144 Lafayette Road, North Hampton, NH 03862 | 603-319-8109

Reviews

  • Top 3 Best Drum Kits Under $500 for 2020 Reviewed

    The drum kit you purchase influences your ability to play as well as playing style. Whether you are a pro, intermediate, or beginner, the drums will determine your level of development, success, and enjoyment as a drummer.  

    If you've just started learning how to play drums, you need an affordable but reliable kit. Once you improve your skills and feel it's time to upgrade, you can choose sets for recording or gigging, without being limited by a budget. Finally, at the pro-level, you'll know which drum sets suit you in kit configuration, drum tone, and the size of the shells. 

    This article reviews the best affordable sets for 2020. Because the price range for drum sets can fall anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $10,000, we will discuss our top three picks for the best drum kit for under 500 dollars. 

     

    Here Are the Best Drum Kits Under $500 

     

     

    Ludwig Accent Drive 5-Piece Drum Set w Cymbals Red Foil

    Ludwig makes some of the highest quality drum sets for new drummers. The package contains 22x16 bass drum, 12x9 tom, 10x8 tom, 14x6.5 snare, and 16x16 floor tom. It also comes with a hi-hat stand with cymbals. 

    The drive configuration is complete with durable hardware and a chain-drive pedal. The brand upgraded these features to give the drummer an enjoyable drumming experience. The best thing about these drums is that they are available at an affordable price range.  

     

    Pros

    • All-inclusive set for beginners
    • Unique design with a red finish
    • Affordable price
    • Perfectly balanced pedals
    • Comes complete with cymbals
    • Durable hardware
    • Includes a hi-hat stand and a seat
    • Easy to assemble 

     

    Cons

    • The seat is not comfortable enough

     

    Verdict

    The Ludwig Accent Drive 5-Piece drum set is an ideal choice for adult beginners. It is affordable and produces excellent quality sound. 

     

    Buy it here

     

    Mapex Rebel 5-Pc SRO Complete Set-Up with Fast Size Toms Black

    If you want your first experience playing drums to be unforgettable, the Rebel by Mapex drum set is the best choice for you. The package comes equipped with cymbals, stands, pedals, sticks, and throne. 

    The cymbals include a 14" crash and 16" ride. The drums also have Rebel by Mapex series shells, which are famous for their solid tone and durable covering. The bass drums give the set a full low-end punch, and the toms are at a lower height for younger players.  

     

    Pros

    • Comes with a throne, cymbals, sticks, and pedals
    • The shells produce great tone
    • Bass drum produces solid low-end punch
    • Suitable for younger players
    • Affordable price
    • Great Mapex Lug design
    • Fully adjustable tom mounts
    • Accurate and faster tuning
    • Self-muffling and powerful bass drum
    • Durable coverings
    • Rebel double-braced hardware 

     

    Cons

    • The kit doesn't come with an installation manual

     

    Verdict

    The Mapex Rebel 5-Piece SRO offers everything you need in a beginner drum set. Its adjustable toms make it a fantastic kit for both adults and children. 

     

    Buy it here

     

    Pearl Roadshow 5 Piece Drum Set with Hardware & Cymbals - Charcoal Metallic

    Coming in at just under $500, the Pearl Roadshow kit is well worth a look. Its bass drum, tom-toms, and snare all feature a 9-ply Poplar shell that provides excellent tonal power. The hardware that comes with this kit makes it an amazing price for what you get - and a drum throne is also included. 

    You can use this kit for both practice and gigging, as the set Roadshow snare is powerful enough for loud play but also sensitive enough to play at quieter volumes. The whole kit is adjustable in just about every way possible, making it great for people who love to customize and personalize their sets.

     

    Pros

    • Professional Pearl Stick bag and two sets of Maple Drum Sticks included
    • Drum throne included 
    • Multi-angle locking tilters for maximum adjustability 
    • 2 year warranty 
    • Roadshow kick pedal designed for effortless play
    • Matching shell and finish 

     

    Cons

    • Only just under $500

     

    Verdict

    With a great warranty and an excellent kit for pretty much any skill level, the Pearl Roadshow set is a brilliant choice. It’s priced at just under $500 dollars, but it’s one of the best sets you can get at this price level. 

     

    Interested in this kit? You can purchase it here!

     

    What to Look for in a Drum Set 

    Here are the essentials when looking for a good drum set while staying within your budget to guide you on your buyer's journey. Some of the things to consider include:

    Cymbal & Stand 

    Because you will be playing your cymbals more frequently than some of your other drums, it's crucial to check the quality. Cymbals should be the first component you look out for when purchasing your sets. 

    Ensure the drum set has two cymbals: a crash and a ride. The ride cymbal is usually thicker and larger than the crash. It is responsible for the higher pitches that improve the quality of sound in choruses and guitar solos.  

    Just like with the actual cymbals, you shouldn't compromise the quality of your stands. Your stand needs to be sturdy. It shouldn't necessarily be heavy-duty, but you should avoid brands that have unstable or extremely lightweight stands.  

    Size 

    When purchasing your drums, make sure the toms and bass drums are of a size you can comfortably play. Younger or smaller drummers should go for drums with smaller depths and diameters to make practice and performance enjoyable and comfortable.  

    Another factor you'll want to consider is the height of the seat. Preferably, you want an adjustable drum throne. An unstable or wobbly stool will mess up your control and balance when playing.  

    To make sure the sizes are right, apply the rule-of-thumb test. When sitting, ensure the upper legs are above the 90-degree angle while the feet are firm on the floor. Next, ensure you can reach all the pieces. Your arm length shouldn't fully extend to reach any part of the set. You should be able to reach the toms and cymbals and easily get back to the original position of 90 degrees from the arms being vertical to your upper body.  

    Whenever you're playing, ensure you are comfortable and in a natural posture. Failure to consider this might make it difficult for you to move freely or do other activities. 

    Purpose 

    It's vital to consider what you want to do with your acoustic drum set. Are you going to use it to learn and practice, play live on stage, or record at home?  

    Because you are likely to stick with a set of drums for a few months at least, you should think of the long-term use. Consider what you'll use the drums for in the next five years or so. If you're undecided, go for budget kits. 

    If you anticipate home recording sessions, consider purchasing an electronic drum set. Electronic kits are convenient for home-recording purposes. An electronic drum set is also ideal for indoor use when there is limited space. 

    Setup 

    The possible setups for drum sets are limitless. However, there is one standard setup that you can use to play most of the songs you hear. It involves arranging your set from left to right in the following order:

    1. Hi-hats
    2. Crash cymbals
    3. Snare drum
    4. Small tom
    5. Bass drum
    6. Medium tom
    7. Floor tom
    8. Ride 

     

    With this arrangement, you'll only need a few years of practice to master playing the instrument.  

    The tuning of the drum set is also essential. Without proper adjustment, a novice player might assume the kit is of inferior quality. The tuning of the drums is the difference between pleasant sounds and noisy sound. The quality of the materials also influences the sound of the drum sets.  

     

    What Makes Up a Drum Kit? 

    Here are the parts that make up a typical drum set: 

    The Bass Drum 

    The bass drum, also known as the kick drum, is the largest of all. You play it using a foot bass drum pedal attached to the hoop or rim of the drum.  

    The resonant head of the drum will sometimes have a hole in it, which can vary the tone of the drum. For live performances and recording, drummers often insert a mic in the hole as well.  

    The kick is what drummers use to soundcheck. If asked to play only the kick, you should play solid hits of the bass at a regular volume.  

    Sometimes, drummers will place a pillow or other damping material on the bass. This technique is useful in controlling the resonance of the drum and diminishing the volume level. The bass drum has spurs (feet at the resonant head side), which, when angled, minimize movements of the drum while playing. There's a wide variety of bass drum sizes; the most common are 20 or 22 inches in diameter.  

    Some drummers, especially those that play in the metal scene, may have more than one bass drum to play faster rhythms. An alternative of using two drums is using a double bass drum pedal, which allows you to use both feet to strike a single bass drum.  

    The Snare Drum

    Snares are an essential piece of the set and form the center of the kit. You can play them in multiple ways, and they are often the backbeat of the familiar 8's beat.  

    The snare consists of a metal or wooden shell with resonant and batter drum heads. Snare drums are commonly 14 inches in diameter and 6 inches in height.  

    Snares produce a classic snare buzz sound. They achieve this through a mechanism known as snare strainer, which has wires attached. The tool also includes a throw off, used to switch the snares on and off. Finally, an adjustment thumb-screw varies the tightness of the wires.  

    Snares go on a unique stand with legs and a three-arm basket to keep it in position.  

    The Hi-Hats 

    This pair of cymbals close against each other when you press their foot-operated pedal. The hit-hats are available in multiple sizes, but the most common is the 14". These cymbals are the most dynamic because of the different sounds they produce. You can achieve different tones with various techniques: 

    • Leaving the hats fully open and hitting the top one with drum sticks. The cymbals don't vibrate each other, so the only sound produced is the ring of the top hat.
    • Holding the hats closed from the foot pedal and hitting the upper cymbal with sticks.
    • Holding the hats half open with the foot and hitting the top hat with drum sticks so that the cymbals vibrate against each other. This technique produces a swishing sound.
    • Playing the hi-hats with your left foot only.
    • Splashing the cymbals, i.e., closing the cymbals with your foot and then immediately opening them to produce a ring of the hi-hats. The sound is similar to that of the hand-operated crash cymbals in an orchestra. 
    • Varying the sounds by playing different parts of the hi-hats, such as the bell, bow, and edge. 

     

    The Tom-Toms 

    On a five-piece drum set, you'll commonly find high toms, mid toms, and floor toms. The floor toms are separate from the others and have their own three legs. Tom toms are available in a variety of sizes, mostly 10", 12" and 14" on a fusion kit, and 12", 13" and 16" fusion kits.  

    Most toms have batter and resonant drum heads, although the resonant head isn't compulsory. One of the most common arrangements of the high and mid toms has them attached to the bass drum. You also can clamp them on the cymbal stands.  

    The Ride Cymbal 

    This larger cymbal generally sits on the right side of your setup. It's usually 20," and a heavier cymbal played with the tip of the drum stick to produce a ping sound. 

    To produce a more defined ping, you can play the bell of the cymbal by using the tip or shoulder of the stick. Make sure you don't crash this cymbal because it could get damaged.

    The Crash Cymbal 

    Smaller than the ride at approximately 16", crash cymbals hit hard when you use the shoulder of the stick. Crashes produce accent notes.

    However, you can play a crash as the ride to play solid rhythmic patterns similar to the sound produced by hi-hats or rides. This technique is common in rock music, especially the loud parts of the song.  

    The Throne 

    The throne is the stool you sit on when playing the drums. It is a round padded stool that has three chrome legs. The height is adjustable to suit your personal preference. 

    To measure the right height of the stool, you should ensure your feet are flat on the floor with your thighs slightly sloping downwards.

    Other Items 

    The items listed above are the most common in five-piece drum kits. However, there are a few extras you might want to consider. They include:

    • The splash cymbal—A small crash cymbal, usually about 8", used to give a variation of texture to your play. It produces excellent sounds when used as a subtle accent cymbal. 
    • Crash/ride cymbal—This alternative is cheaper than purchasing separate cymbals for the crash and ride.
    • China cymbal—The cymbal has an upturned edge, mounted upside down so that the shoulder of the stick hits the bow, to produce a distinctively trashy crash sound. 

     

    What Makes a Drum Kit Great? 

    Here are our findings and recommendations to help you get the best set: 

    Essential Components

    The drum kit should come with specific necessary elements. The five drums discussed above are mandatory for any set unless a young drummer is using it. The hi-hats and two cymbals are also essential for optimal performance. Adding at least two tom-toms makes it an ideal kit. 

    Shell Material 

    The quality of the shell material dramatically influences the sound and performance. The significant difference is why manufacturers are keen to mention the material that comprises the shell.  

    Drum shells are typically wood, but the type of wood may vary. Don't expect cheap drum models to make shells with expensive wood such as mahogany.  

    The appropriate wood for manufacturing drum sets is a lightweight type that delivers consistent sound. Warm and soft tones are suitable for many genres of music.  

    The quality of the shell also determines the kit's cost, which is why some kits are more expensive than others. Maple, for instance, delivers bright and warm tones, which is appropriate for jazz music.  

    Drum Throne 

    The drum throne is an essential part of the kit. It's uncommon for manufacturers to sell sets without a throne because they affect the drummer's comfort and reach of other pieces.  

    To enhance comfort while playing, you should ensure the drum throne has padding so that you can play for long periods without discomfort. The throne should also be adjustable. 

    Hardware and Assembly 

    There are a few hardware parts that drum kits should have. These include stands for the cymbals, the drum pedal, and a pair of sticks. More professional and complex sets have additional components, such as cymbal arms, when you need multiple hi-hat stands.  

    Assembling a drum is quite easy, but this doesn't mean you don't need instructions. It's best if you purchase drums that come with clear guidelines on its assembly. If they don't come included, you can check online for the manufacturer's instructions.

    Visit Drum Center of Portsmouth 

    Ready to buy your first budget drum kit? Our expert team at DCP is happy to talk you through exactly what you need! Come down, call us, or send an email to find your perfect set today.

  • 3 Best Studio Headphones Under $200 Reviewed for 2020

    When you're recording music, you should have a quality pair of studio headphones on hand. This gear is essential if you want to get an accurate idea of how your track sounds. Instead of relying on the pair of cheap earbuds you've had for years, you should consider investing in a quality product. 

    However, too often, musicians steer clear of this investment because they're afraid of breaking the bank.  

    We're here to show you that it's possible to purchase high-quality studio headphones at a reasonable price. Try for under $200! We have three top picks that are visually appealing, provide superior performance, and offer excellent overall value. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about these products, including their sound, build quality, and materials used.  

