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The Concert Maple Snare Drum: Economical & Elevated Orchestral Sounds

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

High quality materials, custom components, and an affordable price point? The Concert Maple is all that and more.


Are you searching for an orchestral snare drum with solid construction, a balanced orchestral sound, and an economical price? Look no further than Black Swamp's Concert Maple snare drum. With exclusive features that truly help elevate their performance and stand out from similarly priced entry-level drums, the Concert Maple is an excellent choice for music enthusiasts, young percussionists, students, and educators. Keep reading to learn more about this drum's specifications, hardware, and special features that set it apart from the rest.





Black Swamp Percussion concert maple snare drum

 

Maple Drum Shell


The center of the Concert Maple snare drum is a 7-ply maple shell, which provides a balanced orchestral sound. This shell type is universal, not as bright or complex as specialty shells like brass, titanium, or Unibody. It's the same ply shell used on Black Swamp's SoundArt and Multisonic drums, meaning there's no sacrificing construction for cost. The Concert Maple snare drum is available in two color options, Concert Black or Cherry Rosewood, and two sizes, 6.5 by 14 and 5 by 14. The 6.5-inch deep drums have a darker sound quality with more body, while the 5-inch deep models are higher pitched with more projection.

drum shell showing snare bed

For those who are curious about "ply maple," it refers to thin veneers or layers of maple glued together and bent into the shape of a circle. Although Black Swamp doesn't manufacture these specific shells in-house, the company purchases the ply maple tubes, cuts them to various sizes, applies appropriate finishes, and assembles them into a wide selection of drums. You can explore the large variety of Black Swamp snare drums on our website.


 

High Quality Hardware


Attached to the ply maple shell is a selection of hardware, starting with Black Swamp's exclusive Arch lugs. These are die-cast versions of the popular Arch Style tube lug, designed years ago by BSP founder and president Eric Sooy. These lugs are durable and self-aligning, meaning the stainless steel tension rods will thread easily and tune smoothly while holding up for years of diligent performance.

Arch2 lugs by Black Swamp Percussion

These lugs are available to purchase separately from DaVille Drumworks for your next snare drum or drum set build! These lugs are available as doubled ended in long and short options for snare drums. And single ended lugs for toms or bass drums. All lugs come with rubber gaskets to protect your shell and bring the lugs to a proper height for your instrument.


Next, the sturdy die-cast strainer is reliable and will also see you through years of hassle-free operation. The throw-off glides freely and features a rubber tuning knob that is easy to adjust without being bulky.


Black Swamp Percussion concert maple snare strainer

Helping to hold the batter and snare side heads in place is a set of 2.3mm steel hoops. Although not as stiff as the die-cast hoops used on Black Swamp's SoundArt and Multisonic drums, steel hoops are more flexible and easier to tune, which is important for beginning percussionists or music directors who need to maintain their instrument inventory efficiently and confidently. Steel hoops also lend a broader tone to the drum, which balances well with any ensemble.

triple flange drum hoop

 

Bearing Edges & Snare Beds


The Concert Maple snare drum boasts key features that truly help elevate its performance and stand out from similarly priced entry-level drums on the market. First, the ply maple shells feature appropriate bearing edges for an orchestral snare drum, being a rounded outer edge and inner 45. This results in less head-to-shell contact, which helps produce a pure tone and lively projection.

close up of a drum shell bearing edge

Second, the snare bed for our Concert Maple drum is relatively narrow, but deep - designed specifically for the cable snare unit attached to the strainer. The special snare bed machined into the shell creates a subtle arc in the snare side head when seated properly, allowing the snare unit to make more complete contact with the head as it passes over the bearing edge. This maximizes response and sensitivity of the drum.

Black Swamp Percussion concert maple cable snare unit

We've made a video tutorial on how to seat a snare drum head and its effects on the performance of a snare drum. Be sure to check out the video if you're interested in learning more.


 

Cable Snare Wire Unit


Black Swamp also manufactures and installs a custom fit, wrap-around cable snare unit for the Concert Maple snare drum. This unit features two contrasting cable types attached to a single snare unit. Because the two cable types have a different texture and respond best at different volumes, this is a quick and easy way to establish a desired orchestral sound and get a drum to go from dull to dynamic!


Close up of a concert maple cable snare wire unit

But we’re not done yet! Because Black Swamp is all about the details, we also mount the custom cable snare wire at a slight angle on the butt side of the snare drum. Because the blue coated cable responds best at a higher dynamic than the stainless steel cable, you can mount the blue side a little tighter. This leaves the stainless cable a little looser which allows it to vibrate or respond easier at softer dynamics. Thus allow the single cable snare wire to work in tandem and produce a crisp orchestral snare drum sound with a wide dynamic range.


The snare bed, wrap-around snare unit, multiple cable types, and mounting technique all blend together to help produce a superior sounding concert snare drum - designed and crafted by musicians (that’s us) all for an affordable price.


 

Snare Drum Value for Money


An economical price point for a concert snare drum is not only important but also essential for both students and educators in music. In the face of shrinking music education budgets, providing access to high-quality instruments at an affordable price point becomes a critical aspect of sustaining music programs in schools. A concert snare drum is a vital component of a percussionist's toolkit, allowing students to refine their skills and prepare for performances. Without access to a high-quality concert snare drum, students are unable to reach their full potential, and educators struggle to provide the necessary resources to enable their growth.


An affordable price point for a concert snare drum is particularly beneficial for students and schools located in low-income areas. In these communities, music education programs may be underfunded, and students may have limited access to resources such as musical instruments. By offering concert snare drums at a reasonable price, educators can help bridge the gap, providing students with the tools they need to learn and grow as musicians. Moreover, when schools can invest in quality instruments, students are more likely to take pride in their music program and perform at their best.


Providing an economical price point for concert snare drums also helps to create a more inclusive and diverse music education program. When high-quality instruments are accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background, it allows for greater representation and diversity within the music classroom. It enables students from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in music education, fostering an environment of mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation.


 

Wrapping Up the Concert Maple Snare Drum


Black Swamp's Concert Maple snare drum is the orchestral snare drum that does it all, for less. The balanced 7-ply maple shell is the perfect choice for a concert snare drum. Available in Concert Black or Cherry Rosewood finishes and two sizes. These drums come with durable Arch lugs, a reliable die-cast strainer, and 2.3mm steel hoops for easy tuning. The custom bearing edges, snare bed and wrap-around cable snare unit maximize response and sensitivity, while the contrasting cable types allow for a dynamic orchestral sound. All crafted with attention to detail by musicians, these snare drums deliver superior performance at an affordable price.


Grab a pair of headphones and take a listen to these drums in action:


5" x 14" Concert Maple Snare Drum

  • Die-cast strainer

  • 2.3mm Steel hoops

  • Blue Coated / Stainless Steel snare unit

  • Die-cast Arch lugs

  • Remo Renaissance head



6.5" x 14" Concert Maple Snare Drum

  • Die-cast strainer

  • 2.3mm Steel hoops

  • Blue Coated / Stainless Steel snare unit

  • Die-cast Arch lugs

  • Remo Renaissance head



Jade Hails (BSP Educator) performs "Searching" by Matthew Keown. The three movement snare drum solo was commissioned by Jade, and is performed here on a 5" Concert Maple snare drum.


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