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8 Best Pearl Snare Drums in 2022 Reviewed

With fans like Todd Sucherman of Styx and Ian Paice of Deep Purple swearing by Pearl drums, the iconic drum maker has a long list of illustrious endorsements. In the world of drumming, Pearl is for those who appreciate quality.

The Japanese drum manufacturer entered the American rock scene in the 1960s, and since then, it hasn’t stopped pumping out one innovation after the next. With groundbreaking innovations like the seamless clear acrylic Crystal Beats and the hinged tube tom arm, the name is synonymous with prestige. 

A Pearl snare elevates any set from run-of-the-mill to a work of beauty. For the drummer ready to step up into the professional leagues, it’s an unquestionable investment. 

Here are the eight best Pearl snare drums in 2022. We’ve reviewed them for their design, sound, price point, and more.

1. Pearl Duoluxe Snare - Inlaid Chrome over Brass – 14x6.5

Pearl released its Duoluxe Snare in 2021 for the brand’s 75th anniversary. This drum is a tribute to their classic interplanetary Jupiter snare of the 1970s and is a modern take on a legendary and historic drum sound.

Featuring Pearl’s signature dual inverted shell beads, this is a partnership of chrome over a brass alloy shell with a dual-layer of Nicotine White Marine Pearl bands. Trust us when we say this is the look and the tone. This snare also features ten double-ended battleship lugs along with Pearl’s 2.3mm triple-flanged Superhoop 2 steel hoops.

Aesthetically pleasing with a retro touch, the Duoluxe delivers a solid and weighty feel backed by the exceptional build quality. The snares are perfectly round, and the bearing edges are smooth. The tuning rods are silky, so it’s easy to tune with equal head tension. Turn the snares off and experience a rich tonal range that distinguishes the Pearl sound.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Duoluxe
  • Shell: Chrome over brass alloy w/Nicotine White Marine Pearl inlaid
  • Snare Size: 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: 10
  • Hoops: Triple-flanged
 
 

PROS

  • Versatile fusion of classic and contemporary – Manufactured with all Pearl’s expertise but with a modern take in terms of sound and design.
  • Excellent sound – Offering excellent output and tone for live music settings and studio sessions to encompass a wide range of musical styles.
  • Classic style – A vintage style and sound supported by modern technology

CONS

  • Price – Not the cheapest around, but experts will maintain that this snare from Pearl offers value for money.
 

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2. Pearl Sensitone Heritage Alloy Snare Drum 14x6.5 Aluminum

Drawing on a proud heritage of delivering performance and value for the professional drummer, the Pearl Sensitone Heritage Alloy Snare Drum sound is an amalgam of the Heritage Alloys. These revisit the legendary chart-toppers of yesteryear but with a modern interpretation.

This snare has a 1.2mm seamless beaded chrome shell to deliver impressive projection and smooth overtone. The triple-flanged hoop offers the ultimate tuning integrity and maximum shell resonance when you play. Fitted with Pearl’s CL bridge lugs, this snare has 20-strand ultrasound snare wires.

This versatile snare is easy to tune and player-friendly on the stage and in the studio. It offers exceptional value both in terms of performance delivery and price point.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Sensitone
  • Shell: Aluminum
  • Snare Size: 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: 10
  • Hoops: Triple-flanged
 
 

PROS

  • Easy tuning – Smooth tension rods make for slick tuning, and combined with the USA-made heads, it is crisp and responsive with an articulate, clean sound.
  • Versatility – A player-friendly choice for almost any musical genre, studio sessions, and live gigs.
  • Value for money – Accessible price point which delivers excellent value.

CONS

  • Low tuning needs assistance – Muddy sounding on low turning, so it needs considerable dampening to get a usable sound, best suited to a medium or higher tuning.
  • Snare strainer rattles – There is an audible rattle when played with the snares off.
 

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3. Pearl 14x5 Brass Free Floating Snare Drum

If you are after a warm tone that vibrates, resonates, and projects, the Brass Free Floating Snare Drum from Pearl ticks all these boxes.

