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Rating and Reviews: Roland SPD-S Percussion

Add powerful sampling to your system with the compact Roland SPDS percussion pad, which records CD-quality samples for instant playback.

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"Out of date, but useful" submitted February 17, 2008

By a customer from alum.mit.edu
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Musical Background: Amateur cellist, drummer, composer
Music Style: Classical, rock, jazz, experimental
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Sound: The sound fidelity seems good so far, although I haven't done any really critical listening or recording with it. The quality of the included samples and the ways it can manipulate them are a different matter. There are maybe 50-100 or so moderately useful preloaded sounds, depending on your style: basic acoustic and electric kicks, toms, cymbals, snares, and small percussion. (If you have a half-decent drum sample CD it probably has better sounds.) There are also a bunch of useless loops and sounds that were obviously included just to make flashy demos, like a guy saying "You got the groove!". I hoped that the included CD would have more useful sounds, but it seems to basically have the same sounds that are preloaded into memory, plus more loops. And if you want to play the sounds EXPRESSIVELY, it will take some work. First you have to train yourself to hit the rather small pads, preferably near the middle where they're most responsive, and never too lightly, because they don't notice light hits at all. Fortunately you can select from a few different velocity curves, though you have to select one curve for all the flat pads and one for the edge pads. I settled on curve LOG1 for both the flat and edge pads, with sensitivity 5 and 7 respectively. I'm pretty happy with the feel now, although I really wish it would respond to light taps. (For external pads, you can set everything independently for each, including the minimum velocity that it will respond to-- this feature would have been really nice for the built-in pads. I'm very happy with the way my KD7 kick pad responds when plugged into the SPD-S.) The other problem is that the sound generator is really wimpy in terms of sound manipulation. A really good percussion sound module would optionally (1) allow at least 8 different samples per pad depending on the velocity, and/or cross-fade between a few different samples; (2) vary the pitch depending on velocity; (3) have real envelope generators; (4) have per-voice filters. The SPD-S has almost none of those features. It can have two samples per pad, selected by velocity (no cross-fading), which is pretty weak. It can't change the pitch or even the duration of a sample dynamically, although you can do a bit with the effects (see below). It doesn't have any filtering for each voice, although once again you can fake it a bit using effects. There are no envelope generators except for a really basic "dynamic attack" feature that I've found pretty useful. So basically, to make the sounds change in any way (besides volume and attack) in response to velocity, you have to use the built-in effects processor. Many of the effect parameters can be set to respond to velocity. The main problem with this is that there is only one effects processor, shared by all the pads that have effects enabled (fortunately you can select which pads' sounds are routed to the effects). So you can, for example, use a pitch-shift effect to make the pitch respond to velocity, but if you hit one pad and its sound is still playing when you hit another pad, the pitch of the first will suddenly change in response to the second. By far the most useful setup I've found is to use the "isolator" effect (really just a simple 3-band graphic equalizer) on just the toms, with the high band set to respond to velocity. The fact that the filter is shared by all the toms is not too noticeable. You could probably also get some nice results with the 4-band Parametric Equalizer, 2-Band Compressor, or a few other effects, although I haven't yet found settings on those that work for me. It can play loops, but you can't set loop points or anything; it plays the sound from beginning to end and then starts over. It doesn't even loop seamlessly. I made a half-decent timpani roll sound that looped perfectly on my computer, but on the SPD-S there was a little click every time it got to the end. The loop feature is really meant for phrases, not continuous sounds. There is NO WAY to get a realistic snare drum sound out of this thing. Feature: Aside from things I mention under the "Sound" heading, I'm mostly quite happy with the SPD-S. It's the only electronic multipad that is is so compact, and the only one with a built-in sampler. A few minor shortcomings: You need a 512MB Compact Flash card (larger ones won't work; smaller ones are just silly and are even harder to find) and a computer with a Compact Flash slot to transfer your own samples into it. Fortunately 512MB cards and readers are really cheap. I got a SanDisk card and a Kingston universal memory card reader (USB-based) from Amazon; both work great. The LCD screen is absurdly small. Having to keep patch names down to 8 characters gives me nostalgic flashbacks to the MS-DOS days, but not in a good way. Ease of Use: I haven't had any trouble learning to use it, but I have a couple of engineering degrees so maybe I'm not typical... Quality: No problems so far, but I've had it for less than two months. I heard a rumor somewhere that the problem with the pad contacts is fixed in recent units, but I can't vouch for anything. Overall: My goal with buying the SPD-S was to put together a decent hybrid drum kit that I can roll around on the Boston subway system. I use an acoustic hi-hat, snare, and crash/ride cymbal; the SPD-S is my toms, kick drum (with KD7 pedal trigger), and other supplemental percussion. It works pretty well for this. I would NOT want to use the SPD-S for snare or cymbals. The basic problems with the SPD-S are that it uses old technology, and that Roland cut too many corners on the sound generator. A new model is long overdue. Hopefully the next generation SPD will include: (1) much more responsive pads (difficult, but supposedly the HandSonics are much more sensitive, so apparently Roland knows how to do this); (2) a more powerful sampler, with envelopes, pitch manipulation, loop points, etc.; (3) a USB port so you can just plug it into any computer and transfer samples; (4) at least 2GB of built-in memory (Flash chips are so cheap these days that there's no excuse for having less) and a modern memory card slot.
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"The in' and out's of the SPD-s" submitted June 18, 2005

