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Drum Center of Portsmouth Blog

Events, Cool Products and Videos from Drum Center of Portsmouth

  • Pearl Masters Maple Gum Drum Set Review

    The Newest Entry in the Pearl Lineup

    In 2017, Pearl’s introduced the Sonic Select Shell Recipe to its Masterworks line. The 6-ply Maple Gum shell configuration was in response to their artists that were asking for a Gretsch-like sound for the recording studio. The classic tone of the Sonic Select shell quickly became a best-seller due to its explosive midrange warmth and extended low-end power. New for 2019, the Studio Recipe will be available for a limited time as Masters Maple/Gum series drums.

    Masterworks-Level Quality at a More Affordable Price

    In order to keep costs down on the Pearl Masters Maple Gum line, options and configurations are relatively limited. Two shell packs are offered in a pre-selected offering of hand-lacquered and wrapped finishes. Masters Maple Gum shells are comprised of vault-cured EvenPly-Six layered premium North American Maple and Gum wood shell with 60-degree edges. Toms and snares feature Mastercast Die-Cast hoops, and Pearl’s CL bridge lugs for reduced shell contact and improved resonance.

    Other desirable hardware touches include Pearl’s Aluminum Opti-Mounts, SP/CW300 spurs, LG200 floor tom legs, and insulated die-cast bass drum claws found on their Reference Series line.

    The Sound

    The Maple Gum shells on this Pearl Masters kit deliver everything you’d expect from the classic formula Gretsch sound with a touch of cut that is decidedly Pearl.

    Fat, woody tone projects from the 60 degree rounded edges that is warm and vibrant. The rounded edges also lend to a good tuning range.  We cranked them up pretty high before they started to choke out.

    If you’re a die-hard Pearl fan looking for the classic tone celebrated by players and engineers alike, the Masters Maple Gum line is a fantastic choice. We just hope you like the limited finishes and configurations that are available! These drums are extremely limited, so get them while you can!

    We are Pearl experts at Drum Center of Portsmouth.  We can help you choose the Pearl Masters, Masterworks, Reference, or Roadshow drum set of your dreams!

  • Pearl DCP 10th Anniversary Sensitone Brass Snare Drum

    The Return Of A Legend

    Over the years, we’ve gotten a lot of inquires about discontinued drums.  At the top of that list is the Pearl Steve Ferrone 14x6.5 Brass Snare drum.  At face value, the Ferrone black nickel over brass snare was little more than a Ludwig Black Beauty clone. Sure, it was gussied up with gold hardware, but was there anything to its sound that made it special?  Absolutely.

    Something about the sum of its parts made the Steve Ferrone Signature model snare a sonic marvel, especially in recording studios.  If you look at any decent sample library, you will find THAT sound. Beautiful mid-range with an unusual amount of low-end made the Ferrone a truly unique snare drum.

    Eventually, Steve moved on to a Gretsch endorsement.  When he did, Gretsch created their own version of the black nickel over brass snare with gold hardware, but to many, it just didn’t have the same x-factor as the Pearl model.  Surprisingly, Pearl abandoned the Ferrone design when he left and enthusiasts were left to scramble for used Ferrone Signature model on the internet...until now!

    The Specs

    If you are looking for a well rounded snare for a variety of musical styles, you can't go wrong with a Pearl Sensitone! This limited edition Pearl 6.5x14 SensiTone Beaded Brass snare drum has a thin 1mm black nickel over brass shell that projects a warm, vintage style tone. This shell is able to sustain its tone thanks to classic gold plated tube lug design, which make minimal contact with the shell. The Gold Pearl SuperHoop II Hoops also give the shell a little extra room to breathe. The Pearl DCP 10th Anniversary Sensitone Brass Snare Drum also comes equipped with a gold-plated Gladstone-style throw off that is durable and highly adjustable.

    Get Them While You Can!

    These legendary recreations are EXTREMELY limited.  Once they’re gone, that’s it. These drums sound amazing, and will be both a versatile workhorse AND a collector’s showpiece!

  • Easy Drum Set Tuning Techniques

    Like all instruments, drum sets need to be tuned in order to be on pitch. There are no right or wrong ways to tune a drum set. The right way is simply whichever way you prefer to get the sound you want.

    In this article, we'll go over some of the most popular techniques and how they can benefit your sound.

     

     

    Tuning Basics

    1. Replace the Heads

    If you are installing new batter (top) heads, the first thing you are going to want to do is to remove the old head and to replace it with this new one. After the fresh head is on, put the rim over it and hand tighten the tension rods.

     

    2. Check for Wrinkles

    Place your fist on the center of the head and press down. Notice the wrinkles on the drum's skin. You are going to want to remove these wrinkles by further tightening the rods.

     

    3. Tighten the Rods

    For the proper method of tightening the rods, think of it like changing a car tire. Start with one tension rod and give it a half turn. Then move to the rod directly across the head and tighten that one a half turn.

    Then go clockwise from the original and give that a half turn, followed by the rod directly across that. Continue this pattern until you've tightened all the rods and eliminated all the wrinkles.

     

    4. Seat the Head

    In order to properly seat your drum's head, press its center with your palm. By doing this, you are pulling the flesh loop into the rims' channels. The head is now conforming to the drum's bearing edges.

    Tap the skin and check its pitch. If you notice that it is producing a lower pitch than before, that means your head needed to be seated. Repeat the process of tightening and seating until the pitch remains constant.

     

    5. Muffle the Sound

    Take the drum and place it on something like a clean towel or rug. The head should be upwards facing.

    This not only muffles other sounds that might emanate from the drum but also allows you to easily spin the drum around, giving you quicker access to the lugs.

     

    6. Tap the Head

    Using either your drumstick or finger, give a tap on the heads of each of the rods.

    Note which areas of the drum sound high and which sound low. Typically, where one part of the head sounds high, the opposite end will sound low.

     

    7. Adjust the Rods

    For all the rods that sounded low, tighten them by giving them 1/8 turn clockwise. Tighten the ones that were high by turning them 1/8 counterclockwise. Reseat the head.

    Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the drumhead gives a uniform pitch all the way around.

     

    8. Tune the Bottom Side

    Turn the drum over and tune that side using steps 1 - 7.

    Now, let's get into more specific tuning.

     

    Tuning a Bass Drum

    Tighten the batter head to right above the wrinkle. Make sure that the beater sinks in. It shouldn't rebound easily. This way, you can stop any unwelcome double-strokes. After this, you can start tightening and loosening the tension rods until it sounds right to you.