    Check out our top three picks for the best studio headphones under 200 dollars.

     

    Top 3 Studio Headphones Under $200 

    There are plenty of quality studio headphones on the market in a variety of price ranges. Here, we'll offer some affordable options for under $200. You'll be recording and mixing music like a pro, all while sticking to a reasonable budget.  

     

    1 Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones Version 2

    Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones Version 2
    Pros

    • Stylish gray carbon finish
    • Focuses on mid- and high-range notes
    • Offers a tight grip on ears for maximum support
    • Comes with 1/8" stereo plug and ¼" adapter

    Cons

    • The sound may be a little shallow in some instances
    • Doesn't heavily focus on bass response

    The Vic Firth Stereo Isolation headphones are an improved version of the brand's more popular product. This pair reduces outside noise by 25 dB, so you can play and listen to music at safe volume levels.

    This pair of headphones has a built-in driver (50mm). The design delivers superior sound, including clean mid-range notes and clear high notes.

    This Version 2 product from Vic Firth also offers comfort and style. The redesigned features include a padded headband so that you can wear them for hours on end with no discomfort. The ear cups grip the user's ears tightly, so there's no chance of them slipping off in the middle of a recording session.

    If aesthetics are important to you, this product doesn't disappoint. It features a stylish gray carbon finish with the Vic Firth logo located on both ear pads.

    You can get a lot of use from these headphones, as the integrated cable comes with a 1/8" stereo plug and a ¼" adapter. With adaptability, there's no need to have multiple pairs on hand. You can plug them into different amps and audio setups as you're on the go.

    One flaw with these headphones is that they tend to pick up on the mid- and high-range notes rather than the bass notes. This issue isn't a big deal since your final mix won't be overwhelmed with too much bass. However, if you are going to be mixing tracks and brain-rattling bass notes, you may want to check out another product on our list.

    Features:

    • Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
    • 50mm driver
    • Noise reduction: 25 dB
    • ¼" and 1/8" plugs

    Verdict

    These headphones fit the price range of a new music enthusiast, and they work great for those with more ambitious goals, too. They are comfortable, functional, and a significant improvement from Vic Firth's earlier model. Check out their current price here.

     

    2 Studio Kans Wired Headphone System - SKG

    Studio Kans Wired Headphone System - SKG
    Pros

    • Wide range of frequencies
    • Comfortable gel-filled ear pads
    • Comes with an extra-long 9-foot replaceable stereo cord
    • Built-in click track serves as a metronome

    Cons

    • Some users report discomfort after wearing them for a long time, but this is common with headphones that offer a high level of passive isolation.

    The Studio Kans Wired Headphones are one of the industry's best-known isolation headphones. They feature a diverse bass range and superior treble clarity. In particular, drummers have found this product useful.

    This pair has a slightly fuller frequency range of 15-25,000 Hz. You'll be able to hear sounds of various pitches, so you can listen to intricate sounds that can be difficult to pick up with cheaper headphones.

    This product also looks particularly sleek. The silver headband with cushioning offers premium comfort. The ear pads boast a gel filling for optimal comfort.

    Perhaps most impressively, these headphones feature a built-in click track that serves as a metronome. With these headphones in your arsenal, you can simultaneously stay on beat and listen to your tracks.

    Features:

    • Frequency response: 15-25,000 Hz
    • Noise reduction: 29 dB
    • ¼" stereo line-in jack 

    Verdict

    For the price range, the Studio Kans headphones offer superior comfort and versatility. They let you pick up a range of pitches and even serve as a metronome when you're recording your tracks. Check out their current price here.

     

    3 Yamaha Pro Audio: Studio Monitor Headphones - HPH-MT5

    Yamaha Pro Audio: Studio Monitor Headphones - HPH-MT5
    Pros

    • Comes with a convenient bag for carrying
    • Effective noise isolation
    • Good bass response
    • Lightweight
    • Folding arm

    Cons

    • May not fit all ear sizes perfectly

    The Yamaha Pro Audio HPH-MT5 deliver whole sounds that remain true to their source. Whether you are producing music at home or in a real studio, they will meet your needs.

    This set produces crisp, low mechanical sounds. They enable a wide frequency range between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, so you'll be able to experience a variety of pitches comfortably.

    While these headphones offer great sound, they are also convenient in several ways. For instance, they come with a carrying bag so you can easily take them with you as you travel. Plus, they have a folding arm for additional compactness.

    If you like to multi-task as you're recording music, these headphones can help you remain productive. They feature moveable ear pads, which allow for monitoring with one ear at a time.

    Features:

    • Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
    • 40mm custom drivers (with CCAW voice coils)
    • 3mm cable and 6.3mm stereo plug adapter (standard)
    • Weight: 250g

    Verdict

    These headphones are lightweight so that you can wear them for hours on end with no discomfort. The adjustable slider length and 3-D arm pivot construction let you adjust them for maximal comfort. These headphones allow for versatile use, as the 3mm cable and 6.3mm plug adapter can plug into multiple kinds of devices. Check out their current price here.

     

    Are $200 Studio Headphones a Good Place to Start? 

    Some music enthusiasts may hesitate to purchase a pair of studio headphones for under $200. A low price range like this often raises questions about the quality and durability of the product. However, when you go with the right brand, you can find a high-quality, long-lasting item.  

    If you have the money, more expensive pairs (upwards of $500 and more) can offer better sound and overall enhanced user experience. However, our under $200 recommendations are a fantastic starting point, especially if you plan to use them casually.  

     

    Features to Look for 

    With our lineup of the best studio headphones under $200, you have a variety of features to keep in mind. Before making a purchase, ensure that the pair you have in mind has all of the features you want. Some features to look out for include: 

    Plug  

    The plug that comes with your headphones is an essential component. Most ordinary headphones come with a 1/8" mini plug connection. However, your headphones will require a ¼" plug if you are planning on connecting them to a professional audio interface.  

    Before you purchase a product, make sure it is compatible with your current equipment. You can always get an adapter so you can hook up to professional gear. 

    Cable Length 

    Some musicians and mixers can put up with a shorter cable length. However, if you plan on moving around a lot in the studio, you may want to get headphones with a long cable length. 

    Around 4 feet is a standard length, but some headphones come with longer cables. You can also look into getting cord extensions, but these can be cumbersome to hook up every time. However, they grant you a lot more mobility as you're recording your musical creations. 

    If possible, try to avoid getting a rubber-coated cord. Cables made from this material tend to tangle easily and wear down more quickly than other kinds.  

    Some musicians may want wireless headphones. These are attractive because they're compact and portable. However, most wireless headphones use Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth headphones can distort sound because of issues with range or battery life. While these distortions are okay for casual use, they can affect the outcome of your recording.  

    Some users may be on the hunt for headphones that come with a detachable cable, which protects the longevity of the product. While this feature can be useful, the products we've reviewed have high-quality cables built to last for the long term. They shouldn't fray easily as long as you treat them with care. In most cases, a detachable cable isn't necessary for a good user experience. 

     

    Build Quality 

    One part of build quality has to deal with how the headphones fit on your ears. There are two models to keep in mind: 

    • Over-ear: Over-ear headphones feature cups that cover your ears completely. This type tends to be better at blocking out sound. They are also more comfortable, which is helpful if you plan on wearing them for hours at a time during long recording sessions. 
    • On-ears: On-ear headphones have pads that lay against your ears. These tend to be more compact and convenient to carry around with you. They're an excellent choice for a musician who's always on the go and traveling from studio to studio.  

    You'll also want to consider how these headphones feel when you wear them. 

    Padded headbands are desirable as they allow the headphones to sit comfortably on top of your head without digging into your scalp. 

    On-ear and over-ear headphones should both offer a significant amount of padding so you can wear them for long sessions. They also grip tightly so that they don't slide off in the middle of your recording and mixing sessions. Make sure the pair you get is adjustable so that they don't cause any pain or discomfort.  

    For studio headphones, you want a set built to last. Look out for cheap plastic components that connect the headband to the cups. These components will break more quickly than they should for the money you're spending.  

     

    Sound Quality 

    The quality of sound is the most crucial factor to consider when selecting any headphones but especially ones for the studio. When you're listening to music, it's okay if portions of a track sound "colored," or different from the recorded version. However, when you're mixing a track, you need to have the clearest sound possible.  

    Some technical aspects that will ensure great sound include: 

    Impedance 

    All headphones come with an impedance rating. This rating typically ranges from 8 to 600 ohms. 

    Headphones that have a higher impedance rating need more amplification. These models typically boast better materials and produce clearer sounds. 

    Most headphones with an impedance rating of 32 or higher are more than adequate for studio use. If you need your headphones to be compatible with a mobile phone or consumer-level device, consider getting a pair with an impedance rating of less than 32.  

    If you want to buy a pair that has a high impedance rating, make sure you have a dedicated power source on hand. If you don't have enough power, the headphones won't perform to their highest capacity. On the other hand, a pair that has a low impedance rating will use its full power to deliver high-quality sound.  

    Sensitivity 

    Do you have particular sounds you are trying to create? You will likely want a pair of studio headphones that offers high sensitivity. 

    Sensitivity, measured in decibel level per volt, indicates how efficiently electrical signals converted into sound in the earpieces. The higher the sensitivity of your headphones, the more intricate sounds you'll achieve. 

    However, you need to be cautious about choosing a product with a high sensitivity measurement. If you use amplifiers along with your headphones, you may sustain damage to your hearing over time 

    Most sound experts recommend headphones that are no higher than 120 dB. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises against using headphones with a sensitivity of 85 dB or more for prolonged music sessions.  

    Open Back vs. Closed Back 

    Ideally, your studio headphones should have a closed back. The closed back feature eliminates other distracting sounds from your listening experience, like voices or other instruments in the studio. 

    However, open-back headphones may fit your needs in some circumstances. They allow air to pass through the cups, which creates a more realistic sound. Open-back headphones can be ideal for some of your mixing and mastering. 

    You may even need to invest in one pair of open back and one pair of closed-back headphones to meet your diverse needs in the studio. 

    Frequency Response

    Frequency, measured in hertz (Hz), determines the pitch of your music. Its upper limit is the treble sound, and its lower limit is the bass sound. 

    If you need to hear a wide range on the audio spectrum while mixing and recording, make sure your headphones have an adequate frequency response.  

    The average human can hear sounds that range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. A decent pair of studio headphones will be able to replicate sounds within this range. Some may even produce sounds outside of this range, which can be helpful if your music is incorporating particularly soft or loud noises.  

    Driver Size 

    A driver is the speaker unit in the headphones that produces sound by converting electrical signals into music. A larger driver will produce louder sounds. 

    When headphones have multiple drivers, they are better at handling a fuller frequency range and reducing distortion. While the size of the driver plays a role in sound quality, so does its material. 

    The most common driver types include dynamic, planar magnetic, and electrostatic drivers. Dynamic drivers are the cheapest and most popular, while electrostatic ones are rarer but provide benefits like distortion-free sound.  

    Ambient Noise Reduction 

    Outside sounds can distract from your recording experience. To filter out these noises, ensure your headphones have adequate ambient noise reduction. 

    Only closed-back headphones offer this solution, so keep this in mind when choosing which pair you are going to buy. 

    Typically, headphones can eliminate nearby sounds that range from 8 to 12dB. Some pairs can cut off higher sounds of up to 25dB. 

     

    Conclusion 

    Our top three picks for the best headphones under 200 offer an excellent starting point for both novice and professional music enthusiasts. These products provide the clarity and transparency you need for a pleasurable listening experience. 

    No matter what pair you purchase from our list, the headphones won't disappoint. The Yamaha Pro Audio may be better if you're looking for a product to take with you as you travel, while Studio Kan set is well-suited for those who need a higher frequency response. Our lineup of picks was intentionally diverse, so everyone can find the top headphones to suit their needs. Be sure to order yourself one of these pairs today!

  • The 5 Best Drum Sets for Kids for 2020 - Reviewed

    Raising a child with the ability to express themselves creatively can be a challenge. Providing them with all the best tools, though, is a great start.

    Regular instruments aren't designed for the size and skill level of kids. High-quality drum kits for kids can allow your child to learn the skills necessary to operate a musical instrument, even before they're old enough to reach the kick pedal on a standard adult-size set.

    We've compiled some of the best drum sets for kids in 2020 in this guide, making it easy to choose your kid a set they'll love and encourage them to pick up the drum sticks. With different features, colors, and sizes, there is no way to go wrong! Check out our favorite kits for mini drummers down below.

    The Best Junior Drum Sets for Kids 2020

    In this list you'll find some of our best picks for the year! Be sure to check the product specifications to be sure the set you choose has everything you need.

    Each high-quality junior drum kit is designed specifically for use by young kids, without compromising on features and standards. Check out the sizing and what's included in the set, and move on to pros and cons when you want to hear about why it might be a good fit for your child. If your kid is interested in playing the drums, read on to find out our top 5 best junior drum sets.

    1) Pearl Roadshow Jr. 5-pc Drum Set w/ Hardware & Cymbals - Jet Black

    This innovative starter drum kit combines quality and style, with a bold and elegant jet black exterior. The shell is white poplar, meaning that the tone quality and pitch are on par with industry standards for drum sets. Kids will love the classic look that feels straight out of a rock band.

    The set includes 5 pieces, including two toms, one floor tom, a bass drum, and a snare. In addition to the drums, it boasts two top-tier cymbals with additional purchase.

    Without the downsize of a set designed for children, kids would never be able to reach this many individual drums within a set all at once. With this Pearl kit, your child can rehearse new skills without having to wait until they fit an adult set.

