Drums: Top 10 Best Electronic Drum Amps
Electronic drums have been around for quite a while now. They began to evolve in the 70s with the sudden burst of technology that arrived at that time. It was Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues who invented them in collaboration with the University of Sussex in The UK in 1970.
It is a simple enough process to understand now, but then was a minor miracle. Not only in its application and creation but in its sound and performance. It has come along way since then, and now whole drum kits are sold as MIDI files that can be downloaded to a computer or workstation.
They went through a stage of being hugely popular and were involved in substantial creative approaches to rhythm sounds. Graeme used it himself on the Moody Blues track Procession in 1971, and Carl Palmer used a variant, synthesized drums on ELP’s ‘Toccata’ in 1973. Most of the bands that embraced them as a standard sound were acts such as Depeche Mode and Culture Club.
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Top 10 Best Electronic Drum Amps On The Market 2020 Reviews
- 1. 1 1 Roland Drum Monitor (PM-100)
- 1. 2 2 ddrum DDA50 Electronic Percussion Amplifier, 50 Watts
- 1. 3 3 KAT Percussion 50 Watt Amplifier
- 1. 4 4 Powerwerks PA System
- 1. 5 5 Behringer Ultratone KT108
- 1. 6 6 Peavey KB 1 20-Watt
- 1. 7 7 COOLMUSIC DK-35
- 1. 8 8 Coolmusic 100W
- 1. 9 9 BEHRINGER F1220D Bi-Amped 250-Watt
- 1. 10 10 Peavey KB 2 40-Watt
- 2 Best Electronic Drum Amp Buyer’s Guide
- 3 So, what is the Best Electronic Drum Amp?
Even used by rockers…
However, I do know for a fact that Paul Rodgers got Simon Kirke to use them in small fills on the Bad Company track ‘Rock n Roll Fantasy.’ This was with the help of Bill Bruford. It was recorded at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey in late 1978.
Of course, with the speedy development of this new ‘instrument,’ amplification was required. Many used guitar amps, but that wasn’t so good. Keyboard amps were tried, but with the exception of the excellent Roland KC range, that didn’t really work either. Electronic drums needed their own amps.
They still do, and there is a variety to choose from. You can have the best electronic drums in the world, but if the amp is not good, they won’t sound at their best. So, let’s go through the Best Electronic Drum Amps currently available and find the best sounding one for you…
Top 10 Best Electronic Drum Amps On The Market 2020 Reviews
1 Roland Drum Monitor (PM-100)
Roland’s V-drums are a range of electronic drums. They are essentially a complete digital drum kit. However, they vary in price and performance, and some are very complicated in their setup and use. They need amplification, of course. The PM-100 gives you a wide range of reproduction that is clean and made for the V series.
It has a two-way speaker system incorporating a 10-inch woofer and a tweeter. These give you the highs and lows of the Roland V-series and all other kits. This delivers a powerful 80 watts. Because of the wedge shape design that is angled straight at you if you choose. That is a lot of power coming at you from a monitor.
Stay in control…
Controls are placed on the top of the wedge, facing you, and are therefore easy to manage. There are two inputs, one for the drums and one Line. Both have independent volume controls. There is a basic EQ with just bass and treble adjustment but nothing in the way of any extra effects. On the reverse, just the socket for the mains lead.
The sound is good, with a decent frequency range. However, it must be said it seems to work better with V-series drums than any other brand. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised as it was designed for them. It is loud, but we are not sure if it is a large auditorium loud. It comes with a carrying handle and rubber feet.
Ticks all the boxes…
A good mid-range amp that seems to cover all the bases from its solid, rugged build to its sound reproduction. Set at a reasonable price point, it is a decent electronic drum amplifier.
- Tough, rugged build with a simple control panel.
- Good price point.
- It seems to work better with Roland V-series drums.
