Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Rodney Dangerfield of snare drums

Pork Pie Snare Drum Black Nickle Plated Snare Drum with Chrome Tube Lugs.

Also known as the Pork Pie BoB, not only does this snare drum get no respect, it is one of the best kept secrets for being a top notch snare drum. Part of the reason dates back a few years when one of the big box stores put this snare drum on sale as a "Stupid Deal" for one hundred bucks.

They quickly sold out and hundreds were on back order. That event did two things:
  1. Put a lot of these into circulation and exposed a lot of drummers to probably one of the best brass snare drums they would own
  2. Cheapened the value of the drum in the minds of thousands who will forever associate this with the "Stupid Deal" pricing
One note about the event and the exposure of this drum: when the deal was put on the big box store's site, it quickly went viral on a number of the largest and most influential drum forums.

My recommendation is to get past the notion that this is a cheap snare drum. As someone who has owned well over one hundred snare drums (many documented on this site), I can attest that this model will hold its own against some surprising contenders. For example, I have tested this side-by-side with a Ludwig Brass Edition, a circa 1967 Ludwig Supraphonic, and a Rogers Powertone. I prefer the Pork Pie to all three. That may sound like blasphemy, but it's true.

What you are getting, in essence, is the same snare drum that is sold as the Worldmax Hawg, which ironically does enjoy a great reputation.

The stock heads and snares are pretty good, which is a surprise because I typically change those on new snare drums. In fact, the batter head is close enough to my preferred head - Remo Coated Ambassador - that I have never bothered changing it. The drum has a decent tuning range for a 6.5" deep shell, and the throw-off is functional and problem-free (it looks like the Worldmax S-9X, which it probably is).

While I prefer wood snare drums, I always keep a brass one for variety. Although I recently sold off a large number of snare drums from my collection, this one was deemed a keeper and one I am not likely to part with. That fact speaks volumes about how good this snare drum sounds and what a bargain it is.

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