When I was shopping for my TD-50 kit, I had to make a decision as to whether go for the TD-50K, or the TD-50KV. I selected the TD-50K mainly because of space, knowing that the VH-11 that comes with it wouldn't be as good as the VH-13 that comes with the TD-50KV.
I then made up my mind that I would be upgrading the VH-11 to a better model as soon as I had the chance.
I then had the chance to try out the VH-13 a few times at different music shops. Yes it was better than the VH-11. But to me it wasn't *THAT* better.
I knew by the 3rd USB port on the TD-50 (and after talking with a few Roland reps) that a digital hi-hat was on the way. So I decided to wait.
And oh man wasn't the VH-14D worth the wait. Coming from the VH-11, the difference is night and day.
First of all the size. VH-14D is... well... 14 inches. That makes a big difference. I have a double bass pedal setup and it was very awkward to set the hi-hat pedal at a comfortable distance due to the small size of the VH-11. This is no longer an issue.
The set-up (not necessarily the assembly) is much easier. You unscrew the top cymbal, living it to rest on top of the lower cymbal, select the offset option in the module and BAM. It is done. Then all you do is lift the hi-hat cymbal until you can no longer feel the spring of the lower cymbal mechanism helping you out. Then you screw back the top cymbal and you're good to go. One thing I noticed by looking at the trigger settings of the VH-14D is how badly I had the VH-11 setup in comparison. I really had to push hard to pass over the 80 mid-line.
The expressiveness of the VH-14D is light-years away of the VH-11. It is much easier to play 8 or 16 notes on the hi-hat. I can also do shorter open/close 'burst notes' in ways I couldn't do before with the VH-11.
Like with the digital ride, there is more expressiveness all over the surface of the unit. You can hear the difference not only when hitting on the edge vs surface of the hi-hat, but also when hitting closer to the bell. The unit even infers which hand you are using based on where you are hitting (though I am not sure what for). You can also choke the VH-14D by just touching it.
Roland said that there are improvements in the foot splash functionality, but personally I didn't notice any drastic difference coming from the VH-11 on that front.
When playing open/close hi-hat notes with the VH-11, sometimes I had issues with the hi-hat registering the closure, so I would do two (or more) open hi-hat notes in a row. Or if I am opening the hi-hat and hitting it at the same time, it wouldn't sound open (read in JK Simmons' voice: "Are you rushing or are you dragging!?!")
These issues really annoyed me. With the VH-14D this is hardly an issue. But to be honest it comes down not only to the unit's expressiveness range, but also because it is likely that my VH-11 wasn't properly configured. I still blame the VH-11 because, as I said above, the configuration of the VH-11 is manual and it takes a lot of trial and error, while with the VH-14D it is done with the click of a button.
Nonetheless, the combination of better offset setup, size and expressiveness has greatly improve my playing. I can play edge/surface note variations with much more comfort, and perform open/close variations without registering mistakes. My hands no longer ache as they used to with the VH-11 and I feel like I have a better posture because of the bigger size.
Was it worth? HELL TO THE YEAH. I know it is pricey, and I had to use some x-mas vouchers to pay for this baby. But now that I played on the VH-14D I'd rather play on acoustic hi-hats before going back to analogue hi-hats. The VH-11 (and I dare, say, even the VH-13 based on the few minutes I tested it for) feels like muck in comparison.
NOTE: Thomann's product page for the VH-14D has incorrect information. You DO NOT need a TD-50X module for the VH-14D to work. You can either: a) Do a SMALL firmware upgrade for the TD-50 that just add support for the VH-14D; or b) Purchase the TD-50X firmware upgrade to upgrade your TD-50 module to have ALL the features of the TD-50X. The latter is not free, but it is DEFINITELY worth the price.