Looking to invest in the popular Millenium MPS-850? I firmly believe it’s one of the best options when it comes to electronic drum kits under $1.000.
I’ve recently decided to invest in an electronic drum kit, just like a big portion of the drumming community, but for a slightly different reason.
My problem wasn’t lack of space, since I always have two complete drum kits set up at all times.
Nor was it an unpleasant neighbor, thankfully. I’ve lived most of my life in my parent’s house or at my current place, and I’ve never got a single complaint.
Either I’m extremely lucky, or a really good drummer. I like to believe in the second option.
My main problem was how loud it gets when I play any of my acoustic kits indoors. As someone who has a couple of decades of experience, I have my fair share of hearing problems.
On the other hand, having a few hearing problems doesn’t mean I’m fine with making them worse or getting different ones. That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid at the moment.
With that in mind, and considering I have a few high-end acoustic drum kits that I use as my main tools, I didn’t want to invest big in an electronic drum kit from Roland, Alesis, or even Yamaha.
Any of those brands offer high-quality electronic drum kits, but that’s mostly true if you’re willing to spend more than $1.000.
Since I wasn’t, my decision was mostly between the Millenium MPS-850 and its newest brother, the Millenium MPS-750X.
If you’ve read my review about the Millenium MPS-750X, you already know I chose the MPS-750X. But, to be completely honest with you, it was a really tough decision to make.
The truth is…
…the Millenium MPS-850 is a really good electronic drum kit, and not just a really good electronic drum kit for the price.
Wanna know why? Let’s find out in this Millenium MPS-850 review.
When it comes to the Millenium MPS-850, its biggest selling point is, by far, the kit configuration.
Unlike most electronic drum kits in this price range, the MPS-850 is sold with a total of 6 drum pads and 4 cymbal pads.
The 6 drum pads include a snare and a bass drum pad, and 4 tom pads, while two are floor toms.
On the other hand, the 4 cymbal pads are a Hi-Hat and a Ride, as well as two Crashes.
Besides the pads, the Millenium MPS-850 package comes with all the necessary drum gear, including a:
- Drum rack;
- Bass drum pedal;
- Hi-Hat stand;
- Drum module;
- 3 Straight cymbal arms;
- All the necessary cables.
Compared to the Millenium MPS-750X, the biggest differences are the two additional drum and cymbal pads and their sizes.
In my opinion, the additional pads shouldn’t be the reason you choose the MPS-850 over the MPS-750X and I’ll tell you why later in the article.
The MPS-850 comes with three 8” drum pads that you use as your tom-toms and bass drum. Plus, three 10” drum pads that represent your snare drum and floor toms.
Despite its 8”, the bass drum pad is wide enough to accommodate any double bass drum pedal.
Considering it comes with a mesh head, it’s much better to use your bass drum pedal’s beater plastic side and a bass drum head pad to protect the mesh drum head from wear caused by the beater.
Speaking of mesh drum heads, every single drum pad features adjustable tension mesh drum heads, which is also something not as common within this price range.
Mesh drum heads allow you to adjust the tension to match your personal preference, and at the same time, are considerably more silent than your average plastic drum pads.
That results in a much more realistic experience and it’s also easier on your joints in the long term.
Plus, from my experience, it’s much easier to transition from a full mesh drum head’s electronic drum kit to an acoustic kit, than from one with plastic drum pads.
Additionally, besides the bass drum pad, every single snare and tom pad is dual-zone in the sense that the same pad can trigger two different sounds when stroked in different places.
That guarantees a more realistic experience, by giving you the option to play things like cross-sticks.
On top of that, if you’re like me and love to have as many options as possible, you can program the secondary zone to trigger different instruments like splashes, china cymbals, as well as percussion instruments.
That’s useful if you want to feel that the kit is bigger than it is…
…even though the Millenium MPS-850 is already generous enough in that regard.
Similar to the MPS-750X, the MPS-850 triggers the correct sound most of the time, and the mesh head drum pads capture the different dynamics well enough to not bother any beginner or intermediate drummer.
To conclude this section, let’s talk about the main differences between the MPS-750X and the MPS-850 when it comes to the drum pads.
As previously stated, the MPS-850 comes with an additional floor tom. Besides that, the other relevant difference is the fact that every single tom on the MPS-750X is 10” while the 2 tom-toms on the MPS-850 are 8”.
The size difference isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s something to take into consideration when deciding between the two.
As stated earlier, the Millenium MPS-850 features 4 cymbal pads, which is also really generous considering the price range.
Starting with my favorite part of the whole kit, the MPS-850 comes with a 12” triple-zone ride cymbal pad with a choke function.
For anyone new to the drumming world, a triple-zone cymbal pad simply means that the same pad can trigger three different sounds – in this case, bell, bow, and edge.
On that note, I must emphasize that that’s also not common with electronic drum kits under $1.000, where double and even single-zone pads are the norm.
To my surprise, it’s easy to distinguish the three different zones so you won’t have a problem triggering the correct sound most of the time.
On top of that, to increase your options, you can do what I did in my MPS-750X and program the ride edge to trigger a 20” crash. That’s like having a crash/ride instead of a regular ride, which results in a total of 3 different crashes in such a small electronic kit.
Compared to the Millenium MPS-750X, the MPS-850 loses big time when it comes to the ride cymbal pad.
The one on the MPS-750X is 2” bigger, comes with marks to easily distinguish between the three different zones, and, in my opinion, looks much better with its modern, premium look.
On the other hand, the Millenium MPS-850 comes with two 12” dual-zone crash cymbal pads with a choke function out of the box.
Considering they’re both dual-zone, you can take advantage of that by programming a completely different sound on the bow of each pad.
