Weird, now that I have my system perfectly gathered and smoothed out, I got the chance to buy AD2 Custom XL plus Trigger plus Drum Vault (which is basically 2 kits without cymbals) plus the Transient plugin they have (DS 10), all for almost the same price as the Custom XL alone (half/sale price) and after disabling any processing within AD2, in order to get the "raw" sound, I feel they are the best drums in the market so far.
And yes, I am aware they haven't updated in a while, and yeah, perhaps a new interface it's needed, idk, asides the fact that gallery and explore are pretty neat (they look fantastic, looking at the drumkit and those pictures to me are inspiring).
Snare sound full as I think they should sound, room and overheads sound very very good and when compressed (as they "suggest" within the patches/presets) they come much more alive and I've noticed that lot of the drum sound is the overheads, so they win there in my book. Before AD2 I got very near in a time period SSD5 and comparing the 2 I think ssd5 falls short, specially the snares. Maybe it's the rooms, I don't know, I feel comparing the 2 SSD5 feels a little sterile, even though I swear they have one of the best kicks in the market (cymbals fall kinda short too now that I can compare to AD2). And please don't mention SD3, lol.
I myself love Boutique Mallets and Modern Soul and R&B because it includes MEINL cymbals, which are in a totally different league than Zildjian and Sabian and whatever, but also, specially BM have a warm sound to the drums, that you can not only play 4/4 songs but can go crazy making ART.
Jazz Sticks (haven't tried brushes but I am eager to) omg, toms sound like toms should sound (for some reason the development/progression/evolution of the toms' sound through the eras/years has changed so much to more compressed/plastic sounding (plastic for lack of a better word, here I am not trying to say plastic is bad, just comparing the Jazz Sticks sound, as it sounds more of a concert drum, more of a acoustic sound/drum) .
My favorite drummer ever was and will be Mike Portnoy so yeah, I love his kick drum sound and all the kicks from the drum kits I have from XLN so far sound stellar (without processing, I hate processing, specially distortion, although maybe one day I will use that to make 1 frakcing song and that's it, lol).
I liked AD2 so much more that I feel I need to buy another CUstom XL because I want 6 more kits (I went crazy before buying and did my fracking homework, time
consuming comparing all the sets, making annotations etc and even then when time to decide it was very hard to choose, although Boutique Mallets was a no brainer)