Product Type: Yamaha in Drums / Percussion
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Yamaha DD-55 - ready to throw away the drum kit?
Member Name: danny691
Advantages: Compact design, natural play position and sound, affordable.
Disadvantages: Will never replace the drum kit, looks don't come close to a drum kit!
I think one of a number of obstacles in front of many youngsters wanting to learn the drums is the fact that they take up so much room. Portable instruments are obviously a lot easier to transport for practice, and the space they require can be a clear barrier. The other issue you may be faced with is the cost. Full-sized drum kits can cost many hundreds of pounds, and if you fall out of love with the instrument it can be a pain to shift, as again the issue of size comes into play. The solution may be a slight compromise but here we have the Yamaha DD-55 which is effectively an electric drum kit. Priced at around the £80-£100 mark it isn't cheap, but it is competitively priced in comparison to your average drum kit.
This isn't the only electric drum kit Yamaha make, but I find it is the most accurate in terms of real sound and natural positioning of the pads. There are seven touch-sensitive pads on this 'kit', each one is fully customisable to your personal needs. The reactions of the pads are dependant upon how hard you hit them, and this is a key feature for me. There are two foot pedals with the kit, ensuring as close a match to a full-sized kit as possible. Don't get me wrong, this IS NOT going to perfectly replicate the natural drum kit experience, but it is great for practicing on at home. You can position the bongo, tom-tom and snare drums wherever you desire, which allows you to make the 'kit' your own. The foot pedals finish off the effect.
The possibilities really are endless, as you are able to add a backing beat to help you along the way. You can record and play back your own customised beat, or select one from the Yamaha catalogue stored on the DD-55. There are other useful features, one of which you would expect with this kind of product. A headphone jack allows you to 'silently' play without disturbing anyone - something which places it at an advantage over a real drum kit!
One thing I do think could be improved on is the basic and tiny screen towards the front of the DD-55. This is a very basic feature and could offer a lot more information to the user. There is an Official Yamaha stand, designed specifically for this model. For an extra £20 it is surely worth the added cost and although you can rest the DD-55 on a table the stand is a very valuable accessory. The reason I say this is that the stand is fully adjustable - something a table cannot be, and this allows you to achieve the correct and comfortable playing height.
Although this is a very realistic piece of kit, both in terms of sound and technique it will never replace the drum kit. There is nothing like playing a drum kit, apart from playing the real thing. The Yamaha DD-55 is a great piece of kit and gives anyone practicing the instrument a taste of what it is like to play. The conclusion here is that the DD-55 has its place when it comes to practice for drum players, but there will always be the need to play the physical kit regularly, also.
Summary: Can find a place in any drum players' practice.