WHD 517-DX review

Another fine mesh kit to get into

The kit has 'micro-weave' mesh heads for snare, toms and kick

MusicRadar Verdict

This is yet another great value electronic kit from WHD which, thanks to the mesh pads and intuitive module, makes playing just that much more enjoyable.


  • +

    Great value for money. Runs virtually silent, so it's ideal for those with close neighbours. Mesh pads make for a responsive playing experience.


  • -

    Display matrix is a little basic.

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Gear4Music continues to expand its premium brand with the very latest in affordable electronic drums.


This five-piece e-kit boasts 'micro-weave' pads for the toms, snare and kick. With the kit comes a robust but lightweight rack, the ever-essential wiring snake (fitted with 1⁄4" jacks), DD517 drum module, power supply, drum key (for rack assembly and mesh tensioning), and a pair of sticks.

"Curved rack tubes create an ergonomic platform where a sweeping circular motion helps us blast around the kit"

Each of the toms and snare pads are dual-zoned and capable of rim-shots and cross-sticking. Both the crash and ride will allow chokes, while the triple-zone ride will trigger on the edge, bow and bell.

Chokes are even possible on the hi-hat pad, and the hi-hat pedal controller allows half-open hi-hat techniques with the 18 hi-hat sound combinations.

The DD517 module is packed with around 700 drum and percussion sounds, 120 preset songs and space for 100 user songs. Connectivity includes midi in/out, USB, flash memory card socket (for saving user kits and song data), and an auxiliary input.

There is also room for expansion with the two spare sockets of 'TOM 4' and 'CRASH 2' - as these are dual inputs, it's feasible to connect up to four separate triggers.

Hands On

Curved rack tubes create an ergonomic platform where a sweeping circular motion helps us blast around the kit. Performance with the module proves conveniently rapid, and mostly with one hand, thanks to the many single-function buttons.

The dot matrix display is basic but clear, with prominence given to performance parameters such as tempo, measure of sequence etc, getting lost in mid-flow is not an option.

The flash memory is great for storing kit/midi data and the module will play any standard midi file stored on the card - the USB port is only used for Midi. With 120 songs there are plenty of styles and song types to keep anyone amused.

One of the great advantages of this kit is undoubtedly the mesh pads - these have stick-uplifting qualities as they readily springboard and bounce and thankfully the module keeps up at an impressive pace.