Roland vs. Yamaha for Electronic Drums – Which are Better?

Roland and Yamaha are two of the best brands for electronic drums. The main differences between the two brands are their drum heads (mesh vs silicone) and the sounds that their drum modules produce. Both of these are very much a matter of preference.

Roland has been pushing heavily in recent years with many electronic drum set releases across all product ranges, while Yamaha has been putting their foot off the gas a little with their e-drum product releases.

High-Level Comparisons Between Roland and Yamaha

Here are some of the differences and similarities between the two brands.

  • Price range. Roland and Yamaha have e-drum kits in almost every price range on the market; the high-end kits by Roland tend to be more expensive.
  • Build quality. Roland’s known for their build quality and durability, but Yamaha is not far away. E-drum kits from both companies proved to be very durable over the years.
  • Drum pads. Yamaha’s best pads are silicone drum pads. Roland’s best pads are mesh heads. Both brands still use rubber heads for some of their lower-end kits.
  • Playability. You won’t be disappointed with any of the e-drums by Roland and Yamaha regarding playability and sounds, though the current flagship kits from Roland come out on top in my opinion. The entry-level kits from both brands don’t offer great value in comparison to the budget brands, but they tend to have the best build quality.
  • Sound quality. Some people prefer the sound of Roland’s module, others love Yamahas. In recent years, I think Roland’s is starting to sound better on their higher-end kits. That said, strangely, good drum vsts sound better than almost everything that Roland and Yamha are coming out with. If you have a good kit with MIDI connectivity, you can get some of the best e-drum sounds available using drum plugins.

Which Electronic Drum Kit Is The Best?

Roland’s flagship models, the TD-50KV2 V-Drums and the VAD706 V-Drums Acoustic Design, and Yamaha’s flagship DTX10 Series are among the best e-drum kits on the market right now. But when it comes to which one is the best for you and which one suits your needs best, you would have to decide that by yourself.

Of the three kits, the VAD706 has the best stage presence, therefore, it would be my first pick if I played a lot of live performances. The TD-50KV2 has a smaller footprint and is great for portability and smaller spaces. It also works great in a studio. Lastly, the DTX10 Series is somewhere in between regarding looks and portability but it also has some advantages over both of Roland’s e-drum kits.

One thing to note about these flagship models is that Roland’s tend to cost much more than the Yamaha DTX10 Series.

Which Brand Offers Better Beginner Electronic Drums?

Both Yamaha and Roland have budget-friendly options for beginners. It can be tricky when you shop for their lower-end e-drum kits as there is a lot to be mindful of. Generally, Roland’s budget-friendly e-drum kits have great build quality but Yamaha’s have more features and better value overall.

Also, if you are looking for a budget-friendly electronic drum, I would suggest that you also look at some other brands, such as Alesis, as they generally offer better value for lower-priced e-drum kits.

Why Are Roland Drums So Expensive?

When it comes to Roland’s e-drum kits, without a doubt, you are paying a premium price for a premium product. Roland also has a lot invested in R&D, quality control, and their whole manufacturing process. Since they are leaders in different e-drum technologies, such as their newest sensor technology, they tend to command the prices for their e-drum kits.

Are Expensive E-drum Kits Worth It?

That depends on how serious you are as a drummer. If you are someone who is already a professional and plays a lot of live performances, or maybe you record a lot in the studio, then expensive electronic drums are worth every penny. However, if you’re going to spend a lot of money on e-drums, then try to at least get a mid-range kit so that you get some good features and playability out of it.

More About Roland vs Yamaha

Roland was founded in 1972 in Japan. They have been advancing e-drum technology since then and have been the top brand for e-drum kits for a long time. Many professional players swear by their Roland e-drum kits and don’t even want to try other brands. Roland recently acquired DW Drums, which means they are stronger than ever.

Yamaha, on the other hand, has been in the music industry for a lot longer than that. Founded in 1887, they have way more experience in the industry. Yamaha created their first e-drum kit, the “incredibly futuristic” PMC-1 kit, in 1986. Since then, they have had a lot of mid-range to high-end e-drum kits available.

Conclusion

In short, there is no clear winner when it comes to deciding which brand is the best. Roland and Yamaha are both reputable brands for e-drums, so it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. However, I think when it comes to the high-end kits, Roland is currently coming out with the best. Alesis is also a brand worth considering, as they offer great value for lower-priced e-drum kits.

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Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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