By a customer from dynamicmik.com
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Musical Background: Music student for 2 years
Music Style: Jazz/Experimental
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Sound: The SPD-S is a amazing product in the sure fact you can do stand alone shows without a notebook or desktop to help support you. The sound quality is also flawless just dont buy any cheap flash cards. Feature: The effects are "ok" but they seem to cause some issues with the other sounds playing if they run toooo long. So I would recommend using your rack effects so you don't ruin your card. Quality: The product takes a hella of a beating! I thought it would break pretty quick but roland did a good job. Value: The price is super expensive but I saw it as a investment and so far its worked for me. Manufacturer Support: I called roland "don't email youll get some idiot". I got this smart little kid and he explained a lot of the products funtionality to me. I was having CF card issues. They are the best because they have it in front of them and are playing with it as you talk! The Wow Factor: I was always looking for somehting I could pay in a small apartment and still have room to make love to my woman. This prodduct works. Overall: I enjoy the fact that this product is small and packs lots of features and can take a few punches from concrete. Roland did a good job but as always nothing is perfect. =)
12 of 13 people (92.31%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"9 months later... I love the SPDS for mimicking a real kit!" submitted July 30, 2005

By a customer from sunflower.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, 14 years
Music Style: rock, electronic, acoustic
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Sound: The sound is a good as the waveforms you use. I bought a blemished unit for less than full price and it didn't have any of the Roland presets on it. That's okay... I've made a whole bank of my own kit sounds. It takes two or three separate patches to cover all of the drums of a full kit. Playing them by and recording on three or four tracks... my recordings sound like I have a real kit. Feature: Haven't tried using any of the effects yet. The SPDS allows you to record short "performances" which I also haven't used as I prefer to play it like a kit. For hip hop and electronica, you could use these features to come up with some very unique parts. I can't comment on its trigger features or anything having to do with adding it to a live drum rig for shows. I know nor care about that. Quality: So far I've had no worries about the quality. It's heavy, seems very durable. Looking at it you'd think it'd be the same consistency as say a laptop computer. It's far more rugged than that. I wail on the pads and not worry. They pads themselves are very strong rubber. Buttons are easy to press, don't get stuck. I've had no problems with the programs crashing. Haven't encountered any bugs. Value: I had a toy drum machine for a few years that I used to make really, really bad recordings. This is no toy. I expect it to last, and the fact that I can import my own samples means it's incredibly versatile. Only the talentless would have trouble being creative with the SPDS. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had any problems. I'm not sure where to go to download the Roland preset patches and after a brief 'net search, I gave up. So they could make it easier for me to find these things. I'm not too worried about, but I do consider that a support issue that wasn't perfect. The Wow Factor: Obviously I wanted it. With so many other drum pads out there... this one caught my eye and I'm not disappointed. Overall: If I lost this one, I'd hurry to replace it. Only if Roland makes a better version of this exact pad would I try something else at this point.
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"Here's a quick and easy fix for the famous dead pad problem!" submitted November 2, 2006

