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  • Drum Center of Portsmouth NAMM 2019 Report!

    The 2019 Winter NAMM report from Drum Center of Portsmouth

    Momentum and Shift in the Drum World

    For those of you who have not attended a NAMM show, it’s really a whirlwind. The show runs from Thursday to Sunday, and the days start early and they end late, and it’s a constant attack on the senses in regards to instruments and interactions, not to mention the food and drink. There are copious amounts of awesome and it’s over in a flash. Writing this report serves many purposes: firstly, to let you know about what we saw that’s new and notable, but also, it allows me to keep track of what actually happened.

    Jeremy "T-Bone" looking uber cool, and Shane looking like Thelma from Scooby Doo

    So, what happened at the NAMM show?

    I like to summarize NAMM shows with quick terms.

    This year, it’s “Momentum”, and “Shift”. DCP completed our first complete year in what we believe is the largest drum store in the world, and as our processes have refined, our momentum has gained. It has not been easy, and it’s not about to get any easier. But we’re feeling really strong about 2019 and beyond. Allow me to thank all of our customers for allowing us to do what we do!

    The most notable thing for us is the obvious:

    Drum Center of Portsmouth is the Zildjian Dealer of the Year!

     

    L to R, Mike Gross, Craigie Zildjian, Shane and Lauren Kinney, Jerry Smith, Jeremy Charron

    We were presented with the award at the show and I was absolutely gobsmacked.As we age, we’re really just older versions of the little boys and girls we once were, and the little boy inside of me is always at the forefront when it comes to drums.So to have the most respected name in our industry present this award bearingone of the most identifiable logos in the world, well, let’s just say I was speechless.One of the proudest moments in my life to date, without a doubt.

    Receiving this award made me ask myself; “What brought this on? Was it a targeted effort to sell more Zildjian cymbals?”The answer is no, we didn’t.We stock their line deep, and they’ve made an incredible “shift” in their product line over the past 6-7 years that has really brought people in the door asking for it.

    This award will be proudly displayed at DCP for many years to come.Many thanks to everyone at Zildjian for making this so memorable.

    The Shift

    The other buzz word to summarize this show is “Shift.” There’s a shift occurring in our industry and the navigation of it is difficult because of how fast it’s occurring. What I’m referring to is Electronic drums. The amount of electronic drum companies representing at NAMM was impossible not to notice. Everywhere I turned, there was a new Electronic drum set. The E-drum world for many years was comprised by two titans; Roland and Yamaha. (older generation DDRUM modules get honorable mention but they’ve been out of the picture for many years)

    The majority of other electronic drum brands that you see today that are not Roland or Yamaha are made in the same factory and have a different names slapped on them.These drums all share significant weaknesses that I’ve found impossible to overlook.These weaknesses create diminished experiences all in the name of a lower price which to me is infuriating.

    Roland and Yamaha have committed to making drums that will encourage the drummer to want to play, whereas the others, in my opinion have been looking to move units to a price sensitive public. Like anything, with electronic drums, you get what you pay for. Dear Mr. Wholesaler, I appreciate the need to want to sell stuff, but if a young drummer buys an electronic drum set as their first set, and it doesn’t respond as it should, this drummer is apt to lose interest and give it up. And guess what? We just lost a drummer. So these low quality sets benefit only two: the people that make them and the people that sell them.

    WE MUST NOT THINK THIS WAY OR WE WILL DRIVE OUR CUSTOMERS AWAY!

    DRUMMING IS A LIFE CHANGING GIFT THAT WE WANT AS MANY PEOPLE POSSIBLE TO EXPERIENCE. IT'S OUR JOB TO MAKE IT A GOOD EXPERIENCE!

    But there’s a shift occurring.

    The “Not-so-good” E-drums are continuing to improve. And the high end E-drum market is not unlike Mount Rushmore; what once displayed just two icons, Roland and Yamaha, will now be joined by the newer players; ATV, Pearl, and Gewa.

    ATV aDrums

    Featured at the booth this year was an actual acoustic looking drum set employing their trigger technology with mesh heads. From 10 paces away, you would not be able to tell it was an E-drum kit. And the ATV module is stoic, simple, and perfect. Less tinkering, more playing.

    Gewa Electronic Drums

    I was invited to preview a prototype e-drum set from German mega-distributor Gewa and it was a rather scary moment; I’m rather convinced this is going to be a historic watermark moment in the electronic side of our industry. While the set is still being refined, the one I tried had many of the elements we’ve wanted in an e-drum set and many more. I’m really looking forward to this one.

    Pearl E-Merge has Emerged

    Pearl was showing their E-merge set, which is a partnership with Korg. Korg has pioneered a technology with their wavedrum, and it’s put to use on the e-merge drum set.

    I approached this set with hesitation, as I was admittedly not a fan of the E-pro drums Pearl offers. My fears were removed once I played this kit. It’s absolutely awesome. We have to wait as it’s still many months away. But wow, what a set. It feels great too.

    In summary, 2019 is going to be great for the Electronic drummer.There is now more healthy competition which will bring more value and innovation to the equation.And this is needed.

    So what else was new for drums at NAMM?

    I’ll address the elephant in the room first; Sabian.

    Sabian has done something that I’m very happy about; a new direction for AAX.Over the years, AAX has expanded several times over, each time taking the focus away.The Sabian ethos for many years has been to offer something for everyone.While this is a tremendous virtue, it also is a detriment as the paradox of choice slows down the selection process.