    Keep in mind that you usually need to muffle bass drums in order to get a good sound. Common items for muffling include things like blankets, pillows, clamp-on devices, and foam. Whichever way you choose to muffle your drum is up to you.

    Some drummers prefer to cut a hole in the front-facing head. The bigger the hole, the less "boom" sound you get. The smaller the whole, the bigger the boom.

     

    Tuning a Snare Drum

    For the snare drum, tune the batter head as you would regularly tune a drum. When you get to tuning the snare (bottom) head, you have a few options. You can either tune the snare to match the top head, to be higher than the top, or to be lower than it. The most common method is to tune the snare head tighter than the batter.

    It is generally a good idea to tighten the snare head until it starts to sound a little choked. When you hear that, loosen the rods about a 1/2 turn or so. It may be helpful to mute the snare wires while you tune. This can be accomplished by sliding your drumstick underneath the wires. Just be careful—you don't want to pull too much on the snare-side head.

     

    Tuning Toms

    Tune your Tom's batter head until it is on pitch. From there, you can tighten and loosen the tension until you get a sound you are happy with. Turn over to the snare-side head and tune that one to be one tone higher than the batter. This should be the general relationship between the two heads. Check every so often to make sure they are tuned accordingly.

     

    Use a Drum Tuner

    If you are concerned about pitch-perfect tuning, you may want to consider purchasing a drum tuner. These devices supply drummers with a visual representation of each lug's tension. Although most drummers still prefer to tune by ear, drum tuners can often be found in recording studios.

     

    Maintenance

    It is a good idea to check your drums every time you take them out of the case. Give them a good whack and check that they sound alright. How often you need to tune your drums is related to how hard you hit them and how often you play on them.

    It's best to check them constantly like this so you can fix minor issues quickly instead of ending up with a completely off-pitch drum.

     

    Want More Drumming Tips?

    Check out our site, Drum Center of Portsmouth, for more informative articles on everything drums.

    We have tips, guides, and all kinds of reviews on the latest drumming equipment and techniques. Have a question? Feel free to contact us today to learn more!

  • How Your Snare Drum Can Define Your Kit

    In almost all areas of Western music, the snare drum produces the leading “voice” in a drum set. In styles like rock, funk, pop, and hip-hop, it delivers a backbeat that screams through walls of vocal and instrumental sound. It’s what anchors the rhythm of a tune.

    These roles are just another chapter in the snare’s storied history. This single item in a kit has evolved greatly since its invention. With a start as a medieval tabor drum to military side drums that amplified the commands of military leaders, the snare has been a major player for historical and musical reasons.

    These early examples of the snare led to it being an essential part of any modern drummer’s setup. Without the snare, the drum kit as we understand it wouldn’t exist. From our pros here at Drum Center of Portsmouth, here’s a look at how the snare evolved over the last 140 years and how those changes defined the drum sounds of their respective periods.

     

    The Transition from Wood to Metal

    As recently as the late 1880s, it was typical for drummers to double drum. This is a style of playing both the snare and bass with sticks. Double drumming can be seen as the first step toward the modern drum kit.

    The snares of this time were rather simple in design. Usually, they featured single-ply shells that were steam bent with T-rods, single tension lugs, and wooden hoops. Only one drumhead could have the tension adjusted. Snare strainers did not feature levers to engage and disengage the snare.

    The one exception to this was a prototype metal shelled drum. John Philip Sousa’s drummer Tom Mills had this model specially made by Sonor. It featured a 6.5x13” welded shell made of brass with separate tension lugs and metal hoops. It created a timbre from the revolutionary design. In time, this drum caught the eye of a Leedy drum salesman named William Ludwig. He kept pestering Mills until he finally sold the snare to Ludwig.

    Ludwig hoped to convince his boss to look into manufacturing metal snares. However, his boss didn’t warm to the idea due to thinking metal wasn’t a suitable material for making snares. That’s when Ludwig went into business with his brother. They began selling metal snares among other percussion instruments. Their innovative designs became the standards of the industry. They are still the leading name in snare drums today.

     

    Early Iconic Snare Drums

    Drum technology kept evolving in the 1920s and 30s. During this time, two snares were developed that would impact snare design to this day: The Slingerland Radio King and Ludwig DeLuxe “Black Beauty”.

    Ludwig brought out the Deluxe line in 1926. It came in an assortment of depths with 14 and 15-inch diameters. This masterpiece also was available with hand engraved ornamentations and several colored enamel options. There was even a gold-plated version called the Triumphal. Their gunmetal black version became the most popular. In fact, it was so popular that Ludwig began to reissue the snare in the 1970s.

    Despite the rising popularity of metal snares, wooden snares were still popular in big band, orchestral circles. This led to Slingerland creating their solid maple shelled snare known as the Radio King. Made famous by Gene Krupa, this snare had sleek, streamlined lug casings, eye-catching sparkle, pearloid wraps, and an adjustable snare system. This drum provided a boxy, warm sound that came with a level of sensitivity that would captivate drummers for decades.

     

    Rise of the Supraphonic

    Ludwig began producing the Super Ludwig snare line in 1941. These boasted some of the newest innovations in drumming technology. They were built around a 14” nickel-plated brass or reinforced mahogany shell in a variety of depths. The key improvement was the parallel snare system. This provided even tension to each snare wire and self-aligning lugs that wouldn’t strip if the head wasn’t placed on the shell evenly.

    By 1963, Ludwig had switched to making snares with a seamless spun aluminum shell to cut manufacturing costs. Ludwig also began offering drummers their choice of two different snare systems: the standard P-83 version, which was the Supraphonic snare, and the parallel snare system, renamed the Super Sensitive version.

    These snares had a bright, dry snap. They were immediately popular among the leading musicians of the 60s and 70s. From Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell to Led Zeppelin’s timekeeper John Bonham, these snares produced great sounds. This line of drums popularity led to it earning the distinction of being the most recorded snare in history.

     

    Back in Black

    Other manufacturers struggled to keep up with Ludwig. However, the brand managed to stay on top with their constant innovations. One of these was with the re-issuing of the Black Beauty snare in 1976.

    The reissue came with some modern updates. It featured the Art Deco look of the Supraphonic snare, ten imperial lugs, and a seamless beaded shell. Again, this snare proved to be a hit with recording artists. Many session drummers began using this model while promoting their use of other brands’ snares.