    Product Specifications:

    • Brand: Pearl
    • Series: Roadshow
    • Set Type: Full set with cymbals
    • Bass Drum: 16" x 10"
    • Floor Tom: 13" x 8"
    • Toms: 10" x 5.5" and 8" x 5"
    • Snare: 12" x 4"
    • Lifetime Labor Warranty
    • Mounting Hardware: Included

    Pros:

    • The gorgeous black shell feels sleek and simple in addition to practical. Perfect for school orchestras or recitals.
    • 5-piece junior kit for an immersive and full playing experience. There are truly no features missing from the set.

    Cons:

    • White poplar is sturdy and high-quality, but isn't the best wood to use for shells. However, using mid-grade woods makes the drum more affordable, which makes the instrument more accessible.

    The Verdict:

    Overall, this set checks off a lot of boxes for schools, parents, and kids. It has the features and professional exterior to properly suit a recital, showcase, or orchestra. It doesn't look cheap like some child versions of adult instruments and gives the children an authentic drumming experience on a full 5-pc kit. While it may not be as high-quality in terms of cutting edge materials as a regular drum set with its large drum heads etc, it is the perfect compromise for a child who wants to learn.

    The set blends high quality with affordable to create a professional sound and stylistically coherent appearance that lets your child develop their skills in the best way possible.

    Buy the Pearl Roadshow Jr. 5-pc Drum Set today from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    2) Pearl Midtown 4-pc Drum Set - Black Cherry Glitter

    This shell pack has all of the essentials with none of the fluff. Add what you need - like cymbals and stands and custom bass drum pedal - later. What you get with the high-quality Pearl Midtown shell pack are the four essential features of a drum set: the bass drum, the snare, bass drum hoops, toms, and drum heads. It is portable, convenient, and great for compact storage.

    The sizing of the instruments means they are a great fit for smaller kids without losing the tone quality of full-sized drums. The shell is 6-ply poplar with chrome hardware, making for a professional-looking aesthetic. Kids love the black cherry glitter color palette for the shell - it's a set that looks straight out of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. You'll have to prise the drum sticks out of their hands.

    Product Specifications:

    • Brand: Pearl
    • Series: Midtown
    • Set Type: Shell Pack
    • Bass Drum: 16" x 14"
    • Floor Tom: None
    • Toms: 10" x 6" and 13" x 13"
    • Snare: 13" x 5.5"
    • Lifetime Labor Warranty
    • Mounting Hardware: Mount on Drum, Arms not Included

    Pros:

    • High-quality sound and professional look.
    • This set perfectly bridges the gap between a children's drum kit and a standard adult set.
    • The black cherry glitter shell is subtle and professional, but also fun and exciting.

    Cons:

    • Unlike the full set, this shell pack doesn't include key features like cymbals, stands, or a floor tom.

    The Verdict:

    While this set lacks certain features needed for a full professional kit, it is meant for kids. While they're learning, they can get away with having fewer drums than usual. In fact, it's best to start off with a smaller set so they can master the basics. Any child would still learn serious skills from using this set, and you don't have to worry about lugging around and storing a 5-piece junior kit.

    The black cherry glitter shell gives the set a regal look that is truly timeless. It's perfect for recitals, band concerts, and just playing at home.

    Buy the Pearl Midtown 4pc Drum Set today from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    3) Gretsch Brooklyn Micro Drum Kit - Satin Gray

    This professional starter drum kit is perfect for any kid who wants to learn skills while looking and feeling like a rock star. The bass drum is slightly smaller than you'd get in a Ludwig set, but similar to the previous two we looked at (the Pearl Midtown and Roadshow). It has larger toms than the Roadshow that are similar in size to Midtown.

    This shell pack comes with a bass drum (and bass drum pedal of course), two toms, a snare, and a floor tom with legs. The shells are slightly thicker than the standard, constructed from 6-ply North American Maple/Poplar wood. With a lifetime labor warranty, it makes it easier to invest in this instrument knowing that if anything goes amiss, you won't be out of pocket. All the mounting hardware is included with the set for easy assembly by a parent - you don't need to waste time and money having it professionally put together.

    Product Specifications:

    • Brand: Gretsch
    • Series: Brooklyn
    • Set Type: Shell Pack
    • Bass Drum: 16" x 12"
    • Floor Tom: 13" x 12"
    • Toms: 10" x 7" and 13" x 12"
    • Snare Drum: 13" x 4.5"
    • Lifetime Labor Warranty
    • Hoops: 302 Hoops
    • Mounting Hardware: Included

    Pros:

    • This set has all the necessary components of a professional set, including a floor tom and snare.
    • The satin gray finish looks sleek and professional for any setting or event.

    Cons:

    • This set is a little pricier than other micro kits, especially when you're buying for a child.

    The Verdict:

    This set has everything you need for a professional sound while being smaller, which is great for children. Because it is a relatively standard set rather than a designated children's kit, it is on the pricier side. On the flip side, if you have a child who is serious about a career in music, this set is perfect for recording sessions, concerts, gigs, and recitals.

    Buy the Gretsch Brooklyn Micro Drum Kit from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    4) Ludwig Junior Drum Set - 5 Piece - Wine

    This killer 5-piece junior drum kit for kids makes it easy for any child to tap into their music potential. The set comes with a bass drum, two toms, a floor tom, a snare drum, and cymbals. It is a full 5-piece junior set, similar to the Pearl Roadshow. This means that it has all the components your child needs to play pretty much any tune. Schools looking for a starter drum set to use for band recitals could also benefit from this ideal set.

    This Ludwig kit's toms and snare are similar in size to other sets we looked at. The bass drum, on the other hand, is much larger, at about 18" x 10". This impressive size means a booming, tonally full sound. The set comes with lots of great features like a crash cymbal and hi-hat stands to add to your set, as well as a throne the perfect size for a mini drumming pro.

    Product Specifications:

    • Brand: Ludwig
    • Series: Junior
    • Set Type: Full set with cymbals
    • Bass Drum: 18" x 10"
    • Floor Tom: 13" x 10"
    • Toms: 10" x 5" and 8" x 5"
    • Snare Drum: 12" x 4"
    • Lifetime Labor Warranty
    • Mounting Hardware: Included

    Pros:

    • This full set is equipped with all the elements of a full, professional set.
      Mounting hardware and additional cymbal stands are included.

    Cons:

    • The drums are of slightly lower quality than the others we've reviewed, but that means a substantial drop in price. But, this is a perfect kit for beginner drummers who want to learn all the skills without committing to a more expensive price point, or schools looking to kit out their music room.

    The Verdict:

    This set is the ideal choice for a passionate early drummer. The set fits perfectly for a younger child and has all the features of a professional drum kit. With a beautiful wine finish on the exterior, this instrument looks great and stays in good condition.

    The Ludwig set combines quality and quantity as well as affordability. This affordable set has a great sound with five beautiful drums. While they may not have the most professional sound out there, its a great value for a low price. That means your child can start learning now rather than waiting longer to be able to afford a set.

    Buy the Ludwig Junior Drum Set - 5-pc from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    5) Pearl Roadshow 4-pc Drum Set w/ Hardware - Bronze Metallic

    This stout 4-piece drum kit is considerably larger than the four others featured on this list. With an 18" x 12" bass drum and toms larger than 14", this is a great fit for older kids who want a set that will easily allow them to transition to a standard size soon. This set doesn't come with cymbals, but it does come with a wide range of features.

    The drums included in this set include a bass drum, one standard tom, one floor tom, and a snare. It doesn't come with a second tom like some of the other sets on this list, but it does include a floor tom, which is great for versatility and variety of sound. The hardware package included makes this set easy to assemble so that your child can start playing as soon as possible.

    Product Specifications:

    • Brand: Pearl
    • Series: Roadshow
    • Set Type: Full set with cymbals
    • Bass Drum: 18" x 12"
    • Floor Tom: 14" x 10"
    • Toms: 10" x 7"
    • Snare Drum: 13" x 5"
    • Lifetime Labor Warranty
    • Hoops: Triple Flanged
    • Mounting Hardware: Included

    Pros:

    • This set includes four crucial pieces of a drum kit, making it a full set with the addition of cymbals, which are sold separately.
    • The large drums are closer to the standard size, making it perfect for older kids who are almost finished with their growth spurt and ready for a full-size set.

    Cons:

    • The set doesn't include a second regular tom in addition to the floor tom and regular tom.

    The Verdict:

    With a gorgeous bronze metallic exterior, this set is clean, tonally high-quality, and full. It is one step closer to a professional set than most of what you'd find in terms of children's drum sets. When your child wants to start learning an instrument but isn't old enough to know if they'll stick with it, this is the perfect set.

    It has a higher quality than some of the other kid's sets and therefore costs a slightly higher price point. That means though that your child can truly experience and learn on a high-quality drum kit, which makes a huge difference in their progress.

    Buy the Pearl Roadshow 4-pc Drum Set with Hardware from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    What To Look For When Choosing the Best Drum Set For Kids

    Usually, shopping for your kid can be a breeze. Either you know what they want because they can't stop talking about it, or you're a friend of the family who can easily ask the parent what to get. The nitty-gritty of deciding between brands and types doesn't usually matter. For musical instruments, though, those types of details can make or break the product for the child. How do you pick the best junior drum sets for you children?

    There are several brands to choose between, including:

    • Pearl
    • Ludwig
    • Gretsch

    Within these brands are series like the Roadshow series and the Midtown series, which are offered by the company Pearl. Reading a company's mission can tell you a lot about the type of instrument they are trying to make, and what features they find the most important.

    It's important to know a little bit about drum sets for kids. This is so that you can make an educated selection for your child. If you end up buying a set that is too big, too small, not the right brand, or under-researched, you might end up with something that isn't quite what you expected and doesn't work for your kid. Use these expert tips to help you find what you need for your child to start drumming today.

    How Many Types of Drums Come In a Set?

    Every set is different. For different styles of music or different preferences, drum sets can come with any combination of percussive instruments. Most sets come with a few key drums.

    The most common drums to find in a standard set are the bass drum, the floor tom, and regular toms. Also, there's the snare drum, and cymbals (ride, crash cymbal, and hi-hat). Together, these drums make up a 5-piece drum setup with cymbals.

    The two primary groups to classify the instruments on the set by are the instruments that have a shell, and those that don't. The shell is made of several layers of wood bent into the shape of a circle. It makes up the exterior of the drum.

    Which Materials are Best?

    Different types of wood used in the shell of the drum can impact the tone of the instrument, among other things. Common shell materials include:

    • Maple, which is commonly used in snare shells
    • Beech, which is great for low-end frequencies
    • Birch, which is dense and durable
    • Basswood, which is often used in middle layers between more expensive woods
    • Poplar, found in many of the above sets, is great for sound and strength
    • Oak, which is great for a strong, loud sound
    • Mahogany, commonly found in vintage drums
    • Steel, which offers a bright, penetrating sound for rim shots and loud snares
    • Copper, which is perfect for an orchestral sound
    • Brass, which is warm, clear, and crisp, perfect for rim shots and loud sound
    • Aluminum, which is also crisp, but drier than brass for snare rim shots
    • Bronze, which is mostly used for snare drums

    These woods can be used alone or together to create different combinations of strength, tone, appearance, and pitch. Often, a less expensive wood will be lodged as a layer in between two more expensive kinds of wood. That way, the internal and external of the shell is expensive for a high-quality tone and appearance. The middle is then substantiated with a cheaper wood to cut down on costs and make a set more affordable.

    Cymbals, unlike drums, don't have a shell. They are, however, a vital element of the drum kit in creating the perfect sound.

    What Age Groups are Junior Drum Sets for?

    The beauty of buying your child a beginner set is that it takes away a lot of the danger, volume, and risk of destruction that a more adult drum kit might pose. On a junior set, a child between the ages of 3 and 12 can thrive and challenge themselves to build skills without the pressure of using an expensive and intimidating adult drum set.

    The first accommodation a junior drum set will make for younger kids is the size. This makes it easier for your child to play in the same way an adult would play a normal size set, and their feet will be able to reach the bass drum pedal (or kick pedal). They will also have a full range of the set and be able to reach all the further drums from the stool, which they wouldn't be able to do with an adult kit.

    Elementary school-age kids are the perfect users of these smaller, more easily used drum sets. The other way that these sets are accommodating of young kids is that it is not as huge of an investment as a standard drum set. Junior sets still maintain the high quality of a professional drum set, but they go for cheaper than what you'd see a professional band playing at a gig. This means that any damage done to the set won't be devastating since we all know that kids aren't always the most careful when handling their stuff!

    Acquiring new skills is best begun as a child. Children are more likely to cement their newly learned skills and keep honing them into adulthood if they start early. Junior drum sets are perfectly designed to let kids begin to learn the process of playing an instrument, without needing to learn one drum at a time. Because the sets are scaled-down in size and difficulty, kids can easily reach all the drums on the set and learn to play like a pro before they even become a teenager.

    How Big Are Junior Drum Sets For Kids?

    A lot of the appeal of a junior drum set is that it is small enough for a child to reach all the parts. And, because they're smaller, they don't produce as loud a sound as the standard adult drum kit - which parents will be pleased to hear!

    A standard (adult) set would include a bass drum, floor tom, and mounted toms. Here's how the sizing breaks down:

    • Bass Drum: 22"
    • Floor Tom: 16"
    • Mounted Toms: 12" and 13"

    The amount of floor space that the drum takes up averages out to approximately 60" x 48". It is important to remember that this refers to a full-size drum kit. An expanded drum might be closer to 88" x 48", and a compact drum kit would be more like 33" x 28".

