Yamaha Rydeen vs Gigmaker

Both the Yamaha Rydeen and Yamaha GigMaker are 5-piece shell packs that Yamaha designed to crush their competition in the entry-level / beginner drum kits space.

**Update: The Yamaha GigMaker drum set has been discontinued**

The Yamaha Rydeen is still in production, although they tend to sell out pretty quickly in music stores. You can grab one directly from Yamaha via Amazon if you click here.

Here’s a quick summary of their differences:

Yamaha Rydeen vs GigMaker

Yamaha RydeenYamaha Gigmaker
Type of drum kitEntry Level / Beginner Drum Shell PackEntry Level / Beginner Drum Shell Pack
Who is is forThere are configurations catered for adult and children beginners.There are configurations catered for adult and children beginners.
UpdateThe Yamaha Gigmaker has been discontinued.
Configurations2 configurations
Depending on the configuration you choose, you'll get:
2 configurations
Depending on the configuration you choose, you'll get:
Bass Drum20" or 22" bass drum
* Bass drum equipped with P3 type Bass Drum Head for a more powerful bass drum sound.
20" or 22" bass drum
Toms10"/12" toms

14" or 16" floor tom
10"/12" toms or 12"/13" tom

14" or 16" floor tom
Snare14" snare14" snare
Shell MaterialPoplarBasswood and poplar
Drum headsAll drums come with both batter and resonant drum heads;
Snare drum - Coated drum head (batter), s-side (resonant)
Toms - Clear drum heads
Bass Drum - Clear drum head with ring mute (batter), Ebony drum head with ring mute (resonant)
All drums come with both batter and resonant drum heads
Drum heads not specified.
HardwareTom mounts
Bass drum legs
Pipe Clamps
Tom mounts
Bass drum legs
Snare drum stand
Purchase options

  • Shell pack

  • Shell pack with Hardware

  • Complete kit with Cymbals

  • Shell pack

  • Shell pack with Hardware

  • Complete kit with Cymbals

Finishes (Color Options)

  1. Fine Blue

  2. Mellow Yellow

  3. Hot Red

  4. Burgundy Glitter

  5. Black Glitter

  6. Silver Glitter

  1. White Grape Glitter

  2. Blue Ice Glitter

  3. Burgundy Glitter

  4. Black Glitter

  5. Silver Glitter


Should I get the Yamaha Rydeen or the Yamaha GigMaker?

Okay…here’s the tl:dr,

The sad news: The GigMaker has been discontinued.

The good news: The Rydeen is pretty similar to the GigMaker in terms of its specifications and price.


Get the Yamaha Rydeen.

If you want something cheaper and don’t mind a used drum set, then explore Craigslist or Guitar Center’s used listing to try your luck.

My advise is, if you are a beginner drummer who is new to drumming gear, avoid the risk of buying second hand drum sets for now.


Still interested? Then read on…

In the next few sections of this article, we’ll explore the following:

However before we do a deep dive into each drum shell pack, here’s a general overview of both the Yamaha Rydeen and Yamaha GigMaker.

We also answer the question of:

“Is the Yamaha Rydeen or GigMaker suitable for me as a beginner drum kit?”


Yamaha Rydeen and GigMaker – High Quality Entry Level Drum Shell Packs


Both the Yamaha Rydeen and the Yamaha Gigmaker are some of the best entry level drums that a beginner can get at an affordable and reasonable price.

As a summary, here’s an advantage and disadvantage of both the Rydeen and GigMaker, as beginner drum shell packs:



Both the Rydeen and GigMaker provide great value as a beginner drum kit in terms of the quality of the drum shells and hardware which are both long-lasting and sound great.

You are getting the best value for your money for a high built quality drum shell pack with these 2 product series from Yamaha.

To be honest, I think these drum packs are suitable for drummers up to the intermediate level.

If you are considering any of them as your first drum shell pack, you can be rest assured that your drum kit will last for at least the next 3 years.



However, if you are a beginner you will have to note that both the Rydeen and Gigmaker are mainly drum shell packs.

This means that you’ll need to purchase cymbals, kick pedals, drum throne and drum sticks separately to get a complete drum kit.

And this can throw off most newbie drummers.

Fret not, because most music stores can help you assemble a complete set. All you need to do is get the staff at the music store to help you.

Alternatively, if you are purchasing the kit online, you can also find that Yamaha also provides the Rydeen or Gigmaker as a complete drum kit set.