    Currently, most every drum company has a variation on the Black Nickel-Plated Brass snare from Tama’s Trackmaster to Pearl’s Sensitone and the Collector’s Series by DW. Ludwig continues to produce this model with newer options like hammered shells, die-cast hoops, and tube lugs. It’s one of those all-time favorites that can be found in studios and stages around the world.

     

    How Much Is Too Much?

    By the 1970s, most snares were somewhat standardized. This changed in the 80s with the move towards bigger and more powerful drums. Shells became thicker to the point where there were 8x14 inch snares on the market requiring 12 lugs.

    This movement was the result of the increasing popularity of metal and rock drummers. Their rise was thanks in part to MTV and the added importance of image over substance in rock music. Still, wooden and smaller snares remained popular in jazz and fusion circles.

    This affinity for power maxed out with the advent of the free-floating snare. This design had two aluminum rings that functioned as the bearing edge. This ensured that the lugs were tightened against each other but wouldn’t require a hole to be made in the shell. This type of snare was most popular among marching bands drummers. However, they found a home in drum sets owned by drummers wanting a snare that sounded like a thunderclap.

     

    Tama Recreates the Black Beauty

    The 1980s also saw Tama create a snare that featured sand cast drums. With this design, the metal was poured into a casting made of sand to produce the shell.

    Called the Masterclass series, these snares provided a deafening rimshot, a bronze shell, unparalleled sensitivity, and controlled musical overtones. It became a favorite in rock and pop circles. It has been called the modern-day Black Beauty. It can be heard on many of the most popular musical recordings made over the last 30 years.

     

    Picking Your Perfect Snare

    Snares have quite the dual nature. On one hand, they are constantly moving forward as innovations arise. On the other hand, they also are always looking back at their past to incorporate what has shown to work.

    Picking the right snare is the key to having your own unique sound and look. Jazz drummers may opt for wooden snares and the warmth they provide. A metal drummer might go with a Reissued Black Beauty to get that bright, sensitive sound so popular in the ’80s. Regardless of their choice, the snare will help define their sound. It will provide a way for you to be identified by your choice of snare.

  • How to Care for Your Drum Set

    When many drummers start out, there’s one thing they don’t anticipate: the amount of instrument care involved just to perform well. No other musician has to use as many different mechanical devices as drummers do. Even the most basic performance on a drum set can cause stress on the instruments. In time, this stress can cause the mechanical parts to fail. Often, this will happen at a time that will create the most chaos.

    What does this all mean? Well, it all equates to an adage many percussion instructors will tell their students. “If you care for your drum set, then your set will take care of you.” In other words, you want to make sure to keep your drum set looking and sounding good. This will ensure your drum set will stay free of most mechanical problems that could negatively impact your performance.

    The following are tips from our expert drummers and staff here at DCP. These are some of the different ways that drummers can take care of their set to keep it in the best condition possible.

     

    Cover Up Your Kit

    The appearance of every drummer’s drum set is a deeply personal matter. This is why there are as many different finishes for drum sets as there are drums. Still, there isn’t a drum finish that looks good if it is dusty or dingy.

    This is why you should regularly dust and cover your set. Simply draping a bed sheet or painter’s lightweight drop cloth will be more than sufficient for the task.

    This is of utmost importance if you leave your kit set up in a venue with poor air quality. Sure, cigarette smoke is mostly a thing of the past in restaurants and bars due to bans on indoor smoking. However, there is still the problem of grease in the air. This can lead to your set developing a thin coating of grime. The grime can destroy the finish on your set rather quickly. The easiest solution is to cover your drums when they aren’t in use.

     

    Wipe Down Your Drum Set and Avoid Scratching the Finish

    You should always wipe your kit down when you are done playing it for the night. Wipe your set down with a soft clean cloth and a bit of Windex. This should help to remove any grease or film that may build up on your drums or hardware. However, this shouldn’t take the place of giving your set a thorough cleaning from time to time.

    A deep clean requires you to dismantle your entire set down to the lugs and rims. That way, you can clean the individual small parts. It also enables you to polish the drums.

    If your drums have a wrapped finish, you will be cleaning a plastic surface. In contrast, lacquered finishes will have you simply polishing the lacquer. Rarely will you work on a natural wood surface. Regardless of the coating, care should be taken to ensure that you don’t scratch the surface.

     

    Lube the Bearing Edges and Clean the Tension Rods

    These are all jobs you will want to do when you have your entire set broken down. You can do them one-by-one as well.

    When the heads are off their shells, you should inspect the bearing edges (the part of the rim that is in contact with the head) for wear. As long as they aren’t damaged, you can just put a light coating of beeswax on to keep them in good shape. If some damage is starting to appear, then you should contact your nearest drum smith. They can check how much damage has been done.

    You also will want to clean the tension rods when the heads are off. All it takes is a thorough wiping down. This will remove any dust or particles that may have become stuck in the threads of the lugs. After cleaning, add a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil. This will keep the rods moving freely when you are tightening the lugs.

     

    Replace Your Heads as Needed, Even the Bottom Ones!

    Before putting your drum set back together—but after a detailed cleaning—inspect all of your drumheads. Drumheads aren’t designed to last forever. Once they wear out, they won’t sound great. If the batter head (the one you strike) develops pits or the coating has worn away, you will want to replace your old drumheads with new ones.

    You won’t want to forget about the resonant head (the one you don’t strike) either. The best way to check this drumhead is when you reassemble the drum. If the drum won’t tune evenly or the resonance isn’t what it once was, you probably want to replace the resonant drumhead.

     

    Don’t Forget the Cymbals

    The last part of your set that you will want to regularly clean are your cymbals. Contrary to common opinion, the cymbals are one of the easiest parts of your set to clean. All it takes is to apply a cleaner like Nevr Dull or Bar Keeper’s Friend. Add a little water to wet the cymbal and gently rub a soft cloth over the cymbal you are cleaning.

    Be careful if you like the logo on your cymbals. These cleaners will remove the painted logo. Once you have covered the cymbal with the cleaning material and water, you can gently wipe them off. They will sparkle like new, especially under the lights of a club.

    Once you have bought the drum set of your dreams, you will want to keep it looking its best. This will ensure that it also sounds its best as well. While it is a bit labor-intensive to do, giving your set a thorough cleaning is well worth the effort. Regularly cleaning your entire drum set and spot cleaning it between performances will keep your set in the best condition it can be.

  • Limited Edition Sonor Cast Bronze Snare Drums at DCP!

    Sonor Cast Bronze Snare Drum - A Renewed Life at Drum Center of Portsmouth!

