Buying A Whole New Set VS Upgrading Your Current Drum Set

Buying A Whole New Set VS Upgrading Your Current Drum Set

So you’ve bought an electronic drumset, it might have cost $2000, or $500. You’re loving it, and you’ve bought a new cymbal here and there off ebay. But you’ve come to the realization that a major overhaul is needed to get the drumset to the level you want it at. At what point do you say, just forget about it I’ll buy a better drumset. VS just buying 15 parts and pieces from different websites and upgrading it that way.

You can go either way honestly. I’ve seen dudes with an alesis nitro that have like 3 modules and 15 drums and cymbals. I’ve also seen guys that sell the kit on Facebook and use that money towards a modestly better kit with the features they are really missing.

The REAL question is whats the magic number? What is that threshold that you hit and decide upgrades aren’t worth it anymore?

So in my head my number is something like 50%. Not a hard and fast number, but it’s something. Lets say you bought the TD17KL for $1000. You kinda want the mesh toms, and a 3 zone ride. And come to think of it and extra crash would be nice too. Lets add up the numbers:

If you want mesh toms, just going on ebay you can find two mesh toms from Alesis for $100. But I’m guessing most will want to make the drumset out of parts from the same brand. Roland is a tad more expensive and you have to REALLY look around. At first I saw a PDX6 for $60. Kinda small for me, so I checked reverb, and you can pick up a PD85 for $85. Get 3 of those and that’s $255. A Better ride like a CY13R is $130. And for the extra cymbal.. We’re already solid because we’ll take that ride cymbal we already had, and just use it as a crash. Sell the rubber tom pads we already had for For $25 each, and we get back $75. So all in all, that upgrade would cost about $310.

So I know what you’re thinking, Justin, what about the TD17KV. It comes with the 12” snare, and the mesh toms already. Also that version of the TD17 module has Bluetooth! It doesn’t have the extra crash and cy13R, but overall it’s less work to just buy that one for $1200.

That’s the kind of situation is where things get confusing. For me, the difference between the upgrade price and the new drumset price is so close, that buying the upgrades makes more sense. If you bought those used upgrades, you don’t have to sell your set for $800 and then pay the $400 difference to get the TD17KV. So you save a ton of time right there, and you’ll get the better ride, and solid toms.

So in a dilemma THAT close I would just do the upgrades. I want to buy a different set when my vision for my ideal kit is just drastically different from what I have RIGHT NOW. For example. If I have a Alesis Surge mesh because I wanted to test the waters of drumming and make sure it was for me. But after a year I decide that I Really want to have better cymbals, a better module. Upgrading that drumset just doesn’t make any sense. The module purchase would be at least $500 if I wanted something much nicer, better cymbals are going to cost at least $100 each, and before you know it, the cost of upgrades is over 100% the cost of the original drumset. Upgrades are a death by a thousand cuts type of a thing. One new cymbal becomes two. A bigger snare leads to a nicer module. Before you know it, you have a mid range drumset with $2000 trapped in it after a few years.

So again, I tend to say, I’ve I’m thinking about spending half the cost of my set in new upgrades, I would stop and really think about just dumping the kit and buying something else. Go on eBay and capitalize on a different drummer that mindlessly upgraded everything without thinking.

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  1. AwesomeJoe1 on September 21, 2022 at 4:01 am

    Hi Justin, I recently got an alesis nitro for 210$ as well as a 10” mesh snare and 12” crash symbol. I really want a better hi hat like the alesis pro x, but I’m not sure if i should upgrade the module or just buy a new drum set. I’ve spent about 350ish dollars so far

  2. Naqata1998 on September 21, 2022 at 4:02 am

    Hey Justin I enjoyed your video! But I’ve seen something interesting yesterday, it’ called a millenium MPS 850 it looks really solid but the sounds are meh it costs only 520 euros and has 5 toms (snare 10′, 2 toms 8′ and the floor toms 10′) you also get 3 cymbals, 2 crashes and a ride. What is your oppinion about this drumset?

