There are more ways than one to reduce a drum kit’s footprint and speed up setup/breakdown at the same time. Polecat Percussion Systems go beyond the trend of making smaller drums or reconfiguring the drum kit. Check out this
PoleCat Percussion Systems Review
While drum manufacturers come up with configurations to ease transporting and setting up, as well as shrinking stage presence, PoleCat Percussion Systems take a step back and look at the entire drum kit set-up. Take a step back yourself and make a mental note of what is spreading your drum kit out over the floor…. See all those tripod bases? On both sides and the front of the kit there is usually at least one tripod base spreading it’s tentacles outward from the drum kit. Especially around the bass drum the spread of chrome legs takes up valuable real estate on stage, which also necessitates boom stands since these tripod bases won’t allow the stand to snuggle up too tight around the bass drum’s shell.
PoleCat’s patented solution is as simple as it is genius. By providing compact stand-post receivers that bolt to a portable platform, all those tripods can be eliminated. This reduces the required space and facilitates faster, more accurate set-up at the same time. As a positive spin-off, they also reduce or completely eliminate the need for boom stands since a cymbal stand can now be placed anywhere there is a couple of inches of available floor space.
The PoleCat System consist of five “PoleCats”. These are the stand-post receivers. These “PoleCats” are then screwed into a 5′ 6″ x 5′ 6″ platform. The included instructions describe how to quickly cut a standard 4′ X 8′ sheet of plywood into four pieces that attach together with latches. The same type of latches used for road cases or tool boxes. If you don’t have a table-saw, you can hand the instructions to the staff at the lumber-yard, and go to the hardware department and pick up the latches while they cut your plywood.
The platform can also be ordered ready-made, but that would involve paying shipping for plywood.
Of course, one isn’t limited to the exact platform design in the included instructions. You could make an octagonal platform, a riser, or just about any shape or design that suits your drums and your needs.
I chose to make a 2-piece, 5′ X 5′ platform with 2 inches of rise by making a 2X2 frame that the plywood rests on. Then I covered the whole thing with carpet so the drums would stay in place and any extra screw holes from me experimenting with placement would magically vanish.
Once the platform is complete all you need to do is set up your drum kit and centre a PoleCat under each tripod base. Remove the stands and screw the PoleCats in place.
Next remove the little screw at the bottom of the tripod base that locks the pole in place. Remove the tripod. This sometimes requires some light tapping with a hammer, or you can fasten the thumbscrew and use the legs to lever the base off. Then simply insert the post in the “PoleCat” and tighten the wing bolt. All tripod stands including the snare stand can be converted in this manner, but I don’t think it would work for the Hi Hat stand. If your stands are of the lighter variety, PoleCat can supply adapters that allow the smaller 7/8″ and 1″ posts to fit, as well as supply PoleCats for 1-1/4″ posts. I used the 7/8″ adapter for my snare stand and it holds just as securely as the others.
In my rarely humble opinion this is a great product. A simple yet genius little device, or group of devices that provides exactly what it promises; Smaller footprint and faster setup. In addition the Polecat System also adds visual appeal by removing the clutter of tripod bases.
I did have one reservation prior to testing it; Would a single point of grasp be sufficient to keep a post sturdy? The answer is yes, I even tried hanging a 14″ birch floor tom with suspension mount from one post and it sits steadily and sturdily.
The footprint reduction is substantial. I managed to squeeze in a 7-piece kit with a 22″ bass drum on the 5′ X 5′ platform with 4 cymbals stands around the kit in addition the the Hi-Hats. The same goes for setup time reduction. Once you positioned your “PoleCats” the stands, including the snare stand are all fixed in place. Put them up and the drums automatically find their spot.
Yes, from a transporting point of view you now have the additional 4 pieces of plywood to carry, but the weight of them is offset by the elimination of the tripods. It may seem that flexibility is somewhat hindered if one wanted to adjust a stands position, however it merely takes a little while longer but with a cordless drill 4 screws are removed and re-inserted in a matter of seconds.
After converting my tripod bases to “PoleCats” I am converted as well. This way of supporting stands will be my way from this point on.
Specs and Facts
Price: Current 50% promotion is CAD $63 Appr. US $48 for the 5 PoleCat package. A bag that is big enough to hold the entire platform is an additional $100 CAD.
In the Manufacturer’s Own Words
“HOW DOES IT WORK?
The PoleCat percussion system is a four-inch-wide polyurethane base comprised of fibreglass for strength with a flexible insert sleeve sitting at the centre which holds the post of a percussion stand by tightening an accompanying wing bolt. To be used, the base is screwed into a piece of plywood that the drummer would travel with.
Instead of taking the time to set up numerous percussion stands, a drummer would lay down our PoleCat platform with the PoleCat bases already attached. After the tripod legs are removed from each of their existing percussion stands the posts are simply slipped into each sleeve and inserted into the base. With a twist of a wing bolt the sleeve flexes and secures each stand.”
“Tecumseh Couple create revolutionary product for Drummers
Tim and C.J. Scott are predicting a great impact can be made by something most people may never notice.
My concept is to take this and change the set up of a drum kit,” said Scott about his PoleCat Percussion System, an alternative to the traditional tri-pod base percussion stand. The set up hasn’t changed since the 1920s. For drummers to set up a kit (our) way, it simplifies the look and reduces clutter on stage.” – Tim Scott
The development of the PoleCat has been a partnership. Scott said all drummers find setting up a drum kit with the traditional tri-pod base tedious and time consuming. He moved beyond just thinking about the problem in 1995 after noticing the construction of a handrail of a ladder at a local swimming pool. He made a prototype with the help of friends and tweaked the idea on and off for years. The couple met when Scott filled in for the drummer in a local Top 40 band in 1998. C.J. was the singer. Known by friends as a positive personality and “ideas person” she reached out to a former colleague with experience in patents in 2003 and suggested the idea to her husband.”