Author Topic: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2  (Read 1760 times)

Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« on: April 02, 2018, 09:19:57 AM »
Hi from the land down under.

I'm currently looking to get into drumming, used to play guitar but unfortunately due to a hand surgery earlier in life I just don't have the needed dexterity in my left hand for playing(which sucks, I love playing guitar.. oh well)

So anyway, I need something quiet(mesh heads etc), reliable and will be able to grow with my skills a bit as I get better.
I was looking at the Roland td11kv, but it's just too pricey here(round 2500), they have those stepped mesh heads etc.
Which leads me to camp alesis...
I can get either a crimson 2 bundle(the kit, plus headphones, a Mackey thump 12a, throne, some cables) for 1800, or the base dm10 mk2 pro kit on its own for 2000..

Which leads me to my questions
1, apart from different sized heads, what are the main differences between these two kits? Is the dm10 module that much better than the one from the crimson?

2, any quality issues(or non beginner friendly issues in general) that I should be aware of with either kit?

3, how plug and play are these kits? Installing firmware updates and the like is simple enough for me, but having to do massive adjustments to the heads and cymbals... Yeah, I just don't have the required experience currently to know what I'm doing.

4, how reliable long term is either unit

5, out of the two kits as you see here, which would you pick as a complete novice

6, I keep hearing about these cymbals breaking, how much of an issue is this? Some places make it sound like if you touch em with your finger they break, whereas other places make it sound like a non issue

7, any suggestions for a cheap double kick pedal... I'm looking at a base model speed cobra, but any suggestions would be welcome.

Basically the kit will only be used at home(in a unit, hence the need for mesh heads, to my understanding), the kit might go over to a mates occasionally to mess around, but yeah, won't be in the back of the ute much.

Cheers guys

Offline VandalX

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 10:15:30 AM »
Welcome EvilMonkey! I'm relatively new to the E-drum world, after playing acoustics for several decades (poorly at times, but I'm getting better). I did tons of research before deciding on something that had the features at a price point I could manage. This was truly a challenge, especially when comparing all the Alesis models. Yamaha and Roland were easier, as they really have clear dividing lines between easy-to-use, less expensive models (rubber pads, bare bones module) and their "pro" versions. But to get the features I wanted, I started to lean towards Alesis. Read enough reviews and you'll find that the build quality can be an issue that doesn't seem to plague the higher end of the e-drum range.

I did end up with a MK II Pro, as I wanted the extra tom and cymbal. I admit I was also nudged ever-so-slightly by the "Pro" moniker, which is never a good idea. I've come to understand that "Pro" in Alesis parlance probably means Prototype. The Crimson is, well, crimson red. At least that name fits! That said, I still love my kit, and I'm glad I chose it over the Crimson. I've had it for a few months now, and my issues with the unit are well documented in other threads. However, long story short: the mesh head triggers can be faulty. The point of failure is the wiring between the velocity control knob (mounted on the side of the shell) and the center piezo trigger. Without getting too technical, it's an easy fix, but annoying if you've bought a new product that is supposed to me manufactured to be hit with sticks. I am going to assume you have some small electronics experience since you're a guitarist (rewiring pick ups, etc), but if you don't have any, it's still pretty easy to learn to do.

I am documenting my pad/trigger renovation exploits for those just getting into the game, though many others here on the message board have much more experience with these issues. I'm just coming at it from the standpoint of a new Alesis user who is also new to electronic drums. As a new e-drum player, I can forgive certain faults and quirks that come with the learning curve from a former acoustic drummer. Lots of that stuff is my fault, and I plan on learning as much as possible about the internal workings of the kit so I can get the best sound and experience possible. That said, there's no excuse for poorly made equipment. I've already returned one full kit, and received a replacement that also began to fail in the exact same way. I've now learned where these critical failure points are and I'm fixing them as they fail. Sure I could have returned this one too and looked elsewhere for higher build quality. But that comes at a price that was too high for me, and I really do appreciate MOST of what this kit can do. So, after much cost/benefit analysis, I decided to keep it and fix those things I can fix, and move forward with a customized set that fits my needs.

I played the Crimson at a local music store (Guitar Center), and I was pleasantly surprised. But it lacked some features and the extra pads. I went with the DM10 MKII Pro mainly due to this factor, as well as my desire to use a VST through the computer for a better sound set. The on-board kits on the MKII are fun and great for beginning drummers, so either one will fit your needs I'm sure. But be aware of the mechanical elements that will likely become an issue at some point. I can imagine it would be frustrating if you're learning how to play the drums, while simultaneously dealing with equipment issues. Just know that the fixes are relatively easy. You'll learn some new skills and be a more well rounded technician with regards to the e-drumming world.

Just my .02 on the subject. Feel free to ask me any questions since I'm still wading through what this kit is capable of, and where it falls short.


p.s. One thing to consider is getting a used or remaindered DM10x kit. It seems a lot of folks here have them, and the MK II Pro/Studio group is quite small. It sounds like the original DM10 module is quite a bit better than the "newer" Alesis offerings, as the MKII Pro module isn't a Strike, nor is it on the lower end of the scale. It's in a "middle management" zone that is confusing. But as a complete package, it's a good value. The DM10 of old has a lot of features that I'd like to have, but when I was in buying mode it wasn't available and I didn't feel confident enough to get a used set. Hindsight: I might have opted for a used/remaindered DM10 if I knew I'd be tinkering with repairs in any case. Just a thought.
Alesis DM 10 MKII Pro (with Tama Iron Cobra double). Pearl Export acoustic. Fostex VF160EX Digital multitrack (16). Fostex monitors. Roland TR-626 drum machine. Roland Juno 106 Poly synth. Aria Knight Warrior. Peavy Fury. Digitech GNX3000. Digitech RP360. Tascam Porta 05 four track. MacBook Air.

