Yamaha DTX760K Review
The Yamaha DTX700 series of drums is second only to their flagship DTX900 series. This is an upper mid-range electronic drum set series with many top end features and components. There are two drum kits in the DTX700 series, the DTX720K and this drum set, the DTX760K. The DTX760K has a number of improvements that make it a more prestigious kit than the DTX720K. It has more cymbals, a better drum rack and a better quality of drum pads all round.
The Yamaha DTX760K can be purchased for 75% more than the DTX720K – a considerable increase! So what is the reason for this surge in price? Well, the DTX720K’s drum pads consist of the XP80 snare drum and three XP70 tom pads. These pads are 8 inches and 7 inches in diameter respectively. With the DTX760K you get an XP120S textured cellular silicone (TCS) snare drum. This drum is a whopping 12 inches in diameter and has a control knob on the side that you can use to fine-tune the drum sound, tweak the volume and FX, and change the pitch.
The toms are also bigger. The two front toms on the DTX760K are now 10 inches in diameter along with a bigger 12-inch floor tom. Each tom is silicone drumhead and also has the same control knob that is present on the XP120S snare drum. The toms and the snare each have a different head tension. This in turn means that it feels totally different when playing between the pads. Yamaha have worked with famous drum artists to develop and hone each head response so that it best resembles a real acoustic drum.
Who Should Buy the Yamaha DTX760K?
The DTX760K is quite a high-end drum set. It retails at the price of some other manufacturers’ flagship models, so it’s well above your average beginner and mid-range drum set.
The DTX760K offers some of the features that Yamaha neglected to include in their DTX720K drum kit. If you value real-feeling drum pads and prefer them a little bigger in size, then this kit will appeal to you. This drum set is a five-piece with four cymbals. That’s one more cymbal pad than the DTX720K has. You get two 13-inch crash cymbals that can be assigned to any sound on the DTX700 module.
Apart from larger pad sizes, the DTX760K also has features in the DTX700 drum module that make it an ideal kit for many professional drummers. You can perform a variety of functions with this module that can make it an essential part of any live band setup.
Triggering samples is easily done by assigning custom samples to one of your selected pads. You can also use this method to trigger song-backing tracks that will loop throughout a performance. The convenience of this will appeal to any drummer who works with lots of modern sample-heavy tracks.
The DTX760K has a few features that make it a nice kit to transition to if you are accustomed to playing an acoustic set. Apart from the snare, which mimics a real drum kit, the DTX760K has a stand-mounted hi-hat. This hi-hat functions in the same way as any typical acoustic hi-hat. There is a clutch that mounts the hi-hat pad to the stand and makes for a realistic look and feel. Sensors inside the hi-hat can tell the positioning and make adjustments to the sample triggering accordingly. Stand-mounted hi-hats are not a given with all electronic drum sets but can make the difference when it comes to playability.
Drums, Pads and Other Hardware
The fact that the DTX760K comes with a larger snare means that it requires additional support. This drum is quite a bit heavier than the 8 inch drum that comes with the DTX720K. For this reason, Yamaha have decided not to mount the snare to the rack but instead provide a separate snare stand on which to sit. This greatly improves the playability of the DTX760K. You get a better sense that you are playing on a real acoustic set simply by having the snare on a stand.
The stand provides far better support, which in turn reduces movement and vibration when the drum is struck. You can easily reposition the snare to suit your playing style and it is noticeably sturdier when playing rim clicks. Having a stand-mounted snare like this also means that it’s very easy to swap this drum in and out of your setup when playing live if you like to mix between electronic and acoustic drums.
The feel of each pad is better than that of the pads that come with the DTX720K too. Yamaha have consulted famous drum artists to help determine the best design and response of each pad. The end result is a collection of pads that have their own unique characteristics. This is more in line with a real acoustic drum set where the response of each drum will vary.
The snare is noticeably firmer than the other pads. It has a healthy bounce and doesn’t feel too light and springy. Some electronic drum pads can feel a bit unrealistic when playing on them and can make the drumstick hard to control. With this snare pad, it’s a touch more deadened so the stick is absorbed into the head.
Despite their ultra-realistic feel, a downside to silicone heads is that, unlike mesh heads, they are not tensionable. With most mesh heads you can adjust the head tension by way of the drum lugs. These lugs can usually be adjusted with any standard drum key. With the DTX760K there is no such option. Each drum pad comes with a preset head tension. This means you lose the option of customizing each drum to your own preference.
One welcome addition to this new pad design is the control knob that is present on each drum. This knob can be assigned to perform a multitude of functions. You can set the knob so that it will change the pad sound to another voice. Or you could set it to function as a volume control. Yamaha have set the default of this control to pitch so that you can make incremental adjustments to the tuning of each drum, much like you would with a drum key on an acoustic drum set.
