Yamaha DTX562K Review
Yamaha’s DTX502 series is a mid-range series of electronic drum kits. The DTX502 series has a number of kits including the DTX522K, the DTX532K and the DTX562K. In this review we will look at the DTX562K and see how it compares to other kits at this level. We will also discuss potential buyers and the pros and cons of this drum set.
The DTX562K is five-piece drum set with three cymbals. It has uniquely designed Yamaha textured cellular silicone (TCS) heads, and features the DTX502 drum module. The whole kit rests upon a Yamaha drum rack and can easily be customized to suit any setup, from young players to old.
Who Should Buy the Yamaha DTX562K?
As it’s price suggests, this drum set is not your average beginner electronic kit. It’s a bit over what you might expect to pay for to get started.
The DTX562K has silicone drum heads on the snare and toms. This allows for super-silent playing and practicing – definitely something to bear in mind if you plan on playing at any time of the day or night. The DTX562K comes with a real Yamaha hi-hat stand and cymbal pad. This pad is unlike the hi-hat on the DTX522K, which is a free-floating hi-hat pedal controller and pad configuration. If you value the realism and playability of a real hi-hat stand, then the DTX562K will appeal to you here.
The DTX502 drum module has professional level connectivity, and therefore can function well in both live performance and studio recording situations. The module is fully MIDI compatible, which allows it to be used in conjunction with any computer DAW. This will be welcome news to home recording enthusiasts looking for a suitable drum set to work with.
When it comes to live playing, the DTX562K holds up well. There is a big choice of drum kits to choose from and many of these kits have been modeled on Yamaha’s own elite range of acoustic kits. You can customize sounds and kits to suit your live playing, tweak them with effects and then store the changes for future use.
Drums, Pads and Other Hardware
This five piece drum set has three cymbals, a drum rack and a drum module. Each drum is mounted to the Yamaha drum rack and there are cymbal stands for the ride and crash cymbal. These stands are straight, not boom, so there is a bit of limitation here on where you can position the pads.
The hi-hat comes fully mounted to its own Yamaha hi-hat stand. The hi-hat pad has sensors that can tell the cymbal positioning. The hi-hat pad sits upon a base and is attached to the stand in a normal manner using a hi-hat clutch. The end result is quite impressive and very playable. The hi-hat sensors are accurate enough to tell which position your foot is playing in. You can create open and closed sounds as well as a range of in between positions. The pads will even respond to hi-hat heel splash techniques.
The three toms are each 7 inches in diameter. This is quite a small size for an electronic drum pad but they have the added bonus of playable rims. The drum heads are made from textured cellular silicone, which simulates an acoustic head really well. Yamaha have developed each drum in consultation with professional drummers to create the perfect head response. The tension feel of the tom heads is slightly looser than the snare drum head.
The snare drum is a bigger drum than the toms, but only marginally. It’s an 8 inch pad of a similar design and with the same multi-zone triggering. Rim shots and rim clicks are all playable on this drum. The mounting of the snare is more advanced than with the tom pads too. This drum comes with a flexible ball-joint so that it’s possible to position the snare at pretty much any angle.
This is quite a small drum so it feels solid to play on without the need for a separate snare stand. The toms have a more basic clamping method and are missing the ball-joint mount. However, there is still quite a bit of room for movement as you can angle each tom and slide them on the rack poles to suit your position.
The bass drum is a standard kick tower. It’s quite small and compact, and has a rubber-type of drumhead. The head feels good to play on with a felt bass drum beater. There’s a little more noise from this bass drumhead than you get with a silicone or mesh head. The tower stays in place well during performances despite the lightweight look. There are supporting spikes on the base of the tower to assist in gripping onto floor surfaces.
Each cymbal pad is 13 inches in diameter. The crash and ride are both chokable. This means you can mute them by grabbing the cymbal edge. Another unique feature to Yamaha is that both the ride and crash are also ‘pre-chokable’, which lets you create muted cymbal sounds by playing when gripping the cymbal pad at the same time.
The module that comes with this drum set is the same module that ships with every other kit in the DTX502 series. It’s the DTX502 drum module and it has a lot of useful features for all levels of drummer. This is a compact and easy to use module with 691 different drum and cymbal samples.
The interface of the DTX502 module is quite minimalistic. There is one large dial in the center just under a small LCD display. The dial is used for the majority of navigating such as when you want to scroll through sounds, songs and effects.
