You could have the best electronic drum set in the world, but it won’t mean a thing without an equally good drum amp so you can sound your best, whether it’s at practice, or on the stage.
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In fact, one could argue that ‘the amp maketh the kit’ – a good amp can make even an average kit sound amazing.
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And to help you choose this important piece of audio equipment, we’ve put together this comparison of the 5 best amps for electronic drums currently available on the market.
But hang on:
What makes a ‘good’ drum amp?
The very mention of the word ‘amp’ brings with it a whole host of other terms:
- active vs. passive
- vacuum tube,
- mixing boards…
The list goes on and on!
And it can get extremely confusing just to understand what each term means and whether it’s even relevant to what you need in your amplifier.
So let’s break it down.
What do you need to know to decide on an amazing buy?
Simply put, wattage is the power output of your amplifier.
And while it’s true that wattage is related to the volume – double the wattage does not equal double the volume.
This is because volume is a logarithmic scale. To give you an idea of the scale, 100 watts of power is only slightly louder than 50 watts.
You’re probably wondering by now: “So how much wattage do I need?” Well, it depends on what you’ll be using your amp for.
If you’re just looking for something to practice with at home, then a 20 watt amp will quite comfortably fit the bill. But if you plan on using your own kit and amp to play gigs, then you’re probably better off using an amp with more juice.
Keep in mind though, in most larger venues, the PA system will do the amplification for you. You just need to be loud enough to be heard by the rest of your band (or just yourself if you choose to use it as a monitor).
2. Number of channels
As a drummer, I’m sure you often practice by playing along with a track. Or you might have other drum pads which you may want to hear as well.
The number of additional channels determines how much flexibility you have with all this; the more, the better.
3. EQ control options
Some form of EQ control is essential for an electronic drum amp. Maybe you want your audience to feel the thumping kick, or perhaps hear the sparkling highs from your cymbals.
An EQ control or a mixing board allows you to have total control of the sound when you play.
While most amplifiers will have at least a basic form of frequency control with at least two knobs – one each for treble and bass (and sometimes one for mids), it’s important to check if there are separate EQ controls for each channel.
If not, this means that there is just one control on the overall output; all inputs will get affected by your settings, including the track you may be playing with, or other pads or instruments connected to the amp.
4. Weight and portability
I think you’ll agree with me when I say this: The worst part of playing gigs is carrying your stuff around everywhere you go. All the time.
And believe me, when you’re already tired from travelling the whole day, every extra pound you carry feels like a sack of potatoes on your back.
And that’s why it’s essential to choose an amp which doesn’t weigh too much. Remember: bigger does not mean better.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get to the contending amps!
The best drum amps for electronic drums reviewed
Best value drum amp: Powerwerks PW50**
The Powerwerks is a solid no-nonsense amplifier. With the highest power of the amplifiers we are comparing, this amp will not disappoint you with it’s 50 Watt output of loud and clear sound.
And what do you know, it is also the cheapest option, at a mere $99.99! Sounds unbelievable right? Well, you better believe it.
If you’re looking for a cheap, yet rugged option, look no further.
- Comes with a high power output, allowing for louder sound
- Has independent channel EQ control for its 3 channels
- It is highly affordable at under $100
This perky little amplifier comes with 35 Watts of power. It boasts a stylish and elegant design, with an irregular shape style cabinet for drop resistance.
The best part about this amp is that it has a built-in reverb knob – meaning you can add reverb directly from your amplifier.
Moreover, it has a headphone output so you can practice in peace without waking up the household.
- Has a built-in reverb knob, giving you more control of your sound
- Can be used with headphones for individual practice
- Designed to resist damage from drops
Roland is one of the most well known brands when it comes to audio equipment. And for good reason!
The Roland Cube, while the priciest option among those being considered, is also the most versatile one. It has more inputs than you would dream of using: Three input channels, with one XLR input for mic/line and two additional Aux inputs!
It’s stereo link configuration means that you use two of these amplifiers to achieve a stereo sound.
- It has many inputs, allowing you to connect several instruments at once
- Stereo Link feature means that you can use it with another amp for a stereo effect
- Comes with metal grill and corner protectors, ensuring the safety of your amp
This 20 Watt amplifier is best suited for practice sessions at home or as monitors at gigs. But don’t be put off by it’s low power; it delivers a warm and clean tone consistently.
It’s compact design allows it to be quickly and easily transported to wherever you choose to gig.
It comes with an equaliser for each of it’s two channels, giving more control when plugging in other instruments.
- Delivers a warm and clean tone
- Compact design allows for easy transport
- Low distortion even at slightly higher volumes gives it a good range
If the Coolmusic DK-35 was elegant, the Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 takes that style to a whole new level, with it’s vintage wood finish.
In fact, it doesn’t stop with merely looking vintage. This amplifier is the only one in it’s category to have Behringer’s proprietary Virtual Tube Circuitry, giving the AT108 a retro tube amp tone.
It is also the lightest among the 5 contenders, weighing just 11.7 lbs.
- Virtual Tube Circuitry simulates a warm, rich tube amp sound
- Lightweight wood construction allows easy transport
- Separate volume control for microphone inputs
And that concludes the list of best amplifiers for electronic drum kits.
We hope this article helps you with your choice!