The Quest: the Xpress, for kind of expressive

This will mark the first post of The Quest category, where your drumming question will get answered, and others are free to chime in under the comment section. GDL writes:
Hey Mati, I have a friend that's trying to buy this used Yamaha elec. drum kit over private sales for $700, but he doesn't know anyone that plays drums so I'm just wondering if you could let us know if you think it's a good deal, and perhaps some tips on what we need to know upon buying used drum kits. The seller claims that it's brand new (maybe like used for a couple of months?). Please let me know 🙂 Thanks a bunch! and Happy New Year!
Dear George: Yamaha DTXpress comes in 4 models ranging from around $1000 to $1500 new, which one is your friend looking at? I am guessing it is the DTXpress IV standard, the most usual one available. It can be had for under $900CAD right now, see link here. Is your friend purchasing the drumset for mostly home practice, or is he looking to use it for shows and recording? For home practice and simple shows that do not demand a high variation of sounds within one single song, the DTXpress IV is a pretty decent drumkit with some good cymbal pads. The 3-zone cymbal pads from the DTXpress IV are a good idea if your friend likes to work different parts of the cymbals. Other reviews on the net also gave good reviews on the drum module of the DTXpress IV. I wouldn't mind owning one myself, problem is I already have a DTXplorer at home. A few things to test out when you go checking out the drumkit, preferably with another drummer who have experience with electric kits: 1) Every single pads. They should all respond with a normal tap from the drumstick. Take note: the DTXpress IV has a 3-zone snare pad and two 3-zone cymbal pads, meaning you should be able to get 3 different sounds out of the 3-zone pads, make sure to check those out. I have seen 3-zone pads with only 2 working zones, or pads that have been smacked so hard it will no longer register a hit unless you smack it even harder, which of course will eventually kill the sensor. 2) The input area of the drum brain, make sure the jack inputs do not wobble and the sound doesn't skip. Check especially for the headphone and audio output jacks, those are the most likely to go. 3) Check frame connecting joints for cracks, make sure each pad can be secured tightly. 4) The DTXpress IV does not come with a drum pedal or a throne, ask to see if they are included. They can easily cost your friend $200+. All in all, $700 is a pretty fair deal, given if everything works perfectly. If (Brand name) seat and bass pedal included? Even better. To complicate things a little more, there's a Roland TD4 on craigslist right now, $875 dual zone pads all around. You can probably get it down to close to $700..also a good deal. But of course you need to check that out as well. Hope it helps! -Mati Have a drum question of your own? Send it to mati4drums@gmail(dot)com .
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