The RTOM LV low volume drum heads are designed to provide more of a quiet drumming experience than a silent one. They use an attack patch on each mesh head to provide a little more attack and resonance during play. Let’s take a closer look.
How Do They Sound?
This comparison video shows the volume and sound difference with the RTOM LV heads when compared with a traditional drum kit. We paired up the RTOM LV heads with Zildjian L80 cymbals in this instance.
Tuning & Tone
The drums heads use the same design all the way around the kit. They all are mesh drum heads with a round patch in the center. The patch is implemented to create more attack and resonance in the sound so that these drum heads aren’t completely silent.
As a result, each RTOM LV drum head can be tuned to change the tone of the drum, unlike silent heads that use only mesh. This differentiates the RTOM LV heads from something like the Remo Silentstroke heads, which are designed to be as silent as possible.
The snare drum head relies on the snare wires on the bottom of the drum for the snare sound. There’s no special snare head here like with the Evans dB One heads.
The kick drum head, while fairly quiet, still produces some usable tone as well, much like the other heads around the kit.
These drum heads aren’t design for extreme volume reduction, but they are are fairly quiet when compared to traditional drum heads. The volume reduction is probably something like 50-70% depending on how much resonance you’re getting out of them. To me, the volume of the toms stood out a little more than the snare and kick. I found the toms to have some nice resonance to them that made them stand out a bit more than other low volume drum heads I’ve used.
These would be a good option for drummers who want to reduce the volume on their drum kit, but not as drastically as with some other drum heads. If you find the Remo Silentstroke heads to be too extreme, for example, the RTOM LV heads are worth trying out.
Feel & Playability
These drum heads feel good to play and I liked jamming on my kit with them. The patch on the head gives them a little bit more of a traditional mylar drum head feel, but they still have a little bit of the springy mesh feel as well. The response is good and I found these drum heads to be just as playable as mylar drum heads in terms of what I could do with them.
The mesh used in these heads feels little heavier than some other mesh heads I’ve looked at. They have a very durable feel to them, especially when you consider the added patch in the center of each head. I haven’t run into any durability issues with these heads yet, however it will be interesting to see how the patch holds up over time. I see that RTOM does offer replacement sound patches on their website for about five bucks, so that’s a good thing.
One thing I like about these is that these heads aren’t very expensive, so if they do wear out they won’t cost a ton to replace. They’re about the same price as an affordable set of traditional batter heads.
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. These heads do respond a bit to tuning, so it’s worth it to take a little time to tune them up to your liking.
Available Drum Head Sizes
I’ve only seen these available as a set with 10, 12, 14, 16 and 22 inch heads, but they might be able to be found individually as well depending on the seller.
The RTOM LV drum heads are great for drummers who want to lower the volume but don’t want to go completely silent. They are also affordable so they won’t break the bank.
These are hard to find in an configuration other than the 10, 12, 14, 16 and 22 inch head sizes, so that could potentially be a limitation depending on what you have for drums. If they fit your kit though, they can be a good pick up for low volume drum heads.