hat stand, snare drum stand, or bass drum pedal. Thankfully, it uses standard hardware from acoustic drums. So, you can use those if you already have them. 

The drum kit was one of the flagship models of the Roland brand before the VAD706 came into the picture, so it’s an electronic kit aimed at professional and highly experienced drummers. 

In this review, we’ll explore everything about the Roland VAD506 to find out what makes it such a high-quality electronic kit. 

We’ll review the drum module, pad quality, build quality, and overall playability. I’ll also explain how much value it has depending on who’s looking to buy it. Let’s get right into it!

Roland VAD506 Ratings

Module

Pads

Build Quality

Playability

Value

Roland VAD506 Drum Module

The VAD506 comes with Roland’s TD-27 Sound Module. It has many impressive features, all packed into a small and easy-to-use interface. 

Since the interface is so minimal, it takes a bit of time to get used to navigating it. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize just how many sound possibilities you have with this kit. 

The two standout features that form part of the module are the Prismatic Sound Engine tools and the PureAcoustic Ambience Technology.

Both these tools are directly influenced by Roland’s top TD-50 module, and they make the VAD506 feel like a professionally customizable drum set. 

The Prismatic Sound Engine gives you extensive control over how all the drum kits sound on the module. You can tweak sound influences, such as tone, tuning, brightness, and size. This allows you to personalize the onboard sounds as much as you want. 

The PureAcoustic Ambience Technology lets you choose the environment your kit is in. You can choose virtual mic placements and dial-in settings that make you feel incredibly immersed while playing. 

I love the colors on the module’s surface. They’re quite simplistic, but I think they add a bit of character compared to Roland’s other drum modules. 

Apart from those two big sound technology features, the module also has several practice functions that allow you to work on your skills and technique. You can connect your phone to the module via Bluetooth to stream songs to jam to, which is useful.

Overall, the drum module is a solid aspect of this kit, and I’m glad that Roland opted for the TD-27 here. 

Roland VAD506 Pads

The shells and pads are what most drummers are drawn to with the Roland VAD506, so let’s see what they offer. 

My favorite thing about this kit is that all the drum pads are the same size as standard acoustic drums. Electronic drum kits typically have smaller pads, making the VAD506 feel much better to play on than most kits.

The toms are all tunable with two trigger zones, meaning you can adjust their tightness and play different sounds from the rims and surfaces. 

Thanks to the wide surface area, the bass drum pad feels very similar to playing an acoustic bass drum. 

The snare pad is the standout drum pad. It’s a digital pad, meaning it has significantly higher build quality and responsiveness than the other drum pads. It feels and sounds so authentic and realistic, and it’s amazing to see how Roland has managed to pull something like this off. 

The 18-inch ride cymbal is also a digital pad on this kit. You can play the ride on different areas of its surface to get varying sounds, and you can crash it and play the bell to trigger the appropriate sounds as well. 

The other cymbal pads have two trigger zones and are very responsive to different dynamics. 

Some drummers may not like the 12-inch hi-hat pad as it doesn’t have a bottom part, but it still feels good to play on. 

Roland VAD506 Build Quality

The wooden shells come with a Midnight Sparkle finish. While it’s a bit disappointing that you only get one finish option, only one drum kit in Roland’s entire lineup gives you more than one option, so it’s not too much of a big deal. 

The wood used for the shells is inexpensive. The acoustic shells are purely aesthetic for this kit, so you don’t need to look for any tonal qualities from the shells themselves. 

However, they feel very well put together, and the hardware used to construct them feels solid as well. 

When it comes to electronics, no electronic drum company seems to make things as well as Roland.

The durability of the pads and module are incredible, and this kit feels as if it will last decades. 

One of the most common issues with the TD-27 module is headphone compatibility, where some headphones don’t play volume as loud as others. Other than that, it’s a fantastic module with a long lifespan. 

Again, the standout parts of the Roland VAD506 kit are the digital ride and snare drum. The digital snare drum is almost as heavy as a standard acoustic snare drum, making it feel incredibly durable. The ride cymbal is also built amazingly, with little sensors everywhere to give you the best playing experience. 