By a customer from silk.net
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: contemporary, african, musique concrete, etc.
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Sound: The ability to play standard WAV files is great. The effects are a little mid-grade, and the sampling inputs are a little noisy, but it's more than possible to make top quality sounds with this unit. Feature: A very well thought-out user interface, combined with the ability to do more than you might imagine make this little gadget a winner. Initially I used it only to augment my acoustic kit with samples of auxiliary percussion, but it was surprisingly easy to get into the other features. You can play a sequence live on the pads and save the whole thing as a sample, which helps get around the polyphony limitation if you're building up something elaborate. With a Compact Flash card installed, the extra storage allows you to trigger some extremely long full-quality samples. The external controller and foot switch inputs can be programmed to do almost anything. Think beyond drums: the SPD-S is deliciosly versatile. Ease of Use: I get frustrated easily with clunky programming interfaces, but once you've gone through a procedure once with the SPD-S manual on hand, you'll never need to look it up again. The multi-function buttons light up and flash to remind you what you need to do, and the prompts in the LCD window make sense. Experienced gearheads could probably get by without ever cracking the manual. Quality: READ THIS! Others have correctly reported that false triggering and dead pads can appear after only a few months of use. The good news is that it can easily be fixed by anyone with a Phillips #2 screwdriver and reasonably good hand skills. WARNING: I'm an experienced technician. Don't try this unless you're comfortable working inside electronic equipment. What you need to do is carefully clean the contacts on the ribbon cables that connect the pad sensors to the main circuit board. To do this, turn the unit over, remove the stand adaptor and the 15 screws that hold the bottom on. Slide the bottom up and back to clear the switches, controls and jacks on the rear apron. Remove the 3 screws holding the foil shield over the main circuit board, and fold the foil back. CAREFULLY pull out the two ribbon cables from CN11 and CN12. Use a clean WHITE eraser to gently clean the oxide from the silver contacts on the ends of the cables. They will get visibly cleaner. Turn over each cable end to make sure you've cleaned every contact. GENTLY plug the cables back in ALL THE WAY, making sure they're the right way around (the correct directions are shown in white ink on the main board). Carefully reassemble the unit and test it. Chances are the problem pads will be completely restored. NOTE: doing the above WILL void your warranty. Attempt it only if you're confident in your abilities, and you want to fix your beloved SPD-S without spending a dime or waiting for weeks. Value: Slightly overpriced perhaps, but overall the SPD-S is a lot of creative power in an appealing versatile package. If it was $100 less, I'd probably have a second one by now. Manufacturer Support: Roland was hard to reach, didn't offer quick turnaround for professional users, and wouldn't supply service materials, thus necessitating my vigilante repair described above. Roland service is generally okay, but unspectacular. The Wow Factor: It's very tough not to fall in love with this thing - try one out in a music shop and see what I mean! A quick flip through the manual and a glance at the rear panel reveals the great thinking that went into this product. It's worthwhile even if you "only" want to use it to add dozens of top-quality sounds to your setup. The fact that you can store tons more of your own sounds on Compact Flash was the clincher for me. But think beyond the obvious - there's a LOT that can be done with the SPD-S. Overall: I'd buy another SPD-S in a heartbeat if anything happened to my current one. Ideally, I'd have two or three. I do a regular gig with only the SPD-S and two foot switches. Try THAT with anything else that costs $500 and fits into a laptop case. There are a couple of things I'd like to see improved, like faster importing of WAV files, or more sensible choices in ribbon cable contact plating materials (see above), but overall this box is a great tool, and can bring new creative possibilities to almost any setup.
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"review update from first one (07/30/2003)" submitted November 28, 2004

