Yamaha is one of the most well respected drum brands on the market. They are most widely known for their contributions to the acoustic drum set market where they produce kits for all levels of players, from beginners to professionals. Along with acoustic sets, Yamaha also produces a line of electronic drum sets with a wide range of features to suit individual needs.
The DTX-562K is just one of Yamaha’s DTX-500 series of electronic drum sets. This series is aimed at players above the beginner level and below professional level. There are many features on this kit that appear on more higher-end drum sets, such as a free-standing hi-hat and mesh drum heads. The high quality material used and the advanced technology sounds like it might command a higher price as well – read on to see if that’s true!
Yamaha DTX-562K 5-Piece Electronic Drum Set Review
A solid mid-level drum kit
The DTX-562K comes with four drum pads which are 7-8 inches in diameter. At 8 inches, the snare is the biggest of all the pads and features Yamaha mesh drum heads. This drum has triggers under the drum head and also on the rim. This means you can get a variety of typical snare sounds depending on where you strike. The other three pads are designated as tom pads. They are each 7 inches in diameter. These pads are on the smaller size when it comes to certain competitors. On the plus side, you will find it easier to store a smaller drum set like this. The negative is that perhaps the playing area of each pad feels a little cramped. Some players prefer a smaller playing area and others don’t – it really comes down to individual taste.
The bass drum tower consists of a gum rubber pad. There is no mesh here. This tower can be connected to any standard bass drum pedal, single or double, to allow for a solid playing foundation. The tower itself is well built and easy to hook up and play on.
The DTX-562K comes with a sturdy Yamaha drum rack. This rack sets up with the minimum of fuss to hold and support each pad and cymbal. The rack is strong enough to hold each component with ease and is surprisingly light when it comes to transportation. Both toms and snare are secured to the rack with adjustable holders. In the case of the snare, there is a ball-joint to ensure maximum mobility.
There are three cymbals with the DTX-652K and they are all made from a gum rubber material. The benefit of this material is that it makes for conveniently quiet playing while at the same time offering a nice springy surface. The sound produced from the pads alone is extremely quiet. The hi-hats can be mounted onto their own hi-hat stand which has been provided by Yamaha. This hi-hat pad is designed to look and play like a real regular acoustic hi-hat. Using a clutch you can secure the top pad to the hi-hat stand. There are sensors inside the pads which allow the DTX-502 drum module to determine which position the hi-hat is in. Pressing on the hi-hat pedal will trigger a different sample on the DTX-502 to be played. This allows for a realistic simulation of acoustic hi-hat playing. The sensors work so as to allow the hi-hat to be played in a number of positions from fully open to tightly closed. You can even perform hi-hat heel splashes with this setup.
Setting up the DTX-562K for the first time is relatively straightforward. Once you have built the drum rack you can go about adding the tom and snare pads in the position of your choice. Whether you prefer to play left handed or right handed it’s easy to get each pad in the position that suits you best. The DTX-502 drum module can be placed just beside the hi-hat for ease of use. Like the drum pads, the cymbal pads can be repositioned on the
stands to make them easier to reach and play. One minor criticism here is that the cymbal arms are not of the boom type, so angling the pads is slightly limited.
The bass drum tower can easily be repositioned as it is not fastened to any part of the drum rack. This tower is solid and steady and has adjustable spikes underneath to help grip onto any surface such as a carpet or a drum mat. Each pad must be connected to the DTX-502 drum module so as to enable triggering. All cables are supplied and are long enough in length to reach the drum module comfortably, whatever your setup.
Moving onto the the other two cymbal pads and it may not surprise you to learn that these are designed to function as a ride and a crash. They have the same stick response as the hi-hat pad and come with technology that allows them to be choked. By simply grabbing the outer edge of each cymbal you can instantly mute the sound, much like playing on a real acoustic cymbal. The ride pad has a prominent bell which can be used to trigger alternative samples.
The DTX-502 drum module has lots of innovative features that make for a more enjoyable playing experience. When it comes to the sounds onboard, Yamaha have taken their lead from their wide range of acoustic drum sets already on the market. Lots of well-known models have been painstakingly sampled at varying degrees of volume. There are Yamaha kits made from all types of wood including birch to maple and much more. Also on the DTX-502 module is a fine selection of cymbal and hihat types to choose from. Like the drum samples, each cymbal sample has been played and sampled at different levels so as to work in conjunction with the trigger pads. Depending on how hard you strike each pad or cymbal, you will trigger a different onboard sample.
The reaction time is impressive and there is virtually no lag whatsoever, making this kit enjoyably playable. The DTX-502 module is capable of playing 64 voices at once, so there is no need to worry about any sample dropout. In total there are 691 sounds on the module ranging from acoustic drums to electric drums to world percussion and even a few novelty sounds.
