Rimshot-Loc: Tension Rod Locking System
by Michael Dawson
Hard-hitting drummers are forever plagued by de-tuning tension rods, especially on the snare drum. Several manufacturers have attempted to remedy this problem, with some offering plastic stoppers that snap onto the top of the tension rods, and others redesigning the rods and washers themselves to be less prone to slipping. Rimshot-Locs are a new product that installs on your existing hardware, beneath the hoop, to keep the rod securely in place. The theory is that the friction created between the rod, hoop, and Rimshot-Locs will prevent the drum from losing tension due to the gradual backing out of the rods.
Rimshot-Locs are simple in design and easy to install. They’re made from stainless-steel and have a threaded hex-head tip on a smooth cylindrical base (of varying lengths, to match the size of different tension rods). The company also offers extenders for use on drums with extra long lugs, such as bass drums and marching snares.
To install Rimshot-Locs, all you have to do is remove the tension rod from the lug casing but keep it in the hoop. Then you thread the Loc onto the rod with the hex head facing down, leaving a bit of space between the hoop and the Loc. Next, you re-tune the drum to your preferred tension and then tighten the Loc against the hoop with the included wrench. It’s important that the Loc be tightly torqued for optimal results, and you should hold the tension rod steady with a drum key when wrenching the Locs into position.
We tested the Rimshot-Locs on an old 8-lug aluminum student snare with a worn single-ply batter head that often de-tunes. Once secured in place, the Locs were quite effective in preventing the rods themselves from loosening after repeated rim-shots. The drum head did stretch a bit after an hour of play, so we had to re-tune the drum to bring it back up to pitch, but the rods themselves had barely lost any tension. (For comparison, the rods closest to the rim-shot spot on this drum used to back out to the point of rattling.)
In order to re-tune the drum with the Locs in place, you have to loosen the Loc from the hoop so that the tension rod can move freely, and then you re-tighten the Loc after tuning. I thought this process would be a bit awkward or time consuming, but it proved to be simple, quick, and easy.
An added benefit is that Rimshot-Locs make replacing drum heads less of a hassle, since they keep the tension rods from falling out of the hoop when removed from the lug casings.
The price for 10-packs of any sized Rimshot-Locs is $19.99 and the RSL Key is $9.99.