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Jackson Pad drum riser - build and information

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  • Jackson Pad drum riser - build and information

    Hi everyone!

    I recently moved to a 2nd floor apartment. I'm fortunate to have an end unit with no shared walls to my music room, but I do have someone living downstairs. After my neighbors mentioned that it sounded like I was doing construction upstairs following a short practice session (oops), I started doing research online regarding drum risers. One of the only designs that seemed to have actual numbers behind it (i.e. vibration sensing from the floor, and people confirming it downstairs) was the Jackson Pad. I figured it was worth a shot.

    Now, I don't think I needed a ton of isolation; they have a few kids and a large dog, so instinct is that it's a fairly noisy environment by default. Also, I've never heard any noise from downstairs at all. And I listen to music pretty loud with a Sonos sub in the living room on hardwood, which they said they can't hear either. My main focus was on the bass drum. I play various genres of metal, and the consistent double bass was definitely the problem.

    I won't go over most of the build itself because the instructions are pretty self explanatory. I did make a few deviations from the original build, though, and have a few other comments about it for those who might be wanting to try it:
    1. I built the "large" version, but ultimately didn't need it when I sized up my kit. So, I left an opening with a few slats missing which allows me easier access underneath it and to use the area for storage. Later, if I do need the space, I can just put more 2x4s on it and cover it up.
    2. I spaced my slats about 3/4" apart. In the paperwork it says to use 1/2". I wrote down 3/4" and built with that. Wasn't about to change it in the end.
    3. The instructions indicate to use two screws per slat. I used two for the outside ones, but only one on all inside connections. This was mostly about damage control -- every one of those screws squealed so loud, and the power drill/screwdriver kept jumping off the screw heads. It was incredibly loud in that previously-empty room and I can only imagine it was killing them downstairs. Half the screws = half the obnoxious noise.
    4. Between the slats and the carpet, I laid down a 3/4" thick foam mat. One of the types you'd use for a kids area or gym or something that interlocks together.
    5. Finally, I will mention that the cost breakdown on the instructions was pretty far off from mine. I didn't have a spare carpet to use so I bought a rug ($20), and the aforementioned rubber mat ($20). Carpet squares cost me $12. The wood was about 50% more expensive than listed, and screws at Lowes were $7 per box instead of the listed $4. I won't count the money to travel back and forth when two of my four inner tubes had holes in them and I had to return/rebuy them. Overall I'd say the total cost was close to $175, plus two days of my life building it trying to be as quiet as possible, and what felt like a hundred trips up the stairs with 45 pounds of patio stones each time.
    Some pictures of the completed build:


    Note the missing slats to the left as mentioned. I put the legs centered on the area that I'd be using for stability purposes, and will move them if I need to expand.


    Here's the riser with the foam and carpet. The carpet was too large so it's hanging over the back. I'll probably eventually staple gun it to the riser but for now it just sits there, and the weight of the kit seems to hold it down well enough. (The first time I fall off the back due to thinking the platform is larger than it is, I will change my mind here.)


    Finally, the end result. Everything fits -- barely, as intended. The platform seems stable.

    I used the app VibSensor on my iPhone, which was previously able to register every bass drum hit sitting across the room (I don't know what it was reading it at, because I am the only one here, but I could see it blinking while laying on the carpeted floor every time I hit the bass drum). Afterwards, it is not registering anything when placed in the same spot. I haven't tried moving it closer because I can't read it when I do, but next time a friend is over we will try some different spots.

    I have three concerns moving forward, of which I'll update this thread periodically:
    1. Obviously, I'm going to have to see if the downstairs neighbors hear anything to know if it's a success. Since they observed sound at first, they may be more sensitive. I'm not going to let them know that I've build this, but I will talk to them in a few weeks (provided they don't talk to me first) to ask if the changes I made have helped.
    2. There are 250 pounds of concrete, probably 100 pounds of wood, 50-100 pounds of drum kit, and 200 pounds of human body on this thing, for a grand total of around 600-650 pounds. I am sort of worried that instead of annoying them with noise, I am simply now going to one day crush them to death as my drum riser crashes through the floor. (This is probably a non-issue, but damn if it doesn't seem like a lot of weight for a 2nd floor bedroom.)
    3. If any of those inner tubes ever pops, I have no clue how I'll replace it myself without a massive amount of effort. I hope they are durable.
    If anyone has any questions about the build please feel free to ask here. I'll update the thread with any neighbor responses if anyone's interested, either when they happen or in a few weeks. If you've got an ideas for testing sound/etc, let me know and I'm happy to give it a try, too.

    - Will
    Last edited by Zeromus-X; 04-15-18, 05:39 PM.

