Much More than a Cosmetic Upgrade, This Special Edition Kit Offers Compelling Updates to the Original
When Alesis released the original Strike Pro Kit a few years ago, it shook up the electronic drumming world with an unprecedented combination of sound, feel, features, and presentation for its price point. Now, Alesis is back with Strike Pro SE, a sharp-looking kit that at first glance may appear to offer just a few cosmetic enhancements. However, upon further inspection, it becomes clear that it delivers a number of compelling feature upgrades and improvements as well. Let's dive in and take a look at what makes Strike Pro SE special.
First and foremost, Strike Pro SE has swapped out the standard Strike Pro's 14-inch kick tower for a full-size 20-inch mesh-head bass drum. Not only does the full-size kick provide the the visual presence of an acoustic drum set, it responds and feels like an acoustic bass drum: "solid and sturdy, with no wobble." With a quote-unquote "real" bass drum added into the mix of wood-shell tom and snare pads, Strike Pro SE steps up the electronic drumming experience to another level of familiarity and realism.
In addition to the full-size kick, Strike Pro SE differs visually from its predecessor in a few other ways. While it keeps the red sparkle finish of the original Strike Pro, Alesis has outfitted the SE with a black steel rack and black hoops and lugs on all the drum pads. To temper this new none-more-black hardware treatment, the heads are now white mesh with a thin black pinstripe around the perimeter. Lastly, gold tension rods add a subtle touch of elegance.
A couple of less-obvious changes offer improvements over the original Strike Pro as well. Cymbal boom arms now clamp onto the horizontal bars of the rack instead of sprouting from the vertical tubes, allowing a great deal more flexibility in terms of positioning and adjustment. And the new black lugs are not just a cosmetic tweak; they're actually attached directly to the shells, offering direct adjustment like you'd find on acoustic drums.
You'll also find that Strike Pro SE has upgraded from a 12-inch hi-hat to a 14-inch one. Alesis has changed the design from a dual-cymbal setup to a single-cymbal version that uses a new moveable hi-hat system. Although higher-end kits often use dual-pad hi-hats, Alesis describes this single-cymbal arrangement as setting "a new e-standard for fast response, solidity and [an] amazing ability to convey a deft, subtle touch." Aside from the hi-hat update, Strike Pro SE's cymbal complement mirrors the Strike Pro's, with a 16-inch triple-zone ride and three 14-inch chokeable crashes.
At release, the Strike Performance Module that ships with Strike Pro SE will include a sound library of over 1,800 multi-sampled drum and percussion instruments arranged in 136 custom kits, compared to the current Strike Pro's 1,600-plus instruments and 110 kits. There's no indication as of yet that the additional content will be available in an update for existing Strike users, but that could be a possibility in the future. It's also possible that Alesis will keep the SE content, well, special, and keep it exclusive to the SE kit. Either way, Strike Pro SE is sure to have plenty of variety and versatility on tap.