2 ddrum DDA50 Electronic Percussion Amplifier, 50 Watts
This is a big tough amp that is built to last and take a few knocks. Road ready is the expression often used. It is built from a heavy-duty fiberboard and has a metal grille at the front. It has a very functional wedge, monitor shaped design. At 33 pounds, it is quite a weight for a relatively small amp.
Built-in is a heavy-duty ten-inch woofer to capture the low frequencies and a two and a half-inch tweeter to put the top end on. The two paired together to create a wide range of sound options. The three-band equalizer gives you access to this great little amps sound possibilities. You can change the sound to get the best out of your kit. It is a big plus to be able to get your drums sounding exactly as you want them.
Plenty of connections…
It has some good connection features and has a headphone socket to let you practice quietly. There are AUX inputs for an mp3 player or similar. In total, there are three ¼” inputs and an XLR line out. The line out can be connected to a mixing board if required. The amp will deliver 50 watts of power.
We have to say we were a little surprised at the quality of the sound options. The controls are on the front, and the Low, Mid and High options have a marked effect on the sound. They are not there to make up the numbers at all. The lows especially come through with a real thump.
Serious bottom end…
You won’t lose your kick drum using this amp. In fact, with that much depth, we’d like to hear a Fender bass played through this.
A good electronic drum amp for sure. It is powerful and has clarity and has a very tough build. Maybe a touch expensive but there are a lot of good things about this little amp.
- Tough build with good built-in features.
- Very good controls of the sounds.
3 KAT Percussion 50 Watt Amplifier
This KAT amplifier for drums is a good choice for working in smaller venues or maybe rehearsals. It may only be a 50-watt amp, but it packs quite a punch for what is a very portable piece of kit. It is an amp specially designed for digital drums and achieves a remarkable reproduction of sound.
This is a cabinet that is very well-made and rugged and certainly built to last. It is quite a package measuring 19 inches by 19.3 inches by 19.7 inches and weighs a chunky 37 pounds. No lightweight amp this one. It has a strong carrying handle, which is probably a good idea.
Built for the road…
The heavy-duty wedge-shaped fibreboard construction is completed by the metal mesh grille on the front. Inside the box, there is a powerful 10-inch woofer and a 2,5-inch tweeter. They combine to bring out the full range of frequencies needed for a drum amp. It is made in China.
There is a 3-band EQ that helps to fine-tune the sound with Low, Mid, and High-frequency controls. They are situated on the front of the cabinet, along with two-channel inputs and an AUX input. There are volume controls for both channels and the AUX. There is a headphone socket and a ⅛” input for mp3. It does not come with a lead to connect to your drum kit.
Good sound, but not as loud as most…
Whilst maybe not being the most powerful of drums, this has got a very good level of sound reproduction. The woofer and tweeter cover the frequency ranges well. The bass is prominent but not too loud. Not at the top sound-wise with the very best, but a good level.
As an entry-level electronic drum amplifier, it is tough and well-built with a good sound. Set at a realistic price point, it is good value for money.
- Tough, rugged build.
- Easy to operate and a good sound.
- Some may want more power.
4 Powerwerks PA System
This amp has been built with efficiency and durability in mind. It is built from a heavy-duty fiberboard with a metal grille and metal reinforced corners. It isn’t actually as big as some of its competitors and measures just 18 inches by 6.5 by 7.5 inches and weighs just under 15 pounds.
Despite its relatively small size, it still manages to knock-out an impressive 50 watts of power. Inside the cabinet are two 4,5 inch woofers with a high-frequency horn. It is a three-channel system.
Time to take control…
The controls are located on the back of the cabinet. They include volume and high and low-frequency controls for each channel. The high and low controls act as a very basic EQ to allow you to alter the tone somewhat. There is a master volume and an AUX-in as well as two line-in jack sockets and two for XLR inputs. There are also in and out connections for a subwoofer if required. Headphones can be connected for private use.
This amp does serve a dual function in that besides being a basic drum amp, and it can also serve as PA. These cabinets can be linked together if required. It is suitable for a variety of venues but obviously will be more at home in smaller environments.