    Compared to the average full-size adult drum set, a junior set is much smaller. The junior set is approximately 38" x 35". This is roughly similar to the size of a compact set, but with more instruments. The junior sets drum sizes are:

    • Bass Drum: 16"
    • Floor Tom: 13"
    • Toms: 10" x 5" and 8"

    This down-sizing makes these sets perfect for young kids who aren't tall enough for a regular kit yet. If you have an inkling that your kid might be due for a growth spurt, be sure you buy on the larger end of junior drum set sizes. If you're unsure of sizing, it's best to visit a drum store in person to check which sized kit your kid feels most comfortable sat at. Come down to Drum Center of Portsmouth and talk to one of our pros - we love seeing families come in to kit out the next generation of drummers!

    Conclusion

    No matter how old your child is, or where they are in terms of drumming experience, the right set for their skill level is out there. Typical junior sets are designed for ages 3-12 or 3-10, meaning any child or pre-teen can find a fit for their needs.

    Junior kits are perfect for elementary school-age kids who want to start developing their skills as a drummer, without the commitment of buying an expensive standard set. Use this handy guide to help you find what works and what doesn't. With junior drum sets, your kid gets to feel like a real rock star with a professional-looking set that has all the components of a standard drum set.

    Choose your set based on color, size, pieces included, ease of setup, cost, and more. Our reviews have every bit of information that you need to make your choice. Your child is sure to be happy with whatever you get them, but using these reviews can help you find exactly the right fit for their needs. Maybe your older child needs a set that will fit them even after a growth spurt, or perhaps you need something that you won't be devastated about if it ends up broken by a child with a lot of enthusiasm. Every option is right here in our guide to the five best junior drum sets for 2020.

    For more help, contact us today or come down to the store!

  • 8 Best Drum Practice Pads for 2020

    For drummers, as well as any other musician, practicing is essential. Most drummers know what a drum pad is: It's a pad that mimics the feeling of a drum head so that musicians can practice while not at a full drum kit. Practice drum pads are an excellent investment for drummers who need to practice quietly, or even for those to just warm-up before a performance. They're convenient because they can be taken almost everywhere, and they're far quieter for practicing than a full drum set. If you're looking into purchasing a practice drum pad and don't know where to start, let us here at Drum Center of Portsmouth help you. Here are our picks (in no particular order) for the eight best drum practice pads of 2020.

    Reviews

    1 Ahead Compact Stick-On Practice Pad - AHSOPP

    Pros

    • Stick-on for easy use
    • Compact enough for travel and storage
    • Good for beginners
    • Budget-friendly

    Cons

    • Sticky backing can get stuck to surfaces

    This stick-on drumming pad by Ahead is small enough to be transported in a backpack or messenger bag without compromising on responsiveness or quality. It feels like a tight snare drum head, and it comes with a reusable adhesive that keeps it in one place while using it for practice.

    This drum pad is six inches in diameter with a black interior. It's got a rebound that mimics that of a snare drum head, and the back has a reusable adhesive that can keep the drum in place while in use.

    All in all, the Ahead Compact Stick-On Practice Pad is a fantastic option for beginners who don't want to spend an arm and a leg on a practice drum pad. It's compact and can be transported easily for drummers on-the-go, and the sticky backing makes it super simple to practice without worrying about it falling or slipping. The feeling of this drum pad is so similar to the real thing, transitioning to the actual drum will be smooth and easy.

    2 Ahead Wicked Chops Practice Pad Red Aluminum Finish

    Pros

    • Lightweight aluminum body
    • Small size builds accuracy and power
    • Ultra-portable and can fit anywhere
    • Conveniently mounts to a standard cymbal stand

    Cons

    • Small size may make it easy to misplace or lose

    A simple glance at this tiny but powerful drum pad will show that it's elegant while still staying functional. It's small, but its size can help you master accuracy and power. It fits in your pocket, and it's an excellent choice for drummers who want or need something portable.

    This practice pad is 1.75 inches in diameter, has a depth of 2 inches, and weighs 0.4lb (0.18 kg). It has a gum rubber pad surface and an aircraft aluminum exterior. This practice drum pad can mount to any 8mm cymbal stand.

    Some drummers may be turned off by the size of this practice drumming pad, but they definitely shouldn't be–it's a powerful tool that can help you increase accuracy and power without breaking the bank. The soft gum rubber playing surface mimics a medium-toned drum head, and it's quiet enough to be used anywhere.

    3 Aquarian Tru-Bounce Practice Pad w/ Power Sleeve 5A Sticks

    Pros

    • The surface is easy to clean
    • Great for beginners
    • Comes with free 5A Power Sleeve drum sticks
    • Responsive without being springy

    Cons

    • Slightly more expensive than other options

    This practice pad by Aquariun is comfortable to play with its soft neoprene surface. The surface is hard enough to hear each hit but sufficiently soft to develop control and strength of the drummer.

    This drum pad is 12 inches in diameter with a neoprene surface. It is single-sided and provides enough rebound to build up the drummer's strength. Notes are articulated and audible at even the softest hit, and the rebound is incredibly articulate.

    The Tru-Bounce practice pad by Aquarian is a genuinely professional practice pad. It's responsive without being springy or too absorbent, and the fact that it comes with free sticks included is just icing on the cake. Drummers can benefit from the large size of this drumming practice pad and can work on their strength without worrying too much about accuracy.

    4 Gretsch Round Badge Practice Pad Orange 12

    Pros

    • Silica gel surface for a realistic rebound
    • Rubber backing for non-slip condition
    • 8mm mount for universal mounting
    • Attractive design

    Cons

    • Slightly expensive

    Gretsch has outdone themselves once more with this attractive drum practice pad. The surface is made of a unique material that feels responsive and imitates a realistic rebound. It can even mount on any standard practice pad or cymbal stand.

    This drum pad features a silica gel surface that allows the drum stick to rebound realistically. The badge is made of dense wood, making it super durable, and the 8mm pad inset makes this mountable to any standard 8mm mount. The backing is also equipped with a foam rubber that allows for extra stability if used on a flat surface.

    This practice drum pad is one of our favorite contenders for "Best Drum Practice Pads for 2020" because it's not just lovely to look at, it's uniquely engineered to help drummers reach their fullest potential. The unique surface makes hitting it realistic without the noise. It's small enough to be relatively portable, and the fact that Gretsch makes it ensures that it's reliable and the quality is of the highest standard.

    5 Keo Percussion Nicko McBrain Boomer Pad 10

    Pros

    • Made by Keo, a popular name in percussion
    • Responsive but quiet
    • Perfect size for beginners
    • Collaboration with Nicko McBrain ensures quality

    Cons

    • Slightly expensive

    As one of the most expensive drumming pads on this list, this result of a collaboration between Nicko McBrain and Keo is of the highest standard while staying affordable and stylish. It's also portable, making it an excellent pad for drummers on the go.

    With a 10 inch diameter and a width of only 0.8 inches, this lightweight but sturdy drumming pad is made of a gum rubber surface and a sponge rubber base. It weighs only 1.3lb (0.59kg) and features Scandinavian birch wood.

    Keo has outdone themselves once again with this practice drumming pad. Nicko McBrain, the drummer of Iron Maiden, has put his face and name on this product, which says something about how he feels about it. With its sturdy rubber surface, it absorbs just enough sound that it's not disruptive, but while allowing you to hear what you're doing so, you can practice proudly.

    6 Remo Silent Stroke Practice Pad

    Pros

    • Rubber backing for tabletop use
    • Mountable on a stand
    • 80% reduction in volume
    • Feel, and response is amazing
    • Great price

    Cons

    • Looks sort of plain

    This practice pad by Remo is as the name implies, quiet and discreet, but that doesn't mean it compromises on feel and response. It can be used on the tabletop, but it can also be mounted on a stand for convenience.

    The Remo Silent Stroke Practice Pad is 8 inches in diameter and has a matte black finish. The backing is made of rubber for those who want to play tabletop, but it can be mounted on an 8mm cymbal or drum stand if desired.

    The only thing we can find wrong with this practice pad is that it looks semi-basic. Other than that, it's fantastic value for money; it's practically silent, very versatile for stand and tabletop drummers, and reduces noise 80% while having a great feel and response. It's perfect for drummers that need to practice in quiet conditions like a dorm room or apartment, but it's versatile enough that almost anyone can get benefit out of it.

    7 RealFeel by Evans Practice Pad, 6 Inch

    Pros

    • Versatile
    • Durable
    • Realistic rebound surface
    • Foam bottom that resists movement and won't damage surfaces
    • Amazing price

    Cons

    • Reviews state that the color on the surface fades over time

    A great balance between a larger practice pad and a tiny one, the RealFeel by Evans practice pad allows drummers to practice at any time of day, wherever, and to their hearts desire. It's durable and nicely sanded while being thick enough to provide excellent rebound.

    The RealFeel by Evans practice pad is six inches in diameter, single-sided, and features a gum rubber surface. It has an 8mm threaded insert for mounting on a stand, and it weighs a light 0.83 lb (0.38 kg). The dark grey fabric finish resists wear.

    It was challenging to find something negative to say about the RealFeel by Evans practice pad. Even reviews online rave about its performance, from its responsiveness to its versatility and sleekness. It's quiet and soft, has an impressive rebound, and works with any drum stick to allow drummers to practice their skills quietly and efficiently. Overall, this is one of the best drum practice pads for 2020.

    8 Vic Firth Single-Sided Practice Pad, 12

    Pros

    • Non-skid rubber backing
    • Durable
    • Vic Firth brand is reliable
    • Reasonable price for the name brand

    Cons

    • Doesn't mount to stands

    You can't think of drums without thinking of Vic Firth. Although one of the more pricey options, this soft rubber single-sided pad is highly rated by drummers around the world.

    The surface of this drum pad is made of soft rubber and has an excellent rebound. It weighs only 2.2 lb (1 kg) and a non-skid rubber backing for tabletop playing to minimize surface damage. It fits in most snare baskets.

    Vic Firth knows the drumming trade, which is why this practice drumming pad is on this list. It's durable, lightweight, and performs well with fantastic response and rebound. It's not as versatile as we'd like, but it's great for drummers who prefer to drum on the tabletop rather than on a stand. Further, the Vic Firth name is a typically expensive one, but the deal you can get on this drumming pad is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

    Buyers Guide: What to Look For When Purchasing a Drum Practice Pad

    Knowing what to look for in a practice drumming pad is difficult for beginners and experienced drummers alike. This is why we've put together this comprehensive buyers guide to help you! Read on to learn about drum practice pads and what you should be looking for when browsing.

    Versatility

    Versatility is essential in two aspects: Sound and Compatibility.

    Sound-wise, the best drum practice pad will be versatile enough to be able to produce multiple drum kit sounds so that drummers may practice with a whole set. This benefits drummers because it ensures that they'll be performance-ready for any genre of music. If you're a beginner, knowing these different genres can help you become a more versatile artist. This, in turn, can make you more attractive to bands scouting for a new drummer! Look for drumming two-sided pads; one side will be softer, and one side will be harder, producing different sounds and levels of playing difficulty.

    Compatibility-wise, the best drum practice pad will also be versatile enough to be mounted on both a stand and placed on a tabletop. Playing the drum pad on a stand allows you to mimic the real-life drumming experience, but playing on a tabletop will enable you to focus more on the basic sound. You can work on both with some drumming practice pads, which is excellent! Look for a practice pad that has not only an 8mm threaded insert or mount but also a non-skid backing that will allow you to play on a tabletop without the pad going flying.

    Portability

    The best practice drum pad will be portable enough to be taken anywhere quickly. After all, acoustic drum sets can't be brought with you everywhere, but drum pads can! Practice drum pads can be anywhere from 1.75 inches in diameter like the Ahead Wicked Chops drum pad to 12 inches in diameter like the Vic Firth at the end of the list. Pretty much all practice drum sets are portable, thin, and lightweight, so it's up to you how heavy you're willing to go for one.

    Noise Reduction and Materials

    These two factors go hand in hand, which is why they're together in this portion of the guide. The material of the drum pad has a tremendous impact on the feel and volume of it. Some pads can imitate the feeling of a real drum. Others may just create differing levels of resistance so that you may practice. Most drum pad surfaces will be made of rubber, but as read in the reviews, some will be made of unique materials such as silica gel. Some of the other elements include plastic, rubber, or wood that can all produce different sounds.

    If noise reduction is paramount, look for very soft rubber and wood drum pad. If you want to imitate the feeling of the drums, look into a harder rubber with a plastic encasing. Do some research and talk to other drummers to figure out what kind of feel you want from your drum pads!

    Price

    Pricing can vary from drum pad to drum pad, but the most average ones will run you between $20-40. Professional pads will be more expensive, around $60, but the price can go up to over $100. The options on this list are all under $60 and of high quality. Drum pads are an amazingly affordable way to get your drum practice in without spending too much money. Again, shop around and determine what your budget is so that you can get the highest quality drum pads for your budget.

    Final Thoughts

    It's clear that there are so many drum pads available out there with plenty of materials, volumes, and feels. We recognize that the number of options can be overwhelming. This is simply a list of the best ones on the market right now. We at Drum Center of Portsmouth hope you've enjoyed reading our reviews and buyers guide, and we hope it helps you make informed decisions about purchasing drum pads in the future. Don't forget to let us know if you have any questions about drum pads or any other drumming equipment!

  • 7 Best Snare Drum Heads 2020

    Finding the perfect snare drum head can be a hassle. You want something that will not only fit your set but give you the best possible sound. On top of all that, you need something that won't break the bank. Do not let an unsatisfactory purchase ruin your session. 

    With so many options on the market, and salespeople attempting to upsell you on poor quality equipment, it is hard to know what is the best deal. Luckily enough, we have compiled a list of the best seven snare drum heads available today. Through research and testing, looking at variable weights and different coatings, you can trust that these are the absolute best in a mixture of quality and affordability. 

