A few weeks ago, I had a chance conversation with Scott Watts, creator of Sweet Spots Drum Dampners. He so graciously agreed to send me some of his product to try out on my drum kits. I’ll cut to the chase and say this: Sweet Spots kick ass. They’re the only dampening product currently in my drum bag.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the lightweight metal case that holds the Sweet Spots. It’s a much better design than some of the other gel products out there.
The case has a threaded top that opens easily, and the case itself holds the dampners without having to cram them in. There are 4 Sweet Spots per pack, and a pack sells for $5.99 + shipping. The whole deal is about the size of a container of lip balm. Keep a pack in your drum bag, one in your pocket, and you’re all set.
How do they stick?
Some of the other gel products out there tend to feel “gooey” to me. I’ve never really loved the consistency of a Moon Gel. After a few uses, you have pieces of wood, dust, and other crap all over them. At that point they basically become useless, unless you want to spend a ton of time trying to clean them.
Sweet Spots are different. They stick incredibly well, but feel substantial in your hand. They don’t leave sticky residue all over your drum heads when you take them off. Also, because they’re round as opposed to rectangular, the entire circumference sticks well. I’ve found with Moon Gels and other rectangular-shaped gels that you start to get peeling at corners. Sometimes this causes an audible “flapping” sound when you hit the drum. Not good.
But do they work?
This is the part of the review that gets really subjective – everyone likes a different level of dampening. Regardless, Sweet Spots work really well at filtering out most unwanted overtones. You can literally throw one on your drum head and you’ll instantly kill some ring.
I tried Sweet Spots on two totally different drum kits: My Tama Silverstar Cocktail Jam kit (birch), and my Yamaha Live Custom snare (oak).
Obviously, you should spend the time to tune your drum well before you resort to dampening. That being said, even when your drums are perfectly in tune, you may still want to kill some overtones near the edges. Drums ring, it’s the nature of the beast. If you want A LOT of dampening, add a second Sweet Spot to the head. Experiment with placement – usually one specific lug is the problem.
I’m not saying you should throw out your roll of gaff tape, I’m just saying you probably won’t feel the need to reach for it when you’re using Sweet Spots. I prefer my snares to be a bit more open. Adding a Sweet Spot dampner allows me to get that sound while still cutting out those “pingy” overtones we all hate. They also work great on toms – they give you great control over attack vs. sustain. Try ‘em, you’ll love ‘em!