For a beginner kit, the Yamaha Rydeen drum set could be the closest thing to the high quality you can get. Apparently, Rydeen is a name for the Japanese god of thunder. And this is represented well in the sound of this kit.
It was the name Yamaha gave it their beginner kits before the Gigmaker came in a decade ago. The kit is now back, taking over the Gigmaker.
You can get it in the choice of 20-inch or 22-inch five-piece shell packs with a great set of strands and pedals. It comes as a complete set, with Paiste 101 cymbal set.
Hence, this kit is everything you may need to start learning and playing some sweet drumming moves. It comes upgraded with some new features, leaving the old in the past.
This new line delivers incredible built quality and a high-end tonal function.
Reviewing this kit has been on my mind for several months. And now, with this chance, you get to experience what it means to feel a good beginner kit.
How to choose a good beginner drum kit
Before we look at this review, it would be best if you had some ideas on how to choose a perfect beginner kit. This should help you make more informed decisions.
Note that most beginner drums are fully configured with every component you need to start playing. They have all drums, cymbal, drumsticks, drum throne, and other accessories.
Here are some features to consider.
Perhaps the first and most important thing to look for in any drum set is the brand. There are very many manufactures on the market today, but not all have what you need.
Yamaha is among the top manufacturers in this case. As such, you can trust they will give you a good deal for beginner drum sets.
Features and configuration
As much as a beginner drum set has to be simple, there is no need to go for just any quality. Sometimes it helps to look at the main features of the set you are buying and what might make it stand out from other options.
In this case, look at what the drum set is made from. If the material on the shells and hardware is satisfying, that is a good deal, and you should go for it immediately.
A good beginner drum set does not have to come with everything, although it would save you a lot of money if it did.
Anyway, these kits aim to help you learn about drums and how to make good sounds from them. Therefore, it does not matter its quality very much.
Sound is a very subjective matter when it comes to choosing a perfect drum set. Everyone has something they think of as the best.
You need to find a drum set that sounds good according to your needs. It might not be as good as a professional kit, but it should still be nice.
There is no need to invest too much in a beginner drum set. This is why most manufacturers will offer the drum sets with everything included.
A beginner drum set’s quality is not the same as what you would expect from a higher-end product. And this is why they come at a lower price.
Even if you have the money, it would still be nice to start simple. Many people begin learning drums but give up along the way for different reasons. You don’t want to get stuck with a very expensive kit if this happens.
But if you are sure about what you want and have deep pockets, you would still buy a top-end product. It will not be a bad idea.
The Yamaha Rydeen came as part of Yamaha’s 50th anniversary in 2017. It was there already but got lost with the introduction of the Gigmaker, coming back new and upgraded.
Yamaha has come a long way as one of the top manufacturers. The series marks one of the most significant milestones in the brand’s history, coming with several notable upgrades.
Unlike the old series, this new line is feature-rich and yet remains at a budget level. Yamaha has managed to boost its value a notch higher, presenting drums that fulfill every modern drummer’s needs.
Who is the Yamaha Rydeen for?
This is a high-quality drum set built for the entry-level. This means it’s perfect for those who are interested in learning drums.
But this does not mean anyone else cannot use it. If you are a professional drummer looking for a simple kit to use for practice, this could be a good choice.
It has delivered good tonal values for any music type.
Yamaha Rydeen drums and configuration
This solution comes with a full set of drums and hardware. First, you will notice that heads come with 6-ply, 7.2mm poplar shells, which perform better than the former mahogany ones.
I removed these shells to check what the drums look like on the inside, and it was better than I thought. The bearing edges are made to feel smooth, and the inside is equally finished.
Mine came configured with:
• 22 by 16-inch bass drum
• 14 by 5.5 snare drum
• 10 by 7-inch and 12 by 8-inch rack toms
• 16 by 15-inch floor tom.
• All hardware
There are other settings, with a smaller 20-inch bass drum, best suited for jazz.
You can also find these kits in three options: a shell pack, shells with hardware, or shells, hardware, and cymbals. Mine came in the third option.
This arrangement is good for parents who need a one-in-all solution for their kids. Getting a good kit for a drum student can be daunting. If you are such a parent, this set should be a good place to start.
Most drummers will go for the hardware package, which also comes with some quality features. Most experienced drummers will already have a set of cymbals and hardware, so they would probably go for the shell pack. It all depends on your needs.
Another good thing I liked about my Yamaha Rydeen drum set is the hardware, which comes from Yamaha’s 600 lines. The company offers these in two options, the single-braced HW680, and the double-braced HW680W. Mine came with double-braced ones, which are sturdier and more durable.
I also received a bass drum pedal, a hi-hat pedal, a snare stand, and a boom cymbal stand. The two boom cymbal stands a good idea since you will not find such in many beginner sets.
The hardware is lightweight and made with a beautiful design. For instance, the stands are not very heavy, and hence, good enough for gigging drummers. They are also sturdy enough for any drummer.
Ratcheted offset tilters are included on the cymbal stands, a feature that you will not find on the snare stand.
The lack of baseplates on the bass and hi-hat pedals makes them easily fold into your cases. Also, a smooth chain-drive bass drum pedal on this set feels good and light. It features a felt beater, although this is not what most experienced drummers would want to use.
The legs on the hi-hat pedal don’t rotate and cannot be used with a double pedal. But it comes with a nice Allen-head set screw that can be easily loosened.
In terms of finishes, the Rydeen is available in six wrap finishes. My choice came in Fine Blue Finish, and everything was glued securely.
The new version comes with durable black steel hoops, unlike the former wooden hoops.
You can fix the tom mount on the bass drum and have two 22-mm center-diameter pipes fit into the holes on either side for the mount. With this, you have plenty of space for positioning and flexibility.
Each L-arm comes with an elbow that has Yamaha’s large resin ball-and-socket clamp system. This helps in adjusting the tom positions.
The set comes with shallow rack tom shells that make it easy to position. They also sustain a bit longer than the deeper options. The knurled floor tom legs hold well in place during play,
The snare comes with a simple yet smooth side throw-off and die-cast butt plate. These features make it work very well, with easy tuning.
To hold the bass drum hoops in position, the kick has unlined stamped steel claws. At the same time, it comes with a rubber strip to protect the batter-side steel hoop where it attaches. Rubber foot with a protruding spike on the kick spurs is not adjustable, though.
My choice included Wuhan 457 rock cymbals. It featured a pair of 14-inch hi-hats, a 20-inch ride, and a 16-inch crash. These sounded better than some entry-level cymbals I have seen before. The ride was the best, by the crash was a bit disappointing.
Tuning the drums was very easy and straightforward. Even though the tension rods were a bit dry, they still did a good job. After tuning them well, all the drums sounded good. The three toms have a decent sustain, and their heads seem to give them more brightness.
A punchy attack and deep undertones make the bass stand out, while the matching wood snare gave a fullness under the crack a well-balanced tone.
• Quality hardware
• Excellent sound
• The shells are not superb in quality
• You may need to change the cymbals
At this price, the Yamaha Rydeen offers a perfect deal for beginners. It has a nice design, with a decent sound. It’s, therefore, a good recommendation.