Many years ago, in about 1971, I was fortunate enough to witness something rather special musically. This guy walked out on the stage with a guitar and a wooden beer crate. He sat down, put his right foot on the wooden crate, and started strumming his guitar.
He couldn’t go out and buy the Best Percussion Stomp Box. There weren’t any around at that time.
A Hypnotic Rhythm
But then, he started keeping time with his foot. Hammering it, actually almost stamping his foot on the wood. The rhythm he created with guitar and beer crate was hypnotic. Swamp rock.
For the first half of his set, he used his guitar, the crate, and a resident bass player. The poor bass player was having kittens as the usual bass player, Duck Dunn, was watching from the wings. Taking advantage of the chance of having a night off towards the end of their tour.
Halfway through, the rest of the band joined in. But by then, the place was shaking with the rhythm of the music. Who was it? His name was Tony Joe White. He said later that he had seen John Lee Hooker do the same thing. This was my first glimpse of a percussion stompbox, with a little help from a guitar, an old wooden crate, a harmonica, and a shed full of talent.
Lots of Variations
Since the early 2000s, you have been able to buy various versions of them. Today they have become quite sophisticated. Technology advances, of course. Now what you can do with your stompbox far exceeds what the “Swamp Rocker” could do.
Some still prefer the homemade designs, though. One notable homemade user being Seasick Steve, who made his. But then he makes his own everything, including a guitar from bits of an old car.
The Same Job
Modern stomp boxes do basically the same thing. It is a simple percussion unit to accompany what you are doing. It can be tapped or stamped in time with the music and produces a sound akin to a kick drum. Some also have some other features. So, let’s take a look at some of the best currently on the market and find the perfect one for you…
Top 6 Best Percussion Stomp Boxes of 2023
1 Meinl Digital Stomp Box for Multi-instrumentalists – Best Compact Percussion Stomp Box
If you know anything about drums, you will know the name Meinl. They are based in Germany, in Gutenstetten. Along with Zildjian, Paste, and Sabian, they are one of the big four cymbal manufacturers.
They also make a wide range of other percussion instruments, including a range of percussion stomp boxes. This is just one of their range.
Lightweight and Compact
It is made to be carried around and measures just 4 by 6.5 by 8 inches, and weighs under one and a half pounds. It has a great build quality, being made from solid mahogany that looks the part.
Underneath the unit is a non-slip, textured rubber base. This keeps it stable and in one place, so it is not going to slip around a stage. The build makes it one of the easiest to use stomp boxes and highly functional for live shows.
This is a hands-free unit that is simple to play. It has a touch-sensitive active piezo pickup built-in. The harder you hit it with your foot, the bigger the sound. The footpad is very sensitive, and there are no delays between the strike of your foot and the sound.
There is a volume control and ¼-inch output and input jack sockets. Also, a USB port that serves a special function and some dial controls.
Five Built-in Sound Samples Plus
This Meinl stomp box has five built-in sound samples. These include kick drum, crash cymbal, hi-hat, cowbell, and tambourine. But this is where the plus comes in.
You can create and download your own samples using the USB port. Easy and convenient, that gives you six sounds to choose from. All are controlled by the dial controls.
If you are looking for a great percussion stompbox, then you should consider this. It needs to be considered the Best Percussion Stomp Box because it’s set at a very attractive price point considering its quality.
- A built-in pickup and a touch-sensitive pad surface.
- Easy to use with pre-programmed samples.
- Designed to be compact and non-slip at a very attractive price.
2 Ortega Digital Singer-Songwriter Percussion Stomp Box – Most Durable Percussion Stomp Box
If you are a guitar-playing street performer looking for some percussion, the Ortega stomp boxes are a good option. And this stomp box gives you plenty of variety for creating some good quality percussion.
One thing that good stomp boxes need is a good strong build. And that applies especially to those who use them in the street. But they also need to be compact and easy to carry with you. This stompbox fulfills all of those requirements, making it one of the best street performance stomp boxes you can buy.
Solid wood build
It has a great, good-looking Mahogany wood build. Mahogany is a good choice because it is a hardwood that is very durable. It won’t mind the occasional bit of bad weather. It is compact, measuring just 5.5 by 4.5 by 2 inches and weighing only eleven ounces.
