144 Lafayette Road, North Hampton, NH 03862 | 603-319-8109

Product Feature

Products featured from Drum Center of Portsmouth at www.drumcenternh.com.
  • 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

     

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    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
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  • DW Collectors Series Drum Set Shootout!

    Does The Type Of Wood Used Actually Affect The Sound Of A DW Collectors Series Drum Set?

    DW (Drum Workshop) offers a lot of options when it comes to drum shells.  This is great, in that there's an endless amount of options in the DW Collectors series.  For someone who's looking to get a drum set, however, it can seem a little daunting – especially when it comes to selecting a wood type.  Maple, Birch, Cherry, Oak, Spruce, Mahogany…which choice is right for you?  Does the type of wood you choose even have an effect on what it will sound like?  If you browse your favorite drum forum, you’ll find many differing opinions on this particular subject.

    Here at the Drum Center of Portsmouth, we were fortunate enough to be able to conduct a pretty cool experiment to determine what (if any) impact wood type has on a drum’s overall sound.  We took three identically (and exceptionally) finished Collectors Series kits with three completely different shell compositions.  DW “Pure Cherry”, DW “Cherry/Mahogany”, and DW “Pure Purpleheart.”  It’s these moments where we truly love our job.  Seriously…who else gets to do this kind of stuff?

    Before we get into detail, here's an overview of what happened:

    1. Sizes and Finish. A list of what we were working with.
    2. Drum Head Selection. Remo's specially made heads designed for DW Collectors series drum kits.
    3. Tune Bot. The great tuning equalizer.
    4. Microphones Used. A list of what was used to obtain the sound.
    5. Detailed Impressions. C'mon, tell us how you really feel.
    6. The Verdict. The jury concludes after some intense deliberation.

    Dw Collectors Series Drum Set Dw Collectors Series Drum Set

    The Drum Sizes and Finish

    The exotic shells are finished in what DW calls, “Exotic Tangerine Burst over Candy Stripe Padouk” with nickel hardware.  We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the finish.  These are really gorgeous drums – something we’ve all come to expect from DW.  Once we composed ourselves, we were able to focus on the task at hand – the sound.

    The three kits we tested are shell packs that share the exact same sizes: a 22x18 bass drum, 10x8 and 12x9 mounted rack toms, a 14x12 floor tom, a 16x14 floor tom, and a 14x6.5 matching snare with triple flanged True Hoops and True Tone Snare Wires.  It’s worth mentioning that the attention to detail and consistency of production techniques make these three kits nearly indistinguishable from a distance.  DW does an amazing job when it comes to their aesthetics and tightness of tolerance.  You probably already knew this.

    Something else about these kits – no reinforcement rings.  These are different than your traditional DW Collector’s Series Maple shells in that they are a little thicker, as well.

    Drum Heads on DW Collectors Series Drum Sets

    For the tom heads we used DW’s Smooth AA that are made by Remo USA and came standard on 2 of the 3 kits.  These AA heads are manufactured solely for DW, and are not a normal offering from Remo.  We decided to leave the stock, industry standard Remo single-ply resonant heads on the toms.  Additionally, we used DW’s stock snare drum heads – a Coated AA batter and Standard Snare Side resonant.  We replaced the bass drum heads to a Smooth White Power Stroke 3 on the batter side, and an Ebony Power Stroke 3 on the resonant side.  This was merely out of personal preference.  If you haven’t tried out Remo PS3’s, we highly recommend it.  We added a 4” port for a more convenient kick drum mic setup.

    Tune Bot Gig A Drummers Best friend

    The Tune Bot put to the Test!

    Regarding the tuning of the drums, we wanted to keep it as scientific and objective as possible, so we used the TuneBot Gig version.  This gave us complete control and consistency from kit to kit.  With these controls in place, any noticeable difference in sound between the different kits could only be attributed to their shell composition.  On a side note, we highly recommend the TuneBot for ease and consistency of tuning your drums.  This made the process MUCH more efficient for our purposes.  In case you’re curious of the EXACT TuneBot settings for this experiment (we know you’re out there), you can find them in our In-Depth Video Review here.

