Drum Set Reviews
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The Yamaha HipGig has been designed with the help of Manu Katche, a world class drummer by anyones standard.
The set is compact and is aimed at young players who want a real set to play and learn on - not a toy.
In the set you get a 16"x16" bass drum, 13"x13" floor tom, 10"x7" rack tom, and a 12"x5" snare drum. It also comes complete with some hardware included (stands, pedals etc), so the only other thing you'd need to buy are some cymbals.
When it was first launched, the Yamaha Hip Gig Junior did suprising well and was very popular, due to it's good sound and quality. Let's see if this latest version carries on that trend...
The Hip Gig has been made out of mahogany using Yamaha's Air Seal System. This helps to make the shells perfectly round and therefore gives the best possible sound. The bass drum has been made with 9-plies while the snare and toms have 6-plies.
The shells are all very smooth, and the edges are well cut. This ensures that the drum heads will vibrate evenly and fully when they are played.
On the shells you'll find some nice hoops, and some small lugs that are in-keeping with the size of the set. The rack tom then connects to the tom mount with a ball-in-socket that let's you position it where you like. It all does a great job.
To finish off the package, you can choose from 4 wrap finishes (colors) including - Metallic Purple, Metallic Silver, and Solid Black. They aren't too bad looking at all, and would make any young player very happy. The review set came in Solid Black and really looked the part.
As part of the Yamaha Junior you get a hardware package including a bass drum pedal, snare drum stand, 2 straight cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, rack tom arm, and a throne.
It's all quite small, to match the small drum sizes, but even though it's single braced, it's still sturdy enough hold everything in place without any problems. Even if the drums are being played really hard and loud, this hardware would be able to take it.
A nice feature is the raised bass drum that allows the bass drum pedal to hit it right in the center. The bass drum is smaller than a full sized set so without this, things would be awkward.
Ok, the big question is do small drums mean a small sound? Well, in this case no!
These drums aren't going to match a full sized set in terms of volume and projection, but they do have a quality sound non the less.
The toms have a fair cutting sound that sings out quite well. There isn't a great deal of low-end, but the mid and high frequencies still make up a full bodied sound.
The 16"x16" bass drum is much smaller than a full sized drum, but it packs a little punch. You won't get any really deep low-end out of it, but adding some dampening (a pillow for example) inside does deepen the sound some more.
As for the snare drum, it's great fun! It's got a tight, high, sound that sizzles. Rim shots are pretty piercing, but don't have a huge amount of body. Still, I am impressed with the sound that it produces.
When it comes to tuning the Hip Gig Junior, I found that it was easiest to just go with the high sound that these drums already have. The shells are small so you can't get a really low or deep sound from them. But, the medium to high sounds that I got where pretty good.
The benefits of this drum kit are clear to see. It's compact, has a good sound, is easy to move and transport, and is made to last. The hardware that comes with the set is sturdy, and will stand up to any bashing that a young player might throw at it. It all functions really well and is easy to set up.
Does the Yamaha Hip Gig Junior compare to other compact sets? Well, there are a few small and junior sets on the market, and this has to be among the absolute best of them. Unlike some other junior sets, the Hip Gig is actually a real quality set - just smaller. Another set worth considering is the Pearl Rhythm Traveler.
Any Downsides? I'm trying to look at this from the point of view of a young player who would use this set. With that in mind, I can't really think of much bad to say. I'd be thrilled with this if I was young starter! Maybe changing the heads to get the best from the set would be a good idea. And it's shame that the shells don't stack inside of each other for even easier transporting, but it's no big problem.
What about the price? This isn't the cheapest small or junior drum set on the market. But, that's because unlike the cheaper sets, it does give actually a pretty good quality sound. Where's the cheapest place to buy it? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: any junior player would be thrilled to have this as their first set, plus the sound and quality is suprisingly good. Even if you've been playing a while and just want a practice set or a small gig set - this is good little package.