Alesis has been at the forefront of innovation in the musical instrument industry. The company has a great reputation in utilizing high-end technologies.
And I bet someone may have recommended the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit to you some time.
But it takes more than just a recommendation to trust even the most trusted brands. And this is why this review may be the only thing remaining for you to make a decision.
Or perhaps, you saw a friend playing it a thought, “man, I should know more about this gear!”
Whatever the case, I am here to talk about the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit. And I can tell you there is a lot of learning.
Why is Alesis Mesh Surge Mesh Kit so popular today?
One of the main reasons you will find this kit in every place you go is because of its price tag. The Surge series came into the market as the cheapest electronic mesh heads.
This gave it a huge advantage, especially since Alesis freely gave out the once elusive mesh heads. I say ‘free’ because, considering the price this gear was retailing at and its quality, you can never get such a deal anywhere else.
But there is much more to the kit than just the price. And I am sure you have lots of questions about it. So, come along, and let’s explore more together.
About Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
The Alesis Surge Mesh is one of the most recommended electronic drum kits for beginners. It features three tom pads, one snare pad, one kick pad, two cymbals, and hi-hat.
Hence, it carries everything a beginner needs to start their drumming journey. In total, it comes with eight pads and is a five-piece e-kit with mesh drum heads.
In other words, you can expect the best sounds with an excellent natural response. There is nothing more a drummer needs.
Besides, it ships with a great four-piece chrome rack.
In the box of Alesis Surge Mesh, you get:
- Ten-inch dual-zone snare.
- Three eight-inch dual-zone tom pads.
- Three ten-inch cymbals (one hi-hat, one ride, and one crash).
- Aux input. You can use it to connect external audio devices like a smartphone or an MP3 device.
- A Surge Drum Module. On it, there are 40 kits, 385 sounds, and 60 play-along sounds.
- A four-piece chrome rack.
- A drum key, cables, and power source.
The drum pads mesh material gives out a more natural feel.
Who is the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit for?
The Surge Mesh by Alesis is, without a doubt, an incredible piece. It is fit for drummers of all levels. However, it is better recommended for beginners because it lucks some features experienced and professional drummers need.
And for that reason, I would recommend it if you are looking for something that can give you more.
But for learning drumming, or silent rehearsals, this kit will give you excellent service.
Features of the Alesis Surge Mesh
This drum kit carries the best features for beginner through intermediate drummers. I can say it is exactly what the doctor prescribed for this level of drumming. It is a compact kit with plenty of useful features and comes at a great price.
Let’s dig into some of its features.
The Build and Drum pads
The Alesis Surge Mesh is an eight-piece kit that carries five drum pads and three cymbal pads. All the drum pads are mesh.
The snare has a measurement of 10-inches in diameter. The three toms, on the other hand, each has a 10-inch diameter.
I was most impressed with the fact that all the four drums feature dual-trigger zones. With this, you can play both the head and rim. This is a very commendable feature because you will not easily find such features at such a price.
Also, this kick tower has an eight-inch pad. And even though it comes with a small footprint, it feels quite strong if you attach the Alesis bass metal bass (attached). And it is this reassuring sturdiness level that makes it a plus. This is not something you find every day.
I cannot emphasize enough the quality of sound mesh heads produces. And that is what you should expect from this kit. And the fact that it comes at a very affordable price makes it an incredible choice altogether.
Does that mean we should expect a feel like you would from acoustic drum heads? Not at all.
Note that acoustic drum heads are crafted from Mylar, which is some type of plastic. Electronic drum pads, on the other hand, feature either rubber of mesh.
For this reason, these two types will never sound the same. There feel is very different.
We all love the sound of acoustic drum heads, right? Well, modern electronic drum heads are constructed to feel almost the same. And mesh heads are the closest e-kits can come to acoustic drums.
Thus, everyone seems focused on getting the electronic drum kits that feature mesh pads.
Besides, mesh heads are extensively tunable. You can adjust them until they sound like acoustic heads. The Alesis Surge Mesh, for instance, comes with tiny lugs on the rims of the snare and toms. This enables you to tighten them as you wish.
This is a big advantage of using mesh heads. Even though they will still not sound like the traditional drums, you can enjoy the sumptuous feel they offer.
I am assuming that you want to upgrade yourself to an acoustic drum set someday. Sometimes, transitioning becomes very hard if you have not been using the right e-drum heads.
And this is another huge plus on the Surge Mesh Kit. Once you get used to its feel, you will transition more naturally to a more expensive e-kit or a natural acoustic set.
This kit comes with three excellently build cymbals. Each measures ten inches in diameter, which is a standard size for electronic cymbal pads.
But it is not still the best size. Professional drummers will find them too small. Some cymbals measure up to 15-inches, which is a pretty huge difference.
In other words, these may not be the cymbals you could be expecting. At such a price, there is nothing much to expect.
Also, cymbals have a single trigger zone each. Unlike the snare and the tom, this does not give you much space to create different sounds. You can only achieve head playing; hence, don’t be too excited thinking you will achieve any separate crash or ride bell tune.
Despite being so, I think you will be glad to know the cymbals are chokeable. And you will appreciate Alesis for this.