  3. Leo Treuherz on September 21, 2022 at 4:03 am

    Good morning, the pad of my td25kv does not sound as harmonious as in the other pad of shades 1 and 2, this with all standard settings, any hint of what it could be?

  4. Vdrum Tips on September 21, 2022 at 4:04 am

    Great topic! I would have to add: Do not upgrade TD-1K or TD-4KP sets. Also, an upgrade is always better than taking out a loan for a set. It could be a wiser choice to only spend what you have, bit by bit, instead of being in dept for another 12 months. I would like to see a video where you talk about going into debts because of a hobby (e-drums). Especially since you are living in the USA, the country where it is most common to do that. (In Europe it becomes popular now as well). Would love to know your opinion.

  5. Brian Hall on September 21, 2022 at 4:06 am

    This is sort of what I did. I had an old Rogers acoustic kit in pretty decent shape and knew that I both NEEDED to go electronic due to my living situation and WANTED to try edrums. I found an older Hart Dynamics Pro 6.4 drum kit with a Roland TD20 brain in perfect condition and I couldn’t be happier. I knew upgrading the acoustic kit was going to cost a ton of money between mesh heads, triggers, ecymbals, brain, etc. The cost of my new kit was almost a perfect wash after selling my acoustic kit (I did have to buy a new rack system, but I can keep that for whatever drum set I plan to use down the road. But, I’ve been selling off all of my cymbals and stands one-by-one and they should more than take care of the cost of the rack). Thanks for all your videos, Justin. They’re both educational and entertaining!

  6. Camst648 on September 21, 2022 at 4:06 am

    Great film :-). Lots of sound thoughts in it.

  7. Diego Noval Orduy on September 21, 2022 at 4:06 am

    Hello. I have a Roland TD4 and I want to upgrade to mesh pads and also add an extra cymbal. But being my Drum set 10 year old I don’t know if I should sell this one and get a new one ( with newer module) like the alesis surge. or if I should buy the mesh pads and the cymbals. Also If I buy alesis mesh pads (dual zone). Are they compatible with my Roland TD4 ?? Thanks

  8. Matthew Fraser on September 21, 2022 at 4:06 am

    I bought a TD8 a very long time ago, then when I was looking at upgrading that I got a TD20X module, better ride, snare & hi-hat but as the original pads and cymbals were all really good the only thing I didn’t want was the TD8 module. Since then I’ve added more cymbals so that now the TD20X is maxed out on inputs and what I’ve got will do me until I go back to an analogue kit which is my long term plan.
    So in my case because my first kit came with decent pads and cymbals I could re-use pretty much everything, even the rubbish pad that was the original hi-hat I now use as a fixed hi-hat / cowbell and it does a perfectly good job. The only other upgrade I’ve made recently is to get Superior Drummer 3 as the sounds from the TD20X just weren’t cutting it anymore. So in terms of spend, my upgrades cost probably twice what I spent on the original kit, but this was over a period of more than 10 years and as I have no plans to sell that doesn’t bother me as even when I eventually get an analogue kit I’ll keep this for practice during the more unsociable hours.

  9. PRIELA TV on September 21, 2022 at 4:08 am

    What do you think of FIELD electronic cymbals?

  10. Myotis Welwitschii on September 21, 2022 at 4:08 am

    I bought a 100$ Drumset. I already upgraded it with a 100$ Crash. Now I want to upgrade it more or should I just get a new one (Budget 1000bucks).

    Probably it is best to get a new one.

  11. Shane Kovach on September 21, 2022 at 4:09 am

    I have a question. I have a Roland with low and high end components, rubber pads one mesh, cheap hh, and an upgraded kick and 3 zone crash. I don’t want to spend a lot but I’m trying to upgrade to a new module because the one I have is like the td4. It’s super old. I am thinking the TD17 module. But I was looking at the 15 and 12 and 20. I’m not sure having a 17 would be worth it with older components. The 15 is about half the price of the 17. What are your thoughts?

