Electronic drum kits are getting increasingly popular as drummers look for a way to quietly practice while still honing their skills professionally. In this article, we will be comparing two of the most affordable and popular electronic drum kits for beginners: Simmons SD5K vs Alesis DM6 electronic drum set.
Simmons SD5K Electronic Drum Set Review
One of the pioneers of electronic drum kits, the Simmons SD5K is an affordable and easy to play drum kit most suitable for beginners and intermediate drummers.
This set comes with four drum pads, three cymbal pads, one hi hat control pedal, and one kick drum pad. It also has a built in metronome to keep you in tempo, and a headphone jack so you can listen to yourself practicing.
Moreover, the Simmons SD5K provides a MIDI output so you can input the MIDI files into your favourite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for editing. This feature is great for those who compose music with a DAW in their computer.
The lightweight aluminium frame means the Simmons SD5K is easy to and from your studio. It is also a strong and durable kit so you will get the most value out of this budget-friendly drum set.
This set includes 237 acoustic and electronic drum voices and 22 factory preset drum kits to choose from, which is plenty for a beginner. There are also 48 preset songs to practice with. You can also connect your phone or iPod to practice with your favourite music.
Alesis DM6 Electronic Drum Set Review
This ultra-affordable electronic drum kit is getting increasingly popular among drummers over the years. Like most standard electronic drum sets, the Alesis DM6 has a headphone output for you to listen to yourself practicing without disturbing your neighbors in their sleep. It also comes with four drum (snare + tom-toms) pads, three cymbal-hi hat pads, a hi hat control pedal, a kick drum pad and a kick drum pedal.
Boasting 108 quality drum, cymbal, and percussion presets, the Alesis DM6 offers great versatility in a compact package. This kit is also known for its realistic, natural sounds, especially when played with built in reverb.
This kit also has a MIDI output so you can edit your drums in a DAW.
Simmons SD5K vs Alesis DM6: The Verdict
The Simmons SD5K is the older model and has a more widespread reputation among drummers compared to the Alesis DM6. The SD5K also has more drum presets (237 drum sounds) compared to the DM6 (108 drum sounds in total). However, there is no bass pedal for the bass drum pad in the SD5K, so you’ll have to supply your own.
Drummers may also have different opinions on the sensitivity of the pads for both the SD5K and the DM6: some find it acceptable while others think it is rather lacking. So if you want super sensitive and responsive pads, this is one thing to consider.
In conclusion, the Simmons SD5K have a greater number of total drum sounds and presets compared to the Alesis DM6, but the DM6 comes with a kick drum pedal which may reduce the total cost for the electronic drum kit. You may need to try both of these models to find out which is the better option for you, considering factors such as sensitivity of the pads, sound library, and ruggedness of the drum kits.