Why I think the Alesis Strike Pro is the worst e-drum release of 2017

Please note: This is an opinion blog post. Please make your own conclusions and form your personal opinion despite what you will read in this article.

2017 was a year of many major electronic drum innovations. Pearl came out with the Mimic Pro Sound Module, ATV revealed the aDrums and Alesis released the Strike Pro drum set.

Sadly, the latter product in my listing is a total disappointment!

The Alesis Strike Pro was supposed to be the new flagship electronic drum set covering the 2000-3000$ price range. It was advertised as the electronic drum set that unites big shell sizes, real drum sounds and affordability, but turned out to be a massive failure for a large number of customers due to the amount of “build in problems”.

What are Common Issues of the Alesis Strike Pro?

  • Hi-hat pad does not trigger well and it seems to be impossible to get a decent trigger result
  • Cymbals and mesh pads stop functioning after a few months or even weeks. (Trigger zones or choke stop working, no sensitivity, no ghost notes)
  • Trigger foams inside the pads come off
  • Module freezes or dies after weeks/months or even arrived dead
  • Mesh Heads wear too fast
  • Pads cannot pick up ghost notes, rims randomly have outages

Forget “Plug & Play”

The biggest issue is the not well functioning hi-hat. So many people do seek help to set this thing up but struggle with finding a proper solution. The problem with electronic hi-hats is, that only a few companies have successfully made a functioning “hi-hat – module – unit”. Alesis is not one of them. They made a hi-hat that looks like the flagship Roland hi-hats but functions like a cheap entry level hat.

Some Strike Pro owners could only get a decent trigger result by adding a Roland VH-11 hi-hat. Others ignore the issue, accept the situation or do not know how a hi-hat is supposed to feel.

Durability of a Wedding Cake

Failing cymbals within the first few months… This became already one of the known “Strike-Issues” in the e-drum scene. And if this would be the only sad fact, it is even worse. There are Strike customers that had to receive 3 or more replacement cymbal pads until they had something that finally worked. (Let’s see for how long).
If an electronic drum cymbal, a product that is made to be hit with a stick, does not even survive its first 3 months, you call it… I better not say it.

It can happen that a part of an e-drum set comes faulty. But it should not happen again with the replacement part.
Crashes, hi-hats and rides stop functioning out of nowhere. But at least the other components work right? Well, let’s say they do…most of the times.

Some had sound modules that already died or even arrived death, others have trigger foams coming off and some experienced trigger outages on the mesh pads.

At this point, you might ask yourself: “Where did I get all this information?”

The answer is simple: The “Strike Pro Owners Group” and several other e-drum Facebook groups + reviews + honest Strike Pro Users.

Negative reviews are a great indicator if they are not related to retail issues like shipping delays but describe in detail why this thing is a bad product. This is a good tip in general. Check the negative feedback of any product and see if it is honest and reasonable.
If you do a proper research and compare the Strike Pro to other similar products, you will find out quickly that there is something very dodgy about this drum-set. Here are some sources for the start:

Keep in mind: I have not played the Strike Pro myself. I got my information first hand from former Strike owners, sellers and distributors who were kind enough to send me honest feedback on this set. Thanks for that!

“But the Strike Pro works for me!”

I am happy for everyone that got a functioning set. But you being lucky does not make the Strike Pro a good product. If every 10th customer has issues with it, it is still a fail. Have you ever heard of people having similar issues with gear from other e-drum manufacturers (Roland, 2Box, Yamaha) at such a high rate? I haven’t!
Such a high failure rate makes the Strike Pro a risk because the possibility of you buying this drum set and ending up with a pile of non-functioning e-drum gear is actually very high.

Would you buy a car that is known for spontaneously bursting into flames in 10% of the cases?

Why am I Even Complaining?

What is my motivation to write this post you ask? Am I a Roland fanboy that cannot stand other brands? Not at all! I just like stuff that works as advertised.

I am a “Quality-Gear Fanboy”

But seriously, here are my reasons:

Reason 1: I want to answer a question that people ask repeatedly. They want to know if they should or shouldn’t buy a Strike Pro. A blog post is perfect to answer this once and for all.

