Pressure Sensitive Pads? Headphone enabled? Decent value for money? Compact in size? USB socket for DAW integrationCons:? Weak hi-hat pedals? Difficult to keep the snare in position without support? Average module qualityThe Yamaha DTX400K, the cheapest model of the DTX400 series, is an entry level drum set designedespecially for amateur drumming enthusiasts. It is the latest model to be launched in the hugelysuccessful DTX series, bringing technology and class to a new standard of affordability.After testing the kit for a week, our verdict is:Build and Hardware:It is relatively light-weight as compared to other models in the series, giving it a compact look. Thewhole set-up arrives in a solitary box and setting it up is pretty straightforward. Some of the elementsare already mounted on the rack, while the rest can be tightened by a regular drum key. To savecustomers from the hassle of breaking it down every time when storing or travelling, Yamaha has madethe kit “fold-able”.The Yamaha DTX400K is no different in configuration from the rest of the models in the series,consisting of five drums, two cymbals, and a hi-hat. The tubular steel rack, a standard in the price range,has two upright side poles that are linked by a horizontal crossbar. The first and second tom pads aremounted on the crossbar while the third one, just like the hi-hat/snare and module, has its ownmounting arm. Movement is restricted in the first two tom bars as these are mounted without “tom-arms”, but the floor tom’s positioning can be customized according to the needs of the user.The drum pads along with the two cymbal pads are single-zone, made from a rubberized material thatgives them a stylish, chic look. The material provides a bit of friction to make them stick resilient, butwith the help of pressure sensitive touch, a good triggering response can still be elicited. The cymbalsare attached to the vertical poles of the rack with a metal rod, giving it stability, but taking away themobility at the same time. The Yamaha DTX400K uses PCY90 cymbal pads, which allow the user to playsubtle notes effectively and can achieve a good spectrum of dynamics. The kit’s small size benefitsPCY90s, giving a more natural sound instead of the artificial feel users get from bigger counterparts.The hi-hat pad stays at a fixed distance from the snare because, like the cymbals, it is also mounted on arigid metal rod. A controller pedal connects the PCY90 pad via the module for the usual open and closedhats with fast and accurate responses. The DTX400K uses the KU100 kick pedal, which looks just like thehi-hat controller. It is a beater-less pedal that allows a silent kick operation for a softer impact andreduced noise. The pedal takes a few sessions to get used to but after getting a good feel for it, the useris able to play it quite comfortably.Module:The module does not have a display and LED lights are used to highlight each of the 21 push-buttons.This makes it necessary for the new users to keep the manual by their side. The right edge of the modulehas nine mini input jacks, for connections to the hi-hat, kick drum pedal and the pads. The left edgehouses a socket for power, a USB socket and two audio output jacks: one for mp3 players as the otherone doubles as both stereo and headphone output jack. The USB socket can be used to integrate the kitinto the Yamaha suggested Cubase Digital Audio Workstation. Although the kit does not support androiddevices, the socket can be used to connect it to iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone using Yamaha’s official app.Coming to the front, on the right lower half of the module, there are two buttons each for volume andtempo control. The upper part has 10 buttons in a row, labelled 1-9 with the final one labelled 10/0. Thelower row has a metronome selection button, song and kit selection buttons, a start/stop push buttonto control playback and training sessions.Playing Experience:There are 10 pre-configured editable tracks, and these include the Yamaha Oak Custom, Vintage, HardRock, Funk, Session, Yamaha Maple Custom, R;B, Percussion, Jazz and Marching. Any of these can beselected when the module is in Kit mode by pushing one of the ten buttons in the upper row. Users canalso use the app to purchase over 1,000 songs.Even though the preset kits are very handy for beginners and should also please more experiencedusers, they can be customized using any of the 169 sounds available which include 21 kick drums, 31cymbals, 36 toms, 23 snare drums and 42 percussion instruments.The overall sound and the response from the pedals and pads is quite impressive for this price rangeeven though the pedals are difficult to keep in position without a carpeted floor. The positioning of thesnare with respect to the hi-hat is a bit of an issue due to its rigidity and access to the module is also lessthan convenient as the hi-hat tends to droop sideways.Configuring the settings:A simple LCD for the Yamaha DTX400K might have been a good choice considering the number ofoptions available in the module. New users always need the manual close at hand when changing thesettings of the kit.The Menu mode can be activated by pushing the Song and Kit buttons together. One of the sevensetting menus can be chosen by pushing number 1-7 buttons. These menus in the ascending orderinclude Metronome Settings, Kit Settings, MIDI Settings, Hi-hat Settings, Trigger Settings, TrainingSettings and Other Settings.The trickiness of editing the module without a display can be judged from the laborious process one hasto go through to change the volume. After entering the Menu mode, the user has to press the buttonnumbered ‘2’ to enter the Kit mode. This makes the first five buttons in the row flash indicating thenumber of options available; five in this case. Pressing ‘2’ again enters the ‘Pad volume’ mode, as thebuttons flash again to show the current volume level. After this whole procedure, you are finally able tochange the volume by pressing the number buttons.Conclusion:The Yamaha DTX400K is an amazing kit for the amateur drummer, especially considering the otherelectronic kits in the price range. On the down side, the kit is quite inflexible thanks to metal rods, andthe mini-jack audio outputs make the module feel a little shabby. The LEDs are also a drawback, butafter some playing experience, the drummer gets used to it.Overall, the built-in features are pretty good, allowing beginners to start learning drums without goinginto the technicalities of the instruments much. It should be pointed out that both the snare and kickdrum pads can be bought separately if the user wishes to upgrade to even better-quality parts. Thebeater-less pedal and headphone audio outputs are great additions, as they allow the drum kit to beplayed without disturbing the fussy neighbors too much. All in all, the Yamaha DTX400K is one of thebest kits out there in the market.