* Prices may differ from that shown
Having sworn by Vic Firth sticks for many years as a gigging drummer for their high quality control (one of my mates uses the saying "they're the only sticks that aren't toys!") I decided to recommend these pads to a drum student of mine who wanted to lower the volume of his new drumkit in his house (save his folks the headache!)
When he later brought these pads to the lessons I was very surprised by their quality. I'd never used muffling devices such as these when I was a beginner, as I used to believe strongly in that they would affect the feel and true rebound of a drumskin by either giving you a bouncier representation of what a drum feels like, or a slacker, more difficult feel. But I am very pleased that I recommended these to him now, as I can see their quality control obviously carries over into these pads (seamless plastic, no rough edges), each perfectly fits their respectively sized drums, and most importantly, they do feel like you're playing the drums, just quieter. Exactly what you expect.
I would be surprised if Vic released any product that was bad, these are well worth the money (and the lack of tinnitis brought about!!) :)
I personally think that Vic Firth never disappoints. The mute sets are very great when you want to play like you would in a band, but makes it so quiet that a television would mute it out. I own a set, and I have Pearl drum set with Zlidgian symbols, I also live in an apartment. I have never had a neighbor complain about the noise, why? Cause they cannot hear it. Well maybe they would if it was three o clock in the morning when there is no other sound. But if you are thinking about buying a set for your drums, you should also look into Vic Firth Drum Sticks. They are my favorite. Hardly ever will you find a warped pair. Also get the nylon tips, they are quieter on the mute pads. Also get a skinnier pair, those also help to make it even quieter. Thanks for reading.
When Lisa of The Simpson's posed Bart the question 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?', he cheekily replied by slapping his same-hand fingers onto his palm.
You can compare this analogy with the sound of playing a drum kit fitted with drum mutes there's still significant sound, albeit less.
Despite my tone, don't get me wrong: the function of drum mutes is not entire noise cancellation but the reality is still not to my expectations. As is Lisa's assessment of Bart's response.
Considering that the pads are essentially various sized pieces of circular neoprene (rubber), £50 is a pretty hefty price tag on average. Some of this may attribute to the Vic Firth brand which is a fairly big name concerning percussion of all sorts. And so, you hope that the brand and price justifies the quality.
Unlike mesh heads which have to be fastened hard to drum heads like skins (that can be quite an irritating task if done regularly), drum mutes/silencers simply sit on top of the heads. And unlike mesh sets you also have the capability of adding them to the hi-hat and cymbals by simply inserting them between the item and the screw. The bass drum silencer is attached via a top velcro piece that attaches to the bass drum head via a corresponding velcro sticker (competitor brands offer methods such as elastic bands and clips, meaning no unsightly sticker if you decide to do away with the pad).
A little gap remains in the bottom middle of the bass drum silencer for the foot pedal. so there's no obstruction of movement.
The pads included in the standard rock set version I purchased (though 2 fusion sizes are available) are enough to cater for the average setup of bass drum, three toms, snare, hi-hat and two cymbals. I unfortunately discovered that unlike the HQ Sounds Off (more expensive and has only one cymbal mute) and QT (slightly cheaper but has everything) ranges that there is no pad to sit between the hi-hats meaning no method to mute foot pedal action; this is a major disappointment considering it's expected to be standard and it's pretty impossible to find a single purchase pad of this. But you are able to find separate hi-hat packs from other brands or you could buy a 14 pad and put a hole in the middle.
Also, I later found out that these Vic Firth pads are slightly thinner. The obscurer Big Dog range (I think they don't do full drum sets though) seem to be the thickest.
The thinness may explain why the muting is nothing more than satisfactory. They definitely reduce the sound by around 90% as claimed, but the muffled pitch is still quite audible. Maybe neighbours won't hear you, but others in your house probably still will and you'll feel self conscious about that ideal of night jamming as it doesn't feel that quiet.
The high and low tom mutes are the most decent in the pack, although they don't cover entirely a bit of skin shows but it doesn't affect it much.
The floor tom however is quite disappointing but not as worse as the snare. I have to keep the snare strings loosened as otherwise the ring is still apparent. The cymbal pad is decent though, you hear a suitable dull clang removing most of the sharpness. But both the hi-hat and cymbals pads cover just a portion (strange...) so if they swing you may still hit them directly, and so only the ring is choked.
The bass drum is the worst, you'll have to probably load a quilt in the bass drum to help buffer any sound as on it's own it rarely does any muting.
On a cosmetic level there's something very stylish about a black headed drum kit too. It's less of an eyesore than one with visibly beaten skins. The rubber's also reasonable to not crumble off easily on energetic playing.
Those familiar with electronic drum kit pads will know what to expect here. I've heard some folks having a gripe with the feel not being realistic but this is one area I'll defend as being quite a good bit of training. The pads have enough bounce to pull of rolls and other such nuances but you've got to work at it a bit to begin with. You'll find that when you master it, that playing on real skins has become even easier as you've learnt to deal with a slightly tricky surface. I suppose it's like driving over cobbles.
I wish I'd purchased the QT pads as they seem to be slightly thicker too, as well as being the cheap option with a middle hat pad included and unobtrusive bass drum mute attachment. Though going further I'd rather have bought mesh heads and cymbal/hat mutes. I haven't taken my kit out in some time.
Mesh heads seem to be unanimously hailed as the ultimate quiet practice solution as they produce very little sound and have a feel more similar to a real head. Therefore if you won't be taking your kit out much for gigs and would prefer silent practice, maybe a pack of Arbiter Mesh Heads and a Paiste Cymbal Mute pack (where the mutes are circular strips that surround the rims of the items, not just the whole front portion I guess being a hi-hat maker they'll know their stuff!) is the best option. The total should also be comparable in price. It would be best to look around as there are probably wild price differences between online and local shops.
If however people just want you to quiet down a bit and admittedly the neighbours seem dandy, and others in the house say it's better than before and you find the skin changing thing a hassle, these are a good idea. But I'd probably not recommend these Vic Firth's. The price tag is just very ludicrous and the others are better; it might be wise to even go DIY and search for household items such as clothing or old magazines that you can bung on top of the heads.
Or maybe you can buy some brush sticks and try hard to keep your feet away from the pedals! Or just invest in an electronic drum set haha!
But as I have them they're 'alright'. I've had these since December and am loathe to get rid of them before I juice out my money's worth. They could've been worse but they could've been vastly much better too. I only kept them as I thought I'd like them more but didn't.
Considering such an item is fairly new still it's better than mandatory putting up with the noise in the old days.
Overall a not bad product but the competitors are better and no match for mesh head/cymbal mutes option talked about earlier.
22 inch Rock Set. 22, 12, 13, 16, 14 inch, hi-hat and two cymbal pads. Sit on top of the drum head, supported by the rim without need of extra security. Reduce the sound of drums and cymbals.