Pork Pie Percussion Hip Pig Snare review

From Taiwan to California with this custom snare

  • £299
Drums are constructed from eastern mahogany and feature a two-tone high-gloss lacquer finish

MusicRadar Verdict

A decidedly versatile drum that seems to lend itself primarily to mid and low tunings.


  • +

    Looks great. Nice sounds in the low-tuning range. Good quality build.


  • -

    If you like penny sweets, not much!

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Pork Pie Percussion has forged a strong reputation as one of the USA's top custom drum manufacturers since its inception in 1987. Famed for its weird and wonderful kit aesthetics, the Californian company mixes high-end craftsmanship with an eye for the unusual, led by founder and president Bill Detamore.

This month we take a look at the American artisan's latest labours of love, arriving in the form of the brand new Hip Pig snare drum.


Pork Pie's Hip Pig snare drums are manufactured completely in Taiwan but are quality checked to ensure that they meet the same high standards as the USA-made lines. Employing an 8-ply shell, these drums are constructed from eastern mahogany and feature a two-tone, high-gloss lacquer finish.

"Tonally, this drum sounds more comfortable in a low tuning range; just a quarter key-turn is enough to coax our porky pal into action"

The snares are available in three Duco finishes as a 14"x6½" shell and a natural satin finish as 14"x5". In terms of hardware, the Hip Pigs are equipped with eight 'vintage beavertail' lugs, 2.3mm tripleflanged hoops, 20-strand brass snare wires and Pork Pie's own signature strainer

Every drum comes signed and numbered by Bill Detamore himself as a personal guarantee of quality.

Hands On

The drum we have for review is the 14"x6½" in Red/Gold Duco. Much like the wrap finish of the B20 (or Marmite for that matter), you're likely to either love it or hate it.

For us, the unique way that the pale red mixes with the yellowy gold to create a pink glow is reminiscent of the old Fruit Salad penny sweets - a definite winner in our book.

Tonally, this drum sounds more comfortable in a low tuning range; just a quarter key-turn is enough to coax our porky pal into action. As we start to work up through the tuning spectrum, strangely the rim-shot seems to lack somewhat initially.

However, when the batter head is cranked tight, the reward is a tighter snap that we have come to expect from a maple drum. The backbeat is once again helped along by those wonderfully responsive brass snare wires.

We find ourselves falling into the latter category of the Pork Pie mantra: "This world has two kinds of people; the ones who already own PorkPie Drums and the ones who are about to buy them."

Tom Bradley

Tom is a professional drummer with a long history of performing live anywhere from local venues to 200,000 capacity festivals. Tom is a private drum tutor, in addition to teaching at the BIMM Institute in Birmingham. He is also a regular contributor to MusicRadar, with a particular passion for all things electronic and hybrid drumming.