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AD Drums Steel Snare review

An all steel-snare drum that proves its metal

  • £349
Much like the DrumCraft snares reviewed recently, this snare also has an industrial vibe

Our Verdict

This is a great snare drum, demonstrating Carl's flair for design, eye for detail and standard of craftsmanship.


  • Great build quality. Lots of cut and projection. Good value for money.


  • Not much.

The man behind AD Drums, and this steel snare, Carl Haffield, began "dabbling" in drums at the tender age of 14, having been asked to shorten the depths of a complete high-end kit for a mate!

"The AD Drums range makes a pick'n'mix counter appear dull in comparison"

Fortunately, instead of an act of drum brutality, the 'conversion' was a complete success, retaining the friendship and sowing the seeds of the potential for a business in drum construction and customisation.

However, it wasn't until 2007 that Carl (who has recently just turned 27), established AD Drums. Since then he has amassed a lavish back-catalogue of bespoke snares and complete kits in a huge range of colours, materials (hybrid, acrylic, wood, metal, etc), drum metal work components - a drum assortment that makes a pick'n'mix counter appear dull in comparison.

Read more: Pearl Modern Utility steel snare drums


This robust steel snare is an all-metal drum - and a weighty one at that. This model sports a nickel-plated exterior over an embossed, criss-cross, diamond-shaped pattern upon the shell wall.

Much like the DrumCraft snares reviewed recently, this snare also has an industrial vibe - an ambience echoed by the slender chromed tube lugs, individual mini-claws and single-flanged steel hoops.

Inside too, this theme is sustained with the hex-bolt lug fixings, steely grey shell wall and precision scribes of the lathe work. The upper and lower portions of the shell form the bearing edges out of the highly-skilled machining, featuring a 45° cut with two flat portions where the snare strainer wires nestle. The throw-off is a simple side-lever mechanism with a single knurled adjuster and a non-adjustable butt-end.

Hands On

Pitched against a barrage of noisy amplification there is little sign this steel snare will show the white flag. It is fully in control of the backbeat with plenty of cut and projection at hand when struck with gusto.

Giving it some with a well-aimed rim-shot confirms the drum is fully capable of sonic decapitation. The 3mm steel shell and Remo Powerstroke X batter is a formidable, powerful partnership. Roll up those sleeves and prepare to rock!