    The story of this drum forces you to look backwards, to the 1980s to be exact. Sonor offered the cast bronze snare drums in the Signature series, and they were the most highly regarded snare drums of the era. They were offered in two sizes: 14x8 and 14x4. Nowadays, these drums in mint condition easily fetch $4000-$6000. To drum aficionados, these are considered holy grail snare drums.

    All that glitters may as well be bronze....

    Personally, I had 2 qualms with these drums:

    1. The parallel throw-off mechanism, while it was an engineering marvel, was bulky and made it uncomfortable to position on my set. (It also required a custom case for transport.)
    2. It wasn't available in a 6.5" depth.

    In the early 2000s, Sonor began offering the Artist Bronze snare drum, though only in a 6" depth. It also featured Black Nickel hardware, and lacked the German 'hella hoop', which to me was always synonymous with quality and prestige. It's a great drum, but for a Sonor nut like me, it misses a few key points of what make Sonor snare drums truly special.

    I worked with Karl-Heinz Menzel at Sonor Germany on this project. Logistically, projects like this need to start a year in advance, so I was planting the seeds for this concept at our ninth anniversary party. To be honest, when I pitched the idea, the last thing I expected to hear was "yes", but sure enough, Karl agreed to engage in the endeavor. I was stunned, and overjoyed. I committed to 10 pieces each (in 14x6.5 and 14x8) right away, without knowing - or even caring - what the cost would be!

    This is a Truly Special Snare Drum.

    This model features SQ2 lugs, badges, and the dual glide throw-off, plus an additional badge that Sonor will monogram personally for every customer who purchases one! Don't hesitate on this drum. These pieces of history will sell out QUICKLY.

    These will be shipping in the summer of 2019.  We will ship upon arrival.  

    • Limited to TEN Pieces
    • Signature Badge that will be Personally Monogrammed
    • 3mm Cast Bronze Shell With 2mm Dynamic Edge Reinforcement
  • The 3 BEST Drum Heads for 2019 Reviewed

    Prior to the 1950s, drumheads were created using calfskin heads. While the sound produced was cool with a nice depth, the installation proved a challenge. Every head had to be formed into a round disc and then soaked to loosen up. From there, it would be stretched across the shell and connected to the hoop and tuned up. These heads would contract and expand based on the weather. Post-1950s saw the creation of plastic drumheads formed from Mylar polyester or even Kevlar aramid fiber. These advancements formed opportunities for new textures and sounds.

     

    The drumheads are important aspects of the drum kit. A solid drumhead can transform the drum kit sound to something truly amazing. Drumheads come in a variety of options, including clear or coated, double-ply or single, or even thin or thick. Understanding your options is the first step in choosing a great drumhead to really pull the kit together.

     

    If you are an experienced drummer, replacing the drumheads can bring the sound back to life or offer new options. For novice drummers, your best bet is to start with a quality set. That way, you can train your ears to the right tones. At the Drum Center of Portsmouth, we know a bit about building great kits and can help determine the best drumhead for your needs.

     

    A Quick Overview

    We are here to connect you to the top 3 drumheads in our inventory and on the market. In 2019, there are plenty of options, so we took careful consideration in building this list. For a quick glance, look at the Evans Calftone for a Retro look, the Remo Emperor Colortone for a bold statement, or the Aquarian Modern Vintage for versatility.  

    There’s also a handy buyer’ guide to help answer some questions when it comes to choosing a drumhead. Ready to learn more and make a choice? Let’s roll!

     

    Best Drum Head for a Retro Style: Evans Calftone

     

    For a more traditional kit with a warm, responsive drumhead, go for the Evans Calftone. The drumhead has a great retro aesthetic in both sound and appearance. It is equipped with a synthetic fiber coat for a little bit extra focus in the sound product. The drumhead is a single-ply head and has the sound and look of calfskin even with a synthetic fiber layer. The combination creates more boost for the low to mid frequencies.

     

    Pros

    • Retro look
    • Aesthetic mimics calfskin
    • Synthetic fiber coat
    • Single ply head
    • Affordable price range
    • Rich, warm tones

     

    Cons

    • Works best for low or medium live playing  
    • Sound not as bright as it would be with a clear drumhead
    • Works better with drumstick as brushes do not pop out clearly

     

    Specs

    • Calftone drumhead finish
    • Available in sizes 8” to 18”
    • Level 360 Tech
    • 7mil film base

     

    Available Online?

    We offer the full range of the Evans Calftone sizes both online and in store. Browse the collection or stop in and see it for yourself!

     

    Why We Love it

    Overall, a retro drum kit is a solid choice for any drummer. We love the calfskin aesthetic that provides this vintage look and warm tones. One of the great benefits of this drumhead is the range between mid and low frequencies. The sound is both warm and bright, great qualities for drumheads. It is thin enough that the Evans Calftone will respond well to light touches.

     

    Best Drum Head for Making a Statement: Remo Emperor Colortone

    The Remo Emperor Colortone is great for many reasons. One of the top reasons is the popping colors options that include vibrant shades of red, yellow, orange, blue, green, and even smoke. This makes for a visual aesthetic that is bright and captivating. The vibrant shades make a for a great statement on any kit, perfect for the stage.

    The tom batter heads are formed with Skyndeep Imaging Technology. The visual is accompanied by great durability, attack, and projection. This is created with two-ply and 7 mil film and a smoothly coated top layer.

     

    Pros

    • Powerful projection
    • Great durability
    • Can handle heavy hitting
    • Affordable price range

     

    Cons

    • Not great for high volume situations
    • Does not respond as well to brushes

     

    Specs

    • 2-ply
    • 7-mil clear film
    • Available in sizes 8-18 (tom batter)
    • Available in sizes 18-26 (bass batter)
    • Comes in 6 colors (Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, Smoke, and Blue)

     

     

    Available Online?

    This drumhead is available as both bass batter head and tom batter heads. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we offer the full line of products in both types with a range of sizes. These can be found in-store and online.

     

    Why We Love It

    The colors available from this line are wonderful, and we love the statement they make. The Remo Emperor Colortone produces a sustainable and warm attack. We prefer this for studio recording or medium volumes of live playing. The great part here is that the aesthetic is matched by a quality product that comes out through this durable and versatile drumhead.

     

    Best Drum Head for Versatility: Aquarian Modern Vintage

    Similar to the Evans Calftone, the Aquarian Modern Vintage creates a warm sound with a calfskin look and feel. It is also a vintage look but has a couple more options. This drumhead is available as either a thin or medium option. Each one has a benefit, depending on what you are looking to create. The medium weight is available with a 10-mil coating, and the thin weight comes with a 7-mil coating.

