Big news from Roland’s NAMM preview

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 6:14 pm

The world’s biggest e-drum maker has not launched new products at NAMM for some time, but this year, Roland has come out with both barrels blazing at Anaheim, with two highly anticipated launches.

The first was a new mid-level module to replace the TD-25. The new TD-27 module combines the ease of use of highly successful TD-17 with technologies and sounds derived from the flagship TD-50.

Of particular interest to many e-drummers will be the ability to trigger Roland’s digital snare and ride (and future digital hi-hat), something previously only possible with the much more expensive TD-50.

The new module is ready to ship as part of a new Roland TD-27KV kit – with a PD-140DS snare and CY-18DR ride, three PDX-100 tom pads, CY-12C and CY-13R cymbal pads, a VH-10 V-hi-hat and a KD-10 kick pad – for $2,999.99.

The second major launch sees Roland following the example of ATV (and before that, the likes of drum-tec) with a full-size shell pack powered by the TD-27.

The new V-Drums Acoustic Design range initially consists of three models: the premier VAD506 and VAD503 kits and the “more affordable” VAD306 kit (powered by a TD-17 module and sold without the digital snare/ride combo).

The VAD506 and 503 V-Drums Acoustic Design kits feature full-size wood shells, custom heavy-duty chrome shell hardware, thinner cymbals and standard acoustic mounting. Every kit projects the premium look of high-end acoustic drums, providing a familiar presence that's the centerpiece of any stage, according to Roland.

And why is the VAD not paired with the TD-50? The thinking is that there are two types of e-drummers – those tweakers who are focussed on sound and need the rich, deep editing capability of the TD-50 module. These drummers, it appears, are less obsesses with the aesthetics and more into the sonics.

And then there are those for whom it’s all about the looks (and performance). For these drummers, full-size pads and cymbals are more important than deep diving into sound shaping (or so the thinking goes). And I guess economics also come into it. Combine the expensive shell pack of the VAD range with the cost of the TD-50 and you’re looking at serious cash.

digitalDrummer will report more extensively on the new models in our NAMM coverage in the upcoming February edition - and after our in-depth testing. Having spent a bit of time on the TD-27 and the VAD506, I can confirm that I am looking forward to these reviews!