The LCD display is quite small and it is here that the DTX502 module informs the user as to which kit is currently selected. To the left of the display is another display that shows the tempo of the metronome or the selected sequenced track. You can adjust the overall volume of the DTX502 but there are no individual fader controls for each drum and cymbal pad. Should you need to adjust sample volumes in more detail you can do that by navigating to the relevant sound and adjusting the level.
On the back of the module there are inputs and outputs. This is where the power and USB cable can be connected. You can also take an output feed from here and send it to either a powered monitor or a P.A. system. If you prefer to listen to your playing on headphones there is also a stereo output on the module for this very purpose.
Yamaha have captured a selection of their highly-prized acoustic kits and stored them into some of the 50 presets on the DTX502 module. There are familiar sounding kits in there from their vast array of professional level drum sets. Also included are a bunch of high quality cymbal samples. Each drum and cymbal has been sampled several times to reproduce the instrument dynamically.
There are also a few miscellaneous percussion sounds and electronic samples to play with on the DTX502 module. You can mix and match your kit with any one of the 37 playalong tracks that are built into the module. These songs are composed in all manner of styles from funk to Latin and more. You have full control over each track and can adjust tempo and even remove the original drum tracks should you wish.
The DTX502 module allows the user to import his or her own files onto the unit. This can be sound samples, songs or even MIDI files. The DTX502 can act as a sequencer, which allows you full control over both the songs on-board and any ones you decide to import.
Importing is easy to do. You can hook the DTX502 up to any computer, Mac or PC, and transfer files over and back between devices. Once you have imported a MIDI song onto the module you can adjust the tempo and remove drum tracks just like the on-board songs. The DTX502 will also accept sound samples in a Wav or MP3 format. This allows the user to build up a collection of custom drum kits. Once you have imported the samples onto the DTX502 you can make further adjustments to the sound before storing them to any one of the 50 empty preset kit slots.
Drummers will be pleased to learn that Yamaha have included a host of coaching functions on the DTX502 module too. There are a number of different modes that are designed to help the drummer in his or her progress on the kit. These modes focus on improving skill, speed and timing. It’s a great asset to have with any electronic drum set and is one sure way to while away the hours.
The ‘Groove Check’ function is one such mode which gives you instant feedback on your timing. First, you can choose whether to play along with the metronome or one of the built-in songs. Next choose a tempo and begin to play. Groove Check will display how you are doing timing-wise on the DTX502 module. This is a quick and easy way to visually see how your timing rates against the click. The module will even break down your playing further and show how your timing relates on each limb. For example, you may play ahead of the beat with your hi-hat hand but behind the beat with your bass drum foot.
Take a look at the Yamaha DTX562K electronic drum set here:
This is an affordable kit for many drummers and is well built. The pads feel strong and durable while the overall playing experience is solid. There is little movement from the rack and the different tensioned silicone heads do make a difference in how you play. The coaching functions will be a huge help to many drummers and this drum set will have no trouble working as a MIDI controller kit in the studio too.
While the silicone heads feel good to play on, it may not be to everyone’s taste that you cannot tension them with a drum key. The bass drum is a rubber head, which is slightly disappointing. The pads themselves are quite small too. The toms are 7 inches and the snare is only 8 inches. The cymbals are all 13 inches in diameter, which is a good size for a hi-hat but feels a bit fiddly for both the ride and the crash. The on-board memory on the DTX502 drum module is quite small and could easily be used up with not too many high quality Wav files.
Other Kits You Might Consider Instead
Roland offer the TD-11KV, which is a similar mesh setup in a five-piece configuration. There are also three cymbals with the TD-11KV and, like the DTX562K, it features a rubber pad on the bass drum.
If you want a truly all-mesh setup, then give the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Kit a look. It’s a bigger kit than both the DTX562K and the Roland TD-11KV. It comes with six drum pads – that’s four toms, a snare and a bass drum. Each pad is made from woven mesh and can be tensioned to suit any playing preference. The one downside to the DM10 MKII Pro Kit is that it does not come with a stand-mountable hi-hat. If you want this feature you’ll have to include the ProX hi-hat from Alesis too.
The Bottom Line
The DTX562K has all the best features of the earlier kits in the DTX502 series and more. The silicone toms and snare make for a very playable experience. Likewise the inclusion of a stand-mounted hi-hat sets the DTX562K apart from other competitors’ kit at this price level.