Evans dB One low volume cymbals are an excellent option for drummers who need to lower the volume of their kit for practice or otherwise. The sound quality is very usable and they play like traditional cymbals. Evans also offers dB One mesh drum heads to go along with their cymbals. Let’s take a look at these cymbals and see how they stack up.
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How Do They Sound?
To get started, let’s take a quick look at our sound demo. We show how a drum kit outfitted with Evans dB One cymbals and drum heads sounds in comparison to a traditional drum kit. We also show what each of the drums and cymbals sound like around the kit.
Feel & Playability
The Evans dB One cymbals are designed to feel as close to a traditional cymbal while also taking the volume down as much as 80%, and in my experience they do a good job of that. You will be able to swap these in for your existing cymbals and retain much of the feel that you are used to.
With the amount of holes drilled and overall material reduction, they do feel just a little bit lighter. If you’re used to using very heavy traditional cymbals you can tell a little bit of a difference in how heavy they feel when striking them. It’s not really a negative though in terms of playability, to me they feel like playing thinner or more lightweight traditional cymbals.
The sticking feel is great and the rebound when sticking the cymbals feels very natural. The movement and sway is the same as well. Playing the dB One cymbals will translate very well when switching back to traditional volume cymbals.
Evans claims these reduce the volume by 80%. That is the same claim as the Zildjian L80 cymbals. The low volume of these cymbals is perfect for people who need a quiet drum kit for practicing or for other purposes. You won’t find many other cymbals out there that get as quiet as these.
After trying both the dB One’s and the LV80’s, I think the dB One cymbals are just a tiny bit louder. But it’s a very small difference. I think it’s more due to the tone of the cymbals.
The dB One cymbals have a little bit more of a metallic tone to them, and they aren’t quite as smooth and subdued in the overtones as the Zildjian L80 cymbals. Again though, it’s a pretty small difference. If you need the most volume reduction from your cymbals as possible, and don’t want to spend the extra money to get the L80’s, these are well worth trying out.
The tone of these cymbals is pretty thin, but that is by design. They are designed to not project as much sound and to have much less overtones and ring out when compared to a traditional cymbal.
The tone is very useable and you get used to it quick when jamming on these. The cymbals have a nice sticking definition and even though the overtones are pretty thin, they do sound good. These cymbals aren’t quite as metallic and ringy as some of the cheaper low volume cymbals are, so that’s a good thing.
I also really like the sound and tone of the hi-hats. They have a crisp sound when closed and good sizzle when open.
These cymbals have a good enough tone to be used in low-volume live situations with tight spaces where volume might be an issue. They have a good enough sound, but the 80% volume reduction might be a little bit too much depending on your requirements.
Build Quality & Durability
These cymbals are made with a nano-plated stainless steel alloy. The materials have a quality feel even though they are a little more light than traditional cymbals. The holes are punched in a spiral pattern and they cymbals generally look pretty slick, visually speaking.
The edges and holes on the cymbals have smooth edges and there’s nothing that feels rough anywhere on the surfaces or edges.
With the alloy construction, these cymbals will hold up well to long term use. Of course, if you play harder or abuse your cymbals a little more than most, they can be prone to finish wear, bending or breaking. However, you won’t feel like you need to be overly careful with them either. As with most low-volume cymbals, we recommend treating them like a medium or thin traditional cymbal in terms of the abuse they can take.
Cymbal Types and Cymbal Packs
The Evans dB One cymbals probably have the least amount of variation in cymbal types and sizes from the low-volume cymbals we’ve looked at. Not a huge deal, but something to consider if you like having china or splash cymbals. Here’s what they currently offer.
- 14 Inch Hi-Hat
- 16 Inch Crash
- 18 Inch Crash
- 20 Inch Ride
The following cymbal packs are available:
- 14 Inch Hi-Hat, 16 & 18 Inch Crash, 20 Inch Ride with a Cymbal Bag
- Combination Evans dB One Cymbal Pack and Drum Head Set
- Fairly priced for their quality level
- Excellent tone and feel for a low-volume cymbal
- High volume reduction at 70-80%
- Cymbal pack comes with a cymbal bag
- Not much cymbal variation available in the lineup, no splash or china is available
The Evans dB One cymbals are one of the better low volume cymbal options available. You can get a set of these with a bag for around $350, which is quite fair for their quality level.
The tone is excellent and pleasing to the ears and they have a great feel during play. The steel alloy materials should be durable enough as long as you don’t abuse them too hard. The black finish looks very nice and is a little different than the typical cymbal color.
If you need a full set of low-volume cymbals and can go without a china or splash, we recommend these in a heartbeat.
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