Please note that we did not use any expensive microphones or use any excessive equalization, compression, reverb or other tweaking in the recording. This was done in a typical home studio with mid priced mics. To hear what the drums really sound like use big speakers or headphones. Your built in computer speakers aren't going to do it justice.
Sidekick Drums got into the drum business with two products aimed at guitarists. We are all fairly familiar with solo acts using a foot operated bass drum. Jim Darnell started building a welded stand to hold a snare drum for playing with a foot pedal, and a skinny 6" deep x 22" diameter bass drum for these one-man band type troubadours. The success of these models has led him to produce instruments in the same vein for drummers; a kit that has a smaller footprint on the stage and in transport. The Skinny Small Drum Set that I received for review consisted of a 22" x 6" bass drum, 12" x 6" mounted tom, 16" x 6" floor tom, 14" x 6" snare drum, and an optional 18' x 12" bop type bass drum. The tom and bass shells are standard 8 ply maple and the snare drum is a ten play maple shell, all with good 45 degree bearing edges with an outer cut that provided plenty of contact with the head. The hardware on the drums is utilitarian but functional: "old Pearl style" double ended center lugs, generic triple flanged hoops, ratchet spurs, tension rods, bass drum claws, and P85 type throw off. Nothing fancy but nothing sub standard either.
The hardware is not the focus of this kit. It's the sizes. Most drum companies have some sort of compact kit aimed at drummers who need a highly portable kit w reduced weight and size. I have found most of these kits lacking in reproducing a lower volume version of a standard size kit because the diameter of the drums are too small. Smaller diameter drums and heads are simply not going to reproduce the same fundamental note of standard diameter drums and heads. Sidekick has gone with standard diameter drums , but that are much shorter than standard depths; all 6" deep. The effect is very pleasing because the tuning range is basically the same as standard size drums and very closely produces the same fundamental tones. We are used to tuning these diameters. I was impressed with the deep tones I could get with very little tuning and tweaking.
The drums were equipped with Evans coated G1 single ply heads that worked well. I would like to hear this kit with a double ply head in a rock situation. They would probably give the drums a little more oomph in that louder setting. I requested the kit be sent with a full bass drum front head. It had great low end and resonance, but those who want more punch and better close micing should probably order with a ported head.
All the drums were tuned wide open - no muffling except on the floor tom where we used a small DrumTac and a small pillow in the bass. The snare drum is a standard size drum in every way so there is no compromise in depth there. It tuned up well and had good snare wire response. It had a nice honk to it as well. The toms were probably the most impressive of the five drums. The mounted tom was suspended off of a cymbal stand with a clamp holder and was surprisingly full sounding. The floor tom had a good deep tone. It is actually suspended from a cymbal stand like the 12". I would like to hear an 8" deep version of it just to lower the harmonics a bit. The bass drum felt good and I could get good articulation out of it. I put a very small pillow in it. The only major suggestion I would have is to replace the ratchet spurs with gull wing spurs that would fold up against the shell to better fit in a bag or case - and to get the foot of the spur out in front of the drum a bit to stabilize it more. The ratchet spurs might not be a problem for some drummers, especially if the drums are stacked in a case. The bass drum was wobbling a bit in the video but I think that was due to the deep pile carpet we were on. If I had extended the spurs out in front of the drum this could have been rectified. On most normal stages with thinner carpet that will not be a problem. The 18" bass drum was my preference, if given the choice. Very punchy and solid sounding.
The finish on the drums was a simple stain and clear coat. Sidekick offers three finishes, burnt orange, ebony, and clear maple. List price on the four drums with either bass drum is $1099 and currently on sale for $999. There is a two tom and bass shell pack for $749 and several other size options on Sidekick's website.
My personal opinion is that Sidekick has a winner here. A "smaller" drum set with shallower depths in the toms and kick, but with standard diameters - It sounds like a standard depth set at lower volume - and with a much smaller footprint for those small stages, street busking, rehearsals, in and out gigs, low volume gigs, etc. where a regular size kit is not required and a smaller kit would make things easier.
This particular review kit is offered at a reduced price and can be shipped from Nashville. Please contact Sidekick to buy.