Drums & Percussion

The Top Nine Drum Amps for Practicing and Performing

Electronic drums on carpet

It doesn’t matter how good your electronic drum set is if you don’t have an amplifier or “amp,” to showcase its power and versatility. It is crucial to choose an amp that is strong and provides high-quality sound. You also need to make sure your amp highlights your electronic drum’s good points while making its bad points less obvious. Whether you are using your electronic drums for practicing or performing, a drum amp enhances your sound. If you’re in the market for an amp, but don’t know where to start, keep reading to learn about the top nine drum amps.

Top Pick
Alesis Strike Amp 8 | 2000-Watt Portable Speaker/Amplifier for Electronic Drum Kits
$289.00

Firing the big guns, the Alesis Strike 8 gives an insane load of 1000 watts of consistent power (continuous RMS, 650 LF + 350 HF) and 2000 watts of peak power. Yet it still provides top audio quality at an affordable price.


The sound from the Alesis Strike Amp 8 is incredibly realistic and clean, helping tip the scale in its favor.

Check on Amazon Check on Musician's Friend
12/08/2022 01:08 pm GMT

Before you go shopping, you need to know what to look for in a quality drum amp. Here are some reviews and information to help you, including more on the top pick, below. Most people don’t think about an electronic drum amp until they start performing, but they also work well for practicing, too.

If you have switched from acoustic to electronic drums, you’ll appreciate an amp. It is important to do your homework before you put your hard-earned cash down on an amp. The right amp will make you more confident on stage, too.

  1. ddrum DDA50 BT 50 Watt Electronic Percussion Amp with Bluetooth (DDA50BT)
  2. ddrum DDA50 BT 50 Watt Electronic Percussion Amp with Bluetooth (DDA50BT)
    $298.00 $259.00

    Well-rounded amp can be used as either a practice speaker or as an onstage monitor.

    Check on Amazon
    12/08/2022 02:04 pm GMT
  3. Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drums Monitoring System
  4. Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drums Monitoring System
    $329.99

    Has a 2.1 channel monitor system that is one of the most compact monitor systems you will find.

    Check on Amazon
    12/08/2022 08:27 pm GMT
  5. Roland PM-100 Compact Electronic V-Drum Set Monitor
  6. Roland PM-100 Compact Electronic V-Drum Set Monitor
    $299.99 $269.00

    Compact design that works really well with small drum kits.

    Check on Amazon
    12/08/2022 02:33 pm GMT
  7. Donner DDA-35 AMP 35-Watt Electronic Drum Amplifier
  8. Donner DDA-35 AMP 35-Watt Electronic Drum Amplifier
    $199.99

    Good amp for use in the studio or private practice.

    Check on Amazon
    12/08/2022 03:04 pm GMT
  9. KAT Percussion 200 Watt Amplifier
  10. KAT Percussion 200 Watt Amplifier

    Specially tuned for electronic drums.

    Check on Amazon
  11. Behringer Ultratone K450FX Ultra-Flexible 45-Watt 3-Channel PA System/Keyboard Amplifier
  12. Behringer Ultratone K450FX Ultra-Flexible 45-Watt 3-Channel PA System/Keyboard Amplifier
    $345.99

    Flexible PA that is incredibly durable and its rugged construction guarantees a long-lasting life.

    Check on Amazon
    12/08/2022 04:07 pm GMT
  13. Alesis Strike Amp 8 | 2000-Watt Portable Speaker/Amplifier for Electronic Drum Kits
  14. Alesis Strike Amp 8 | 2000-Watt Portable Speaker/Amplifier for Electronic Drum Kits
    $289.00

    Firing the big guns, the Alesis Strike 8 gives an insane load of 1000 watts of consistent power (continuous RMS, 650 LF + 350 HF) and 2000 watts of peak power. Yet it still provides top audio quality at an affordable price.


    The sound from the Alesis Strike Amp 8 is incredibly realistic and clean, helping tip the scale in its favor.

