NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants and producer of the music industry’s largest and world’s loudest trade show. This is the second article in a series that looks at the best people and products discovered at the 2010 NAMM show.

See Best of NAMM, Part 1: PRS Guitars.

Best New Product: 2BOX DrumIt Five

2BOX DrumIt Five from the Rear

2BOX DrumIt Five from the Back

I’ve always preferred acoustic kits, not just for the sound and feel, but because most electronic drum pads just seem too small to play comfortably.  The mesh heads on Roland’s vDrums have a great feel and response, but even their mid-range (read: $2,700) kits have smallish heads, a cheap-feeling high-hat control pedal, and no kick pedal.

The DrumIt Five Open Sound Drum System from 2BOX promises a fully equipped kit, with 5 pads from 8″ to 14″, two 14″ cymbals, a full hi-hat stand and kick pedal for around $2,500.

2BOX DrumIT Five from the Front

2BOX DrumIT Five from the Front

The DrumIt Five feels great and sounds great.  Features include a rim trigger that is independent of the head trigger, multi-zone cymbals, and 4 GB on-board flash memory.  The three-zone cymbals (cup, bow, and edge) can be played when choked, while most electronic cymbals simply stop sounding if hit after a choke.  And the aluminum pads can accept any type of regular drum head, mesh heads, or rubber heads.

There are 100 fully editable kits, and user sounds can be be created from any wav, aiff, or rex files.  Also included is PC and Mac compatible software for editing drum kits.  Let’s take a listen before the big disclaimer.

BIG DISCLAIMER: Pricing and other information was obtained from a conversation with a 2BOX rep, and is subject to change and currency fluctuations.  2BOX is a Swedish company, and at the time we spoke they had not lined up a US Distributor.  They still don’t list a US Distributor on their website, but rumors are the DrumIt 5 will be available in the US around April or May 2010.  MMT will provide updates as more information becomes available.  In the meantime, you can check out

While (or whilst) the 2BOX display was tucked against a back wall, Roland had its own annex in the conference center.  As you might imagine, 2BOX has created quite a stir in the Roland camp, with over 1,300 postings on the DrumIt Five topic in the V-drums forum.  The DrumIt Five took a bit of a beating for being so orange, but writers who actually own or have heard the kit were generally very positive.  There are rumors of other colors becoming available, but so far only orange kits have been seen in the wild.  The forum was closed this week due to “Roland bashing”.

Gleaming under the showroom lights was the Roland TD-20SX V-Pro Electronic Drum Set, which is absolutely gorgeous.  The kit has larger, brushed-metal pads, dual-zone triggers, and silver cymbals.  It also has a price tag of $6,999, and that does not include a kick pedal or hi-hat stand.  So we believe there is definitely room in the market for an orange e-drum kit.Q

Update #3: Winter 2012 – 2BOX Comes to the USA for Christmas

Update #2: Winter 2010 – Separate snare stand, stronger rack, still no US distributor.

Update #1: March, 2010 –  Heard back from Bengt at 2BOX, answers below.

1. Have you found a US distributor?

We have some leads we are working on but we are not in a rush as we need to ramp up production before entering the US market. At this time we are pretty backordered in Europe.

2. When will they be generally available in:

a. Europe — They are available now in limited quantities.
b. US — Nothing decided, see above.
c. Elsewhere? — During Spring time.

3. What will be the MSRP and expected street price in Euros and US Dollars for the DrumIt Five?

For US there is no price set yet. In Europe street price is € 1990:-

4. What will be standard pad sizes for the DrumIt Five?

For now 10 and 12. Later we will add 8 and 14 inch.

5. Will there be any colors available other than orange?

For now – only orange.