GEAR EXPO Summer 2022: Snare drums form the backbone of our kits, and in many ways define the character of our sound more than any other part. The great thing is, there's no need to just own one! Drum companies know this, which is why we drummers are always looking to add just one more snare flavour to our kits.
From all-rounders, to contemporary signature models, to affordable models based on classic blueprints, let's check out the snares that are creating a…buzz for 2022.
Ludwig Universal Metal and Wood
Think ‘classic snares’ and Ludwig is a name that’s going to come up time and again. For 2022, Ludwig has revived its Universal models (originally launched in the 1920s) - a range of metal and wood snare drums designed to deliver classic Ludwig snare DNA at accessible prices.
Starting with the metal, we get two versions of a brass-shell snare based on the iconic Black Beauty, both finished in Black Nickel and with a choice of Black Nickel die-cast hoops or chrome-plated triple-flanged models.
Once you’ve decided on your hoop choice, there are four sizes on offer: 13”x7”, 14”x5.5”, 14”x6.5” and 14”x8”. All shells are 1mm beaded brass and come equipped with tube lugs, a P88i throw-off/P35 butt plate as well as 20-strand wires.
The Universal Wood shell options are beech, walnut, cherry and mahogany, with a uniform 14”x6.5” shell diameter/depth and 6-ply, 7.5mm construction across the board. The beech and walnut models are clad with an exotic outer ply each - sapele for the beech model, walnut burl for the walnut model - while the mahogany is equipped with maple reinforcement rings.
Elsewhere, the Universal Wood snares share the same hardware with triple-flanged hoops, tube lugs, P88i/P35 throw-off/butt plate and 18-strand wires.
What’s more, these drums are hitting shelves now with prices starting around £289 and capping out well under £500.
Gretsch Ash Soan Signature Snare
Ash’s distinctive ‘high’ snare is recreated here as a signature model from Gretsch. Derived from his 90s custom Noonan purpleheart stave drum, this ply-shell production signature drum from Gretsch is the same drum that he has been using in the studio and on Instagram for the last couple of years.
It’s loaded with character, with plenty of cutting attack and sustain, and is a versatile drum despite its 12”x7” dimensions. Gretsch hallmarks such as 45-degree bearing edges, Lightning throw-off and internal silver sealer are all present.
Each drum comes with an ID label hand signed by Ash Soan complete with the year of manufacture.
PDP Concept Select Snares
Two years ago, DW’s sister brand, PDP launched its 14”x6.5” Concept Select snares, and this year, it’s back with new versions of its Aluminium and Bell Bronze drums.
The key difference here is that both shells are now available in 5-inch depths for those who prefer a shallower drum.
The Bell Bronze model is fitted with 2.3mm triple flanged hoops, while the Aluminium snare features satin walnut hoops with low profile claw hooks.
Both drums feature 3mm shells, True Pitch tension rods and a DW Mag throw-off, as well as a laser-engraved Art Deco Concept Select insignia.
Tama S.L.P G-Maple 14”x7”
The 13” and 14” G-Maple snares from Tama are modern classics. For 2022, Tama has sort of merged the two models for this limited edition version of the S.L.P G-Maple.
It’s the same 14-inch diameter as the bigger drum, but takes its 7-inch depth from the smaller snare, and built around the same design ethos as its siblings. There’s a thick 11mm/12-ply shell (plus a Zebrawood outer ply), tube lugs, 10-hole dies-cast hoops (all of which are finished in black nickel).
On the underside, there’s a 42-strand snare wire, which adds up to a sensitive yet cutting and loud snare that we think will be as popular as its counterparts.