    This year, AAX has been trimmed down and re-worked.To me, for the everyday drummer looking for versatility, the centerpiece of Sabian should be AAX, and the centerpiece of AAX has been the AAX-plosion crashes.

    If you want a darker, lower pitched, penetrating crash cymbal with clean overtones, this is the one. It’s a great rock cymbal, and a staple at DCP. The bloated catalog of offerings created a crippling amount of choices, in which customers would inevitably ask; “What’s the difference between AAX Studio, AAX Stage, AAX Metal, AAX Dark, and AAX Omni?”

    My not so expert advice would typically be in the form of a question.

    “Do you like this AAX-plosion? You do? Ok good. You should buy that one then.”

    Sometimes, this worked. Others, well, you can’t win ‘em all.

    As drummers, we owe a HUGE debt to Sabian for bringing countless innovations, options, and top tier craftsmanship to us.

    Now, it’s going to get much easier to pick all purpose cymbals; the new AAX has been re-worked with new weights and sounds, targeted to the drummer who has been stricken with analysis paralysis. There’s not a dud in the bunch, and I truly believe these to be among the best in class for professional, all purpose cymbals.

    Is there a "But".... Coming?

    The philosophy at Drum Center of Portsmouth from day 1 has always been “Sound first.”In short, the sound and performance of the musical instrument is what matters to us.Not the price, not the popularity, not the marketing hype.

    We sell musical instruments for you to express yourself creatively on.I was disappointed that these awesome new AAX cymbals were not even mentioned in what was the most discussed topic at the show; the “re-branding” of Sabian.

    Sabian decided that they needed a new logo. Gradually, the entire line will be emblazoned with this new logo. If the target in the short term was to draw attention to the brand, then the mission was accomplished. Everyone was certainly talking about it.

    Logo-Gate, The New Coke, Slaybian, Call it what you will

    The public has spoken as well.The response I’ve received and the responses I've witnessed on this logo has been overwhelmingly negative.

    The Sound Remains The Same

    As Sabian re-brands, please remember this; they will continue to manufacture what I believe to be some of the greatest cymbals in the world. I do not want to see you NOT buy a cymbal because you don't care for the logo.

    Sabian Logo Removal Service at Drum Center of Portsmouth

    As the new logo starts to trickle in to our stock, we will offer a free Sabian logo removing service to those who want it removed.We make our suggestions based on sound, and if you don’t care for the logo, we’ll be happy to remove it for you.

    Ok, let's move on.

    While on the topic of cymbals, we’ll talk about the other brands too!

    Paiste

    2019 is the 30th anniversary of the most groundbreaking cymbal innovation in my opinion; the Signature series.Only Paiste can make Paiste cymbals, and what a sound they have.The Sigs were designed for recording situations.Eq’d and optimized for the unflappable scrutiny of expensive microphones, the crystalline frequencies of the fast, full, and mellow crashes found their way onto recordings of some of our favorite recorded music.The power crashes and heavy full crashes soon found their way on to the stages as well.

    As a retailer, one of the most fun things I get to continue to do is to show people Paiste Signature Series cymbals.Many drummers have not been exposed to Paiste, or they haven’t spent much time with them.I’ve had many occasions where I’d show someone one Signature series crash, and they would buy a whole set of them.

    We live in a world where quiet, low pitched cymbals are popular with drummers, but speak to any recording engineer that’s trying to mix a track with multiple guitars, bass and vocals; and they will be happy to tell you that they prefer instruments that carve out their space in limited headroom. 30 years later, the Signature Series is the cymbal for that job.

    Paiste re-introduced bigger Fast models, and the Mellow crashes are back too. The often requested 15” Dark Energy hats are also back, along with the 22” Full ride. The Paiste 2002 series has expanded with the extreme crashes. The goal here is to have a cymbal that is in between 2002 and Rude. And that’s EXACTLY what it is. A great crash that will take some abuse, for sure. And it’s LOUD. Something else worth mentioning is that it really sounds unlike any 2002 I’ve heard, and I like that.

    Zildjian

    Zildjian introduced the K Sweets last year and they’ve been a smash. The line has been rounded out with the new hats, and the Cluster Crashes. The FX stacks are my favorite effect from NAMM 2019.

    Meinl

    For 2019, Meinl has introduced the Byzance Foundry Reserve cymbals, which is a more than welcomed addition to the line. They have dipped their toes in the cymbals geared for the jazz drummer, but these cymbals are all in.I had a chance to play them and I have to say that they sound exactly like what you’d want; a beautiful sounding jazz cymbal for the drummer looking to buy Meinl.

    Also for 2019,there are a few additions to the tk Classic Customs Dark line which has been a powerhouse to the value minded harder hitters; the new effects cymbals and 16” hats are welcome additions.

    Dream

    A few additions to the Dark Matter line. I loved what I tried. More info on that later.

    Ok, how about some drum musings? Let’s go.

    Tama Drums at NAMM 2019

    Tama has discontinued the Birch/Bubinga line. This was a result of new regulations that have restricted the importing of certain hardwoods, bubinga being one of them. The Star Bubinga will remain, but Birch/Bubinga, and Starclassic Bubinga have been discontinued. Something important to note is that Tama WILL manufacture add ons for these lines for a little while. They will all be built to order with a 5 month delivery time. If you want an add on, get a hold of us, and we can get it ordered for you.

