DW's $4000 True Cast Bell Bronze snare!

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member

My opinion: It's a gorgeous drum! A work of art! .....but it sounds terrible. In fact, I think it's the worst sounding bell brass snare I've ever heard. I'm not even kidding.

The tone is all upper midrange, no bottom end to speak of, and has no real "crack" either, despite having an aggressive sound and lots of volume.

How is that even possible? DW managed to fit all the worst frequencies --and none of the good frequencies-- into one snare drum. And it's $4,000!

But that's just my opinion... (flame suit on)
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
They have it tuned to almost choking. First sound clip I've heard but I've been aware of the drum for a while. In that tuning range it sounds horrible.
I love DW's wood snares. The metal ones, not that impressed.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I was pretty fascinated with the idea of a bronze snare drum when I first heard about them.

Some times the idea is better than the reality though.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
They have both heads cranked. That's why the mids and lows are missing. Hopefully Drumcenternh will do a video that will be more representative of what this drum capable of.
The thicker the shell, the higher the frequencies. Honestly, I don't think a lower tuning would fix it. This snare is choking on it's own mass. 5mm is just too thick for this drum. This is evident from its high pitch and how extremely dry it is.

PS....I have a Pearl Sensitone bronze that puts the DW in the dirt.
If I was blindfolded in front of 100 metal snare drums ranging from $100 to $700, I would pick this one dead last. Metal drums are difficult to mess up.....even super-budget snares like a CB-700 sounds better to me.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
The thicker the shell, the higher the frequencies. Honestly, I don't think a lower tuning would fix it. This snare is choking on it's own mass. 5mm is just too thick for this drum. This is evident from its high pitch and how extremely dry it is.


If I was blindfolded in front of 100 metal snare drums ranging from $100 to $700, I would pick this one dead last. Metal drums are difficult to mess up.....even super-budget snares like a CB-700 sounds better to me.
I had a custom cast aluminum shell made for a Pearl free float chassis that was 5mm thick. Loud as a train wreck and NO bottom end. I sold it at a loss and went back to my Premier 2000.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
The thicker the shell, the higher the frequencies. Honestly, I don't think a lower tuning would fix it. This snare is choking on it's own mass. 5mm is just too thick for this drum. This is evident from its high pitch and how extremely dry it is.
Here's a 5MM Gretcsh bronze snare and you can hear the mids and lows. It also has a nice open tone. The DW is choked out due to an extremely high tuning. https://www.drumcenternh.com/gretsch-usa-phosphor-bronze-snare-drum-14x6-5 Scroll down the page for the sound clip.

YMMV
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
The thicker the shell, the higher the frequencies. Honestly, I don't think a lower tuning would fix it. This snare is choking on it's own mass. 5mm is just too thick for this drum. This is evident from its high pitch and how extremely dry it is.


If I was blindfolded in front of 100 metal snare drums ranging from $100 to $700, I would pick this one dead last. Metal drums are difficult to mess up.....even super-budget snares like a CB-700 sounds better to me.
The Gretsch phosphor bronze cast snare is 5mm and sounds thunderous! I’ve seen a couple of other vids of the DW and it doesn’t sound like it has and depth in any of them. I don’t know how DW managed to do it...lol
 

Skrivarna

Senior Member
Here's a 5MM Gretcsh bronze snare and you can hear the mids and lows. It also has a nice open tone. The DW is choked out due to an extremely high tuning. https://www.drumcenternh.com/gretsch-usa-phosphor-bronze-snare-drum-14x6-5 Scroll down the page for the sound clip.

YMMV
I have played that Gretsch and it is indeed a really nice sounding drum, full tuning range and great response. Not at all clangy in the way I expected. But far too heavy for practical use...
This DW probably just needs some other heads and tuning.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
It's very easy on the eye but awful on the ear.............the drum equivalent of a lot of drunk wedding guests I've encountered.

The Super 2 seemed to bring it to life a little but it was still very thin sounding. Amazed John Good hasn't done a video about how he sourced the rank gong and made the snares from that. $4k is on the vertical side of steep.


Far better bell brass.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
That's an unfortunate demo for this drum - over cranking the drum with different heads was a very odd way to show how it sounds.

I have a feeling the drum sounds a lot better than this demo - heavier gauge shells do not necessarily equal higher pitches. I've found thick shells to give a lot more bottom end fullness than the more typical, 1mm or less shells...
 

charliedrummer

Senior Member
Not that I would ever spend $4000 on a snare drum, but he totally lost me when he added the Big Fat Snare Drum overlay. You might as well resort to playing a $4 cardboard box.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I've heard several Gretsch Bell Brass snares and they all sound awesome. Also 75% of the dollar amount John Good seems to think his is worth. I know the DW we're discussing is bronze not brass but that's just a difference in the addition of zinc or tin to the copper. Still to my ears the Gretsch sounds way better than the DW.
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
There are so many boutique options for cast bronze snares these days (some even using the same OEM as DW) and most street at a third or less of the price of this thing.

I'll stick with my Gretsch USA Bell Brass.
 
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