Here’s an example:

Yamaha Rydeen RDP2F56 5pc Drum Kit w Hardware & Cymbals

(Click to see product details)


When browsing for complete drum sets, all you need to do is to double check if the drum kit you are considering includes additional hardware and cymbals.


Now that we’ve got the general overview covered, let’s take a look at each of these drum shell pack and what they have to offer.


Yamaha Rydeen

yamaha rydeen

The Yamaha Rydeen was named after the Japanese mythical Thunder God and it was released as part of Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary.

Drummers can expect a powerful drum set that provides versatile playing experience.

This is how it sounds:

Video from Yamaha Music Australia

What Material are the Drum Shells made of?

All the drum shells provided in the Rydeen drum shell pack are made from Poplar.

As mentioned in a previous article, poplar is a wood that have great mid range sounds.

This means that the Rydeen can be used to play most genre of music, making it a great option for beginner drummers.


What are the sizes of the Rydeen drum shells?

You get to choose from 2 configurations;

  • RDP0F5 comes with:
    • 20″ bass drum
    • 10″ & 12″ toms
    • 14″ floor tom
    • 14″ snare


  • RDP2F5 comes with:
    • 22″ bass drum
    • 10″ & 12″ toms
    • 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ snare

Their differences lie in the sizes of their bass drums and floor toms.

Adults are recommended to go with the second configuration with a larger bass drum and floor tom for comfort and ease of play.

Children will find the first configuration more comfortable. With the smaller bass drum and floor time, the kit can be set up in a tighter and closer configuration so that smaller drummers will not need to strain themselves to reach the different drums.


Does the Rydeen pack provide drum heads?

All drum shells come with their corresponding drum heads so you’ll not need to worry about purchasing them separately.

We’ve listed the drum heads that should come with your Rydeen drum shell pack in the comparison table above. You can get more details via Yamaha’s official page for the Rydeen set.

However, if you wish to tweak and improve the sound of your Rydeen drums further, you can explore the option of upgrading the drum heads.

If you aspire to become a rock drummer, here’s our guide to the best snare drum heads for rock drummers. We’re in the midst of testing and researching on drum heads for toms and bass drums at the moment, so look out for those too!


How does it really sound?

The best way to experience a drum kit before purchase is to make a trip to your local music store.

Unfortunately, music stores tend not to display entry level drum kits (most even try to reduce the amount of stock, so it might usually be sold out).

The next best way for me is to listen to the drum kit via YouTube.

You’ll have to take note that the same drum kit can sound different across videos depending on factors like the quality of the microphones used, the quality of the video uploaded and more.

Here are 2 of the better Yamaha Rydeen sound test videos that we’ve found on YouTube:

Source: Tino Drummer


Source:  NikiderDrummer


Yamaha GigMaker

yamaha gigmaker

The Yamaha GigMaker was specially created to pack the most value into a beginner drum kit.

After studying its competition, Yamaha incorporated tiny details that make the GigMaker set a trusty drum set that will last – down to its hardware.

This is how it sounds:

Video from Yamaha Music Australia

What Material are the Drum Shells made of?

The drum shells are made with a mix of poplar and basswood.

Together, they attenuate the mid and low range drum sounds.

Most drummers will appreciate its power and volume from their very first practice.


What are the sizes of the GigMaker drum shells?

With this drum shell pack, you also get to choose from 2 configurations;

  • Smaller sized GigMaker kit comes with
    • 20″ bass drum
    • 10″ & 12″ toms
    • 14″ floor tom
    • 14″ snare


  • Larger sized GigMaker kit comes with
    • 22″ bass drum
    • 12″ & 13” toms
    • 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ snare

Unlike the Rydeen which only provided larger a bass drum and floor tom, the larger configuration of the GigMaker comes with a larger tom tom too.

Likewise, adults are encouraged to go with the larger sized configuration and vis versa for children.


Does the GigMaker pack provide drum heads?

Yes, all drum shells come with their corresponding drum heads so you’ll not need to worry about purchasing them separately.


How does the GigMaker sound like?

Here are two videos that should give you a good idea of how this drum shell pack sounds:

Source: JamStageCz


Source: Omar Quiroz


Where can I buy the Yamaha GigMaker drum set?

The GigMaker drum set has been discontinued by Yamaha, hence you will not be able to purchase it from official music stores.

You can hunt for remaining sets via Craigslists, eBay or even at Guitar Center’s used instrument listings. You may need to travel to collect the drum set.



We’ve explore the Yamaha Rydeen vs GigMaker above.

You can refer back to the comparison table for an overview of their differences and similarities.