    Replacing the B/B line is the Walnut/Birch line, and they are awesome. To me, the B/B drums had a great attack but I wasn’t in love with the lack of roundness. These W/B drums provide that lower fundamental note with enhanced bottom, with the crispy attack of birch. And they are priced VERY aggressively. It’s obvious that Tama has examined the market and responded to the needs.

    The new Dyna-Sync bass drum pedal was a nice surprise, as was the Ronald Bruner, Jr snare drum. Other than the breathtaking tk pic of Star Bubinga set, my choice is the Tama Superstar Neo-Mod drum set. With compact sizes reducing the depth, and not the diameter, the drums are geared for the drummer in quieter environments, or smaller stages. And they are priced well too.

    Yamaha Drums

    Yamaha abruptly ended the Live Custom line last year, and it’s been replaced with Live Hybrid Oak. The standouts on this kit are that they have re-introduced phenolic to their offerings, something they did with the Rock Tour Customs from the 80’s and 90’s, and they’ve incorporated a weight system in the bass drum that brings out more bottom end. I for one cannot wait to try this in the DCP environment. And they look beautiful too.

    Also added is a new bass drum pedal that is bringing sexy back in a big way.Yamaha hardware has been about functionality for many years, but the FP-9 has that, AND the estethic appeal too.Wow.

    Pearl Drums

    Pearl found a winner with the “studio” recipe shell in the Masterworks line. I personally have spoken at length to Shannon Forrest and Todd Sucherman about this, both of them insist that these are the best sounding Pearl drums they’ve played. Pearl wanted to bring this to the drummer that wasn’t looking to spend Masterworks money, so the limited Masters Maple/Gum series has arrived. We’ll be doing some videos on these for sure. And there were several Masterworks snare drums on display that we bought. Watch this space for details.

    Sonor

    The new Jojo Perfect Balance Standard pedal was nice, and the new Prolite finishes were gorgeous.

    Mapex

    The Black Panther design lab drums were on display. I have to hand it to Mapex for pushing the envelope in drum design and innovation. I’m looking forward to getting these in and spending some time with them.

    Gretsch

    Red Gumwood kit was gorgeous. We have one coming. New Catalina Birch kits sounded AWESOME and they are a great price too.

    DW

    I stopped by the DW factory just before NAMM to hear John Good talk about the new Almond drum set. I also got to play it, and I’ll tell, it’s VERY, VERY special. I’ve not heard such pronounced highs AND lows from a drum shell. It’s truly a different sound. I fear that only a few of these will be made, as it’s just too difficult to make shells from this material.

    A&F

    Boundaries pushed. New A&F’er snare drums are absolutely awesome, and the kits too. I’m so amazed how these drums emulate older, vintage drums, but they have a new sound, that hints at an old sound. (did I just bend your brain there?)

    We have a ton of the booth coming to us, watch this space for details!

    British Drum Company

    I was lucky enough to spend the night before NAMM with my friends from the BDC. We’ve had a successful first full year with them, and during that time, I was able to visit their factory and see how they make their drum shells, (which is absolutely mind boggling btw) and during that time, they themselves have gained momentum and have worked out some cracking new snare drums to their line; the Aviator, The Archer, and The tk

    Do not just glance and quickly look away at these drums.Look closely.The attention to detail is unmatched, and they possess an elegance and charm often missed in our world.And what a passionate, focused group these guys are.I’m excited for these new drums to hit.

    Ludwig Drums 110th Anniversary

    The winner this year is Ludwig. Turning 110 this year, they’ve pulled out ALL the stops with commemorative offerings, like the Rosewood snare drum (pre-order this now, it will sell out, I promise), the Jazz Festival re-issues, and eight lug black beauty snares. (BOOYAH!)

    The legacy mahogany limited kits also were absolute head turners. Things are REALLY firing over at Ludwig.

    Dunnett/George Way

    Dunnett Classic Snare Drums are a high water mark for any drummer’s collection. The new B8 2N is something I’m ecstatic about, and there were other glorious one-off’s that we cannot wait to get our hands on. The other big surprise was the return of the original George Way turret lug. (This is the original lug that went to Camco, and has become the DW lug as we know it)

    This lug is more true to the original, and it looked incredible in person.Bravo!

    Schagerl Drums

    I brought Schagerl snare drums into DCP after Todd Sucherman told me it was the finest metal snare he’d played.That’s quite the testimonial.Upon their arrival, and subsequent departure, I have to say that these are without doubt, some of the finest snare drums I’ve experienced.There’s a price tag associated with this quality, and it’s worth it.

    We have a bunch of this NAMM booth coming in, and these will be priced with out the import tax and shipping fee from Austria, so there’s an opportunity to lower your cost here.

    WFLIII

    A regret of mine is not being able to visit Bill Ludwig at the WFLIII drums booth. Why? He was too busy! They were boasting a full booth with good looking drums, and I’d dare say the busiest boutique booth at the show.

    Canopus

    Several new one of a kind snare drums were discussed, and we’ve got them coming!

    Hendrix Drums

    Hendrix Snare drums continue to be a favorite at DCP. And they are focused on improving what they are doing, and they constantly do. There’s a new stave maple snare drum that is incredibly low priced, that sounds amazing. And we have those coming in.

    RBH Drums

    We picked a couple of gorgeous pieces up that I’m eager to get my hands on.

    Trick Drums

    Trick continues to drive innovation. And they represent what a beautiful family run American small business is. Hard work, dedication, and creativity are never missing, and we just love the new pedals! The VMT kits get honorable mention with the new color options too.

