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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha DD-65 Digital Drum

Get creative with 8 touch-sensitive pads and 2 foot pedals! Loaded with authentic stereo samples, this digital drum set lets you sequence beats on 4 tracks.

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"Great Little Set of Drums" submitted May 1, 2013

By Steve R in Lancaster, PA
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Musical Background: Drummer for 25 years with a hobby studio
Music Style: rock, country, smooth jazz, fusion, alternative, electronic
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Overall: The DD65 is perfect for what I use it for. As a hobby, I use looping software to create songs that I drum to. I have a small house with three kids and I had been using similar drum sets for a long time for space/volume reasons. The set that I had for the past fifteen years finally died (it was a pad-set that needed an external sound module) and I wanted something that had sounds in it. This way, I could minimize the amount of programming I had to do. As soon as I plugged this in, I was off and running. I was able to create three of my own custom kits and record into my computer. The pad set up is pretty natural for a drummer and the pads themselves have a similar bounce to a practice pad. The biggest issue is that the pedals that come with it are really just buttons and difficult to use. Luckily, I had traditional electronic pedals from my old digital drum set that I use instead. If I didn't, I would have upgraded at some point. The built in speakers are not loud enough to cover the "tapping" of the sticks on the pads, so I don't use them. I have a small pair of powered studio speakers and headphones, both of which provide plenty of volume to show off the surprisingly good sound quality found inside the unit.
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"THE BEST SO FAR!" submitted July 24, 2009

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: alternative
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Sound: WHAT MORE CAN YOU SAY, IT ROCKS Feature: LOTS OF Samples, lots of kits unlimited programing. Ease of Use: every thing's where it's supposed to be as the point of view from a real drummer' Quality: Better than the simmons kit indentations on the underside to accommodate a regular snare drum stand a plus. Value: A screamin deal for the tubs your getting' Manufacturer Support: I shot an email to yamaha regarding the hi- hat midi message problem, they requested me to take it to my nearest yamaha service center( one that repairs pro audio) and they will install a free hardware update. My service center accepted it, they will contact yamaha. we'll see how that turns out. The Wow Factor: The design is perfect ,however the pedals are a little strange acting and will take a little more practice to master. other than that I seem to get pretty used to them. the pads are more sensitive than most I'v played which means I don't need ultra-heavy drumsticks smashing them to hear sound, There great! Overall: I really like them (other than having to order the adapter separate) when the midi problem is fixed they will be unstoppable this is the only "all in one" drum pad set that's worth a damn. This comes from a drummer with 15 yrs. + experience.
49 of 52 people (94.23%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Free Flash ROM update for midi high hat problem" submitted September 17, 2009

By a customer from yahoo.com
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: actuive musician and recording engineer
Music Style: rock, pop, prog, dance, soundscapes
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Feature: Just wanted people to know that the high hat open/closed midi note problem has been fixed for new units. If you buy or already own a unit that has the high hat midi problem a local yamaha service center will upgrade the flash memory for free to fix this problem
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"A MIDI CONTROLLER??? Beware recording artists." submitted April 12, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Recording
Music Style: Christian Rock, Contemporary Christian Worship
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Sound: I definitely would not give this a ten BUT it does admirably considering its price and what someone may use it for. The sounds(samples) are pretty good and you could get away with using the hand congo/bongo function for some live performances. Feature: Honestly I like the features. From the headphone/output to pad placement to song playing/practicing and song recording to different sesitivity levels to the midi... and that's where it falls apart. If you are using this to control midi be aware of the HI HAT PROBLEM!!! It only sends one hi hat not for the "closed hi hat hit", "open hi hat hit" and "foot closing hi hat hit". So if you are not planning to record midi like a quasi-real hi hat then you should be okay. Ease of Use: The functions on this machine are pretty straight forward to use simply because it is simple. There are no programming sounds or changing sensitivity for each individual pad or routing different fx to different pad sounds. I believe that it would serve best as a practice pad and a small live performance where an acoustic drum set is not practical or allowed. Quality: The DD65 is well built. I will not give it a ten because if I drop it I am not sure if will still work. I think Yamaha has a decent reputation for dependability and durability so I think it mostly depends on the user and also time will tell whether these pads will fall apart soon or not. If the ONE YEAR warranty is a sign of its longevity of lack there of, then that's a prediction I can't make. Value: IT DOES NOT COME WITH AN AC ADAPTOR!!! I wish I would have known that before ordering this thing. I had to shell out another twenty dollars for one from Radio Shack! I would also have rated this higher if the midi functions for the hi hat worked properly but they don't. I hate to keep bringing it up but I think it a valid issue that needs to be known. Even as JUST a practice pad I don't think it is worth anywhere near $200. Manufacturer Support: From what I've heard from others, not that great. A few people have posted in several forums about how they(Yamaha) won't fix the midi hi hat problem unless MANY PEOPLE complain about it. I think that is ludicrous because that is functionality that should be there. And to think that I'm buying a MIDI CONTROLLER which doesn't send the proper midi notes to have at the least a simple functioning hi hat is absurd. I honestly do not think a firmware update is to much to ask for. The Wow Factor: Just from the two days that I've had it, people have been drawn to it and I think that can be attributed to the way it looks. Just the fact that it looks like some kind of drum thing is appeal enough for people to want to try it. I think the placement of the pads is excellent and is well balanced for aesthetics and playing. The only exception is the hi hat which I think should be higher so it does not block me when I am hitting the snare but that is feature/ease of use problem. Overall: I actually want to send it back right now because of the hi hat problem which I've mention several times already. I will wait for Yamaha to get back with me to make a final decision on whether the DD65 is worth buying or not. But like I said before if you are buying it purely for fun and practice then it is a decent product but definitely not worth $200+.
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"Great Little Drum Kit in an Itty-Bitty Box + Excellent Price." submitted May 5, 2011

