Yamaha's updated DTX502 Series e-drums made their US debut at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville at the weekend, and are now ready to ship. The three new kits were originally launched at Hamburg's Musikmesse in April, and feature revamped drum pads, a realistic vertical-motion hi-hat, a lighter steel rack, and a brand new trigger module that the company claims is more powerful than anything in its class.

At the heart of each drum setup beats the DTX502 trigger module. Though it has a similar outward appearance to its predecessor, it has almost twice the memory, gets a streamlined front panel layout, accepts up to 12 input signals and has had more than 250 new sounds added. These include drum and cymbal samples from top VST developers that have been tweaked by Yamaha's sound engineers before being loaded in. In order to offer players a more natural feel to their digital drumming experience, Yamaha created its own laser technology during product development to analyze drum strokes and fine tune trigger settings.

"The new technology allowed Yamaha to gather data about how drummers play, not just one drum but the snare, tom-toms, kicks, cymbals and hi-hats, and even percussion voices," explains Tom Griffin, Yamaha Electronic Drum Product Specialist. "This information was then used to precisely tune the trigger settings for each voice in the DTX502 to the most appropriate dynamic response, and you can feel the results for yourself when you play the new kits."

The module boasts a 32 note polyphonic tone generator with almost 700 percussion voices, 50 preset kits and over 100 melodies. It allows users to custom tweak songs by importing 16-bit/44.1 kHz WAV audio samples and MIDI files via plug and play USB connectivity.

Training and teaching functions have also been included for learners and pros to hone their bin-bashing skills. There are eight set routines to help develop timing, accuracy and endurance and, thanks to the system calculating a score at the end of each session, players can keep track of progress.

At a recommended retail of US$1,507, the DTX522K is the cheapest set of the Series. It comes with an 8-inch DTX-PAD snare, three new 7.5-inch TP70 toms, and a KP65 kick drum. This model also sports ride and crash cymbals with a choke feature for more realistic expression and, getting its first outing in any electronic drum kit, there's a three-zone hit-hat pad. The kit is mounted to a new RS502 rack system which makes use of steel pipes for a solid, flexible and lightweight build.

Advanced features from higher end DTX models have tumbled down to the new models, including cymbal muting, natural swells and smoother snare rolls. If you like to mix and match your kit, the new DTX502 modules can be mounted to acoustic hardware using a standard multi-clamp. Like all of the models in this series, the bass kick pedal is treated as an optional extra.

The DTX532K gets the same pads and rack system as its less expensive cousin, but gains two 13-inch, three-zone cymbals with choke-able and mute-able cup, bow and edge voices. It also comes with a RHH135 vertical motion hi-hat that's mounted to the included stand for a setup a mite closer to what you'd expect from an acoustic kit. This model rings the cash register at $1,732.

Finally, the DTX562K is the e-drum kit to rule this roost. It ups the ante on its closest relative by including four XP70 toms that are based on the company's DTX-PAD, where small air bubbles have been introduced into the textured cellular silicone drum head during manufacture to improve the feel of the instrument. It's said to offer acoustic drummers the most familiar and comfortable playing experience, and carries a recommended retail price tag of $2,637.

All of the new kits are shipping now, and you can see what to expect in the overview video below.

Product page: DTX502 Series