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Dunnett Snare Drum Review

snare drum reviewHave you ever had the feeling your being watched? Eyes staring, watching your every move, staring and watching, watching and staring, moving when you move until suddenly, you realize something familiar.

Those dry chapped lips, those half-open crust filled eyes…..OH YEAH!?! That’s me! Admiring my fine reflection off the side of a shiny 6.5″ x 14″ stainless steel snare drum by DUNNETT.

Yep, this drum, with all its chrome, is shinier than a bald guy who just had his head waxed and buffed, and then had his dog lick the top of his head, until he drifted off to dreamland. But enough about the finish, lets talk about the drum.


The shell of the snare drum is a single piece of stainless steel, very polished as I mentioned above. The bottom of the snare seems to be milled were the snares lie. This helps the snares to sit flat against the head, while the bottom head wrinkles a tiny bit, due to the shell not being flat all the way around.

Also, what’s very interesting about the shell, is that it really has no bearing edge. All the metal snare drums that I’ve seen have a lip on the inside of the shell that is at an angle, and the head sits and is stretched on this angle. The Dunnett snare drum does not have this lip.

The head rests on the edge of the drum shell. [Dunnett ~ The “milling”” on the bottom of the drum is – of course – the snare bed and it is cut to accomodate the 42 strand snare wires that come standard on 14″ models.

The wrinkles in the bottom are from the beds being somewhat deeper than the average drum which often times has little or no snare bed whatsoever. This in no way effects the sound or the functioning of the drum. The bearing edge is a non flanged design. This increases shell resonance and tone. When you bend metal – like on a China cymbal – you mute the tone and resonance of the shell. The edge is actually rounded and then polished.]

The snare throw-off just rules! The throw-off is very smooth and very sturdy. It is easy to throw down, and when you pull it up, it locks right into place. It is also effortless to tighten the tension of the strainer, and the snares can be tightened with a drum-key (no more screwdrivers!) This is by far one of the best that I’ve seen!

[Dunnett ~ The throw off by Nickel Drumworks, one of the finest available and comes as standard on all 14, 13 and 12″ diameter drums. I am currently working with Greg Nickel who invented the original throw off on a new design that incorporates a new and very cool feature that has never been done to a throw off before. We have finished prototyping and are now waiting patent protection.]

The hoops I believe are standard steel hoops. The drum has the traditional eight lugs, and the lugs appear to be chrome plated steel, which only adds to the sharp appearance.[Dunnett ~ All Classic Standards are fitted with 2.3 mm triple flange hoops however, hand made steel and brass hoops are available as an option. All Dunnett lugs are machined from solid brass.]

The Sound

When I received the drum, I did not change the tuning of it, and it sounded very good. It was tuned kind of in the medium-high range, which is just fine for me. Alternate tunings will surely produce some different results. The drum also came with a 42-strand snare wires, which gave it a marching quality. It also came with an Aquarian Texture coated, double thin head on the top, and the bottom head was an Aquarian Clear Classic.

The drum sounded very nice. It wasn’t as bright as I thought it would be, but it sure delivered a very nice crack. It was very responsive, due to the 42 snare wires on the bottom, and you could roll the day away. I found myself playing marches and doing rolls on every over played drum fill that I did.

I think it would also serve as a great Rock and Roll / Metal snare drum. Playing funk grooves also produced great results, and reminded me a little bit of that [Billy]Cobham sound, great for doing single stroke rolls on. Playing Jazz or Latin on it sounded a little bit strange to me. Although, with the changing of heads and snare set-up, I think it would suit those styles equally well.


I think DUNNETT has a very fine snare drum here. It’s construction is excellent, it looks good and most importantly, it sounds great. So when you find yourself staring into the side of a shiny snare drum, making kissey faces at yourself, just stop! Put the drum down, and hit it. I did! And you’ll be glad you did too!

Until next time, always remember that when life hands you a bad hand, don’t get mad, get even!!! And take it out on a drum!!!!! For more reviews and tips on buying drumming gear, click here!

Price: $395.00 retail or direct from Dunnett