I have found that these two drum sets are pretty similar in their features and specifications with the exception of the tom size and the material of the drum shell.

Their similarities could be the reason why Yamaha took the GigMaker off their production chain since they launched the Rydeen as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

As a beginner drum set, both would allow the drummer to explore an equally wide range of music genre while producing similar drum sound profiles.

I would advice newbie drummers to get a brand new set from Yamaha (either direct or via Amazon) or a via distributor, that way you can get support should you need help with your drum kit.

If you are still seating on the fence, check out our compilation of the best beginner drum kits for adults.

Or if you have more questions, just drop them in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Yamaha Rydeen vs Gigmaker”

  1. I find people (especially drummers) spending quite a bit of their time, investigating extensively the drum shell material as the main focus of their decision making when purchasing a drum kit. As an Engineer and a Drummer with over 40 years’ experience, I can tell you the least concern one need have is the material used to construct the drum shells as it has almost nothing to do with the drum sound.
    Drum sound is contributable to 4 working items.
    1- The bearing edge upon which the drum heads sit
    2- The Drum heads (single ply or double ply, coated or clear)
    3- The ambient air (density, dry, humid etc)
    4- Containment and release of the air pressure inside the shell
    Drum shells are simply a chamber to contain air and head tension. Regardless of the material used to construct the drum shells, the rims need to be square, the bearing edges need to be completely and smoothly finished and completely flat.
    Think about it… What happens to the air pressure created in side the drum when the head is struck by a stick or mallet? Does the air penetrate the drum shell laminations, glue and finish to make sound or does it bounce around within the shell causing the heads to vibrate until the air has not further movement? Engineering wise the latter is true not the prior. This is why drum shells can be uncoated, painted, or coated in plastic laminate on the exterior and none of those will have any bearing on the sound of the drum.
    The bearing edge, drum heads and the containment of air are what determines how drums sound. That said, drum makers such as Yamaha have vast experience making drum shells which are square, which have well defined bearing edges, that are also flat. Add drums heads to a well-made drum shell (such as the ones Yamaha makes) and one has a drum which produces excellent sound no matter the shell material Yamaha uses.
    The Rydeen and Gigmaker are both great drum choices, because both start with Yamaha’s excellent drum shell manufacturing techniques and processes.

    • Woah TJ, thank you for the insights!

      I had always assumed that the drum shell material affects the way the drum resonance and hence the sound it produces.
      Maybe its a psychological effect, but I’d always thought there is a subtle difference D:

      What you mention makes sense, I will definitely have to take a deeper look into the physics of how sounds work in drums.

      Thank you so much for pointing this out!

  2. Consider what happens when a drum stick or mallet strikes a drum head
    1- The head moves in the direction of the impact
    2- The head movement is limited initially by its contact with the bearing edge
    3- Second the head attempts to pull itself out of the head crimp as forces continue to apply
    4- The crimp acts against the flange of the rim attempting to force it upward
    5- Head vibration is transferred to the outer edges of the crimp and therefore into the rim, tension rods and lugs (which is why we manufacturers quit applying spring to drum lugs in the 1970s)
    6- The resonant head is impacted by an air column and is deflected much the same way as the batter heads but with a reduction in initial force.
    7- As the air inside the shell compresses. Some of the air pressure is released through the vent hole
    8- Air around the drum is displaced resulting in what humans hear as sound waves
    What is the part of the drum shell in all this activity?
    1- Contain the head deflection at the bearing edge
    2- Contain the stresses of the tension assembly (some vibration will be transferred from the hardware to the shell at that point)
    3- Contain the air pressure within the drum shell
    4- Maintain the stress of the impact at the drum mount (impact vibration will be transferred from the drum mount to the mount hardware) Basically impact attempts to knock the drum off its mount, in the direction of the initial impact…. This is the reason many mounts today use mount isolation to reduce hardware harmonics. Where this will not be an issue in live performance it will most certainly be picked up by recording microphones.
    The Positive results of using wood to make drums
    1- Building material expansion rates due to temperature
    a. Coefficient of Expansion 1 degree variation
    i. Acrylic 0.0000410 in/deg
    ii. Aluminum 0.0000129 in/deg
    iii. Steel 0.0000073 in/deg
    iv. Wood (ply) 0.0000027 in/deg
    The Negative results of using wood to make drums
    2- Wood is susceptible to changes in moisture (unless its been sealed)
    3- Wood is susceptible to insect attack (another reason to seal the wood inside and out)
    4- Wood can dry out and decay


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