The Best Electronic Drum Amps / Drum Monitors

Drum Amplifiers

Originally published on Mar. 27, 2017 and last updated on Mar. 27, 2018.

If you're looking for an amplifier to use with your electronic drum set or to use as a personal monitor then this guide will help you decide which one is best to get for your situation.

Note that there are other types of amps which can also be used with electronic drums, so make sure you read the "Things To Consider" section if you would like to know about the alternatives.

Contents

The Best Electronic Drum Amps

Gearank Sources Street Price
KAT Percussion KA1 87 5+ $230
ddrum DDA50 86 10+ $239
Roland PM-100 86 5+ $300
KAT Percussion KA2 86 10+ $380
Additional Option
Roland PM-200 84 1+ $500

The Best Drum Amps

KAT Percussion KA1

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 5+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$230
KAT Percussion KA1 - Digital Drum Set Amplifier

The KA1 showcases responsive and clean amplification for monitoring electronic drums in a small environments such as rehearsal rooms and home studios. It features a large carry handle for easy transportation, three band EQ for mixing, and other inputs for plugging other sound sources or instruments.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 50W / 8 Ohms
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4" jacks for drum set input
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/8" stereo headphone jack
  • Speakers: 10" Woofer, 2.5" Tweeter
  • Tone Control: 3-band EQ
  • Frequency Response: 20-20KHz
  • Size: 15.5" x 15.5" x 16.25"
  • Weight: 31.4 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not Specified

Pros

Users were satisfied with its overall sturdy construction. They found it to be loud with enough power even at a low volume. One user also mentioned that it provided a great separation and response of kick drum and cymbals whenever they play their electronic drum kit.

Cons

One user mentioned its highs sounded a bit thin. They end up adjusting the EQ settings and eventually made a bit of a difference.

Overall

At an affordable price, this drum is ideal to use for practicing at home or small gigs.

ddrum DDA50

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$239
Ddrum DDA50 Electronic Percussion Amplifier

The Ddrum DDA50 is a 50-watt amplifier that features a 10-inch subwoofer and an adjacent 2 1/2-inch tweeter. It also features three 1/4" inputs, an XLR line out, an MP3 input and a headphone output. It also has adjustable 3-band EQ knobs for tone adjustment purposes.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 50 W
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 1/4" Input jacks (mono and stereo), MP3/CD Input
  • Outputs: 1 XLR Line Out, Headphone Output
  • Speakers: 10" Driver, 2-1/2" Tweeter
  • Tone Control: 3-Band EQ
  • Frequency Response: Not specified
  • Size: 19" x 19" x 19"
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified

Pros

The recent reviews were still overall positive where it continues to provide a nice full sound with clear highs at low volumes. A number of users found its control knobs easily adjustable with the use of drumsticks. Its auxiliary input was found to be very useful for playing along with music and pre-recorded samples.

Cons

There were a few reviewers that preferred to have more inputs for more plug-in options, such as RCA inputs.

Overall

If you want a personal drum monitor or practice amp this is a good choice for such use.

Roland PM-100

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 5+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Roland PM-100 80-watt 1x10" Personal Drum Monitor / Drum Amplifier

The Roland PM-100 is a drum monitor built to match Roland's V-Drums but works with any electronic drum kit. It showcases a full-range speaker system and rugged cabinet for clean full-range reproduction of electronic drums. In terms of design and build, its angled construction provides direct sound coverage for the seated player while its bar handle is made for carrying around and easy floor adjustment.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 80 W
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Inputs:1/4-inch Stereo phone type V-Drums INPUT, 1/4-inch Line-in Stereo phone type, 1/8-inch Stereo miniature phone type
  • Outputs: No Output
  • Speakers: 1 x 10" Woofer, 1 x 2" Tweeter
  • Tone Control: 2-band EQ (Bass and Treble)
  • Frequency Response: Not Specified
  • Size: 15-5/16" x 16-1/16" x 13-15/16"
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified

Pros

Even though it's a fairly new release, it has already gained positive reviews when it comes to sound. Reviewers mentioned it's loud enough, provides great response and authentic reproduction of their drum kit. The construction overall is high grade and durable as expected from Roland.

Overall

This a great drum monitor to use for live performances.

KAT Percussion KA2

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$380
KAT Percussion - KA2 Digital Drum Set Amplifier

The KAT KA2 is a durable amplifier equipped with a powerful 200-watt drumming amp. It features a 1"x1" compression driver for a crisp high-end sound, and a 3-band EQ for sound shaping with a presence "attack" control. There are two 1/4" input jacks for drum input and a 1/8" input jack for external connectivity MP3 players and other digital devices. Its large carry handle is an advantage for ease of transport.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 200W / 8 Ohms x 1
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 1/4-inch jacks for drum set input (mono and stereo), 1 Aux Line In 1/4-inch, External Line In: 1/8-inch stereo
  • Outputs: Line Out: 1/8-inch stereo headphone jack, 1 XLR line out
  • Speakers: 12-inch Woofer, 1" x 1" Compression Driver
  • Tone Control: 3-Band EQ
  • Frequency Response: 20-20KHz
  • Size: 16.5" x 18" x 19"
  • Weight: 44.25 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Not specified

Pros

Many drummers favor this amplifier for its loudness and quality. They said the cymbals reproduce great highs and the lows had a deep resonance as well. It was also commended for its sturdy build.

