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Roc-N-Soc Nitro

Drum Throne

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The Best Drum Throne

Roc-N-Soc Nitro

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: September 1, 2016

If I needed a new drum throne tomorrow, I'd get the Roc-n-Soc Nitro. It has years of positive reviews from professionals and hobbyists alike. Although it's not the least expensive, at well under $200 it's not terribly expensive. It really hits the sweet spot with comfort, adjustability, and playability. If you are looking at a throne that won't cause undue leg fatigue, is comfortable for most drummers, the Roc-n-Soc Nitro is the one to get.


Why you need a great drum throne

Most new drummers put a lot of thought into their shells, cymbals, and hardware while leaving the throne as an afterthought. It makes sense if they haven’t played much and felt the consequences of drumming with a cheaply made throne. Usually what happens is they play for a bit and their lower back starts hurting, or feeling fatigued at the very least. This is because the cheap thrones that come with a kit tend to move a lot.

You have to be able to adjust a throne to your playing style; to be able to move your feet without throwing off your balance, as it can have a great impact on your playing. If you can’t easily lift one foot without having to compensate by leaning or pushing with the other, then it’s hindering your playing.

What makes a great drum throne

A comfortable seat is the main thing, and then hardware that’s not going to break.

Modern Drummer magazine notes that:

“The throne is the foundation of any player’s groove and is an incredibly important purchase for any prospective customer. As is a common theme in drum-related products, there’s no right or wrong choice—round versus saddle style, soft versus firm, and spindle versus hydraulic are just a few of the myriad options.”

Roc-n-Soc founder Steve McIntosh notes,

It’s all about foam. And that’s where [other companies] go cheap. They always try to figure that it’s something you see, not that you feel. So they’ll flash it up. Everybody’s always trying to change the wheel. […] That’s what separates us from everybody else. We do have good, quality construction—we eyeball every stitch. But that’s aesthetics, and that’s what every other company always looks at. Then they’ll buy a piece of cheap foam to stick in it, because you can’t see the foam. When they need to cut corners, that’s the first place they cut. The throne ends up being too hard and never softens up to fit your butt, or it’s too soft and you sink through it.

Know that just because you see someone playing a certain way with a certain setup doesn’t mean that it’s the most effective way for you.

The best drum throne is one of those categories where the answers to what is best for you includes a high degree of personal preference as well as things like physics, kinesiology, physiology, ergonomics, acoustics, technique, and style of play.

If you don’t have back problems or unique situations (see below), then our pick will work for almost anyone.

Our pick

The Roc-n-Soc Nitro is the best drum throne for most people. User reviews from Guitar Center to Amazon are pretty unanimous. Professional reviews also agree.

The bicycle styled seat is designed to reduce leg fatigue, and the nitrogen gas shock absorber provides a little cushion and bounce to your playing without causing extra work.

User reviews

One reviewer on Amazon posted updates over the course of two years with his Nitro throne:

After suffering for too long with a standard round drum throne I broke down and bought the Roc n Soc Nitro Throne. All I can say is that my butt doesn’t hurt me any more after playing for hours at a time and the back rest provides extra support. It is a worthy throne, fairly easy to assemble and worth the money. Very easy to adjust as your position needs dictate. A definite benefit to your health and back. Highly recommend it.

8/15/13
Well, been using the seat over a year now and it has held up nicely with no tears or problems. The rear backrest is also great to have but it will loosen once in awhile necessitating a tightening but that is all. This is one of my best purchases. I was just given a brand new, never used DW 9100 AL drum throne as a gift….will be selling it as the Roc n Soc offers so much better support.

7/8/14
Still using the throne but had to order new rubber feet for it as one is now cracked down the back and the others are going. Since it gets so much use I don’t think I have anything to complain about but thought readers would like to know.

Full review

Another testament to the longevity and comfort of the Nitro:

My father has owned one for almost two decades and he says it’s the best purchase he’s ever made. We purchased one for my highschool Jazzband and it was a much needed upgrade from our makeshift duct-tape throne. I plan on purchasing one myself sometime soon and would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a throne to keep your ass comfortable for long jam sessions.

Full review

At Guitar Center, one reviewer who always played on cheap thrones, was surprised by how much better drumming with a quality throne felt:

I’ve been using a traditional / basic round throne for about 11 years. I always wanted to buy one of these but the price drove me away, as I thought, it’s just a seat. It can’t be worth this price. BUT I WAS DEAD WRONG! I picked one up last week after losing the base to my normal throne at a gig, and I couldn’t be happier with this purchase! The gas shock is wonderful and adds a nice little bounce to the seat, but nothing that will throw off your playing. If anything, it just allows you to feel the rhythm even more!

The best part for me is thins: I used to find myself getting a lot of fatigue in my legs when playing long or intensive double kick grooves, but now with my nitro throne my legs are barely fatigued at all by the end of a set. This thing is fantastic and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any drummer, but especially those who have the same problem! The combination of the shape of the seat and the gas shock greatly reduces the amount of wear and tear on your legs and back!

Full review

For tall drummers

Roc-N-Soc Lunar drum throne goes up to 27″, and has the same features as our main pick..

Drum thrones for bad backs

If you have back issues, the Nitro (our pick) has an additional backrest option. We’re not medical experts, so don’t take our recommendation as a medical advice. However, many drummers have noted how the backrest helps immensely for long sessions.

Conclusion

Another thing to remember is that sometimes a very small adjustment is all that is needed to make a huge difference in your comfort level. Experiment frequently with your setup and seek the advice of a teacher or professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in these areas. Know that just because you see someone playing a certain way with a certain setup doesn’t mean that it’s the most effective way for you. You have to factor in whether you use traditional or matched grip or play the hi-hat open-handed or crossed. Try to keep whatever parts of your kit you use the most (snare, ride, hi-hat) in the closest proximity.

Happy drumming!


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The Best Drum Throne

Roc-N-Soc Nitro

The Best Drum Throne

Important Specs

Seat height 18" to 24"
Seat Type Bicycle design for reduced leg fatigue
Special Feature Nitrogen gas shock absorber
Dimensions 6 x 18 x 18 inches
Weight 10 pounds
more specs

Synopsis:

The Roc-n-Soc Nitro has years of positive reviews from professionals and hobbyists alike. Although it's not the least expensive, at well under $200 it's not terribly expensive. It really hits the sweet spot with comfort, adjustability, and playability. If you are looking at a throne that won't cause undue leg fatigue, is comfortable for most drummers, the Roc-n-Soc Nitro is the one to get.

Roc-n-Soc Lunar Drum Throne

For Tall Drummers

Roc-n-Soc Lunar Drum Throne

This has all the great features of our main pick, but extends to a height of 27 inches.

Gibraltar 6608 Heavy Drum Throne

Budget Pick

Gibraltar 6608 Heavy Drum Throne

Unlike other "budget" drum thrones, this one actually has some great foam to maximize comfort. It adjusts from 18 to 24 inches high. Like our main pick, it also has a motorcycle style seat. It has near perfect ratings scores on Amazon, with nearly 200 reviews.

- M

Sources

  1. Billy Brennan, Modern Drummer, 20120201
    What You Need to Know About…Drum Thrones
  2. Forum Poster, Drummer World, 20110401
    Drum Thrones And Severe Back Problems
  3. Forum Poster, Drummer World, 20140606
    Taller Drum Thrones?
Originally published: August 10th, 2016

Important Specs

Seat height 18" to 24"
Seat Type Bicycle design for reduced leg fatigue
Special Feature Nitrogen gas shock absorber
Dimensions 6 x 18 x 18 inches
Weight 10 pounds
more specs



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