By a customer from duke.edu
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: varied
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Sound: You have 3 levels of sound quality. I have used the medium for most everything and that works OK for playing throughan average PA. Feature: My unit came with the mounting bracket in 2003, but I've heard that they don't include it anymore. Too bad. It doesn't come with a lot of memory, but I bought a flash card at Costco and now I have lots of space. Quality: I wrote a review earlier (07/30/2003) about false triggering. It was a problem with early models that has been corrected. Good old "let the consumer do the beta testing". With it's plastic case I try to be sure not to drop it. Value: I still think it's a bit expensive. Manufacturer Support: I wasn't sure what would happen with support concerning the problem of false triggering I mentioned in my first review (07/30/2003). I went to the Percussive Arts Society Annual Convention In Louisville that November and talked (confronted, really) the Roland sales rep about this issue. He gave me contact info and I was able to get this fixed under warrenty. It took about 2 weeks from when I sent it to when I got it back. I don't know if this would have gone so smoothly without his help, but I'm happy now, nonetheless. The Wow Factor: This has been a good addition to my MIDI percussion rig. Overall: I will always want something else!
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"Amazing product, at least one engineering flaw." submitted January 23, 2011

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Sound: Excellent sound. The fact that you load or record your own sounds is literally fantastic. Steel Drums, anybody? The SPDS can only sound 8 voices at once before it starts "stealing" notes. The SPDS's highest quality, "Fine" eats up two voices at once; Stereo samples also eat up two voices, so using both gets polyphony down to two voices! Stick to mono samples and "Standard" quality. Feature: Recording your own samples for playback by striking a pad. Outrageous. Ease of Use: Programmed by experienced designers. Surprisingly simple to use given its substantial capabilities. Very efficient and logical interface, but it's not so intuitive that you don't need the manual. Quality: Generally very good Roland quality, with two design/engineering shortcomings: Several users have smacked the LCD, requiring replacement, and other users report broken output jacks. I never experienced the former, as I've velcro'd a small plexiglass protector over the LCD. The latter I did experience, and I'm sitting here looking at the jack I just replaced. The output jack is held to the PC board by 3 solder joints, one in the front, two in the back. The front solder "tab" is literally a 1/16" wide piece of thin brass! Yep, that's all that's holding the front end of that output jack in place, and it's expected to hold a big heavy 1/4" phone plug in a performance environment! I replaced the jack but used hot glue to reinforce and support the frame of each output jack. Roland can do better. Value: No doubt the SPD-S is expensive. Even so, it remains a good value, considering its unique capabilities. Manufacturer Support: Support has been excellent, parts are available and are shipped promptly. The Wow Factor: A great percussion toy that doesn't get in the way of it's own use. Overall: Technological advancements may someday make this unit obsolete, but the fact that it records single samples, phrases, and 20-minute band breaks, all at your disposal in 128 different 9-pad drum kits means the creative opportunities are virtually inexhaustible.
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"Better Order The Extras, Too..." submitted June 29, 2004