Basic and practical…
Not as sophisticated as most of its competitors, it still does a good job. It’s basic but is an entry-level amp at an entry-level price. The price will be attractive to some, not wanting to spend too much. But still, get a decent sound system. Not one of the best electronic drum amps you will find but an effective, cost-effective amp.
- Good strong build with basic sound controls.
- Attractive price and good value for money.
- Some will want more features and volume.
5 Behringer Ultratone KT108
Our friends from Behringer have come up with an interesting small electronic drum amplifier that actually serves a variety of uses. It is not always about volume and creating as much noise as possible. Sometimes it is better to have far less power depending on what you will use it for.
Behringer is well-known to us. We use some of the equipment and have come into contact with a lot more. They are usually a budget level operation. But one thing you can rely on with Behringer is that it will be a quality product.
Great for practicing at home…
This amp has a maximum power rating of 20 watts. No good for the larger venue but perfect for a smaller venue or a recording studio. It is even a good system for practicing at home. If you have a residency somewhere in a small intimate club and need a drum amp, this could be the one.
There is only one speaker, an 8-inch dual-cone Bugera, but it delivers a nice frequency response that is wide-ranging. It has a vintage feel about it, which a lot of people are going to like. And has a strong build with a carrying handle on top and reinforced corner protectors.
It is a two-channel amplifier, so apart from your drums, it will also take keyboards or guitars. Built-in is Behringers’s VTC circuits to give it a sound resembling a tube amp. Controls are located on the front and are easy to operate.
As we have said, there are two channels, both with independent volume controls. There is a basic but effective EQ system with low, mid and high controls and headphone and CD input sockets. The EQ will simplistically allow some tone-shaping.
The cabinet is made of wood, and all the electrical elements are enclosed in a metal unit for protection. It is lightweight at twelve pounds, and at 12.7 inches by 6.4 by 14.1 inches is a compact little amp. Easy to carry around if necessary.
The price point is set at a very affordable level making this electronic drum amp a great option for those seeking a smaller unit.
- Well-built with some nice features built-in.
- Very affordable price.
- Some are going to want more power.
6 Peavey KB 1 20-Watt
Peavey was established in 1965 in the US on the back of the wave of the explosion in the music industry. Marshall and Vox were dominating the amplifier market along with a selected few Fender amps. Peavey was created by its founder Harvey Peavey to challenge their dominance. They were loud, but that was never going to happen. They did, though create a market for themselves and still produce quality and very reliable amps today.
This little unit is a compact, self-contained unit that has a variety of uses. Being made to cover various instruments, it doesn’t really excel in any of them. Drums, especially require a unique amplifier design. That is why they are here in the first place. So an amp that works with guitar and keyboards is unlikely to have the frequency responses for drums.
Compact and lightweight…
It is a small unit at 19.5 inches by 18 by 13.1 inches and weighs just sixteen pounds, so it is easily moved around. It has a small eight-inch speaker that puts out 20 watts maximum output.
There are two channels with a two-band EQ for each channel. It is a very traditional design of the cabinet with an open back. The controls are placed in a recessed panel on the top. They contain a volume and a basic high and low-frequency range control and inputs. On the top, there is also a convenient headphone jack socket for quiet practice.
The 20 watts output limits its activity to small venues or home use. There is, of course, a market for both, and so if that is what you need, then this amp is worth considering.
May be better for Keyboards?
Whilst there are some controls for the sound generated, it has to be said it is more conducive to keyboards than drums. The word is included in the product title, after all.
It has a strong build with a metal grille front and corner protectors. For a different option for an electronic drum amplifier, it might suffice. It isn’t a particularly affordable option, though.
- It has a strong build.
- Two channels to work with gives some variety to use.
- Rather expensive for what it is.
7 COOLMUSIC DK-35
This is an amplifier that is built as an electronic drum amp. It is not a particularly big amplifier physically. At 17 inches by 15.4 by 13.4 inches, it is reasonably compact, but at 31.7 pounds is no lightweight. It is well made and has a rugged feel to it. The carrying handle does seem a little inadequate, though. It has a simple design made from heavy-duty fiberboard. The corners have protectors. The unit is made in Japan.
