Buying an electronic drum amp might feel like a quick google search, but once you get the webpages open it can be hard to figure out which amps are good for your drum.
There are tones of guitar amps on the market and hardly any drum amps, so you might be tempted to buy a guitar amplifier instead. Don’t! Buying the wrong amplifier that can ruin your drums!
Guitar amps are not designed for drums and could end up breaking the electronics! Treat your instrument with the care it deserves, and buy an amp that was built with the right electronics in mind.
When it comes to drum amps, the most important qualities you should be looking for are the sound quality, its durability as you travel with it, and the price. We are going to be showing you the 5 best electronic drum amps, so all you have to do is pick the one that best suits you.
What makes a good drum amplifier?
Before we dive into the amplifiers, you should know what you are looking for. Price and Durability are self explanatory. You want the price to be reasonable, and you want an amp that doesn’t break when you are moving from gig to gig. It’s the sound quality that might be harder to explain.
A good amp will be able to amplify both high pitched sounds and low frequency sounds to the volume that you need. It should also be able to keep the music clear. A bad amp might make the drum sound loud, but lose its crisp beat in a muffled mess. You want to keep your music crystal clear.
Watts, Woofers, and Tweeters
Terminology can be confusing sometimes, so let us explain what watts, woofers, and tweeters are, and why they are important.
Watts is short for wattage and it is all about the power. When it comes to amplifiers, the bigger the wattage the louder the volume.
Woofers are the big speakers on the amp. They produce low frequencies of sound. Imagine a dog’s booming bark. That low vibrating noise can be pivotal in your music and is measured in Hertz (Hz). The bigger the number, the deeper the bass.
Tweeters are the smaller speakers on the amp. They make the high pitched sounds are drums and cymbals. You want these to be crisp and detailed, like a bird’s song. The smaller the tweeter the more details and higher frequencies you can get.
Budget Drum Amp
Price shouldn’t slow you down when looking for a good drum amp. The Coolmusic DK-35 is the cheapest amplifier on our list and like all the others that you’ll be looking at, it was made for electric drums.
At 50 Watts it is the second quietest drum amp on the list. It would be great for someone just starting out, and playing for small gigs. But, if you’re looking to play for a big crowd this amp might not do you justice.
When it comes to getting that deep base, the Coolmusic DK-35 can hold its own against some of the more expensive amplifiers on our list as its woofer is 10 inches big!
The Coolmusic DK35 has a 1.5 inch tweeter which is an average and respectable size. All in all, when it comes to the details, this budget drum amp would be a great pick for a beginner.
When it comes to durability, this amp is designed with an irregular shape. Although this might make it hard to pack into your car or van, the pros outway the cons. The strange shape means that if you drop the amp, the fall won’t break it.
- Cheapest amp on our list
- Durable design
- 10 inch woofer
- Only 50 Watts, so kinda quiet
An Amp for Drums and Keyboards
The Donner DDA-35 is a touch more expensive than the Coolmusic DK-35. It only has a wattage of 35 Watts, has a smaller woofer, and a larger tweeter.
You might be wondering why we have even included it on the list seeing as the Coolmusic DK-35 is cheaper and better when it comes to sound quality. But the reason is easy; it is a versatile amplifier.
The Donner DA-35 is the only amp on our list which is designed for both electric drums and keyboards. Many musicians can play more than one instrument, and if you’re one of them, then you should take a serious look at amps that are versatile. What is the point in having tons of amps clogging up your space when the Donner DA-35 can do two jobs in one!
This amp is also designed with a 50 degree elevation automatically in its structure. This means that the sound will be aimed at the listeners and not at the floor. This kind of design also helps with durability as it keeps the amp from getting distorted vibrations from the floor.
- Can be used for Electric Drums and Keyboards
- 50 degree elevation
- Durable Design
- Lowest Wattage/Volume on our list.
An Amp Designed for Detail
This is the second Coolmusic brand on our list of best amps for electric drums, but this amplifier was designed with detail in mind.
The Coolmusic DM100 has a 1 inch tweeter, the smallest on our list, and it was created for snare drums in particular. This amplifier wants to make everyone hear that crisp cracking of your snare drum and the 1 inch tweeter will make that happen.
The 10 inch woofer, like the other Coolmusic amp, gives a great bass sound to accompany the delicate tweeter. And with a wattage of 100 watts, this is the kind of volume you would expect at a live rock gig!
As with the others, we have to inspect the durability of this amp. The Coolmusic DM100 comes with a non-slip design and is raised from the ground so you don't get extra vibrations from the ground.
- Best tweeter on our list
- Designed for detail
- 100 Watts
- Non-slip design
- No cons. An average all rounder.
Biggest Woofer - Deepest Bass
If you are looking for an amplifier that makes your heart shake, and a bass that makes you really feel the music, then the Roland PM-200 is what you’re after. With a custom made 12 inch woofer, this amp has the biggest woofer on our list. This means that it has the deepest bass!
