Carlsbro. You just may have heard the name before. The UK based company was originally known for making amplifiers and speakers – some of which were used by the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Oasis back in the day. They had a little break in 2009, but are back and launching some pretty cool alternatives to the usual guitar stuff. Adding to the product range comes a sweet little electronic kit called the CSD130.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND…
I get students asking me all the time about a cheap, but good electronic drum kit. On the contrary, some pros are always on the hunt for a small, cheap electronic drum kit for practicing at home etc. Carlsbro have come up with a small, good-looking and very tidy solution for this place in the market. The CSD130 offers a realistic sound with a realistic feel for drummers, but it’s compact with a small footprint and will suit many drummers – from the beginner to the drummer in the small apartment that really need something to sit tight in the corner.
KEEPING UP WITH APPEARANCES
The kit has some features to mention. The sound module itself has a Digitron Display, 250 percussion sounds, 20 preset kits, 10 user defined kits for your own personalisation, 20 demo songs to jam to, aux in jack/line output/headphone output so you can get the iPod happening, USB interface (USB to device), MIDI in/out, recording/playback facility as well as adjustable sensitivity, crosstalk and trigger curve. There’s also reverb and a metronome.
The kit itself accompanies the sound module with a 2” bass drum pad that includes a bass drum pedal (always handy). The beater itself is interchangeable with other pedals if you prefer, as it is angled to play downwards. You also have a 7.5 three-zone snare pad and 3x7.5” single zone tom pads. The cymbals are 10” pads. They’re only single zone but the crash and ride pads are chokable. The hi-hat has a controller pedal and the whole kit is mounted on a super portable 3-legged rack with cable loom. In fact, it can pack up so small that it’ll fit in keyboard case so for the person with limited space – if you wanted to – you could chuck it under the bed when you weren’t playing it. The rack isn’t super adjustable but I didn’t really feel like I needed to move much anyway since it’s all small and compact and everything is where it needs to be – more about the convenience anyway. The 130 Is available in two colour configurations – all black with a white snare drum or the striking green highlights I got to try with black hardware.
This doesn’t pretend to be a top end rival for some of the usual names we associate with electronic kits, but for the beginner or anyone on a budget, it offers a no-nonsense and no-fuss option that just gets the job done. The sounds are more than adequate and the pads are simple, but offer good sensitivity so you can still bust out a fast double stroke roll; and all strokes come through the amp. From this perspective, it’s very cool and more than appropriate for what drummers need from this type of kit. An electronic kit needs to be responsive enough and offer realistic sounds for the drummer to be able to play naturally – I was able to play normally on the little 130 and all my strokes were audible.
Downsides? As mentioned, Carlsbro isn’t going to get a Grammy for the best soundtrack in the hood. The frame isn’t rock solid and in being a small kit, the larger person might want a little more height. But for the price of this kit, it’s going to be well received. The picky drummers will always have something to say, but you have to remember that you’re getting a full electronic kit with all the bells and whistles for a very affordable price. For many, they’ll be more than happy to overlook the downsides for what the 130 offers. I think Carlsbro has done a good thing with the 130 and many a beginner drummer is going to be happy.
For more details, head to austmusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Keenly priced for beginners
Long list of features
Response, playability and usability
Sounds might come up short
Frame might be a bit short for some players