Provenance Ross Revenge Radio Caroline Snare Drum review

Provenance continues remaking history

  • £960
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Our Verdict

Yet another one-off work of loving, dedicated craftsmanship - it looks classy and plays beautifully, with a full warm tone.


  • Beautifully crafted.


  • Very expensive.

Provenance uses "high grade alloys and quality timbers", salvaged from historically intriguing sources - Spitfire and Rolls Royce engines and the like.

This latest is hewn out of a decking plank from a former Radio Caroline ship. UK drummer Tim Broughton's Provenance drums are one-off collector's pieces that also sound and perform brilliantly as instruments.

Read more: Provenance SS Pegu Burmese Teak snare drum


The 14"x6.25" stave shell is of Alerce wood. Alerce is Spanish for larch, a slow growing semi-hardwood traditionally used for furniture and ship masts.

As a semi-hardwood, the stave construction makes sense: even though the shell ends up around a half-inch thick the drum is not that heavy.

The timber came from the deck of the MV Ross Revenge, built in 1960, the off-shore home of Radio Caroline from 1983 to 1991, since when she's been preserved and restored.

The result at medium tuning is rather Radio King-like. Great for loose, clanging jazzy rim-shots with a woody underlying timbre.

The Alerce's vertical straight grain is a sombre warm brown, the finish is natural, preserved with spirit wood grain sealer. Bearing edges are cut at 45 degrees then hand rounded and hand waxed.

Snare beds are also hand cut with vintage-style 'radiused' edges. There are eight double- ended tube lugs, triple-flanged 2.3mm chromed steel hoops, a Nickelworks strainer and 16-strand Puresound Custom wires.

Hands On

The Alerce wood is not as heavy and dense as true hardwoods, and the bearing edges are rounded over, not sharpened, so the sound is not as aggressively hard-edged as some modern drums.

The shell is close on the full 14" in diameter, so the heads sit tightly. You have to push them down over the bearing edges, like some vintage drums.

The result is a dark and quite dry overall tone, and yet with lively rim shots and cross sticks. The result at medium tuning is rather Radio King-like. Great for loose, clanging jazzy rim-shots with a woody underlying timbre.

The warm Medium Coated Aquarian Vintage batter enhances the vintage vibe. The overall tone is deep yet concise; it's firm in the centre where it is quite thumpy and dry, though still crisp and snarey.

Tuned higher it's more brittle, sharp and cutting. But tuning right down low the shell tone comes into prominence with a powerfully resonant 'doinggg'.

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Tech Specs

Country of OriginUK
Drum Shell MaterialReclaimed Alerce wood
Includes Bagtrue