Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Review – Are The Mesh Heads Worth It?

8.3

Value for money

10.0/10

Features

7.5/10

Playability

8.0/10

Sound quality

7.5/10

Pros

  • The mesh heads are great for a set in this price range
  • Good quality drum module
  • Very suitable for beginners and intermediates

Cons

  • The mesh heads are smaller than more expensive kits, but they are still playable
  • Rack adjustability

Alesis have become a real contender in the electronic drum set market. They have introduced numerous popular kits aimed at low to mid price points in recent years. The company is now continuing the very popular Nitro series, with the new Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit.

I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Alesis Nitro Series. As noted in our original Alesis Nitro kit review, I expected it to be low quality before actually trying it in person.

The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit is quite similar to the standard Nitro kit. However, it comes with a big upgrade: the use of mesh heads instead of rubber ones for the snare and tom pads.

The Alesis Nitro Mesh is not far off the price range of the Nitro Kit. So it’s still a very affordable instrument.

Similar Electronic Drum Sets to the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit

The mesh head version of the Alesis Nitro Kit
The Alesis Nitro Kit with rubber heads
A previous generation version of the Alesis Nitro Kit

Key Features of the Nitro Mesh Kit

The new Alesis Nitro Mesh set comes with a familiar overall design:

alesis-nitro-mesh-kit
Image courtesy of Alesis

Tunable Mesh Heads

One of the most important novelties that come with this kit are the new heads for the snare and tom heads.

Please keep in mind that the kick pad is still made of rubber. However, that’s not a major surprise. Also the cymbals are still made of rubber, which even very common in high-end all-mesh electronic drum sets.

These heads include a more natural feel to cheaper rubber heads. They are also tunable, which means that you can customize rebound and sensitivity. This is very much a matter of preference for drummers, so it’s great to have the option to tweak it how you want.

nitro-mesh-head
Mesh heads contain woven fibers and sensors. They feel much more like a regular drum head than rubber heads. They are also tunable, to allow for changes to the feel of the rebound.

These heads are also quiet, which is a great benefit when practicing in a house or apartment.

These mesh heads are actually quite similar to the heads on higher end Alesis products. However, the main difference is that the pads are smaller than high-end mesh pads. Though, they’re still very playable.

Hardware

alesis-nitro-mesh-kit-side

There are eight drumming elements, including drum pads, kick pad, and cymbal pads.

There is an 8” dual-trigger snare and 3 single zone tom pads (also 8-inches in diameter). These are not massive pads, but they’re still pretty easy to play on.

The cymbal section consists of three familiar pads – crash cymbal with choke, hi-hat, and ride cymbal. The hi-hat comes with reasonable foot control. It doesn’t use an actual hi-hat stand, but you could really expect that with a kit in this price range.

All three cymbals feature 10 inches in diameter.

These are all mounted on a four-post aluminum stack.

Finally, the kick tower (thankfully) allows you to use a bass drum pedal. I think this is a much better option than kits that have a simple foot-switch kick.

The kit usually comes with drumsticks. Though if you’re serious about drumming, I’d recommend investing a few bucks in high-quality ones.

Software

This kit uses the same Nitro module. So you will know what to expect if you’ve already tried out the Alesis Nitro kit.

It’s a decent module. It’s easy to use and allows for easy drum kit switching and recording.

It has preset songs that allow you to drum along to. The module is MIDI compatible, which enables you to connect the kit to your computer for external sample triggering and recording. You can connect the kit to a PA or amplifier for gigs and practice.

Recording

Most electronic drum kits include recording feature and this one is not an exception. Moreover, there are actually three ways of recording with this unit.

The first way would be the simplest one. Just hit the “rec” button on your module and record your playing. Though you can’t export sounds caught in this way, it is a great tool for listening to your playing, hearing mistakes etc.

The second method would be via audio output. Just connect the module with some recording device and you’ll get pretty decent sound quality. It is a very simple method. Even your smartphone could work.

Finally, there is a good old MIDI conversion. This module offers a lot of connectivity, so you can use either MIDI in/out or USB port. Just find some recording software and use your electronic drums as MIDI triggers.

Practicality Aspects

All these specs sound very nice, but let’s go through some common practicality issues:

How loud is this kit?

Considering that this kit is designed primarily for home practicing, one of the most important issues is loudness. Fortunately, the mesh heads which are pretty quiet.

Is this drum kit suitable for kids?

Simply said, yes. This is a budget kit and designers from Alesis appreciate the fact that most beginners are youngsters. Pretty much all kids over seven years should be able to play this kit, especially if we consider that drumming pads are adjustable.

The only potential issue would be reaching foot pedals, but that‘s the problem that all young drummers need to deal with, no matter the drum kit.

Storage

The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit is quite compact, including the aluminum racks and foot pedals. So, you shouldn’t have any problems storing it. It can also be collapsed in and stored in a corner of the room while not in use.

Is the Kick Pad big enough for double bass pedals?

In general, two beaters from double kick pedals should be able to fit. This depends on your model of double bass drum pedal. Please keep in mind, that you might not get as much sensitivity from your hits, as the beaters will be further towards the edge of the pad.

best_electronic_drum_sets

Final Verdict

The Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Set belongs to the budget class of electronic drum kits. It delivers very decent quality with some much-improved mesh head surfaces compared to previous models.

Of course, it probably won’t satisfy the needs of very advanced players, apart from their basic practicing. However, these players usually prefer far more expensive kits.

All in all, it’s another move from Alesis to make quality electronic drum sets much more attainable for beginner and intermediate players.

Mesh heads are by far the material of choice compared to rubber heads. If you have the option of picking either the Alesis Nitro Kit or the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, I’d go with the mesh version!

alesis-nitro-mesh-kit

 

Images courtesy of Alesis

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