Arbiter Flats Beater - Flat Drums but Better
There aren't enough drummers in the world I'm told. Probably from singers and guitar players. But the reason there aren't enough drummers
A) The stuff costs a bomb
B) It takes up loads of space
C) Its real noisy, and practice time is difficult to arrange.
These reasons (and probably loads more) stop people from even giving it a go - and hence Removing more budding percussionists from the fold.
Enter - the Traps Kit!
This little baby is now being distributed by BigDog - the UK's latest and most revolutionary drum company. So - what's this Traps Kit all
about? It claims to be the worlds first portable drum kit that sounds and feels like a tradional drumkit..... Lets find out....
The A400 Traps Kit is along the same lines as the Arbiter Flats Lite and Arbiter Flats Pro drum kits from, you guessed it, Arbiter. In
principle what they are, are single headed drums attached to stands with a double headed snare, and all the hardware, starter cymbals, stool
and sticks - all ready to rock straight out of the box. The Arbiter Flats Lite kits became a fantastic success and opened up the drumming
market to a whole new audience - delivering quality and traditional drum sounds from a kit half the price of the mid level equivalants and
delivering it in a package that can adapt to the most space conscious scenarios. The Arbiter Flats lite also used a revolutionary single
screw tuning method (so you only tuned the drum from one turning point) which was one of the biggest revolutions in drums for years.
The A400 Traps Kit has now landed and is going to give the Flats Lite kit a good run for its money! Priced at £329.99 and including
absolutely everything you need to get going straight out of the box. You can tell from the initial set up the quality of the build, from the
drums to the BigDog hardware. The set up itself is a doddle with the well thought out instructions - especially for a first timer to the
drumming world. The hardware cries stability, and you can feel that the stands and rack aren't going anywhere in a hurry when tightening
them up. First impressions do count - and on opening up the kit you can't help but feel impressed.
Lets take some time now to go around the kit and introduce ourselves.
There are 2 'hanging' or 'quick' toms and a 'floor tom'. All the toms are made from a tough ABS bespoke moulding which is further
strengthened by a triple flange counter hoop, then to compensate the tom it is fitted with a top quality Remo pinstripe head. After careful
marketing and discussions with drummers across the land the guys 'n' gals behind the TrapsKit found out that most drummers wanted a return
to what they know and love, so therefore all the toms and drums use the traditional tuning system, enabling you greater control over the
tones which the drums create. Like the Flats kits before them, the TrapsKit's toms have a wonderful warm tone to them, just like roto-drums,
and when EQ'd can produce a sound that any drummer would be happy to use live. Since these drums have traditional hoops then you can also
take advantage of practice pads - like these pads which means that you can safely practice in absolute
silence - perfect for low noise environments (you can even practice at night when Mum & Dad have gone to bed!).
Again - like the Arbiter Flats Lite kit, the Traps kit comes complete with a double headed snare, meaning it is a true traditional drum kit
snare as opposed to the single headed toms. Unlike the Flats Lite kit, the Traps drum kit also has a snare adjuster and a throw off -
meaning that in an instant you can switch the wires off and use it as an entirely new drum. With the snare adjuster you can also dictate how
tight the snare wires are against the bottom skin of the snare, enabling total control over your sound. Unlike traditional snare drums -
what you've got here is essentially the two rims meeting in the middle - meaning theres only a small part of the drum that's the shell.
Expect to here a high end poppy snare drum - that really cuts through and accentuates your drags.
Now - here's where the chaps at Traps drums have started to mix things up a bit. The Traps drum kit comes with a double headed bass drum.
The Arbiter Flats Lite kit had a single headed bass drum, like the rest of the kit, and whilst a really nice sound could be achieved - one of
the downfalls was with the bass drum pedals used. If you used a double bass drum pedal on the Arbiter Flats Lite kit - then your second beat
would choke the first - as the bass drum only has one skin and as such cannot be as tight as a regular drum. Any drummers out there who do
use a double bass drum pedal would therefore struggle to get a satisfactory sound whilst employing this method. Now, with the advent of the
double headed bass drum - your Slayer style double bass drum dreams can be realised. As they state on the Traps Kit mini - site
the A400 20" kick drum is an uncompromising double headed design fitted with a Remo Powerstroke
3 drumhead on the back and a Remo Ebony drumhead on the front with the Traps logo. It is also fitted with chrome plated steel hoops. It's
shell is made from a robust high quality ABS fitted with custom dual mounting points ideally suited to mounting in the A400 rack mount
system. A strong metal plate is fitted to bottom of the rear counter hoop so that when the kick pedal is fitted - the beater strikes the
head at the optimum position - top of the up stroke. Some serious thought has gone into the design process here to make a bass drum which
feels natural to a drummer whose been playing for some time, and also means that anyone learning on the Traps kit - will immediately be at
home transferring their skills onto a bigger kit.
This is where you will immediately notice the biggest difference between the two kits we keep talking about here. The Flats Lite Kit was set
up with the bass drum standing alone on the floor with its plastic legs, and then the toms were mounted on special mounts off cymbal stands -
whilst the snare drum sat in a traditional snare basket. The Traps kit however, has really streamlined the whole process and as a pioneer of
the portable drumkit, introduced a fantastic reack system. The A400 Traps kit comes complete with a custom BigDog rack, which is one of the
most sturdy and durable racks weve seen here in a while. The tough ABS rack fits together with ABS joists, holding the whole thing together.
Once the plastic feet are attached, the rackwon't budge for love nor money! The cymbal stands have a neat trick - where they pack away
nicely into the rack! This means that you can leave the kit partially set up, taking up next to no room, and when you next want to set the
kit up - its done in a matter of seconds. Attached to the rack also comes a snare basket - not floor mounted. This eases up space just in
front of you and means you can get yourself into the perfect drumming position without constantly having to pick up hardware and move it
around. The high-hat stand and the kick drum pedal are also worthy of note - as the feel really sturdy underfoot, and have a great level of
'movement' on them. The BigDog hardware really does deserve special mention here, the rack itself (which is also sold seperately, as are all
the other parts of the kit) is unbelievable value for money, the pedals come with distinctive blue painted & embossed footplates, dog-bone T
screws and embossed seat squab. All the hardware features quality accross the board, from chain drives to memory locks, expansion springs
and clutches. BigDog are really making a name for themselves and are award winners in the field.
Included in the Trapskit package are a set up of cymbals to get you up and running. They include a pair of 13" hats, a 14" crash and a 18"
crash ride. The cymbals have been sourced to provide a distinctive sound that compliments the rest of the kit whilst maintaining a price
that lets the kit enter the market at the beginner price bracket.
All in all the traps kit has impressed all those that have had the opportunity to have a look at it, let alone play it! Combining
portability, the ability to practice in noise sensitive environments, a great look, a quality build, and most important of all - a sound
which can rival most - if not all, drumkits within this price bracket.
Check out this great selection of guitar, drum and general music accessories we have put together for you - free guitar tablature search, online metronome / drum machine to play along to and we even have an online guitar tuner for you.