    Miking the Drum Set

     

    For the video of the recording, we used the following microphone setup:

    Kick drum – Audix D6 microphone through the 4” port and a Shure KSM 32 about 6” in front of the resonant head.

    Snare drum – Earthworks SR20LS, which is a great all-around microphone.

    Toms – Earthworks DM20

    Overhead – Single Earthworks SR25

     

    For the purposes of this experiment, we wanted to make sure that the mixing of the audio was quick and clean.  We used no EQ’ing on the individual channels.  We only applied a high-pass filter on the toms to get rid of some of the low-end rumble.  Then we adjusted the L/R balance…and BOOM.  Done.

    Which Drum Workshop Kit is the best?

     

    Kit #1 –Cherry/Mahogany

    DW Collectors Series Cherry Mahogany Drum Set DW Collectors Series Cherry Mahogany Drum Set

    These gorgeous shells consist of a Cherry-ply base, sandwiched between an inner and outer ply of Mahogany.  We know cherry to be very bright wood, with a lot of attack and really pronounce mids, whereas Mahogany is going to give you some extra low end with lots of boom.  This DW Cherry/Mahogany kit gave us both of those properties in spades.  This was especially apparent with the 12-inch tom.  Playing that particular drum was like dribbling a 90-pound basketball…just a big, fat booming sound!  The snare drum fit right in with the kit.  We can't say that there was anything about it that that made it different from the kit, which is good. It seemed to blend well.

     

    Overall, this was a big sounding kit with substantial complexity to the tone.  We feel this is a kit well suited for the “big note” type drummer…you know, the “Pat Boone Debbie Boone” type fills that have that real big sound.

     

    Kit #2 - Purpleheart

     

    Next up…Pure Purpleheart.  This was our first experience with a 100% Purpleheart-shelled kit.  We were aware that the wood was very dense, so we expected them to be somewhat vibrant.

     

    The first thought that comes to you when sitting behind this kit is, “Wow, these drums are ALIVE!”  All the drums projected.  Substantially.  This was a significantly different experience than driving the Cherry Mahogany kit.  The Purpleheart shells have a sharper note, which we found very appealing.  They deliver that fundamentally low note, along with clean stick articulation.

     

    Before offering Pure Purpleheart as an entire kit, DW offered it as a base for snare drums, and now we can see why. The Purpleheart snare drum checked all the boxes we look for in a snare and was hands-down the winner of the day.  Sharp, loud articulate punch with plenty of sensitivity.  The bass drum also had a nice blend of low end thump and attack that stood out.

     

    Kit #3 -  Pure Cherry

     

    Last up was the 100% Pure Cherry DW Collectors series kit.  We were especially excited to play this kit, as we’ve had other DW Cherry kits in the shop in the past that did not disappoint.  Cherry makes a great shell material for drums, although it’s not all that commonly used.  In our experience, Cherry is not far off from that of birch in tonal characteristics – big attack with pronounced mids and lows.  This particular kit, however, had a smoother, more balanced vibe to it – which really impressed us!  It was like the difference between a 12-year and 18-year old scotch; both are delicious, but one is a little smoother in finish.  That was this Pure Cherry kit.

    The Verdict

    So, does the type of wood used in a drum shell influence what the drum will sound like?  After conducting a relatively controlled experiment on 3 extremely high-end drum sets, our answer is a resounding, “yes!”

    The degree to which the sound will differ, of course, varies on many factors.  Choice of heads, your ability to properly tune a drum, bearing edge quality, the thickness of the shell, environment, etc.  All of these factors being equal, we feel like you will have a different experience based on the shell material you choose.

