Yamaha DTX532K Review

Yamaha have a number of different models of electronic drum set in their current range. These kits vary from entry-level to professional. There are currently four main series of kits; The DTX400, the DTX502 series, the DTX700 series and finally the DTX900 series. Relatively speaking these kits gradually increase in price, quality and features.

On this page we will look at the Yamaha DTX532K, which is part of the DTX502 series. This drum set is in or around the mi-range market and offers a few extra features over Yamaha entry-level kits. There are three kits in total in the DTX502 series and the DTX532K comes squarely in the middle. It’s positioned in between the DTX522K and the DTX562K.

Who Should Buy the Yamaha DTX532K?

The price of this kit places it above your average basic entry-level set in cost. And indeed, the DTX532K has better components than any kit in the entry-level DTX400 series. It also has a module with better sounds than previously heard.

Yamaha have boasted about how the DTX502 module that comes with this kit has high quality samples that have been sourced from their vast range of acoustic drum sets. The cymbals too have been sampled from many major cymbal manufacturers around the world.

The average buyer of a DTX532K will more than likely be a drummer who already has a few years of experience playing on acoustic setups. The DTX532K is an ideal practice drum set as it’s very low on noise production. You can set this kit up in a bedroom or sitting room and play away for hours without annoying anyone. For this reason electronic drum sets are extremely popular among musicians in built-up areas such as apartment blocks or student dorms.

As well as better sounds, with this kit you also get a few top-end features such as a stand-mountable hi-hat for added realism. As you ascend through the DTX series of kits you’ll notice that this drum set is the first to include such a feature. Inferior, or cheaper, Yamaha kits up until this one, have all come with freestanding hi-hat pedal controllers. These pedals are prone to slippage and lack the realism of a real hi-hat stand too.

The Yamaha DTX532K

The Yamaha DTX532K

Drums, Pads and Other Hardware

The basic configuration of the DTX532K is that of a standard five-piece drum set. It has one snare, three toms, a bass drum and three cymbals. The cymbals consist of a hi-hat, one crash cymbal and a ride cymbal. This is the same number of drums and ctextured cellular silicone ymbals that come with every other drum set in both the DTX400 series and this current DTX502 series.

The DTX532K comes with a textured cellular silicone (TCS) snare drum pad. This pad was designed to be ultra-quiet and give a realistic drumhead bounce and feel.

The XP80 snare drum has a playable rim too. This means you can produce all the typical sounds that you would be able to make with a real acoustic snare. Rim clicks are played by placing the stick over the snare so that it touches the rim in two places. The sensors inside the drum pad will then trigger the module to play the assigned sample.

Samples on the DTX532K can be swapped and switched to your choosing. Any one of the 691 sounds on-board the DTX502 drum module can be reassigned to any pad, cymbal or foot pedal.

The TP70 tom pads that come with the DTX532K are not of the same quality as the XP80 snare. They are all single-zone pads and smaller in size. Single-zone here means that the only triggering on these pads is on the head surface. There is no rim triggering capabilities with the TP70.

The size of these toms each is around 7 inches in diameter. They feel good to play on and absorb the stick sound adequately. The fact that they are quite small compared to those in other kits of this price range is a minus point against the DTX532K. The next kit up in this range, the DTX562K, comes with all silicone heads on the snare and the three toms. It’s considerably more expensive though.

The cymbals with the DTX532K are all 13-inch pads and sit on the RS502 drum rack. Each cymbal is mounted onto a straight cymbal arm that is secured to the rack. You can angle each cymbal arm to find the optimum position for your playing style.

The cymbal pads are made from a similar kind of rubber as the three tom pads so they are very quiet to play on. They are slightly bigger than the cymbal pads on the DTX400 series of kits and this gives them a more natural swing when mounted on the stand. Each cymbal is three-zone and has full triggering 360 degrees around the bow of the pad. Three-zone on these cymbals means that you can play the bell, the bow and the edge of each cymbal for more musicality. They are all fully chokable so you can mute each cymbal by gripping the pad edge with your hand.

The hi-hat is the stand-out performer with the DTX532K. It’s a big improvement on the DTX522K kit which ships with a freestanding hi-hat pedal controller. This kit comes with a HH135 hi-hat cymbal pad that is as big as many real conventional hi-hat cymbals. Yamaha have also included one of their hi-hat stands, the HS650A. The difference between the hi-hats on these two Yamaha kits is a world apart and could be a deal-breaker for many drummers.

There are sensors on the HH135 pad that allow it to be played in a number of positions depending on your foot placement. You can get a range of typical hi-hat sounds from this setup which impressively simulates playing on a real acoustic hi-hat.

