The Goodman Drum Company sent in a very high-end snare drum for review that sounded great on my gig last night (and I’m pretty picky). The instrument’s body is a 14 by 5.5 Quilted Maple stave shell that is 5/8” thick and has a double 45 degree bearing edge. It has wide and deep snare beds similar to the old Slingerland Radio King bed which I personally like because of the responsiveness. The flawless, grade A quilted maple wood has a beautiful hand rubbed clear coat that takes two weeks to apply and has a UV inhibiting agent. The hardware on the drum includes ten polished solid aluminum center lugs with receiving tubes that give it the look of a tube lug drum, die-cast hoops, a Trick throw off, and Pure Sound snare wires. The 3 small unique snare vents in the shell are aligned vertically in one panel of the drum and sit flush with the shell. No cheap hardware on this drum. It appears they using only top shelf parts. The badge is die-cast with a script logo on a glossy oval background trimmed with a silver/chrome-ish border. Very understated tasteful badge.
Sound? This is a full-bodied snare drum sound. At high, medium and low tunings the fundamental note of the shell is very present. It was very easy to tune and the feel of the tension rods turning in the lug threads was very smooth. The resonance and sustain in the head was very pleasing and musical from the edge to about 2/3 the way in to the center at which point the head became progressively drier until it was very controlled at the very nodal point in the center. I like a snare that allows me to hit in the center for a dry, short, snappy sound but with the option of moving away from center to use the natural ring in the head for longer tones. The snare wires respond very well from edge to center and I was able to dial out sympathetic buzz from other drums with the Trick throw off . The snares sounded great at tight, medium and loose settings. I think this can be attributed to the superb bearing edges snare beds as well as the superior Trick throw off and Puresound snare wires. I’ve noticed that some snare drums with die-cast hoops can be very one-dimensional; too much fundamental and not enough overtones or splash, all crack and no tone. Not with this drum. The die-cast hoop did not “choke” the drum. I usually prefer a triple flanged hoop because I find that die-cast hoops don’t give me enough tone and splash. Not so with this drum. It had a lot of what I call nice “gonk” tone in the sound (think Bill Bruford), which I find is usually missing in many drums with die-cast hoops. I also noticed that the difference between a regular loud hit and a rim shot was not that different in volume, but it was different in tone, which was nice. I play a lot of rim shots on backbeats but did not feel the need to with this drum. Most drums have a much seemingly louder report with a rim shot but the wide range of dynamics of the head hits on this drum with regular hits speaks to the superior response of this drum’s design.
Performance; I took this drum on a three-hour gig with an Allman Brothers tribute band. It was a very loud gig in a small club with another drummer right next to me. I had no problem hearing this drum even though there was no monitor and I had a hard time hearing the little 18” bass drum I was using. I didn’t feel the need to hit rim shots to hear the drum. The tuning held up well. No de-tuning of the tension rods.
Cons? Nothing. A+
The Goodman Drum Company is a three-year-old boutique company run by Chris Goodman Jr. and Sr., who also make other wood products. They make their drums out of rare, re-claimed, exotic and high-end tonal woods. The moisture content of the shell is very controlled at 6 to 8 percent until the final clear coating step. The drums are trued on granite and it is obvious that they are very concerned with producing a flawless instrument with much attention to detail. The Goodman's have plans for expansion in the near future. Their first 13” snare will be introduced in a few months. Lugs, hoops and tension rods will be made in-house in 2016 and their first drum kit will debut in 2016. Their goal is to go national with distribution in 2017. While their website is under construction you can reach them on Facebook.