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Rating and Reviews: Alesis Strike Kit

A killer value on a stage-ready e-drum set, the Strike Kit offers wood shells, mesh heads, and the Strike module with a color screen and individual outputs.

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"Alesis moves up again!" submitted April 14, 2017

By Matthew B in Waco, TX
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Light-gigging for several years
Music Style: From ZAO to Die Antwood to Imogen Heap to Matchbox 20...
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Overall: This review is after having my kit for a little over a week. This is my third alesis kit (DM8, DM10X, and now Alesis Strike). I'm very limited for space atm so I opted for the smaller package. The smaller Strike set is identical to the larger "Pro" set minus 2 cymbals and a tom - the brain/rack/etc seem to be identical. The Rack: Far superior to the (honestly) junk rack that came with my DM10X. The fittings are pretty cheap but they have been quite sturdy so far. It's not to the level of stability of a good Gibraltar rack with cast fittings but I am pretty hard on drums and have not had a single fitting/rack arm move.Drum Triggers: Insanely sensitive, so much that my snare will shotgun trigger on it's own if you turn the trigger threshold all the way down. There is a small dial on the side of each drum allowing you to adjust the sensitivity - I don't know why you would need these, setting the drum-dial to 50% I still had to adjust the module sensitivity for that trigger down to 10-15%. I will note that sensitivity was a HUGE issue on the older DM10X systems - I'm glad they resolved this.Cymbal Triggers: It's nice to see a two cymbal stack for the high-hats. Took some fiddling to get the pedal threshold where I wanted them but I'm more comfortable now. They do feel unnaturally thick though. Transitioning across edge/bow/bell on the ride feels fantastic - the ride cymbal is huge and is the most authentic sound/feel of all the cymbals. The crash cymbal is 2-zone with choke, and despite some tinkering, I still get the occasional bow triggering when I really wanted an edge trigger. Hats are two-zone too, in theory I thought I would love this but again it's been more of an issue than a benefit.Sound Module [Genera]l: First off - what speakers/headphones you use matters ALOT. I've only used my AT M50x so far, which are notably sensitive headphones, and noticed the headphone output is kinda noisy at full volume. Like the DM10 before, this module features volume sliders but thankfully the A/B bank system is gone (who's idea was that anyway??) and now every instrument has it's own slider. However, I have noticed that sometimes the internal volumes reset to some default value and I have to "jiggle" the slider to get it to re-register where the slider is located. The screen is full-color but it's worth noting the user interface design is pretty unsaturated and thus doesn't take full advantage of that. The screen is, however, very easy to ready. Sound Module [Sounds]: This is pretty important and I was honestly concerned based on what I heard of Texas Tim Root from NAMM. I'm not sure if they were using an older sound engine or if it's just the lack of dynamics in Tim's playing but I was much happier with the engine once I got to play it. Interestingly enough, some of the snares sound really good when playing accented rolls (something the DM10 was terrible at) and some just shotgun away - either way there are definitely some great sounding snares! I've noticed Alesis likes heavy and full-bottomed tom tones and I'm happy to oblidge - toms sound great and dynamic. All triggers have an A and B layer sound set (each with it's own volume/tone adjustment) which allows pretty impressive customization. The most pleasant surprise was the instrument customization interface and sound file-system. It's fantastic and beats the snot out of anything I have ever seen. Sounds engine is still not recording level but who records straight from a e-drum brain anyway?Sound Module [Accessories]: This Strike and Strike Pro use the same sound module - and for the Strike Pro all inputs are filled by the included triggers/pads. What is more interesting is the 8x 1/4" channel outputs (in addition to the LR mains outputs). I'm not sure the intended use of these outputs - midi recording is more suitable for studio work. The real application I could see is live applications so the FOH engineer has more mix-control, however, my experience with even larger clubs is they have limited 1/4" snakes. If the outputs were buffered XLRs - now that would make some engineers happy! Hooking the module up to my PC using the built-in USB was insanely easy and I was trigger EZDrummer in no time!Final Thoughts: Alesis has really stepped up the game this generation and fixed a great deal of the previous issues with the DM10. It's honestly not fare to compare the two. The rubbers across the board are better, the rim silencers on the DM10 pads barely lasted me a month.
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