Yamaha recently reintroduced the GigMaker kit, which is one of the most popular entry-level kits from the brand. It comes with a lot of changes and improvements over the original version.
Some great features characterize this new kit. Its hardware is sturdier, it comes in five finishes, and many other small improvements.
If you are a beginner or an intermediate drummer, you will be happy to have this kit in your collection.
Yamaha is a reputable brand, and all their products are loved for their good quality. This is why you can bet on this kit, and it will not disappoint.
This review presents an overview of the GigMaker. It would help if you then decided whether it’s worth your investment.
Do you need to buy a beginner drum set?
This is one of the most important questions you need to answer if you are interested in drumming. There are many categories of drum kit options, and each is meant for a specific use.
As a beginner, you can either choose to start slow with a cheap beginner drum set or go with a complete high-quality option.
Advantages of a beginner drum set
The biggest advantage of beginner drums is their low price. No matter the brand, a beginner drum kit will always be cheap and affordable.
Also, most of these sets come complete so that you don’t have to spend a lot buying everything else. Professional drum sets come as shell packs, and you can buy simple sets and hardware differently.
Some of these pro kits are so expensive that a single drum’s price can be equal to a complete beginner set.
If you are buying on a budget, it is more advantageous to go for a beginner sound.
In terms of sound quality, it all depends on personal preferences. Sound is subjective; therefore, you can have a beginner kit that sounds just as good as a professional one.
Limitations of beginner drum sets
Because they are cheap, these drums are made from low-quality material, which reduces the price. Whereas higher-end shell packs are made from top-quality wood, these are made from cheaper material.
Also, they don’t sound as good as top-quality options, and they don’t last long. For instance, most people replace the cymbals on these kits immediately because they only make noise.
Despite these challenges, you can still get one beginner drum set that has all the benefits of a pro kit. A good example is the Yamaha GigMaker in this review.
The Yamaha Drum Set Gigmaker is a beginner drum set that offers the benefits of a high-quality product. Coming from Yamaha, there is every reason to trust in the quality of this kit.
This review will be reviewing a five-piece drum set.
Shell construction and quality
The Gigmaker shells are made from basswood and poplar, designed to enhance the mid-range and low-range options. 7-ply and 6-ply snare drums give this kit sturdy functionality.
Our kit in this review is configured with:
• One 22-inch bass drum
• Two, 12-inch, and 12-inch toms
• One 16-inch floor tom
• One 14-inch matching wood snare
Other configurations are available, including the one with a 20-inch bass drum, 10, 14, 14-inch toms, and a 14-inch snare. This is a perfect choice for younger players or with smaller vehicles.
Another difference with the original Gigmaker is that this one comes as a shell pack, with hardware. There is also another option that includes hardware and Paiste cymbals. Such an addition would make an appealing choice for parents looking to gift their kits.
The drums are eco-friendly. Yamaha uses low-formaldehyde-content plywood, which does not have harmful chemicals like the preservatives used in other woods.
There are five wrap finishes available for the Yamaha Gigmaker drum set. Each of them is excellent. For this review, we picked the Burgundy finish, which is a bit subdued but tasteful anyway. There are ripples on the finish, which extend into the drum hoops, creating a beautiful final product.
Yamaha has really made a huge improvement here. Compared to other options on the brand’s entry-level kits a few years back, there is a huge and notable difference.
About the Hardware and features
When we opened the package, we were very impressed with the double-braced, sturdy, and lightweight 600 series hardware it came with. This makes the kit appear professional and very useful.
A ratchet-less in tiler on the snare ensures easy position. And then, there is a three-tiered boom stand model that features a ratcheted tilter. Its size and length are all set for uninterrupted performance. The stands also come with large, stylish rubber feet.
The set includes a bass drum pedal, a good quality product, lightweight, and a classic felt beater. This is certainly a feature you will find on beginner sets. But it’s quite smooth and easy, which makes gigging easy and fun.
The tripod base seems a bit narrow and does not rotate. This can be a huge disadvantage for a double-bass pedal player.
You will love the lug design too. It seems to add subtly to the general impression coming from the kit, making it appear professional. They are sleek and stylish, just like what you would expect from higher-end products.
Everything on the shell hardware appears attractive and expensive. Yamaha has carefully chosen every aspect, from the tom mounts to the double tom-holder to the ball-and-socket tilters.
Generally, the hardware looks good and sturdy. Although, it would be even better with a third hole on the tom hardware.
A new throw-off on the snare has improved its performance greatly. It’s smooth to operate and represents everything good.
The vent-hole grommet looks quite high-end. Apart from these are the 1.5 mm triple-flange hoops that make setting easy and fast.
Also, the bass drum comes with foldout spurs that are nice and beefy. They will help you tune and adjust the heads with ease.
Cymbal quality and sound
Cymbals that come with beginner drums are often not the best in quality. In this case, Yamaha offers an option to buy the shell pack without the cymbals.
Nevertheless, our kit came with Paiste 101 cymbal set. It includes a 14-inch hi-hat, a 16-inch crash, and a 20-inch ride. They have the same quality as the Meinl HCS or Sabian SBR series, making them a great choice at this level.
We would not advise using these cymbals for professional performance. They are beginner-level, and hence, not very good. You cannot get loud or bright enough sound from them.
However, they are still good enough for beginners. The ride delivers a nice and clear-cut from the bell tone. It also promises a subdued wash and attack.
The crash does not disappoint either. Its nice bell tone gives more than what you would expect from anything at this price range. Although, it was still fairly quiet, and we could hear some gong-like tone where we needed a sudden explosion.
Something about the hi-hat made us feel like everything was no loss. It sounded impressive, delivering a dark and muted tone. They can work really well in the studio.
Sound quality and price
We specifically had the Yamaha GM2F51 Gigmaker 5 Piece Shell Kit Drum Set, which delivers an excellent tone. Despite bearing a set of cheap clear single-ply heads for toms and bass batter, they were quite impressive.
They came with a reso head, which is solid and black. Our kit also carried a felt muffling strip. But this will not serve you well unless you replace it with something else, say a Powerstroke-style self-dampened head.
The bass drum promises a fairly deep sound with a wet attach. This makes it more suitable for rock music style. The felt muffling strip reduces my impression of this kit, but Yamaha says they have upgraded everything.
The toms were not bad, either. They gave out a set of nice and clear pitches with beautiful sustain. Their stock heads seemed to work better mid and slightly higher tuning. They sound generally good, and they are quite professional.
The snare needed some tuning and tweaking, after which it gave out in a tad boxy sound. It also made it sound choked with an excessive ring. More tuning created a decent sound that worked well with the rest of the drums. It was more like a wood snare, with a full tone. It did not have the crispness of a high-end snare, no matter how much I tuned.
Yamaha’s Gigmaker drum set is an entry-level kit. Hence, it is not very expensive. Its price varies from dealer to dealer and depending on the option you pick. You can get it at less than $500, complete with cymbals and hardware.
• Incredible finish
• Wonderful quality
• Decent sound
• It’s not easy to find the right damping
• It would use some better heads
If you are looking for a good drum set on a budget, the GigMaker could be your perfect choice. It comes with some great features that beginners looking for Yamaha quality will find appealing. The overall sound on the drums is decent, and the hardware is of good quality too. Yamaha is known for taking the lead in innovation, and this kit says it all. It is not recommended for professional use unless you only need a practice kit. In this case, it can save you some good cash.