The footpad is touch-sensitive, so will react to the amount of pressure you apply. It also experiences no delays from foot contact to sound, which means keeping time will be easy. The underside of the unit has a rubber coating to prevent any slippage.
It has some great digital sounds built-in with five samples of percussion instruments. You have the choice of using Kick drum, Cowbell, Cajon Bass, Tambourine, or Cabasa. The Cabasa is a Latin American percussion instrument with a unique sound.
The unit will connect very easily to your sound system or your amplifier. It has ¼-inch jack sockets for input and output and volume control. There is also, of course, a dial switch to select the pre-programmed samples.
Better on a hard surface
You will need to play this stompbox on a hard surface which indicates it has been manufactured for outdoor use. It does not seem to react too well to being used on carpet.
It takes far more contact to generate the sound, which eventually might cause problems. Nevertheless, a good unit if you are looking for the ideal percussion stomp box for outdoor use.
- Good quality build with easy-to-use controls.
- Some sampled sounds to work with.
- Doesn’t work so well on carpeted surfaces.
3 Logjam Logarhythm Stomp Box – Best Budget Percussion Stomp Box
Logjam is quite well-known in the percussion stomp box world. This is one of their more basic units.
No power required
This is an acoustic stompbox. That means it doesn’t require any power to drive it. It has a wooden casing making it quite durable. And a non-slip rubber base underneath that keeps it stable when it is being used on any surface.
It is quite a compact size measuring 8.4 by 5.1 by 3.1 inches. However, it is quite a bit heavier than most of its competition, weighing in at 1.75 pounds. There is only an output jack socket that goes to your amp, so no input is possible.
This is a unit that is significantly cheaper than some other percussion stomp boxes. The main reason for that is the sound.
It is a one-trick pony as far as the sound it produces goes. All you are going to get is a kick drum. There are no built-in sample or sound adjustments. It certainly won’t be suitable for a range of genres and will probably be best used for acoustic blues music or folk.
Lacks some bottom-end
The sound for a kick is rather lacking in enough bass to make it effective. That will have to be added with some EQ from your amp to get a decent thick sound.
If you are a busker knocking out some folk/pop favorites, then it may be suitable. But that will be about as far as it goes. But, if you are after the cheapest percussion stomp box out there, it is worth considering.
- No power requirements with a strong build.
- Will do a decent job in some musical environments.
- Not a good bass sound.
- Just a kick drum and nothing else.
4 Roland SPD-1K Percussion Electronic Drum Pad – Best Value for the Money Percussion Stomp Box
From one end of the operational spectrum to the other. This stomp box from Roland is packed to the roof with special goodies. And is, therefore, certainly a contender for the Best Percussion Stomp Box.
Roland, of course, needs no introduction to musicians or those associated with music. They and their sister company, Boss, have been producing quality music-related equipment and accessories since they were founded in 1972.
To be fair, at 10.25 by 9 by 4.25 inches, it isn’t the smallest percussion stomp box you are going to find. And at two pounds, it is probably going to be one of the heaviest. The trade-off is what you get with it.
Both Roland and Boss have a worldwide reputation for the strength and durability of their equipment. This stomp box bears all the hallmarks of what you might expect. A tough all-metal chassis you could drive a truck over and a well-designed efficient rubber operating pad.
This is designed to be a stand-alone unit. It has 22 excellent kick and percussion sounds built-in. And the USB connection will allow you to load up your samples, edit them and customize the sound.
Being Roland, it has a genuine kick and good percussion sounds. And Reverb, Distortion, and Pitch shifting are included as effects standard additions.
That makes the editing and sound creation options beyond what you might expect from this box. If you’re on the move, you can use your headphones to produce your own sounds and then use them at the gig later that night. All of this makes it one of the most versatile percussion stomp boxes you can buy.
Easy to Use
It has four simple controls with their functions clearly labeled. All sound production and editing are controlled by them. It can be floor mounted or fitted to drum hardware or a mic stand. An adapter is included.
It can be played with either feet, hands, or drumsticks and is powered up by either four AA batteries or an AC adapter. The adapter is not included.