It is a two-channel design with a ten-inch speaker that puts out 35 watts of power. Not enough, of course, for even a medium-sized venue. This then is more suited to a small club or for home practice.
It has an interesting setup with the controls, which intimates that maybe this was designed for other uses than drums. The two channels are separate, no problem with that, but they have a different set of controls. That says to us that they are expecting other instruments.
Channel 1 is for one thing and Channel 2 another. Channel 1 includes a Gain, Reverb, and Tone, while Channel 2 offers Gain, bass, and treble. More tone control on one channel than the other. They both have inputs, and there is also an XLR presumably for a mic. There is also a headphone socket and a DI out.
For an electronic drum amplifier, it doesn’t really tick all the boxes. It seems to have an identity crisis, and given the control layout, they were expecting it to be used by other instruments and even a mic.
Not quite as deep as you need…
One 10 inch speaker isn’t going to give you the frequency spread you need for drums. This you can here with a lack of real depth and clarity of mids and highs.
It is a decent amp, and if you want an amp with a variety of uses, then this might suit. The problem is it doesn’t really master any of them. Ok for home practice and maybe at a smaller venue. Quite expensive.
- Good strong build.
- Two channels give you options.
- Not really suite for electronic drums.
8 Coolmusic 100W
Another product from Vangoa and their range of Coolmusic amps. Vangoa is quite new to the market-place, having arrived only in 2017. They produce a decent amplifier, but we made the point in another review of one of their amps that they seem to have an identity crisis with their products.
They have marketed this product as an amplifier for electronic drums, that to us, is a serious business. It’s a dedicated design for a particular sound requirement. It is for a drummer to amplify his kit. Nothing else. That’s what a drum amp does.
A little confused?
It is unlikely other instruments will sound very good through a drum amp. Adequate maybe, but that is all. And why, oh why does a serious drummer buying an amp for performance or practice need Bluetooth? He doesn’t unless he is going to be playing along with a song, which could well end up sounding very bassy?
The design plan seems to have got a little confused by trying to satisfy too many potential users.
It has a good tough build with a metal mesh grille and a control panel on the front. The corners have reinforced protectors. This amp has a ten-inch woofer, and a one-inch tweeter and Vangoa claim a 100-watt output.
Equalize to perfection…
The controls, as we said, are located on the front. They consist of two jack socket inputs with volume controls for each. Then there are low, mid, and high controls to give you some variance in sound. There is an MP3 connection and a DI out.
If you are looking for a versatile amp with a bit of power, then this might suit, likewise, if you are looking for an amp that has Bluetooth. And it will handle guitars and keyboards as well as its intended drums. Whether it will handle them adequately will be down to the individual user. But if you are looking for a dedicated electronic drum amplifier, this probably isn’t it. And especially at this price point as it is rather expensive.
- Very expensive for what it is.
9 BEHRINGER F1220D Bi-Amped 250-Watt
Gets a little more serious now with this amp from Behringer. This is a big powerful 250-watt amp that proves good things can come in small packages. It measures only 19.7 inches by 13.9 by 9.4 inches and weighs less than 24 pounds. But this amp has a rugged build and packs a punch. The Class D design amps deliver this power through what is a very compact cabinet,
This is a clever design having two amplifiers that push the sound through separate drivers. The sound is clean and clear, and very impressive. Usually, speakers will operate with a passive crossover system. The crossovers between high and low frequencies occur at fixed points, that may work in some circumstances very well, but with drums, it needs a bit more separation.
Separate amps drive the woofer and the tweeter to give you a superb sound separation. This bi-amping method produces a real quality of sound reproduction.
But it has so much…
Far too much for detailed consideration here. The EQ gives you extra sound control to give you lots of bottom end and clear and articulate mids and highs. The transducers are designed especially for the job and give exceptional bandwidth and range.