    And which DW Collectors kit sounded the best?  If you ask 3 different people at the Drum Center of Portsmouth, you’ll probably get 3 different answers.  If you’re looking for deep, boomy thud, you may favor the Cherry/Mahogany shells.  Want to project loud, sharp articulation?  Maybe Purpleheart is the way to go.  If you are looking for total tonal balance, the Pure Cherry is an excellent option.

    Each one of these ultra-high-end kits exceeded expectation and opened the eyes of a few people here who never really considered DW to be “their sound”.  Be sure to check out our video to hear the results for yourself and let us know what you think!

    Looking For Your Own DW Collectors Series Kit?

     

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we specialize in helping you achieve YOUR perfect drum sound. Give us a call at (603) 319-8109 to speak with a professional about that sound you hear in your head.  We are legit sound freaks and look forward to helping you navigate your way to the DW kit of your dreams.  We carry a huge selection of DW Drums and Hardware in stock.  If DW isn’t your thing, we can help with many other fine manufacturers as well.

    Keep your eyes peeled to our YouTube Page for more exciting and slightly eccentric drum-related content!

  • How a VK Magnesium Swept Me Off My Feet

    Words cannot accurately describe how much I love this drum. With so many amazing drums out there, it is rare that one will jump out in such a way that I think about it all weekend; but that is exactly what happened with this VK Magnesium. This drum speaks for itself, but I felt compelled to attempt to put into words what it produces sonically.

    This is a drum that invites you in, offers you a home-cooked meal and a glass of single malt scotch. It rewards you, flatters you, makes you feel like you can play anything. Depending on where you tune it, it sounds like a totally different drum. It's almost as if it has multiple personalities. Tuned low, it's fat, dry, transparent and sounds like a finished record. As you bring it to a medium tension, a smooth mid-range character begins to appear. When it's tuned up higher, there is a "smack" characteristic to the attack, rather than a "pop". I found this to be more microphone friendly because of that.

    This drum just speaks to me. If you are looking for the perfect studio drum, this is it. Put it on the stand, tune it, mic it, play it and you're done.

    - Tony

    Here is what all this excellence sounds like:

    Source: VK Drums Magnesium Snare Drum 14x5 w/ Titanium Hardware | Drum Center of Portsmouth

  • Price Hikes from Ludwig and DW coming - Plus lots of New Gear

    Price Hikes Coming Soon - Some are Already Here. Last chance to save!

    It's inevitable, the companies have to raise their pricing periodically. We've seen some hikes from Meinl, Zildjian, Istanbul Agop, and Tama among others. April 1 will bring some hikes on a LOT of Ludwig product, namely the USA gear. If you've been holding out, now is a good time to act, as we need to get the order in by Friday to secure 2017 pricing. DW is having a few hikes, but notably the Performance series will be seeing roughly 10% increase. That's significant. You can place special orders until Friday to secure 2017 pricing.

    ____________________________________________

    We are getting SLAMMED with deliveries every day. We've never had the inventory we have right now. It's hard to single out items, because we have so many of them, and a lot of really cool drums and cymbals go under the radar unfortunately.

    We just got in a bunch of unique DW snare drums, many with gold or black hardware.  These look really cool.  Click on the image for more details.  Below that are some more items that have just landed and ripe for the pickings!

     

     

    DW Collectors 3mm Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5 Gold Hardware

    Bell Brass with Gold Hardware 14x6.5

    DW Collectors 3mm Copper Snare Drum 14x5.5 Gold Hw

    DW Collectors Bell Brass Snare Drum 14x4 Gold Hw

    DW Collectors 3mm Copper Snare Drum 14x4 Gold Hw

    DW Collectors Black Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 14x8 Gold Hardware

    DW Collectors Black Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 Gold Hardware

    DW Collectors Black Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 14x5.5 Gold Hardware

    DW Collectors Black Nickel Over Brass Snare Drum 13x7 Gold Hardware

    DW Collectors Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5 Knurled w/ Black Nickel Hardware

    DW Collectors Vintage Steel Snare Drum 14x5.5 Ribbed Copper w/ Black Nickel Hardware

    These are just a few of the unique DW Snare Drums we have on hand. Check out all of our Drum Workshop snare drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth here.

