Electronic drums have really evolved. Today you can easily get the best e-drum kit without any trouble. However, you will not be able to get the best from the set without an electronic drum amplifier.
So, it does matter to consider the best drum set brands like Roland, Yamaha, and Alesis. But that beautiful set will not be of much help if you don’t connect to the amp.
It is all about what you want people to hear outside your headphones. It comes out through the amp. This is vital, especially when you are performing live with your band team, or when rehearsing.
Sound has to come out clearly. And that is the work of the amplifier.
However, one thing is clear; amplifiers are not cheap. This true with most quality music instruments on the market include the best electronic drum sets. And I know you would want to spend your money on anything less than the best quality.
And electronic drum amplifier is the element of your e-drum set that helps in amplifying different sounds. It handles all ranges of sounds from the low pitch of a kick pad to cymbals and snare pads with high frequency.
Buying these vital items is not easy, though. But you don’t have to worry. I have put together a few ideas in my review you make work easier for you.
Do I need an electronic drum Amp?
As stated above, electronic drum sets don’t have their own sounds. They are drum accessories and simply pads, one which you hit, and the frequency is interpreted through the module. The output comes from here.
Some modules come with speakers, making them more portable. And if you don’t want to listen to these speakers, because they are often small, you use headphones.
But these options are useful during practice or live performance. People need to hear what you hear from the headphones.
And that is where amplifiers come in. They take your sound from the modules and convert into something people around you can hear.
In other words, electronic drum pads produce sound when hit. But it comes at a very high or low frequency that cannot be interpreted by the human ear. An amplifier amplifies these drums, converting the frequencies into something audible.
They are the most cost-effective means for sound amplification. Quality amplifiers may be a bit costly, but they are still a cheaper option for a PA system.
In most cases, you can get a quality e-drum amplifier at between $300 and $400. And to get a decent PA, you may be compelled to part with at least $700.
The manufacturer of electronic drum amps makes the product specifically for the drums. This is why they sound really good, compared to just any amplifier. Besides, the small price you pay for them makes it worth your investment.
Amplifiers are designed to cover all ranges of frequencies. They are different from a guitar amp, which mostly focuses on the mid frequencies only.
And this is why I would recommend you buy amplifiers specifically made for drums. If you get a keyboard amplifier, I can also serve your well as it is designed to cover a wide range of sounds too. Do not use guitar and bass drums.
Guitar amps, as stated above, most focus on mid frequencies. This can be applicable if you are only amplifying cymbals.
Most e-drums amps come with control knobs. You can use these features to EQ your sounds as you like. Even better, some come bearing extra input where you can connect other instruments.
What should you consider when buying electronic drum Amps?
Getting the right amplifier is key to making the best sounds from an e-drum kit. In my experience, you don’t need just any amplifier. You want your listener to feel like they have the best drummers.
This is true, especially for those who use acoustic drums. They find it very hard adjusting to the sounds, especially if the e-drum kit is not from the top-class.
Consider the following:
· Power output
How much power do you need? Where are you going to use the amplifier mostly?
For those who just want the amp for fun, to use it as a personal drum monitor at home, anything can do. But if you are performing on large arenas, you may have to dig deeper. It is not just you who need to get the best sounds, but your audience is counting on your delivery too.
And so, the last thing you want is an amplifier that does not have enough power to produce strong sounds.
But you may need an amplifier on a large stage too. Chances are a PA is already installed, and it will be doing all the amplification you need. And if you must have one, it does not have to very powerful.
In such situations above, the output of 50 to 100-watt amps with an XLR out will be just fine. It can give enough power to do what you need with many problems.
And when you are playing on a small-medium venue or practicing with your band buddies, a more powerful amp, like 200-watt amp, may be necessary. This device can amplify the electronic sound directly so your audience can enjoy the music.
How portable the devices are
One of the reasons drummers prefer electronic drum sets over traditional acoustic ones is portability. And if you aim to keep it that way, then you must be careful with weighing considerations in your amplifier choices.
Since it is best to bring an amplifier to any gigs or rehearsals, you don’t want something too heavy. Look for something that has all the features you need but still light enough. Consider also one with a handle or a grip for easy carrying.
EQ, and channels, among other features
You probably need to use all your drums pads and cymbal pads on the same devices. Hence, another important consideration should be the number of input and output channels on the amplifier. And you still need to confirm what kind they are. Otherwise, you will buy a great amp with wonderful ins and outs, but useless because they are compatible with the cables on your pads.
In most cases, you will get amplifiers with ¼ inch stereo output for the drums. Also, there are several with more than one aux port. These features are great because they let you connect different external devices at ones. You can, for instance, use percussion pads while listening through headphones at the same time.
Check the output channels of the device you want to buy. The most common one is the XLR line out. This line offer noise-free and well-balanced flow of signals. One connects this to a live console or a recording device.
Some amplifiers also feature multi-band EQ. This helps them adjust the sounds in the way they find best.
Also, look for extra features that make one device unique from the rest. This will help you enjoy using not only the amp but other elements on the set as well. It is all about bringing out the best sounds on your drums.
Last but not least, there are options like battery-power amps, slanted cabinets, CD/MP3 input that can add more life to your performance. They are instrumental when you want to jam with a song. Consider the availability of a headphone jack as well. It can help you want to practice silently or monitor the sounds with a closer ear.
The best Ten Electronic Drum Amplifiers
Now that you know you need an amplifier and how you should pick one, let us look at some of the top products on the market. I have picked the following ten amps because they are my favorites.
Roland is one of the best brands for drums. They are known for making the V drum, which features their e-drums, among other drumming products.