    Check on Amazon Check on Musician's Friend
    12/08/2022 01:08 pm GMT

Speaker Combinations: Top Types of Sound Systems

If you have done your research, you know that speaker combinations are the recommended sound system. Many of the same manufacturers who make electronic drum sets also make top nine amplifiers and speakers, too. These manufacturers know how to enhance their amplifiers to work with your drum set.

You can also use an amplifier from another manufacturer by checking the requirements of the sound equipment to see if your drum kit is compatible. Sometimes guitar and bass amplifiers will also work, but you should use amplifiers made for drums to get the best results. These amps are better able to amplify lower drum tones than other amps. These are the two main types of drum amps:

  • Passive Speaker and Amplifier Combos: Passive speakers need to have an amplifier to make sounds. Amplifiers feed sound signals to the speakers, so they come with sound settings. If you are using your drum kit professionally, having a passive speaker and amplifier combination allows you to control your sound. Always check their specifications to make sure the amplifier works with your passive speaker. One way to do that is to buy them from the same manufacturer.
  • Powered Speakers: If you are a beginner or play for fun, powered speakers are an option because they come with built-in amplifiers. This requires less equipment to carry and set up, plus there are fewer cords to have to deal with. Since it’s built-in, you also don’t have to worry about modifying amp settings to get the right sound. Powered speakers are often called “active” speakers in reference to their inner wiring.

Installation Insights

Before you start any installation, arrange your equipment wherever you practice or perform. Set your speakers up on either side of the stage to avoid microphone interference. Also, make sure to connect all your cables before plugging in your equipment. Once you find both the drum module and the module output jack on your electronic drum set, you can connect your module to the speakers.

Most output jacks will accommodate quarter-inch cables. However, if your output jack is a different size, buy a converter that accepts quarter- inch cables. It also helps to get the longest cables you can find. After plugging in the cable with your amplifier, it’s time to test the sound. Just turn the volume to zero and slowly raise the sound until you reach the perfect level. This is the best way to set up one of the following top nine drum amps.

How to Work on Your Sound

You should be able to adjust the settings on your drum module according to your preferences. One basic control most drum modules have is the ability to control the different tones your drums create. You should also be able to alter the volume of both low and high notes. Another thing you should be able to change is the timbre of the notes when you use different sets.

Another feature you’ll want is the ability to rotate through varying popular high-end acoustic drums in your drum module. Less expensive drum modules may not have some of these features, so be sure to look for them before buying.

Mixing Boards for Music Quality

A standard piece of equipment for any musician is a mixing board to adjust music quality. It is often difficult for some mixing boards to deal with the low bass tones an electric drum set emits. If those notes sound dull, your mixer doesn’t have enough input space. You may need to get your own specific sound mixer.

If you don’t use a lot of cymbal sounds when performing, a line-level mixer will work for you. Otherwise, another good choice is a mike-and-line mixer. Any of these mixers are easy to find at music stores.

Awesome Adjustments

When you play, are your lower drum notes flat? You may need to adjust the treble and bass knobs on the amplifier. It should be easy to turn them up to amplify the low notes. You can also turn them down to make the low notes softer. If your amplifier has this feature, the sound knobs on usually on the front side of the amplifier.

To Stack or Not to Stack

Have you ever seen amplifiers stacked on top of each other? What is the advantage of that? Stackable speakers have more power because they are bigger. But if you are just starting, you don’t need all that power. Beginners should skip the stacks and get a style that includes the amp head and speaker in one unit.

It’s a lot easier to carry your equipment since most come with a carrying handle. A combo amplifier is a basic piece of equipment powerful enough for small to medium venues when you are just beginning to perform. If you buy one of the top nine drum amps on this list, you’ll have what you need to practice and perform.