    Rogers Drums USA

    Rogers is creeping back into the picture, and some gorgeous Dyna-Sonic snare drums are coming in. Some new hardware was also shown that was an obvious nod to the originals, with some modern fittings. A prototype set was also shown with some blasphemous spurs and brackets, which I'm told will thankfully not be a part of the production model, whenever that may be.

    Wrapping Up

    I could go on and on and on, and I have. I’m sure I missed something obvious here, so please accept any apologies for overlooking something.It’s not intentional.This flight is getting close to landing, and my wife and I have 2 kitties to get home to who are looking for some attention, and I have a very full year planned for us and you.

    2019 is going to be the 10th anniversary of DCP and we’ve got some things cooking that you’ve never experienced at a drum store. Trust me on this. It’s big. REALLY big. I’m so excited for this year and I think you will be blown away with what we have planned.

    I constantly am thinking about how we can bring more value to you, our extended family of customers, and in 2018, we expanded our video production department to bring you higher quality, more in depth videos, and the response has been overwhelming. We're working to make it easier (and entertaining) to select your drum gear.

    Year 10 will have even more levels of awesome, and I can’t wait to get started on it.

    Well, I suppose I already have.

    Again, we simply could NOT do this if you don’t buy from us. So thank you for spending your drum money with us.

    If you’re reading this, and you're not a customer, tell us what we can do to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Your growth is our growth, and we can save you money by making professional suggestions.

    Can I say thank you again?Ok, I just did.

    Thank you.

    Again.

    #year10

     

    Enjoy our full Winter NAMM 2019 photo gallery HERE!

  • Ludwig USA Drum Set Shootout!

    Our latest in-depth video shootout features all 5 Ludwig USA drum set lines head to head in order to help you find YOUR ideal Ludwig sound!
  • DW Collectors Series Showcase!

    DW Collectors Series Drum Sets offer so many different shell configurations, it can be a little confusing. Drum Center of Portsmouth is here to help! We demo 5 variations of DW Collectors Series Drum Sets in our latest comparison video.
  • Modern Takes on the Classic Ludwig Black Beauty Snare Drum

    We've put together a video comparing 3 modern snare drums that were influenced by the classic Ludwig model.  As a bonus, we included a demo of an original vintage Black Beauty from the early 1930's!
  • A&F Snare Drum Showcase at Drum Center of Portsmouth

    Vintage Vibes with Modern Sounds

    A&F snare drums blend old-world craftsmanship with new world sounds.  The boutique drum company out of Austin, Texas creates instruments with exceptional sound and a beautiful aesthetic.  In their relatively short history, they have burst on the scene with a totally unique vibe unlike anything we've seen at the Drum Center of Portsmouth.  They locally source all available materials and hand-make their shells, hoops, lugs, and badges.  A&F uses Italian leather washers between anything that makes contact with the shell and hand stamp every badge for each drum with its own exclusive serial number.

    We've put together a comprehensive showcase of 10 amazing A&F snare drums we currently have in stock!

    A&F Prototype Raw Bronze Snare Drum 14x7 10-Lug

    These particular A&F Snare Drums are a Drum Center of Portsmouth EXCLUSIVE!

    This 14x7 A&F Raw Bronze Snare Drum is innovative, gorgeous, and completely handcrafted from scratch in Austin, Texas. A&F cuts, rolls, welds, and sands their own shells, then treat them with a patented oxidizing formula to jumpstart the patina process. The edge is a 45 degree cut with a 3.5" snare bed, and the drums are fitted with 10 in-house machined raw brass lugs. This deceptively heavy snare is hyper-sensitive, with a fundamentally bright and "cymbal-y" tone with projection and articulation that is second to none.

    We also included the 14x6 and 14x4 Prototype Bronze A&F Snare drums in our video showcase.

    A&F Solid Core Mahogany Snare Drum 14x6.5

    The next A&F Snare Drum tested was their exclusive 1/4 inch one-piece seamless core shell carved out of single tree trunk, hence the vertical grain! It has no re-rings, and it features their 45-degree edge and comes with A&F handmade raw brass hoops and lugs. It has a deep, throaty, woody tone with incredible snare sensitivity and response. We think this is one of the finest wood snares currently on the market!

    A&F Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 14x4 8-Lug

    This 4x14 A&F Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum is an absolute knockout. This particular brass shell was sent to a nickel plater in Texas who's family has been plating nickel since 1930's. The edge is a 45 degree cut with a 3.5" snare bed. This deceptively heavy snare is hyper-sensitive, with a fundamentally bright and crispy tone with projection and articulation that is second to none.

    A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum 14x5 10-Lug

    This particular A&F Snare Drum is one of our best sellers.  The 14x5 Raw Brass Snare Drum has 10 lugs and projects a classic vintage brass tone with more volume than you'd expect.  Both visually and sonically stunning, this may have been our favorite recorded sound of the showcase.

    A&F Raw Steel Snare Drum 14x6.5 w/ Nickel Over Brass Hardware

    Have you ever seen a more beautiful steel snare drum?  We were absolutely blown away by this magnificent 14x6.5 Raw Steel A&F Snare Drum.  The nickle over brass hardware is a fantastic contrast to the shell's raw finish.  The tone is raw, sharp and energetic.  Simply amazing!  We also tested this raw steel shell in 14x4.5 with raw brass hardware and were equally impressed.