  12. Roberto Cardona on September 21, 2022 at 4:10 am

    so, I just update my KD140 to the KD180 for my TD30, do I nail it?? or not…according to your experience, regards

  13. Andreas Jensen on September 21, 2022 at 4:10 am

    I can basically not upgrade my set then. I have a Roland td 3 I bought it used for 2600kr (450$ ish) and a cy 13 or 12 is 1200kr (200$) and a used Roland td 12 module is 2500kr (430$ ish)

  14. sylbean on September 21, 2022 at 4:11 am

    Hello sir first I would like to thanks you for all your video it help me a lot to take my decision. I just both my td 1 DMK and I would like to know if it is going to work ok when I will change the module for that td 17 ?? thanks for responding me


  15. memito castillo on September 21, 2022 at 4:14 am

    Can you update the hithat on the alesis nitro mesh? If so HOW!?!

  16. Marco Cruz on September 21, 2022 at 4:15 am

    You suggest to get used product off of the mentioned sources im guessing you never had an issue with used stuff, thou I have my doubts about getting stuff that could not last not to mention theres no warranty.

  17. ssyne on September 21, 2022 at 4:15 am

    just plug into some software and hit things, dont get caught in the its the gear fog, a yamaha dtx502 does the job, upgrading the software to perfect drums is cheaper better and more fun, than costly parts

  18. Samuel K on September 21, 2022 at 4:15 am

    Hey Justin, need you opinion on this.
    I have a TD-9kit with
    1 PDX-8 with a hole in mesh
    3 of those rubber toms
    VH-11: the piezo sometimes gets removed but I just super glue it back, hasn’t happened in a while.
    I was looking to upgrade the pads to pdx-12 for snare and pdx-8 for the toms. Now that I’ve seen your video, I was thinking I should just sell this (fixed up) and then buy the TD17KVX. What are you thoughts?
    If you think I should sell, how much should I sell for

  19. AbrasiveParty c on September 21, 2022 at 4:16 am

    Lol at scenario number 2. You explained my situation exactly lmao

  20. BR Guns on September 21, 2022 at 4:16 am

    Thank you for all your videos! That’s an awesome channel! All your opinions help me buying my first edrum since I leave in an apartment. I just bought a TD-17KVX based on your reviews! It is awesome by the way!

  21. Covers Con Pepa on September 21, 2022 at 4:17 am

    Hey Justin, a good link you should add to this video description is the one you did with compatibility of pads and modules between different brands. Or you could make a short update to that compatibility list and then link the longer video in the description. Just an idea, always looking forward to your videos!

  22. Tea on September 21, 2022 at 4:18 am

    I was thinking about that, i want a huge drum kit, i want to add like 3 cymbals and 2 pads for percusission but that will cost like 1000 dollars but there are like 300 drum sets

  23. John D Robinson electronic drums on September 21, 2022 at 4:20 am

    *A great video, Justin! If I was starting out as a new purchaser I would definately go for the second-hand market first and get a high-end kit for a knock-down price.*

  24. Lars Østerberg on September 21, 2022 at 4:24 am

    Bought a td11k, got a vh11 second hand hi-hat and used the cy5 as a splash. Then I bought triggers and meshheads for my old Pearl drumset from jobeky. A guy wanted to switch his old td20 module, I really liked the module, but is sounds really old. I recently sold the module and bought a drumit3. Great stuff! Last thing I have done is to replace the 2 cy8 from the roland with Yamaha pcy155. And the snaredrums bartrigger was not working good so I also replaced that with a 2box sidemounted trigger.
    I don’t wanna know how much money I used 🙂

  25. Aperture Sound Lab on September 21, 2022 at 4:24 am

    I got an Alesis forge for free. But the kick drum doesn’t respond as quickly as I wish it did. Plus there’s alot I want to upgrade. I like the strike pro bit it’s looking too expensive. Anything that’ll be as responsive? Or are Roland’s still the best? I’m torn on whether to just beat this thing around and deal with it (will never be able to respond at the level I’m capable of) or find something that’ll last and feel pro. 30 years drumming in jazz and funk bands. Just never owned an drum set. Very unsure of what’s a deal and whats not. is there a way to save money by just keeping the rack and upgrading all the other pieces.

