Buyers' Guides

Electronic drums that look acoustic – Roundup

Looking for an electronic drum kit that looks like an acoustic kit? Check out our comprehensive roundup of acoustic-looking eDrums

A trend in electronic drums over the last few years has been the increasing number of electronic drums that are designed to look like acoustic drums, which are sometimes known as hybrid drums.

What started as a cottage industry of niche, independent eDrum builders, has evolved into the mainstream, thanks to the launch of products like the ATV aDrums and Roland V-Drums Acoustic Design series.

Below, we round up all the electronic drum brands and products we could find that look just like acoustic drums. All the drums below look like real electronic drums with pads that are at least slightly larger than traditional electronic drum pads, helping to improve playability. Learn more about playability in our other post, do electronic drums feel like acoustic drums.

ATV aDrums Artist

Founded by former-Roland staff, ATV was the first electronic drum company to release a mass-market electronic kit that uses real acoustic drum shells, helping to make this style of eDrum kit go mainstream.

ATV’s acoustic-style kits come in only one range, the aDrums Artist series, and in one color – black. It’s available in a standard one-up-one-down configuration, as well as an expanded two-up-one-down kit, which also adds an additional crash cymbal pad.

The ATV A Drums kit only comes in black

What makes the ATV aDrums innovative is a multi-sensor set-up in each drum, a big upgrade on Roland’s single-sensor set-up, which helps to ensure each stroke is picked up accurately.

The cymbals are also the first to introduce 360-triggering, meaning they can be played on any side. This contrasts with many previous electronic cymbal designs, where the cymbal pads could only be triggered at around a 60 to 90-degree radius on one side. Both features help add realism and make the kit behave more like a real acoustic kit.

The kit nails the acoustic look, though some drummers switching from acoustic to electronic might be disappointed by the smaller drum sizes. The bass drum is just 18 inches in diameter, while the snare and floor tom are 13 inches across. This makes it a good option for a low-key gig on a small stage or fitting into a smaller home studio space.

The ATV aDrums comes in between $3,000 and $3,600 with the AD5 module, depending on configuration.

Roland V-drum Acoustic Design

Several V-Drum Acoustic Design (VAD) models have come out since the range’s inception, offering low, mid and high-end options based around various tiers of Roland V-Drum modules.

100 Series (VAD103)

The entry level Roland VAD103

The VAD103 just scrapes into our roundup as the most affordable acoustic-style kit, though some may dispute whether it actually looks like a true acoustic kit. That’s because the 103 uses half-depth shells with only a top head, like a shallow concert tom. The cymbal pads are also slightly on the small size, with a 12-inch hi-hat, 12-inch crash, and 13-inch ride.

Fortunately, the shallow kick drum has an 18-inch diameter, and all pads are mounted on stands rather than a rack. The set is rounded off with a TD-07 module – the most basic in the range, though it does support MIDI over USB so it could be upgraded with a VST drum library via a computer connection in future.

This could be a great kit for someone on a budget, costing around $2,200 varying by retailer, though may not be the best if you’re holding out for a kit that has a true acoustic look.

300 Series (VAD307)

The VAD306 includes three toms and two crashes

The VAD307 is a minor update of the VAD 306 with new hardware. Both of these kits are essentially a supercharged 103, coming in at around $700 more. This provides you with an extra tom pad, crash cymbal, and swaps out the TD-07 module for the more capable TD-17. As before, the shells are half-sized and therefore might not satisfy the acoustic look for all drummers.

Aside from providing more things to hit, the main upgrade is the TD-17 module. The kit is perfect for someone on a budget, who is happy with the semi-acoustic style, but feels the compact VAD103 doesn’t have enough pads.

500 Series (VAD504, VAD507)

The Roland VAD504

The 500 series is the cheapest in the Roland range which really nails the acoustic look. The range was refreshed in October 2022 with the launch of the VAD504 and 507 kits, replacing the original VAD503 and 506. These kits come in at around $4,300 and $5400 respectively.

Like the ATV aDrums, these kits also only come in black, but with a sparkle finish. Unlike the ATV though, the 500 series kits have more realistically-sized shells, including an acoustic-sized 20×16 inch kick drum, 14-inch diameter snare and floor tom, and 10-inch tom, with an additional 12-inch tom on the 507 kit.

The kit is rounded off with the TD-27, which includes sounds derived from the flagship TD-50X module, and enables support for the included digital ride, digital snare, and in the latest 504 and 507 models, the new 14” digital hi-hat.

The digital pads are all some of the best available in their respective categories. Thanks to the additional sensors and USB connection to the module, even more data can be passed to the module, for more accurate triggering and sound variations.

