The Alesis Turbo Mesh and the Alesis Nitro Mesh are both capable entry-level electronic drum sets. The Nitro Mesh is a better kit overall and is also quite suitable for more experienced drummers that want a practice kit on a budget. Both offer excellent value for money.
Although both kits look quite similar and share a similar configuration, there are quite a few differences between them. We’re going to compare them in real terms to help you determine which one would be better for you.
Key differences between Alesis Turbo and Nitro Kit
- The volume of the kick pedal. Alesis Turbo kit has a trigger pedal which tends to be quieter than the kick tower on the Nitro kit.
- Expandability of the drum kit. The Nitro kit has two additional trigger inputs that you can use to expand your kit and add more cymbals or pads.
- The drum module on the Nitro kit is more advanced. The Nitro Drum Module comes with 385 sounds and 40 different kits, whereas the Turbo Drum Module has only 120 sounds and 10 different kits.
- The Nitro kit has a dual-zone snare while the Turbo Kit snare is single-zone. The Alesis Nitro kit supports both rim-shots and cross-sticking.
- Onboard recording is not available on the Alesis Turbo Drum Module. While the more expensive Nitro Drum Module does support onboard recording, unfortunately, the Turbo Drum Module does not.
- Of the two, the Nitro Drum has a better display. While not that important for some, the Nitro Drum Module comes with a backlit segment LCD, while the Turbo Drum Module is only 3-digit LED.
- Price. The Alesis Turbo Kit is generally less expensive.
Key similarities between Alesis Turbo and Nitro Kit
- Both of the kits have the same pads and cymbals configuration. The two drum kits have three 8” tom pads and 10” hi-hat, crash and ride cymbals.
- Ease of use. Both of the modules that come with the electronic drum kits are simple to use and beginner-friendly.
- The drum modules on both of the kits have metronome integrated. While very common, it’s good that even at a lower price point these electronic drum kits come with a metronome.
- The materials on the drum pads are mesh. Having mesh drum heads on beginner-friendly electronic drum kits is a very nice addition.
- Both of the kits come with practicing tools. Either one of the two drum modules has rhythmic exercises intended to improve your skills.
Pros of both drum kits
- Affordable: Both kits offer great value.
- They are compact: Both the Turbo and the Nitro drum kits are compact enough to fit almost anywhere in the apartment, small studio, or practice places.
- Good e-drum rack: All of the components on the Nitro Drum Kit are mounted on a four-post lightweight aluminum rack as opposed to the two-post rack on the Turbo Drum Kit. This makes up for easy assembly and storage.
- Good build quality: These kits are well made and although they don’t offer amazing triggering, they are very suitable for learning to play drums and for basic practice.
- Great for beginners and those looking for a practice kit on a budget.
- Good mesh heads: Mesh heads are thankfully becoming the norm for even entry-level kits, and snare and toms pads on each of these kits come with decent quality mesh heads.
Cons of both drum kits
- Rack height adjustability: One of the issues that might come up if you are a tall person is that the drums are not mounted high enough. In that case, you’ll need to find a DIY solution and mount the kit on a platform to ease the height issue.
- Relatively limited modules: Although they come with a decent amount of sounds, they are missing some more advanced features such as custom samples.
- Drum pads sensitivity: The trigger sensors in these drum kits are not as sensitive as the triggers in mid-range or higher-end e-drum kits.
Alesis Turbo – Price Comparison
Alesis Nitro – Price Comparison
Turbo vs Nitro Drum Module
The Turbo Drum Module, although very good value for beginner drummers, does not offer much variety to play different sounds and kits. It has only 120 sounds and 10 different kits which is three times fewer sounds and four times fewer kits than the Nitro Drum Module.
One of the key differences between the two kits is the drum module itself. The Nitro Drum Module is packed with more sounds and kits. It also has the capability of saving up to 15 user kits. Both of the modules have MIDI connectivity either through USB or the standard MIDI 5-pin connectors so you can connect them to your music production software.
As for the audio output of the kits, both have 2 main outputs so you can connect the drum kit to a PA system. You can also connect your headphones to both sets.
Among other things, one of the things that Alesis has done to cut the price down is that the drum module on the Turbo Kit is pretty limited regarding the sounds and kits you can play on it. So, if you need all those extra sounds, you will have to upgrade to the Nitro Drum Module as it offers so much more.
The biggest difference in the drum modules is that the Nitro Drum Module has 385 sounds and 40 different kits, while the Turbo Drum module has only 120 sounds and 10 kits. The Nitro Drum Module also can store up to 15 user kits.
The kick is one of the reasons people choose the Nitro Drum Kit. It comes with an 8” kick tower which is more responsive than the trigger pedal that the Turbo Drum Kit offers. However, the trigger pedal on the Turbo Mesh kit takes up less space and will be quieter to play with than the standalone kick tower.
Snare and Toms
While both kits mount their snare on the rack, the main difference is that the Nitro Drum Kit has an 8” dual-zone snare rather than the 8” single-zone snare that comes with the Turbo Drum Kit. This makes it so that the snare on the Nitro Drum Kit can support both rim shots and cross-sticking. The tom pads are the same 8” pads on both of the kits.
Both drum sets have mesh heads on them, which is one of the best options to have in an electronic drum kit. They are quiet and replaceable which means you may replace them as they become worn out. Tension membranes on the mesh heads can be tightened or loosened according to your play style, which in turn makes the drum more responsive and feel more like a real acoustic drum.
Both of the kits come with the same specs regarding the cymbal pads. They both have one 10” single-trigger ride cymbal and one 10” crash cymbal. The hi-hat is exactly the same and it’s controlled by an electronic hi-hat pedal which generally won’t give you the same feel as an acoustic-style hi-hat stand.
Some of the alternatives to the Nitro Drum Kit and Turbo Mesh Kit are the Donner DED-200, RockJam DDMESH 1000, and HXW SD-61-5. From the more well-known e-drum brands, the Yamaha DTX402K, as well as the Roland TD-1K are also suitable entry-level models, however, they have rubber heads whereas the Nitro kit uses more versatile mesh heads.
Is the Alesis Nitro worth it?
The Alesis Nitro Drum Kit is one of the best value-for-money electronic drum sets on the market. It has everything that a beginner drummer needs and most of the things that professional drummers need for practicing. It also includes a lot of different sounds and kits, so practicing won’t be boring.
What To Expect from These Drum Sets
Off the cuff, these electronic drum sets look very impressive. Tunable mesh heads, a kick-tower (in the Nitro drum kit) as well as a plethora of sounds and kits to play are all of the specs that you must love at these price points.
That being said, they do not have a lot of additional advanced features that you get in more professional electronic drum sets, but as a budget option, there are certainly enough features for the price.
If you are in the market for a budget-friendly electronic drum kit, Alesis has you covered. The Turbo Mesh kit is a budget-friendly product. So if you are looking for an affordable electronic drum kit the Turbo Mesh kit is the way to go. However, if you have a slightly higher budget, the Nitro Mesh kit’s improved functionality and drum module make it the obvious choice.
Images courtesy of Alesis.