The Roland PM-200 is at the top of this list for a reason. It is designed perfectly to work with any V-kits. And I love playing V-drums. Also, it is compatible with any other brand of an electronic drum.
Carrying 180-watt power output, this amplifier is everything you will need to produce the best sounds. It can cover different frequencies, enabling you to get the greatest sound performance.
It comes with a hot tweeter and a 12-inch speaker, which produces the sounds.
It has a well-designed front, with a good angle that gives proper sound feedback. Hence, you can set it in any location that can still achieve the best output.
Also, it comes with a 1/8 inch and ¼ inch inputs. As such, you can connect any device to the monitor. A separate input is provided for combining the monitor with a range of V-kits.
It has two direct XLR outputs, volume, and bass/treble EQ controls for better performance.
The only limitation is perhaps its price.
I like the Ddrum DDA50 because it is simple, yet provides high-quality sound at such a low price. You will get a realistic sound with finely polished and nice outputs.
It comes with several controls, including volume and EQ. Also, it features a 10-inch subwoofer and a 2.5-inch tweeter.
The amp has three stereo ¼ inch inputs and outputs. You connect your devices to the MP3 and headphones jacks.
This amp can handle the highly transient nature of e-drums. It provides easy while ensuring sound quality does not change. It has a 3-band EQ for adjusting the base, mid, and bass.
The only limitation is its weight. I found it relatively heavy.
Roland continues to make the best electronic music devices. The Roland PM-100 is the younger brother of the PM-200. It has a premium 80W power output perfect for most e-drum sets.
It has the same features as the PM-200, only that it does not come with volume control.
It is good for home practice and small gigs. If you are looking to perform in a larger gig, I would suggest you look for another amp with higher power output. Or you can route the audio output of your e-drum through a public address system.
Generally, Roland has never disappointed in producing the best technology in the industry. They have always ensured every product that comes out serves its purpose. And the Roland PM-100 does exactly that. It is among the most affordable amps on the market, and you will never regret the price.
4. Simmons DA50
Simmons is not a new name to drumming and generally music instrument fans. Guitar Center sells the brand with affiliation to Musician’s Friend, Music & Arts, and Woodwind & Brass.
The DDA50 was designed to give beginners an easy use during their practice. Hence, it was primarily made for personal use. For this reason, I would not recommend you use it in a staged scenario for large gigs.
It comes with a large rubber volume, a feature that puts it among many other good amplifiers. It also has EQ knobs you can use to adjust your drumming needs.
The item comes with an eight-inch subwoofer and a two-inch tweeter. Its power output is 50W with one channel. It does not have any outputs.
Many owners agree that this amp is quite an application for practicing purposes. Some say it loud enough to use wit bandmates, but it depends on how loud the other instruments are.
You cannot use it for large gigs. It sounds excellent, yes, but not powerful enough to use on a large stage.
KA1 has been for sometime highest rated drum amplifier. It features excellent responsiveness and clean amplification. For monitoring electronic drums in a small setting such as rehearsals, this is a wonderful instrument.
The amp comes with 50-watt power output and two channels. It also has two ¼ jack for input and one 1/8 stereo headphone jack output. It has a 10-inch woofer and 2.5-inch tweeter with 20-20KHz response frequency.
One of the advantages of this amp is its sturdy construction. Also, it is loud enough, even at a low volume, with a wonderful response.
However, it may sound a bit thin with some users. But adjusting the EQ settings should improve this issue.
Generally, you can buy it for home practice. And its price is worth the investment.
This Chinese made amp sound pretty well. It comes with interesting features like Bluetooth connectivity for wireless playing.
It has a power output of the 100-watt amp, which is excellent for a mid-range performance environment. The package contains a 12-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter, two channels, two ¼ input, and on3 ¼ D.I output. You also get a 5-band EQ function with a one year warranty.
Its Bluetooth capability makes it a favorite choice for many. It is also excellent for sole practice as well as jamming with bands.
But many users feel it is more for beginners.
Verdict, it is a wonderful amp with all features for maximum enjoyment.
This is another beautiful amplifier for electronic drums. It comes with a 50 watt out, which is good for different environments. And better still, it comes with high-frequency drivers and a 3-channel mixer.
It comes with a jack output for connecting headphones and MP3 players. Weighing 14 pounds, it quite steady. It has heavy-duty steel to protect your speaker and tweeter.
I only don’t like the way it looks. You have to position it strategically to get the sounds. Also, the sound tends to crackle a bit.
This is one of the cheapest amps you can get on the market, retailing at less than $100. It is an Ultratone KT108 Ultra-compact amplifier than offers great sounds outputs.
It was originally made for the keyboard. But it can also work well with an e-drum.
It delivers high-quality and clear sounds. It is highly applicable for practice and small performances.
There are two channels, and independent volume controls with CD and headphone inputs.
But it is not powerful for large venues.
The Peavey 20 watt amp is another cheap amplifier. It comes with a small speaker carrying 20-watt amp output and an eight-inch extended range speaker.
Also, it has two separate channels, each carrying a two-band EQ. This will help you customize the bass and treble.
It is, however, only good for starters, and not large venues.
10. Roland PM 10
We all know how great Roland is. And their Roland PM-10 is a compact amplifier for smaller drum kits.
It is much smaller than the two discussed above. It has a 30-watt amp put with a ten-inch woofer and a 3-inch tweeter. Also, it features two-band EQ, but with limited options, compared to the PM-100 above.
Generally, it is a quality speaker with high output and heavy-duty woofer. But it is not very loud and does not produce the best sound.
The electronic drum amplifiers I have reviewed above are among the best on the market. And I like the Roland PM-100 Drum monitor more. Its versatility extends beyond expectations.