Honing your chops and keeping the neighbours onside is a balance that many of us struggle to keep. The rise of affordable e-kits has certainly helped on that front, but there is a man that has been helping neighbourly relations for decades - Bill Sanders.
The Bill Sanders Practice Kit has been around since the early '70s and has been honed and refined down the decades, with such gentle tweaking leading to the kit that stands before us today.
This five-piece set-up comes with a little simple assembly needed. All that's required is to attach the two side arms to the main body, adjusting the rubber pads into place. The kit consists of four pads (10" snare and 10", 11", 12" toms) plus a 5" bass drum pad.
Again, it's a case of substance over style. That said, the lack of a hi-hat pad may irk some, but with the kit coming in at a wallet-friendly £155, it is difficult to fault too much. To put the price into perspective, a single Bill Sanders practice pad and tripod sells for £70, and of course, you could get yourself one of those and add it to the set-up if you're desperate for a hi-hat pad.
The hard rubber pads offer realistic feel and bounce. However, the playing surface can begin to feel a little tough during an extended work-out. A key factor is volume; a major selling point is that the kit allows you to rehearse quietly, and it is full marks on that front. The pads play with an ear drum-testing click rather than a thud, and even as the playing gets harder, the volume stays reassuringly low.
The frame on which the pads are housed is adjustable to a point, but as to be expected from a set-up at this price-point, the limitations aren't quite endless, although something to suit most players should be achievable.
The frame itself felt rather flimsy on setting up, but we're pleased to report there were no problems of pads slipping or being jolted out of place when putting the kit through its paces over an extended session.