    The Best Snare Drum Heads Reviews 

    1. Aquarian Snare/Tom Heads: Texture Coated Drumhead 14 

    This snare drum head has set itself apart from the pack by using only quality materials. From the texture coat to the 10 mil single ply that covers it, quality is a staple in Aquarian snare drum heads. With a sensitive response to sticks or brushes, you will find that this product will enhance your set while still being an affordable deal. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • Satin finish 

    Pros:

    • Chipping resistant
    • Medium-weight
    • Very responsive

    Cons:

    • Unconventional coating

    Verdict: 

    The bottom line with the Aquarian snare head is that they are built to last. These drum heads can take a beating over and over again through regular use but still hold their coating with no chips. That level of quality offered at such an affordable price is one of the reasons this product is the top of our list. If you are looking for something that can take consistent use and still last the test of time, this is the product for you. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    2. Aquarian Snare/Tom Heads : Texture Coated Power Dot Drumhead 14 

    Although at first glance it may appear to be similar to the first Aquarian snare drum head we reviewed, this product uses a power dot to enhance performance. Tried and tested, the addition of this feature leads to amazing audio when contacted. Although you have to pay for the addition, the power dot leads to crisper, tighter sound. The small increase in price is a small barrier to unlock new potential in music. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • Satin finish
    • Power dot 

    Pros:

    • Chipping resistant
    • Medium-weight
    • Very responsive
    • Crisp improved sound 

    Cons:

    • Unconventional coating

    Verdict: 

    Similar to the previous item on our list, this drum head is made to last. The durability is unmatched. By keeping its integrity through use, it holds some of the best sounds for any users. Unlike the other products, the addition of the power dot makes this item a completely different product. 

    If you are in a position where you will spend what you need for the highest quality sound, this is the purchase for you. However, for people looking to spend on a budget, we suggest skipping the upgrade and purchasing the first Aquarian drum head. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    3. Evans G1 Coated Drum Head, 14 Inch 

    The Evans G1 drum head may be one of the more unique versions of drum heads we have on our list. The design used allows for great versatility in how you choose to drum. Whether you want a deep low rumble or a heavy thud, this drum head can be tuned to give you the perfect desired sound. This USA made product will deliver a wide range of deep and full tones every session you use it. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • Level 360 Technology collar
    • 10 mil film

     Pros:

    • Great tuning
    • Open sound
    • Versatile uses 

    Cons:

    • Low durability 

    Verdict: 

    There are a few features that make this drum head worth the purchase. The first being the 360 technology collar design. This additional feature gives the drum head the best possible contact between the drum shell and itself. It keeps the sound consistent and correct to the hit of the drum. It's sold at a very reasonable price, and the product stands proud as one of the most versatile and powerful options available. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    4. Evans 14 Heavyweight Coated Drum Head 

    This product is made with one thing in mind. It's meant to be struck and make big sounds. The thick snare drum head is made from two separate 10 mil films with an additional control dot on the underside. This leads to an incredibly thick drum head that can take a beating and dish out some serious sound. One of the reasons we love this product so much is its implementation of the 360 technology collar and how that impacts the sound. 

    Specifications:

    • Double-ply
    • Level 360 Technology collar
    • 10 mil film
    • 23 mil total thickness
    • Reverse dot 

    Pros:

    • Great tuning
    • Big sound
    • Versatile uses
    • High volume 

    Cons:

    • Thick in size
    • Heavier than others 

    Verdict: 

    There is no doubt that this product set out to be a thick and heavy drum head with excellent sound, and it achieved that goal. With a satisfying sound on every hit, the Evans design will take a beating over and over again and continue to provide you with amazing results. Similar to the other Evans drum heads in this list, it utilizes the 360 technology for the best possible contacts. This is even more evident using the heavyweight design. This product is for anyone who wants deep low sounds while they wail on their set relentlessly. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    5. Evans EC1 Reverse Dot Snare Batter Drum Head, 14 Inch 

    The Evans EC1 Reverse Dot Snare Batter Drum Head is different than any other on this list. Still made with the traditional single ply, it can achieve double-ply durability through its 14 mil film and reverse dot. In addition to these features, its edge control technology and level 360 technology makes it an advanced option, keeping the sound clear while contacting the full drum shell. Similar to other Evans products, the use of the 360 technology collar makes a striking difference in sound quality. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • Level 360 Technology collar
    • 14 mil film
    • Edge control technology
    • Reversed dot 

    Pros:

    • Great tuning
    • Sensitive response
    • Versatile uses
    • High durability 

    Cons:

    • More expensive 

    Verdict: 

    There is little this drum head can not do. By having such a durable build, once purchased, you will be able to use the product without worrying about wear and tear continually. The addition of the edge control technology leads to a clear sound on every hit. The reverse dot allows you to focus and attack the center of the drum, which, when combined with the 360 technology, gives perfect contact to ensure the highest quality of sound. With all that in mind, this drum head does cost more than the competition, but it is worth it for the upgrades you receive. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    6. Ludwig Silver Dot by Remo 14 Clear 

    The Ludwig snare drum head prides itself on bringing back the classic '70s series. With the addition of the silver dot, this drum head focuses on delivering brilliant sonics and visuals. The silver dot also leads to an increase in durability and allows this product to take a beating while still delivering balanced sound through its 10 mil transparent film. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • 10 mil film
    • Silver dot
    • High-tension Remo Crimplock hoop
    • Clearcoat 

    Pros:

    • Balanced construction
    • Durable
    • Fits with Ludwig kit
    • Focused tone 

    Cons:

    • Only comes in silver
    • Prioritizes classic sounds 

    Verdict: 

    The most significant part of the Ludwig silver dot series may be the high-tension Remo Crimplock hoop. By teaming with Remo, this snare drum head reduces overtones and enhances head seating, making it one of the highest quality classic products on this list. This product is perfect for old drummers looking to get back into their classic style, or new musicians who may want to find fresh sounds in their drum kit. Either way, this product fits everyone. 

    Click here to purchase yours today! 

    7. Remo Coated Ambassador 14 Inch Drum Head 

    This product is known worldwide and has a tremendous reputation to live up to. Its design and variable sizes from 6" - 40" make it one of the most popular snare drum heads as well as one of the most useful for drummers. The single-ply leads to warm tones and a bright sound in every hit. Additionally, the Ambassador brand is known for its quality and holds itself to a high standard when creating drum heads for any type of musician. 

    Specifications:

    • Single-ply
    • 10 mil coated film
    • Medium-weight
    • Snare/tom batter and resonant 

    Pros:

    • Available in multiple sizes
    • Bright attack and controlled sustain
    • Ideal for Tom, Bass, and Snare
    • Open sound 

    Cons:

    • Less durable
    • Not suitable for resonant side 

    Verdict: 

    With a lot of hype behind it, this product lives up to all the good you may hear about it. Clear sounds, sustainable for strong attacks, and a thin coated film to help with the contact, there is little wrong with this product. When you consider the affordable price and that you can order them in different sizes depending on what a user may need, this snare drum head is a fantastic purchase for beginners and veterans alike. 

    Click here to purchase yours today!

    What to Consider When Buying Snare Drum Heads 

    Snare drum heads have a few things that they share across different brands. The majority of finishes are the same, and many of them are similar thicknesses. However, that does not mean that there is no variation between each product. Each has a unique build and thus will produce a unique sound. We've outlined the four major things to consider when buying a snare drum head and how they affect your overall result when playing. 

    Single or Double-ply 

    When looking at all the possible snare drum heads available, the first thing you should consider is how many layers are used in the film. With a single-ply film, you are more likely to get a satisfying contact when you strike the drum head. It has physically fewer things between you and the drum to make the sound. Often these single-ply will be 10 mil film as a standard. In contrast, drum heads that use double-ply tend to be more durable. Their ability to take a beating increases as they double down on the protection of the product. Although one may not be better than the other, it is worth considering how you want to feel when contacting the drum head and which will fit best for you. 

    Durability 

    Almost tied into the amount of ply used in the drum head, the durability of the complete product is a serious factor to consider before making any purchase. If you continuously use your drum kit and tend to wear through other drum heads, you need to consider getting one built for abuse. Either thicker ply or a more durable build, in general, will keep you from having to buy a completely new head every time you decide to have an intense session. 

    Additionally, some products use chip-resistant film or other measures to ensure durability over long term use. Often this information is available on the product page and advertised as a feature. Whether you are specifically looking for a durable option, or just comparing all possible products, durability is a high priority factor. 

    Additional Dots 

    One of the more exciting parts of picking a snare drum head is if you want to look to include a reverse or power dot. These features are dots in the center of a drum head to provide support to the entire head without changing the tone or sound. Often these additions to drum heads not only improve durability, but they also help improve the quality of the music. By giving you a precise location to strike and distributing the sound more evenly, you will get a bright and striking sound from this upgrade. 

    Weight 

    Although this may be a more prominent feature to consider when buying, it is still relevant and worth mentioning. The overall weight of a snare drum head can be a deal-breaker depending on the kit you currently have. If it is too large and heavy, you may find it hard to attach and use. Similarly, if you play in multiple locations, you should always consider how adding weight to your set might make it more challenging to bring with you wherever you might play. Finally, the last reason weight is so important, is the simple fact that a heavier drum head will produce a different sound than one that is light and easily moved. 

    Other Technology 

    The final thing to consider when looking to by a snare drum head is if there are any additional design features or technologies added. Some people want classic drum heads that do not give assistance or help to their sound, while others appreciate the inclusion of 360 technology. This can come in many forms, whether it is extra layers for durability or the high tension Remo Crimplock hoop. Whatever you are looking for, just be sure to check all additional features before purchasing. 

    FAQ Section 

    Are there sizes other than 14" snare drum heads? 

    Yes! Many of the different products have variable sizes and can be ordered with a smaller or broader size. 

    Does the material of the film affect the sound? 

    Although most of the snare drum heads are only offered with one kind of material, there is some variation in sound. Consider looking at different brands of drum heads and how their sound might complement yours.

    Do I need a power dot? 

    Praised for how they can help bring your sound to the next level, power dots on snare drum heads are not a necessity for quality sound. They often help durability and produce a cleaner, more precise sound, but they in no way are required for beginners. 

    Bottom Line

    So what is the best snare drum head for you? Although there is a lot of things to consider when buying a snare drum head for your kit, the most important thing to remember is the sound you want to achieve and work from there. Once you know what music you want from your drum head, you can start to look at all the possible additional features.

    Thickness, style, power dots, and size will all affect the sound and how you play on it. By reviewing and ranking these products, we give you all the information and tools to make the most informed decision. No matter if you are just starting with a new set, or if you are a drumming veteran, this list has something to improve your kit and sound.

  • 8 Best Bass Drum Pedals for 2020

    A drum set is one of the most intimidating instruments with a multitude of pieces and the variables associated with each. Once each piece is in place, there is the task of tuning and adjusting tension to produce the best sound, and that is before considering drum shells, cymbals, and all the other features.

    Choosing the right gear can be overwhelming, but certainly not impossible. The experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth have created guides for everything, including ones for beginners. Each piece of a kit needs a buying guide, but we are focusing on the best bass drum pedals here. The right bass drum pedal is crucial because it needs to operate as an extension of your leg and foot. With dozens of models to choose from, finding the best one might seem difficult.

    That is where the Drum Center of Portsmouth comes in! We have compiled all the best pedals for 2020 and need-to-know information right here.

    Our Best-Rated Product

    The best equipment will lead to the best kit for an individual drummer and the music you are looking to create. Drum kits are personal and built around preference – so of course, bass drum pedals are included in that. Over the years, this particular piece of hardware has evolved with new models combining the best of the old and new.

    The Drum Center of Portsmouth stocks these top models and has compiled the top eight. Whether you are looking for something at a beginner’s level or the more advanced Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal, there is something for everyone. For professionals in a rush, the best-rated product will be the Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal. These models are all available online and in stores, with most featuring our special financing option. Check them out today!

     

    1 Best Bass Pedal with a Classic Look: Yamaha FP-9 Chain Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Best Bass Pedal with a Classic Look: Yamaha FP-9 Chain Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Pros

    • Adjustable cams
    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Anti-skid heel spikes
    • Weight adjustable beater

    Cons

    • Extra thick heavy chain doesn’t flex as easily as it could
    • Cam location in comparison to batter heads

    This Yamaha model combines a classic look with a few striking twists. It is a light-weight design that produces a great sound against steel, black, and blue elements. Some new elements also include adjustable cams and linkages to create preferred pedal action. This allows users to adjust drum key bolt toggles as needed through the 3-position cam.

    With a double-chain model, drummers can move through smooth concentric action with nice tension or create an eccentric action with a heavy finish. It has an auto-lock spring adjustment with swivel spring mounting. Overall, this is a true Yamaha model with power and speed accompanied by gold and blue accents for a classic Yamaha look.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Cam and direct drive adjustment
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Heavy-duty casing with subframe
    • Quick side-access hoop clamp
    • Single chain

    The FP-9 has slick, low playability that is easy to manipulate without limiting opportunities for sound. The design is stylish, smooth, and easy to adjust. Overall, we highly recommend this model that is available online and in stores. Check it out today!

     

    2 Best Bass Pedal to Avoid Fishtailing: Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Best Bass Pedal to Avoid Fishtailing: Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal with Case

    Pros

    • Direct drive for tighter control
    • Anti-skid designed to prevent fishtailing
    • Auto-lock adjustment

    Cons

    • Not a good price for beginners

    The Yamaha FP-9 Direct Drive Bass Pedal is distinct from other Yamaha models on this list due to the direct drive. The 3-position drive grants power, speed, and fluidity. It also has features like auto-lock spring adjustment, ball bearing drive connection, swivel spring mounting, and more. The anti-skid heel spikes ensure the pedal won’t slip around while playing and has a unique placement near the heel to prevent fishtailing.