  26. Drum Covers by Bill on September 21, 2022 at 4:24 am

    Great advice as always. Added major upgrades to my Alesis Crimson, and used all the left over pads/cymbals with splitters to expand the kit.

  27. Andrew Romero on September 21, 2022 at 4:24 am

    Can you upgrade the TD17 KV to the KVX by adding the high hat and 3 zone ride cymbal ?

  28. Gregory Francis on September 21, 2022 at 4:25 am

    So this applies up to a point. Nobody sells large ekits. If you want 3 up 2 down with 3 crashes, a couple of splashes, a ride, and a China you kind of don’t have a choice of buying a new kit. So it also depends on what kind of upgrade. Also, adding something like a SPDSX or a cow paddy is another item you can’t really count against the cost of the kit.

  29. haraz2 on September 21, 2022 at 4:28 am

    I mean i have an old 2008 drum i guess Buying a new set Would be bad probably…

  30. John DeF on September 21, 2022 at 4:31 am

    Started With a used td10 for $750. Got expansion card. Cy-15 and 2 cy12s. CY12H hihat. Added an Alesis Nitro module running into Mix In. Added 3 more crash cymbals. Built a 14 inch snare with Convertible Percussions trigger . Moved old snare to 2nd floor tom giving me 5 total toms. Also 3 pd7s for cowbell and other effects. Super fun to play and I still have about 6 unused inputs! Parts from all the big edrum companies, Roland, Alesis, Simmons, and Yamaha double bass pedal!☺

  31. Erik Van Beurden on September 21, 2022 at 4:31 am

    Hi Justin I bought the Roland td17kvx I upgraded with the 13 Diablo drum tech snare drum the 12 inch pad I now use as a floortom and the extra 8 inch pad next to the hi hat next upgrade will probably be a new drum module still waiting on reviews of the dw gewa module in comparison to the pearl mimic pro hope for a video from you about that topic

  32. PRIELA TV on September 21, 2022 at 4:32 am

    less and less kids these days are are showing interest in learning drums, guitars they have terrible musical tastes nowadays… and expensive instruments are not helping.

  33. PeteTheBassist on September 21, 2022 at 4:32 am

    he said it’s 11 oclock and it was :O

  34. Anonymous on September 21, 2022 at 4:34 am

    I dig guitar center. They make package deals and you can talk then down in price. It’s awesome.

  35. Joana Neto on September 21, 2022 at 4:35 am

    HELP! I’m going to buy an edrum, but I dont know which would be best: Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set

    Roland TD-11K V-Drum Set

  36. Ramon Key on September 21, 2022 at 4:39 am

    All great advice I just sold my td11 and bought a td27kv

  37. Clairvoyant81 on September 21, 2022 at 4:39 am

    Honestly, IMO, as long as your upgrades don’t require a new module and you’re buying quality pads, an upgrade is never a bad idea. Modules are ridiculously pricey, even used, so updating that quickly kills the point of any sensible upgrade. Other than that, a quality pad will remain a quality pad and will remain usable for "ages"… so if you have a use for a pad upgrade, that’s probably never a bad idea.
    Yes, all that is out of the window when you find someone desperate to sell his stuff.

  38. Terry Del Rio on September 21, 2022 at 4:41 am

    Are edrum pads interchangeable??? Not sure why I ask…you never reply.

  39. Moses Batin on September 21, 2022 at 4:42 am

    hey justin i always wanted to know does a drop clutch work on a Roland VH-11 or VH-13 love your vids keep up the good work!!!

  40. Justa Hasbeen on September 21, 2022 at 4:42 am

    I have been upgrading my kit for 10 years. Not one piece is original and most parts have been changed more than once. Good thing I didn’t spend the money on a new kit 😉

  41. Dennis Martensson on September 21, 2022 at 4:43 am

    Great video, Justin! Definitely, if there’s another kit that precisely matches what you would want out of an upgrade, then it’s probably always cheaper to just save up the money to buy the thing in one go. Other times, your ideal kit consists of many different parts from different vendors/brands, where simply buying the kit as a whole isn’t an option, but you need to buy each piece individually. Then it doesn’t matter if you upgrade it piece by piece or buy all of the separate parts in one go. (: I’m going that route atm, and I love being able to buy something small for my kit essentially every month or so!