Yes, They Still Use Vacuum Tubes

Do you remember those vacuum tubes from old televisions and radios? Vacuum tubes are famous for being warm, mellow and rich. These tubes still exist in some of the top nine amps because they have the following advantages:

  • Distortion – If you love that fuzzy distortion sound, a vacuum tube lets you push a lot of power into the tube, so it produces distortion. They also keep a note ringing after the musician is done playing it. These sounds are still popular today, especially in blues and rock music, so it isn’t surprising that tube amps are still available.
  • Dynamic Response – Sensitivity is also a feature of the vacuum tube. With even the slightest touch, a high-end tube amplifier will respond. They are good at finding those subtle differences when you play. They also provide a change in sound from when you play harder and softer.

Alternatives to Vacuum Tubes: Advantages of Solid-State Amps

If you don’t like vacuum tubes, the alternative is the modern solid-state amp. These amps offer the following features:

  • Durability – If you want a maintenance-free amp, a solid-state amp is what you need. They are also more lightweight than the vacuum tube.
  • Affordability – Solid-state amps are also more affordable than vacuum tubes because there’s no need to install a complex tube. These types of amps are inexpensive to make, so they are more affordable.
  • Versatility – Solid-state amplifiers can also produce distortion, only they do it artificially. There is no limit to the number of sounds they can make, so they easily recreate the sounds of other models. This means you only need one amp to make sounds like all the rest combined.

Wattage

The wattage or power of an amp is important. The higher the wattage, the more power. Here are the most common wattages:

  • One to 30 watts: Small amps
  • 30 to 60 watts: Mid-sized amps
  • 60 watts or more: Large amps

The only problem with this system is some companies of the top nine drum amps don’t use the same numbers in the same way. So, a company may have a 40-watt amp that does not work well with another company’s 40-watt amp. Here are a few tricks to figure out the wattage from the amp’s specs:

  • Think of wattage a volume analog. That means the louder the amp, the higher the number.
  • In tube amps, a watt counts extra. If it is described as a class A, it can be as loud as a 40-watt solid-state amp.
  • Higher power means more control. You have more control over distortion if with a higher power level in a tube amp.
  • Make sure you have a headphone jack. If you want an amp for practicing, headphones will enable you to practice without disturbing others.
  • Know what you need before you buy. If you are looking for your first amp, the range should be powerful enough for practicing, jamming and small venue performances.

1. The Winner of the Top Nine Drum Amps: Alesis Strike 8

STRIKE AMP 8 2000-watt Powered Drum Amplifier

Credit: inMusicBrands

The top recommendation is the Alesis Strike 8 Electronic Drum Amplifier. Why do you ask? First, it uses an insane load of 1000 watts of consistent power, which is also 2000 watts peak power. Yet, it is still able to keep its top audio quality at an affordable price.

Top Pick
Alesis Strike Amp 8 | 2000-Watt Portable Speaker/Amplifier for Electronic Drum Kits
$289.00

Firing the big guns, the Alesis Strike 8 gives an insane load of 1000 watts of consistent power (continuous RMS, 650 LF + 350 HF) and 2000 watts of peak power. Yet it still provides top audio quality at an affordable price.


The sound from the Alesis Strike Amp 8 is incredibly realistic and clean, helping tip the scale in its favor.

Check on Amazon Check on Musician's Friend
12/08/2022 01:08 pm GMT

Second, the sound from the Strike 8 is incredibly realistic. You will hear a clean image of the sonic output you are creating on the kit. Plus, it comes with a standard set of tonal controls that are included with the kit that lets you create any type of tweak to the audio that you prefer, such as a brighter tone, more bass, or a little more punch.

And finally, this amp also includes a set of basic stereo quarter-inch and RCA inputs and a set of stereo quarter-inch outputs. It also has a quarter-inch stereo link output with an assigned left/right/stereo selector. If you are looking for a drum amp, the quality of the Alesis Strike 8, makes it an excellent value. That is why it made the number one spot on this list of the top nine drum amps.

Pros:

  • You get clear, realistic sounds at an affordable price.
  • It delivers a lot of power with strong frequency response.
  • You can hook amps together with it.

