Road Test: On Stage with the Dixon Little Roomer LR420

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Little Roomer on the Road

Greetings, drummers! Steve from the Dixon team here. I’d like to share my experience with a new, unique drum kit we have. It’s called the Little Roomer, designed for those venues where a normal sized kit might produce too much volume, or take up too much floor space. It consists of a 7″x10″ tom, a 10″x13″ floor tom with legs, a 3.5″x10″ snare with jingles and a 7″x20″ bass drum. For my purposes, I used the Dixon Artisan Maple block 5.5″x14″ snare drum.

Steve Bunck | Little Roomer LR420

I play in a rock and roll band that covers a wide variety of artists, everything from Adele to AC/DC, so I need my kit to give me a wide range of dynamics. (What do you mean dynamics? I’m playing as loud as I can!) But sometimes, we find ourselves booked in a club or doing a private event where volume has to be kept down. And I’m sure some of you reading this have suffered through those gigs where even the quietest you play is just too loud for the room or a pesky country club manager. I’ve practically mimed drumming on those nights. This kit could be your solution.

But, as I found on a recent private gig, these drums will go to 11 if need be.

For the past few years, my band has played a private holiday party for a client who loves rock and roll. So much in fact, that he wrote his own songs and had us perform them with him at his party. This guy has no concern about volume. Or room on a stage. He has one in his house, with a light up dance floor! He even has a lighting rig for the event suspended over the band. So this may seem an odd decision on my part to try the kit in this situation, but it was great in many ways.

Recently, my band has gone to in-ear monitoring, allowing us to keep stage volume down, while giving all of us control over our own mix. Since all the drums were mic’d up, I had no trouble hearing them. The sound man commented about how good they sounded acoustically and was pleased when he brought them up in the PA. I found them easy to tune and thought the toms had a nice punchy sound to them. The bass drum was really fun to play, as its smallish stature gave way to a nice thump when tuned low and muffled with a felt strip on the front head and t-shirt folded up on the inside of the shell. The shallow shell allowed a quick feel to the action of the pedal off the head. A neat thing one could do with this kick is use it as a second bass drum tuned wide open for a contrasting sound to a normal kick. I thought the drums all complimented each other in sound and feel, and the drums look great in the natural wood finish.

Back to the party…this event gets crazier every year, with something or someone that tops the previous years’ debauchery. Me, I’m getting too old for this nonsense…I just drove 4 hours, I’m tired, the hotel is 14 miles away, it’s 1:40 in the morning and we are still playing. It’s been nice, but I’m done. I’m all business when it comes to packing up, with a system and order to how I do it. What’s so cool about the toms and jingle snare is they all pack up into a backpack! The bass drum comes in its own bag that features an inner pocket you could put some cymbals in. I used it to stash an extra bass head. So, on went the backpack and I grabbed the bass with one hand (it’s very lightweight) and my cymbal case with the other, and made my way through the partiers (it’s well after 2:00 now, a few have fallen on to the stage, and knocked into the keyboard rig…I later heard they went until 5:00!) to load out. One more trip back for my hardware and drum rug, and I am gone. All of this fit into the trunk space of my Honda CRV, with some extra room left for my weekender bag of clothes.

The sound and portability of the Little Roomer make it a winner. I also think they would be great for drummers who do weddings or casuals, or need a second kit for rehearsals or in the teaching studio. And possibly best of all, they were just plain fun to play!

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  • Chris Hill
    January 7, 2018, 3:35 am  Reply

    Nice review with an added real life story. Really enjoyed reading about your experience with the kit. Interested in learning more.


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