By a customer from purdue.edu
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Music Style: Rock, Prog, Metal, Blues
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Sound: The sound and features of the SPDS are on par with those of other Roland and Boss products I have owned. I was very pleased with the sounds, versatility and ease of use of the SPDS. Feature: A little lower rating here due to lack of features that I thought should be standard. For instance, the SPDS has (2) sets of preset sounds that are exactly alike - presumably so one can edit one set of patches to form new sounds without harming the originals. To me, this seems like a waste of memory space, as I would prefer to have memory space available for my own sampling purposes without the need to spend MORE money on expensive flash cards. I also feel it should come standard with a stand mount (which is currently sold separately, for MORE money), since it is a percussion tool, and drummers will be using it... Quality: Like most Roland products it is sturdy and visually appealing, very easy to use, and quite durable as long as it is treated with respect and care. The pads are very sensitive and need not be "thumped" with a drumstick. I found that most of the samples could be triggered at an acceptable level with just a "poke" or "tap" from an index finger or middle finger. Value: A worthwhile buy for those who like to have their own samples and loops within stick's reach. I currently use the SPDS with (2) working bands, and it has proven to be versatile and reliable (albeit a little expensive with the stand mount and flash cards "required" but not "included"). Roland would do well to further develop the SPDS package to include the stand mount and at least one flash card, even if it costs the consumer a little more. The price of the SPDS was well worth it for the features. The "extras" being included in the SPDS package when the user first opens it would be far more valuable than any extra charge Roland might include. Manufacturer Support: Here is where Roland needs some help. Once you've contacted them, their service department is friendly and helpful. Trying to contact them is a bit of a chore, especially for a starving artist. They have NO toll-free phone number or email contact, which leaves only long-distance calls and/or expensive faxes for communication. I prefer email myself, but am forced to spend yet MORE money on calls for help. The Wow Factor: It's not a drop-dead gorgeous package, but very unobtrusive in a percussion setup. What it lacks in eye candy, it MORE than makes up for in functionality. It has class and moxy in a very understated sort of way, but once you hear what it can do, it definitely will grab you attention! Overall: I love it; I just wish it came with all the extras!
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"SPD-S Review from Derek Showman" submitted August 3, 2007

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: 5 years "Active Musician", "Recording Engineer"
Music Style: "Electronic, Ambient, Alternative Rock"
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Sound: This product has a very full sound that is much desired for the type of project I am in. It's very clear and in your face. With the sound I couldn't be happier. Feature: It's great that it has a Midi outputs that's fantastic. I also like the ablility to add two additional zone pads to the SPD-S. In addition to all of that I think it's really awsome that you have the option to add pedal effects to the works!!!! Now the only problem that I have found is, I wish instead of a 1/4" cable as the (mono) outputs, it should have XLR. Other than that it is great. Ease of Use: When I first got the SPD-S it took me about a two weeks to know my way around it pretty well. As I got more intuitive with the device, I found that there was one issue that I never liked, and that would be that, you can only place on effect to the patch. I think it would be really benifical to the user to be able to place mulitple effect to the patch. Other than that the system usage is easy and very effective. Quality: I think this is a very sturdy and stable product, but like I stated previously I do not care for the 1/4" outputs they are subjectable to in input breaking . Aside from that I fine it to be a very well constructed peice of equpitment. Value: Yeah I think it is absolutely worth the price compaired to other electronical and sampleing equipment. Manufacturer Support: I haven't really had to contact anyone in tech support yet. I hope I don't need to anytime soon either. The Wow Factor: It's a pretty attractive looking device. I don't know if I would spend $500 on it JUST for the looks, but I like how it looks. Overall: I have own this now for 2 years, and I have loved every minute of it. Me being a very aggressive drummer kinda worried me at first but, it has held strong through the rigirous beating I have given it.
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"Nice" submitted October 22, 2007

By a customer from mac.com
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Musical Background: professional
Music Style: all
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Sound: Typical sounds, but the sampling makes it able to have any sound you desire. The expansion slot for a compact flash card is also a great feature. Feature: Being able to adjust the pads like gate time and sensitivity are what is needed, unlike some other products on the market. For a while Roland was making some pretty awful pads. They took away the cancel triggers from the rim of the unit and when you hit the plastic, it would trigger several sounds. This unit seems to have fixed that problem, as with the spd 20. I would have given a 10 on this section but I have a little trouble controling the triggers evenly. Mostly because 3 of them are edge triggers and need to be played differently and set differently. Ease of Use: Very easy to use. Nice sounds and easy. Quality: Just right. Plastic could be heavier but it's ok. The size is small and easy to place in a big setup. Very dependable works every time. Internal effects are nice. Value: 9 triggers for $500, what a deal. Manufacturer Support: OK online support. Overall: I wish it had one or 2 more trigger inputs. But this items does what it is supposed to do. If Roland could make a better zone type trigger, it would be great.
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"SPD-S, not as great as it's big brother, but does fill a void in Ro Land." submitted August 13, 2003

