The Evans RealFeel 2-sided practice pad is designed to offer two different practice surfaces and can be a good option for a more quiet practice pad. These pads are pretty popular and you’ve probably seen them around.
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Feel and Playability
Both sides of the pad do have a really good feel, with the top being my favorite. The top side gum rubber has a well defined sticking feel and natural rebound to it. You can practice on it and translate back to a snare drum without issue. The action of the top pad is excellent and with it’s well defined feel it’s great for practicing rudiments and other techniques. I mostly use this top side and can practice on it for quite a long time without fatigue or any negative effects from vibrations.
The bottom side is noticeably harder in texture and darker in color. It has less rebound and feels more like playing on a wood surface. It offers an alternative to work your hands and muscles a little differently.
How Quiet is the Evans RealFeel Practice Pad?
The gum rubber top side is the most quiet of the surfaces, and it’s quiet enough that I can play it in my apartment without bothering neighbors at all. When at home, I lay the pad on a folded towel to keep any vibrations from going into the counter top or tables and into the floor, which works great.
The recycled rubber bottom side is more noisy, due to being a harder striking surface. It’s really not too bad though in terms of volume, and it still feels more quiet than something like the Remo practice pad.
Check out our sound demo video to hear the volume and sound differences between the top and bottom surfaces.
Portability and Design
This 2-side, 12-inch pad weights in at around 3.5 pounds, so it’s not super light. The wood platform is where most of the weight and bulk is at. It’s definitely a bulkier option in terms of portability. It does fit in most normal size backpacks but it’s pretty wide at 12 inches and you’ll feel the weight of it in there as well. If you prefer something more portable, there are smaller versions of this practice pad that would be easier to haul around.
There’s not much that will wear out on this pad over time. The pad surfaces are well attached and I haven’t had any issues with anything starting to separate, so that’s a good sign. The surfaces are very durable as well. Mine hasn’t worn out at all, even with a lot of use.
The wood is a rough feeling pressed board type of material with rounded edges. I do notice that it’s surface is rough enough to snag some cloth on my shirts and stuff like that. I kind of wish that was more smoothed out, but it’s not a major issue.
Size and Single or Double Sided Options
Evans offers a few different sizes as well as one or two sided pads. You can get RealFeel practice pads in either a 12-inch, 7-inch or 6-inch size. As you would guess, the smaller, one sided pad is the cheapest, and the largest, 2-sided pad is the most expensive.
The 1-sided and 2-sided options both have a textured rubber surface that is designed to give natural drum rebound when playing. The 2-sided pads also have a harder rubber surface on the other side that is designed to be more of a conditioning pad which makes you work a little harder with less rebound.
If you are going to mount your drum practice pad in a snare stand, which is what many people will want to do since it gives you the most natural posture for practicing, you will want to get the 12 inch version.
Evans also sells a practice pad stand that is designed to mount the single-sided 6 or 7-inch RealFeel pads. Those smaller pads and stand look like this:
Anyways, as you can see, there’s some options here. But we’re looking specifically at the 12-inch, double-sided model, which is what we like the most.
- Excellent stick definition and feel
- Heavy in a good way
- The surface of the wood feels rough
- 12 inch version isn’t as portable
The Evans RealFeel practice pad is a great option at a good price. You really won’t be unhappy with this one if you decide to go for it.
It’s great for beginners, intermediates and experts alike, and with it’s size options, you can get one that’s extremely portable. We can recommend this pad for any drummer.
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