Question about Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

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Alesis SR-16 distorted sounds

I got this machine off ebay.Looks great sounds bad.All the drum tones sound distorted and scratchy.followed the manual instructions on turning down the volume on the individual drums that didn't help.The volume control knob has a lot of background static and some other sites mentioned problems with the volume control.I have a yamaha drum machine and it works fine using the same connections.Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  • kada80 Nov 23, 2008

    My SR16 has the same problem,distorted sounds at a low volume and scratchy sounding volume knob.Have replaced the volume pot to no avail,could be a faulty chip on the circuit.

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The distorted and low volume output plus noise is usually caused by using the wrong power supply adapter. The Alesis SR-16 takes a 9V "A/C" supply not "DC". The A/C supply provides a negative voltage swing which wouldn't exist with a DC supply. So check and make sure you have 9V A/C output supply not DC.

Posted on Apr 04, 2012

  • David Martinez Guillen Nov 25, 2013

    Thanks for the info, I have the same problem and I was using an 9V DC converter, with the 9V AC adapter it works perfectly.

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I've heard from other users the same complaint. This problem would have to be caused by one of the op-amp chips on the output side. Probably not worth the trouble, you'd have to put a scope on it to nail it down. Before you give up on it, get a magnifying glass and look for bad solder, cracks or breaks in the foil. Good luck.

Posted on Dec 05, 2008

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1 Answer

Alesis sr 16 service manual


I got a service manual but don't know how to get it to you. I can sent it by email. Let me hear from you. Contact: petevanderwaal@yahoo.com (subject: "Manual")
The manual is for Alesis HR-16B SRV comes in PDF format.

Aug 19, 2014 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

Does the alesis sr 16 have a back light on the screen


yes, it should light up when you turn it on. Make sure you have the right adaptor. The voltage & polarity will be wreitten on the unit. My adaptor is from Alesis. You can find these on ebay.

Jul 09, 2014 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

Only distortion..


Check your power adapter. This unit REQUIRES a 9 volt AC adapter, NOT a DC one... It MAY appear to operate on DC BUT it can't generate the +/- voltages internally for sound generation with a DC adapter. This is a common problem as people try to run these on a DC adapter.

Here is a link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/AC-POWER-ADAPTER-Alesis-HR16-SR16-D4-DM5-/380178938839

Apr 10, 2011 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

In play mode the sr 16 goes beserk. It makes a pulsed buzzing sound and plays back the drums distorted. any ideas?


The SR-16 uses an external transformer as the power supply which provides 9 volts AC. This ac power is converted to DC positive and negative voltages for the digital and analog portions of the circuit. Although the unit has been reliable generally, this symptoms sounds like of of the main filter capacitors in the DC converter circuit(rectifier, filters and voltage regulator) has broken loose or is defective. This will affect both channel equally. If the problem is in one channel, a broken shield on a cable or the output jack ground connection might have broken on that one channel.

Jan 22, 2011 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

2 Answers

Scratchy volume potentiometer


Try cleaning your volume potentiomenter with contact cleaner (they come in spray can's), the scratchy sound is audible when you turn your volume control on, the contacts inside your potentiometer accumulated dust or some other particles.

Aug 11, 2010 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

Sound output is heavily distorted.


Check following things:

1. The master volume control on the SR16 is at least half way up. Turn down the amp as needed. Running very low output of the SR16 and high amp gain is sure to get distortion.

2. Check power adapter is the original and is producing correct voltage.

3. Check that audio cable is high quality instrument cable and not consumer or speaker cable.

May 05, 2010 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

I can't get my dm5 drum set to play,I have reinitialized the sound module and it does not make a sound.


DO the initialize again as on this site:

http://www.hartdynamics.com/support/alesis.html

and follow the directions about setting each pad volume and the dynamic =1

Feb 05, 2010 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

Alesis-sr 16 sound low


Buy the correct adapter that matches the voltage AND current requirements of the unit. MANY universal ones do not and the original MAY have built in filter that universal does not.

You MAY also need to do a factory reset on the unit.

Oct 18, 2009 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

1 Answer

I need to find the instuction manual for an Alesis SR-16 drum machine. I was told that it is available for free on line. Where?


Go to alesis.com/sr16 the reference manuel, program chart etc. are all there. I just went there to double checkit and it is there.

Aug 31, 2009 | Alesis Sr 16 Stereo Drum Machine

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