  42. Hanover Green on September 21, 2022 at 4:44 am

    Great advice man. Thanks!

  43. Minsup Song on September 21, 2022 at 4:45 am

    This is also for people like me who are planning to buy a kit from nothing, outside of US.
    I was looking at Td1-kpx2 and planning to get that with additional cymbal. Then a moment later Td17-kvx came out. Since td17 is offering way better sound compared to td1, near double price seems worth paying.

    Then, should I have to get td1-kpx2 then upgrade module to td17 or should I just go get td17-kv?

    I’m living in South Korea,TD-17kv is at around 2000USD here. And the official Korean retailer is not selling td1-1kpx2 and td-17 module(separately) so I need to make purchase and ship it from abroad, this would cost me about 2000USD total, 1000 for kit, 450for module + custom tax and shipping. But you know what? td17 kit has better snare!

    If I could go for upgrading module on td1 thing, I could even upgrade the kit further one by one whenever I can afford it because td-17 module got the dual zone feature. Those two options should be matter of choice. But price tags in my country make Roland lineups between 1000~2000USD meaningless. And that much, used market got way to much old models with almost no downprice.

  44. James Murphy on September 21, 2022 at 4:46 am

    hey dude. could you Please do a vid. preferable with a td25 . suggesting what volumes to set each pad at for best live performance and include more about using the kit live and getting the best sounds

  45. Bishop Bautista on September 21, 2022 at 4:49 am

    Fantastic Video as always! Guys I’m gigging with an 80’s band that want me to start using E drums exclusively. I pulled out my old TD-3 and I got away with it with Superior Srummer 2 and didn’t have a lot of issues except the pads feel cheap. What’s the best drum module to use with SD2, so I’m not to concerned with the module sounds, just it’s sensitivity. Will I notice a big difference between using the td-17 module over the td-3? would that be a smart upgrade? Thanks!

  46. Lucas Jacks on September 21, 2022 at 4:49 am

    Cut off point? What’s a cut off point?

  47. BattlePandaBrian on September 21, 2022 at 4:51 am

    i originally got a td-17kv for 1200. i personally like bigger pads and a better snare on me kit so i ended up buying 2 PD-125bk for 200 each. so one is a snare and the other was set and tom 2 and i moved my pdx-12 to my floor tom. i bought a pdx-100 for 100 for my tom 1 cause i dont like the 8 inch heads on the pdx-8. bought 2 extra cy-8 with mounts for 80 bucks each. and got a VH-10 for 300. sold the pdx-8s for 100 each. then i got a ATV 16inch artist ride for 400. today i just got a tm-2 ($150) for my 2 extra cymbals. 1200+400+100+300-300+400+150= 2250 for a pretty boss ass kit. u can never really get what u want out of just 1 kit.. even if i got a td-30 out of the box i would still upgrade to bigger pads y would anyone want a 10 inch floor tom lol

  48. Fredrik Ottosson on September 21, 2022 at 4:53 am

    Is it a good idea to upgrade my td11kv with a pdx12 snare? The module does not have a preset for it but the pdx8 pad i have now as a snare is also two zone. Cheers from Sweden love your videos

  49. Nicholas Mills on September 21, 2022 at 4:58 am

    I’m a drummer in the UK and finding it hard to find any e-kits on any second hand website that is willing to ship to me but I am looking forward to buying a TD 17 KV and adding a CY 12 on to the kit as that is what I play acusticly with my band at the moment.

  50. Justin on September 21, 2022 at 4:59 am

    Hi justin! I have a question for you. I have an Ion drum rocker designed to be used with rock band. On guitar center’s website, it says this drum kit can be used as a regular electronic kit if connected to an alesis drum module. Is this true? If so, what modules are compatible?

    There’s a link to the description on guitar center’s website.

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