     

    Pros

    • Responds well to either drumsticks or brushes
    • Produces warm tones
    • Sustains well

     

    Cons

    • Not suited for high-volume playing
    • Slightly more expensive than other options
    • The thin head is slightly less durable than the medium

     

     

    Specs

    • Single-ply
    • Available with either 10-mil or 7-mil coating
    • Range of sizes, including 10” to 26”

     

    Available Online?

    Excited to check this out? You can do that either online or in person. Check out the medium or thin drumheads that are stocked in a range of sizes by Drum Center of Portsmouth.

     

    Why We Love It

    We like options, which is why we love the Aquarian Modern Vintage drumhead. With this drumhead, you get to choose between a medium or thin option and control the sound you create. This single ply drumhead has a warm, open sound with both options sustaining well. The medium version is slightly more durable than the thin, so keep that in mind when outfitting your set. Overall, both options provide an open and responsive drumhead.

     

    Quick Look: Summarizing the Drum Head Options

    Drum Head Ply Size Range Coating Thickness
    Evans Calftone One-ply 8” to 18” 7 mil
    Remo Emperor Colortone Two-ply 8” to 18” or 18” to 26” 7 mil
    Aquarian Modern Vintage One-ply 10” to 26” 7 mil or 10 mil

     

    Buyer's Guide for Drum Heads

    There’s more to buying a drumhead than reading a few reviews. These are just three options, and there are quite a few factors and specs to consider before committing to a drumhead. Whether you are building a new kit or replacing old worn out drumheads, we want to help you find what works for you. To do this, we built a Buyer’s Guide specifically for drumheads. We’ll start by discussing important factors to consider and then answer some common questions.

     

    Standout Brands

    In the world of drums, some brands stand out above the rest. For other parts of the drum kit, like the best cymbals, there are a number of manufacturers producing high-quality products. For drumheads, high-quality drumhead producers are a bit more limited. If you are lucky, you can find a solid local manufacturer. In most cases, the highest standards are reached by well-known manufacturers. Two of the best brands made this list: Evans and Remo.

     

    Thickness

    The tone a drumhead produces largely depends on the thickness of the head itself. The thickness can be determined through the number of plies, which increases thickness. Increased thickness is a benefit because it offers better durability. Thicker drumheads also mean different tones.

     

    Here is an outline of the main differences between thin and thick heads:

     

    Thin Heads:  

    • Quieter
    • Less durable
    • More sensitive
    • Less attack

     

     

    Thick Heads:

    • Louder
    • More durable
    • Less sensitive
    • More attack

     

    Finish

    A variety of textured finishes will offer a variety of sonic characteristics, each distinct from one another. Drumhead finishes include coated, clear, fiber-skin /calfskin, or ebony/black.

    Here is a breakdown of each finish and the sound it produces:

    Coated drumheads come with thick texturing for a dark, warm, and dampened sound.

     

    • Dark
    • Warm
    • Dry tone
    • White appearance
    • Short sustain

     

    Clear drumheads produce a bright tone with a long sustain. They have a bright, transparent, and smooth appearance.

     

    • Long sustain
    • Transparent appearance
    • “Wet” tone
    • Fast attack

     

    Fiberskyn/Calfskin drumheads mimic the classic animal skin composition. It has a similar response to actual calfskin but is warmer and has less overtone.

     

    • Dark
    • Warm
    • Dry tone
    • Natural skin appearance

     

    Ebony/black produces tonal quality similar to the clear heads but is black in design.

     

    • Long sustain
    • Bright
    • Black appearance
    • Fast attack

     

    Dampening

    Dampening production is a result of controlling natural overtones. Drumheads normally come with certain features intended to dampen the drum without the need for additional dampening measures like gel or tape.

    The type of drum will require different levels of dampening. For example, a bass drum will need to dampen high-end overtones while also enhancing low-end frequencies.

     

    Resonance

    Most of the focus is on the batter side of the drum, or the side you hit. However, the side you don’t hit is the resonant side. This is equally important in the overall drum tone. This is where you hear the term “wet” or “dry” resonance.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have made it this far, there are probably a few lingering questions. With all this information, we know it is still important to answer a few straightforward questions. Perhaps you have already through these, or perhaps you need the extra push to ask a few more questions before purchasing a drumhead.

     

    What to consider when buying a drumhead?

    Considerations before buying a drumhead include everything outlined in the Buyer’s Guide and a few more things as well. For one thing, what type of music are you trying to create? Light rock, jazz, and acoustic noises will require the increased resonance found in the one-ply head. A heavy hitter will find their needs met with a double-ply head and thicker coating. Heavy hitters are typically looking to produce R&B, rock, or funk music.  

     

    How do I know I'm ready to buy drumhead?

    If you are reading this guide, you might be ready to buy a drumhead. Buying a drumhead might also mean you are looking to replace an old one. If your drumhead is worn out and not producing the same sound you need, you might need to look into replacing it. If you are trying to create a new sound, you might have to switch between a thin or thick drumhead to try and find that new sound. If you aren’t sure if you are ready, talk to the experts at the Drum Center of Portsmouth.

     

    How much should I expect to spend?

    The answer here is based on the size of the drumhead you need as well as how many. For the most part, it has a large range, going anywhere between $14 to over $100. Right now, Drum Center of Portsmouth has some great deals running on drumheads, so you might be able to snag a high-quality drumhead at a great price.

     

    Bottom Line

    Drumheads have been an integral part of the ideal drum kit since the inception of the drum. Finding the right one means asking the right questions and thinking critically about what you are trying to produce. With the right amount of durability, this investment will create a great sustainable sound for a great music set.

  • The 6 Best Drum Thrones for 2019 Reviewed

    A comfortable and practical throne is vital to a drum player’s sound output and creative ability. In the words of Billy Brennan, a good throne “is the foundation of any player’s groove.”

    Here are some benefits of a good throne and the proper sitting form:

    • By sitting correctly, you can actually play more complex patterns than you would with poor posture.
    • By sitting well, your weight is evenly distributed. Having an even distribution of weight will improve your timing. If your timing is spot on, your tempo will improve as well.
    • You will develop a better sound if you aren’t focused on your posture. Once you train your body to keep good posture, you won’t have to think about it anymore and you can focus on playing.
    • Cheaper seats tend to squeak the longer you use them. Investing in a higher quality throne will minimize these squeaks and get you focused on playing.

     

    Aside from basic considerations like durability and comfort, there are a few other key features you should consider during your search for the best throne.

