It's not hard to find unusual materials being used in modern snares - hell, in the last year we've had concrete, bronze and acrylic. That said, we must confess that Provenance Drums' latest snare creation is the first that we've seen recycled from a fighter jet…
Here we have a 14"x51⁄2" snare created from an F4 Phantom fighter jet. The drum is sand cast aluminium with 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops and rounded bearing edges. It also features a lathed shell and 10 chrome tube lugs.
Provenance has also made drums from a 1966 Jaguar MKII, a 1962 Bentley S2, a 1962 Rolls Royce, to name just a few examples. Owner Tim Broughton explains that he sources such materials from dealers, collectors and fellow enthusiasts. On the company's origins, he tells us:
"I have a fascination with history, historical artifacts and classic design, as well as a passion for music, drums and drumming. In particular I love British aviation, automobile and maritime objects. After visiting an aviation museum, I thought it would be a cool thing to make a snare from a Spitfire. The idea grew from that to what Provenance is today."
But is it all a gimmick? Style over substance, perhaps? The answer is a resounding 'no'. It doesn't take long for us to realise how special this drum really is.
This 14"x51⁄2" snare is something more of a muscle stretcher. Well, they don't make those fighter jets out of any old material, you know - and that sturdy Dunnett R Class doesn't help lighten the load.
A 5B to the middle of the drum draws somewhat surprising results. It sounds somewhat dead on first impression, bellowing out an ungodly, boomy thud, like a cricket bat to the side of the head. A few turns of the drum key and it soon bursts into life with an explosion of sound, as we find more of a deep growl with a hint of metallic overtone. Cranking the snare to its limits brings a whip-like crack that gets a big thumbs-up from the rest of the band.
Sonically, it's not a million miles away from the EcHo Custom Drums aluminium snares that we reviewed back in May. The drum's tonal capabilities aren't quite as wide-ranging as those found with the recently reviewed Provenance piccolo, but the 14"x51⁄2" remains a solid performer which also packs plenty of body - you can get a satisfyingly full, fat sound jam-packed with resonance.
While the drum is made from metal, there's not a single hint of clang to its sound, instead it's more than capable of a beautifully clear tone, and both kick out a hell of a racket when required.
Of course, this drum is eye-wateringly expensive. £1,000-plus for a snare drum is monumentally pricey, but then we must remember that something being expensive doesn't necessarily equate to poor value for money.