Reviewed: Gretsch Swamp Dawg Snare Drum
Everyone knows Gretsch drums. If you don’t, you probably should. Combing a rich history with that ‘Gretsch Sound’ they’re still one of the leading forces in drum manufacturing. When I got thrown a snare drum to try I was naturally already interested, but when I took a frankly monstrous looking 14x8” beast out of the box, I was a little taken aback. It’s called the Gretsch Swamp Dawg and it’s a bit of a character.
Reviewed: Alesis Strike Pro electronic drum kit
I’ve always had a soft spot for electronic drum kits. The idea of having hundreds of different sounding drums and cymbals at your fingertips and being able to practise without the neighbours wanting to kill me was almost too good to be true. Thanks to companies like Alesis, that idea has been a reality for a long time now. Alesis have been at the forefront of the electronic drum market for over a decade now (it’s hard to believe that the DM5 kit came out in 2006) and their newest kit, the Strike Pro, is a true testament to the forward thinking and innovation that they’ve been praised for since the mid 80’s.
Reviewed: Sonor SQ1 Drum Kit
Sonor drums have gone to a lot of trouble to work out what they wanted with their new SQ1 kit. In consultation with some of their biggest endorsees such as Chris Coleman combined with blindfold sound tests, the designers made the conscious decision to make a new line of drums featuring an all European Birch shell. Sonor don’t currently have a birch option in their line up, so the SQ1 offers a unique alternative to the ever-popular maple. Enter the new ‘Made in Germany’ SQ1.
REVIEWED: DIXON GREGG BISSONETTE BRASS SNARE DRUM
Dixon have certainly come a long way with their premium and signature series drum kits in recent years. Most noteworthy of them all would have to be the range of Gregg Bissonette signature drums that include a couple of kits and two different snares. This month I got to unbox Dixon’s 14” by 6.5” signature brass snare drum. This is one of the two Gregg Bissonette signature snares available now from Dixon, the other being a steel shell of the same size, but after hearing this one, I am pretty certain I got to play the better of the two.
REVIEWED: SAKAE ALMIGHTY MAPLE DRUM KIT
By now, everyone will probably know the Sakae story. The drum makers from Osaka, Japan are famous for being the backbone behind Yamaha shells for over 50 years and in the last few years have moved out on their own. These new kits under the name Sakae have a familiar sound and vibe. I wonder why?
REVIEWED: REMO CROWN PERCUSSION
Remo is well known as a great manufacturer of drumheads for so many drummers and percussionists worldwide but they’ve also often delved into producing other types of products, and now have decided to throw some super affordable and handy percussion instruments into the mix of offerings. There’s a stack of instruments and effects to choose from so we’re going to hone in on a few of the real highlights.
REVIEWED: PEARL DECADE MAPLE DRUM KIT
Every time I try a new product from Pearl, it’s usually a step forward, so when I had the chance to have a crack at the new Decade Maple (DMP), my expectations were high. It replaces the outgoing Vision model but it offers so much in its place and for a price point that is really hard to beat.
REVIEWED: PEARL MASTERS MAPLE COMPLETE SERIES MCT DRUM KIT
Sitting under their flagships of Masterworks and Reference, and aimed at drummers who don’t need umpteenth options and full customisation, Pearl has streamlined things with the Masters Complete Series with just two variants to keep things simple – MCT and MRV. I got a chance to have a look at the MCT and it’s something of a gem in a world of so many choices.