Traps A400 is a compact, lightweight and highly-portable five-piece kit, available in two basic formats: either with a set of starter-type cymbals or, as in the case of this review set, without. This set comprises a 12" snare, 20" bass drum, 10", 12" and 14" toms, drum rack, hi-hat stand, snare basket and a pair of sticks.
All three toms are fitted with a single UT PS (Chinese-made Pinstripe equivalent) mounted on an ABS frame. This acts like the top of a drum rim that has a shaped bearing edge and fixing points for the tuning bolts, triple-flanged hoop and mounting bracket.
"Though lacking in projection, the kit does sound good - think 1970s heavily-damped drums."
Having two heads, the bass drum is slightly more conventional, with a pair of steel hoops, but it has a shallow 5cm-deep shell. For dampening, a small piece of circular felt is glued to the inside of the front head, while the batter (similar to a Remo Powerstroke 3) has a perimeter-type dampening strip built into the head itself.
Having a slightly shallower depth of 4.5cm, the snare features some ingenious design aspects to accommodate the throw-off and adjuster. This has a large plastic lever, which operates a cam by raising, lowering and tightening the snare. The batter is attached by a standard steel hoop - however the snare head (lower side) is held in position by a hoop constructed from ABS.
Made out of standard 1½" chromed steel tubing, the rack comes complete with all the necessary tom-mounting brackets and clamps. It features two boom-type cymbal mounts, which slot into the top of the posts of the 'H' shaped rack. Attaching the snare to the rack is the uppermost section of a snare basket, which, like the toms, is fully adjustable. The bass drum is locked into position by two clamps that are fixed to the shell of the bass drum for attachment to the rack.
Even if you are not used to drum racks, setting up the kit is easy, perhaps with the only slightly awkward task getting the bass drum
to sit to the right height before finally tightening its two clamps. Once in place, the rack becomes extremely rigid and, with the aid of large rubber feet, the whole assembly sits firmly on the stage floor.
Considering the snare is nearly entirely plastic, it sounds remarkably good – piccolo-like, of course, but its depth makes it more sensitive too, the snare wires picking up each ghosted note and filling in gaps between a slightly ragged buzz roll. And while the pedal response from the bass drum is immediate, sat behind the kit it appears to lack substance.
A drummer friend is coerced into playing the kit while I go out front, where the bass drum sounds much better. Though lacking in projection (particularly with the toms) the whole kit does sound good – think 1970s heavily damped drums and you would not be far out.