Reason 2: Most reviews from major drum magazines and blogs about the Strike Pro are way too positive. Music magazines like Gag, rate this set with 4 out of 5 stars to lure people into buying this thing. The problem with all those magazines and music blogs is, that they are dependent on the commission they get for the sales lead.
They are not independent and therefore not objective. Do not believe every word published in major music magazines. Especially since they are mostly not real experts on the subject of electronic drums.

Reason 3: People get tricked into buying this thing. No one tells unexperienced drummers that they have to expect endless hours adjusting settings without the guarantee of having a satisfying result.

Reason 4: Some Strike Pro owners have developed a Stockholm Syndrome towards Alesis, making them praise their purchase regardless. They WANT to believe they got a great e-drum set for 2500$ and are too proud to admit that they have potentially just wasted money.
People sometimes lie to themselves and others in order to justify the money spent on something that is simply not good. Who would admit a 2500$ mistake – purchase? Most would not because it hurts!

Reason 5: The Strike Pro is hyped and defended by drum newbies. People without drumming experience, who do not know how a drum set is supposed to feel, think that everything that triggers a drum sound is great. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to talk bad about beginners, everyone has to start at some point, but beginners do simply not have the skillset to provide a credible opinion on the subject.

Overall I feel just sorry for everyone that got this drum set in false hopes. Maybe trough this post people do at least get the chance to consider.

You Don’t Want to Compare This with Roland V-drums

Some people do literally compare the Strike Pro with Roland’s electronic drums. One popular argument is: “Why should I pay 7000$ on a Roland flagship if I can have the same for 2500$ ?” This thought is wrong in so many aspects.

  • You do not get the same! As mentioned above, the Strike Pro is made out of low-quality materials and consists non-durable components, while Roland gear is known to last for decades. Alesis gear is not even certain to last for months, let alone certain to function at all.
  • Roland V-drums are “plug and play”, an Alesis Strike Pro is a consistent troubleshoot.
    Roland is used by major artists and is seen as professional drum gear, the Strike Pro won’t see a main stage in 9 lifetimes.
  • Roland gear is reliable. A Roland Module will most likely not fail during a show, no matter if the module is 1 year or 20 years old. The Strike Pro Module randomly freezes because its processor cannot handle the workload. You cannot rely on it during a gig.
  • Roland Sets keep a big part of their value. A Roland TD-25K can be resold for at least half of its purchasing price for the next 10 years because people know about the durability of Roland V-drums. I doubt you can do this with an Alesis Strike Pro since one or more of the components are expected to fail soon.

If you have the choice between the Roland TD-25 and Alesis Strike Pro, take the Roland set. Do not think you get a better value by choosing the Strike Pro. It is bigger and looks like more, but behind the curtains, it is an unfinished low-quality product with the potential to ruin your drumming experience, because one of its components is in repair for another 3 weeks.

You might think the Strike Pro is cheaper, but when your warranty cover is over, you will have to spend more money to keep it functioning, while the Roland user continues to have a functioning set for another decade.

The guys that think the Strike Pro is better than a Roland TD-25 set, have their own definition of the word “better”. They think “much sparkling stuff” is better, better than less stuff of a high quality.

This false assumption has never turned out to be true for anything in the history of humanity. It is a universal law that good things cost more money.

Who Should Buy the Strike Pro?

  • People who worked at NASA (This is the skill set you’ll need to make the Strike Pro work)
  • Roland VH-11 hi-hat owners
  • People who love to call customer support agents
  • Problem solvers that love troubleshooting
  • Beginners (Because they do not know how a hi-hat is supposed to feel)
  • People that want quantity over quality (You get many pads here)

You have to ask yourself: Do you really want to spend endless hours with adjusting module settings and fixing stuff? If yes, go ahead, buy the Alesis Strike Pro and enjoy. If not! Avoid this thing like the plague!

Some Distributors Won’t Take it Back

Several Strike Owners who gave up the endless troubleshooting tried to get their money back. Unfortunately, some sellers offer only repairs but no refund after a while. What follows is an endless fixing cycle containing periods in which the Strike owner cannot play his set, as one component is currently in repair, as mentioned above.

