Product Close-Up

Roland TD-25KV and V-Drums Kits

Miguel Monroy

Exceptional sounds and functions plus more tactile adjustability.


Roland TD-25KV_F_350Roland recently made some changes to its V-Drums lineup, including discontinuing the TD-15 series and adding two mid-level kits with the TD-25 module. This new series capitalizes on a lot of the technology found in Roland’s flagship TD-30 line, but delivers kits at a lower price point.

The TD-25 kits offer a beautiful playing experience and a lot of great features that can be utilized both for practice and performance. We were sent the TD-25KV model for review (list
price: $3,499).

What’s in the Box?
The TD-25KV came equipped with two PD-85BK 8″ pads for rack toms, two PDX-100 10″ pads for the floor tom and snare, one KD-9 kick pad, two CY-12C 12″ crash cymbals, one CY-13R 13″ ride cymbal, the VH-11 V-Hi-Hat, which mounts on a regular hi-hat stand (not included), and a rack with all the necessary clamps and boom arms. The lower-priced TD-25K kit ($2,499) comes with just one crash and includes two PDX-6 6.5″ pads for the rack toms and one PDX-8 8″ pad for the floor tom. Everything else is the same.

Drum and Cymbal Pads
Roland has been a long-standing industry leader in electronic drum and cymbal pads because of how well they perform and look. With the TD-25 module, the PDX-100 mesh-head snare pad responds to “positional sensing,” which provides the tonal characteristics that you would experience by playing on different areas of an acoustic drum. This technology translates incredibly well as you explore tight rolls at the edge of the drum, soft ghost notes, and hard rimshots. In addition to responding to chokes, Roland’s CY-12C cymbal pads also provide bow and edge sounds. The ride cymbal pad has three different playing zones: bow, edge, and bell. Those three playing areas transition very naturally to offer a lot of dynamic expression and creative freedom.

The same can be said for the VH-11 V-Hi-Hat, which is mounted on a conventional hi-hat stand. The hi-hat pad allowed for foot splashes, and it’s exceptionally responsive to quick flurries of double strokes or a subtle release of the foot for a hint of partially open slosh.

The bass drum and tom pads expressed articulate patterns wonderfully as well. The kick pad responded great to as much double-pedal madness as we could dish out.

TD-25 Module
Roland TD-25_F_350_FNLThe TD-25 module was designed with one main theme in mind: to put the user in control of the sound. The higher-end Roland TD-30 module offers tons of preloaded kits and customizing options that are built deeper into the menus. The TD-25 has thirty-six kits, and you can easily change the instrument, tuning, muffling, and balance by twisting dedicated knobs on the face of the module. (If you aren’t interested in messing with the nuances of drum and cymbal sounds, you may want to check out the TD-11 kits. Those run about $1,000 cheaper and have fifty preset kits.)Roland TD-25_F_350_FNL

Adjusting parameters for the drums and cymbals on the TD-25 module is easy; just strike the desired pad, and then turn the appropriate knob. All changes are automatically saved. The toms can be adjusted as a group or individually, which we found to be a great timesaving feature. It was also very easy to restore kits to their original version. The eighteen preset kits are divided into six musical genres, which are selectable by the large dial on the module.

The module also features a dedicated knob for adjusting bass and treble frequencies, backing-track volume, and master volume. There’s a knob for the metronome as well, which allows for easy tempo adjustment.

The TD-25 module also incorporates Roland’s SuperNATURAL Behavior Modeling feature. This technology was originally created for Roland’s flagship TD-30 module and is a big part of what makes playing a Roland kit so special, as it enables the module to respond to your touch in the same way that an acoustic kit would. From cymbal swells to rimshots, rimclicks, and sensitive snare strokes, the TD-25 pads and module provide a realistic and inspiring playing experience.

Other important features of the TD-25 module are the Coach practice functions; the ability to play, loop, and tempo-adjust WAV and MP3 files; and the option to record and save performances and play-along tracks to a USB memory stick. You can also utilize the .125″ input to connect an external audio device, and Roland included a USB port for recording audio and MIDI data into DAW software on your computer. High marks all around!