This drum features a unique and patented system that allows you to tune the snare from the top and the bottom. The free-floating lugs don’t touch the 1mm brass shell, producing a distinct sound.  

Drummers also can achieve higher and lower tuning dynamics by connecting the hardware to a unique edge ring. It holds the drumheads together while allowing for regular tuning.

This snare has the standard rugged and reliable Pearl hardware to keep it in tune without impacting the shell resonance. It produces a super organic brass tone. It’s a good, durable, all-purpose snare that will deliver in most studio and live settings across various musical genres.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Free Floater
  • Shell: Brass
  • Snare Size: 14 x 5
  • Lugs: Tube lugs
  • Hoops: Die-cast
 
 

PROS

  • Universality – Flexible enough to suit accomplished musicians across various musical styles but accessible for a newer drummer still looking to hit their niche.
  • Extended tuning range – Access a broad and dynamic range for practice sessions and loud venues.
  • Excellent projection and sound – Enjoy a rich organic tone that vibrates and resonates due to the absence of hardware on the shell.

CONS

  • Different sound from a snare with non-floating traditional technology – Some drummers just won’t like the sound or feel like it's not like a regular snare drum.
  • Spare parts may require ordering and a lengthy wait – You won’t find spares for this snare at your local store, so while you are waiting, your snare may be unusable.
 

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4. Pearl Sensitone Heritage Alloy Snare Drum - 14x5 - Black Nickel Over Brass

The Pearl Sensitone snare has long been the ‘go-to’ choice for drummers in every style and genre of music. Now, Pearl has reintroduced this versatile snare with additional metal options that offer a slightly different take on the classic Pearl sound.

Black nickel over brass delivers the ultimate classic snare tone with Heritage Alloy brass snares and a 1mm beaded shell. With CL bridge lugs and Pearl’s distinct SR017 snare strainer, there is enough sonic flexibility to fit into any genre.

This snare has all the assurance and reliability of decades of sound experience and drumming know-how. It is sure to suit players of all skill levels.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Sensitone
  • Shell: Brass with black nickel finish
  • Snare Size: 14 x 5
  • Lugs: 10
  • Hoops: Triple-flanged
 
 

PROS

  • Superior playability – Tune high, medium, or low; the versatility is outstanding.
  • Excellent volume – The snare achieves an impressive volume without compromising the tone, which keeps its classic rich ringy sound.
  • Versatility – This snare will deliver in any musical style with plenty of flexibility.

CONS

  • Stock drumheads – Most players want to change the drumheads provided for their favorites.
  • Order with care – Make sure your drum price matches what you are buying, as Pearl’s advertising can be confusing between the Sensitone and Sensitone Elite ranges.
 

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5. Pearl Stavecraft Snare Drum in Thai Oak - 14x6.5 - Hand Rubbed Natural

For the rock drummer, the sharp focus and full volume of the Stavecraft Snare in Thai Oak offer just what the doctor ordered for sound, tone, and rock performance.

This snare has exceptional shell strength with two layers of beveled solid Thai oak staves to produce a 25mm thick shell. It’s an industry-leading design combined with solid, traditional construction. 

The added stave of exotic Makha wood exclusive to the Pearl design inserted into the center of the Dado channel formed by each stave helps increase the shell strength by 50%.

The Remo USA CS Black Dot batter head accentuates the tone. The shell is hand-finished and enables tuning precision at any volume.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Stavecraft
  • Shell: Oak with hand-rubbed natural maple finish
  • Snare Size: 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: 10
  • Hoops: Die-cast
 
 

PROS

  • Volume – Volume is piercing for the rock drummer and heavy player.
  • Durable construction – Extra thick and reinforced shell is ideal for rock genres and heavy usage.
  • Exceptional tone – The Black Dot batter head emphasizes the exceptional tone with an impressive volume.

CONS

  • Price point – This snare is towards the top end of the price range for snares.
 

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6. Pearl Reference 14x6.5 Brass Shell Snare Drum

Pearl’s Reference Series was a fairly radical design when it first premiered, mixing woods with different bearing edges to suit the drum’s size and function. Initially, only wooden snare drums were available in the Reference series, but then Pearl introduced four new metal snares and gave them the Reference treatment.

