For almost forty years, Dixon has successfully gained and maintained a reputation for its cost-effective but trustworthy drum accessories, hardware and affordable drums.
The unveiling of Dixon's Artisan Series saw the status of this Taiwanese-based company rapidly elevated with this range of pro-quality drums.
This impressive selection includes Artisan TMS (Traditional Maple Shell), Artisan MBS (Maple Bubinga Shell), Artisan Select (with fully customisable sizes, materials, finishes and hardware), and a range of individual Artisan snares.
Today we are looking at a snare from Dixon's Artisan Series. Before a snare drum is marketed, Dixon's drum designers swap and change shell material and drum furniture with a mix and match approach.
Only after tests in the sound lab and feedback received from many of their players, the drums are they then ready for the drum store.
With solid, deep chromed hardware throughout and a superb glossy finish, this snare appears extremely well-made.
Though Dixon mentions Evans G1's within its snare specification, the supplied heads are white coated Evans Level 360's for the batters, partnered by thin, transparent Snare Side 300's - also members of Evans excellent Level 360 family.
The understated but gorgeous 13" Chris Brady, has a beautiful natural maple grain finish and is fitted with the excellent Dunnett throw-off. The tube lugs of this drum also give a chic retro ambience.
Unusually, the heads are completely slackened off - so, there's much tensioning to do before we get chance to wallop it. With the aid of a stick lifting up the snare wires from the snare head, it is this side of the drum which is the first to be tuned.
Then it's the turn of the batters, giving them a clockwise turn or two - constantly checking the harmonics of heads, making sure there's an even pitch at each lug point - initially we are keeping pitch fairly low.
After all that judicious tuning, the Brady goes into the grips of the snare basket. Bearing in mind the initial low tuning, this certainly shows this is a gusty little character. When taken up another key turn, it retains its maple warmth but produces a mouth-watering, dry woody thwock.
When cranked-up around half a turn again, the snare becomes a musical exclamation mark - a great drum for funk and perhaps some of those reggae stabs too.