700 Series (VAD706)

The flagship Roland VAD706

The Roland range of acoustic-looking electronic drums is topped off by the flagship VAD706, which has an equally lofty price tag of around $9,000.

This kit comes with the same top-of-the-range digital snare, hi-hat and ride as the 500 series, but adds the flagship TD50X module and incredible-looking full-sized shells in a range of four colors.

This is about as close as you can get to an electronic drum kit that looks like a real acoustic set. The kit looks like a high-end acoustic set, with a 22-inch bass drum, 10 and 12-inch rack toms, and a 14-inch floor tom. The shells feature a lacquered finish with the woodgrain visible beneath, no matter which of the four colors you choose. Unique to this range are the tom rim protectors. These match the silver color of the rim, instead of black rims like lesser kits in the range, making it harder to tell if the drums are actually electronic or acoustic. The kit is rounded off by a vintage animal-skin style bass drum resonant head.

In fact, the only giveaway that the drums are electronic from a distance is the fact the cymbals are black. Otherwise, even seasoned drummers would be hard-pressed to tell under stage lights!


Similarly to ATV, EFnote was founded by ex-Roland staff, with products that look quite similar to the ATV range, with the same 360 triggering on cymbals and multi-sensor design on drums. But unlike ATV, EFnote has two ranges that look like acoustic drums – we’ll ignore the 3 and 3X low-end options since they don’t come with a ‘proper’ kick drum.

EFnote 5 and 5X

The EFnote 5 comes in a silver finish

The 5 is a one-up-one-down kit available in a glossy silver sparkle finish, while the 5X comes in a one-up-two-down configuration in a matte, wood-effect black. Drum sizes for the 5 are a 16×12” kick, 10” tom and 12” floor tom, with a 12” snare, while the 5 adds a 13” floor tom. Meanwhile, cymbal sizes are 14” for the hi-hats, 18” ride, 8” splash, and one or two 16” crashes depending on if you choose the 5 or 5X. As with all kits in this list so far, the drums are mounted on stands, to complete the acoustic look, despite being electronic.

The drums look nice, however, some may be disappointed by the small sizes, especially the kick and snare. Usually, a 16” bass drum would be mounted on a fairly tall riser to make up for the low diameter, but that isn’t the case here, where a very short riser is included. This may mean the kit looks rather small on stage, especially if played by a tall drummer.

Similarly, the 12” snare is a bit disappointing in terms of size, when the competition is using 13” or 14”, which are common acoustic snare sizes.

As with the Roland VAD706, both the EFnote 5 and 5X feature silver rims with silver rim protectors, helping to disguise these electronic pads as acoustic drums. Unlike the Roland range, though, all the cymbals are grey, which look a bit more in line with how acoustic cymbals look. This again helps to disguise what these drums really are.

The EF-Note 5 comes in at around $3,000 and the 5X at $3,900 depending on configuration, and are available from these retailers.

EFnote 7 and 7X

The EFnote 7X. X variants come in a black finish

For those disappointed with the small sizes of the 5 series, the 7 and 7X may fit the bill. As before, the base version is in a silver sparkle finish, with the 7X coming in the matte black wood effect.

Sizes are more generous, with a 20×15” kick, 14” snare, 11” tom, and 15” tom, with the 7X gaining an additional 13” tom.

Cymbals are generous too, with a 14” hi-hat, 16” crash, a 17” o-zone style effects cymbal with 8 holes on the 7X, 8” splash with the 7X, and an industry first for both versions – a whopping 20” ride cymbal.

This is the only electronic kit available currently with such a large cymbal, helping to make the kit look well-proportioned.

As a result, the EFnote 7 and 7X are up there with the VAD706 as probably the most realistic/acoustic-looking kits, thanks to their realistic sizes and small details. At this point, really the only giveaway is the thicker cymbals and cables, though to the unsuspecting eye these may simply look like a mic’d-up acoustic kit.

The EF-Note 7 costs around $4,300 and the 7X is around $5,400 depending on configuration, and are available from these retailers.


Drum-tec is a German company that makes its own acoustic-style electronic drums, as well as resellers of mainstream brands. In fact, Drum-tec’s own range actually predates both the Roland VAD series and ATV – being in the game before acoustic-style electronic kits went mainstream.

As a smaller producer, Drum-tec specializes in assembling the drums and doesn’t offer its own drum modules or even cymbal pads – you’ll have to bring your own.