Good luck playing this thing without a module!

Not only Problems but also Annoying Flaws

Above we talked about the actual issues related to the Strike Pro, but I think we also need to mention a very annoying functionality flaw.
If electronic drum modules would be internet browsers, the Strike Pro module is Internet Explorer from the Mid 90’s.
To be more clear, changing a drum set takes longer than a 90-year-old at the Walmart counter.
Some people literally forgot to play the drums during this waiting period.

Potential Reasons for this Failure

There are several possibilities on why this set turned out the way it is. But keep in mind, this is only my assumptions.

  • Alesis probably rushed the release. We know from NAMN 2016 that Alesis showed up with the Strike Pro in an unfinished state. Presumably, the deadline for the product release was way too early. Ergo, the Strike pro is an unfinished rushed product.
  • Alesis had legal issues with Roland regarding patents. There were rumours about Alesis having to change the cymbals. This is not far-fetched, as the original Alesis cymbals looked totally different in 2016. (They had a glossy surface)
  • The retail price is too low. Alesis tried to force this kit on the market for a comparatively low price, but therefore saved on the development costs and used cheap materials.
  • This drum set is made for the typical short-term consumer with this attitude: “I want to have much stuff for a very low budget”. There might have never been an intention in producing quality in the first place.

My Solution to Fix this Mess

I am not the type of person who just complains about something without having a solution. So here is what Alesis could do:

  • Release the Alesis Strike Pro 2.0
  • Make it more expensive but therefore solve the problems. A retail price of 2800-3000$ would still be cheap enough. The extra money would allow fixing these issues by developing more durable components, a new hi-hat and a better module.
  • Get rid of one crash cymbal to lower the price and offer an upgrade bundle instead. This money could be spent in making the rest of the drum set better.
  • The Strike Pro should be in a neutral colour that is more suitable for the majority of users.

There is a Lot of Potential

The sounds of the Strike Pro are great, the volume faders and the LCD display of the module are very nice and the rack with those adjusting slots is an engineering masterpiece. So why not take this potential to create a better product? If the product is better, you can save more money on the customer support.

Final Words

It is not my intention to offend Strike Pro owner nor Alesis. But someone has to tell people what they have to expect when buying an Alesis Strike Pro. This drum set is hyped like crazy and no one has the guts to name these very annoying flaws.

I want my readers and viewers to have the best drumming experience. And I think the Strike Pro cannot provide this at all.

Remember: The approach of my Channel and Website is to recommend good quality e-drum gear for a decent budget. That being said: 2500$ is not even a low budget. You can get an awesome electronic drum kit with that budget if you do it correctly.

Please do your own research and test the Alesis Strike Pro yourself, to form your own opinion. But be critical and do not get blinded by big pads and loads of cymbals.

34 Replies to “Why I think the Alesis Strike Pro is the worst e-drum release of 2017”

  1. You are really brilliant in the way you form and portray your opinions based on factual information that anyone can see for themselves. I really respect you for this. I’ve been following your progression of your eKit since before you got the Rhythm Traveler to A2E it and you seem like a really awesome person.
    …as for your review on this product…It’s about time, I’m so sick of the hype. This drumset’s concept is amazing, but you cannot get over the cheap junk that Alesis has made for decades. I’ve owned many alesis products over the last 12 years. Never again.
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    D

  2. No doubt. I played one at my local shop just out of curiosity and it felt like junk.
    The hihats were not responsive like my vh11.
    It does LOOK the part. But can not perform.

