I am an owner and huge fan of the Yamaha DTX Multi-12, which I consider to be in a class by itself for the following reasons:
-Multiple sensitivity settings allow playing with fingers, hands, or sticks
-After-touch features allow damping (i.e. cymbal chokes), bending of notes, and other effects.
-12 pads (6 square pads and 6 bar pads)
-Ability to load custom samples (not record). Caveat - there is not a lot of space (64 megs total) and about half of that is taken up with pre-loaded samples which can be deleted if you like. Good for loading up samples of your favorite kicks, snares, toms, etc., but not for long loops.
-Ability to control through Yamaha's Multi-Touch App for the iPad, giving you a simple WYSIWYG interface instead of the little LCD display and the inscrutable menus in the on-board interface. This, to me, is a huge game-changer for those who want to really do a lot of customizing or want easy control on the fly. The app is free, but you will need the proprietary dongle (see the "Specs" tab at the above link), and a 30-pin to Lighting adapter if you have a 4th gen iPad.
I bought both the Multi-12 and the SPD-S to do a side-by-side, and even before I got the Multi-Touch app, I decided on the Multi-12. Just so much more you can do with it.
While you can get them used for a good price, it may be more than you want to spend.
In considering others, my advice would be as follows:
-Identify as precisely as possible what you want to do with the unit, and be sure what you select can do those things. For example, do you need to play loops? Trigger your own samples? If so, does the unit have enough storage for everything you want to do, or will you need to trigger them from a laptop? The latter will require a MIDI OUT on the pad, and a MIDI interface for your laptop.
-Read as many reviews a possible to weed out the cheap ones that won't hold up to gigging. There are a lot of inexpensive options, but they may not be as robust as you need them to be.
-Consider how you want to mount the unit and be sure there are provisions for that with the unit you are considering.
-Consider forum support. Vdrums.com is a great resource for knowledge for various types and makes of electronic drums, but is Roland-centric. If you think you will want to be asking a lot of "how do I" questions and don't need the above-mentioned features of the Multi-12, you would do well to go with a Roland SPD or SPD-S, as they have become the pad of choice for most professionals and many amateurs.
Edited by Stickinthemud, 16 March 2017 - 10:41 AM.