Cons

There were some manufacturing issues reported for this amplifier not turning on despite trying different power cords and outlets.

Overall

If you want a loud and good sounding amplifier at a fair price, this is one to consider.

Additional Drum Amp Option

Roland PM-200

84
GEARANK

84 out of 100. Incorporating 1+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500

NB - We don't yet have sufficient sources to provide an accurate rating and the current Gearank score is provisional only.

Roland has recently released the PM-200 drum monitor amplifier built to match their V-Drums electronic drum kits but it can be used with any brand of electronic drums. Based on early tests and demos, this is a very promising drum amp. Its two XLR direct outputs are made for routing and sending sounds to a mixer, interface or recording device, which makes it flexible to use for studio applications and monitoring on stage. It also has dedicated independent controls for volume, line input, and EQ. Similar to the PM-100, its constructed in a way that's directly angled to the seated player and has bar handle for floor adjustments and to easily carry it around.

Since it powers on at 180W, it's expected to have a great amount of volume that's loud enough to use for live gigs in bigger venues. In addition to that, the XLR inputs are also useful for both live monitor or recording purposes.The early demonstrations from users, who have uploaded videos on Youtube of them testing it out, show how responsive and clearly it reproduces drum sounds. We will provide further updates once there's more information how it performs and applied in certain situations.

Things To Consider When Buying An Amplifier For Electronic Drums

  • Alternatives to Drum Amps

    It is quite common for drummers to opt for alternatives to dedicated drum amps. Other systems can provide more versatility - here are some of the other options often used:

    • Keyboard Amps - this is probably the most common alternative. They can handle both the transient attacks and wide frequency range of electronic drums quite well, come in higher power ratings, and can also be used as general purpose small PA systems.
    • Powered PA Speakers - although these generally only have a single channel they have the added versatility of being able to be used at different times as part of a PA system including main speakers or as stage monitors. An added benefit is that you can get many more watts per dollar spent.
    • Portable PA Systems - These provide the benefit of having multiple channels with mixers and can be used by the whole band. The downsides are that there are more pieces to carry around and some don't have frequency response ranges above 12kHz.

     
    It is not recommended to use a guitar or bass amp due to their emphasis of high and low frequencies respectively and because they tend to color the sound rather than faithfully reproducing the input signal.

  • How Much Power Do You Need?

    If you're only intending to use your amp as a personal drum monitor playing on your own then any drum amp will do the job. If you're going to play large venues then you still don't need a really powerful amp because you'll only need the people on stage with you to be able to hear it due to the PA system doing most of the amplification for the audience - for this purpose 50 to 100-watt amps with an XLR out are all that's usually needed. The times when you need more powerful amps, such as the 200-watt options above, is when you are playing small to medium venues or rehearsing with a loud band and not using a PA system to amplify your electronic drums.

  • Weight/Portability

    It's best to find an amplifier that is easy to carry when bringing it around to different gigs or rehearsals. Find one that has the features that you need that still has a light-weight or has a handle grip.

  • Channels, EQ, and other features

    Factors to keep in mind are what kind and how many input and output channels are built in. Most have 1/4" stereo drum inputs and some have more than one auxiliary input. Having auxiliary inputs when connecting external devices such as percussion pads is taken into consideration if needed. Output channels can come in forms such as XLR line outs that provide balanced, noise-free signal flow to connect through a recording or live console. Some amplifiers have multi-band EQ that you can independently adjust based on your preference of tuning your sound. There are extra features that cater to live settings such as slanted cabinets and battery-powered options. CD or MP3 inputs are a bonus feature for players to jam with backing tracks or songs. The headphone jack can be used for plugging in headphones for practice or for in-ear monitoring.

Best Drum Amplifier Selection Methodology

For this 2018 revision we began by looking at all of the drum amps listed by music gear retailers in the USA. We then short-listed the 8 drum amps that were currently available for close analysis. Next we analyzed customer and expert reviews as well as forum discussions to learn what the pros and cons were for each amp and we also fed the collected data into the Gearank Algorythm to produce our independent Gearank scores out of 100. Finally, we selected the highest rated amps to recommend above. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

Comments

Thank you for the review!

Thank you for the review! This was very in depth and enlightening. The "Things to consider..." section was very valuable. Thanks again!!!

I agree the Simmons DA200S is

I agree the Simmons DA200S is by far the best amp choice. I solved the weight problem by adding set of swiveling castors to the bottom using bolts into T nuts. Works great.

I bought the Simmons DA200s,

I bought the Simmons DA200s, because of all the positive comments I read, but never actually heard it. It is a solid and great sounding amp, but tried to use it to practice with my band, and it just wasn't loud enough to keep up. Great amp to use by yourself or use it as a monitor in a band situation.

I am a Drum student and have

I am a Drum student and have Yamaha 450 digital drums, my children plays digital piano and have Yamaha Digital piano they are also into Vocals. Could you please recommend a Monitor to use for home usage to connect all these requirements, would the idea of all purpose will help and do you have any recommendations. Thanks in Advance.

If only one of you will use

If only one of you will use the amp at a time, then a basic Keyboard Amp like the Peavey KB 1 would be a cost effective solution.

If you all want to play through it at the same time, then a multi channel amp like the Behringer K450FX will let you do that but both the electronic drums and digital piano will only be able to provide a mono signal.

If you all want to play at the same time and in stereo, then a small PA system like the Behringer PPA500BT will do the job.

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