As regular en.beatit.tv viewers already know, we have recently received a sizable parcel from drumstore.pl – an importer and distributor of many brands in the field of drums and percussion. Inside a few decent-sized boxes, we found all kinds of drums and accessories, which we were more than happy to check out. We have put a number of cymbals, gongs and snare drums under our microscope. We have already taken a closer look at two drum kits (Natal Cafe Racer TJ and Natal Cafe Racer UF22) and the beautiful Natal Pure Stave snare drum. It’s time to check out some of the smaller accessories.
We test Balbex Br1 and BR2 Brushes
- The packaging and look
The distributor has sent us three brush models: Balbex BR1 Soft Steel (yes, with soft steel bristles), Balbex BR1 Medium Steel (you’ve guessed correctly, with medium hard steel bristles) and Balbex B2 Hard Nylon, where the bristles are made from hard nylon (you’re right again). All the brushes came in packed in see-through foil, so the logo and model symbols are clearly visible. We should also point out that black, rubber and plastic shafts (the BR1 and BR2 respectively), with the logo and model symbols clearly visible, look really handsome.
2. The product
The steel BR1 brushes are equipped with retractable wires while the nylon BR2 wires are pulled out and pushed back in by hand. They all offer standard length, which cannot be adjusted individually. All the shafts are shaped in such a way that holding the brushes is natural and playing with them is comfortable, whether it’s the sweeping or the tapping technique. No matter what material the handles are covered with (plastic or rubber), the brushes don’t skid.
3. The test
The brushes were tested in studio conditions. For the test, we used a Natal Pure Stave Maple snare drum equipped with Evans Level 360 drum heads – coated as the batter one and clear as the resonating one.
Snare drum tuning range:
- low tuning – note D (snares off)
- low tuning – note D (snares on)
- low tuning – note D (snares on, muffled)
- medium tuning – note F# (snares off)
- medium tuning – note F# (snares on)
- medium tuning – note F# (snares on, muffled)
- high tuning – note A (snares off)
- high tuning – note A (snares on
- high tuning – note A (snares on, muffled).
The retractable wires have caused us absolutely no problems, i. e. all the springs work properly and the wires do not get stuck. When playing, we applied both the sweeping and tapping techniques. No matter what the wire material, gauge and the playing techniques were, all the brushes produce a clear sound and are easily audible. Obviously, wire hardness, gauge and material does affect the sound characteristic, but none of them can be dismissed in any way. It is merely a matter of personal preference. What is more, each of us liked a different brush best. Blindman was the most comfortable with Medium Steel size, Jan really liked the sound of nylon, while Viking preferred the Soft Steel model.
Balbex BR1 Soft Steel, BR1 Medium Steel and BR2 Hard Nylon brushes are great for any jazz, folk, ethnic, unplugged drummer, and they will not disappoint their owner neither on tour nor in studio. They certainly have our stamp of approval.
The full Balbex product ranger as far as brushes are concerned includes two more models: the BR1 Hard Steel and the BR2 Soft Nylon.
5. Product info
- Producer: Balbex
- Series: BR1 and BR2
- Wires: steel, nylon
- Shafts: rubber (BR1), plastic (BR2)
- Retractable wires
- Shaft colour: black
- Wire colour: steel, transparent (nylon).
- Very good quality
- Beautiful look
- Comfortable to play
- Can’t see any.
Distributor in Poland: http://drumstore.pl/
Our rating: 4.5/5