Differences between Roland TD-11, 15 & 25

I get a lot of questions regarding these 3 Roland V-drums Modules/kits. Especially e-drum newbies do not spot the differences of these 3 modules and don’t really know what to buy. Therefore, I want to compare the important features of them. I focus on the relevant and important features, not the ones that are highlighted by Roland’s marketing team.

td-11, 15, 25

And I also want to explain the difference between “K” and “KV” sets. But let’s start with the modules first.

Relevant Module Features:

1. Trigger Inputs:

The number of pads and cymbals you can connect, is getting underestimated by so many people. At the beginning you might think 2 crashes and 3 toms are enough, but soon you want to upgrade and connect more pads. This happens to almost everyone. All kits have these standard inputs:

  • Kick
  • Snare
  • Tom1, 2, 3
  • Hi-Hat + Control
  • Crash1
  • Ride + Ride Bell

 Additional inputs are called “AUX”.

2. Positional Sensing:

Position Sensing (PS) is a feature where the module recognizes if you hit the pad in the center or near the rim. An absolutely nice-to-have feature, which is still overrated according to many e-drummers. I however think, it is nice and allows you to play the e-snare like a real one. 

3. Can we split the trigger inputs?

The Drumsplitter is basically a hack that allows you to split a 2 zone input to connect 2 pads to, let’s say Tom1. This way you are able to connect much more pads to your module. Check out this video for more information about drum splitters.  

4. Can you assign instrument to head and rim independently?

This feature is important if you want to use the Drumsplitter, because it makes no sense to hear a rim click sound when hitting the cymbal you divided from the tom rim via splitter-cable. It is also useful if you want to trigger a cowbell sound or whatever on a rim.

Here is a table of the important features:

Module AUX PS Split Assign
TD – 11 1 No Yes Yes
TD – 15 2 No Yes Yes
TD – 25 2 Yes No No

Unimportant features:

The number of sounds and drum kits is not really important in my opinion. Let’s be honest, how many kits will you really use? For me it would be 3 or even none, since I use my module to trigger EZdrummer2.

What do they have in Common?

All modules are compatible with the Roland VH-11 hi hat, with a 3 zone ride cymbal and each has a USB port, which can be connected directly to your PC, in case you want to trigger a drum sample software like EZdrummer2. The sounds are not great on all of them, but they are really responsive and sensitive. Every pad is a 2 zone pad with a head and rim trigger. They do also have the same audio input and output jacks.

The difference between “K” and “KV”

A Roland “K – Edition” is basically the budget version drum kit. It has only 1 crash, smaller tom pads or even rubber tom pads. The TD-11K and TD-15K has the Roland CY-5 hi hat, which will be the first thing you want to replace after a while, since this is nowhere near the feel of a real hi hat. The VH-11 hi hat is just a must have. Especially the toms of the TD-15/25K are really small. We talk about 6”, you have to be really precise to hit these pads.

The TD-11K version is the worst decision you can make. It has a tiny rack and basically the exact same components of its former TD-4.

The “KV-Version” is more expensive, but does actually make sense. An upgrade to better tom pads and cymbals will cost more than just buying the “KV-Version”.

Conclusion:

If I would have to decide between those 3 kits, I would probably buy the TD-25KV, it might be the most expensive option, but you simply get the most out of it.

But since I am not forced to buy any of these sets, I would always go for a second hand TD-9, 12 or 20. For these budgets you are able to get a high end Roland V-drum kit of an older generation, which usually contains the exact same components. The module sounds have not really improved anyway over their latest generation. And an older Roland module can trigger EZDrummer2 too.

Buy the TD-25 or the TD-11 here:

22 Replies to “Differences between Roland TD-11, 15 & 25”

  1. What about the “real feel” development in those new modules (11\15\25\30) Roland prides about?
    Is it noticeable comparing to the td9\12?

  2. Marcel,

    How are you ?

    I currently have a TD-4kp and I trigger Kontakt studio drummer with it, I want to upgrade to the TD-25kv.

    Do you know how positional sensing works with the VSTs? Does it translate well to the midi notes?

    Thanks.

      • Alright man! Thanks for the info. Guess I will have to shell a few more bucks if I want to trigger stuff with the TD 25 module.

        By the way great work on the blog and videos, specially the videos, very professional, top notch quality and production. And your Steph does a great job at the narration! You should try narrating yourself from time to time though. So sorry to hear you don’t have that much time to put content up as frequently.

        Anyway, long message off topic message. I just wanted to leave a word of appreciation for your hard work!

        Peace man!

  3. Hi there,
    I’ve been looking to buy a Roland v-drums (td 15/25) but recently I started thinking of converting acoustic set into electronic one. My idea is to trigger samples from SD2 or SSD4. The thing is I need a module and I’m not sure for which Roland module to go for. Would you recommend still using td12/20 or would you rather invest more money and go for td 15/25?? Kind regards, Bart

    • The TD-15/25 is not better than the TD-12/20, especially not if you want to trigger. TD-12/20 can be extended with a slave module but require a MIDI interface for Trigger Software. The only advantage of the TD-15/25 is the USB.

  4. Very nice to read, thanks!!

    Also thinking of converting my kit, but having the most diffuculty in picking a module..

    If I plan to get all the sounds from EZdrummer anyways, doesn’t it make sense to simply buy a very cheap Alesis Trigger I/O instead of an expensive Roland module? Or would they give a much better result?

    • No, the Alesis Trigger IO has not the same dynamic. The Roland Modules are still worth their money, since the trigger capabilities and dynamics are incredible good. Buy a second hand TD-3, 4, 9 if money is an issue.

  5. Someone is trying to sell me a TD15 but with a TD25 module. Would this then allow Positional sensing on the TD15 pads?? Is there any downside since the TD15 is discontinued? Thanks

  6. On a TD-25 it is not possible to split head and rim and assign separate sounds with the module.
    I wonder wether using splitters combined with EZDrummer2 makes this possible?

      • Thanks for your reply. This may make switching (from TD-9) to TD-25 worthwhile. But I would think connecting USB directly onto the pc is the biggest advantage. Does splitting work when I connect with USB or does it need to be the midi-way ?

  7. Hi, I have a TD 11 and IMO opinion it is excellent, yes it has rubber pads for the Toms and yes they are smaller than an actual tom would be however this doesn’t hinder playing and if anything helps with accuracy. The snare is a mesh head and for me that is more important form a feedback point of view than mesh heads for toms. I guess an all mesh kit would be better but I see no point in spending more money on upgrading for something that is not really necessary. The drum module it self is packed with sounds and training features and the trigger response is excellent. Only responding as I feel it needs a more measured review for people on a smaller budget

  8. Hi Marcel, thank you for the wealth of information you provide! I am debating between a TD-11 vs TD-25 module. I plan on using DIY A2E drums, Roland cymbals, and probably EZDrummer or SD2. In your opinion, would the TD-25 be worth the extra money? Is latency better on TD-25 than TD-11? Would dynamic range and expressiveness be more a function of the VST, or does the module also affect those parameters? Thank you!

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