If you are looking at this kit then you are looking at the lower end of the e-kit spectrum and if you are, then you are looking at the top performer. Put together like many kits at this price range it is a sturdy compact structure that will provide you with a no-frills drumming experience whilst being incredibly fun to play around with.
|Pads and Stands|
|Module and Features|
This easy to set up kit will have you up and playing within a couple of hours. With a sturdy rack and what feels like durable pads, it’s perfect for a first timer to have a good play without worrying about bending or breaking it. All of the pads are rubber and are from the lower end of Yamaha’s range, however, these toms are the ones used with the 522K so this should tell you that they are good enough to be used in more expensive gear. Whilst these are the most basic pads available, it is all still Yamaha quality. They are all single-zoned but designed to be sensitive enough to give you a decent trigger response so that there is some control and authenticity when playing them.
The cymbal pads are also single-zone, but utilize Yamaha’s ‘Accent Articulation’ to enhance their performance and response by making subtle changes to the dynamics according to stick velocity. The pedals feel ok, although they are a bit slow to trigger and for quick doubles on the bass it won’t always register crisply. The hi-hat pedal isn’t great with sustain and whilst it does allow for half-open hits it is a bit tricky so takes some adjusting. One good thing is that the pedals aren’t attached to the rack which does mean you can position them however you wish. An important thing to note is that the pedals are loud and work better on carpeted floors. Overall the pads, pedals and cymbals feel ok, they certainly don’t feel cheap and whilst their response is limited, you can’t expect precision playing with such a low-cost kit
Functions and features:
So the module itself is pretty basic, so much so that it doesn’t have an LED display screen, instead it has 21 on/off push buttons with an LED light beneath each indicating whether they are on or off. Until you get to know the buttons you will need to keep the manual close to hand, but after that it is fairly intuitive and speedy. Considering how basic the display is the module is surprisingly powerful with features like a number of training programmes and the ability to loop any part of the onboard song. This is especially handy when messing around with a song to create some ‘funky fresh tunes’.
It has 10 songs to playback (plus thousands more you can buy) as well as 10 preset kits that you can override. However, what makes this kit stand out in its price bracket (and makes it so fun to play) are the 169 preloaded drum sounds which includes many of Yamaha’s high-end maple and oak acoustic drum sets. The module has a USB socket which can be integrated with any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It can also be used for connection to an iPhone, iPad, etc using Yamaha’s Song Beat app which, amongst other things, provides a visual representation of the kit, giving a number of handy practice routines and a vast number of play-along features.
This kit is perfect for an entry-level player who wants a compact, quiet and experimental e-kit to learn the fundamental techniques of drumming on, without the hefty price tag. This will not feel like an acoustic set, as you will need the high-end mesh heads for that, but with Yamaha’s preloaded drums it will at least sound like a good acoustic set. With a 10 training programmes (including Groove Check, Rhythm Gate, Tempo Up/Down, Change, Part Mute and Fast Blast) and the Song Beat app which has even more practice routines, this set is ideal for a beginner looking to get into gear. It also introduces you to the idea of sampling and producing in a very cost-effective way. Overall for the price this kit is incredible value for money and a nice first e-kit for any starter and we believe the best electronic kit under $500.