By a customer from comp-u-pro.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Guitar/Vocal
Music Style: 35 Years Fusion/Jazz/Rock/Crowd Pleaser
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Sound: For what it is and how I intend to use it, I thought it would be great. Unfortunately my boys didn't have the interest in it I thought they would. We're returning it only for that reason. It's a great tool for teaching rhythm; thatís why I got it. My boys just werenít ready for it. Feature: Excellent! Way more than I would use, at least to start. It records, does tap tempo and lots of other cool features, not to mention all the non-drum sounds you can get out of it. Ease of Use: To me it was great and easy to use. My wife didn't like it because it made noise and had too many buttons. So basically, my kids couldn't use it unless I was home. Quality: Seemed well made and durable. I test drove a couple of earlier used models (DD-55c) and they were still working fine even after commercial use. Value: Really, after seeing it, it seemed a little expensive at the MSRP. If I was a working drummer it would be a no brainer though, because I can see it fitting right into a nice set of acoustic or electric drums and has a lot of cool effects. Manufacturer Support: I've always had good luck with Yamaha. The Wow Factor: It's a little on the gaget side of things; I like that. I think it's fun to just whack out a little rhythm at time and really works off agressions ;-). Overall: This would be a definite hand-me-down, but probably last me 3 or 4 years - or until the new models come out.
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"EXCELLENT PRODUCT!" submitted January 9, 2014

By Brenda S in San Juan, PR
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Overall: I bought this drum kit as a gift for my partner... She can't stop playing it... The sound is excellent. Love it!
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"Midi Hi Hat problem" submitted December 15, 2009

Sound: Hi, Bought this to use as midi trigger for EZdrummer and the Hi hat problem was a bummer. However 1 call to Yamaha in Milton Keynes, they picked it up, fixed it, and returned it all within a week. All works fine now.That's good after sales service!
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"Pre teen boy rocks the house" submitted August 4, 2011

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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: variety of styles
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Sound: Good sound quality that is realistic. you do need to hit it in a sweet spot to get richer fuller sound. There is good variety of sounds, even barnyard. The pads are bit small. Feature: It comes with wooden drumsticks and pedal attachemnts, but I also got a CD and headphones in the deluxe package. Ease of Use: Pretty easy, just pull it right out of the box and plug it in. You can also opt to use batteries if you are taking it somewhere. I started playing around right away, but there are lots of extra features I can wait to explore. The Wow Factor: It looks nice without being too small or too bulky. Overall: Well, eventually we may get a real set of drums, but first we'll see if the interest is still there.
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"A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT" submitted August 11, 2009

By a customer from bigpond.com
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Musical Background: experienced drummer
Music Style: rock
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Feature: I am in Australia, but because Yamaha here doesnít offer the dd65 I had my daughter (Flight attendant V Australia) pick one up from Sam Ash in Westminster LA. I have a dd55 but wanted to upgrade and was looking forward to getting the 8 pads rather than 7 and other advances that I assumed would be incorporated in a newer model. If I could bring this back and get a refund I would. The DD55 has the ability to adjust individual pad volume and this is absolutely critical to balancing the sound of a kit from place to place. For some insane reason theyíve dropped this feature on the DD65. Thatís just crazy and in my opinion makes them unusable for live performance. Also the sounds arenít as good as the DD55, particularly the hi hat. Also there is a problem with the hi hat control when using the midi function and a sound module. The pedal doesnít work!! Regardless of the 8 pads and improved position of the hi hat pad there is nothing that will compensate for the lunacy of deleting the individual pad volume control.
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"Fast Shipping" submitted April 22, 2014