    Features:

    • Stabilising and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Cam and direct drive adjustments
    • Swivel spring mounting for even tension
    • Ball-bearing drive connection

    If you are willing to make an investment and seek tight control with a direct drive, this Yamaha model might be just what you are looking for. Connect with the Drum Center of Portsmouth in-store or online to check out this model for yourself.

     

    3 Best Bass Pedals for Beginners: Tama Speed Cobra 910 Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedals for Beginners: Tama Speed Cobra 910 Single Pedal

    Pros

    • Super Stabiliser Design
    • Hard-shell carrying case
    • Hinge guard block
    • Affordable price

    Cons

    • Best suited for beginners

    The Speed Cobra is a single kick drum pedal perfect for the avid player with the smooth, extra-long footboard. It gives extra leverage to minimise effort and allows for foot-slide techniques. The Super Stabiliser design created by the wide baseplate allows for complete stability.

    The Speed Cobra is also durable at the hinge point with a 3-piece Hinge Guard Block that also brings speed and control. The recessed setting feature is on top of the footboard and away from the cam, bringing natural motion not found on other designs. The Quick-Hook spring attachment prevents wobbling, so you will have maximum power transmission and control.

    Features:

    • Long footboard
    • Cobra coil return spring
    • Swivel Spring Tight tension lock
    • Para Clamp II prevents scratching

    The number of features unique to the Tama Speed Cobra 910 makes it one of the best options for avid drummers. If you are looking for durability with natural ease, check this pedal out – available online and in-store!

     

    4 Best Bass Pedal for Responsiveness: Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal for Responsiveness: Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal

    Pros

    • Footboard Angle Adjustment

    Cons

    • High price point

    The Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal is one of the most high-performing, reliable models on the market. The name is short for the Dynamic Synchronisation System, which is comprised of three elements. Those elements are the Optimised Transmission Design, Dual Linkage, and the Slidable Cam. The transmission allows for footboard angle adjustments and nuanced beater for speed, feel, and power. Dual Linkage connects cam and pedal at four points for ideal power and stabilisation, and the Slidable Cam allows for response modification.

    Features:

    • Slidable cam
    • Dual linkage
    • Para-Clamp II Pro
    • Hinge Guard Block
    • Swivel Spring Tight

    Tama maintains its reputation for excellence and unique features with the Tama Dyna-Sync Single Pedal and the Dynamic Synchronisation System. The pedal is available online and in-store, and we recommend checking it out today.

     

    5 Best Bass Pedal for Transport: Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer

    Best Bass Pedal for Transport: Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer

    Pros

    • Easy fold for transport
    • Adjustable tension
    • Self-mounting clamp for fast and easy setup

    Cons

    • Initial spring tension is too light but can be adjusted

    This pedal is crafted with the expertise of Jojo Mayer to create a pedal with a fast throw and slow return. Mayer achieves this with the linear cam providing a quick wallop and slow return to the original position. The design is a nice vintage look of completely slick silver metal with black rubber pieces on the strap, button, and cushion.

    Features:

    • Linear cams
    • Ballistic-fiber strap
    • Magnetic spring mount
    • Belt drive
    • Low mass combination round drive

    The Drum Center of Portsmouth recommends the Sonor Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal by Jojo Mayer for anyone looking for a modern pedal with a vintage feel. It grants smooth to play with enough adjustment for multiple playing styles. We recommend checking it out online or in-store to see this pedal for yourself.

     

    6 Best Bass Pedal with Extended Footboard: DW Pedals: DW 900 Single Pedal Extended Footboard

    Best Bass Pedal with Extended Footboard: DW Pedals: DW 900 Single Pedal Extended Footboard

    Pros

    • Non-slip rubber grip base
    • Secure Tri-Pivot Toe Clamp
    • Footboard one inch longer than standard series
    • Ease of cam adjustment

    Cons

    • Can take time to adjust to longboard length if not used to it
    • Little variation in the beater

    The 9000 series from DW Pedals combines input from drum techs and drummers for this pedal. It includes features like base assembly, plastic tube insulators, memory locks on tube joints, large reset handles, and more. It includes patented features like the free-floating rotor-drive system, infinitely adjustment cam, and rotating swivel spring. All of this combines for stroke optimisation, precision, and power.

    One of the most versatile features is the infinite adjustable cam that can be set from Accelerator to Turbo Drive and in between. The Free-Floating Rotor drive can turn independently of the rotor and transmit power from the board straight to the beater. Overall, the 9000 series gives smooth, gravity-defying action.

    Features:

    • Double chain drive
    • Single kick pedal
    • EZ Infinite Adjustable Cam
    • Free-floating rotor-drove system

    The extended longboard design makes the DW 900 Single Pedal great for fast and rapid playing. This fluid pedal provides infinite adjustment options and can be found in-stores and online from the Drum Center of Portsmouth. Check it out today!

     

    7 Best Bass Pedal with Adjustments: DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal with Adjustments: DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal

    Pros

    • Vertical Sliding Spring Adjustment
    • Manufacturer’s Warranty included
    • Carrying case
    • Sprocket-less cam is adjustable

    Cons

    • Higher price range

    The Machined Chain Drive Single Pedal has a few unique characteristics, including the sprocket-less cam that uses a gear shift-style lever. This lever allows for quick shifts between various chain-drive cam settings. It is a cousin to the DW direct drive series.

    It has a unique aesthetic with an all-aluminum body with a perforated footboard and a contoured heel plate. It also has a matching carrying case. It also features a patented Vertical Sliding Spring Adjustment with a customisable control beater. This brings unmatched adjustment for weight/impact and makes it one of the best pedals offered by DW.

    Features:

    • Solid aluminum construction
    • Optimised Fulcrum Geometry linkage
    • Tri-pivot swivel toe clamp
    • Machined chain drive cam

    In terms of chain drive options, this one is hard to beat. It is one of the most popular models from DW and highly recommended by the staff at Drum Center of Portsmouth. You can check this pedal out online and in-store now.

     

    8 Best Bass Pedal Overall: Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal

    Best Bass Pedal Overall: Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single Pedal

    Pros

    • Extreme durability
    • Direct or chain drive options
    • Low mass design
    • Bearings are extremely smooth

    Cons

    • High price range
    • Not recommended for beginners

    The Pro 1-V is a reinvention of the kick drum pedal from Trick and has the smoothest, most responsive design from Trick. The design starts with billets manufactured to aerospace quality and uses compression spring technology, ball bearings, adjustment scale, and laser-etched logos.

    The hoop mount is spring-loaded for easy mounting and easy adjustment to different hoop depths. There are no tools needed for spring tension adjustment, and a simple turn of a knob is all it takes to adjust. The Big Foot design has maximum flexibility, and the low-mass pedal gives a light feel. All of this means the pedal has a balanced combination of rigidity, quicker response, strength, and expanded adjustment.

    Features:

    • Split cam adjustability
    • Simple Knob Tension Adjustment
    • Compression Spring Design
    • Versatile adjustable clamp system
    • Super-versatile beater

    The Trick Pro 1-V Big Foot Low Mass Direct Drive Single pedal is ideal for professionals looking for quality, dependability, and accuracy. It is on the higher end of the pedal price range, so we do not recommend it for beginners. This is certainly an investment and should be selected by avid drummers. Come check it out online or in stores at the Drum Center of Portsmouth.

     

    Buyers Guide for Bass Drum Pedals

    Before committing to a bass drum pedal, there are a few key characteristics and features to keep in mind. You will want to understand the various components and options, so you find the right fit for your kit. While this guide is a great start, the experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth are always on hand for additional questions.

    Drives

    The drive is the piece that connects the footboard to the beater and allows the mallet to strike the drum – which makes it the most important piece. There are three types of drives: direct, chain, and belt. No drive mechanism is better than another, so preference depends on the drummer.
    · Direct drive is a piece of metal directly attached to the foot pedal. This type of drive does not have flex, so there’s no unwanted movement, and the response and control is tighter.
    · Chain drive is the most common type. It is a chain connected to the pedal and provides a smooth feel. There are single-chain and double-chain models with single-chain common on entry-level pedals. Both types have high quality, durable, and sturdy models.
    · Belt (or strap) drive utilises a leather, nylon, or rubber strap to drive the mallet forward. Typically belt drives are less durable than other types, but new belts are formed from durable materials to address this.

    Cams

    Cams control the acceleration of the mallet and come in two types: oblong/oval or round. A rounded cam is consistent, allowing for dynamic control. Oblong cams work similarly to a gas pedal where the more you depress the pedal, the more force is applied to the mallet.

    Pedal Length

    This feature is pretty self-explanatory since it addresses the length of the pedal. Pedal length isn’t as important as cam and drive, but it does affect comfort while playing. This should be decided based on the size of your foot.

     

    FAQ Section

    What to consider when buying bass drum pedals?

    Many of the factors to consider are outlined here in the buyer’s guide. Some of it is personal preference, like pedal length and brand reputation. You should also consider price, skill level, and the type of music you want to play the most.

    How do I know I'm ready to buy bass drum pedals?

    If you are building a drum kit, you will find the bass drum pedals are essential. They serve as the mechanical connection between your foot and the bass drum. These devices tend to be pretty durable, so when you buy the first one, it should last a while. Depending on the drive type, you might need to replace the belt or chain after extended use.

    How much should I expect to spend?

    Most bass drum pedals range from $200 to $600 depending on the model and brand. A good pedal can be quite pricey, so be prepared for an investment if you want good returns. Another option is to finance a pedal through the affirm program available at Drum Center of Portsmouth. Contact our staff today to learn more!

    What is the difference between bass pedals and double bass pedals?

    If you spend some time looking at the inventory on Drum Center of Portsmouth, you will see variations of the models here that are double bass pedals. Double simply means there are two pedals connected. If you have two bass drums on your kit, you might look into the double bass pedal options. If not, this is not a feature you would need. Deciding on a double bass kit is another personal preference for drummers.

     

    Bottom Line

    As you can see, there are plenty of bass drum pedals that can help your drumming and make your kit great. Remember that every pedal is different, not just every model. Experiment with pedal types, so you find the best one for your style. This might mean checking out the different drives, brands, and cams available. The Drum Center of Portsmouth is available both in-store and online, so let us help you find the best bass drum pedal.

  • 6 Best Double Bass Pedals for 2020

    Bass pedals are great to have in your drum kit because they make doubling up bass rhythms much easier. Double bass pedal playing is a technique most commonly used by drummers in the alternative genre. They're perfect for beginners who need help with their swivel or heel-toe and even for experienced drummers who want the high speeds that a double bass pedal provides.

    With all of the options on the market, it can be challenging to decide on a model that is well-suited for you. This review will take the guesswork out of your hunt for the perfect double bass pedal, so you can get started on creating well-arranged breakdowns and quick odd time signature grooves.

    In this comprehensive buyer's guide, we're going to take a close look at 2020's best double bass pedals.

    Our Top Rated Product

    For those in a hurry, our top-rated pick for double bass pedals is the Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive Double Bass Pedal. This model, which is "engineered for your sole," is loved for its swiftness and easy adjustments.

    With this model, you get even tension, a wide range of pedal movement, and a heavy-duty build. Keep reading to have a look at the complete Yamaha DFP-9C review, or jump ahead to our review table here.

     

    1 DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard: Best Option for Beginners

    DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard: Best Option for Beginners
    Pros

    • Longer footboard than standard 9000 series boards
    • Option to switch between chain drive and nylon strap
    • Easy adjustability

    Cons

    • N/A

    Like the original model, the DW 9000 Double Pedal Extended Footboard brings great features and easy adjustability. One key difference is the 1" extension of the footboard. This model has a Tri-Pivot toe clamp system, an EZ Adjust cam, and a non-slip rubber grip base plate.

    The EZ adjust cam makes it super easy to switch between turbo drive and accelerator. You also have the option to swap out the chain drive with a nylon strap, which comes with the product.

    Other features like the free-floating rotor-drive system and rotating swivel spring make it easy to customize this model to your exact preferences, so you can have the most seamless drumming experience. The 9000 series uses world-class hardware like memory looks on the tube joints and the base assembly, large reset handles, secondary tilter locks, cymbal space adjusters, and more.

    This model is perfect for hobbyists who want to improve their drumming and for experts who want a piece of equipment that can keep up with them. Thanks to the friction-reducing bearings, players get a smooth and comfortable playing experience. This model by DW is made to be powerful, customizable, and well-fitted.

    Features:

    • Double kick pedal
    • Aircraft-grade aluminum
    • EZ Infinite adjustable cam
    • Switch from accelerator to turbo drive
    • Chain drive or included nylon strap
    • Tri-pivot toe clamp
    • Free-floating rotor-drive system
    • Non-Sleep rubber grip base plate

    The DW 9000 Extended Footboard double bass drum pedal is an excellent upgrade from the original DW 9000 because of the longer footboard. Because of features like the tri-pivot toe clamp system and the Ez Adjust cam, this model gives users a desirable amount of adjustability. If you're into customizability and comfort above all else, give this model a try.

     

    2 DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Double Pedal: Best for Experienced Drummers

    DW Pedals: Machined Chain Drive Double Pedal: Best for Experienced Drummers
    Pros

    • Stability
    • Perfect stroke
    • Durability

    Cons

    • High price

    DW has over 30 years of experience making some of the most sought after drums, stands, pedals, and other types of drum equipment. Their double bass pedals are no different.

    Few pedals are as aesthetically pleasing and well-engineered at the DW Machine Chain Drive Double Pedal. This model is made with boutique-style features and the same build-quality as its direct drive cousin. Although the price is high, you get an incredible response and silent speed with this product.

    Some drummers prefer the response and feel of a chain drive pedal. This model boasts durability, adjustability, and speed. Few models are a better choice for your drum set.

