Evans dB One low volume drum heads are a great option for drummers who need to reduce their drum kit volume. They are designed to find a good balance between volume reduction and tone retention. Let’s take a closer look.
How Do They Sound?
Let’s start out by taking a look at a volume and tone comparison between a traditional drum kit and a drum kit outfitted with Evans dB One heads and cymbals. Our sound demo let’s you see and hear the difference in volume. We also show what each individual dB One cymbal and drum sounds like around the kit.
Tuning & Tone
The toms around the kit have a neat design with a round patch on the top center and a foam ring underneath the head. The round patch helps the drum heads to have a little bit more of an effect on the overall drum resonance, so you’re not completely relying on the bottom resonant head of the drum for tone. While the round patch adds a little resonance, the foam ring adds a final dampening effect to keep the overall resonance and volume under control. It’s a nice combination of features and it works well in my opinion. The result are mesh drum heads that manage to offer a little bit of resonance while also being very quiet and producing a soft, warm tone.
The kick drum head has a similar approach as the toms, using both a round patch in the center of the head with a foam ring on the back side of the head. This helps the kick drum retain a little bit of resonant tone while also being very quiet.
The snare is a little different in design. There is no round patch on the center like the tom and kick drum heads so it’s not as resonant in terms of sound. Underneath the mesh head is a ribbed, plastic layer that creates a subtle snare sound effect without requiring you to use the snare on the bottom of your snare drum. The idea is that you can turn off the snare completely, and it works well. It helps to give the snare a little bit of snap without the loudness of the traditional snare on the bottom.
With they way these heads are designed, the toms and the kick drum head do respond to tuning more than something like the Remo Silentstroke heads do. Tightening the tension on the heads will do more than just change the feel of the dB One heads. So if you are looking for something with a little more tone and ability to be tuned, the dB One heads could be a good option.
Evans claims a sound level reduction of 80% and I think they’re about right. To be safe I’d say these are probably around 70-80% volume reduction based on play style.
When listening to the difference side by side with traditional drum heads the difference in volume is quite apparent. The dD One drum heads reduce the volume all the way around, with less attack, less resonance and much less projection than traditional drums. I can play a drum kit outfitted with dB One cymbals without any ear plugs or hearing protection, which isn’t something that I can do with full volume traditional drums any more.
Feel & Playability
I liked how these drum heads felt during play and they didn’t feel much different to me when compared to traditional drum heads. Like most mesh drum heads, they can feel a little more bouncy depending on how you adjust the tension, but it’s not really anything that has a negative affect on feel and playability. I was able to get the toms, snare and kick dialed in well to fit my own playing preferences without much issue. They weren’t any more tricky to deal with than traditional volume drum heads.
These heads are made with Evans single ply ShockWeave mesh and have the patch layer to help protect the center of the mesh surface. I haven’t been able to find much technical detail about ShockWeave mesh, but in practice it looks good and works great. These drum heads feel about as durable as a traditional drum head.
These drum heads do have the added patch on top and the foam underneath, so there is potential that the adhesives could wear out over time and the foam could separate or something like that. I haven’t had that happen with mine at all, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen at some point.
Durability will also depend on how aggressive your play style is. If you really bash these heads, they will wear out more quickly. But you could say that about any drum head.
Putting these on your drum kit is as simple as a normal drum head change. There isn’t really anything special to consider when installing these. Whenever I’m putting these on a kit, I’ll adjust the head tension to feel about the same as what I’m used to with traditional drum heads, and then it’s good to go and they’re ready to play. These do respond a little more to tuning as well, so you might want to take some time to tune them up like you would a mylar drum head.
What Drum Head Sizes Are Available?
These drum heads can be found in all of the typical drums sizes which is great. It’s actually quite a nice range of size options, so even if you have odd drum sizes on your kit you won’t be left out. Here’s the sizes available:
Drum Head Sizes
Snare Drum Head Sizes
Bass Drum Head Sizes
Where Can You Buy Evans dB One Heads?
Many drum shops have them in stock if they carry other Evans drum gear. You can find a Rock Pack at Amazon or Guitar Center for a pretty good price, which has 10, 12, 14, 16 and 22 inch heads all bundled together. Guitar Center also has individual drum heads, snare drum heads and bass drum heads.
The Evans dB One low volume drum heads are a great option for drummers who need a good balance of volume reduction and tone retention. They are very quiet but they also don’t completely sacrifice tone.
These are a good option for drummers practicing at home and can also be good for giving lessons or other low volume situations. They also pair up nicely with the Evans dB One cymbals, which are worth checking out if you are looking for a quiet drum kit all the way around.