    All thrones should have a height adjustability feature. If the one you are considering doesn’t, it isn’t a good option for you or anyone. Your seat should also have a large surface area. Without it, you’ll struggle to stay in a secure position without tipping over.

    Thrones should be made out of a material that is both soft and firm, and they should be foldable so you can travel with them.

    These are a few of the primary things you want to shop for. Here at Drum Center of Portsmouth, we know quite a bit about what makes a good drum throne. That’s why we’re bringing you the ultimate buyer’s guide of our top 6 drum thrones for 2019. We’ve categorized our review by priority, so you can find the throne that suits your unique needs.

    Best Overall Drum Throne - Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider with Cloth Top Seat

     

    Of all our top picks, this is our favorite because we believe every feature was carefully contemplated. Unlike other products, this ergonomic throne features a hybrid seat. The combination round/saddle-style seat delivers optimum comfort and support.

    You won’t get tired of playing on this throne and you’ll notice that you stay comfortable for longer without developing body fatigue. Drumming is all about passion, and lots of drummers show that passion through expressive moments. With this throne, you have the freedom to do that without sacrificing balance.

    Where to Buy? Click here to purchase.

     

    Gibraltar Hydraulic Moto Throne -Best Throne for Comfort

    This moto-style throne is the ideal option for those who want comfort above all else. What we love about this piece by Gibraltar is the oversized, plush seat. It provides maximum support so you can play with ease without experiencing any pain from extended sitting.

    This throne also folds down easily for convenience while traveling. The oversized feet make it ultra-stable so you can play as expressively as you want without the risk of tipping over.

    Get the Gibraltar Hydraulic Moto Throne Here

    Product Specifications

      • 17-inch Cordura Moto style seat
      • 19.5”-26” adjustability
      • Hydraulic tube height adjustment
      • Double-braced throne tripod
      • Oversized feet

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Comfort
    • Stability
    • Folds down for traveling

    Cons

    • Seat swivels (Some people like this feature, but others find it annoying)
    • Sometimes the seat raises by itself

     

    Why We Love It: This best-selling throne is a solid option for any drummer who lives and breathes drums. As a drummer, you want to feel the music in your core and be as emotive as possible. Without a drum throne like this one to keep you centered, you’ll find yourself stifling your creativity.

     

    Where to Buy? The Gibraltar Hydraulic Moto Throne is available for purchase on our website. Click here to buy or to request more information.

     

    Tama 1st Chair Round Rider XL Drum Throne With Red Seat - Best Throne for Stability

    Balance is fundamental to drumming. Without it, your center of gravity will be skewed, which obstructs your ability to play well. This versatile throne features a rounded cushion and exceptionally thick seat that gives you more sitting area, so you can rest your weight on the throne rather than your feet.

    Aside from how it can help you play better, the beautiful crimson-colored cushion makes it a pleasure to look at and use. While functionality should be the driving factor behind any throne purchase, this product also delivers on design quality.

    Get the Tama 1st Chair Round Rider XL Drum Throne With Red Seat Here

    Product Specifications

    • XL cushion
    • Red seat
    • 20 1/4" - 26 3/8" adjustability

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Balanced
    • More sitting space

    Cons

    • Less adjustability
    • Fewer product features

     

    Why We Love It: This throne brings both stability and comfort to the table, allowing you to focus on your craft without worrying about whether or not your throne is affecting your balance.

     

    Where to Buy? To purchase the Tama 1st Chair Round Rider XL, click here.

     

    Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider -Beast Throne for Maneuverability

    This impressive throne can help you reach mastery in your craft. What makes this product so unique is its combination round/saddle-style seat. A round seat promises fluid motion, and a saddle-style seat promises support.

    No matter how hard you rock, this throne will be your best friend. The front cut-out lets you maintain full control of your thighs so you can use your body as expressively as you please.

    This model is as sturdy as they come. All of the pieces are made of expert-grade materials that eradicate the chances of loosening bolts.

    Get the Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Drum Throne Here

    Product Specifications

    • Two-piece locking hinge collar system for reduced wobbling
    • 1st chair’s height adjustment
    • Glide-Tite Grip Joint for extra secure base attachment
    • Extra-large rubber feet
    • Foot Life plastic leg attachment

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Super durable
    • Maneuverability
    • Stability
    • No wobbling

    Cons

    • Expensive option

     

    Why We Love It: There’s a reason this throne is a crowd-favorite. The throne’s ergonomic design makes it a prime choice for drummers who like to move while playing.

     

    Where to Buy? Click here to learn more about and purchase this throne.

     

    Ludwig Atlas Classic Saddle Throne -Best Throne for Support

    Available in a blue/olive colorway, this saddle-style throne is incredible for drummers who want something simple that still has a cool factor. The thick, high-density foam makes this throne our top pick for support because of how it helps eradicate back and leg fatigue.

    This throne is an especially good pick for drummers who anticipate long performances. Extended periods of sitting can hurt your posture, leaving you with a full-body ache that makes it difficult to play your drums properly.

    This throne prevents those issues from ever arising in the first place. Once you develop back pain, it can take a while to curb those symptoms. Investing in a throne like this one from the get-go will ensure you never have to face those issues. If you’re looking for a classic look and powerful performance, this one’s for you.

    Get the Ludwig Atlas Classic Saddle Throne Here

    Product Specifications

    • Embroidered block logo
    • Blue/olive colored vinyl
    • High-density foam
    • Height adjustability
    • Locking spindle

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Unique design
    • Minimizes stress on legs and back
    • Less expensive than other picks

    Cons

    • Colorful design (May only pair well with certain drum sets)

     

    Why We Love It: If you’re most concerned about how your body feels during and after a performance, this throne will serve you well. The saddle-style cushion is firm enough to provide adequate support and soft enough to keep you comfortable while playing.

     

    Where to Buy? Click here to purchase it.

     

    Canopus Hybrid Drum Throne II - Best Throne for the Heat

    While it may not be the most important factor for you to consider, how a throne operates in intense heat is important. The most compelling thing about this throne is the unique material it is made from.

    The seat is made from an ultra-breathable material called Sisal Hemp, and the cover is made from a firm material called urethane. This hybrid throne will keep you cool in the summer while still providing good support.

    Get the Canopus Hybrid Drum Throne II Here!

