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1. Drum Art Fat Boy snare drum


The folks at Drum Art in Italy have been building great stave shell drums since 2004. Their newest model is the 6.5x14 Fat Boy snare. This drum is intended to capture the "fat", "open" sound of what you would hear on those 50s era Ludwig and Slingerland drums with their mahogany/poplar/mahogany 3 ply shells and rounded bearing edges. 

The Fat Boy snare is designed with the Drum Art stave shell process and the shell is Basswood. Basswood generally isn't used for drums but is often used for bass guitar bodies. The stave shell construction method uses solid blocks of wood, assembled as staves (much like a barrel). This is a process that has been used by several boutique drum builders, but the folks at Drum Art have perfected the method as is evident in the great sound and versatility of this drum.

The shell is almost 1 inch thick, which at first glance would lead you to believe that the drum might be best suited to limited applications where you need a loud drum that will be played hard. Reason: Generally speaking, the thicker the shell, the less it will resonate. So, thick shell snares are most often used for drums that are designed to be loud and cutting, which can limit their versatility. But, the Fat Boy is remarkable in that the drum is extremely sensitive at all volume levels with no loss of sound quality, articulation, and projection. The shell resonates as if it were much thinner.

One of the most incredible features here is the tuning range and the ease with which this can be accomplished. This feature deserves a thorough explanation:

The folks at Drum Art told me that the tuning for Fat Boy could be handled by simply tuning one tension rod up or down. Now, if you try this on other snares what you generally find is that the response of the drum suffers, the sound is badly "out of tune", and there really isn't an appreciable change in the pitch. So, I was skeptical about their claim. But, as the video will show you, the drum in fact DOES respond beautifully to this method. I simply used one tension rod and cranked it up, and then up a lot more; then back down, then down more, and then down to the point where that one tension rod was totally loose. The reality here is that the drum absolutely can be tuned up and down with just one tension rod. The sound and response was superb every time, and the pitch was obviously different. To me, this is an incredible feature for both live use and especially in the studio, where time is money. For studio work you can have the drum dialed in for you optimal sound, and then if you need a much higher or lower sound for a given track, you can get that by just dialing one tension rod up or down, and "presto", you have the sound.

The folks at Drum Art design and manufacture their own lugs, which have an anodized finish. The strainer is simple and effective, and the rims are triple flange chrome plated steel. The other benefit of this drum is that the price point will be affordable for pros, semi-pros and hobbyists alike.

There are also different finishes available as well, and we will have more information on that shortly.

Of course, we will be selling this drum in our Maxwell shops in NYC and IL, and in our Fork's Drum Closet store in Nashville.   

Lastly, the Drum Art team has also created an wonderful line of drum sticks. They sent me a pair and I was very impressed, and will have more information about these shortly as well.

My recommendation: Grab one of these snares now. We are taking pre-orders so contact me at and I can get you on the list.




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