    A&F Steam Bent Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5 Charcoal Grey

    A&F Snare drums also include a solid maple shell in their lineup.  This 14x6.5 has a very low pitch with great sensitivity and a dry, woody tone. It comes built with A&F's raw brass hoops, 10 lugs, no reinforcement rings, 45 degree bearing edges, and a whole lot of sass!

    A&F Maple Club Snare 14x5 10 Lug Charcoal Grey

    Rounding out our A&F Snare Drum showcase is the 14x5 Maple Club snare drum in Charcoal Grey.  The Club shells are cut with an outside reverse baseball bat bearing edge and do not use re-rings. This drum is finished with patented A&F raw brass hardware. The lower mid-range tone you get when striking this drum is clean, natural, round and woody. This particular snare is 14x5 with 10 lugs.

    Drum Center of Portsmouth is Your Home for A&F Snare Drums!

    We are very excited to be carrying the A&F line at Drum Center of Portsmouth. Once you play them for yourself, you'll understand why!  If you have any questions about this high-end, boutique drum company give a call at (603)319-8109.  We are happy to help!

  • Sonor Snare Drum Shootout!

    150 Years of German Precision

    Nothing sounds like a Sonor snare drum.  For nearly 150 years, Sonor has been crafting some of the finest percussion instruments available.  If you ask anyone at the shop what their go to sound is, many of us will say it's Sonor.  Most of us own (at least) one Sonor.

    What makes Sonor Snare Drums so unique?  To start, they hand craft their high end lines the way they have been doing for decades.  Unique shell construction using proprietary molds produce slightly undersized shells.  This allows for the drum head to float on the bearing edge, yielding greater resonance and sensitivity.  Sonor snare drums have an incredible dynamic range.  At the slightest touch the drums open up and produce clear tone.  The high quality components and gorgeous finish options make these drums as beautiful to look at as they are to play.

     

    Sonor SQ2 Beech Snare Drum 13x5.5 Birdseye Maple

    This handsome little guy features a heavy beech shell that projects crisp, clear tone.  It has beautiful birdseye gloss veneer on the outside, and a matching veneer inside!  18-Strand steel wires and 2.3mm Power Hoops allow the beefy shell to breathe and articulate.

    Sonor SQ2 Maple Snare Drum 13x7 Scandinavian Birch w/ Gold Hardware

    Our next SQ2 snare drum is quite stunning with its eye-catching gold hardware.  The versatile 13x7 heavy maple shell packs a a ton of powerful pop with some serious mid range tone.  With matching Scandinavian Birch veneers inside and out, this is one of the most beautiful examples of SQ2 craftsmanship you'll find.

    Sonor One Of A Kind Maple/Beech Snare Drum 13x7 Mango

    This 9-ply, 7mm maple/beech blended shell is veneered inside and out with a ply of elegant vertical mango wood. Combine this deep, thin shell with triple flanged hoops, 45 degree bearing edges, precision snare beds, and Dual Glide Strainer, and you have a staggeringly dynamic, world-class instrument that sounds as good as it looks. Seriously, the level of detail on the badge alone will blow your mind. Just 99 of these were produced worldwide, and they come with a luxurious custom Hardcase and "Welcome Box". It takes a lot to stand out on the Drum Center of Portsmouth showroom floor, and these immaculate instruments might just be the crown jewel in our collection!

    Sonor Phonic Reissue Beech Snare Drum 14x5.75 Rosewood

    Sonor Phonic reissue snare drums are faithful recreations of the legendary Sonor beech shell snare drums of yesteryear. Boasting a 14x5.75, 12-ply beech shell with a rosewood gloss veneer, this snare drum is meant to stand out both sonically and visually! The beech shell provides a sound that is classic Sonor; balanced and versatile, with a warm low-mid body and controlled overtones. Ten Phonic lugs, German die cast hoops, slotted rods, classic Phonic strainer, and 20-strand steel wires round out the vintage experience this drum offers. Get your hands on one of these beautiful Sonor Phonic drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth today!

    Sonor SQ2 Heavy Maple Snare Drum 14x6 Ebony Gloss

    This 14x6 combines many of our favorite Sonor specs into one beefy drum.  A heavy maple shell, ebony gloss veneer, and the fattest diecast hoops in the industry makes this drum visually and sonically stunning.  With articulation and volume to spare, this may be the only snare drum you'll ever need.

    Sonor SQ2 Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5 Signal Grey

    This Medium Maple Sonor SQ2 Snare drum is a well-rounded workhorse.  We ordered this Signal Grey lacquer finish from their RAL color options list.  Man, were we pleased when we saw it in person.  This drum features triple flanged hoops and 24-strand steel wires that give it extra sensitivity.

    Sonor Phonic Reissue Beech Snare Drum 14x6.5 Mahogany

    This Phonic Reissue has a 14x6.5, 9-ply beech shell with a mahogany veneer in matte finish.  Like the 5.75 we tested earlier, the beech shell projects a sound with drier body and balanced overtones. Ten Phonic lugs, German die cast hoops, slotted rods, classic Phonic strainer, and 20-strand steel wires round out the vintage experience this drum offers.  This may be our favorite recorded sound from the video.

    Sonor SQ2 Beech Snare Drum 14x8 Gloss Rosewood

    We saved the biggest, and possibly best, for last.  A few of us have owned some version of this 14x8 heavy beech shell.  It simply has all the low end tone and beefy projection you could ask for, along with surprising sensitivity.  This particular Sonor SQ2 has an immaculate Gloss Rosewood finish on the exterior along with a matching matte veneer inside!  Diecast hoops and 24-strand steel wires round out this monstrous beauty.

