World Exclusive Review - Porter and Davies Gigster
World Exclusive Review
Porter and Davies Gigster Tactile Monitor
It wasn’t that long ago that I reviewed the Porter and Davies BC2 which you can read here
One of my concerns regarding the BC2 was the price point - don’t get me wrong I think it’s a great bit of kit and worth the money, but felt that it was out of the price range of most drummers. If you don''t know the BC2, then please read the review otherwise this review will make little sense.
The ethos behind the Gigster is to make the cheapest and most simple system possible, without any actual performance sacrifice (it contains a very similar amplifier), and to make the unit as small and portable as possible. Not only is the Gigster that much smaller than the BC2, it is 3.4kgs as opposed to 9.5kgs. It still consists of a drum stool top (big and green and fits into a standard deep snare case) and an amplifier to make it work. However, the amp is not flightcased like the BC2 and it has more of a raked, desk-top style. The only area the Gigster is ''lacking'' in comparison with the BC2 is that it lacks the second input. It does have a dual (jack/XLR) input however.
I decided to review the Gigster at a couple of gigs and in my teaching studio but it is just as happy attached to your electronic kit.
Again, its a very easy and quick set up with a Speakon lead going from the bottom of the seat top into the Gigster amplifier. Your bass drum microphone connects into the amp and (if you need to), you run an XLR microphone cable from the Gigster amp to the main desk so the sound man has your bass drum in the main PA . Easy.
The control of the the vibrations is also very easy to work out with just two small dials (input level and one to find the best frequencies for the Gigster to work with your bass drum) and one large one (overall volume). I had the whole thing up and running in a very short period of time without having to ask the sound man or band techs! I was very proud of myself.
As I said in the review of the BC2, when you are using it, it really feels like there is more bass drum volume which is created by the vibrations going through your body. You are really aware of the placement of the bass drum notes and you feel like you are playing more in the pocket. As the evening went on (it was a 3 hour gig!) and the band got louder I didn’t have to fight with them or start losing the bass drum in the mix because I could feel it. I didn’t have to lay into the bass drum more.
This helps on stage in two ways;
1) Your leg doesn’t get tired through the gig
2) You''re not playing the bass drum louder which in turn makes you play the whole kit louder.
Regarding volume, changing the big overall volume knob makes no difference out front so the overall sound remains in the hands of your trusty sound man. I found I stayed a lot more relaxed and consistent as the evening went on.
I must admit I was surprised how good this product was. Porter and Davies have kept the same high standard of the BC2 but by removing the casing around the amplifier, removing the metal bass plate from under the stool and slightly changing the seat covering they have given me the same results but for hundreds of pounds less than the BC2…very impressed.
I had a couple of small concerns but nothing that cant be overcome.
1: I would have liked the heavy duty Speakon lead running from the drum stool to the brain to be a little longer so I had more option where I put the brain.
2: After three hours of playing, I could have done with some extra padding on the stool top that comes with the Gigster, but as an optional extra padded covers are now available on their website.
When I asked Porter and Davies about the firm seat they reply was "The reason we are not making the production seat softer is that many drummers have commented that they really like the security and stability of our thrones. We want to offer choice, but we always listen to comments!"
So what do you get for your money?
The drum stool top
The Gigster amplifier
Mains power lead for the amplifier
Lead to run from drum stool to amplifier
Overall, this is a great product and good value for money. It will help you play more consistently and in the pocket, whether you''re playing a stadium, your local pub or in your practice room.
Well done guys. Looks like you have done it again.
I tried the Gigster at The London Drum Show. First time on such an item. Very impressed.
Phil Wilson, 14 November 2011
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