2box is a survivor

Monday, 7 August 2017 9:19 AM

When the 2box kit was launched, some questioned its build quality and the ruggedness of the system. So, five years after purchasing a kit, Jan van Vugt reports on its current state of health.

I BOUGHT MY 2box kit five years ago (April 30, 2012) at a time of much ridicule and contempt on some forums.

In the summer of 2012, I installed an extension cable for the SD-slot which allowed me to use 32 GB SD cards (instead of the default 4 GB SD) for my samples. The modification is still in place, and working perfectly. Later, I began using the first version of the brilliant SDSE conversion software to import BFD2 kits into the 2box. I try to keep it simple and usually play with three or four kits and this works well.

In my opinion, the hi-hat is the weakest link. I replaced the stock hi-hat with Gen-16 14” Buffed Bronze hats a couple of years ago. Somehow, the 2box hi-hats and the samples from my favourite kits did not go well. I experienced sounds that should not be there and never took the time to figure out what exactly was wrong. Important note: the 2box is my practice kit and, therefore, I prefer a real hi-hat to keep the feel of it.

I still use three 2box cymbals and all work well and the rubber seems to be in good shape.

Recently, I took the snare and tom pads apart and cleaned them. The toms still have the original mesh heads. They have resisted five years of beating. Only the kick and snare heads need replacement. For the past three years, there has been a 628drums head on the kick, used with a wooden beater on my kick pedal. The snare has a two-year-old drum tec Real Feel head which looks like new. 

Looking closely at the dismantled pads, I noticed the two most-used tom pads are both missing one little plastic hook on the side facing me. Those little hooks, five per pad, keep the rim in place with rubber O-rings. The two little hooks have broken off and disappeared. This is clearly a result of wear and tear, but does not affect the use of the toms. However, it has created some damage on the mesh heads. When the heads need replacement, I will probably insert a tiny piece of foam to avoid more damage.

A popular gripe is the little rubber O-rings. Design rule number one: Never use rubber for tension, only for pressure. Every pad has five O-rings and they keep the rim in place. Because of this, there is always some tension on the O-rings and, in the end, they wear out, dry out and snap.

I ordered new O-rings via eBay from Hong Kong a year ago, getting 50 for less than EUR7. I replaced some rings on the snare two years ago, but now it was time to replace them all.

As you can see in the photo, half of the O-rings are still in one piece but they have lost their flexibility. A number of rings facing the drummer were broken. I assume that the missing little hooks on 2 toms probably put extra tension on the O-rings.

I also checked the triggers, solder joints, wires and foam, and all are in good shape.

Both kick pad and Mk2 rack are in good condition: everything is still in one piece. I admit this kit is almost permanently in one place in my drum cabin but nothing has broken, loosened or fallen apart. All in good condition, cables included.

I should point out that I added an extra front bar and positioner (refurbished cowbell mount) to fix the kick pad (no wobbling in my drum cabin).

The stock kick pedal and hi-hat stand have been replaced by Pearl hardware and remain rock solid.

Gen-16 add-on

In late 2012, I purchased a Gen-16 pack and in 2013 replaced the original cymbals with the new Buffed Bronze cymbals.

The module, cabling, pickups and lights still work well. I have pickups on both 14” hats, on two 18” crashes and on the 20” ride.

Earlier this year, I decided to go back to the original software. It enables me to tweak and tune a lot more than the “toy software” Zildjian allows. Do I like the sounds? Well, mixed feelings: I do not mind practising with the Gen-16 sounds, but probably will start using triggers if the module breaks down.

Conclusion

In April 2012, I paid €2,300 for my 2box Drumit5 kit. A Roland TD-20 kit cost about two-and-a-half times as much at that time. Five years later, the 2box sounds are still superior to Roland’s TD-20, TD-30 and even the TD-50. And the 2box hardware has kept up.