Donner DED-200 Review

As E-drum technology continues to advance, electronic kits become a more and more popular purchase due to several key advantages they have over traditional acoustic sets. They’re great if you need to keep the noise down, don’t require any tuning, and are much easier and less expensive to record than acoustic kits. They’re also usually a lot more compact and easier to transport and set up.

Today we are looking at the pro’s and con’s of the Donner DED-200 electronic drum kit. Donner is a relatively new musical instrument manufacturer, founded in 2012. While they certainly haven’t had the time to develop the expertise of some more seasoned drum manufacturers, they do make decent quality products that have certain advantages.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Up to 5 Drums & 4 Cymbals

  • Lots of extras included (headphones, throne, sticks) - certain versions only

  • Dual zone & mesh heads

  • Not too expensive

  • Slight latency / trigger issues

  • Not the best customer service

The Donner DED-200 is a decent beginner level electronic drum kit. The main advantage of the DED-200 is value. You get tons of surface level perks like mesh heads, lots of included sounds and pre-made kits, and up to 5 drums & 4 cymbals. The main disadvantage of the DED-200 is probably manufacturing quality. The triggers aren’t consistent in registering rimshots vs normal hits, and there are some reports of wiring issues causing sensors to miss strikes altogether. Luckily these aren’t super common. So if you’re someone who wants a lot of drums and a lot of different sounds, the DED-200 might be for you. Read on to find out more about the specifics of the DED-200 Donner electric drum set. If you’re looking for more reliable manufacturing, check out the Alesis Nitro Mesh kit.

CHECK AMAZON PRICE (4 Cymbal) CHECK AMAZON PRICE (3 Cymbal)

Whats Included

There are a few different versions of the DED-200 as you’ll see below. The Donner DED-200 comes with:

Amazon link is for this version

Amazon link is for this version

Drums

  • 8" dual zone snare

  • three 8" toms

  • 10" Hi-Hat

  • 12" dual zone ride

  • 12" dual zone crash

  • 6.5" kick drum

Drums

  • 8" dual zone snare

  • three 8" toms

  • 10" Hi-Hat

  • 12" dual zone ride

  • Two 12" dual zone crash

  • 6.5" kick drum

Drums

  • 8" dual zone snare

  • three 8" toms

  • 10" Hi-Hat w/

  • 10" dual zone ride w/ choke

  • 10" dual zone crash w/ choke

  • 6.5" kick drum

Drums

  • 8" dual zone snare

  • three 8" toms

  • 10" Hi-Hat w/

  • 10" dual zone ride w/ choke

  • 10" dual zone crash w/ choke

  • 6.5" kick drum

Sounds & Kits

  • 225 sounds

  • 30 practice songs

  • 15 pre-set kits

  • 1 custom kit

  • 3 coaching functions

Sounds & Kits

  • 225 sounds

  • 30 practice songs

  • 15 pre-set kits

  • 1 custom kit

  • 3 coaching functions

Sounds & Kits

  • 445 sounds

  • 50 practice songs

  • 31 pre-set kits

  • 1 custom kit

  • 3 coaching functions

Sounds & Kits

  • 445 sounds

  • 50 practice songs

  • 31 pre-set kits

  • 1 custom kit

  • 3 coaching functions

Size

2.4ft X 2.7ft X 1.3ft

18KG

Size

2.4ft X 2.7ft X 1.3ft

18.5KG

Size

3ft X 2ft X 1ft

24.5KG

Size

3ft X 2ft X 1ft

24.5KG

Connections

USB MIDI, AUX In & Out, Audio Out

Connections

USB MIDI, AUX In & Out, Audio Out

Connections

USB MIDI, AUX In & Out, Audio Out

Connections

USB MIDI, AUX In & Out, Audio Out

Extras

  • Drum Throne Included

  • Drum Sticks Included

  • Headphones Included

Extras

  • Drum sticks included

Extras

  • Upgraded sound processing chip

  • Drum throne included

  • headphones included

  • Drum sticks included

Extras

  • Upgraded sound processing chip

  • Drum throne included

  • headphones included

  • Drum sticks included

All versions of the kit also come with the collapsible iron metal stand

DED-200 Connections

What We Liked

Mesh Heads

Before mesh heads were introduced, I found electric drums to be almost unplayable. They mostly used rubber, similar to a practice pad, and felt nothing like playing an acoustic drum set. Mesh heads have a texture and rebound much closer to acoustic drum heads, and you can usually tighten or loosen mesh heads to whatever tension feels best for you personally. Mesh heads were originally only found on premium edrum kits, but have since become more common and can now be found on every level of electric drum sets. Even if you don’t end up getting the Donner DED-200, I highly recommend picking up a kit with mesh heads.

Dual Zone & Choke Cymbals

Another feature that brings the Donner DED-200 closer to the feel of acoustic drums is the dual zone and choke features for each cymbal. Dual zone means that different sections on the cymbals trigger different sounds. So for example the bell of the ride cymbal on certain kits sounds like the actual bell of an acoustic ride cymbal, and the rest of the ride sounds like a typical ride cymbal. The cymbals are also choke-able (if you buy the “upgraded” DED-200), meaning you can mute them with your hand by grabbing the edge similar to acoustic cymbals.

Lots of Drums

The Donner DED-200 electronic drum set comes with up to 5 drums and 4 cymbals. It’s sometimes advertised as an 8-9 piece drum set, although this is slightly misleading as usually the cymbals aren’t included in the count, so it’s really a 5 piece. Most electric drum sets within this price range aren’t that big, so if you’re someone that likes plenty of options when playing, the DED-200 might be a good option. Of course, more drums means the kit takes up more space, so make sure you have a good 4 x 2 foot space or so if you’re planning on picking this kit up.

The drums themselves are a good size as well. The snare & toms are 8″ across and don’t feel too small. The cymbals are 10-12″ across and again feel large enough to play easily. Overall I really liked the size and feel of playing this kit.

The Sound Module & Included Features

The Donner DED-200 sound module is average for this price range. It comes with 225 sounds and 30 demo songs which is nice, not the most I’ve seen on a beginner edrum set but certainly not the least. Honestly, having thousands of sounds gets repetitive and doesn’t add a lot of value after a certain point. 150-200 plus is all you need at the beginner level in my opinion. There are definitely kits with better sound engines at a similar price, but again this set seems more geared towards number of drums and features, versus excellent manufacturing and quality.

What We Didn’t Like

Trigger and Delay Issues

We noticed some slight latency and trigger issues when playing the Donner DED-200. There was sometimes a slight sound delay between hitting a drum and hearing the acoustic drum sampling sound play through the headphones/speakers. Really not an issue for beginner or intermediate players, but might be annoying if you’re trying to play very precise grooves. The dual zone triggers for the cymbals were also a bit touchy. It was hard to consistently get a bell sound when playing.

Sound Module Failure

While uncommon, some folks reported that the sound module began to fail after about 6-8 months of playing, and would start playing random drum sounds instead of the preprogrammed kit that was selected.

Customer Service

Not something we experienced, but there are a few reports that Donner customer service is slow to respond and a bit difficult to deal with.

Conclusion

The Donner DED-200 electric drum kit is a great beginner set that offers plenty of bells and whistles for a relatively low price. As far as electronic drum kits go, we feel like the DED-200 fits in the middle of beginner edrums overall. If you’re worried about some of the latency or other issues, check out the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, which is our choice for the best electric drum set.

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