The Yamaha DTX6 Series Has Very Satisfying Features and Options for the Money
It seemed like all of my best friends were drummers when I was growing up. As a result, when I sit behind a set of drums, people call me a drummer. In truth, I was always the lead singer of the bands I was in. Someone else always handled the skins, and I was no Phil Collins or Don Henley. Still, when I got a chance to sit down with the Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums (I went with the DTX6K3-X) I couldn’t pass it up.
Call this a retro “tool” review from my past…I was just determined to have some fun. Who knows how many other contractors might find great joy in beating some digital drums to their favorite classic rock songs? Leave a comment below so I know I’m not the only one!
Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums Performance
- RS6 tubular rack
- TCS heads deliver a natural head feel and rebound
- 3-Zone pads for snare and ride cymbals (hit point detection)
- Choke and mute cymbals
- Includes hi-hat stand and snare clamp
The flagship Yamaha DTX6K3-X is an electronic drum kit that offers a unique playing experience thanks to its Textured Cellular Silicone (TCS) playing surface on the snare and tom pads. TCS isn’t new, but it differs greatly from the mesh systems you find on Roland and other products. It also doesn’t require tensioning.
The material looks very much like a coated drum head. If you could peer inside you’d find millions of tiny bubbles that get injected during the manufacturing process. This not only gives it a nice bounce but also makes these heads SUPER quiet—one of the key attributes of an electronic drum set in my opinion.
The 8-inch XP80 snare includes two rim zones in addition to the main strike zone. The three XP70 tom pads are all single zone (lesser sets can come with an XP70S which has dual zones).
The kit also includes three PCY135 13-inch, three-zone cymbals. These use rubber construction, and you can choke them at the front edge. The ‘Ride’ input of the DTX module uses any of these pads and adds positional sensing. We love the ability to vary the tone across the bow of the cymbal, but I do wish it had a dedicated, larger pad.
The RHH135 hi-hat feels the most like a traditional kit. It fits on an included standard hi-hat stand. Two cables deliver positional information (open/close) as well as whether you’re hitting the hi-hat on the edge or bow.
Kick and Rack
The updated KP90 kick on the DTX6K3-X version of the Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums upgrades the KP65 with a larger, multi-layered playing surface that allows for a double bass pedal (which I added).
The included RS6 rack is new from Yamaha and we found it easy to assemble. It’s also very stable and lets you customize the layout enough to personalize the set.
Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums Technology
- 40 configurable drum kits
- Separately control the Ambience, Compression, and Effects for each kit
- Rec’n’Share App lets you mix and play your music with auto-generated click tracks
DTX-Pro Head Unit Drum Trigger Module
All of the sounds you hear with this system come from the Yamaha DTX-Pro electronic drum trigger module. The rear of the unit has all of the 1/4-inch connections for the drum pads and triggers. The bottom gives you access to a mini-jack auxiliary input and headphone ports. With these, you can connect both your smartphone (via adapter) and headphones to play along with your favorite songs. The front is organized well, separating out the different features.
The left features a scroll wheel for data entry, and three Kit Modifier knobs with LED rings. The center section has a larger LCD screen and soft keys that correspond to the displayed parameters. Here you control all of the kit component volumes, training modes, and more. The right section is dedicated to the tempo and click functions, with a large LED display showing BPM and a Tempo knob to adjust it.
Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums Presets and Kits
The Yamaha DTX head unit includes 40 preset kits and 200 user locations for saving custom designs. You can scroll through these using the data-entry knob or the +/‑ button. Yamaha let us know that all of the sounds in the DTX head unit are new. They recorded them in top European studios. The result is a suite of fantastic presets. Since the unit has 256-note polyphony, you can’t “outrun” it—even when you play your favorite double bass tracks and account for lengthy reverb decays.
What does all that mean? Well, this is a really great-sounding kit. With all of the adjustments (we tweaked the kit level volumes the most) you can really dial in this set to your heart’s content. Classic sets, traditional, electronic—it’s all in there.
Yamaha DTX6K-X vs DTX6K2-X vs DTX6K3-X
Yamaha DTX6 Electronic Drums Price
At $999, $1599, and $1899, you should be able to find a DTX6 drum kit that meets your needs. You can find them at any authorized Yamaha dealer in-store and online.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the Yamaha DTX6K3-X electronic drums offer a unique and versatile playing experience, particularly for those in need of a quiet and compact kit for practice and recording.
Get more information from the Yamaha website.