Here is a little review about my experience so far with Diamond Electronic Drums. This is based on my limited experience with other products from Roland (TD9, TD12), Yamaha (DTX900K) and 2Box.
The report on the triggering performance is for the 2Box module only. With the latest OS (1.24) installed.
Also, pardon my English as itís not my natural born language.
The first time Iíve heard about Diamond Drums was by reading the snare shootout in Digital Drummer (November 2011 issue). Long story short, it caught my attention. I have then searched more information and read a lot of praise, especially on the V-drums forum. I start feeling the GAS rising in me to a point I contacted Dave for pricing. 14 weeks later, the drums arrived at my home.
Drums details are as follow:
14x5 snare with Gretsch style lugs in oiled walnut veneer finish.
10x8 / 12x9 tom toms with RIMS with Gretsch style lugs in black ripple/turquoise ripple stripe wrap.
14x12 floor tom with suspension legs, Gretsch style lugs in black ripple/turquoise ripple stripe wrap.
20x16 bass drum with Gretsch style lugs in black ripple/turquoise ripple stripe wrap.
Every drum mounted with Drum-tec design 2 ply mesh heads and chrome hardware.
Packaging and build quality:
The five pieces drums came in four packages. Everything was very well packed with bubble wraps and in perfect condition. The mesh heads were already well ďtunedĒ as well. For the build quality, pictures speak for themselves.
More pics here
Dave, owner of the Diamond Electronic Drums is really a hard worker and put a lot of efforts and commitment. His drums are high standards and he manages to keep it this way over the years. I will not enter into all the details but let just say he answered quickly to every single mail and request I could send even during the week-end. His support is second to none to me.
Performance with the 2Box module:
I have used the settings provided by Dave to start with:
Snare: gain: head 2, rim: 8, curve: normal
Toms: gain: head 2, rim: 6, curve: normal
All heads set to Pad 12 setting and crosstalk to high for all snare and tom rims,
Bass: gain: 16, curve set to pos 1 or pos 2, threshold to 38 - 42
The drums performed very well with Daveís settings but I finally set the gain 1 point less so that only the hardest hit trigger at 0.0 DB. No crosstalk with the rim trigger, even with hard hit near the rim. Thereís a little hotspot, a classic with a piezo installed in the center. The hotspot is very small, less than 1cm in diameter and itís not pronounced to a point that you top the trigger response on every hit. Letís just say that to my experience, this is less pronounced than on the TD12 and TD9 pads.
The drums track every single hit I could do all across the heads. Even very low velocity hits that are not practical while jamming. I donít know if it comes from the module or the drums as the stock 2Box pads track the same but this is the most sensitive trigger I have encounter so far.
Dynamic is awesome, from subtle ghost note to hard hit. You can perform some very convincing buzz roll. A benefit for having the piezo centered compare to the 2Box pad is that you can start your buzz roll off center where the trigger response is less hot just like you would do on an acoustic snare.
I need more test on the rim. Right now, they are a little subdued and if I push the rim gain a bit I start to get crosstalk while hitting the Head. Rim is more sensitive on the upper half which is good because it is more responsive where you need it to be. I canít remember how the rim triggers perform with stock 2Box pad to compare. The best performer in this area is for me the DTX pads on the DTX900 module with clean separation for rim shot / x stick, very sensitive and responsive.
Though, it is no big deal for me as I only use rim trigger on the snare and it performs well enough for my needs.
Bass drum performance
So far, I have played on KD-8, KD-9, KD-120, KP125w, 2Box and this one. The bass drum came along with a Drum-tec patch and some soft material taped at the bottom of the wood rim to attach the pedal without damaging it. Thereís a good rebound but not as pronounce as the KD-120 and no double triggering problem. The beater sinks a bit in the head. Very good feel overall. The head track very well and you can have a very light play and still hear every hits. Dynamic is also very good, a subtle change in velocity on the pedal have noticeable change in sound so I had to be careful about my foot control. So far this is the best electronic bass drum I have played. My personal favorites were KP125w and KD-9 before. It is also more silent that the KP125w which has some resonance while playing.
You guessed it, Iím very pleased with the drums, they perform as good as they look like and it is a total blast to play along with the 2Box module. The association of the two is in my opinion the nearest you can get to an A-kit with a very good combination of feel, look, performance and sound.