Along with that heart pounding bass, the Roland has a volume of 180 watts, making it the second loudest amp on our list. With such a powerful bass and volume, you might be thinking that the delicate touch of a tweeter might be ignored in this amp; and you’re not wrong.
The Roland uses a horn tweeter which is good at controlling the speaker’s frequencies and if you start playing super loudly, the horn can help even out the sound so it doesn’t hurt your listeners. But when it comes to detail and delicate sounds, the Roland might not be as crisp as the other amps.
Angled at 50 degrees, this amplifier, like the Donner, helps get the music to the listeners and not aim it at the floor. It also has the non-slip design of the Coolmusic DM100.
With all these features, it’s not surprising that the Roland is the most expensive amp on our list!
- Best Woofer/Deepest Bass on our list
- 180 watts
- Non-slip design
- 50 degree angle
- Most expensive on our list.
The Loudest Amp
An amp should be loud, that’s the point of having it, to amplify the music you are making. If loud is what you want, then loud is what you’ll get with the Alesis Strike!
It has a whopping 2000 wattage! That is over 1000 more than our second loudest amplifier on this list. This should mean that it’s the most expensive amp too right? Wrong! The Alesis Strike is in the middle of the pack, price wise!
Now let’s get into the Alesis’s details. You can get this amp in two woofer sizes, 8 inches, and 12 inches. The 8 inch is smaller than all the other amps other than the Donner, but the 12 inch woofer is the same size as the Roland!
Remember we said that the Roland produced the deepest bass out of all our amplifiers, so this comparison should tell you just how much base the Alesis has!
The next thing to compare is the tweeter. This amp doesn’t use a tweeter, instead, it has a compression driver which gives a high frequency snap to your snare drums and cymbals. But what does that mean for our comparison?
Well, tweeters have little control over sound coverage, but they have a lovely and pretty sound. Compression drives, on the other hand, are very controlled and so take less power to reach those high frequencies.
With all this in mind, not only is the Alesis Strike the loudest amp, they are almost the most rounded amp too!
- Loudest Amp - Highest Wattage of 2000
- Available in 8 inch woofers and 12 inch woofers
- 50 degree angle
- Reasonably priced
- Compression driver to give high frequencies
- No cons! This is an amazing Amp!
Best Electronic Drum Amp Buying Guide
Stacking Your Amps
You may have noticed some musicians stacking their amps on top of each other and you might be thinking of doing the same thing.
Before you start dumping one amp on top of another, you need to think about the ventilation of your amps.
Blockings your amps fan, can overheat and melt the delicate equipment inside. The next thing you need to think about is the weight of the amp. Too heavy and you could break the amp beneath it.
Lastly, it is important to know that some amps are designed to be stacked, so if you need the space, buy amps that are designed to be stacked. They will have weight distribution technology and well placed fans for this exact reason.
Remember that stacked amps are likely to give a more muffled sound than non stacked amps, as the vibrations will mess with the overall vibe you’re creating.
When it comes to amp size, manufacturers have to balance loads of tech with portability. This is because they know that most amps will be moved from one location to the next as the musicians travel on tours.
If you don’t expect to travel a lot, then get a bigger amp. It will be sturdier, less likely to break due to overuse, and have good ventilation to stop it from overheating.
If you only have a small space or are expecting to travel with your band, then a smaller amp might be for you.
All the amps in our list have balanced the problem of portability and sturdiness, with the heaviest amp being the Roland at 48.56 pounds and the lightest being the Donner at only 17 pounds. Neither of these are back-breaking, so you can take them on tour with you.
Best Electronic Drum Amp - FAQ's
Do electronic drums make noise?
As you could expect, electronic drums make next to no noise in comparison to acoustic ones. This means it’s great for people who share their homes or live in apartments. All electronic drums have the ability to plug in some headphones, so you can listen to your music without buying an amp.
If you are worried about what your neighbors will hear when you have your headphones plugged in. Imagine hitting your drumsticks against a big book. That dull thud is all that they will hear, whilst you can hear the full range of an acoustic drum set!
Are electronic drums as good as acoustic?
The classic complaint with drums is how loud they can be! If you weren’t expecting to listen to a drum being played then the volume of a bass drum can be really off putting. This is where electronic drums have the edge, as they have ultimate sound control through the power of headphones.
On the flip side, Acoustic drums don’t need an amplifier because their drums are ready to go! No wires, no plugins, no sound dials. The acoustic drum doesn’t need the additional electronic kits that your other bandmates might need.
Other than the sound, you might be worried about music quality but that all comes down to the drums themselves. A cheap drum kit, electronic or acoustic, will not be as good as a studio quality one. That being said a mid range acoustic will give you more control over the sound than a cheap electronic drum set.
So what it comes down to is the price range and the level of noise. The rest is up to you!