By James K
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Music Style: all styles
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Overall: The product was as advertised and worked perfectly. I accidently clicked on 1-star for overall and because Zzounds web programmers aren't very well trained, I am unable to change my selection. Overall should have been 4 stars.
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"Great drum set for practicing and portability." submitted December 29, 2011

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: son has taken lessons for 1 year
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Sound: My son has a real drum set and takes private lessons; but he wanted to show others his talent and we didn't want to haul his drum set so we decided to try this one for traveling purposes. He likes the sound and has played it for hours since we bought it. I like the headphones option. He tends to play longer if no one is complaining that they can't hear to do homework etc. Feature: My son is 10 and right now it has more features that he will currently use. Ease of Use: This drum set was basically set up to be pluged into a power cord and attached to a snare stand base and you are ready to play. My son really likes the hand drum setting. Quality: We have only had the drum for just under 1 week; but is seems really well made. Value: I have been pleased with the product. Manufacturer Support: The reason I scored the company lower on this section was because I ordered it as a Christmas gift for my son and when they shipped it the drum showed up on my front door step in its original box. It came earlier than the projected arrival date and my son found it on the front door step; which totally ruined the Christmas surprise. I would think that since it is December and parents are purchasing gifts for their children that it would have been shipped in an unmarked box. I was disappointed to spend that much money and have the surprise ruined 2 weeks before Christmas. The Wow Factor: Like I mentioned before I really like the option of the headphones. It allows my son to practice beats in his own room and allows us the freedom to do homework or other activities with our other kids. Overall: Great product, fast shipping, disappointed in original box shipping because my son found it on the front porch 2 weeks before Christmas and it ruined the surprise, happy with the sound and set up of the drums
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Yamaha DD-65 Digital Drum Customer Review submitted November 8, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Life stlye percussionist
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Sound: Learn the system. Make it easier to input a sound with one movement. Feature: After I added the Tower KICK. It took this system to higher level Quality: I had a event which it rain. the system did not fail I was able to cover it. The Wow Factor: add black.
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"Begginers Review, FUN FUN FUN" submitted April 16, 2009

By a customer from comcast.net
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Sound: Sound is ok, better than you'd expect for the price. Plenty of kits to choose from, even includes a farm animal kit which my niece really enjoyed. If you want a list of the included kits find the pdf manual online. Feature: I only give nine stars on features because there is only 5 banks for user songs, any songs downloaded online must share these 5 banks with user recorded songs. Also, though I'm not finished yet playing with it as a midi controller, I can not get the hi hat pedal working properly either (using Battery 3). It gets it's own bank & signal within battery 3, but the hi hat sounds the same whether I'm pressing it or not, but it does let me "choke" the hi hat when pressed after hitting the hi hat. Other than that, especially as a begginer the features are great! A wide selection of songs to play with, from easy to complex, and every time you load a song the kit changes for that song (but you can still use a differant kit). If you have trouble getting the timing right, just hit the "click" button and the metronome (includes alternate time signatures as well) will play with the song, and of course you can choose to play along with recorded percussion stilll playing as well. One more cool thing is the three holes in the bottom for fitting it to a snare stand, allows for a much better playing angle. Ease of Use: I've barely needed the manual, pretty straightforward stuff. Quality: Tough plastic, just take care of it & it should be fine. Value: Probably the only kit for the price with a realistic layout plus bass & hi hat pedals. Considering that plus all the features included, the dd65 is a steal at $220. The Wow Factor: Very compact & sleek for a drum set. Overall: I've had it maybe a couple weeks now & I think I am progressing quite nicely for that time frame, much better than I would be on an acoustic set. You'll definatly want to get extra sticks for this, though the included ones aren't bad, 5a's seem much more durable. Also, the pedals are very light and like to slip around on the floor, but luckily since I have a carpet floor I was able to solve this problem by attaching velcro to the bottom of the pedals. Overall I'm very glad I bought this, drumming is so much fun & living in an apartment building with nearly 400 other tenants, I can use headphones & don't disturb anyone.
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