If one goes through Steve Smith’s list of gear, soon will find that he is the kind of guy who knows very well what works for him and what doesn’t. When he is happy with something, he remains faithful to it almost forever. This is the kind of loyalty that has kept him with Sonor since when he was very young, and this can be spotted in details such as the measures of his drum shells, his cymbals or even his sticks. Therefore, we can be sure that he took care of every detail when designing his own Signature Snare Drum with Sonor.
The Sonor Steve Smith Signature Snare Drum is 14″ x 5,5″ and is made from a 2,5 mm. cast steel shell with chrome finish. Interestingly for a steel shell, it comes with reinforcements on top and bottom, and it is a very heavy snare drum. Steve Smith says that the amount of steel and the heaviness increases the low-end, which adds to the high-end of this kind of steel shells. And he is right, this Sonor Steve Smith Signature snare drum has a rich, powerful sound with an immediate response in all ranges and playing volumes.
Steve Smith and Sonor wanted to combine the most modern manufacturing processes with some classic concepts and vintage looks. It has die-cast hoops and the ten lugs are Phonic style but with the modern TuneSafe system in them. The 10″ x 2″ tension rods are slotted screws. The drumheads are an old Steve Smith’s favourite Remo Fiberskyn 3 Diplomat that provides great sensitivity and great dynamics, and a Remo Clear Resonance. There are 24 strand Sonor snare wires and two air vents. It also comes with a reissue of the 1988 Hilite Exclusive badge from Sonor with Steve’s signature on it, which adds to the vintage looks.
Steve Smith often plays this snare drum in studio sesions and live with bands or at clinics. It is one of the loudest metal snare drums around, but also one with the highest dynamic range. It has a full tone with a deep body that you don’t hear in other snare drums of the same type. It is not exactly cheap (almost $1,000 in the USA and around €730 in Europe), but it is a good investment with a lot of applications for many different styles.
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