     

    Product Specifications

    • Seat materials: Sisal Hemp, rayon, and urethane
    • Seat clamp and steel plate mounted on the base
    • Steel center post with aluminum legs
    • Adjustable Height
    • Rubber feet

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Breathable material is ideal for hot temperatures
    • The seat is both soft and firm
    • Sturdy
    • Rubber feet prevent the throne from sliding

    Cons

    • Seat is thin

     

    Why We Love It: We recommend this throne because of how versatile it is. It provides both the support of a heavyweight throne and the comfort of a lightweight throne.

     

    Where to Buy? To read more about this throne and to purchase it, click here.

     

    Best Throne for Adjustability -(DW Hardware: Heavy Duty Throne, Air Lift, Round Top)

    Arguably our most luxurious pick, this throne has a pneumatic lift system that lets you make fast and smooth adjustments to the seat’s height. Its quad-leg folding base provides added protection from wobbling, and the thick cushion keeps you ache-free for as long as you are using it.

    Another unique feature of this particular throne is the option to purchase and attach a backrest. You can use this backrest for extra comfort while playing. A backrest will also help you maintain good posture and minimize your risk of toppling over.

    Get the Heavy Duty Throne Here!

    Product Specifications

    • Pneumatic lift system
    • Folding base with 4 legs
    • 14” round seat

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Easy to adjust
    • Prevents shaking

    Cons

     

    • Another expensive option

     

    Why We Love It: This throne is a reliable option that won’t disappoint when it comes to adjustability.

     

    Where to Buy? Learn more about and purchase this throne here.

     

    FAQ

    Why is a throne so important?

    Thrones are important because, without a comfortable place to sit and the ability to freely move your feet, your ability to play will be challenged. Thrones provide a balance that is fundamental to drumming.

    What should be my top priorities when shopping for a throne?

    There are so many different thrones on the market, some of which offer unique features that standard thrones do not. However, all thrones should offer comfort and durability. This is a part of your drum kit that you will use a lot, so you want something that wears well.

    Do I need a drum throne?

    Absolutely. Even if it’s a less expensive option, a drum throne is essential. Without the added support that it provides, you may suffer from back pain while playing. This will not only affect the way you play, but it may diminish your motivation to play.

    How do I know I’m ready to buy a throne?

    You’ll know you’re ready to invest in a high-quality throne when you notice yourself experiencing pain or fatigue from your current seat. If the seat you use with your drum set is not meant for that purpose, it may be hindering you from achieving your full drumming potential.

    How much should I expect to spend?

    You can find a good throne at any price point, but if you want something of exceptional quality, you can expect to spend a bit more.

    To some, a throne seems like an unnecessary investment. After all, how important is a seat? It’s quite important actually. A quality throne is what separates a skilled drummer and an uncoordinated drummer. We recommend setting aside anywhere from $100-300.

    What should I avoid?

    Some people have a preference between a manual or automatic adjustment. However, it may be difficult to find your perfect height with a manual adjustment. Manual drum thrones are controlled by a metal pin placed into holes that are spaced around two inches apart. With these types of thrones, there’s a chance that your perfect height exists somewhere between those pre-decided heights.  

    How do I assemble my throne?

    Directions for assembly may vary between thrones, but the instructions are generally the same. Thrones usually arrive in 3 separate pieces: the base, seat, and shaft. Begin by spreading the base’s legs and locking them in place. Then, insert the shaft into the base. Finally, place the seat on top of the shaft and screw it in place.

    What is there to consider when buying a throne?

     

    Height adjustability

    No two drummers are alike. All drummers have a preferred sitting position that depends on their height and where they like to be positioned in relation to the drums. Height adjustability is one of the most important features of a drum throne because it allows you to customize the throne in whatever way you desire.

    To find your perfect height, place your feet where you usually do on your drum set’s two main peddles. Then, raise your knees as high as you can without stepping off the pedals. This is generally the height for which you want to adjust your drum throne, give or take a few inches.

    Seat shape

    Some different seat shapes include round, cycle, saddle, split, and square. Again, you must test these different seat types and decide on one that works best for you. Spend a significant amount of time testing different types of thrones and see how comfortable you are.

    Are you experiencing back pain? Do your thighs tingle or fall asleep after sitting on the throne for too long? Does the throne make you feel sore and stiff? These are all factors to consider.

    Seat rotation

    Some seats will rotate when you move while others stay completely still. Again, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people don’t mind moving freely. Others like to control their own movements. Always check the product description for mention of a swiveling seat.

    Plushness

    While a soft throne is important because it keeps you comfortable, you want to avoid buying something that is too soft that won’t provide any support. Find a happy middle and choose something that is partly firm. That way, you have added support while still being comfortable.

    Base type (number of legs)

    You have several options when it comes to the number of legs at the base of your throne. More legs mean more stability. It is possible to wobble and even fall on a throne, so choose one that has a few or more legs to minimize your risk of falling.

    Manual or automatic adjustment

    If you choose a manual throne, you will have to adjust the height yourself. Some people like this because it gives them more control. The other option is a pneumatic throne that adjusts itself when you sit on it.

    Portability

    If you’re playing in a band that performs at venues, you’re going to need to move your drum throne around frequently. Because of this, you want something light that can be folded into a compact form. If you’re only going to be playing in one location, you can get away with a heavier throne that doesn’t have a transport functionality.

    Backrest?

    This is another feature that is up to personal preference. If you’re an expressive drummer who likes to move their body quite a bit, a backrest will actually make it harder for you to do so. If you plan on staying fairly still, a backrest can be an effective way to maintain the proper posture.

    Shaft

    Thrones either have a threaded shaft with grooves or a smooth shaft that is just a solid piece of metal. Smooth shafts can lead to sliding problems that you don’t want. Threaded shafts provide more stability. This isn’t to say that you should completely avoid a smooth shaft. What matters is the overall quality of the throne.

    Your weight

    This is important because you want a drum throne that can support your weight. Check each product’s specifications and weight capacity before you decide on one.

     

    Bottom Line

    Choosing the right drum throne can be daunting, especially if you plan to spend quite a bit of money. Thrones are more than simple chairs, and the one you pick should serve a number of purposes. You must not only consider price, but also comfort, sturdiness, functionality, portability, and much more.

    We’ve shown you several options at varying price points. All of these offer some unique features that may or may not appeal to you depending on what your main concerns are. In order to make the best choice possible, we recommend deciding on your priorities before you begin shopping.

    The throne must be uniquely yours. At the end of the day, the most important thing you should want is comfort and balance. Without these two things, you put yourself at risk of injury. If you associate playing with pain or fatigue, you will be less motivated to use your drums. No one wants to feel like their passion is hurting them.