    Drum Center of Portsmouth has YOUR Sonor Waiting for You!

    We know Sonor drums, and we carry a massive selection in stock at all times.  If you are looking for a German engineered instrument that will do it all, look no further than Sonor.  Get it from the pros at Drum Center of Portsmouth!

  • Tama Star Snare Drums Shootout

    No drum manufacturer pays more attention to detail than Tama.  Their flagship Star lineup sets the standard by which all others are currently measured in the industry.  We tested 10 gorgeous Tama Star snare drums head to head in our most recent video.
  • Drum Center of Portsmouth Is Now a Roland V-Drums Dealer!

    Roland V-Drums Now Available at Drum Center of Portsmouth!

    Roland Electronic Percussion at Drum Center of Portsmouth Roland Electronic Percussion at Drum Center of Portsmouth

    It goes without saying that Roland is the leader in the world of Electronic Drums.  If you spoken to us before, we've been rather black and white about our feelings on V-Drums and E-drums.   Our typical answer has always been "There's Roland, there's Yamaha, then there's everybody else."

    It's not that simple anymore.  ATV drums have made a BIG splash here at DCP, and their momentum continues to grow.  Yamaha has been steady for us from the word go, and Pearl's Mimic Module is hard to keep on the shelves here.  The E-drum world continues to grow, but there can only be one leader, and that leader is Roland.

    I sold Roland for a number of years before DCP, and went to Roland US in 2004 for training.  ( I have a picture somewhere...)

    I'm very familiar with the architecture of Roland's V-Drum Sets and Sampling Pads, but I'll certainly be needing a refresh as the boxes continue to arrive here at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

    It's a natural evolution for us: in our old location, we barely had room for Electronic drum sets.  Then, the new Drum Center of Portsmouth opened in 2017, and now that we've passed that one year mark, we've learned something:

      People want to buy Electronic drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

    You have made it clear: E-drums, or V-drums, are not going away.  And you're looking for a place where you can talk to experts who can help you.

    This aligns perfectly with our mission statement:

    To provide drummers from around the world a community through local and global networking selling products for a reasonable profit and providing friendly service.

    We want to help you make the right choice.  To do that, we've made a major commitment to stock a wide array of Roland V-Drums products, such as the TD-50, TD-30,TD-25, TD-17,TD-11,TD-4, and TD-1 V-Drums Sets.

    Standard fare such as the SPD-SX, SPD-1, and the legendary OctaPad are already in stock.

    Add on Roland Triggers, Pads, replacement mesh heads, and cables are also on the menu and ready to fly.

      The Electronic Drum Division at Drum Center of Portsmouth Just Got Bigger!

    We will continue to stock and service the brands we've carried, we will now be able to provide another option for you.

    We'd like to give a  sincere thank you for spending your drum money with us.  We hope to provide you with many years of good service and pricing on your Roland, and other products that we offer here at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

    Browse our current Roland inventory here.

     

     

  • Bop Kit Battle – Sonor SQ2, Canopus RFM and Ludwig Classic Maple

    Three Top Tier Bop Kits Head-to-Head

    Jazz.  It’s one of America’s original art forms and provides the soundtrack for your Sunday brunch.  The anchor of any good Jazz trio is the bop kit drum set.  Just like the eggs in your Sunday brunch, there are many ways to make a bop kit.  We chose three magnificent maple bop kits from three different manufacturers to compare their discernable differences.  Our “Bop Kit Battle” participants are the Sonor SQ2, Canopus RFM and the Ludwig Classic Maple Jazzette.

    The Parameters

    For this comparison, we chose three maple kits in “standard” bop configuration.  Each kit consisted of a 12-inch rack tom, 14-inch floor tom and an 18-inch kick drum.  The depths of the drums were also standard, except for the Canopus and its 13-inch deep floor tom.

    Accenting these three gorgeous kits were some seriously high end Paiste cymbals.  The hi-hats we selected were some genre-appropriate 15” 602 Modern Essentials.  The crash cymbal was a luxurious 20-inch Signature Traditionals Light Crash, and the ride was a 22” Masters Dry.  For a comparison this classy, we needed an extraordinary snare drum.  After much deliberation, we decided on the Schagerl Anteres Brass 14x6.5 snare drum with Black Hardware.

    Canopus RFM Bop Kit

    The first kit we set up was the Canopus RFM in a Bitter Brown Oil finish.  Canopus drums are a staff favorite at Drum Center of Portsmouth.  They are a boutique-level brand that is devoted to the science of their sound.  They build their drums from scratch, and spend an obsessive amount of their resources on R&D.  Canopus has a drum line for every conceivable genre of musician, and their RFM Bop Kit was a joy to experience.

    The 12-inch tom uses a RIMS style mount, and their proprietary low-profile solid lugs are very sleek.  Their Bolt-Tight leather washers are a small but ingenious addition that help keep the kit in tune throughout your gig.

    RFM shells have a relatively vintage vibe to them, as they are thin and sport reinforcement rings.  They arrive from the factory with Remo coated Ambassadors on both the top and bottom, giving them a focused, slightly drier tone.  The low end is prominent when tuned low, and they have clean, crisp tone when tuned up high.

    The Canopus RFM kit falls right in the middle of the three kits, pricewise.  You get a ton of value for your money with this kit.

