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Drums are loud. We all know it. For drummers, finding a space to practice is arguably the most problematic issue with the instrument. Unfortunately, only some people own a home with a basement to play in. Drummers who rent apartments know this fact all too well.
You may have read up on what I do to practice drums in my apartment. Of course, there are ways around it, but even with these workarounds, there are still situations where neighbors will hear you practicing and call to complain.
In that article, I detailed numerous ways you can make your practice quieter:
- Covering drums with towels
- Renting a practice space
- Using drum mutes (which we’ll be talking about shortly)
- Using isolation booths
- Using an electronic drum set
- Playing in the garage
Using mesh drum mutes or an electronic drum set is the best option for practicing quietly. Both utilize mesh drum heads (most of the time), which are significantly quieter than traditional drum heads or rubber mutes.
Evans dB One Low-Volume Cymbals and Heads Review
In this article, the Evans dB One low-volume cymbals and drum heads are up for review. We’ll see if they stand up to a heavy hitter and are quiet enough to be played in an apartment with thin-ish walls.
The Snare Head
First off, these mesh heads look vastly different. The snare combines a traditional one-ply mesh head and a mylar acoustic resonant head. On the mylar ply, there are horizontal slits cut out, giving the head a “snare sound.”
While it sounds great on a snare drum for emulating real sound and feel, it adds a little more volume to the snare drum. A one-ply head also will be less durable in the long run.
The Tom Heads
On the toms, we still have a one-ply mesh head, but also a patch in the center of the drum and dampeners on the underside.
The patch helps greatly with durability. I would have liked to see this feature on the snare head. The curved dampeners, arranged in a circle on the underside, help lower the head’s volume even more and give them a deeper tone, resembling that of a real tom drum. The dampeners also give more weight to the toms, making them feel more realistic.
The Kick Drum Head
The kick drum pad is similar to the tom pads, featuring a patch and a much larger dampening donut on the underside. Out of all the low-volume heads, the kick drum is the most convincing of actually feeling like an acoustic drum.
You cannot use felt beaters on the surface with most mesh bass drum heads. However, this is no longer the case because of the patch on the Evans kick head.
These changes are a considerable improvement over their original design and all the competitors on the market. So look no further if you’re looking for practice heads. Evans does a better job at the moment when compared to Remo Silentstroke and other options available. At the moment, I won’t be using them with drum triggers, but they do seem to work fantastic together (here’s a video of 66Samus testing them out).
The cymbals come with a nice carrying bag. Included are 14″ hats, 16″ crash, 18″ crash, and a 20″ ride. If you’ve never seen low-volume cymbals before, they’re typically made from stainless steel and have TONS of tiny holes.
Because the cymbals are sized appropriately, they feel more like real cymbals. However, some low-volume cymbals are much smaller and thinner, resulting in a poor playing experience.
The hi-hats have great definition. As a result, they feel great to play and, surprisingly, sound decent, whether playing on the bow or on edge with them open.
The crashes, on the other hand, are a different story. Compared to Zildjian’s L80 low-volume cymbals, they sound pretty terrible. That said, they do have good stick definition on the bow.
The ride cymbal takes the cake out of all the cymbals in this pack. The bow sounds excellent, just like on the crashes, but the bell amazed me the most. Compared to the Zildjian L80, you actually get a decent sound when hitting the bell. On the L80, you can barely hear it at all. However, this might be a poor feature, depending on your situation, which we’ll touch on shortly.
Real-World Use Case Scenario
So is the Evans dB One the perfect solution for the low-volume drummer? Possibly, but you may want to stick with just the heads.
As it turns out, the Evans cymbals are nice to play on and sound great, but they are a little louder than the Zildjian L80s. If it were me, I would pick up the heads and grab a set of the L80s. They don’t stand out and are a lot duller sounding, which is good if you need quiet practice.
The cymbals are just too loud to be feasible in an apartment situation. However, the dB One complete set will work great if you live at home with your parents and they don’t mind a little noise.
Including silicone rims for each drum would take this product to the next level, like Pintech’s Percussion Drum Hoop Rubber Rim. Not being able to play rimshots does hold the dB One back.
The Evans dB One is a significant improvement to their existing lineup of low-volume drum gear. The drum heads are fantastic and might be worth a purchase if you need a way to practice quieter. I’d go with these heads and get a set of Zildjian L80s.
What do you think of the Evans dB One? Be sure to leave me a comment down below. Thanks for reading!