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Looking for a new snare drum? Of course you are.
If you're trying to stretch your dollar, here are four drums under $400 that should be on your short list.
Probably one of the most appropriately-named snares in history, this Mapex Sledgehammer delivers huge amounts of power. Crank it up or drop it down and have some earplugs handy for everyone in range.
The brass shell speaks (or shouts, perhaps) with a full, bright tone that's perfect for any style of aggressive music. The heavily hammered shell also lends a welcome degree of clarity and articulation that prevents your ghost notes from getting lost in the mix. Tuned up, the snare's tone remains full-bodied and doesn't choke, and while it definitely prefers to live in the mid- and high-range tunings, you can still get away with dropping it down without completely losing the tone thanks to the hammered shell.
And just in case the sonic properties weren't enough, the Sledgehammer delivers in the visual department as well, offering one of the most unique and sinister presentations I've ever seen in a drum. The brushed treatment given to the metal adds incredible depth to the hammering on the shell, while the graduated tube lugs put a cool twist on an otherwise traditional lug design.
Finishing the drum off are a pair of features normally only found on higher end instruments: a dual-strainer system that allows for snare tension adjustment on both ends of the drum, and heavy gauge stick saver-style hoops that help to cut down on the amount of sawdust left on your floor after a session.
In the market for something a little more traditional? The Tama S.L.P. (Sound Lab Project) Vintage Steel snare offers a bright and snappy voice that is equally at home playing classic rock hits, Chili Peppers covers, or modern pop styles.
This is easily one of the nicer steel drums available on the market without spending $600+ on a cast stainless steel model. It is capable of channeling tones from legendary recording snares like the Ludwig Acrolite and Supraphonic with bright and articulate response while pleasantly subduing any nasty overtones (something of an infamous hallmark of steel snares).
Visually, the snare features a classic 'chrome everything' look that will be at home on any drum set. Unique tube lugs that are also found on some other S.L.P. snares are a welcome visual accent that give the drum a touch of personality, while Tama's no-nonsense Quick Touch strainer and stick saver-style hoops finish off the hardware package.
Although simple and straightforward, The Tama S.L.P. Vintage Steel is definitely one of those drums that has everything you need, and nothing you don't.
If something full and warm is what you're after then look no further than DW's awesome Performance series snare drums. Available in tons of finishes and 4 sizes, there is truly something for everyone here.
The smaller 5.5" deep drum offers well-rounded tones, able to crank up for sensitive, concise playing or dropped down for a swampier character.
The 6.5" will likely be the most popular, offering plenty of body and power. Of all the snares on this list, the 14" x 6.5" Performance is the most like a blank canvas. It can do everything you need it to do.
The 13" x 7" power piccolo is a cool drum that can wear several hats. Crank it up for a full-bodied side snare, keep it in the middle for an awesome pop rock or punk tone, or put a thicker head on it to turn it into a blast-beat machine.
Finally, for those who demand a huge sound and enormous presence, DW offers one of the only 8" deep snares in this price range, and it doesn't disappoint. Tuned up or down, the drum produces all kinds of sounds that you'd normally associate with a thunderstorm.
The shells on the Performance drums are based on those offered in DW's flagship Collector's series, offering a great balance of low-end presence and bright attack. The snares all feature DW's MAG throw-off, heavy gauge triple-flanged hoops, and are available in 5 lacquer and 4 wrapped finishes. Truly something for everyone!
Looking for something a bit different? Something classy and yet edgy? Something you can take into a recording session and on stage? Something that looks good through every Instagram filter? Enter the SLP G-Bubinga.
Dressed in nothing but a glossy clear coat that allows the bubinga shell's natural water-like grain to show through and accented with icy cool black nickel hardware, this particular SLP posses a unique combination of boutique looks, versatile performance, and reasonable sticker price (seriously, Tama could charge another $200 for it and I'd still recommend it).
Sonically the G-Bubinga is unique, owing both to its uncommonly thick 10mm shell and bubinga's intriguing tonality. The drum is very powerful when it needs to be, but is also completely capable of speaking with a soft and delicate voice. Bubinga has a beautifully colorful tone coupled with a pleasantly punchy character that makes this drum a joy to play.
More than any other drum on this list, the G-Bubinga is a drum that really needs to be seen, felt, and heard in person. And thanks to the use of a veneer-quality outer ply, each one looks a little bit different.
Perfect Balance Pedal Review Let me start by first saying that this pedal is definitely not for everyone. If you like the acceleration provided by an offset cam such as Tama’s Iron Cobra or the dizzying amount of adjustments of Pearl’s Eliminator Chain Drive this pedal is not for you. If, however your first [...]
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22nd at 6:30PM -THE ELEKTRON OVERBRIDGE RELEASE FREE WORKSHOP. Devon Hughes will show Overbridge in action as well as present the full line of Elektron synths.Learn More Here SATURDAY, AUGUST 1st at 1:00PM - MATT HALPERN DRUM CLINIC $15.00MATT HALPERN, drummer for the metal band PERIPHERY, will dive deep into improvised grooves, odd-meter playing, endurance and [...]
WHEN: July 22 at 6:30pm to July 23 at 8:30pmWHERE: Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center 11151 Veirs Mill Rd, Wheaton, Maryland 20902WHAT: Elektron Music Machines, the Swedish cult manufacturer of synthesizers and drum machines, is showing the way to the future of music composition and creation with Overbridge - a revolutionary [...]
Where: Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center11151 Veirs Mill RdWheaton, MD 20902301-946-8808When: Saturday July 11th10am - 5pmWhat: Bring in your Fender or Squier brand electric, acoustic or bass guitar for a FREE set of Fender strings (up to $40) and a tune-up. *Limit one instrument per customer, must be present during tune up.Don't own a [...]
Do you want to learn the secrets of great guitar tone?Do you want to hear how and why guitars and guitar tone have evolved over time?Do you want to check out how iconic guitarists have achieved their signature sounds?Or do you just want to be inspired to play more?Attend The Tone Made Easy Class And [...]
Producer, engineer, and performer DiViNCi will host a free workshop on all things ABLETON LIVE centered around The Ableton PUSH Controller. DiViNCi will first display his virtuosity in his frenetic performances as a leader in the popular “Controllerism” scene that is revered by music fans, aspiring electronic performers & veteran musicians alike. He will also cover a range of topics [...]
The International Trumpet Guild (ITG) is a world-wide organization of trumpeters, formed to promote communication among trumpet players around the world and to improve the artistic level of performance, teaching, and literature associated with the trumpet. ITG's more than 5,000 members represent 64 countries and include professional and amateur performers, teachers, students, manufacturers, publishers, and [...]
Join our trumpet maestro Lee Walkowich in celebrating 40 years of shared trumpet history at the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Conference. The ITG Conference will be held at The Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio beginning May 26th.Joining Mr. Walkowich will be trumpet makers Tony Scodwell (Scodwell USA), Charlie Davis (Charlie Davis Trumpets), Will Spencer (Spencer Trumpets [...]
Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center and S.E. Shires Present the Monster Brass Camp Monster Brass Camp is an intense brass camp aimed at getting young and amateur musicians to the next level. Sign up for a week of brass ensemble, group lessons, masterclasses, and concerts. All of the faculty are accomplished musicians and educators. Monster Brass Camp encourages the [...]