This brass-shelled snare has rich warmth, but make no mistake—this is one heavyweight snare. The brass shell measures an incredible 3mm but also offers extraordinary detail.

Pivoting lugs, unique to Pearl, align perfectly with each tension rod and are a technical and aesthetic triumph. Plus, the body of each lug is bridge-style for minimal shell contact.

The snare tensioners and throw-off mechanisms reflect the drum maker’s reputation for precision engineering. Thanks to the cleverly designed tension adjustment nut, the snares will stay secure throughout a performance. 

It’s also easy to change the bottom head without changing the tension—the list of features just goes on and on.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Reference
  • Shell: Brass
  • Snare Size: 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: Pivoting lugs
  • Hoops: Die-cast
 
 

PROS

  • Superb build quality – Heavy-duty construction offers outstanding stadium performance with a high level of engineering.
  • Superior technical detailing – The snare mechanism is brilliantly designed and impossible to dislodge accidentally; plus, the snares won’t loosen mid-performance.
  • Warm brass tone – Crisp and sweet tone operates well at high and lower tensions.

CONS

  • Packs a punch – Not the right choice for players who want a subtle snare.
 

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7. Pearl 14x6.5 Free Floating Snare Drum- Satin Mahogany

Always a name you can trust, Pearl has cornered the market for a free-floating snare. This particular kit delivers power and clarity for all-around drum excellence that can hold its own in even the most challenging musical environments.

Pearl’s unique free-floating chassis lets the shell resonate unhindered by shell hardware, offering the drummer true tonal purity. This model has a 6-ply 7mm shell of North American Maple for projection and body and two inner plies of African mahogany for harmonics and lower pitch frequencies.

The snare also features a click-lock throw-off manufactured with a nylon grip that you can lock in place at the top position and disengage to release quickly.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Free floater
  • Shell: Maple
  • Snare Size: 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: Free-floating 
  • Hoops: Die-cast
 
 

PROS

  • Pure tone – Enjoy the pure sound unencumbered by hardware.
  • Versatility – Not just an all-rounder but a ‘must have’ snare for many musical environments and types.
  • Power – Projection and body guaranteed with the 6-ply 7mm shell.

CONS

  • Cost – For this amount, this is not a practice drum, but one made for the pros.
 

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8. Pearl Music City Custom Solid Wood 14.5 Snare Drum

Pearl Music City Customer Solid Snare Drums are designed to be an heirloom of the future but with a sound that you will want to play now.

Pearl uses steam-treated North American wood—walnut, ash, boxwood, or maple—to create a solid shell for its Music City series. They shape the shell using historic crafting techniques taken from the shipbuilding industry and the days when ships were made of wood.

Hand-milled to 8mm with solid maple reinforcement rings, each shell is hand finished at Pearl’s Music City Custom shop in Nashville, Tennessee, with a single center inlay. It also uses stainless steel tuning rods partnered with STL swivel lugs and SuperHoop II triple-flanged hoops.

 

Specifications

  • Series: Music City Custom
  • Shell: Cherry, walnut, ash, or maple with a choice of inlays in Kingswood, boxwood, or ebony marine
  • Snare Size: 14.5 and 14 x 6.5
  • Lugs: 10
  • Hoops: Lifetime warranty
 
 

PROS

  • Unbeatable quality construction – The highest standard of snare drum manufactured using time-honed techniques and the best materials.
  • Distinctive tone and resonance – The ultimate in drumming voice and studio-focused tone, wholly consistent and reliable with one single piece of wood and maple reinforcing rings
  • True beauty – The sound and the visual impact of the snare’s wood construction are exceptional.

CONS

  • Price – A serious investment and only for the very committed player.
 

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Conclusion

Pearl snare drums are the marker of true excellence for many drummers. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we’re proud to carry an extensive range of Pearl products. 

Our expert and experienced staff can guide you to the right purchase based on your playing requirements, musical genre, and budget. Don’t overlook this essential in any percussion set.

Discover your other top quality snares today, and welcome to the next plane of drumming.

20 days ago