Cons:

  • The size of the amp is bigger than you may expect

2. Runner Up: Simmons DA200S Electronic Drum Set Monitor

DA200S Electronic Drum Monitor

Credit: Simmons

The Simmons DA200S Electronic Drum Set Monitor is for those watching their budgets or someone just starting out. Despite the price, it is a drum amp with high-quality features you can use as a stage monitor. It has a 100-watt low-frequency amplifier that provides a full stereo field. This means you can place your drums at the right sonic location.

The DA200S also comes with heavy-duty woofers and a headphone input for practicing silently. It also has a high-frequency tweeter and an aux input, too. This is lightweight amp is extremely durable, so it can take a beating when transporting it. It is also easy to use. If you are looking for an affordable amp, this sound system is all you need.

Pros:

  • It is budget-friendly.
  • This amp is lightweight and easy to use.
  • This is a value since it is durable and heavy-duty.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t deliver enough power to be on the top spot on this list of top nine drum amps.

Other Drum Amps To Consider

3. ddrum DDA50 50W Electronic Percussion Amp

Credit: ddrum

Although the DDA50 is a higher-priced option, it’s still affordable. Like the Simmons DA 50, the ddrum’s DDA 50 is an extremely accurate and efficient monitor. You can use this well-rounded amp as either a practice speaker or as an onstage monitor. This device provides a clean sound that is distortion-free, as long as you don’t overload it. You will get a realistic image of your performan, as any quality monitor should give you.

ddrum DDA50 BT 50 Watt Electronic Percussion Amp with Bluetooth (DDA50BT)
$298.00 $259.00

Well-rounded amp can be used as either a practice speaker or as an onstage monitor.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 02:04 pm GMT

The ddrum’s DDA 50 gives you 50 watts of power and a 10-inch subwoofer. It also comes with an adjacent 2.5-inch tweeter and an MP3 input. You get three quarter-inch inputs, a headphone jack, and an XLR line out, too. If you need to make sonic adjustments, you can use the included three-band equalizer (EQ) to adjust the audio output to fit your preferences.

It’s also an attractive amp that delivers high-quality sounds. This is a value among the amps you find on the market, so it deserves a place on this list of the top nine drum amps.

Pros:

  • You can play quietly at night due to the directional orientation of the speaker towards you.
  • It has a nice full sound with crisp highs at low volumes.
  • You get a lot more than you expect with this amp.

Cons:

  • This amp doesn’t work with microphones.

4. Yamaha MS45DR Drum Monitor System

MS45DR 2.1-channel electronic drum monitor

Credit: Yamaha Corporation

 

Although this is a monitor on a list of top nine drum amps, it belongs on this list. They created the Yamaha MS45DR for home use. It has a 2.1 channel monitor system that is one of the most compact monitor systems you will find. This is a great feature if you have tight space options in your home.

Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drums Monitoring System
$329.99

Has a 2.1 channel monitor system that is one of the most compact monitor systems you will find.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 08:27 pm GMT

It is also a chic-looking monitor with an all-black design that should match well in any room. It includes right and left speakers, so you can fasten it to a rack, plus a subwoofer.

You will get an intense, realistic stereo sound that feels like playing on an acoustic set. The set has a total of 20 watts of power in the two satellite speakers (2 kHz, 4 Ω) and 20 watts of power in the subwoofer (60 Hz, 8 Ω). This is a convenient system you can fasten to any DTX drum rack, except the Hexrack. It is also one of the most affordable systems on this list.

Pros:

  • This is a quality product for the price.
  • It’s easy to set up and install.
  • The volume of the base and tweeters are separate.
  • The satellite speakers can be mounted on general electronic drum racks

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles.

5. Roland PM-100 Monitor

PM-100 Personal Monitor

Credit: Roland Corporation

They built the Roland PM-100 Personal Monitor Amplifier to be portable and work with the Roland V-Drum. The compact design is perfect for small drum kits. It has a high rating with customers, too. The PM-100 comes with several options for mixing input and integrating with other audio sources.

