I don’t know how you feel on the matter, but I think drums sound the best when they are being beaten to the brink of exploding. Especially kick drums.
Unfortunately, laying into a kick drum with the force of Thor’s hammer leads to an issue every hard-hitting drummer has experienced: the dreaded sliding bass drum. This brings us to a product I’ve had the pleasure to gig with for the past month called KBrakes, which is the brainchild of Wes Keely, a frustrated touring drummer with an entrepreneurial spirit.
The idea is pretty simple. Instead of having two points that hold the kick drum in place (e.g. traditional spurs), why not have 512? KBrakes consist of two durable nylon plates that replace the single spur with 256 gripping points per side. Each side also has a joint that allows for 180 degrees of motion for easy pack-up, as the plates fold flush against the side of the shell so that the drum can fit nicely into a case.
The setup for KBrakes is super easy and is clearly explained in the literature provided. You unscrew the rubber feet and washer from the spurs (KBrakes don’t work with vintage, non-threaded spurs), and then screw the KBrakes onto the exposed threads. The installation was smooth sailing. (I put them on at a gig right before we started playing.) The first thing I noticed was how solid the drum felt once I put it down on the rug and aligned the plates to lay flat. I leaned back on my throne and tried to push the drum forward with both feet. It didn’t move an inch. Next I set up the rest of my kit and taped off the edges of the KBrakes to see if there was any motion while playing. After three hours of relentless pounding (I hit hard), the bass drum was exactly where it started. The company website, kbrakes.com, prices a pair for $39.99, and I highly recommend them.
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