SJC Drums Goliath Snare review

The first all-brass SJC snare drum is an absolute belter

  • £699
  • $899

MusicRadar Verdict

A slightly more affordable alternative to the top-line bell brass snares, which tend to push £1,000. This rolled brass shell delivers an abundance of tone and the end result is a sensitive yet fierce instrument.


  • +

    Good price.


  • -

    Very few.

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Since the Ciprari brothers began building drums in their grandmother’s basement in 2000, SJC Drums has continued to grow steadily and it now boasts an impressive roster of artists. 

Despite many years of producing custom kits and snares, the Goliath is SJC’s first all-brass snare.


The aptly-named Goliath snare sports a 3mm solid-brass shell adorned with meaty chrome hardware. This combination results in a seriously hefty drum that, like other similar brass snares, weighs in at around 20lbs. 

Our review drum is 14"x7" but SJC also produces a smaller 13"x7" model. Despite the seemingly high sum of £699, comparatively, this snare represents a much lighter investment than some brass alternatives. The seamless, rolled brass shell has a gorgeous natural brushed finish, both inside and out. 

This lends it that classic and much sought-after bell brass appeal. The shell is completely uniform from top to bottom and there are no reinforcement rings in sight. The edges are smoothed over at the same 3mm thickness, making for a rather fine contact point for the supplied Evans heads. 

The Goliath features thick 3mm triple-flanged chrome hoops, 20 SJC signature shield lugs with black rubber gaskets, an SJC engraved Quick-Drop throw-off and 20-strand snare wires with brass plates.  

The overall look of the all-chrome hardware against the slightly textured, brushed brass is absolutely stunning. 

Hands on

The monstrous brass shell allows the drum to be super-sensitive at lower playing volumes but also to reach staggering volumes when played into. After trying some low tunings resulting in a wide backbeat, we found that the drum comes more to life towards a medium tuning where we began to find the natural resonance of the shell. 

The signature metallic hum accompanies each strike and lingers momentarily before fading away. This is the classic and unmistakably anvil-like bell brass sound that we were hoping for - perfect for heavy rock and blues styles but also very adaptable and ideal for the studio. 

The wires are very sensitive and quick despite the 7" shell depth, allowing ghost notes to cut through even at low levels.  Cranked to a higher tension the note becomes shorter and much, much sharper. The response is instant yet there is still an overall balance of tone from the note of the shell.

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 feature writer and review for MusicRadar, with a particular passion for all things electronic and hybrid drumming.