    Well written and well deserved hate on the StrikePro

  3. Wow I could have wrote this but I’m one of the people who bought this kit and I’m sure my many reviews that I left are what you have based your opinion on .Alesis should hang its head in shame for releasing this kit .it is everything you say about it a total piece of junk .I am a pro level drummer who has used Alesis products for yrs I have owned two DM4 and DM5 modules for triggering 4 pads for my acoustic kit ,these modules went thru hell and back left in subzero temps, hot cars ,throwin in the back of vans .and they worked for yrs without a single problem.so when I purchased the Strike Pro I was hoping for the same quality. I went thru hell with this kit ,long story short I sold module kept pads ,I’m using used TD30 Module and its working quite well ,I have a good warrenty on the pads and intend on renewing it as often as I can .yes I do not trust the pads but so far they are ok ,I am not a heavy hitter so fingers crossed .If you want to save money buy a Goedrum kit and an Roland Module .Goedrrum kits are the same quality as Alesis pads and you will save a lot of money because they all break its just the nature of triggers and pads and they are pretty cheap to fix and upgrade ..I was expecting more from Alesis I’m sure they have had many meetings in the board room over this kit ,just a freaking disaster, I’m from Canada and the Roland complete TD30 list for aprox $9000.00 you cant even order this kit any more its the TD50 $9999.00 or a TD 25 $3600.00 that is why I went for an Alesis kit .now those prices are a crime ,but that’s a diff story, Roland is laughing over the Alesis deal but I’m sure it has hurt there sales!! hey we just want to DRUM!!!!

      • I have owned the strike pro for a little over a year now since I wrote this ..Snare pad has cracked ,it was covered under warranty ,gave me a new one “not improved,the same thing will happen to this drum pad in a few months”..Hi Hat edge stopped working ,it was covered too.I am now using a Roland TD 30 hi hat ,its like night and day..will keep the strike pad as a spare..8″ tom 5 of the foam towers have fallen down ,unable to glue back on ,got a new one just under warranty,opened up the new one the towers were not even glued properly in place , 2 towers have since fallen down after a month off playing I will glue back myself not worth the hassle {but still not right }..I’m a pretty handy guy I can fix stuff and can even improve on some of the pad faults ,its just not the point this was a PRO level kit not a toy or practice kit ,I still have store warranty on pads if something major goes wrong I will use it ,the store I bought it from have been great ,and they have been discouraging people from buying this kit ,they are a major chain..I will wait and see where this all ends up when all the warranty’s have run out and people start to get pissed..I’m right in there with them ,I’m lucky my store has had a demo kit on the floor and they let me borrow pads as mine give out I’m a working drummer its just a pain…Don’t buy this kit !!!!!

  4. I’m one of the lucky Strike owners who has had no issues and this article is dead-on. Not sure if I dodged a bullet or if the gun just hasn’t fired yet.

    Alesis botched this. Badly. The DM-10 was a solid release and seeing this is disappointing. I’ve looked into an open source hardware and software module and I think if some like-minded folks in the e-drumming community put in some reasonable effort we could have a superior product at a far lower cost.

  5. Just today I returned to a church that I recommended they purchase the Alesis Strike Pro. It was bought less than three months ago. I feel embarrassed now. The pastor said the set is being sold off ASAP. Three toms have failed and the high hats were replaced twice. All replacements were under warranty but everybody knows it will get expensive after warranty runs out. This kit sits on one platform and does not move. The drummers are not apes playing with war clubs either. So sad. When the set was first delivered all I heard was compliments on the sound and the players really liked them.

    Alesis, take these back and give us something that will last for years. If not, how about extending the warranty to five years?

    • I am so sorry to hear this. You do not feel embarrassed. You are the last person that should be embarrassed. It takes guts to be so self critical and honest.

      I fell for other bad products marketing a lot of times and wished I was warned too. Hope not more stuff does break:(

  6. Thank you so, so very much for the detailed article, you avoided me a costly mistake, was about to buy a strike alesis stuff! thank you!!

  7. I was very happy to search out this net-site.I needed to thanks to your time for this glorious learn!! I undoubtedly having fun with every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

  8. I was so, so close to buying a strike pro. Researched about it only, watched videos, found a store to play it in, planned delivery times. But this whole ‘it breaks easily’ thing has completely reversed my decision. I even had this in my basket and ready to go, but man, this review (and then the ‘it breaks’ research I did afterwards thanks to this) totally made me go to roland.

    I don’t know if you should be on commission to roland or in trouble with alesis, but this review is very important one way or the other 🙂

    Thanks for writing it.