    Features:

    • Made from solid aluminum
    • Sprocket-less drive cam with shift lever for switching between cam settings
    • Perforated footboard with contoured heel plate
    • Interlocking Delta hinge
    • Tri-Pivot Swivel Toe Clamp
    • V.E.R.T Vertical Spring Adjustment
    • Control beater
    • Floating Rotor Drive System
    • Includes carrying case.

    While this model's price point is high, you get a lot of desirable features if you decide to purchase it. Thanks to the solid aluminum boat, you get a classic look and a smooth feel, The sprocket-less drive cam with a shift lever makes it super easy to switch between cam settings, and the V.E.R.T Vertical Spring Adjustment makes it so you can fine-tune any actions.

    Overall, this model is a great choice for drummers who want a high-performance double bass pedal that looks and feels great.

     

    3 Tama Dyna-Sync Double Pedal: Best for Customizable Features

    Tama Dyna-Sync Double Pedal: Best for Customizable Features
    Pros

    • Lower chance of false doubles
    • Customizability
    • High-speed

    Cons

    • Some users say that there aren't enough features for the price point

    The TAMA Dyna-Sync Double Pedal was created in collaboration with different TAMA artists, including swing players and metal drummers. Because of Tama's threefold Dynamic Synchronization System, this pedal brings precision, power, and comfort.

    The angle-aligned Optimized Transmission Design creates a smooth response and makes for extreme power and swiftness. The Dual Linkage design connects the footboards and cam at four different points. This means you won't waste any motion.

    Non-stepped Slidable Cams makes for a customizable drumming experience in each of your feet. Because of the Conical Dyna Beaters, the chances of unwanted double strokes are reduced. This is because the beaters impact the batter head evenly.

    Features:

    • Threefold Dynamic Synchronization system
    • Angled-aligned Optimized Transmission design
    • Dual Linkage cam connections
    • Non-stepped slidable cams
    • Para-Clamp II Pro hoop clamp
    • Cobra-series mainstays
    • Motion-maximizing swivel adjustment spring
    • Oiles bearing hinge
    • Adjustable footboard
    • Conical Dyna-Beaters

    This is another model that offers a lot of customizable features, making it ideal for drummers who want a personalized feel. Opt for this model if you are looking for smooth responses, speed, and less wasted motion.

     

    4 Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal: Best for Speed

    Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal: Best for Speed
    Pros

    • Many features that help players achieve maximum speed
    • Smoother motion thanks to footboard positions
    • No wobbling
    • Fair price

    Cons

    • Durability issues

    There aren't many pedals that rose to popularity as quickly as the Tama Speed Cobra 910 Twin Pedal. It used to be that you couldn't get both speed and power in a pedal, but Tama changed everything with this product.

    Made for serious drumming enthusiasts, this model has a footboard with an extra-long surface for maximum output with minimal effort. The stability of this model is due to the Super Stabilizer design that uses a wider baseplate and frame. There is a 3-piece Hinge Guard Block at each pedal's heel to make for a more durable hinge point and improved control and speed.

    One of the most notable features of this model is the recessed setting feature that positions the top of each footboard away from the cams. It's this that gives the pedals their smooth motion. The LiteSprocket Rolling Glide symmetrical cam uses a double-chain. Coupled with the longer footboard, players get improved power and speed.

    Wobbling isn't a problem with this product because of the Quick-Hook spring attachment. Thanks to the Swivel Spring Tight Tension locking mechanism, players can enjoy free spring movement and a smooth feel while playing.

    Features:

    • Wide baseplate
    • Para Clamp II Pro
    • 3-piece hinge construction & hinge guard block
    • Fast Foot pedalboard
    • Recessed setting
    • Fastball Bearing
    • Round LiteSprocket
    • Super Spring
    • Cobra Coil
    • Vari-Pitch

    For the low price, these pedals are a dream. They can elevate any drummer's game because of the features that maximize speed and precision. If you're looking for an affordable double bass pedal that is easy-to-use and powerful, this model is for you.

     

    5 Yamaha DFP-9D Direct Drive Double With Case: Best for those on a Budget

    Yamaha DFP-9D Direct Drive Double With Case: Best for those on a Budget
    Pros

    • No secondary pedal lag
    • Stabilizing features
    • Comes with case
    • Simple drum key adjustments
    • Trustworthy brand

    Cons

    • N/A

    Yamaha is a brand that doesn't need any introduction. This pedal is designed with the spirit of Yamaha racing, creating fast motions and allowing for easy adjustability. The easy-access auto-lock spring adjustment makes for instant player feedback. The swivel spring mounting allows even tension through the entire range of pedal movements.

    Customizability is not in short supply with this model thanks to the calm and direct drive adjustments. To maximize energy output, this pedal uses a ball bearing drive connection. To reduce bass drum and pedal movement, this product comes with stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes.

    The Yamaha DFP-9D is a straightforward and powerful bass pedal with easy adjustability and many powerful features.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Swivel spring mounting
    • Ball-bearing drive connection
    • All-bearing universal joints
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Axle-stabilizing bearing chamber with focused beater momentum
    • Heavy-duty casing with subframe
    • Weight-adjustable beater
    • Side-access hoop clamp
    • Racing-inspired semi-hard case

    If you're the type that only wants tried and true equipment, this is the model for you. Yamaha is a reliable and well-known brand that creates incredible equipment. This double bass pedal is no different. Aside from adjustability features, this model reduces lost energy which makes for a superior feel.

     

    6 Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive: Best Overall Option

    Yamaha DFP-9C Chain Drive: Best Overall Option
    Pros

    • Durability
    • Reduced pedal and bass drum movement
    • Minimal lag

    Cons

    • Requires regular maintenance

    The DFP-9C Chain Drive Double Bass Pedal is another product by Yamaha that delivers when it comes to power and feel. This product has many of the same features as the 9D model, but it is a chain drive pedal instead of a direct drive.

    Chain drives are very durable, but they do not compromise on adjustability. Because they operate using a chain, they are less likely to stretch or snap. Overall, they offer a nice balance of features, but they do require regular maintenance.

    The DFP-9C uses a heavy-duty frame and ball bearing placement to maximize focused stroke energy and produce the best sound output. Its innovative design makes for fluid pedal movements, reduced drag/resistance, and high performance.

    Features:

    • Auto-lock spring adjustment
    • Swivel spring mounting
    • Direct drive adjustments
    • Ball bearing drive connection
    • All-bearing universal joints
    • Secondary pedal anchor
    • Stabilizing and anti-skid heel spikes
    • Axle-stabilizing bearing chamber
    • Heavy-duty casing
    • Weight-adjustable beater
    • Side-access hoop clamp
    • Semi-hard case

    Like the DFP-9D, this model comes with Yamaha's promise of high-quality products with desirable features. Choose this model if you want a double bass pedal that is more durable than its direct drive counterpart, but doesn't compromise on power or feel.

     

    Buyers Guide

    Before purchasing a pair of double bass pedals, you'll want to understand the features of double bass pedals and consider what you want out of it. There are many company's that create excellent products, so it can be challenging to decide what you want.

    Each type of pedal has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some features to look for as you begin your search for the perfect double bass pedal:

    Drive Type

    You have the option to choose between a chain drive, belt drive, and direct drive. Each type has some unique characteristics that are worth distinguishing between.

    Chain drive: Chain drive pedals do have a slower response time, but not by much. This type of pedal is durable, adjustable, and usually has a good range of features. However, they are a bit noisy and do have to be cleaned regularly.
    Belt drive: Belt drive pedals are sought after because of their speed. They are also easy to transport because of how lightweight they are. However, they aren't as durable as other types and they have a bit more lag.
    Direct drive: Direct drive pedals are great because they don't have any lag. Not only are they ultra-durable, but they require little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, direct drive pedals aren't as durable.

    Balance and Adjustability

    Balance is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a pedal. You have to make sure that the left and right pedals are even on the model you choose.

    In some cases, you may notice that one of the pedals is looser than the other. If this is the case, one of your feet will be working harder than the other. Some models allow you to adjust the spring tension for each foot.

    Adjustability is another important factor to consider. Good pedals should allow you to adjust them as much as possible. Make sure you have the ability to adjust the spring tension, the beater height, and the distance between the pedals.

    Overall, the pedals have to feel right for you. Your comfort is the most important thing, so give every product that you try a test drive before you commit to the purchase. For example, if you purchase a pedal with heavy beaters, you'll have to exert more energy.

     

    FAQ

    What to consider when buying double pedals?

    When on the hunt for double pedals you want to keep a few things in mind. First, consider the adjustability of the pedals. A quality option will allow you to adjust any part of the bass drum that feels uncomfortable for you.

    You also want to consider accessories and add-ons that are included. These can include drum keys, heel raisers, toe stops, interchangeable drive systems, and carrying cases. Lastly, set a price limit for how much you're willing to spend. You can spend anywhere from $150 to $1000.

    How do I know I'm ready to buy double pedals?

    It's never too early to invest in double pedals. When you feel like you're playing quickly with one foot, look into some double pedals.

    How much should I expect to spend?

    Double pedals range in price. You can expect to pay as little as $150 and as much as $1000.

    Do I need a double bass pedal?

    You don't need a double bass pedal, but they are great to have because they give you an increase in power and allow you to play complex kick drum patterns. In a standard 5-piece arrangement, one foot is used to open and close the hi-hat. If you free up this foot and use it to play another kick part, you can play much more swiftly.

    Who uses double bass pedals?

    Double bass pedals are used by drummers at all experience levels. Players of the rock genre make up the biggest chunk of double bass pedal users. Certain styles of metal use extreme drumming, which is why the double bass pedal comes in handy.

    What are the drawbacks of double bass pedals?

    With double kick pedals, low frequencies of air take a bit more time to move. This can lead to a muddled sound. Drummers who use this type of pedal tune kick drums to high pitches and use skins to enhance their drum's attack.

     

    Bottom Line

    Choosing a bass drum pedal can be difficult since there are so many available options. Your first step is to decide whether you want a direct drive, belt drive, or chain drive. All three have similarities and differences, and it's up to you to decide whether you want to prioritize durability or feel.

    All of the models we reviewed are customizable, powerful, and comfortable to use. Consider factors like your price range and desired feel before you make a final decision.

    Ultimately, the double bass pedal that you choose has to feel right for you. Few things are as personal as a drum pedal, so make sure you try various options before you pick. The one that you choose should have adjustability features that allow you to make it your own.

    Whatever you choose, our team at Drum Center of Portsmouth is committed to ensuring you have an excellent customer service experience. We carry the finest products at the best prices.

    If you'd like to contact us to learn more about any of the products mentioned in this guide, click here.

  • 7 Best Hi-Hats for 2020

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we understand the significance hi-hat cymbals have for drummers. Hi-hats can either make or break your drum set, which is why it's so important to choose wisely. Low-quality cymbals will give you a mismatched sound preventing you from reaching your fullest potential as a drummer.

    Start the new year off right by investing in a pair of hi-hat cymbals that best suits your needs according to your music genre and your techniques. With the many options on the market, it can be difficult to find the right cymbals for you. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, our drum experts will walk you through the top hi-hats for 2020 followed by a thorough buyers guide.

    Our Best Rated Product

    The Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14" is our best-rated product at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. We recommend this pair because these cymbals are versatile for any situation. Whether you perform live, record, or practice at home, you'll love the expressive sound these cymbals produce. Their responsiveness and dark tones make them the perfect hi hats for a drummer at any skill level.

    Here are 2020's top 7 hi-hat options for you:

    1 Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi Hat Cymbals 15": Best Hi-Hats for Versatility

    Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi Hat Cymbals 15: Best Hi-Hats for Versatility

    Pros

    • Appropriate for every skill level
    • Fits into any genre of music
    • Consistent, responsive feeling
    • Medium top with a medium-heavy bottom for easy control

    Cons

    • Not very loud, not ideal for metal drummers

    These Paiste Cymbals are truly modern, creating a versatile, well-controlled sound. Its 15" diameter is just right for fitting into a wide variety of genres. The pair is pretty standard in terms of its design, making it accessible for any skill level.

    What makes it so versatile today is its return to 602 alloy formulation that's used in traditional cymbals. Its material makes it easy to play and to mix in a studio setting. Depending on the way you mic them, you won't need to adjust your compression or EQ at all.

    Features:

    • Size: 15"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    If you're the type of drummer who plays many different styles, these are the hi hats for you. At DCP, we love and recommend this pair because of their bright, warm sound.

    You can buy this part of the Paiste Formula 602 series from our website. Contact us today with any questions you may have about these or any of our wide stock of drums and accessories.

     

    2 Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Recording

    Paiste Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Recording

    Pros

    • Ideal for recording
    • Have a loud, clear "chick" sound upon closing
    • Articulate, responsive, and versatile
    • The ability for fine-tuning for high tech microphone and speaker equipment

    Cons

    • Inexperienced drummers may not know how to use them to their full potential.

    The Paiste brand has another stand out pair we would like to feature. These Signature Dark Crisp Hi Hats are ideal for musicians who often record or perform live with high-quality equipment because of their crisp, smooth sound.

    These cymbals are versatile among genres. They're responsive enough for soft bristles and sturdy enough for heavy metal thrashing. If you're experimenting in the studio, these hi-hats act as the perfect control.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: Proprietary Signature Bronze

    Paiste Signature Dark Crisp 14" Hi Hats truly live up to their name. Open or closed, you can expect a crisp, smooth sound perfect for recording or performing live. This all-rounder sits high on our list of favourites due to its professional sound.

    You can purchase them online through the Drum Center of Portsmouth website. Contact us today for more information on more of the best cymbals from Paiste and other professional-grade brands.

     

    3 Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals 14": Best Vintage Hi Hats

    Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals 14: Best Vintage Hi Hats

    Pros

    • They have an immensely musical sound
    • Prominent "chick" sound due to bottom is heavier than the top cymbal
    • Controlled response
    • Easily labelling on each cymbal to tell you their weight

    Cons

    • This specific style can turn off a section of players- vintage style is a preference.

