The best snare drums in the world today

24th Feb 2014 | 17:20

The best snare drums in the world today
The best snare drums in the world today
Metal, wood and synthetic, from budget to custom-built

This is a constantly updated gallery of the best snare drums on the planet - from beginner and mid-priced wood or metal models to professional and high-end synthetic or custom-built beasts, there’s a snare here to suit every drummer and drumming style.

All the snares here are hand-picked from the pages of Rhythm magazine following a gruelling test process. So, have a browse and be sure to click through to read the full review for an in-depth look at each snare.

The best snare drums in the world today
PDP Blackout snare drum
£195

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Another shining example of just what great value the current PDP range is, the Blackout is a cracker of a snare."

FULL REVIEW: PDP Blackout snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Worldmax Traditional Black Wood Hoop snare drums
From £200

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Like all Worldmax drums these snares are well made and feature a level of specification that's at odds with their prices. Their performances compare well with drums costing twice the amount."

FULL REVIEW: Worldmax Traditional Black Wood Hoop snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Gretsch Mark Schulman Signature snare drum
£222

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"We can imagine this snare will be ideal as a second snare for rock/pop but would be elevated to main snare status for reggae or ska music. Overall, it's a fantastic drum."

FULL REVIEW: Gretsch Mark Schulman Signature snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Tama SLP Metal snare drums
From £238

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Distinctive, beautifully built set of snares covering just about every musical genre.It would be impossible to choose one drum over another in the review set - the choice will come down to style."

FULL REVIEW: Tama SLP Metal snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Natal Steel Shell snare drums
£269

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Natal's good-looking steel snare has six hand-hammered finishes to choose from. The sheer bravado of the design and attention to detail bode well. It's onwards and upwards for Natal."

FULL REVIEW: Natal Steel Shell snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Worldmax Padauk snare drum
£299

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Could be used for any number of genres. If you've never tried a Worldmax snare, then it's about time you did!"

FULL REVIEW: Worldmax Padauk snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Gretsch Full Range snare drums
From £316

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"By the number of wooden-hooped snares currently in production, such drums are clearly versatile enough for use as a main snare. This pair of Gretsch drums provides two more reasons to consider investing in an alternative to a metal-hooped snare."

FULL REVIEW: Gretsch Full Range snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ludwig The Brick snare drum
£329

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The Brick is a winner - it looks slick, sounds terrific and is affordable."

FULL REVIEW: Ludwig The Brick snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Tama SLP Wooden snare drums
From £329

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Tama has done a fine job of narrowing down the choice of snare drums and, among these SLP snares, you're likely to find at least one to suit."

FULL REVIEW: Tama SLP Wooden snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
AD Drums Steel snare drum
£349

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"This is a great snare drum, demonstrating Carl's flair for design, eye for detail and standard of craftsmanship."

FULL REVIEW: AD Drums Steel snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
HighWood Heritage snare drum
From £350

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Once again the UK's HighWood has produced two super snare drums which stand comparison with anything on the market."

FULL REVIEW: HighWood Heritage snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Pearl Limited Edition Vintage Sensitone snare drum
£425

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"This drum may be modest-looking in comparison with its previous incarnation but is far from bashful. Solidly built and well finished, it's a characterful, authoritative and downright irresistible drum."

FULL REVIEW: Pearl Limited Edition Vintage Sensitone snare

The best snare drums in the world today
Liberty Drums Birch snare drum
£425

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A versatile drum made by a fast-growing UK builder, yet more proof of the drum building talent on these shores."

FULL REVIEW: Liberty Drums Birch snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Natal Pure Stave Walnut snare drum
£447

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Natal's stave expertise is evident and this is a finely crafted snare that could enhance practically any player's kit."

FULL REVIEW: Natal Pure Stave Walnut snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
AD Drums Cherry/Birch snare drum
£449

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Demonstrating an imaginative use of materials and colours, this is an ideal snare for those looking for a subtle partner to brushes and light sticks."