Roland PM-100 Compact Electronic V-Drum Set Monitor
$299.99 $269.00

Compact design that works really well with small drum kits.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 02:33 pm GMT

The Roland PM-10 comes with an 80-watt amplifier and a 10-inch two-way coaxial speaker. It is also durable yet easy it is to carry. The handle makes transporting it a breeze. Although you can use it with Roland V-Drums, you can also use it with keyboards, guitars, and MP3 players/smartphones. It is also one of the most affordable options on the list of top nine drum amps.

Pros:

  • With its excellent sound, it’s great for using onstage.
  • Easy access to the volume and tone controls while you are playing.
  • A value with its excellent build quality.

Cons:

  • This amp is not as loud as you would expect.

6. Donner DDA-35

Credit: Rantion Trading Limited

Another favorite among customers is the Donner DDA-35 Electronic Drum Amplifier. It’s a good choice to use in the studio. It features 35 watts of power, so it’s a great sounding amp to use in practice.

Donner DDA-35 AMP 35-Watt Electronic Drum Amplifier
$199.99

Good amp for use in the studio or private practice.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 03:04 pm GMT

One advantage of this monitor is that it is loud but clean. The high volume is due to its two 35 watt mid-and high-frequency amp, with two signal input ports ( in addition to the traditional line connection). This amp also lets you plug in your smartphone so you can play along with your favorite songs through the speaker. It is also easy to transport with the included ribbed handle. This is another safe choice for a monitor at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • This is a quality product for the price.
  • It’s perfect for practicing.
  • This amp has good power

Cons:

  • It is not lightweight, and it’s can sound muddy.

7. KAT Percussion 200 Watt Amplifier

KAT Percussion

Credit: KAT Percussion

The Kat Percussion Amplifier has a strong 200-watt sound output and three quarter-inch inputs for other sound sources or instruments. This amp is specially tuned for electronic drums and comes with a three band EQ to fine tune it. It is easy to transport with its large carry handle, too.

KAT Percussion 200 Watt Amplifier

Specially tuned for electronic drums.

Check on Amazon

The KAT Percussion Amplifier is ideal for small spaces. They designed it specifically to work with digital drums for the most precise acoustic response, with three 1/4″ inputs. It is a durable amp that will last you awhile. This is also one of the more affordable items on this list of the top nine drum amps.

Pros:

  • It delivers a pleasant sound and is easy to transport.
  • You’ll find it easy to fine-tune this electronic kit.
  • This amp is durable, so it will last you awhile.

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth connection

8. Coolmusic/Vangoa 100W Bluetooth Personal Monitor Electronic Drum Amplifier

The Coolmusic 100W is a compact drum amp for practicing or playing in small venues. It comes with a 10-inch subwoofer and a 1 inch adjacent tweeter plus several other features. The monitor comes with two inputs and one D.I. Out. It also has Bluetooth connectivity.

This is a 100-watt amp with a three-band EQ so you can fine-tune the output to your preferences. This is also an affordable drum amp compared to the other top nine drum amps on this list.

Pros:
• This is the most affordable amp for someone just starting out.
• It comes with a three-band equalizer, so you can make adjustments to your sound.
• This amp delivers a ton of features for the price.

Cons:
• No headphone output

9. Behringer Ultratone K450FX

Credit: Music Tribe Global Brands Ltd.

The Behringer Ultratone K450FX is an amplifier that is also versatile, with awesome full-range sound. Much more than a keyboard amp, it can definitely handle drums – while infinitely more capable and flexible than a specialized drum amp. Drum amps have the advantage of space savings and simplicity, but they cannot usually be expanded much beyond that use case. Keyboard amps work well because they have a good range, which you need for e-drums.

Behringer Ultratone K450FX Ultra-Flexible 45-Watt 3-Channel PA System/Keyboard Amplifier
$345.99

Flexible PA that is incredibly durable and its rugged construction guarantees a long-lasting life.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 04:07 pm GMT

The K450FX is a powerful 45-watt amplifier with a ten-inch BUGERA speaker for a wide frequency response. There are two inputs for instruments, plus separate volume controls with each channel. You will get superb sound shaping with the three-band EQ.

