Electronic drum kits are extremely popular pieces of equipment. Whether you use them for gigging, practicing or recording, they add so much value in whatever environment they’re in.
The one downside is that most electronic kits don’t have internal speakers, meaning you’re going to have to connect headphones to actually hear what you’re playing.
This is where drum amps come in. A good amp is going to allow you as well as the people around you to hear the drums well.
Here’s a list of my favorite amps that can be used for electronic drum kits.
Best Electronic Drum Amps & Monitor Speakers
The Roland PM-100 is specifically designed to reproduce the enveloping lows and crisp details of Roland’s V-Drums. This doesn’t limit it to only Roland products though. It works just as well with other electronic kits too.
The low end is thicker than you’d expect, so you get a nice beefy bass drum sound. The cymbals will sound bright and crisp, the toms have real oomph to them and the kick and snare combo has real definition.
This amp is very loud for its small size, making it a great option for gigging as well. You’ll be able to hear your drums over the band without cranking the volume too high.
The angle of the amp allows it to act as a monitor and performance speaker. You can place it behind you and you’ll be ready for the gig.
The PM-100 can sometimes distort when the kick and floor tom are played together. This can be fixed by adjusting the settings on the drum module of your electronic kit.
If you’re looking for a good electronic kit speaker that can double up as an amp for your band in a small size room, the Roland PM-100 is a great option.
Alesis has produced some really high quality electronic drum kits over the years. It’s no surprise that they have a great drum amp as well. The Alesis Strike Amp 12 is a compact speaker that can be used as an amp or monitor.
It projects the lowest tom and highest cymbal with equally profound quality and has no distortion at high volumes. It has a super loud sound that is clean with a strong bass emphasis.
It’s incredibly responsive when playing at low volumes, making this a great amp for quiet practicing. You’ll be able to hear the full scope of your electronic drums even when you don’t want to annoy your neighbors.
The 2 channels allow you to run a second instrument through it, meaning you’ll be able to jam with a bass player. The two channels are balanced and don’t overpower each other.
The Strike Amp 12 is fairly lightweight, meaning it’s easy to transport around. This makes it a great option to gig with. It will fit securely in your car and you won’t break your back trying to carry it to the gig venue.
The biggest downside is that it doesn’t have many EQ options.
KAT Percussion aren’t known for making high quality electronic drum kits. Their kits are generally inexpensive and cater towards beginners or people who don’t need high quality.
However, the KAT Percussion KA1 amp doesn’t follow that trend at all. This amp is fantastic and will work well with the most expensive Roland or Yamaha kit.
It’s made specifically for electronic drums, having a punchy woofer and clean amplification. It excels exceptionally well on the low frequencies, making it good for bass drums and floor toms.
The coolest feature of this amp is that the knobs are made of rubber with a slight indentation at the top. This design allows you to tweak the volume with a drum stick.
You won’t have to constantly bend down to change the volume! One step closer to my dream of having drum sticks for hands.
A slight gripe I have with this amp is that you can’t play the sound through the amp and headphones at the same time. There are ways to work around that, but it will be a big mission.
4. QSC CP8
The QSC CP8 is a compact loudspeaker that packs a punch. It’s pretty much a general purpose amp for different instruments, but it works really well for electronic drum kits.
It has silky smooth highs with music playback sounding clean and full. This makes it really great to play backing tracks through. You can sit at home and play along to music and have it sounding super crisp.
This amp works great as a monitor, making it a great option for live gigging. It has 2 1/4 & XLR combo outputs, an aux input and a sum output. You can play music through an aux cable while playing drums at the same time.
This amp is very versatile, allowing you to play through a wide array of electronic drum sounds. They’ll all sound fantastic.
The big downside is that the QSC CP8 tends to have a slight static buzz as the volume levels increase. This isn’t a problem when playing a gig, but it could get irritating for home practice. It will only affect you at home if you put the drums really loud, which you probably won’t.