FULL REVIEW: AD Drums Cherry/Birch snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ludwig Corey Miller Snare
£449

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"It looks pretty but is designed to be offensive - in the nicest possible way - to crash through the nastiest of punk. A high-end snare that does what its supposed to"

FULL REVIEW: Ludwig Corey Miller Snare

The best snare drums in the world today
Premier Nicko Sicko snare drum
£499

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Using native sycamore instead of American maple is a refreshing change and overall this is a brilliantly built snare."

FULL REVIEW: Premier Nicko Sicko snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
AD Drums Maple/Acrylic hybrid snare drum
£499

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A unique combination of materials and tones that shows off AD Drums craftsmanship and design flair."

FULL REVIEW: AD Drums Maple/Acrylic hybrid snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ludwig Acrolite Classic snare drum
£519

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The lightweight seamless aluminium shell is the ace in the hole of the distinctive bright tone of the Acrolite. A go-to, all-round drum - hard to fault. Whichever finish you choose the Acrolite is a classic."

FULL REVIEW: Ludwig Acrolite Classic snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Morgan Davies snare drums
From £529

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"We have here two of the finest drums imaginable. Every care has been taken with the choice of woods, veneers and finishes, the top quality lugs and hardware and the attention to detail is outstanding. The end result is that both drums sound great, particularly the glitter drum, which is as good as any we can remember reviewing."

FULL REVIEW: Morgan Davies snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Ludwig Black Magic snare drums
From £539

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"While not being exactly cheap, Black Magic snares make a fine, more affordable alternative to Gretsch's premium Black Beauty snares - particularly for aggressive contemporary players."

FULL REVIEW: Ludwig Black Magic snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Premier One Series snare drums
£550

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"After a five-year hiatus Premier is back manufacturing on UK soil. Showcasing British craftsmanship of the highest order, the One snares encompass a virtually unlimited range of exotic woods."

FULL REVIEW: Premier One Series snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Tiki snare drums
£645

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"This is a fabulous pair of snares - each with their own particular sonic palette and personality. For the 13", some Latin, jazz-funk or jazz; the 14" drum would be versatile enough to cover just about any other genre."

FULL REVIEW: Tiki snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
Premier Aces High snare drum
£699

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The Aces High is superbly hand-built in the UK with exceptional attention to detail."

FULL REVIEW: Premier Aces High snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ludwig Joey Kramer Model snare drum
£699

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Not for the faint of wallet, this is one mighty snare."

FULL REVIEW: Ludwig Joey Kramer Model snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Truth Custom Drums Brass snare drum
£728

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A real one-off, rather special snare drum, well built and with impressive sounds."

FULL REVIEW: Truth Custom Drums Brass snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ahead Bell Brass snare drum
£799

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Whatever sound you wish for, this snare can be heard... clear as a bell."

FULL REVIEW: Ahead Bell Brass snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
DW Concrete snare drum
£803

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"DW has always pushed boundaries and this drum is another example of its willingness to experiment. A concrete shell makes a loud, solid and authoritative - if pricey - alternative to a traditional snare."

FULL REVIEW: DW Concrete snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Provenance Bentley Piccolo snare drum
£1,050

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A stunning drum that not only offer up amazing sounds, but also shows just what you can do with an old motor. We wonder if they can whisk something up from our old Ford Escort..."

FULL REVIEW: Provenance Bentley Piccolo snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Provenance F4 Phantom snare drum
£1,199

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"It requires wads of cash, but this snare is a genuine work of one-off art, as well as a fantastic drum."

FULL REVIEW: Provenance F4 Phantom snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Truth Custom Drums Maple/Walnut/Acrylic snare drum
£1,259

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The price is against it, but this is a characterful, warm snare with a genuinely unique sound and style."

FULL REVIEW: Truth Custom Drums Maple/Walnut/Acrylic snare drum

The best snare drums in the world today
Ford Corian snare drums
£1,499

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"These are exceptional sounding, utterly unique, craftsman-made works of drum art."

FULL REVIEW: Ford Corian snare drums

The best snare drums in the world today
EcHo Custom Snare drums
£POA

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"It's hard to see how EcHo can improve on this first collection of metal shell snares, which are superb in every department."

FULL REVIEW: EcHo Custom Snare drums

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