It also includes a CD input that allows you to play along with your favorite songs. There is also a separate output for headphones for silent playing. The Behringer Ultratone is durable and its rugged construction guarantees a long-lasting life. The clean, powerful sound, plus versatility, make it this amp one of the top nine drum amps for both performances and rehearsals.

Pros:

  • It is versatile and extremely affordable.
  • You can play along to your favorite music.
  • Delivers the vintage sound of a vacuum tube with its virtual tube circuitry.

Cons:

  • This amp hits the low notes but is not as good with middle or high notes.

 

In Summary: Bringing it Home

These are the top nine drum amps you can find today. Whether you are a professional or just starting out with the drums, one of these amps will work for you.

ddrum DDA50 BT 50 Watt Electronic Percussion Amp with Bluetooth (DDA50BT)
$298.00 $259.00

Well-rounded amp can be used as either a practice speaker or as an onstage monitor.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 02:04 pm GMT
Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drums Monitoring System
$329.99

Has a 2.1 channel monitor system that is one of the most compact monitor systems you will find.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 08:27 pm GMT
Roland PM-100 Compact Electronic V-Drum Set Monitor
$299.99 $269.00

Compact design that works really well with small drum kits.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 02:33 pm GMT
Donner DDA-35 AMP 35-Watt Electronic Drum Amplifier
$199.99

Good amp for use in the studio or private practice.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 03:04 pm GMT
KAT Percussion 200 Watt Amplifier

Specially tuned for electronic drums.

Check on Amazon
Behringer Ultratone K450FX Ultra-Flexible 45-Watt 3-Channel PA System/Keyboard Amplifier
$345.99

Flexible PA that is incredibly durable and its rugged construction guarantees a long-lasting life.

Check on Amazon
12/08/2022 04:07 pm GMT
Top Pick
Alesis Strike Amp 8 | 2000-Watt Portable Speaker/Amplifier for Electronic Drum Kits
$289.00

Firing the big guns, the Alesis Strike 8 gives an insane load of 1000 watts of consistent power (continuous RMS, 650 LF + 350 HF) and 2000 watts of peak power. Yet it still provides top audio quality at an affordable price.


The sound from the Alesis Strike Amp 8 is incredibly realistic and clean, helping tip the scale in its favor.

Check on Amazon Check on Musician's Friend
12/08/2022 01:08 pm GMT

Notable Replies

  1. I’d like you to look at another. While it’s *technically," not a dedicated drum amp. It works VERY well.

    I have a Roland TD-25KV drum kit and LOVE it. And just as I’d dinner when I was looking to get the kit, I researched and researched and even more research.

    I ended up buying the Mackie Thump BST12. It’s got 1300 Watts of drum thumping power. It works very well as a drum amp, but I didn’t want a “one trick pony,” when I bought it.

    My wife and I host a lot of group parties, the groups are getting larger and a home stereo type setup just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

    Enter the Mackie Thump 12BST. Light weight, lots of power, expendable and built in Bluetooth connectivity. Multiple modes, such as music, music+bass (for adding an external subwoofer), voice and more. It’s got 2 1/4" input jacks and XLR to Daisy chain to another amp / speaker.

    But let’s talk electronic drum amp for a bit. Even at low volume (home practice), the highs are crisp and they lows thump and shake. At higher volume levels, you lose the “click clack,” of the electronic drum kit as your hits bring the drum tones out in clear, clean, crisp notes.

    With it having built in Bluetooth, Mackie when has their own app. You can adjust the eq, change modes, volunteer levels and more.

    Specs, Mackie lists them as 1300 ways Max, but you don’t really find the RMS, which I figure it’s around 600 or so. Mind you, the internal amp is splitting it are about a 70-30 70 for the 12" woofer and 30 to the tweeter.

    But let’s get back to price point. MOST of the amps in the review are under $300.00, which is great for the budget minded drummer. Since the 12BST is around $400+ you’ll spend more, and get a bit more versatility.

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