The bass drum on the DTX532K is a KP65. It’s not the biggest kick pad out there but it’s big enough to comfortably house either a single or double pedal. The pad feels good to play on and there is little lateral movement. It functions well at keeping the noise down to a minimum even when playing with a double pedal. Pads like this do need to be placed on appropriate surfaces for maximum playability. You need to avoid hard flooring such as wood or tiles in order to get the best out of the KP65.

Each drum and cymbal rests upon the RS502 drum rack. This rack is a shiny black four-post setup with chrome cymbal arms. You can easily loosen or tighten each drum and cymbal mount to the rack poles. This makes for easy setting up and taking down. The rack performs well under duress and allows you to position everything within a comfortable reaching distance.

Sounds

The DTX502 drum module is the same module that comes with all Yamaha DTX502 series drum kits. It has a catalog of no less than 691 sounds that are divided across 50 preset drum kits. This selection of high quality sounds have been assembled by Yamaha using samples from their famous acoustic range of drums as well as a number of high-end cymbal manufacturers. There is also a whole host of additional samples that vary from percussion to electronic drums to melodic instruments.

Navigating the DTX502 module is relatively easy to do. The interface has a large dial that can be used to scroll through sounds and play modes. There are also buttons on the front of the module that allow you added control over sounds and songs.

Along with the 50 preset drum kits there is also space on the DTX502 module for another 50 user kits. You can use these empty presets to store your own kit configurations. Yamaha have upgraded the memory onboard this module to twice the amount of its predecessor, although it’s hardly enormous at 1MB.

Notable Features

The 1MB flash memory on the DTX502 module can be used to import MIDI songs, user kits or even audio samples. Imported MIDI songs can function in the same way as the 37 on-board songs do. You can adjust the tempo and also mute the drums. This allows you to play along with the tracks without any distractions. You can also add in the metronome for a pulse guide if you wish.

The headphones and Aux input are located on the front panel of the DTX502 module for easy access. The Aux can be used to plug your MP3 player in for even more playalong options. There are also 8 different training functions built into the module that are ideal for drummers of all abilities.

This video gives an overview of the Yamaha DTX502 series:

Pros

A major plus of the DTX532K is the addition of the realistic hi-hat pad. Yamaha have included one of their hi-hat stands in the deal so you won’t have to spend any extra to get started. The HH135 hi-hat functions really well and allows for some quite nuanced expression when connected to the DTX502 drum module.

The DTX532K also comes with a textured cellular silicone snare. The response from the silicone head is very life-like and is the result of Yamaha’s long-time consultation with top drummers from around the world.

The DTX502 module has the option to make this kit expandable. There are 4 additional inputs on the back of the module that can be used to increase the size of your setup. Great news for fans of monster sized drum kits!

Cons

While the snare silicone head is a great little drum to play on, unlike a mesh pad, it is not tensionable.  This means you are stuck with the one bounce response it’s made with, unfortunately. This won’t be a major issue to many drummers but does remove some of the versatility that is available with other electronic drum set brands, such as Roland and Alesis.

The tom pads with the DTX532K are a little on the small size and may not be to everyone’s liking. The rims of each tom pad also lack the ability to trigger, which is a bit of a disappointment too.

Other Kits You Might Consider Instead

Roland offer the TD-11KV, which is a five-piece drum set with three cymbals. The advantage of the TD-11KV is that it comes with mesh heads on all three toms as well as the snare. The TD-11KV is one of the most popular Roland Kits and comes at a price that falls within many consumer budgets.

With the TD-11KV, you don’t get the improved hi-hat that the DTX532K offers. This hi-hat is a freestanding pedal controller that connects to a static hi-hat cymbal pad. There is less noise from a freestanding pedal like this, but it does mean that you lose out on realism a touch.

Alesis offer the Crimson II which is one of their mid-tier kits and widely popular among drummers and has lots of prestigious features. This kit is fully mesh, i.e. it has mesh heads not just on the snare and toms, but also on the bass drum pad. The drum sizes are much bigger than most of its competitors at this level. You also get more cymbal pads with this drum set as Alesis included two crash cymbals over the usual one.

The Crimson II is a very quiet kit to play on which is a big benefit for drummers who like to practice at all hours. The mesh heads are extremely silent and are easier on the wrists and joints than most rubber pads. Each head is designed just like a real acoustic drum in that it can be tightened or loosened with a standard drum key. This feature offers more customization to each individual player and it’s usually only available with kits in higher price categories to this one.

The Bottom Line

The DTX532K is a solid drum set which is robust and playable. It has many of the features that drummers will require and look for.

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