The Sabian Quiet Tone practice pad is a unique offering in that it is essentially a standalone drum hoop with a single ply mesh head. It is much more quiet than most other practice pads with rubber or mylar drum head surfaces.
Feel and Playability
This pad has a different feel than a typical rubber practice pad. The single ply mesh head feels pretty much identical to something like a Remo Silentstroke drum head. So if you’ve ever played an acoustic drum kit with mesh heads, you can pretty much expect this to feel the same.
The surface moves like a real drum head in terms of how it flexes when hit with a stick, which is nice, and the mesh can feel a little more bouncy depending on how you have the tension dialed in. The tension rods can be adjusted to tighten up or loosen the tension of the head, which is a nice feature that allows you to dial in your preferred feel.
The playing surface is quite large at 14 inches diameter, which is the same as a standard snare drum head. So if you like to have a larger playing surface that is closer in size to a typical acoustic drum, this could be a good option.
I like how this feels in comparison to a harder rubber drum pad. There is a little less stick definition when compared to a harder surface, but it feels more like a real drum head than a practice pad.
How Loud Is The Sabian Quiet Tone Practice Pad?
This is one of the most quiet practice pads I’ve used. It’s much more quiet than even the rubber practice pads with softer rubber surfaces. It’s also more quiet than the Remo Silentstroke practice pad. Being quiet is the biggest advantage of the Quiet Tone pad, and it is worth a serious look if being quiet is a high priority.
Portability and Design
The 14 inch version of the Sabian Quiet Tone practice pad isn’t very portable in my opinion. It’s quite large in diameter and it has some legs on the bottom that can make it awkward for carrying in a backpack or otherwise. It’s pretty lightweight though since it’s just a hoop with a mesh head and a few braces underneath. There is a 10 inch version of this practice pad though, which will be a little more portable if that is a priority.
As far as design goes, it’s an interesting design for a practice pad. From the top it looks like standard snare drum hoop with a mesh head. On the bottom, you can see there are three braces that cross between the tension rods, and there are four legs on the braces. It can sit on top of a snare drum or other similarly sized drums easily.
When I first used this pad, I found that the four legs were a little uneven and it tilted back and forth on two of the legs. However, this was easily fixed by adjusting the tension rods to even out the curvature of the braces underneath.
I also had an issue with the braces underneath rattling on each other, but that was easily fixed by sliding a couple pieces of folded masking tape in between them. After I did that, no more rattling.
This pad is well built and feel sturdy when in use. However, it feels less durable than a rubber and wood practice pad. The hoop on this practice pad feels like it might susceptible to bending much like any other drum hoop would be, so it could get bent or dented if you dropped it on a hard floor.
The mesh head is only single ply and could possibly wear out just like any other single ply mesh head. Damaged drum sticks could also wear out the mesh head more quickly. The head can be replaced though if you do manage to wear it out, which is nice.
- Extremely quiet with a single ply mesh head
- Head tension is adjustable
- Available in two sizes
- Feels more like a typical drum head
- Great for apartment practice
- 14 inch version is less portable
- Out of the box, the braces underneath could take a little tweaking to even out and eliminate rattling
The Sabian Quiet Tone practice pad is an excellent option for apartment drummers or for situations where volume reduction is a high priority.
It plays just like any other mesh head and feels closer to a real drum head than a hard rubber practice pad. It’s not the most portable and the legs on the bottom can be a little awkward when in a backpack, but it sits nicely on top of other drums. I’d recommend this practice pad for situations where volume reduction is more important than other factors.