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 11:00:07 AM »
Hi vandal, cheers for the input, this is precisely the kind of thing I was after.

So the common failure point is just the wiring?
Is it just bad solder, or the wiring itself? Either way I don't think I'd have a whole lot of trouble with that, I've done more complex wiring on car audio installs(not exactly hard in itself)
Have you got any links documenting the fix youve done at all? Wouldn't mind checking out this issue...

Otherwise if it's just some simple things like that, it wouldn't bother me.. I just hear a bit of a bad rap on alesis products, don't want to be spending more time fixing it than playing it


Offline VandalX

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 11:42:32 AM »
Hi Monkey. Great, you have the skills to achieve satisfaction! The wiring issue seems to be the gossamer-thin wiring and insulation. I've had the leads fall off from UNDER the glued contacts on the piezo, as well as insulation cracking, leading to breakage. This is a perennial issue and has plagued me over five (running up on six) of the 12" toms. The issue always starts with the snare and the center piezo. That's the trigger (of the two) that takes the brunt of the physical trauma of playing. The other trigger is for rimshots, and I've yet to have one of those fail.  Since the 12" pads are all identical, I rotate the bad one out and replace it with a floor tom pad. Of course, this negates my reasons for purchasing the Pro kit (extra toms), but at least I can play a session until I have some repair down time. Yes, this is a hassle. Especially for a new item. They cheaped out on some relatively inexpensive internals, and that's a shame because they'd be on top of the heap if they paid attention to some simple build quality issues. Perhaps I'm just wildly unlucky, and it's not as widespread a problem as I have experienced. I can only relay my personal experience.

Now, as for being LUCKY, I did purchase this through Amazon Prime. They were super helpful getting a replacement kit sent to me (I didn't even ask for that, I just wanted a replacement tom). All free. I returned the defective kit and upon playing with the new one, the same points of failure began to show up. I also received two new 12" toms from Inmusic (the parent company of Alesis), which was I assume their attempt at rectifying the problem. My first effort to resolve this whole issue was to contact Alesis warranty, but I heard nothing from them. Well, they sent me two "free" toms. Plus my new kit, and now I have two in reserve. I contacted them once again to describe my ongoing problems, so I wonder what else they will send? A Strike Pro with a Pearl Mimic would be nice at this point! It's an embarrassment of riches, but if things worked they way they should it wouldn't be necessary. 

If you're comfortable with the processes for fixing these weak points, then I'd say you will find the kit a pleasant experience. Frustrating at times, and it takes some tweaking, but damn it's fun!

I will be posting my repair antics very soon, and I'll keep you updated with the tips and tricks I use. I'm not electronics expert, but these are simple fixes. I'm also re-skinning the shells while I'm at it to make the kit more "mine." Fun stuff all things considered. Just wish they would use some higher quality internal mechanicals.
Alesis DM 10 MKII Pro (with Tama Iron Cobra double). Pearl Export acoustic. Fostex VF160EX Digital multitrack (16). Fostex monitors. Roland TR-626 drum machine. Roland Juno 106 Poly synth. Aria Knight Warrior. Peavy Fury. Digitech GNX3000. Digitech RP360. Tascam Porta 05 four track. MacBook Air.

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 12:15:52 PM »
Yeah I have to agree on them needing to get their quality control up to scratch.
As a new drummer I'm attracted to the size(and quantity) of the pads compared to Rolands and Yamahas offerings, and alot of the different features(all the pads and symbols being multizone, the pads just looking alot more realistic in general, the module seems to have more features than the td11kv)...

But yeah, it is a concern for me if it's going to have alot of different issues I'm going to have to fix... Hopefully the only real issue this kit has is with the triggers.. If that's the case ill probably grab one, and pre-emptively pull them down and see if I can do something to them

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 10:26:13 AM »
Sorry for bringing back this thread from the dead, but I wanted to note that it was helpful to me. I recently acquired a used Crimson Mesh kit that had a partially dead 10" tom. The previous owner used it as the snare (I think the 12" is supposed to be snare, but I guess they're interchangeable).

Anyway, the pad only responds at the top (and the rim). I opened it up, and found the center sensor unresponsive. Dismantled it further (unscrewed the screws securing it to the base) and found the wires to the center sensor broken. I first thought, Oh no, I just broke the wires. Came here to do some reading and found that the broken wires were likely the source of the failure - not enough play in the wires, glued in place, creating a stress point.

So, rather than buying a new 10" snare, I'll be working on my soldering skills and see if that fixes it.

I appreciate all the info here.

Re: Noob help, dm10 mk2 pro or crimson 2
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 09:08:08 PM »
I gave an update in another thread but decided to put it here too. I did break out my soldering iron, soldered the connections, put on some heatshrink tubing, put it all back together and it works great!