Even when using the Synsonic was still a viable option, I knew I'd have to augment it with a better Hi-Hat, as well as a Ride/Splash Cymbal. My plan was, and still is, to partially "clone" the Roland DR-110 HH and Cymbal. (And possibly, the Hand clap circuit.)
My clumsy damaging of the Synsonic may turn out to be a blessing in disguise: forced to come up with a new plan, I think I've found a better one.
Part One: PAiA DrumTone
This is a kit, the companion voice board for a finger drum product. It consists of a number of twin-T "ringing oscillators" for Toms, Bass, Wood Block, etc., and a white noise Snare Drum. Like the Synsonic, as-is its sounds are fairly bland. But also like the Synsonic, modifications that greatly increase the sonic versatility are possible. I've found several such mods, and have successfully modded two of the oscillators. There's more to come. Details begin at the DrumTone link.
Yes, yes...I stated on the first Synsonic page that PAiA had disappointed me in the past. That was then, with an older kit -- a bare pc board, actually -- with parts I had chosen rather carelessly. This is now.
Part Two: DR-110 "Clones"
To my ears, the DR-110 Hi-Hat and Cymbal are the best sounding analog circuits realized with simple, minimal hardware. I had success partly cloning a Hi-Hat that behaved exactly how I wanted it to, but didn't quite achieve the sound I wanted, so that part needs more work.
Before I attempted cloning and modifying the '110 circuits, I felt I should first thoroughly understand how they do what they do. My analysis of the schematics (with modifications, samples and clones, tested and untested,) starts at the DR-110 link . Those more knowledgeable than I are welcome to correct any misinterpretations on my part by emailing me at the contact given below.