For guitarist who are looking for sequencers made with the guitar player in mind then I would start with this. The DR-5 hasn't really improved or changed much since I bought it more than a few years ago; however, the price is still the same even though technology has advanced and made even last years produced equipment cheaper. I would have thought it would lower in price as technology advance just like everything else. Overall, I would guess it would be average to the midi enthusiast.
I would wait to see if they would be producing an update/upgrade to the DR-5(i.e. DR-5.2 or DR-7) before buying this unit.
Price: $389.00 (new)
Where Obtained: music store
This acts like a sequencer. It has 4 programmable tracks. 1st Track for drum sets, 2nd mostly used for bass clef instruments(can transpose to higher octaves if need be), 3rd and 4th for treble clef and etc. instruments(can transpose to lower octaves if need be). "DR-5" uses an optional DC power supply or a pack of AA batteries. It can be set to mono or stereo. Solid state.
It comes with Demo tracks and such which are not erasable. All other tracks are total user programmable locations.
One problem I found with this is that it needs more memory than came with it. To find reasonable priced components to help dump DR-5's user programmed memory to another storage device(floppy, DAT, Hard drive) is difficult I wish at least there was a floppy disk bay attached.
For the "DR-5" there is an option which you can plug in the guitar and use the sounds of the "DR-5's" instruments(even the drums) to coincide with plucking the your strings on your guitar. I wouldn't recommend this way because it can't track when playing the guitar at high tempos. However, the majority of making sounds with this unit is achieved using the soft pad buttons in either real time or programming mode.
It can be used for any musical style. There a dozens of different drum sets. Several types of Bass Clef instruments(Electric bass, Fretless Bass, Jazz Bass and etc.). And a multitude of piano type, big band type, rock band and etc. type of instrument. The drums and some Bass instruments sound fairly well. They have to do something with the overdriven guitar samples though.
"DR-5" makes no unwanted noise.
To program the "DR-5" take time to learn at first. If used often then programming becomes a lot easier. It doesn't take a lot of fiddling around to get a good sound. But they are so many variation that it would take half a day to experiment with what some parameters can achieve. The ease of use for compared to other digital sequencers is average. I have seen other's that are harder and easier to learn how to program.
My cat dropped it once and made a dial and the dc power input very loose. It dropped from approximately 3-feet.
If the unit was dropped around 4-feet or higher, then I would be suspicious if any components attached to the circuit board became loose.
I would buy this unit again. The best thing about this unit is the amount of things you can do with it. The worst? Programming. I guess I shouldn't complain, it is a drum machine after all.
Price: $400.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Alpha Music, Virginia Beach VA.
This drum machine has it all. AC or battery powered. Lots of different drum kits to choose from. Make your own bass line, add a piano, horn section, or another guitar. Mono or stereo.
Great sound quality for a drum machine.
This is the only marginal rating this piece of gear gets. Programming can tend to be a long and laborous endeavor. It would help if you had a P.H.D.