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Roland TD-02 Introduction and First Impressions

Roland has announced their new entry-level V-Drums electronic drum kits, the TD-02K and TD-02KV. Learn about these new beginner kits here!

Roland has debuted its new entry-level electronic drum kit for beginners, the TD-02, replacing the older TD-01 kit. We’ll take a look at Roland’s latest product launch, which coincides with the 2023 CES show and offer our first impressions of the new beginner eDrum kit.

Introducing the new TD-02 drum module

The two TD-02 SKUs are based around the new TD-02 module. As with other modules in the Roland range, the kit features drum sounds trickled down from the most recent flagship module, the TD50X. There are 16 kit presets on offer which are inspired by high-end V-Drum modules.

In terms of connectivity, the module features a USB Audio/MIDI interface, a headphone output, and an aux-in port for jamming along to your own music. The module does not support Bluetooth by default, but it can be added along with wireless MIDI via the BOSS Bluetooth Audio MIDI adaptor via a special port on the device.

The module is rounded out with Roland’s Coaching modes, which is ideal for a kit marketed towards beginners such as this.

What’s the difference between the TD-02K and TD-02KV?

The key difference between the TD-02K and the TD-02KV is the larger and more customisable rack system on the KV, plus the addition of a larger snare pad which uses a mesh head instead of rubber.

Both versions are equipped with three CY-5 cymbal pads (hi-hat, crash, ride), three PD-4 tom pads and two FD-1 foot pedals for the kick and hi-hat. The KV model upgrades the PD-4 snare to a PDX-8 pad, and swaps out the three-column stand for a larger four-column version.

Which version of the TD-02 is best?

The base-level TD-02K version is better suited to young players, as the pads can be mounted lower down. This could be a good alternative to the recently announced Millenium Rookie kids drumkit. The key advantage of the Roland TD-02K is that there is more scope for the kit to grow with the player because all the horizontal mounts can be moved up and down to suit adults and children, while the Rookie is only really suitable for children.

The TD-02 KV also has adjustability options, however, there is a hard-mounted horizontal beam in the centre of the two vertical posts on the rack system which cannot be moved, which limits the vertical movement of the two upper tom/cymbal mounts. While it does appear to be possible to remove these mounts and reattach them beneath the horizontal beam, this would require extensive disassembly of the kit to do so.

The key advantage of the KV model is the mesh snare drum, which feels more like a real acoustic head than the rubber pads used elsewhere on the kit.

Deciding between the two versions can largely be based on which rack system you prefer. Remember, you can always upgrade your kit with a PDX-8 or other snare pad later on.

Is the TD-02 expandable?

The TD-02 can be upgraded with an additional crash, with Roland offering the OP-TD1C pack that includes a cymbal and mount specifically for the TD-1 and TD-02. Roland also says the pedals can be upgraded with the KT-10 model, or even a full kick-tower with the KD-10, if you want to use a real bass drum pedal.

In theory, every pad could be upgraded with higher-end pads, or even replaced with a full a-to-e conversion, retaining only the module.

When it comes to drum sounds, thanks to the built-in USB audio interface, you could use a computer running a VST drum library to make your eDrums sound more real, replacing the onboard drum sound generator.

Will there be a replacement for the TD-1DMK?

It’s not clear as yet if there will be a TD-02DMK, as the Roland website only lists TD-02K and TD-02KV models. It would be a shame if the TD-1DMK were retired, as this kit offers incredible value, offering mesh heads on the snare and all three toms, plus compatibility with real bass drum pedals, including double bass drum pedals.

If you want a full mesh kit, you might want to check out the TD-1DMK, or consider one of the higher-range TD-07 kits.

What are the alternatives to the TD-02?

Alternatives to the new TD-02 include its predecessor, the TD-01, which is still available at the time of writing. Retailers may also begin to offer discounts to clear old inventory ahead of receiving new TD-02 kits, meaning there might be a chance of a bargain!

If you’re looking for an electronic drum kit for a child, then you may want to consider the Millenium Rookie. While cheaper, be aware that it comes with a smaller stand and may not last as long for a growing child.

Finally, you might want to consider stepping up to the TD-07. All models of the TD-07 come with mesh heads all-round, offering a more realistic playing surface.

Featured image by Roland

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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.

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