Drum-tec Jam series

The entry-level Drum-tec Jam series

The Jam series is Drum-tec’s lower range of acoustic-style electronic drums, available in either a two-up-one-down or two-up-two-down configuration, in black. Kits can be packaged with a range of compatible modules, such as the Roland TD-17 or ATV xD3. Going with the Roland option also nets you a pre-loaded set of edited drum presets on the module, developed in-house at Drum-tec.

On to the kits themselves, which comprise of a 18×10” bass drum, 12” snare, two 10” toms and one or two 12” floor toms. Packages also include a set of Roland cymbals comprising of a CY-12C crash, CY13R ride, and VH-10 hi-hat (12” inches).

The Jam series is towards the lower end, which is why the sizes are fairly small. The mounted toms are fairly shallow at only 6 inches, and use a double-ended lug, which are uncommon on acoustic toms.

The Jam series could be worth considering by anyone shopping in the mid-range, costing €2,409 without a module and €3,089 with an xD3 module, especially if you want something slightly different from the mainstream, or if you already have a drum module that you’d like to keep.

Drum-tec Pro

The Drum-tec Pro in a 4-piece configuration

The Drum-tec Pro series is Drum-tec’s flagship range, using real acoustic shells manufactured in Germany by Sonor and in a wide range of finishes and configurations. Prices depend on the configuration and drum module you choose, with a one-up-one-down with Pearl Mimic Pro module costing €7,149, or with a Roland TD-50X and its accompanying digital pads for €7,349.

Drum-Tec has recently announced the latest version of this kit – the Pro 3, which introduces a brand new multi-sensor triggering system.

These drums support positional sensing on compatible modules, while the multi-sensor design eliminates hot-spotting (when triggering response peaks if you hit the area directly above the trigger). Toms have 3 sensors for the head zone, while snares have a whopping 6 sensors.

Alongside the Pro 3 announcement, Drum-Tec has also announced its first US distributor, Drum Center of Portsmouth.

Learn more about the Drum-Tec pro 3 and see if it is a good alternative to the Roland VAD706.

Gewa G9

The Gewa G9 workstation is a high-end electronic kit by German drum maker and distributor, Gewa.

The G9 comes with acoustic-styled drums, including an 18″ kick, shallow, 5″ deep 10, 12 and 14″ toms, an 18″ ride, two 14″ crashes and a 14″ hi-hat. These are mounted to a rack system in European markets, but in America, you’ll get it with Gibraltar cymbal/tom stands.

The kit is available in either a carbon-fiber black effect (as seen above), or a walnut wood wrap.

The drums feature a single centre-mounted trigger cone, like older Roland kits, and support positional sensing.

One downside of this kit is the rim protector system on the drums, which are made of plastic instead of rubber, and don’t span the entire circumference of each drum. Aside from aesthetics, the downside is that your sticks are not protected from the rims – not that the plastic guards help much. Your sticks are likely to get chewed up more than drums that use rubber rims, as seen in The eDrum Workshop’s review.

The G9 costs between $5,700 and $7,000 depending on configuration.

Jobeky Drums

A custom Jobeky eDrum kit

Jobeky is another custom eDrum builder that pre-dates the introduction of the mainstream acoustic-style eDrums. It is a small family-run business operating in the UK founded over 14 years ago offering fully custom eDrums made to your chosen specification.

As a result, kits come in multiple configurations and a huge range of finishes. To give you a rough guide, £3,999 nets you a 5-piece kit with 20” tom, 14” snare, and 10, 12 and 14” toms with low-volume cymbals and a Pearl Mimic Pro module, or £2,298.85 with a Roland TD-17 module.

As with Drum-tec eDrums, Jobeky drums sport centre-mounted, single-cone triggers, meaning hot-spotting can be an issue. Jobeky also offers a side-mounted internal trigger, which might be possible to spec on a full drum build, if you’d prefer to avoid hot-spotting at the expense of losing positional sensing.

Build your own A-to-E kit

A-to-E drumkit conversion

An alternative to buying an electronic drum kit is to convert a set of acoustic drum shells to electronic – also known as an A-to-E conversion. This can save you a fair bit of money, especially if you already have an acoustic kit that doesn’t get much use. And while it does require some work, it can be as easy as unscrewing a few drum lugs, inserting your sensors, and replacing the heads with mesh ones.

Read our guide on how to convert an acoustic kit to electronic to learn more!

What have we missed?

Are there any other drums or drum manufacturers you’d include in this list? Have you bought one of the kits above and want to give your impression? Let us know in the comments below!

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By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

2 replies on “Electronic drums that look acoustic – Roundup”

Hi Kelly, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! That’s useful to hear that pricing information would be beneficial, so I’ve updated the article with further information and links to get the latest prices. Which kit did you go with in the end out of interest?


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