Roland VAD506 Playability

The first thing I want to mention about playability is the cymbals. These higher-quality cymbal pads feel a lot thinner than the pads on Roland’s more affordable kits.

Because of this, they flex more and give you a more authentic feel when playing. This sounds like a small thing, but it greatly enhances your playing experience. 

The big benefit of the VAD506 is that it looks like a regular acoustic kit on a stage. This makes it a much better option to use for live gigs than other electronic kits if you’re looking for aesthetics. 

Since you don’t need a microphone setup, it’s a lot easier to use a kit like this live than it is to use an acoustic kit. You can simply run a single cable through to the PA system, and you’ll be good to go. You can then use the PureAcoustic Ambience Technology on the module to match the sounds of the environment that you’re playing in. 

The downside of using this kit live is that you don’t get the same physical feedback that you would from an acoustic kit. You won’t feel the bass drum in your chest, potentially downing the live drumming experience. 

For home practicing, the kit is perfect. It’s much easier to transfer over from an acoustic kit to the VAD506 than jumping onto smaller electronic drum kits. 

Roland VAD506 Value

The biggest drawback of the VAD506 is its high price. It’s one of the most expensive electronic drum kits on the market, making it unattainable for many drummers. 

However, it offers so much that I’d say it’s well worth the price you pay. Also, it’s a lot more affordable than Roland’s flagship VAD706 kit

Thinking about everything that the kit offers, I’d say the value you get is amazing. 

A full professional drum acoustic drum set with top-tier cymbals and microphones will cost a lot more in the long run, whereas you get a multitude of sounds from the VAD506 that can all be extensively edited. 

You’ll never run out of new sounds to play with, considering that new software is constantly being released by Roland. You can also run the module through a VST on a computer, giving you studio-quality drum sounds that react brilliantly with the responsiveness of the VAD’s pads. 

The fact that the drum kit doesn’t come with a snare or hi-hat stand is a bit of a letdown. If you don’t have extra ones lying around, you’ll need to spend a few hundred dollars on new ones. 

No intermediate or professional electronic drum kits come with a throne or kick pedal, so I wouldn’t say that the lack of those hear lowers the value. 

Verdict

To wrap things up, I think the Roland VAD506 is an amazing electronic drum kit for seasoned drummers. 

Experienced drummers will appreciate how amazing the digital pads feel, and they’ll feel right at home when editing the sounds on the module. 

I’d also recommend getting this kit for live situations where an electronic kit is needed.

Thanks to the full-sized shells, it looks much better than most other kits.

You’ll see drummers on popular TV shows like The Voice using this kit because of that. 

If you’re new to drumming, I’d suggest getting something more affordable to start off with.

The Roland VAD line is quite extensive, with different options covering varying budgets. While I’d say the VAD506 offers the best value and features, you can also consider looking into the VAD103 and VAD306

Those two kits have smaller shells, lower-quality pads, and more limited drum modules. However, they’re more affordable, and they offer the same aesthetic as the VAD506 of having acoustic shells with electronic drums. 

What Comes In The Roland VAD506 Box?

  • Roland TD-27 drum module
  • 14” PD-140DS snare drum
  • 10” PDA100-MS rack tom
  • 12” PDA120-MS rack tom
  • 14” PDA140F-MS Floor tom
  • 20” KD-22-MS kick drum
  • 12” VH-10 hi-hat pad
  • 14” CY-14C-T crash cymbal
  • 16” CY-16R-T crash cymbal
  • 18” CY-18DR ride cymbal
  • 2x DCS-10 stands with tom mounts
  • DBS-10 stand & APC-30 clamp

Roland VAD506 At A Glance

Pros

  • Full-sized acoustic shells feel wonderful to play on
  • Incredible digital snare and ride pads
  • Intuitive Roland TD-27 drum module
  • Extensive sound control with Prismatic Sound Modeling Engine and PureAcoustic Ambience Technology
  • Excellent electronic kit for live performance

Cons

  • Takes up more space than a regular electronic drum set
  • No snare or hi-hat stand included
  • Very expensive price tag, but it’s well worth it
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