    Sonor SQ2 Maple Bop Kit

    The second kit we put through its paces was the Sonor SQ2 Maple in Rosewood High Gloss.  The SQ2 line is completely customizable from shells to finish.  We ordered this one with thin maple toms and a medium maple kick.  Each drum also boasts a classy Rosewood interior veneer.  We were extremely excited to unbox this high-end bop kit and couldn’t wait to lay into it.

    From an aesthetic point of view, it doesn’t get much better than an SQ2.  The attention to detail by Sonor’s craftsmen is arguably the best in the industry.  Once you realize that the drums perform as good as they look, there’s no going back.

    Their mounting hardware is rock solid and allows for maximum resonance, along with optimal maneuverability.  The shells are undersized by 12mm, which give them a bright, modern attack that is undeniably the “Sonor sound”.  Notes are clear and defined, regardless of tuning.  Playing an SQ2 is just fun.  The response and feel you get behind the kit is a truly unique experience.

    Ludwig Jazzette Classic Maple

    The final participant in our maple bop kit shootout was the Ludwig Jazzette Classic Maple in Vintage Blue Oyster Wrap.  Ludwig has a huge following and is steeped in American musical history.  Many people are aware of their significant presence in Rock n’ Roll with their huge, wide open sound.  So, how do the Classic Maple shells hold up in a bop setting?

    The 12-inch rack tom sports the straightforward Atlas mount for a quick, easy setup and good resonance.  The classic lugs along with the eye-catching Vintage Blue Oyster wrap has turned many heads here at DCP since its arrival.

    Not surprisingly, the Ludwig Jazzette kept right up with its higher-priced competitors with ease.  The Classic Maple shells are built to the toughest standards in the industry.  Like Sonor, they undersize their shells, which gives you a little extra response and feel.  Shells tune up quickly and easily and produce a warm, round tone that is noticeably balanced.  We especially enjoyed the musicality of the bass drum, which was tonally distinguishable in comparison to the previous kits.

    The Verdict

    The idea behind this comparison was to highlight three flavors of maple bop kits that might not be on every drummer’s radar.  Despite their base-level similarities, each kit managed to distinguish itself visually and sonically.

    The RFM had a unique tone with a slick, vintage vibe that would easily hold its own in any trio.  Canopus makes an incredible instrument and may be the best manufacturer you’ve never heard of.  At Drum Center of Portsmouth we like to say that people who know drums, know Canopus.  If you aren’t familiar, you should definitely get acquainted!

    The SQ2 gave us everything we expected from an ultra high-end, custom drum set.  Flawless tone.  Gorgeous finish.  Practical, sturdy hardware.  You pay a premium when you choose a Sonor SQ2, but you know exactly where your money has gone once you sit behind your instrument.

    Ludwig’s Jazzette kit performed well above its price tag.  It’s can be argued that the sound you get from the Classic Maple shells is preferable to that of a kit costing twice as much.  Great looks, practical hardware and distinguished tone make this kit an undeniable value.

     

     

     

     

  • Snare Drums are Precious Metal at Drum Center of Portsmouth

    Snare Drums are Precious Metal at Drum Center of Portsmouth

    With the blazing hot temperatures of summer, we thought we could help you cool down with some gorgeous metal snare drums.  We have some incredible and rare pieces that you can check out.  Go to the product pates to check out the videos!
    And don't forget - we can do financing as well!

    Ludwig Brass Beauty Snare Drum

    Ludwig Brass Beauty Snare Drum

    Ludwig Supraphonic "Brass Beauty" Snare Drum 14x6.5 - DCP Exclusive!

    Here's a rare model for you! The Ludwig Supraphonic has been a staple among session and gigging drummers for decades. The seamless brass shell yields a rich sound with musical overtones and sings at any tuning. While the polished brass finish is a timeless classic, Ludwig has agreed to make a limited run of this amazing drum with brass trim, available only at the Drum Center of Portsmouth! The tube lugs, die cast hoops, P86 strainer, and P33 butt are all brass plated, making this amazing drum look even better! Don't hesitate to get your hands on this phenomenal drum!

     

    Buy Now

    Van Kleef "7" Snare Drum Van Kleef "7" Snare Drum

    VK Drums 7 Snare Drum 14x6.5

    • 14" x 6.5" Titanium, Magnesium, Brass, Copper & Aluminium shell.
    • Surgical steel tubes with Copper, Stainless, Titanium, Aluminium & Brass Lugs
    • Stainless steel hoops
    • Stainless Steel VK 007 throw with integrated, titanium VKey
    • Mild steel tension rods
    • Laser cut VK air hole logo
    • Puresound wires
    • Set up with Remo heads
    • Made by hand in Sheffield, England

     

    View More Details

    Van Kleef Ageless Silver Snare Drum Van Kleef Ageless Silver Snare Drum

    VK Drums Ageless Silver Snare Drum 14x4.5 w/ Hardcase

    The Ageless Collection, 14 x 4.5 Silver snare has the sound and feel like no other drum. This drum is made from 1.5mm thick 925 Solid Sterling Silver, for snare tone like no other.

    The Van Kleef Ageless Collection drum has a unique sound that, combined with the resonant qualities of the brushed finish silver shell range from dry, crisp tones at low tuning, to subtle, articulate tones at higher tuning. The construction of this drum is another reason it sounds so good.