     


    Dunnett Classic 2N Triple Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5

    Dunnett Classic 2N Chrome Over Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 w/ Raw Brass Lugs

    Dunnett Classic Magnesium Snare Drum 14x6.5 Silver Ceramic w/ Cold Rolled Hoops

     


     

    We have some super cool A&F Snare Drums and A&F Drum Sets on hand!


     

    RBH Prestige Solid Walnut Snare Drum 14x6.5 w/ Maple Rings


    You need to get to know these Schagerl Snare Drums.


    Unix Solid Ply Bubinga Snare Drum 14x6.5

    Unix Solid Ply Birdseye Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5

    Unix Solid Ply Quilted Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5


    Trick Custom AL13 Aluminum Snare Drum 14x8 Candy Red

    Trick Precious Metals 3mm Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5

    Trick VMT Aluminum Snare Drum 14x6.5 Cast Black


    Lush and Pristine! British Drum Company Bluebird Snare Drum 14x6

    The Most Popular Snare This Year!! British Drum Company Big Softy Snare Drum 14x6.5


    Canopus Zelkova Snare Drum 14x6.5 Limited Gunjo Lacquer

    Canopus Limited Edition ROF Project #1 Snare Drum 14x6.5

    Canopus Limited Edition Glass Fiber Snare Drum 14x6.5

    We have SEVERAL more Canopus Snare Drums in stock, check out some of the Second Line Deals too! Browse Canopus Snare Drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth Here.


    Noble And Cooley Limited Edition Solid Ply Walnut Snare Drum 14x7 Gloss

    Noble And Cooley Solid Ply Walnut Snare Drum 14x5

    Noble And Cooley Solid Ply Walnut Snare Drum 14x3 7/8


    VK Drums 7 Snare Drum 14x6.5

    VK Drums Magnesium Snare Drum 14x5 w/ Titanium Hardware

    VK Drums Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5


     

    Hendrix Archetype Stave Ambrosia Maple Snare Drum 14x6.5 Gloss

     

    Hendrix Archetype Stave Ambrosia Maple Snare Drum 14x5.5 Gloss

    Hendrix Archetype Stave Ambrosia Maple Snare Drum 14x5.5 Gloss


    We Now have Video Demos up of the UFIP Est. 1931 Cymbals.

    Check them out here.


     

    ATV Drums are Here!

    Right out of left field, these are a VERY different approach to electronic drums and percussion. The Artist drum set is a quantum leap forward in e-drums. I've never played cymbal pads that feel as good as these, and nor have I heard drum cymbal sounds as authentic. The A-Frame is everything AND the kitchen sink. It's really that cool. And it's in stock!


    C U S T O M  O R D E R  M A D N E S S!

    The "Nosferatu" cymbals if you will, these are non-catalogued, discontinued, or never offered cymbals that we have brought on because we're a drum store and we like to do unique things like this.  Some notable cymbals here are the 22" Signature Dry Heavy, which was discontinued a LONG time ago.  It was the ride used by Danny Carey for many years.  Let's not forget the Paiste Signature Traditionals Medium Light Hi Hat Cymbals 15", which haven't been available for well over a decade.  Gorgeous cymbals.

    What about Color Sound 2002?  We've got the upgraded Color Sounds in RED for the 2002 line.  Oh boy, are these nice!

    Check out the Color Sound 2002's Here

    P U M P K I N  R U D E S ! !

    Every Day is Halloween when you have these!! It doesn't get any more sinister than these custom Paiste Rudes!

    Check them out HERE!

     


    There's so much more too, check out our Just Arrived page to see what's in!


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