On the practical side, it has line output for connection to additional speakers of required and a built-in preamp for a mic. A 35mm socket is built-in should you wish to use it on a stand.
The majority of Behringer equipment these days is made in China. The quality over the years of products made in Asia has gone from rather bad to very good. In fact, some of the finest instruments in the world are made there. They can’t be that bad, can they?
This is a powerful amp with a great sound that has to be controlled and worked to suit your drum style. It is not going to happen straight out of the box. It takes time to get it right. The biggest plus, though is the price point. Excellent for what you get for your money.
- Powerful 250-watt output with a very good sound.
- Well built with some great built-in design features.
- Might be overpowered for some.
10 Peavey KB 2 40-Watt
This appears to be another amplifier that is dressed up a bit like an electronic drum amplifier. It is an amplifier that covers many uses, which, to some, might be a good thing. For a drummer wanting a dedicated sound system, it probably isn’t.
It has a good build and is strong with reinforced corners and is a compact system that measures 21.1 inches by 16.6 by 22.1 inches, which isn’t unusually big. It weighs though, a rather heavy 38 and a half pounds.
Featuring one ten-inch speaker that is supposed to be able to handle the wide frequency ranges demanded by drums. It delivers 40 watts of power. Not powerful enough for a venue of any reasonable size. Too powerful for use at home. It really is only suitable for small venues.
Lots of channels…
There are four separate channels, all with different connections, presumably for different instruments. Channels one and two have a two-band EQ for modifying the sound. Channel has been given an extra band with three. Perhaps someone at Peavey had a late night when they were designing this amp.
If you happen to be looking for a good keyboard amp, then this might be worth looking at. If you want an amp for your drums, we think it is probably better you look elsewhere. The price point is way over the top of what this should sell for.
- It has a decent build quality.
- Not an amp for drums.
- Too expensive
Also see: Top 10 Best Drum Set For Kids On The Market 2020 Reviews
Best Electronic Drum Amp Buyer’s Guide
We have got to be clear about what we are talking about here, and we are not looking for an amp with a variety of uses. We don’t want an amp that will also handle a guitar or a keyboard, let alone a vocal. And we certainly do not want Bluetooth. We want to discuss the best amplifier for electronic drums.
So what should we look for?
An electronic drum amplifier will have specific things it brings to the table. All the best electronic drum Amps will have those things. There should be more than one speaker because of the frequency ranges involved. The cabinet will need to be well made with as little plastic as possible.
You likely, you will have to carry it around, so if it weighs a lot, that could be an inconvenience. Just ensure it has a strong carrying facility. Having rubber feet would be an advantage. As would a good wedge shape to be able to project the sound towards you without a vertical presence.
How much power?
How long is a piece of string? What do you want to use it for? If you are going to use it for live stage work, then it might need to be powerful. It depends on the size of the venue. If it is for practice at home, it can be rated much lower.
Perhaps the most important issue, though is that what you buy is designed for electronic drums and drums alone. We understand companies trying to make them suitable for a variety of instruments. It increases the chances of sales.
But an amp for an electronic drum machine really needs to be that. One good place to start your search is with companies that actually make the drums. They will likely also have amps designed specifically for electronic drums. The sound is too good to be lost in an amp that doesn’t do the drums justice.
More Amplifier Choices
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, or are looking for an amplifier for someone else in your band, check out our reviews of the Best Guitar Amplifiers under 200 Dollars, the Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers, and the Best Mini Amp on the market.
So, what is the Best Electronic Drum Amp?
We decided to go to the horse’s mouth to get what we wanted. Buy an amp for the drums from a manufacturer of the drums. If anyone will know what is required and then provide it, they will.
We have therefore decided that the Best Electronic Drum Amp is…
Plenty of power for the live gig. Plenty of sound options, wedge shape, rubber feet, and good sound shaping. It’s all in there.
It is a Roland product, after all. Can’t really go wrong.