    • 925 Sterling Silver for that unique VK silver sound.
    • Straight Sheffield stainless steel hoops.
    • Solid Sheffield stainless steel single point tube lugs, turned on a lathe, then drilled, tapped and polished by hand.
    • Stainless steel lugs are brush finished on the sides and mirror polished on the front faces.
    • VK-007 Sheffield stainless steel strainer and butt, with the "Ageless Collection" design on the front of the strainer and mini logo on butt plate.
    • Sheffield stainless steel "VKey", silent ratchet drum key is designed to live inside the VK-007 strainer.
    • Foam lined custom designed Hardcase in silver colour.
    • White gloves.
    • Puresound wires.
    • Setup with Remo Ambassador heads.
    • Made by hand in Sheffield, England.
    • Patents Pending
    Buy Now

    Dunnett Classic 2N Engraved Snare Drum by John Aldridge Dunnett Classic 2N Engraved Snare Drum by John Aldridge

    Dunnett Classic 2N Antique Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 Engraved w/ Brass Trim

    Dunnett Classic Drums are among the best snare drums in the industry and surely Canada's best export aside from Tim Horton's. DCP stocks a variety of Dunnett snare drums, including stainless steel, titanium, monoply wood models, and an ever-evolving selection of prototypes and one-offs. We specialize in many of these rarities and collectible items.

    Please note: Due to their raw, unfinished nature, Dunnett metal shells can and will show various spots and marks that may or may not be represented in images/videos. This is considered to be a normal part of the shell's aging and patina process.

    •     Hand Engraved by John Aldridge!
    •     R4L Strainer
    •     Hypervent
    •     42-Strand Wires
    •     Ahead Bag Included
    More Details Here

    Noble And Cooley Alloy Classic Snare Drum 14x6 Noble And Cooley Alloy Classic Snare Drum 14x6

    Noble And Cooley Alloy Classic Snare Drum 14x6

    The Industry Classic! This 6x14 Noble & Cooley Alloy Classic Snare Drum has a unique cast aluminum shell that delivers a focused, dense sound. It cracks very well at high tunings, but can emulate a wood shell at lower tunings. It's tremendous versatility in the recording studio or on the stage makes it a MUST HAVE for the working drummer's arsenal.

    Buy Now

    Schagerl Antares Brass Snare Drum Schagerl Antares Brass Snare Drum

    Schagerl Antares Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 w/ Black Hardware

    ANTARES is the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius and is the fifth brightest observable star in the night sky. Named for its equal footing to the Greek God Ares, it is easy to see why we chose "Antares" as the name for the line of brass snare drums. Each drum makes a bold statement with heavy yellow brass tube lugs and a raw finished 0.7mm brass shell.

    Adorned with 2.3mm yellow brass or black nickel over steel hoops, the Antares evokes images of battle-worn Grecian armor while retaining a subtle elegance.

    The multi-step Trick Drums strainer allows for precise tension adjustments making the Antares suitable for conventional kit playing as well as orchestral work. The shell itself is dramatically undersized at the top and the bottom to create a tympani effect with remarkable resonance. The raw finished brass will retain its gorgeous looks due a lacquer covering. No two Schagerl Drums raw finish drums are alike.

    • Shell: 0.7mm Yellow Brass
    • Strainer: Modified Trick Drums Multi-step
    • Hardware Material: Ten Schagerl single contact point heavy brass tube lugs
    • Hoops: 2.3mm triple-flanged
    Buy Now

    Tama Star Hand Hammered Copper Snare Drum Tama Star Hand Hammered Copper Snare Drum

    Tama Star Reserve Hand Hammered Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5
    The STAR Drums series' first metal snare features a hand hammered copper shell. In addition to a mid-low end with tons of volume, the hand hammered shell creates a deeply harmonic overtone. A slightly smaller diameter hammer is used on the edge of the shell compared with the hammer that is used on the center, causing the shell to take a barrel shape.This unique shape provides a fat sound and rich resonance. To complement the shell, we used our original 2.3mm brass Customized Flanged Hoop. The edge of this hoop is slightly shaved down compared to our standard flanged hoop, producing a sharper and brighter attack. The combination of these two different characteristics - warm, rich resonance with sharp, bright attack - offers a totally new and original sound, unlike any other metal drums.

    • MSL90S Lug
    • Customized Brass Mighty Hoop (8 Hole)
    • REMO Coated Ambassador / Hazy Bottom Snare Side
    Buy Now

    Trick Scorched Copper Snare Drum Trick Scorched Copper Snare Drum

    Trick Precious Metals 3mm Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5 Scorched

    The Trick copper drum is warm and powerful, built to exacting tone and aesthetic standards. Coupled with Trick's single-point lugs, GS007 throw, and German wires, this drum sings! Perfect for any musical situation.

    Buy Now

    A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum

    A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5

    This 6.5x14 A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum is innovative, gorgeous, and completely handcrafted from scratch in Austin Texas. They cut, roll, weld, and sand their own brass shells, then treat them with a patented oxidizing formula to jump start the patina process. The edge is a 45 degree cut with a 3.5" bed, and there are 8 in-house machined raw brass lugs. This deceptively heavy drum is hyper-sensitive, with a fundamentally bright and crispy tone with projection and articulation that is second to none. Find out why we are so excited to be carrying the A&F drum line at the Drum Center of Portsmouth!

    Buy Now
    Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!  We're producing tons of great new content on a weekly basis.  When you subscribe, you're one of the first to know!
    Drum Center of Portsmouth YouTube Channel

     

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