With the DTX760K you get four cymbals as opposed to the three that ship with the DTX720K. In total there is a 13-inch hi-hat pad, two 13 inch crash pads and a 15 inch ride cymbal.
The DTX760K comes with an upgraded rack compared to the DTX720K. This rack is a Yamaha RS700 and is bigger and can hold more components. There are cymbal arms for each cymbal pad and these are of the boom design. These boom arm stands make it extremely easy to position any cymbal where you want it. The earlier DTX720K comes with straight cymbal arms that don’t allow for the same flexibility. You need to have more control over your cymbal positioning with this kit as the extra cymbal pad means it’s a slightly more crowded playing area.
Both the ride cymbal and the crash feature three-zone triggering. You can play on the bell, the bow and the edge of each pad to create different sound textures. They are also chokable which means you can mute the sound by gripping the cymbal. Another feature, which is unique to Yamaha, is that these cymbals are pre-chokable. This essentially means that you can grip the pad with your hand and still play on the cymbal to create a muted sound.
The hi-hat is a two-zone pad so you can play on the bow and the edge for a range of expression. The hi-hat top pad works in relation to a separate pad sensor at the base. This sensor can tell how far apart the hi-hat is and will adjust the module samples to suit. Yamaha have provided one of their own HS740A hi-hat stands with the deal.
The sensitivity of the hi-hat is quite impressive and it’s possible to play in a number of positions from open to closed. The pad will even respond to pedal pressure in a way that will alter the pitch of the tone produced. Stepping down on the pedal increases the pressure on the pad and raises the pitch slightly. This is a nice touch by Yamaha even if it’s not the most practical. You can also use the usual hi-hat foot techniques such as hi-hat ‘chick’ and hi-hat splash sounds.
The bass drum pad that comes with the DTX760K is a KP100. This is a solid upright kick tower that is big enough to support both single and double pedals. This pad’s mesh head is quiet and absorbs the pedal beater nicely.
There are 1396 individual drum voices on the DTX700 module. They include acoustic kits, electronic kits, percussion and SFX. You can import your own sounds onto the drum module using the USB port. Once on the module you can edit and save these sounds into new custom kit presets.
There is also a digital FX section so you can add a bit of atmosphere to your kit sounds. If you like to tweak, you can make use of the kit EQ and also the overall master EQ. There are volume faders on the front of the DTX700 module that allow you to control the pad levels too.
Yamaha made the DTX700 compatible with one of their own iOS apps. They’ve created a free downloadable app that you can use with any of your iOS devices to control and edit on the drum module. This makes navigating the DTX700 even easier.
You can easily edit drum sounds, add EQ and effects and create drum kits with this app. It’s a far more intuitive way of making adjustments to your sound should you have a suitable iPad or iPhone. You can also visit the official Yamaha DTX website to access free downloads and tutorials. There you’ll find a selection of new Yamaha kits that can be imported onto the DTX700 module along with instructional YouTube videos.
This video gives an overview of the Yamaha DTX760K:
It’s good to see a real stand-mounted hi-hat with the DTX760K. Some competitors in the electronic drum set market fail to recognize the importance of this component. The fact that the snare is mounted to a Yamaha snare stand is a huge plus too. This makes for a more comfortable and realistic playing experience.
Yamaha’s accompanying app is extremely useful and allows you to control the features on the DTX700 module in an easier and more intuitive way. You also get access to a host of downloadable content such as new Yamaha kit collections and tutorial videos.
While the silicone heads on the DTX760K are great to play on, there’s a chance they won’t suit all players. It’s not possible to customizing individual head tension, so you are effectively stuck with the same response eternally. This may not be to everyone’s liking as most competitors go with the tried and tested method of including mesh heads with adjustable drum lugs.
Android users will not be happy to hear that the Yamaha drum app is only compatible with iOS currently.
Other Kits You Might Consider Instead
There are two strong competitors to the DTX760K from Roland and Alesis, both less expensive.
The Alesis Strike Pro is a professional level all-mesh drum kit with six drums and five cymbals. This kit dwarfs the DTX760K in size and has many of the same features. You can import your own samples to the Strike Performance module and use it in the same way through USB and MIDI. It also has a stand-mounted hi-hat and snare.
The other kit you might be interested in is the Roland TD-25KV. This is another all-mesh kit although not on the bass drum. It has five drum pads and four cymbals – exactly the same the DTX760K has. The toms and snare are all three-zone with playable rims. The TD-25 module features some high quality Roland drum and cymbal samples.
The Bottom Line
The DTX760K has pretty much everything a drummer could need from an electronic drum set. It’s solid and durable with very playable pads and cymbals. The module has over 1300 drum sounds and the ability to import your own, a capability which will add to the shelf life of the DTX760K. Unfortunately, the price is a bit restricting considering what is on offer by other manufacturers.