  9. Well, I did my research before buying the Strike kit. I use a Roland TD-12 module with the pads, and traded that troublesome hihat for a single Yamaha hihat cymbal w floor pedal that I already had. Everything works perfectly with no hassles. I love the pads and cymbals and I am a very light player (I’ve been drumming for over 50 years believe it or not). I think your review was a little overblown. I do agree that the hihat and the module are weak points but I got an open box deal for $1,050 and I believe the rack, and the 5 pads alone are well worth it.

    • Thanks for your comment. The TD-12 module makes your set playable. The pads are a failure too, they have a square plate that breaks. However, this will most likely not affect you as a light player. My review is written out of the perspective of someone that uses the full set. Yours is customized and you are not the average user. In this case, it might be good. Anyway, thanks for your honest words and I hope the pads keep performing.

  10. I think the alesis strike is an outstanding kit. I have played the roland td50 and in my honest opinion the alesis actually sounds better and more natural. It also mixes very well during recording. The roland does have much better cymbals though. The mesh heads are a matter of preference. The rolands have more bounce but both play well. The alesis pads don’t have hot spots like rolands, but I wouldn’t say either pad is bad. There has been a lot of harsh criticism towards the alesis strike, primarily from roland fan boys. While I can agree it needs some updates, which alesis has been releasing, it is still a great kit.

    • The sound of the Alesis Strike Pro is better than the TD-50, I agree on that. But the rest is just a cheaply made drum set. It is not from Roland fanboys, but also Ex Strike users. The trigger plates break, the cymbals stop working because they are wrongly constructed (cable underneath the rubber layer that gets hit) and the module dies. It is not a reliable, nor a professional kit. It got an update, which made it impossible to use a Roland VH-11 hi-hat. That’s that. I would not compare it to a TD-50, as it is in a different class. Compare it to a TD-25.

  11. I’ve been using my trusty TD4 since 2008. Went to the music store yesterday to check out the strike pro. Well, it is smoke and mirrors. Looks good, module looks awesome. Then, i started playing it. No bell on the ride…. ok, lets do a buzz roll, no dynamics… took a closer look at the clamps and stuff. Its obvious that they will fail quite quickly. Its built cheap. I do a decent amount of gigs and i cannot picture this kit being assemble, unassemble on a weekly basis. I’m not a very hard hitter but still i felt that the mesh heads felt weak. The bass drum was dancing all over the floor space. The weight distribution seemed odd. That being said, i paid a lot of money in 2008 for my TD4 and 10 years later, no issues, still working. It does have its own flaws (dynamics, sounds a little dull and so on) but still, i played a gig last night and as usual, it did the job! Its been my kit of choice for small venues when my accoustic kit is too much. Its been this way for ten reliable years.

    Bottom line: you’ve got what you paid for. I will put my TD4 to retirement and upgrade with a new Roland kit. As for the Alesis, lots of flash, but don’t be fooled by good looking subpar equipment. I was hoping for better but its just not there. Its a shame because i saw lots of potential in this kit but all the negative feedback will kill it. All of this could have been avoided by making it a reliable high quality piece of equipment instead of building a good looking toy!

  12. I am an Alesis Strike Pro kit owner and I couldn’t agree more with you!

    Thank you for writing this article and I hope Alesis does more to ensure the beautiful looking kit plays to the same level!

    The sound patches are Ehhh ok! Not revolutionary but sounds decent with some eqing.

    I have had to change the below.

    2 x Snare (plastic plate sensor rides on destroyed to pieces)
    3 x Ride Cymbal (sensors on Bell, Edge and Bow failure. First failure was 3 days into installation.)
    3 x Hi-Hat (on my 3rd and it still sucks horribly. Top side of the cymbal is loud when tapped but the side opposite the alesis symbol is soft.)
    2 x Bass Drum (leg locking screw stripped in the channel and would not keep the leg in fixed position.)
    1 x Module (who knows just stopped producing sound on a channel.)

    I purchased at Sweetwater sound and honestly their support is amazing. The only reason why I have not lost my mind. I am in the process of returning the kit and moving up to the Roland V-Drums that have smaller pads but more durable internals.

    Im ready for a class action suit!

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