The 3 best new snare drums of 2022, as decided by you

British Drum Company - Raven
(Image credit: British Drum Co)

Ask 10 drummers about their perfect snare drum sound, and you’ll get 10 different answers. As the core of our kit, choosing the right snare for the job presents myriad options. 

This year is no different, but you’ve voted in your droves, and chosen the snares that got you rattled this year.

1. British Drum Company Raven

British Drum Company Raven

(Image credit: British Drum Company)

Slotting into the dynamic British Drum Company's range as its most affordable snare, the Raven clearly won over many admirers amongst you this year.

Eccentrically inspired by the legendary ravens at the Tower Of London, it's 100% handmade in the UK, and offers cutting-high frequencies and balanced low- and mid-tones thanks to its 10-ply Scandinavian birch body, while that tasty dark finish is a black ash veneer.

Learn more at British Drum Co.

2. Ludwig Universal Series

It looks like black finishes were a thing for you this year, as Ludwig's Universal Series snare pushed the Raven all the way. With a lineage like this, that's no surprise; the Universal is modeled after the legendary Black Beauty snare, aiming to land in the same sonic ballpark with an optimal response, sensitivity, and dark warm tones. 

Key features include heavy-duty tube lugs, P88i throw-off, P35 butt plate, and 20-strand snare wires.

Learn more at Ludwig.

3. Gretsch Ash Soan Signature

Gretsch Ash Soan Signature Snare

(Image credit: Gretsch)

Ash’s distinctive ‘high’ snare is recreated 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 Soan 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. 

Read the full Gretsch Ash Soan Signature Snare review here.

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.