  • #2
    Followup #1:

    After a couple days, no complaints from downstairs. I'm still getting used to the feel; it has some 'wiggle' especially when playing some faster rhythms. I'm not sure how much stress horizontal motion places on the tubes, but no problems yet at least. I am still in the hopeful-but-concerned phase with noise so I am probably still playing lighter than I normally would, as well. We'll see how that changes over time.


    • #3
      One thing I would caution you about. If the downstairs neighbor does NOT complain I don't think I would go down and talk to them about it. I have only had one complaint in the 15 or so years living in my current location. I am not in an apartment, in a house, but the houses are pretty close together. Anyway, I had one neighbor come to my backdoor one day. Her visit had nothing to do with any noise, it was totally unrelated. However she laid eyes on my drumkit when she was there. A day or two later she complained about noise. I asked her if there was a particular time that she would prefer I NOT PLAY, she gave me the schedule when she was working in her back California room that was nearest to me. I said OK, no problem, I will not play at those hours. A couple days later I guess she felt guilty. She came to the backdoor and told me she actually hadn't heard me playing or been bothered, but once she saw that I had drums it really bothered her and that is why she complained. After that she lived there for several years and never complained again.
      Anyway, I just mention that because you mentioned the neighbor is already alerted and sensitive. So I would just caution you that if you get no more complaints think carefully about bringing the issue to the surface, because instead of them not really paying much attention ...... they will be listening carefully for any noise. Then, what might not have been noticed ..... well, when the mind is primed to look/listen for a problem ..... you get the idea. LOL .... J
      Last edited by JmanWord; 04-19-18, 01:48 PM.
      I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;) Mega Kit: Pearl Mimic Pro ,2Box modules,drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds directly from the Mimic and custom sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at:


      • #4
        You're probably correct. I figured I'd wait a few weeks anyway, and we seem to be on good enough terms, but what they don't know can't hurt them. I'm more interested in knowing for my own well-being -- I still feel like I can't give it 100% when I play because I'm only a kick drum hit away from not being able to play here at all. If I knew they couldn't hear it, I'd be more comfortable. Ah well.

        Key thing is, still no complaints and still no collapsing. Two very good things.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zeromus-X View Post
          [*]If any of those inner tubes ever pops, I have no clue how I'll replace it myself without a massive amount of effort. I hope they are durable.
          I would simply try replacing them with some go-cart tires if the inner-tubes give up the ghost. Go-cart tires aren't difficult to find. If you opt for used ones, the carters will usually give them to you for free (they won't have to pay Haz-Waste fees!!!) ; new tires aren't that expensive, the lowest cost types are the lawn and garden tractor type tires and those can be had for under twenty dollars a piece (like this: or slightly more (like these:

          If you're worried about the tire "smell," I would stick the into a heavy duty Ziploc (for extra protection give them the once over with cling wrap).
          Hardware: TD20SX --> Roland UA-25EX --> MSI GT780DX w/ i7 2670, 16-GB of Ram, Windows 7
          Software: Superior Drummer 2.0, Metal Foundry SDX, Metal Machine EZX, Toontrack Solo - - Sonor X1 Studio - -


          • #6
            Hello Will.

            Just saw your post and I'm glad it is working out for you. Mine is still rockin' after 3 years with no issues. You mentioned (paraphrasing) "bounce" at certain fast tempos. The easiest way I have found to "tune out" this phenomenon is to let ALMOST all the air out of the innertubes so they're nearly flat... perhaps an inch thick under compression at most.

            I would caution against using go-kart tires mentioned earlier in this thread simply because the innertubes serve as air bladders. You need a sealed volume of air in a flexible medium to dampen the forces. A go-kart tire will only act as a spring, returning much of the energy instead of dissipating it as heat. It would indeed work, but with diminished performance and more bounce.

            I hope you have been playing with more vigor as time goes on without noise complaint. Your construction and setup looks great BTW.

            All the best,
            Brian Jackson
            Last edited by Brian Jackson; 07-06-18, 09:12 AM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by JmanWord View Post
              A couple days later I guess she felt guilty. She came to the backdoor and told me she actually hadn't heard me playing or been bothered, but once she saw that I had drums it really bothered her and that is why she complained. After that she lived there for several years and never complained again.
              Wow. Some people just can't help themselves. That's incredible. Sounds like you're a pretty fair and friendly fella!

              Back to the OP - build looks great! Let keep us posted as time goes on. Hopefully the neighbors don't hear a thing and you can drum anytime at your pleasure. Thanks for sharing.


              • #8
                Some people just have to see that you have drums to complain ,they don't even need to hear them lol
                ATV AD5 module,vh11, cy15r, cy13c/r,pearl P-932 demonator pedals,pearl export drum shells with roland mesh heads,pearl dr80 rack, rt30 triggers on toms and bass drum and rt10 on snare