By a customer from cox.net
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Music Style: Jazz, rock, classical, pit orchestra
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Sound: Not exactly a V set. Not enough layering of sounds, especially snare. Nice collection of small toy instruments such as slide whistle and shakers etc. Drum set sounds are flat and are cut way back. When compared to spd 20, it would be a joke. Feature: Nice to have compact flash slot, except Roland claims that it doesn't hold setups for patches. All sounds seem to be samples, nothing in ROM. Can't just reset unit when you hold 2 buttons and start up. Must pull it off card or midi. 9 pads are a plus. Smaller than spd 20 too. Makes it easier to move around, but harder to hit in the dark. Good missed trigger cancellation if you hit plastic. SPD 11 didn't have this feature. Sampling a big plus. Quality: seems to be built well. The paint will scratch off for sure. Pads are responsive. Very road worthy, as much as any octapad. Value: Compared to an Akai, the price is cheap. Compared to other SPD units, the price may be a bit too high. Manufacturer Support: I registered this product and they didn't even care to ask what serial number the unit had. The web site offers no help in choosing compact flash memory cards, or that it can accept 1 gig cards. Roland doesn't even show pictures of the back of unit on their web site. As with all Roland products, the company is very unresponsive. The Wow Factor: Edge triggers are great and it is about time Roland added this to their octapads. I love the edge triggers. Overall: There is really no other product out there quite like this. As a drummer, to have a trigger pad that samples is a great plus. The internal sounds do not, and have never interested me because roland sounds are not exactly what I am looking for. The sounds on this unit are compromized in certain cases such as the snare and cymbal sounds. The toy instrument sound are a nice collection to have in a pinch. So again this is not a good drum set replacement, but a good additional tool to add to a set.
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"Killer pad." submitted November 9, 2009

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Home musician
Music Style: Rock guitar and drums
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Sound: sounds great, punchy bass and good samples Feature: tons but "ease of use" issues below Ease of Use: Crikey this needs a nice PC interface instead of the absolutely mental front panel. They should refit the firmware with a VG99 type interface maybe through the midi port. I am nearly tempted to write one myself. I wish it had native mp3 support as well. I ran one firmware upgrade and lost everything. Quality: It has dealt with by my 2 sons without fail. Now that is punishment, Value: Even though we get ripped off in Australia it was great value. Manufacturer Support: Needs better firmware. The Wow Factor: Getting a bit old now and memory cards need future proofing as you can't buy the originals any more. Overall: Had it for 6 years love it but in no way have I mastered it. The interface is too clumsy. But it has provided heaps of fun and music.
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"TREMENDOUS PRODUCT!" submitted April 20, 2008

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Overall: This product is everything that anyone would ever want in a metronome. It's worth every penny and can easily take your playing to another level.
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"I OWN 2 SPD/S's...THEY DON'T WORK !" submitted December 15, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: drummer/band leader
Music Style: reggae/dance hall
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Quality: It is the most unreliable piece of equipment Roland has ever made. I own (2) SPD/S sampling pads, (1) SPD 20 and (1) SPD 11. The SPD 20 and 11 still work but only as midi triggers, as after 3 years, the sterio outputs stopped working(as with all SPDs). The SPD/S's on the other hand, have both stop working in a matter of a couple of months while on the road with recording artiste Sean Paul. This product was obviously not tested properly for the professional drummer and should be regarded as a toy. Laurel Baillie, Drummer/Band Leader for Sean Paul Overall: If it dosen't work...replace NOW.
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"Easy to use..." submitted August 11, 2004

By a customer from aol.com
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Music Style: R & B, Rap, Hip Hop, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Country.....
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Sound: I use it with a conventional Tama set and the blend is almost perfect. Feature: This is very useful in live playing, pads easy to read and easy to hit the right pad for your the music you are playing. Manufacturer Support: Have not had to contact anyone yet on service
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A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
 
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey and Nevada, nearly 75 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
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Available on
orders $249+
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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on most orders $49+

Just $2.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!