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Which Snare Drum Should I Buy?

Black Swamp Percussion offers a complete range of professional snare drums for every situation. Here's a guide that offers tips and information to help you choose the right snare drum for you.

Launched in 2002, the Multisonic Snare Drum is our most popular snare drum, named for the unique and innovative snare strainer. The Multisonic snare strainer system allows you to choose different combinations of snare types. For example, you can choose all coated cable snares, or just the lightest uncoated cable types.  


To see a video demonstration of the Multisonic snare system, click here (listen on good speakers or earphones).

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5" x 14" ply Maple

Although we manufacture Multisonic drums in a variety of sizes and shell types, our top selling model is definitely the 5” x 14” ply Maple. The 5” depth covers a lot of ground dynamically, splitting the difference between piccolo drums and larger models, and ply-Maple is a very universal shell type, at home in a variety of musical situations.

The SoundArt Snare Drum boasts the industry original integrated trio snare system. It is simpler than the Multisonic, but no less effective. It's great if you want straight ahead concert performance out of your snare drum. We offer this drum in 5" x 14" and 6.5" x 14" size (depth x diameter). If this is your first snare drum, we suggest getting a 7-ply maple, although we also offer brass, titanium, and solid steam-bent shells.

Each of the three snare units can be individually tensioned for maximum snare response and a wide dynamic range. To see video demonstrations of SoundArt Snare Drums, click here.


Again, the 5” x 14” ply Maple version is a little more popular, but sometimes larger band programs do prefer the deeper 6.5” x 14” model.

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6.5" x 14" ply Maple
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3.5" x 13" Titanium

Our Mercury drums represent the smaller sizes favored by many percussionists today. They are available with the Multisonic or SoundArt snare systems (4" x 14"), or our mini trio strainer system (3.5" x 13"). Far from being a one trick pony, these drums not only superb sensitivity and response for audition purposes, but they speak fully for use as piccolo drums and works requiring a "small" or "petite" snare drum.

Our favorite 4" x 14" or 3.5" x 14" has a titanium shell. Ultimate sensitivity and zippiness for the most demanding soft excerpts. 

Educational Models

If the Multisonic or SoundArt snare systems have a few too many knobs, buttons and sliders for you and your students, look into our Pro10 Studio or Concert Maple models. Both are designed specifically for band programs and percussion studios.

The Pro10 Studio snare drum is an innovative drum that offers all the benefit of progressive tension in a "set it and forget it" design. The snare unit has coated and uncoated cable that is setup so the snare goes from tighter to looser. This broadens the response and dynamic range of the drum. This is advantageous for institutional bands and orchestras because there is only the tension knob to adjust, and the snare adjustment is set at the factory with a drum key, making it more difficult for curious fingers to send the unit out of optimum adjustment. 

Available in a 6.5" x 14" 9-ply maple shell with 2.3mm hoops. 


The Concert Maple snare drum is our most affordable drum, making it a great choice for individuals and institutions on a budget. This drum features genuine Black Swamp cable snares, our Arch2 die cast lugs, 2.3 mm triple flanged hoops, and the same high quality 7-ply maple shell that we use on the Multisonic and SoundArt drums.

Available in 5" x 14" and 6.5" x 14 in either Cherry Rosewood or Concert Black.

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5" x 14" Concert Maple
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