We recently got to try out the HXW SD61-2 (Avatar), which is a compact, entry-level electronic drum set with a mesh snare head. After many hours of playing, this is our honest review.
We received this electronic drum set as a free sample from HXW, but all opinions are our own!
HXW SD61-2 (Avatar)
- Affordable price. This is a good option for those on a low budget.
- Compact and easy to set up.
- Drum module is very easy to use.
- Good dual mesh head for the snare.
- Nice kick drum controller and pedal
- The compact rack means lower potential for adjustability
- Rubber heads on toms
HXW is quite a popular brand of electronic drums in the Asian market. They also release e-drums under the brand name ‘Avatar’. Their offerings range from beginner models to advanced kits. They have only recently started to hit the American market.
This electronic drum set is a pretty decent contender in the budget, entry-level space. You can’t expect high-end features, but it includes everything you need to get started!
I’ve had some fun playing on this kit. I particularly like the first preset as the kit has a nice and punchy sound and it sounds nice through headphones or when using an amplifier.
Check out my video review of this below:
Overview of the SD61-2
I unpacked and assembled this kit in about 15 minutes. It’s quite compact and easy to put together on the included drum rack.
The contents of the set and my verdict of them:
A mesh snare pad: This is an eight-inch dual-zone mesh pad. I was pretty surprised with this one. It’s quite a good pad, with decent dynamics and responds accurately to strikes. As long as the sensitivity settings are high enough, this pad is good as detecting subtle hits (see the drum module section for more information).
3 rubber tom pads: The tom pads are 7.5” single zone rubber pads. They’re pretty well put together and respond as you would expect. The dynamic range is also pretty decent for a beginner kit here. They’re not as good as the mesh head but they perform fine.
3 cymbal pads: Hi-hat, crash, and ride pad. The crash and ride have choke features that work quite nicely. The hi-hat also has a stand-alone hi-hat pedal which is responsive.
A quiet kick pad and kick pedal (similar in design to the Alesis Stealth kick pad or the Roland KD-7). I really like the design of these type of pads for single bass drum pedals.
Drum module: The module contains all the essential elements of an entry-level electronic drum set. We’ll go into more details about that in the next section.
Drum rack: This kit uses a three-post rack, which is compact, while still effectively fitting all the components in their correct places. It is easy to put together and it’s quite stable.
The drum module contains the essential elements and it’s very easy to quickly figure out. You can use the + and – buttons to switch between 15 different kits, which range between acoustic sound drums, classic electronic drums, and other percussion sounds.
The module contains a single audio output for drum headphones or an external drum amplifier.
The module also includes a metronome so you can learn to play in time.
MIDI connectivity over USB. You can trigger and record external sounds to software on your computer by MIDI (e.g. using a drum VST such as EZDrummer).
There is an AUX input where you can play along to music that you like. You could use songs from your phone, or even download drumless backing tracks to play along to.
You can also press the Record button to record your playing, then you can playback and hear how you sounded. Recording yourself is a fantastic tool to improve your drumming, as it’s a great way to pinpoint areas for improvement in your playing.
Tip! Pad volume and sensitivity settings: I admittedly missed these settings until I read the instructions! Clicking and holding on the multi button for 2 seconds will allow you to change the volume for each pad. Pressing the drum button again will then allow you to change the sensitivity of each pad. If you want to play quietly then I’d recommend that you change the triggering parameter to 10 (most sensitive) so that it can detect more subtle strokes.
Affordable price. This is a good option for those on a low budget.
Compact and easy to set up. The instructions are very easy to follow and I had it set up in no time.
Drum module is very easy to use. It’s easy to switch between kits and use the features of the kit.
Good dual mesh head for the snare.
The cymbal choke is quite good
The compact rack means lower potential for adjustability, which should be of note for tall drummers. This is also a similar issue for most kits in this price range.
Rubber heads for the toms.
How loud is this kit?
The tapping of the kit is pretty quiet. The volume on headphones or amplifier are certainly loud enough (and can be made quieter using the volume knob on the drum module). The HXW SD61-2 a pretty quiet kick pad (the kick tower can often be the noisiest part of an electronic drum set) and the mesh snare is a bit quieter than the rubber toms.
No electronic drum set is completely silent, but this one is similar in volume to it’s competitors.
Can I hook an amp or headphones to this kit?
The drum module has an audio output where you can hook in electronic drum headphones or an electronic drum amplifier.
The HXW/Avatar brand
The company was established in 2011 and has become a relatively mature manufacturer of e-drums for the Asian market. They have a range of products, including the more advanced dual face series and spirit series, as well as other drum accessories.
Is it suitable for beginners?
This kit is particularly suitable for entry-level players and it is quite an affordable one. However, advanced players should invest more in a set with more features.
After playing this kit, I think it competes well with other entry-level electronic drum sets in its price range.
It’s a fun kit to play on and the mesh snare certainly improves the experience of it. Having rubber tom heads can be a bit of a downside but for a kit in this price-range, it’s still doing a good job.
It’s great to try out electronic drum sets from other manufacturers. We’re also looking forward to HXW exporting some more of their higher-end ranges in future!
6 thoughts on “HXW SD61-2 (Avatar) – Our Honest Review”
Thanks for the review and video. It was very helpful.
This kit will be perfect for my small apartment.
I do have a couple of questions.
Can you edit the drum sounds in any way? Add any effects?
This would be helpful to know.
Hi, glad you found it helpful! It’s a very basic drum module, you can’t change the drum sounds or add effects on the drum module. (You can just change volumes and sensitivity). Though it has MIDI out, so you could connect it to a computer and trigger external drum libraries however way you want if you wanted to go down that route, though it adds a bit of complexity.
Is there a step by step guide to starting your SD201 drum set by AVATAR ?
Hi Gerald, you can find the installation manual and user manual for the SD201 on the HXW website here: http://www.hxw-music.com/col.jsp?id=114 – I haven’t played the SD201 kit yet so I can’t offer any specifics on the setup of it. Probably the most confusing part to assemble on the SD201 is the drum rack… everything else should be straight forward enough.
Hi, and thanks for the review !
I’m a complete beginner with electronic music, so I have a question :
Can I somehow replace an amp/headphones with a computer using the MIDI output ?
Hi Ben – I’ve written a detailed guide on how to do this here: https://www.electronicdrumadvisor.com/record-electronic-drums/ – just scroll to the MIDI section. With The SD61-2 you would use a USB-A to USB-B cable for this and connect it to your computer. If you have an old printer lying around your house, you might already have one of these cables!