Zildjian announces Alchem-E Gold-EX, Gold and Bronze electronic drum sets in three different configurations, “We set out to create the most realistic, authentic playing experience across the entire kit and are confident that drummers will agree.”

Metal cymbals, acoustic shells, and input from the son of Roland’s founder…

Earlier this month, Zildjian teased its (perhaps surprising) Alchem-E electronic drum sets with a just-detailed-enough shot of one of the kits. At the time, the 400-year-old cymbal brand promised to reveal all on 10 May, and that’s exactly what it’s done, with the full Alchem-E lineup announced.


The Zildjian Alchem-E series comprises two versions, presented in three configurations – full-shell five-piece Gold-EX and four-piece Gold kits, plus the Alchem-E Bronze five-piece setup – all of which feature three-zone snares and toms, as well as triple-zone cymbals and mini-tube lugs. 

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Zildjian E-Vault module

The E-Vault module is based around a 5” touchscreen, and inside it’s home to around 32GB of on-board sounds, including a host of ever-expanding, updatable cymbal sounds sampled from Zildjian’s vault.

To the back there’s plenty of connectivity with 6x drum inputs, 6x cymbal inputs, 8x direct outputs and a stereo L/R output. There’s digital connectivity too, with 5-pin MIDI I/O, USB C audio (10x out, 2x in) and USB memory stick sockets. In addition to this, Zildjian has equipped the module with a cabled aux-input, as well as Bluetooth audio for streaming music from your device.

Zildjian Alchem-E E-Family Cymbals

Of course, Zildjian’s 400-year experience in cymbal-making makes us wonder about how it has tackled the conundrum that, to many is the final piece of the e-drumming puzzle. With the Alchem-E kits now out there, Zildjian is confident that it has it licked with the E-Family, metal electronic cymbals, while also revealing that its acquisition of BAC audio in 2022 has played a part in its electronic expedition.

Based on Zildjian’s low-volume cymbals, the E-Family range offers realistic sizing and response from a triple-zone cymbal (bow, edge, bell). Each model is equipped with a sensor which sends the signal to the E-Vault module via a proprietary ethernet connection, where the position you’re hitting is detected.

Size-wise, E-Family cymbals start with the two-piece, 14” hi-hats, with 16” crash cymbals, and 18” and 20” crash-rides also available throughout the configurations.

“The longtime pain point of electronic drumming has been the rubber cymbal pads that don’t look, feel or respond like real cymbals,” says Zildjian CEO, John Stephans. “As a company that’s been pioneering cymbal technology for over 400 years, solving the challenges of electronic drumming was the next logical evolution in our company’s journey. We set out to create the most realistic, authentic playing experience across the entire kit and are confident that drummers will agree.” 

“Two years ago, Zildjian made the strategic move of acquiring BAC Audio”, adds Zildjian 14th-generation owner, Craigie Zildjian. “BAC Audio is a team of master electronic instrument engineers established by Ikuo Kakehashi, the son of Roland Corporation’s founder, Ikutaro Kakehashi. This acquisition combines centuries of cymbal making expertise with decades of leading-edge electronic percussion. We’re excited that the BAC Audio partnership has allowed Zildjian to take the e-cymbal to a place it has never been before.” 

Zildjian Alchem-E Gold-EX and Alchem-E Gold
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The Alchemy Gold-EX and Gold configurations are built around the same concept. Both kits are equipped with 7-ply North American maple shells, finished in Gold Foundry Shimmer lacquer, with the difference coming in sizes.

Gold-EX setups include a 20” bass drum, 10” and 12” rack toms, and a 14” snare drum. As well as this, it ships with a cymbal pack comprising 14” hi-hats, a 16” crash, 18” crash-ride and 20” crash-ride.

Meanwhile, the smaller Gold setup gets us an 18” bass drum, 10” rack tom and 14” floor tom, with a reduced cymbal pack featuring 14” hi-hats, 16” crash and 20” crash-ride.

Both Gold-EX/Gold configurations come with boom stands for all included cymbals, as well as tom holders, module mount and stand, a 32GB USB drive, microfibre cleaning cloth and Zildjian Alchem-E drumsticks.

Zildjian Alchem-E Bronze
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The Alchem-E Bronze setup follows a similar concept to what we’ve seen on Roland’s more affordable VAD 300-series electronic drum kits, with shallower drum shells making for a more portable, space-saving setup while approaching the more realistic diameters of acoustic drums. Here, it’s finished in a matte black wrap.

Here, the poplar/basswood shells are configured as and 18” bass drum, 2x 10” rack toms, 12” floor tom and 14” snare drum. Alchem-E Bronze kits come with a three-piece cymbal pack: 14” hi-hats, 16” crash, 18” crash-ride, as well as a hardware pack including 2x cymbal stands. 3x tom mounts and a module stand.