Following on from our review of Odery's Custom drum kit in February we have a Custom Araucaria snare drum.
Odery is the Brazilian company most of whose Custom line shells are made from two basic shell options, 100 percent araucaria (a Southern Brazilian evergreen conifer) or a 50-50 hybrid of Indian teak and araucaria. Here we're looking at a snare made from the former.
Other options include shells made from wood blocks, aluminium, steel and acrylic. Rare timbers are obtained from sustainable sources.
This white snare (pictured top) is 14"x6" with a 15-ply araucaria shell, finished in Satin White lacquer, which is an almost matt white paint. It has 2.3mm triple-flanged steel hoops and all metal fittings are finished in antique silver.
"As with the shells, the hardware is fabricated by Odery itself"
As with the shells, the hardware is fabricated by Odery itself and the snare has 10 of Odery's Vintage lugs, which are substantial double-ended tube affairs in solid brass, with just a single-contact fixing in the centre.
Bearing edges have a typical 45° slope from the inside up to the final couple of plies where there's a round-over with a medium sharp peak. Inside the shell is smoothly sanded, undyed whitewood.
That leaves the snare strainer. Again it is Odery's own design, it looks fabulous and is undoubtedly built with the best of intentions, but is over-the-top in our book. The lever has a two-stage action which seems to catch half way resulting in an almighty clack when you pull it up into position. A simpler, smoother device would reduce weight on the shell and save Odery some money.
Snare wires, which are Taiwanese 20-coil steel with brass-end plates, are pulled up through a 45° channel sliced through the hoop on the strainer side, though more simply at a right angle on the butt side.
The effect of the thick, multi-plies is to raise the natural pitch of the shell and transfer that to the head. So you immediately have a bright tone that is simultaneously controlled. In fact, until slackened off a bit, the drums was a little boxy.
A bit of tinkering and its true nature started to emerge, the brightening shell effect carrying through to the 2.3mm steel power hoops, so that rim shots chime out with a powerful clang, while the centre backbeat remains crisp but brings out the underlying woody timbre.
The other effect of the thick shells and outside-cut bearing edges is to ensure that this snare is sensitive right up to the hoops.