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Scott Moore - Go Live Productions, LLC

Scott Moore
Go Live Productions, LLC
www.golivepro.net

Blaemire 6.5×14 Snare

Today my son and I went to the shop to play for a few hours and, of course, I picked the Blaemire snare. He chose a Supra 400. It was tough to do much of a review as my son was pretty much of the mindset for me to “quit messing with that snare so we can play!”.

In my short time with it I did get a basic feel for the snare, so I’ll post my initial thoughts.

As mentioned before the construction of this drum is top notch. The shell itself is very well made and the raw fiberglass looks fantastic. I cannot imagine what it takes to manufacture the shells in the way that they do. I have done some fiberglass molding for custom projects, but really, nothing like this.

The lugs are a simple, clean design that are both contemporary and harken back to an earlier era and very well built. Standard triple flange hoops which allows the drum to really open up. At some point I’ll try die cast hoops as I am just curious. I love the Blaemire logo by the way. Very classy. I personally prefer to have nylon washers and metal washers on the tension rods as I like the smooth action when tuning but many would disagree. I’ll add those ASAP.

The strainer is a Dunnett unit. This is a very well machined and finished piece. The strainer is very easy to engage and allows for extremely smooth and fine incremental tension adjustment. Installing snare wire on this strainer would be quite simple. My only issues with this system are a.) it protrudes a significant distance from the shell and b.) due to the way it works, it is quite possible that the tab holding the snare cord (or in this case the grosgrain ribbon) may actually fall off the strainer when playing the drum with the snares disengaged. I’ll have to spend some more time investigating this as this is my first Dunnett strainer experience. Speaking of the grosgrain ribbon, I was particularly impressed that Jenkins-Martin selected a pale green ribbon which matches the shell quite nicely. The drum came fitted with a 42 strand snare. I am generally not a fan of these as I prefer a little less snare sound, however, the snares did sound good on this drum. At some point I will try some other snare options though.

And how does it sound? It is a fiberglass shell so one would expect a fairly bright sound and that is what this drum provides and frankly, it is a pretty great sound. It is very sensitive at low volume and, as you might imagine is louder than Armageddon when you lay into it. The drum comes fitted with an Evans coated reverse dot head and this is a head I am not familiar with. It seemed appropriate for the drum. When time allows I’ll try a few different batters on it to see what effect they may have on the shell. I was using a pair of Vic Firth 5B’s so there was ample stick on the drum when testing. Tuned in it’s midrange the drum had a nice “throaty” texture with plenty of expected high end overtones and sustain. Upon incrementally raising the pitch the drum really came into it’s own. I added a small 1″ wide piece of gaffer’s tape to the edge and the drum really focused and I quite liked the results. Still plenty of sustain and ring but a touch more control. Moongel would have the same effect. When I cranked it to it’s upper range (think Stewart Copeland) the drum sounded absolutely brilliant.

For my rental purposes I can see this drum being a go to drum for gospel and hip-hop drummers. By the way, if you are not familiar with gospel drumming you are missing out on one of THE most exciting forms of live drumming out there. If Billy Cobham and David Garibaldi had a love child… I am completely serious. But I digress.

When tuning into the lower ranges I was not as impressed as the drum developed a bit of a midrange “bump” but again, I was not spending a lot of time trying to dial this in. I think a different head would help a lot with this issue. I find that a lot of contemporary rock, pop, roots and country players are playing snares that are nearly de-tuned entirely. Therefore, I dropped this snare to it’s lowest range. It was a similar situation but not as pronounced as lower mid tuning. I decided to throw a studio ring on the drum as that is fairly common at really loose tunings. Much improved and all of a sudden the drum became very versatile in my mind. I tuned it back up into the low mid range with the ring and it was better, but still had that midrange hump. I decided to run the drum back through it’s tuning range with the zero ring and was very surprised at how functional, and in fact, great the drum worked. I suppose it is beacause there is a lot of inherit high end and sustain in the drum. Most drums just become lifeless with that much muffling but this still sounded great, even at the high end of it’s range. Impressive.

The adjustment of the snares, as mentioned was very sensitive and one can detail the sound of the drum at various tunings very easily. One thing that was extremely impressive is you can tighten the snares a great deal tighter than you can with most snare drums before it actually chokes. In fact, I never did choke the drum. When I had the snares tightened to the point where the sound was simply way too bright and tight the drum was still responsive at the lightest playing. Extremely impressive.

Overall, this is a great instrument and I look forward to learning more about it. A lot of snare drums are kind of one trick ponies. This is not. It can do a lot and as such would prove to be a very useful studio snare drum. If you need a bloody loud snare drum that wil cut through a wall of amplification, this will do it like a knife. On first inspection I find it most pleasing at it’s high end and I know I will have a lot of players that will love it for that, but it is capable of so much more. I love it and am glad to have it. Thanks Jerry and David. Classy stuff.