Archive for January, 2010

Review: Yamaha DD65 and NStuff Music

January 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Normally I don’t bother reviewing electronics, but just the service at a local company.  I’m doing both in this post as they both deserve it.

I’m a big electronic instrument fan (as are many tech people). I also like drums (like many guys) … but can’t afford the larger electronic sets due to price ($1500 and above) and I’m iffy about the lower end sets ($200 to $500 range).  Space is an issue with me also.

Now, I’ve owned an earlier version of the “all in one electronic drum set” from Yamaha called the DD50.  It was nice, but just didn’t do what I needed it too.  The sounds were OK, but not studio or performance quality.  That has changed with the DD65 unit pictured on the left.  Here is a quick run-down:

  • It can sit on most snare stands – no propriety stand needed, and if you want to use it as a hand drum combining a snare and cymbal stand gives you the ability to play while standing.
  • Sound quality is greatly improved … I tested the unit through a 40 channel Soundcraft, QSC Amps, and Renkus-Heinz speakers in a live performance hall … it gave the acoustic set a run for it’s money – although I still preferred  the sound of acoustic cymbals.
  • The kick foot controller is now touch sensitive … there are dynamics on the kick now, which was greatly missing from previous units.  You can also purchase a standard kick pedal controller for it.
  • There is also a standard hi-hat pedal available for the unit.
  • A hand drum mode was added to allow you to play the unit with either sticks or hands.
  • Very little or no limitations of midi functionality!
  • Drums voices are assignable and you can create up to three custom sets.
  • The feel of the unit and playability has been greatly improved.
  • Much much more ….. it usually runs around $220, depending on where you purchase it at.

Excellent .. especially for new drum students …. don’t doubt it, just buy it!

Alright …. getting back to Nstuff Music (also known at Pianos N Stuff):

I’ve been dealing with, renting form, and purchasing from NStuff for years.  With the DD65 I just purchased the deal given is worth mentioning (I don’t know how long it will last, etc).  When I purchased the unit, unlike other places I looked where you have to purchase a keyboard survival kit to get the power adapted, etc … Nstuff included it with the unit (make sure they still do if you purchase it from them).  The questions I had were all answered quickly by the staff, even though some took some time to research over the internet, etc.  At no time was  I blown off for another customer that was looking at something more expensive.  The Yamaha DD65 I bought ran me $210 for everything (except the additional cables I purchased).  This is a savings of about $30 over other stores.

The service and knowledge in the store is exceptional as always – most of the personnel there are either techs or play out, using the equipment they sell.  You’ll find that most of them won’t sell something they don’t use.

Website: Pianos N Stuff or NStuff Music


PS …. if you are in or around Pittsburgh, this is a local store – so support them by going to the store or buying from them over the internet.  They’ll still help you out after the sale … the big box boys will care less about you after the credit card is swiped.

** We try to keep information as true as possible in our reviews, if you find anything incorrect (other than our opinion), please write in to us or comment so that we can make the correction! Thanks!


Donations for Haiti

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Just in case someone comes across SWB (considering I haven’t had time to post in a while), where is a good link for donating to the BRESMA Orphanage in Haiti. They will need it:

That’s Church has been keeping some updates on the orphans, etc … Click Here to go there.

Now, Haiti is a very volatile are right now, so donations are needed just to be able to get supplies in. You are looking at an area that had a 6.1 aftershock just below the surface of the earth. This compares to an earthquake of a much higher rating that happens lower in the earth as they normally do – so Haiti’s aftershocks can be quite more damaging

then let’s say one in California. The earthquakes in Haiti are also moving differently than in other spots on the planet, making things even worse.

I have also heard people mumbling “why would you live in such a dangerous are?” This sentiment comes from seeing people that have money rebuilding back in harms way in places like California. That doesn’t even remotely apply in a place like Haiti … where you are so poor that having a pair of shoes can
compare to having a Porshe in the U.S.

So, a request from us at SWB – skip your Latte’s for a week and donate to the orphanage – you have no idea how much you may buy them. Considering that Jamie and Ali McMutrie give a huge portion of their lives to these kids … you can give a few up a few latte’s. Right now I’m out off work and I’ll donate at least a little bit – so I’m not asking anyone to do any more than I am.