That’s only a matter of personal preference, but if you need some inspiration…
I like to trigger a splash on the bow of my left crash cymbal pad, and a china on the right one.
Both crash cymbal pads work well and you won’t have a problem distinguishing between the different zones or even choking the pads.
Last but not the least, the MPS-850 cymbal pack is complete with the 12” Hi-Hat pad mounted with a controller on a standard cymbal stand.
Just like I mentioned in my MPS-750X review, having a Hi-Hat controller is also not common with an electronic drum kit at this price range.
The norm is a regular cymbal pad controlled by a trigger pedal that feels and works like a button.
Even though the Hi-Hat controller on both the MPS-850 and MPS-750X isn’t perfect and it’s sometimes difficult to transition between the closed, half-open, and open Hi-Hat positions, it offers a much more realistic experience than your average trigger pedal.
The main difference between the two kits, when it comes to the Hi-Hat pad, is their sizes, considering the one on the MPS-750X is 1” bigger.
Overall, the Millenium MPS-850 features a much better cymbal pads pack than your average electronic drum kit under $1.000. Not only does it come with more cymbals, each one has on average more triggering zones and the Hi-Hat works with a controller.
More often than not, a drum module is how you easily distinguish between an entry-level electronic drum kit and a premium one.
Therefore, when you buy a budget electronic drum kit, the drum module is usually its weakest part.
The MPS-850 drum module comes with a total of 550 drum and percussion sounds, with some of them easily accessible through its 30 preset kits.
On top of that, it also comes with 20 user kits, and a total of 100 play along. There are also a few basic, but important features like a metronome and the ability to quickly record anything with the press of a button.
Plus, if you’re not satisfied with a particular sound, you can change its EQ, Pitch, Reverb, and Compression using the drum module.
There’s no lack of connection options either since the MPS-850 drum module comes with a USB Midi, USB memory, and MIDI in & out ports.
With the USB Midi port, you can simply connect the MPS-850 drum module to your PC and use it to trigger a professionally recorded drum kit in your favorite VST plugin.
If you plan on doing so, the weakest part of the Millenium MPS-850 is suddenly a much smaller problem.
On the back of the drum module, you can also find two 6.3mm stereo jack trigger inputs, already in use thanks to the second crash and second floor-tom.
Next to those inputs, you can find two 6.3 mm jack main outputs, your basic 6.3 mm stereo jack headphone output to plug your headphones, and a 3.5 mm stereo jack line input that you can use to connect your smartphone or laptop to play along some tracks.
From my personal experience…
I only had a couple of weeks to experience the MPS-850 drum module before returning the whole kit and buying the MPS-750X, but in my opinion, it’s easy to navigate and intuitive enough for anyone with little to no experience.
To conclude, the MPS-850 drum module is decent for the price, and you can live with the onboard sounds, but a VST plugin is usually a must with these types of electronic drum kits.
Just like most electronic drum kits, the Millenium MPS-850 comes with all the necessary hardware like a drum rack, a Hi-Hat stand, and a bass drum pedal.
The drum rack is similar to the one found on the MPS-750X, but with a couple of important differences.
In the MPS-750X’s drum rack, there’s an additional arm that connects the tube holding the snare drum to one of the main rack’s legs to increase the overall stability. Sadly, the same doesn’t happen with the MPS-850, since it’s an older model.
On the other hand, the MPS-850 kit features an additional straight cymbal arm. Plus, you can place any of the cymbal arms wherever you want on the drum rack, while the same doesn’t happen with the MPS-750X.
Additionally, the drum rack has 4 legs and 2 front tubes that provide enough stability and unlike entry-level drum kits, you won’t need to adjust anything after practicing for a couple of hours.
The Millenium MPS-850 is also a good option for small spaces, considering its small footprint. All you need to fully set up the MPS-850 is around 55” x 32”, or 140 x 80 cm, of free space.
If you’re a beginner, both the Hi-Hat stand and the bass drum pedal should be more than enough to start with. Otherwise, if you plan on upgrading something in the MPS-850, they are the first two things you should consider.
Besides the hardware, the Millenium MPS-850 drum kit is sold with a kick drum tower, a power adapter, all the necessary cabling, and a pair of brandless drum sticks.
As we’ve seen so far, the MPS-850 is similar to the MPS-750X in many ways and still is, to this day, the most popular electronic drum kit on the Thomann Music Store.
That’s changing soon, considering the MPS-750X is already the second most popular electronic drum kit at Thomann’s even though it was released 2 years later.
The truth is, the MPS-850 was and still is popular for a reason. It offers much more than what you pay for, including things we usually can’t find at this price range.
Every pad that’s not the bass drum is double and even triple-zone. All drum pads have a mesh drum head with adjustable tension and it even features a Hi-Hat stand and a bass drum pedal.
The reason I believe the MPS-750X is soon to be the most popular electronic drum kit at the Thomann’s is the fact that it offers everything the MPS-850 does and much more.
The drum and cymbal pads are bigger, the drum rack is slightly more stable and even the drum module comes with Bluetooth.
Of course, the MPS-850 comes with an extra floor tom pad and one additional cymbal pad, but that’s not enough of a reason to pick the MPS-850 over the MPS-750X.
Even though the MPS-750X isn’t sold with those extra pads, Thomann sells a Millenium MPS-750X Expansion Pack with another 10” dual-zone mesh head pad and a 12” dual-zone cymbal pad similar to the original ones.
So, for a price difference of around $30, you can get an MPS-750X that is nothing more than an improved MPS-850.
To conclude, the Millenium MPS-850 is indeed one of the best electronic drum kits under $1.000. Since the release of the MPS-750X though, there’s no reason to not choose it instead.