Updated on March 2nd, 2018
Yamaha has released the DTX400 series of drum kits. We will be focusing on the Yamaha DTX450X review but there are two others in the range as well.
There is the DTX400K, DTX430K and the DTX450K. The full range is similar but each series offers different features.
The least expensive is the 400K and the top of the line in the range is the DTX450X which is what we will be reviewing.
Yamaha designed this range as an entry level range however this range includes the technology that is found in the pricier Pro DTX range as well as the Yamaha Motif Synths.
Since the Yamaha DTX450X has the same technology at roughly one third the cost of the higher end models there was great expectations associated with the DTX450X.
It would be interesting to see if Yamaha could build a kit for a lot less money using the same exact technology and come up with a viable kit.
The Yamaha DTX450K like all the other kits in the series is made up of 5 drums, 2 cymbals and one high hat.
The Yamaha DTX450K also has a 3 zone snare pad that is not found in the other kits of this series. It has a TD400 brain like the other two kits in the series.
Let’s Start with the Setup
First thing you notice about the DTX450K is that it is very lightweight, so lightweight in fact that the whole kit arrives in one box.
Setting up the rack was relatively simple and straight forward. Some of the parts come pre mounted which is nice so you do not have to get too involved with the assembly.
You can use a normal drum key to tighten all the parts together. The rack comes together nicely and is very sturdy.
The rack is foldable which is a nice touch as well so you do not have to break down the kit and put it back together for storage. You just fold it up and put it in the closet or under the bed.
All of the parts of the kit are attached to the rack, there are not free standing parts, which is very common with inexpensive kits.
There was only one thing that could be changed with the design of the rack. There are 2 “rack toms” that are mounted directly on the rack bar and they do not have any “tom arms” which can restrict how they are positioned.
You can move them either right or left and you can raise the rack bar to make things more comfortable.
One of the things that are also noticeable is the 2 PCY90 cymbal pads. They are a new design so if you ever owned a Yamaha kit before you will notice that the cymbals have a new look.
The new look is much sleeker compared to what they looked like before. There is a clamp for the cymbals that holds them securely but that is almost a little too rigid for positioning purposes, that may resolve itself with time and use.
Ultimately it is far better to have your cymbals secure and deal with a little rigidity in positioning than it is to have cymbals that are loose.
Both the snare and hi hat is connected at the main rack with an L bar. The high hat is actually mounted separately by itself much like each of the cymbals. The snare and the high hat are at a fixed distance but they are close enough not to be an issue.
The 450K offers both a kick drum pad and the Yamaha bass drum pedal. These pedals are simple foot pedals that are easy to mount.
Of course you also have the high hat controller that is a foot pedal as well. The high hat pedal does not have the same spring rebound mechanism that the other two pedals have.
Yamaha did not carry over the high end quality on the drum heads. The drum heads are not made of the silicon or mesh that you see on other Yamaha kits that are high dollar.
On the upside of things, the pads are all single zone pads that are nicely sensitive and that play well. They offer just the right balance between being not too hard and just hard enough.
Now, don’t expect the type of dynamics that compare to the more expensive kits that Yamaha has to offer (you have to be rewarded for paying more) but you can expect to be able to achieve a nice range of dynamics and to hit some nice grace notes as well.
The cymbal pads are super nice to play. They offer a very distinct true to life sound that is hard to beat.
Most people complain about the cymbal pads on electronic drum kits but the PCY90 really works out nicely. They are smaller and lightweight which really adds to the natural feel and response.
The control pedal works great with the high hat it opens and closes the sound smoothly and accurately. The kick drum takes a little getting used to but once you do, you will love it.
Yamaha’s TD400 is the controlling module for this kit. It is a no nonsense type of module. It is small has no knobs and no LCD lights.
There are 3 rows of buttons that light up orange when they are depressed. It offers a very simple, minimal look. Since there is no display that buttons serve two functions. They are selection options and they provide feedback of the parameter.
There is a row of ten buttons that are spread across the top part of the module that are labeled with numbers 1-10. The second row is made up of “kit” and “song” buttons.
On the second row there is also a metronome button for on and off, there is also a play/stop button that controls playback and practice sessions.
The last row included a power button, drum mute button and a training button. To the right of the rows are two more buttons, one dedicated to the temp up and down and the volume up and down.
It is a very easy system to master. The right side of the module is where you find 9 trigger jacks for input which is where you plug in all the components of the kit.
The jacks are tucked away on the side to save some space and to keep the cords out of your way.
On the other side of the module you find a power adapter plug in, a USB jack to connect to a computer, 1 quarter inch output that (that doubles as a stereo output jack and a headphone jack, they should have put in two designated jacks) and an Aux in mini jack for your MP3 player.
So How Does It Play?
All the specs and information about the kit is simply fascinating but at the end of the day everyone wants to know; How does the kit play?
Before we get to the details you should know that the kit features 10 editable presets. You access them by pushing one of the buttons marked 1-10 (too easy). The presets are simply WOW.
Press the button any button and choose a kit and frankly you will be amazed by the sound. The sound does not sound like it is coming from a kit at this price point.
A lot of times with kits the lower price point each of the sets sound pretty much the same, the tempo changes but you do not get differences in brightness or overtones.
The Yamaha DTX450K knocks the sound right out of the ball park when it comes to the preset kits. An additional bonus is that since the module is so easy to use editing is easy as well.
When you depress the kit and song button at the same time you enter the menu and each function has a designated button number.
Using the manual at first is a must but isn’t it always? It may take you a little while to get used to editing sets but you should be able to master it in a relatively short period of time.
Training is really where Yamaha had their focus with the DTX450K. It is an excellent training tool. It offers ten training options that include things like “groove check”, “part mute” “rhythm gate” and others.
The selections are geared toward helping you perfect a different skill which is great for helping you to work on all skills.
There is also voice guidance that either tells you to “try again” or gives you a big “FANTASTIC” when you are successful. This little voice guidance is a nice encouragement to keep on practicing.
During the training experience you can set the difficulty at different levels as well as controlling the speed. It is a nice feature that makes the Yamaha DTX450K perfect for training.
There are also some apps that Yamaha released for the IPhone and IPad that offers tutorials for basic skills and techniques like how to make sure your hold on the sticks is proper.
There are ten play along practice songs to even further the training experience.
The Yamaha DTX450K is a good kit. It is easy to use, works great and you really cannot beat the price point.