Natal Drums recently unveiled a series of updates to their top of the range Pro Series hardware. Designed in the UK, the range of stands ooze quality and boast many features found in higher priced hardware. Here we have the full complement of single and double bass pedals, snare stand, hi-hat stand and boom cymbal stand.
Snare Stand – RRP: £99.00
The snare drum stand weighs in at a hefty 4.5kg making this a sturdy beast (contrary to the Natal website saying it is light in weight). The cradle has high-grade rubber grip points which are tapered for minimum contact with the drum shell. The extendable cradle is mounted on a ball joint to enable movement through 360 degrees, so you can locate your snare drum or rack tom in any playing position that suits you best. It then locks tight with a high tension lever. The large aluminium knurled grip nut allows the cradle to be easily and quickly adjusted for quick snare drum change.
The snare basket is mounted on one of Natal’s Hex Rods, which negates any slip once it is locked in. It can fit drums from 10” to 15” comfortably, with the height adjustment aiding the use of good range of drums – we tested it with an 8” deep drum and it sat low enough so that it wasn’t too high to play. There is also a very useful memory lock to help keep the rod secure.
The bottom of the stand features large, non-slip rubber feet and has a wide span but this stand is also surprisingly sturdy with the legs set quite narrow.
Bass Drum Pedals – Single: RRP: £99.00 – Double: RRP: £235.00
Natal Pro Series Single Bass Drum Pedal has the ability to alter the angle of the beater independently from the cam – adjusting the beater arc allows for greater control of your performance. The combination of cam and beater arc adjustment means that the Pro Series pedal caters for all different play settings.
The foot plate is etched with the Natal Logo for a bit of extra grip and is reinforced to make it very strong and sturdy. Underneath there is a drum key slot to keep the accompanying Natal drum key secure; a small-but-useful inclusion to ensure you always have a key on-hand while setting up! The footplate is linked to the cam by a double chain offering a smooth action. Another useful feature is the Natal Self Levelling Hoop Clamp. This makes it very easy to attach and detach the pedal from the hoop without having to fiddle trying to find wing nuts under the foot plate. The base plate features two retractable spikes and is non-slip for extra stability.
The double pedal has all the features of the single pedal but with a chunky-yet-extremely light aluminium link. This offers very smooth action between the slave pedal and the beater and can be extended from 38cm to 58cm comfortably to fit in with your set up.
Boom Stand – RRP: £89.00
This boom stand is everything you would want from a cymbal stand. It has a disappearing 40cm knurled boom arm with a memory lock should you wish to have a straight stand. The legs feature large rubber feet and have a large spread to make things nice and stable. This is where the stand comes into its own: with the boom extended at 90˚, the height of the cymbal can be adjusted from 84cm to 157cm, with it feeling just as secure at the maximum height as at the minimum height. The cymbal tilter has a series of ratchet teeth that negate any slip, along with an all-in-one plastic washer and cymbal sleeve to protect the 8mm thread, along with two different (supplied) sized cymbal felts depending on where you want the cymbal in contact with the sleeve. The stand weighs 4.7kg so if you require a lot of cymbal stands then you will certainly get a workout while transporting to and from gigs, and you would need a very hardwearing soft or hardcase preferably one that has wheels.
Hi Hat Stand – RRP: £109.00
Like the bass drum pedals, the hi hat footboard is embossed with the Natal logo for added grip. The legs can rotate through 360˚ so you can get your double pedal in comfortably. The tension of the spring can be adjusted quickly thanks to the six tension, gear lever type design. This ranges from very taught to a nice comfortable light tension but it was a very clever and easy to use design. All are very responsive to the foot. There are again a pair of retractable spikes to help prevent any creeping. Keeping in line with the rest of the range, there is a height memory lock and the range of the height from the ground can be 72cm – 99cm perfect for open handed or younger players. The clutch is basic-but-functional and there is the usual cymbal tilter under the bottom cymbal which is again knurled for ease of grip.
Overall these stands are great value for money: solid, sturdy well built and British. In a world where the trend recently has been making lightweight stands these are, as the name suggests, Pro stands for the gigging drummer whether it be on stage in front of thousands of people or down your local pub protecting you from stumbling drunks. Well worth checking out.
For more info, head to: www.marshall.com/natal-drums