    We give the Zildjian A Avedis Hi Hat Cymbals the title of "best vintage hi hats" because they look and sound like they came from the 1950s. It's a sound that reminds us of rockabilly and big band drumming, all in one.

    We would be remiss not to include this classic style pair on our list for the new year. The "old" is back in style these days, and this trend is said to continue for some time. We love the nostalgic feel these cymbals give us when we play!

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Vintage Patina
    • Alloy: B20 Cast Bronze

    These Zildjian cymbals are a stunning recreation of the percussion of the 1950s. No matter what style you play, you can count on these to give you a bright, vintage feeling.

    If you're looking for that unique vintage vibe to your drum set, you can buy these today from our online store. Call us today to learn more about these cymbals or ask about any of the rest of our extensive stock!

     

    4 Zildjian K Sweet Hi Hat Pair 14": Best Hi Hats for Value

    Zildjian K Sweet Hi Hat Pair 14: Best Hi Hats for Value

    Pros

    • Best value on the Drum Center of Portsmouth website
    • 14" variety is easier to handle than its larger counterparts
    • Mismatched cymbal weights for complex tonality
    • Higher pitched top stands out against the rest of your set

    Cons

    • The only con is that you may not like the tone of these hi hats according to your preferences. However, they are a highly likeable brand and sound

    These hi hats are the cheapest we have featured here, just in time for an affordable holiday treat. This pair is characterized by a dark, sweet tone with a heavy "chick" sound. The 14" variety of this design was developed this year and is sure to carry on for many years to come.

    Each bell on the K Sweet Hi Hats are unlathed, and each bottom cymbal is heavier than the top. This gives the top one a high pitched tone, and the bottom a lower-pitched tone to add to the sound's complexity.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    Not only do these cymbals sound amazing, but they also allow you to get the best bang for your buck. If your a drummer who prefers dark, sweet tones in a hi hat, look no further than this pair. We love the cymbals' distinguished design, which creates its impeccable sound.

    You can buy the Zildjian K Sweet 14" Pair through our online shop at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We aim to give you the best deals on each cymbal our expert drummers recommend. Contact us today with any questions about our huge online store!

     

    5 Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hat Cymbals 15": Best Fat High Hats

    Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hat Cymbals 15: Best Fat High Hats

    Pros

    • Versatile in genre
    • Able to play at any volume
    • Rich, dark tone
    • Extra weight makes the material sturdier

    Cons

    • A true "dark" sounding pair- not ideal for those who want a bright, high-pitched sound

    The Sabian HHX Complex Medium Hi Hats are the cymbals with the fattest tone on our list. This pair features a medium weight top and a heavy bottom, to create that "fat," dark sound. Its hand-hammered cymbal gives it that quality as well.

    If you prefer a big, meaty sound, you'll love these cymbals. The raw bell gives it an edge, unlike any other on this list. These are hi hats that will give you a solid, responsive experience all around.

    Features:

    • Size: 15"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: Bronze

    These are the heaviest hi hats on our list, and they're the best of the best of our stock at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. A heavy bottom and a medium top is the perfect combination for a powerful addition to your set. Trying out a darker tone may help you consider sounds you hadn't considered before!

    We believe these cymbals will be an excellent addition to any drum set. Order these hi hats online through the Drum Center of Portsmouth's website. You may also contact us about any other item in our vast stock.

     

    6 Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Individuality

    Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Individuality

    Pros

    • Unique, vintage design and sound
    • Can play both soft and medium-loud notes
    • Medium length decay
    • Dry tone with a prominent wash

    Cons

    • Expensive to manufacture
    • Not for heavy-hitting drummers

    Each pair of these Meinl Byzance cymbals are sandblasted and employ various hammering techniques. The most noticeable detail about these hi hats is that the top cymbal is much smaller and lighter than the bottom one.

    That quality is what gives them the quality they are best known for- their dry sound. They have a gritty quality to their wash that makes it stand out from other hi hats. Though they are unique, they fit in just about every music genre.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Sandblasted
    • Material: B20 Bronze

    These hi hats are perfect for any drummer who loves a unique sound. You can't seem to go wrong with these unless you happen to break hi hats while you drum regularly. Otherwise, you can use a pair of these for just about anything.

    You can buy the Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hat Cymbals today through the Drum Center of Portsmouth website. Call us with any questions, concerns, or to learn more about a product.

     

    7 Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hat Cymbals 14": Best Hi Hats for Jazz Music

    Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hat Cymbals 14: Best Hi Hats for Jazz Music

    Pros

    • Manufactured from the experienced Istanbul Agop company
    • Responsiveness makes them perfect for a studio setting
    • Unique sound lends itself to jazz music
    • Good for beginner and professional drummers

    Cons

    • Not ideal for rock drummers, or those who require a louder sound
    • Only limited amounts were made!

    These cymbals were released for Istanbul Agop's 30th anniversary. As such, they are modelled after vintage cymbals made in old Zildjian factories. The company founder, Agop Tomurcuk, worked at this factory, and the design inspired him.

    These hi-hats are incredibly thin, making their sound crisp, clear, and bright. The vintage style makes them appealing to both experienced and inexperienced drummers. Closed notes have a deep tone. Opening the hi-hats creates a distinct and beautiful wash of sound. However you play them, they are responsive with a quick decay.

    Features:

    • Size: 14"
    • Finish: Regular/Traditional
    • Alloy: B20 Bronze

    The Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Hi Hats are perfect for anyone who loves vintage sounds as we do. Adding some brightness to your set with a pair of these will give you that perfect, crystal clear sound.

    You can purchase these cymbals online at the Drum Center of Portsmouth today. We are one of the top Istanbul Agop dealers in the country. We're here to give you professional advice and service with your satisfaction guaranteed!

     

    What to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Hi-Hats

    Choosing to spend money on your next set of hi hats can seem like an impossible task. With all the brands, styles, and sounds out there, how can you tell which cymbals are the best ones?

    Luckily, the Drum Center of Portsmouth has got you covered. We have the best reviews and guides to choosing the best hi hats to complete your drum set. Here are frequently asked questions about hi hat cymbals.

    How do I know I'm ready for new hi-hats?

    Buying new cymbals of any kind is an important decision for any drummer to make. Investing in a pair of new hi hats can help you accumulate a professional drum set with high-quality instruments.

    The longer you play the drums, the more your ears become refined. You may prefer the louder, darker "chick" of large hi hats, or you may find you prefer certain ones from a specific brand. The decision to buy is entirely up to you, but if you need a new sound, new hi hats are just the thing to reinvigorate it.

    How much can I expect to spend?

    On this list, we tried to keep each pair of hi hats in the $450-600 range. We currently have sales on each item on our product reviews as well. You can find any of these cymbals used online, but you can't guarantee they're from as trustworthy a seller as the Drum Center of Portsmouth. We want to give you professional-grade items for a great price.

    Drum Center of Portsmouth allows you to buy your hi hats outright, or sign up for a payment plan. You will be able to pay off your full balance in 3, 6, or 12 months. Checking for your eligibility does not affect your credit score, and it is free to see whether or not you qualify for a payment plan.

    What size cymbals should I buy?

    The size of any of your cymbals in your set will affect the tone and pitch of your instrument. Smaller hi hats, from 12" to 14" have a bright sound with a high pitch. Bigger than 14", and you're stepping into a darker tone territory.

    It is possible to mix and match the top and bottom cymbals for your pair. However, this technique is recommended for experts and people with multiple sets of hi hats. If you're looking for your first professional set, mixing sizes is not necessary.

    What type of metal should I look for?

    Cymbals are most often crafted from three different metal alloys: brass, B8 bronze, and B20 bronze. Brass is the least expensive metal alloy on the list, but it produces the worst sound. B8 cymbals are mid-priced, and mid-quality, as they are better than brass but worse than B20.

    B20 is the type of metal alloy you should look out for when selecting new hi hats or any kind of cymbal. It's the most popular alloy despite its price because these produce the best sound. You may also buy a B8 and B20 metal alloy blend depending on your preferences and budget.

    Which brands should I consider?

    Considering the top brands like Meinl, Paiste, Zildjian, and Sabian is the best bet for getting the most professional-grade hi hats. Going with an off-brand cymbal can lead to bad sounds and easy breakage. Always research the brand and materials they use before you buy!

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we only sell the top name brand cymbals. You'll be sure to recognise these names while browsing our online store. We have deals throughout the year so you won't have to pay full price.

    In Conclusion

    With some research from credible sources like the Drum Center of Portsmouth, you can make the right call on new cymbals. Always look for the highest quality brands that have the sound you're looking for. If you're a rock musician, trashier cymbals may be the best choice. If you love jazz, a unique sounding, vintage cymbal may be the best bet. Always consider your own unique needs!

    We want to help you find your new favourite cymbals through our website at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. Order new hi hats for 2020 at our website, or contact us today to ask about any of our products. Our experts are dedicated to helping you become the best percussionist you can be!

  • Noble & Cooley CD Maple vs. Horizon Series Drum Set Shootout

    In our latest shootout video, we compared two very attractive Noble and Cooley Kits head to head - CD Maples vs. Horizon Series.
  • The Best Electronic Drum Set Under $500 Reviewed for 2020 - Ultimate Guide

    Cutting corners when buying musical equipment can come back to haunt you once you begin recording and taking things more seriously. Do you want to produce the highest quality percussion music for under $500? Read on for our full review of our favorite electronic drum set of the year - the Yamaha DTX402K.

    What to Consider When Buying Electronic Drum Sets

    Pros

    • Great for beginners
    • Easily connectable to multiple audio outputs
    • A large array of sounds
    • Free training videos and apps
    • Improved pads for realistic play
    • Easy setup

    Cons

    • Basic drum set
    • Additional app download

    With so many affordable drum kits available, the most important part of researching which kit to buy on a budget is to ensure you are getting the highest quality for your money. You want to look for quality of the set, as well as how many capabilities it will provide you with when recording your own music.

    When considering the best electronic drum set under $500 the only option should be the Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Kit. Buying this kit will leave you with any possible combination of drums and prerecorded sounds to elevate your musical experience. With the ability to improve using recordings and training modules, this drum set is great for learning the basics of drumming and percussion. In addition to its use for beginners, this drum set has such a variety of percussion sounds to choose from that it can be great for an advanced musician attempting to have more creative freedom with how they create and record.

    Product specs:

    • Built-in training modules
    • iOS and Android apps
    • 415 drum and percussion sounds
    • 10 included songs
    • 10 drum kits
    • 10 unique training functions
    • USB ports for audio

    Product Description and Review

    The DTX402K electronic drum set is the perfect kit for any beginner. Whether you want to add new ways to improve your drumming, or if you are a complete beginner and want to get off on the right foot, this product has what you need. With over 400 unique percussion sounds, there's no end to what you can learn and create.

    The training functionality on this drum kit is unmatched. With 10 built-in training functions, there are a multitude of ways you can learn to drum. The recording function alone gives you full capability to listen back to what you have just played and improve on yourself. This, in addition to functions like Pad Gate, Rhythm Gate, and Fast Blast, shows this kit is built to give people the opportunity to learn their way.

    In addition to the training functions that come with the drums, the DTX402 has free to download apps that can accompany the training. With apps for both Android and Apple devices, the accessibility of the app is what's important. Once downloaded, there are a number of ways this app can help improve your drumming skills. Having a large selection of genres of music, you can start to develop rhythm and pacing for your future jam sessions.

    One of the key features that makes this set great for anyone starting to learn is that its electronic pads dampen the sound of any practice. This makes it practical for any living situation. Have no fear when practicing early in the morning or late into the night: this kit will keep you allow you to drum to your hearts desire without disrupting the people around you.

    Another feature that sets this kit apart is its ability to be connected to any number of audio devices. With a host port that can transmits audio and MIDI information to multiple devices. This is perfect if you want to edit your music on the computer or just download all your recordings to your tablet, laptop, or phone.

    The final reason this electronic drum set in particular is a unique product is its sizable collection of different percussion sounds available to the user. With 415 different sounds to choose from and 10 different drum kits, this product is one of the easiest drum sets to customization. Giving the preference to the user and allowing them to easily access all the capabilities.

    Who's it for?

    • Beginners
    • Urban musicians
    • Unique artists

     

    Is This The Best Deal?

    The Yamaha DTX402K is the best electronic drum set under $500. Considering it has a compact build while still maintaining a high quality of material, this drum set is a great deal. Although you can not put a cost on improving your musical ability, for under $500, this product will be a great purchase for anyone looking to upgrade.

    You can purchase your Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set at Drum Center for only $499.99.

     

    Why We Love It

    One of the reasons we love this set is because it is the perfect fit for any and all beginners. While there are many kinds of starter kits for learning to drum, this one consistently proves itself to be the best on the market. This electronic set provides so many options depending on how you wait to train. In any situation or at any skill level, the DTX402 will give a comfortable and easy to use experience.

     

    FAQs

    How much does the set weigh?

    The product only weighs 25 pounds.

     

    Does this set include kick towers?

    No, this set only includes the pedal.

     

    What are the best headphones to use with this kit?

    This kit works best with any headphone with a USB connection. In addition to this, you can purchase an adapter to make the set compatible with any headphones you already have.

     

    How hard can I hit the pads?

    The DTX402 is designed to be sturdy and durable. These newly designed rubber and silicone drum pads will take a beating and remain in place.

     

    Bottom Line

    This drum set will change how you practice and play. Staying quite enough to perfect your drumming at any hour of the day as well as providing you with an endless supply of musical combinations, this deal can not be beat. If you want the highest quality electric drum set for under $500, the Yamaha DTX402 is your one.

Items 1 to 10 of 45 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5