Should you wish to mix and match, the DTX-502 allows for custom kit creation. Simply select the desired sound that you want for each pad and then save the kit into one of the preset banks. Effects can also be added to your kits along with the ability to pitch up and down each sample sound.
This video gives an overview of the Yamaha DTX-562K:
There’s no doubt that mesh heads on an electronic drum set are a welcome addition. The feel is unparalleled with cheaper rubber-style pads and they also offer a reduction in room noise. This is worth considering if you intend on practicing in shared accommodation or an apartment without great noise insulation. During the process of making these pads, Yamaha consulted with some of the world’s top drummers to get opinions of how each pad should respond. The result is an impressive set of tom pads and a slightly larger snare pad.
The hihat on the DTX-562K is another plus point that will appeal to experienced kit drummers. It’s surprising how many electronic drum sets fail to include a hihat mounted to a
stand. The reason, for the most part, is that it is far cheaper to include a free-floating hihat pedal without the stand. Such pedals are lightweight, cheap to make and easily configured. Unfortunately they lack the realism and playability of stand-mounted hihats. If you appreciate the nuances and subtleties of hihat playing then this feature will be music to your ears. Alternatively if you’re not too fussed about the hihat then have a look at the other models in this series by Yamaha such as the DTX-522K.
The DTX-502 drum module has a couple of features that will keep most drummers busy for a long time. There are tempo training exercises which are specifically designed to improve your internal clock. Yamaha has included a bunch of play along songs too. These songs range in style allowing the user to practice exotic rhythmic patterns. Should you wish to add in your own songs, you can too. The DTX-502 module supports MIDI and will play back any files you wish to load onto the device. Once you have imported the files you can choose to disable instruments and play with or without an accompanying click track.
The module also supports audio wave importing. This means you can record your own sounds and add them to your collection. If you are familiar with DAW’s and audio sampling you’ll know that it is possible to purchase high quality drum samples for this very purpose. Importing the samples is relatively easy, and once imported you have control over them in the very same way as the onboard sounds.
Speaking of DAW’s (digital audio workstations), you can connect the DTX-502 module to pretty much any DAW on the market. Once connected, you can play the DTX-562K as a MIDI kit controller. Recording in MIDI is extremely useful and allows for so much post-editing. You can even assign new sample sounds to the DTX-562K pads and play around with your own custom kit builds without needing to import.
Comparing the DTX-562K with other kits in this price range we can see that there are several differences. On the whole the pads on the DTX-562K are quite small. You can purchase an Alesis electronic drum set for similar money and get larger mesh heads. For the most part this is not a major issue to most drummers, but if you’re buying online be sure that the sizes will suit.
While the bass drum tower performs well it does feel like it would round the kit off nicely to have a mesh bass drum pad too. The feel of the gum rubber pad is good, absorbent of sound and appears to be very durable. The downside is that it lacks in realism and feels more like a practice drum set. When it comes to the mesh heads themselves, they are unlike many other brands of mesh heads. The fact that each head is pre-set to a factory tension may or may not be to your liking. It also raises issues of how to go about replacing the head, should you ever need to. With most electronic mesh heads, the makers supply the drum with tensionable lugs. This makes for easy adjusting and if necessary, replacement. If you’re the type of drummer that likes to play around with tensioning on your electronic kit, then be aware that this is not possible with the DTX-562K.
While Yamaha have allowed more user control features with the DTX-502 module, it still lacks in certain departments. The onboard memory size is one such issue. The total memory on the module is 1MB. This includes the built-in songs and MIDI files. Should you wish to load your own wave samples onto the module you are limited to 20 files, and a length of 12 seconds. In this day and age of terabytes, that is unforgivably small.
When it comes to value for money the DTX-562K fairs quite well. For its price range Yamaha has put together a competitive drum set with a lot to offer. This kit would suit a beginner drummer with a bit of cash to spend, or an experienced drummer who just wants something more than a silent pad to play on. The DTX-502K sounds are good enough to gig with although you will most likely end up customizing your own sounds here to get something satisfactory. This is a mid-range kit and you cannot expect it to compete with the sounds of the high-end sets in the $3,000-$5,000 price range.
For a similar cash layout you could go for one of Roland’s TD-11 series or an Alesis, such as the Crimson II. The Crimson II is great value and comes with bigger drums and the bonus of mesh heads all over. One thing the DTX-562K has going for it is that it feels solid to play on. Yamaha has carefully crafted this kit and with a little care and attention, it should last you throughout the years.
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