The Behringer Ultratone KXD15 is actually a keyboard amp, but it works seriously well for electronic drums. Behringer is a company that is well known for innovation when it comes to electronics. So, this amp comes from a trusted company.
The KXD15 has a lot of onboard mixing options, meaning you have a lot of room to adjust your sound and add things like delay and reverb, with reverb being the best feature in regards to a drum kit.
It has a lot of clarity and a wide tonal range. The quality of your kick drum is going to sound just as good as the quality of your cymbals. The highs are crisp and the lows are deep and thuddy.
The amp only has 2 speakers inside, but it sounds huge. So, there’ll be no problem if you use this for live gigging and need a big sound. It’s especially good for outdoor situations.
It can tend to sound a bit muddy at higher volumes when you’re trying to keep up with the sound from a full band.
6. Peavey KB 1
The Peavey KB 1 acts as a one man PA system, having a few instrument inputs and the ability to individually adjust the tone options on each one. It’s a small amp, but it has a fair amount of power for its size.
The speaker is solid and takes lows and highs very well. When connected to an electronic drum kit, the mix between the drums and cymbals sounds very clean and articulate, with nothing being left wanted.
This amp is best suited for a practice room or small venues. It doesn’t produce a very loud output, so it won’t work for big venues. The small size makes it easy to position. So, if you’re limited for space in your drum area, the Peavey KB 1 would be a good option for you.
The best part about this amp is that it’s very affordable, costing less than a lot of amps but still providing high sound quality. It’s a great budget option.
7. ddrum DDA50
ddrum is a company that sells everything drum related. Drums, hardware, electronic drums, you name it. It’s then no surprise that they sell one of the best electronic drum amps on the market. The DDA50 is a practice amp that has a powerful sound that fills a small room.
It has sufficient highs to handle cymbals and beefy lows to express the kick drum. The sound of this amp will go well with most electronic kits on the market.
The layout of this amp is really user-friendly, allowing the most inexperienced people to figure it out fairly quickly.
My favorite part of the amp is the red highlights on its casing. It has a shiny red finish that just looks really cool and different from your standard black amp. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it gives the amp a unique personality.
The volume knobs are quite sensitive, meaning they can be accidentally changed if you’re not careful. There’s also a slight hum from the amp if you listen really closely.
Types of Amps You Need for Electronic Drums
Drums are diverse instruments that produce a seriously wide range of tones. An electronic kit will have the deepest of bass drums all the way up to some really piercing cymbals. This means that you’re going to need an amp that covers a wide range of tones and produces high quality sound for them.
It’s quite common for people to buy guitar amps for their electronic drums. This is because they’re fairly inexpensive. This isn’t the best option, since they mostly won’t cover the large tonal range. So, the best amp will either be a dedicated electronic drum kit amp or a keyboard amp.
Many companies produce amps that are designed specifically for electronic drums. This is your best option since the amps will provide exactly what you’re looking for in terms of sound quality.
Another great option would be a keyboard amp. This is because they’re designed to cater to the wide range of highs and lows from a keyboard, very similar to electronic drums.
Having a keyboard amp will also diversify your setup. You could have drums and a keyboard in your practice area, with both instruments being able to connect to the amp.
A monitor is an amp that relays the sound of a band to you. When you play gigs, the drummer will need a monitor so that he can hear the band as well as his drums. Many amps can act as monitors, but some have more monitoring capabilities than others.
If you’re planning on playing gigs with your electronic drum kit amp, then it would be a good idea to get one that can double up as a monitor as well.
The best monitors have the option of connecting headphones to while simultaneously playing sound out both the speakers and the headphones. Using headphones at a gig will help you hear the clearest sound possible, but the crowd will need to hear your drums!
Playing electronic drums through an amp is actually really important for your growth as a drummer. It’s all well and good to play through headphones, but drums fill a room and it’s important to reproduce that with your electronic drums.
It is also vital that someone who teaches with electronic drum kits has an amp, allowing the students to hear the drums.
I encourage all of my students with electronic kits to get an amp, and I’ll encourage you to do the same!