A great option at a very attractive price point. Good for either a drummer looking to add to his sound or a solo musician needing some percussion.
- Good build quality with easy-to-see and use controls.
- Plenty of sound and editing options at a great price.
5 Wazinator Dropkick KSB883 Professional Stompbox – Best Basic Kick Drum Percussion Stomp Box
Here we have another quite basic unit that produces just a kick drum sound. That is all it was designed to do, and it does it rather well. For a basic kick sound with decent depth and attack, this won’t need too much playing with the EQ.
It has an interesting design shape that mirrors the shape of your foot. The casing is made from tough die-cast aluminum. There is an impact bar where you strike it that is made from Oak. Underneath, there are four rubber feet to give it balance and prevent slippage when being used. You might say it has a sturdy and secure design.
It isn’t the smallest or the lightest, measuring 10.83 by 6.3 by 1.57 inches and weighing two pounds. But it is compact enough to fit in a bag for carrying around with you. It does not need a power supply. You just need to plug it into your amp.
It has a certain punch to the sound without ‘booming’ as some can do. Its high gain sound creates a full, rich kick sound quite well. It is easy to use, and the jack sockets are placed conveniently on either side.
It is well-made, and the sound of the kick is good. But that is all it does. In that respect, this stompbox is a little limited in its performance. What it does, it does well. But for some, it just won’t be enough.
Quite expensive, all things considered…
It is an ideal percussion stomp box for solo performers playing some Blues or Folk who just needs a basic kick beat. But that will probably be as far as it goes. Not the cheapest you will find, given its limitations.
- No power is required, and it is easy to use.
- Good quality build that is hard-wearing.
- Just the one sound with no options.
6 Logjam Prolog Black Mamba Drum Percussion Stomp Box – Best Wooden Percussion Stomp Box
For our final look at percussion stomp boxes, we go back to Logjam. They are a company that produces some nice designs for their gear. This stomp box is a good example of that.
This has a Sapele wood design. A solid wood construction that looks impressive and will be sturdy and durable. Of course, wood can get scratched and lose its style. But if you take reasonable care, it should maintain its looks for a while.
And the look is what is the most impressive thing about this stomp box. The stylized shape gives it a nice aesthetic. To add to the stability, it has a non-slip rubber base.
Nothing to write home about. It is solid and quite crisp. But if you want some bottom-end, you might have to apply a little EQ. The sound is decent, though, and has a nice kick feel to it, albeit if it lacks a bit of depth.
It has a low stomping angle which some may like, others not. And it is very touch-sensitive. That is a good thing, of course, and there is no delay in the touch to hearing the sound, so it will be easy to keep time.
Need a kick…
There is just one ¼-inch jack socket for output. The price point is quite expensive for what it does. There are similarly priced units that offer more. But if the design is appealing to you, and all you need is a kick sound, then it is a decent buy.
- All wood construction with a nice design.
- Very touch-sensitive with low profile stomping angle.
- Limited in its sounds.
Looking for other Great Percussion Options?
We can help you find just that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Drum Machines, the Best Bongos, the Best Hang Drums, the Best Congas, the Best Cajon Drums, the Best Portable Drum Kits, and the Best Cheap Beginner Electronic Drum Sets Under $500 you can buy in 2023.
You may also like our comprehensive Roland TD-25KV Electronic Drum Set, our Roland SPD-SX Review, our Roland Octapad SPD-30 Review, and our 2BOX D5 Drum It Five Electronic Drum Module Review for more awesome electronic drum options currently on the market.
What is the Best Percussion Stomp Box?
This depends on how you’re going to use it. And, to a certain extent, what your budget is. Some are quite reasonably priced, others not so.
Some have extra features and sound options, and you have to pay for what they give you. They also offer you the chance to edit and customize your sound. In that respect, they probably offer better value for money than just a straight kick drum unit.
If, however, you just want a kick drum behind an instrument, they will all do that. As I say, it all depends on how you plan to use it. I like the idea of having some options for sound creation. Therefore, I would pick the…
It is an electronic system, but it offers a lot more than basic stomp boxes at only a little extra money.
Until next time, let your music play.