    The most common type of injury is lower back pain. This can occur from sitting too low. To check if you are sitting too low, see if your knee goes above your thigh. If so, you need to adjust your seat’s height to ensure your knee rests below your thigh. You can also hurt your hip flexor muscles if you are sitting too high.

    Ultimately, you should study the way you play drums before deciding on a throne. This will give you a clear understanding of what is most comfortable to you depending on your body shape and height.

    Aside from that, everyone maneuvers their bodies in different ways. You shouldn’t have to conform to one way of sitting or moving if it’s not the way that feels right for you. Your drum throne should work with you, not against you.

    You also want to look for signs of fatigue and find the root of those problems. It varies between people, but we mentioned a few common mistakes that may be causing those issues. Understanding what that pain stems from will aid in your search for a drum throne that can prevent those problems.

    We hope our guide helps you understand how essential a good drum throne is and how much of a difference it can make in how well you play. There are so many options for you to explore so we urge you to begin your search using our carefully crafted guide.

    Whatever model you choose, we’re sure you’ll be impressed by the quality and design. Your perfect drum throne is out there, so what are you waiting for? To browse our selection of drum thrones and other drum-related equipment, click here.

  • Rogers Dyna-Sonic Wood Shell Snare Drum Reissue Review

    The Rebirth of a Legend

    The Rogers name carries a lot of weight in terms of USA drum history.  The quality and innovation of Rogers drums back in the 60’s is legendary, and those drums remain highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.  One of the more well known innovations is the Dyna-Sonic snare drum, and its proprietary floating snare wire rail system.

    Wood and metal Dyna-sonic snare drums were introduced around 1961, and were produced until 1980.  The metal snare drums sold much better than their wooden counterparts and for this reason the wooden Dyna-sonics of this era are much more scarce.

    The Reissue

    The Rogers Drum Company was recently given new life when it was acquired by Big Bang Distribution.  Rogers enthusiasts were happy to hear that Rogers would begin producing faithful replacement parts for their vintage drums.  Shortly after, they announced the reissue of one of their most sought after collector’s snares - the wooden Dyna-Sonic.

    We weren’t particularly excited upon the news of the Dyna-Sonic’s reissue.  Wooden Dyna-Sonics were so rare, that we didn’t have much experience with them.  Once we got our hands on them, we quickly changed our tune.

    The Hardware

    The most hype around the Dyna-Sonic is the proprietary floating rail system.  The concept behind this system is to evenly distribute snare wire tension across the bottom head, preventing that annoying choked sound.  While the functionality of the rail system seems daunting at first, once you spend some time with it you can understand its value. The snare response on the Dyna-Sonic is absolutely incredible, and is much more than just a gimmick.  The 14x5 models were exceptionally sensitive making them a ton of fun to play.

    Dyna-Sonics come with 2 distinct lug options - the Bread and Butter or the Beavertail.  What’s remarkable about these lugs (and all of the other hardware components) is that they are EXACT reproductions of the originals from the 60’s.  This is great news for vintage collectors and people just getting on board with Rogers drums alike.

    Another completely useful and functional throwback on the Dyna-Sonic is the internal muffler system.  Why aren’t more drum companies employing these? The easy to use muffler gives you the perfect amount of dampening with a simple turn of the knob, eliminating the need for moongels or other inconvenient options.  Other faithful hardware components include the Rogers script logo, oval badge and Clock face strainer. The hoops are triple flanged 1.6 mm.

    The Shell

    The shell quality is nothing short of amazing.  We’re not sure what we were expecting, but the flawless finish and attention to detail took us by surprise. As it turns out, the Maple/Poplar combination shells are edged and assembled by another legendary drum name - Bill Detamore of Pork Pie fame.  Needless to say, the edges are flawless, and the stained interior really add a touch of aesthetic flair.

    The Verdict

    The Dyna-Sonic snare drum exceeded our somewhat modest expectations in nearly every way.  Every component on these snare drums is top-notch quality.  The snare system, once mastered, lives up to the hype.  The convenience of the internal muffler is exceptional, and the quality of the faithfully reproduced lugs and strainer make the Dyna-Sonic Reissue a realistic option for vintage enthusiasts and modern drummers alike.    

    We carry a ton of the new Rogers Dyna-Sonic Snare drums in many different finish options.  Feel free to give us a call regarding Rogers Drums and we'll be happy to answer any inquiries you may have!

  • Ludwig / Noble Cooley Solid Ply Snare Drum - DCP 10th Anniversary Exclusive

    This Ludwig Limited Edition Solid Ply Tulipwood Snare Drum is a very special instrument. This is a result of over one year of development and research. This amazing drum is only available at Drum Center of Portsmouth!

    The Ludwig Solid Ply Snare Drum Concept

    Ludwig is the undisputed king of snare drums.  The Ludwig snare drum legacy typically is with their seamless metal snare drums, like the Supraphonic or Black Beauty snares.  Their wood snare drums don't get as much attention despite being very good snare drums.  The void in the Ludwig line is the studio staple; a steam bent, solid ply snare drum that has that growl and body, like the old Slingerland Radio King Snare Drums.

    The Noble & Cooley Solution

    When it comes to steam bending snare drums, Noble & Cooley has likely bent more shells than any other current manufacturer.  As America's oldest drum company, their wood working expertise has yielded some of the most classic snare drum sounds ever laid down on tape.

    When the topic came up for a Ludwig snare drum powered by Noble and Cooley, we decided to try all of their snare drum shells and sent them to Ludwig, who cut the bearing edges and beds, and ultimately concluded that the magic shell was Tulipwood.  When Noble & Cooley was producing drums for the Civil War (!), the shells were made of Tulipwood.

    The Specs

    These gorgeous 14x6.5 solid-ply Tulipwood shells are finished in a Ringo-inspired Golden Slumbers lacquer finish that brings out the subtle grain pattern of the wood.  The hardware features rugged diecast hoops, low mass tube lugs, and a spectacular P88AC throwoff.

    Tremendous care went into every element of this exclusive snare drum, and we believe the result is nothing short of spectacular.

    The Heirloom Snare Drum

    That's exactly what this is, a slice of American drum manufacturing in present day, captured in time.  If we look back at the classic Ludwig Snare drums, especially commemorative ones, it's easy to see that they become highly sought after collector's items.  If you consider the fact that this is a co-op with America's oldest drum company, Noble and Cooley, well, it's safe to say that this is not only an outstanding sounding snare drum, but a great investment piece.  Take care of this drum, and it will take care of you.

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