Donner DED-200 Review: A Fun and Affordable Entry-Level Kit
Today we are focusing on the DED-200 entry-level kit from Donner. Catering to beginners or those that just want something to casually practice on, its an economical option that has some great features.
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While its nothing too fancy, the low cost and value it presents make it one of the more attractive starter kits on the market.
As always, we will break down everything you need to know in order to make an informed buying decision.
At a Glance – Our Initial Thoughts
While this looks like just another entry-level kit, looks can be deceiving. We believe that is certainly the case with the DED-200.
A full 8 piece kit, with floating pedals and mesh heads, it puts importance on comfort and realism during the performance and will make you feel like you are playing an acoustic kit. The low level of noise that is produced in the home will be a major selling point for many, as you can throw on some headphones and rock out without disturbing those around you.
With pre-programmed kits, you have a ton of options to play around with and hours of enjoyment will undoubtedly ensue. One of the nicest features this kit has is that it comes with everything you need, maximizing playing time so you don’t have to run out and buy any additional gear for it.
What’s In The Box
Using mesh heads for a quieter drumming experience, this 8 piece set comes with everything you need to get you drumming as soon as possible. So, what’s included?
Not only do you get the basic kit components, but Donner also throws in a pair of sticks, an amp connection cable, a drum throne, and a pair of over-ear headphones. As far as we know, there aren’t too many entry-level companies that include all these things.
The kit consists of pads for three 8 inch toms, an 8-inch snare, an 8-inch kick, 10-inch hi-hats, and 12-inch ride and crash cymbals. It has a realistic feel to it, with high-quality sounds throughout, and you can expand it out by adding a secondary crash if you’d like. The cymbals are crafted from silicone, and the hats pedal uses a trigger to keep the noise level in the live environment to a minimum.
The strong iron metal frame gives this kit some heft at 64 lbs. but also makes it more stable if you are a hard hitter. The frame can also be folded closed which helps when you want to store it out of the way, but don’t want to take the entire thing apart. It is fully height adjustable for all styles of playing, and all sizes of players. The pads can also be locked into precise positions, sliding side to side, and angling up and down for an increased level of comfort during performance. The pedals for the hi-hats and kick drum aren’t attached to the frame, so you can position them wherever they feel most natural for your feet.
As for the module, you get a lot of functionality from it. It includes 30 play-along songs, over 200 sounds, 16 varied kits you can choose from, and a metronome for regulating your playing speeds. On top of that, you can plug in your phone/tablet and play along with your favorite MP3s and/or practice apps. If you want to record your playing, it can be done easily with a single USB cable running from the brain to your computer for a seamless experience.
How Does It Stand Out
Everything In The Box
For an entry-level kit, there is a lot of value with the DED-200. Sure, it includes the main kit, an amp cable and a pair of sticks, but the real selling point here is that it also includes a pair of over-ear headphones and a drum throne. An entry-level pair of over-ear headphones can cost around $40, and drum thrones start around $55. That would put this kit under $275, which is an absolute steal. Definitely a generous feature to include!
Drums can get very loud with the potential to disturb people around them, so Donner outfits the pads with dense mesh for a realistic drum feel, and quieter performance. They also allow for up to 200,000 strikes and withstand mesh deformation/sagging, for excellent durability and longevity. To further quiet the kit, the hi-hats pedal works on a trigger system, so when you open and close them, they give off a minimal amount of noise. The silicone used to cover the cymbals also provides further dampening properties for your crash strikes.
Out Of The Way
At 29 x 32 x 16 inch dimensions, the kit isn’t exactly small. But due to its design, instead of fully dismantling it when you need to put it away, it folds up nicely making it ideal to store it in a corner of the room, a closet, or even under a bed. This portability also comes in handy if you are looking to transport it to another room, or to a friend’s house.
Almost Like A Real Set
The sounds from the DED-200 are quite good. While they certainly aren’t FLAC-quality, they still provide a realistic replication of what acoustic kits sound like. Certain areas can pick up nuance well too, such as the cymbals which will change the sound depending on where you are striking them (ie. the bell, bow, or edge).
In addition to realistic sounds, it feels very close to an acoustic kit while performing. With slightly larger pads and cymbals than most entry-level kits, as well as a beater kick drum pad, you get a pretty accurate reproduction of what it feels like to be behind an acoustic kit.
Our Final Thoughts
Donner’s DED-200 is a fun entry-level kit that has a lot going for it, providing comfort and value for the consumer at an attractive price.
Chock-full of features, it plays well, sounds great, and has enough flexibility for practicing alone, jamming with friends, or recording demos.
For everything you get in this model, you will be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded offer.
If this electronic drum set is not what you were looking for, check out our Best Electronic Drum Set post.