Most electronic drum cymbals don’t sound so natural. And especially if they are as small as the ones with this kit, you should not expect a lot from them.
However, Alesis is always trying to drummers of all levels features that fit their needs. And that is why I am sure a beginner or intermediate drummer will not have an issue.
One thing I must highly commend Alesis for is the quality of their hardware. Also, because they include the most important hardware, which you will not always find with other brands.
Alesis used a four-post chrome rack in this kit. And you will enjoy the fact that it is quite easy to assemble.
But I wish Alesis included the slotted poles like they do with more expensive kits.
Nevertheless, the rack is greatly applicable. It does a great task of holding and ensuring everything stays in place.
You will also need to ensure everything is securely tightened before you begin playing. No one wants to see their investments go to waste because of a simple mistake.
This kit features the sound module of the Surge series. It looks more or less like the one you get on the Nitro model. Only the Surge Mesh sound module is improved to work with the upgraded kit.
This module features a six-centimeter LCD screen. This feature makes it easy for you to navigate the system. Also, the page navigation systems on the screen make things even easier.
Besides, the screen lights up when your sticks land on each pad. This offers a pretty impressive display you will enjoy while playing.
Also, the module allows for easy switching between instruments and other settings.
There are 40 kits on this module, which are divided into 24 presets and 16 user kits. As if that is not enough, Alesis has included 385 unique sounds feature drums and percussion sounds. There are also incredible sound effects, like DJ scratches and so on.
The modules come with 60 onboard songs you can play along as you learn new skills. They are a great encouragement for practicing drummers.
Another feature you will love is the connectivity this device offers. It comes with several jacks and inputs. There is, or instance, the mini-jack headphone out, an aux-in, and MIDI/USB inputs and outputs.
This means you can use this module with your headphones of an amplifier for more improved performance. The USB connection allows the user to connect with other external devices.
This module looks like a metronome. It is, therefore, highly compact and portable.
I cannot forget to mention that Alesis has included a 25-pin cable loom for connection to the kit. Also, you will find two more inputs: one for and another cymbal and the other for an extra tom.
This means you have a wide room to expand your kit.
In a nutshell, the Surge Module is pretty basic but functional. Its simplicity and applicability are perfectly designed for beginners. It is all about having something that holds water.
- The Alesis Surge Mesh comes with pretty impressive sound quality.
- The most affordable mesh heads
- More acoustic feeling. The mesh heads can be adjusted appropriately.
- It comes with everything you need to start playing right from the box.
- Quiet mesh heads. This means you can practice in an apartment building without disturbing everyone.
- The kick pedal has a to stop that protrudes about 2-inches from the top deck. This can be challenging for people with huge feet since they cannot rest them well on the deck.
Well, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is a great beginner Kit. You may not need another.
Anyway, you may still not be convinced this is the right kit for you. In that case, there are a few alternatives you may wish to check out.
You may be wondering which the best between the Surge Mesh and the Nitro. These two kits are pretty much similar.
For instance, there is no difference in the sound module looks and functions. It is only the names they differ, but everything else is the same.
Nevertheless, there are also a few notable features. The Surge Mesh comes with a chrome rack, whereas the Nitro has an aluminum rack.
Chrome appears more professional than aluminum. This means it provides more stage comfort, which what every drummer needs anyway.
The Nitro is, however, a better and cheaper option for practice and rehearsal.
The Alesis Nitro non-mesh version can accommodate a double bass pedal. So, you can still get a great deal out of the Alesis Nitro.
Also, Alesis Nitro is much cheaper. If you are not ready to invest in a more advanced kit yet, this might be a great choice.
If you are looking to take a step higher, then I would recommend you check out the Roland TD-17KVX. It is not far in price and functionality as the Roland TD-25KV.
Even though it costs more, you can be sure your investment is going in a worthy use.
My overall verdict
Alesis is one of the best companies for electronic drum sets. They also focus on reaching every drummer by offering highly affordable drum sets.
I have always been fun or most Alesis products. But I was never sure about the e-drum drums, especially considering how cheap they all seem.
But then, they have started making a lot of incredible products.
And in Surge Mesh kit, I highly commend the use of mesh heads.
High-end and more e-drum kits from Roland and Yamaha use mesh heads. This makes them sound better than classic rubber.
And this is why the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit sounds wonderful. It will allow you to use a double bass pedal, giving you more extended features.
You will not get another electronic drum set with such features at this price range. The modules have a training mode for beginners.
It is also very convenient for silent practice. You set it anywhere and enjoy a quiet session.
Based on this, I would highly recommend for beginners and mid-range drummers. But it will not help much in professional drumming.
What others say about it
I went only trying to see if there are more fans for this kit. And here are a few.
Can you expand the sound of your Mesh Alesis?
Yes. You can easily expand the sounds of your drummers using a Virtual Studio Technology (VTS) Plugins. The drum VTS plugins software like EZ drummer will help you get more sounds.
You will also need music production software like Pro Tools, or a DAW.
Well, now I think you are ready to make a more informed decision. The Alesis Surge mesh is a pretty impressive electronic drum set for entry-level players. You can also use it for more serious work, like recording, but you will need plugins.