Snare Drum Olympics Hands Out Gold

By Radim McCue Published August 8, 2009

Who says drumming isn't a contact sport? Five judges including world-renowned collector Gary Asher, Tesla drummer Troy Lucketta, industry expert Clay Fuqua and Nashville recording drummer Tommy Wells spent seven hours on July 15, 2009 putting 36 snare drums through their paces in the annual Snare Drum Olympics. The event, part of the Not So Modern Drummer-Southern Drum Show held in Nashville each July, encourages manufacturers to submit drums in various categories. This year, the categories were broken down by type of construction (ply, solid, segment, synthetic, metal) plus a special category for orchestral drums. To see our earlier coverage of the Southern Drum Show click here.

Judging includes a blind testing in which a drum is played two to three minutes for the judges, and a subjective portion in which judges get to handle and evaluate each drum. And, the winners for 2009 are:

  • Plywood Dixon Rosewood DS-0613 RWD
  • Single Ply Solid Wood Longo Single-Ply Walnut (MCD SS Bubinga won the blind listenting test)
  • Segment Wood Famous Drum Co. Signature Winge & Bubinga Scalloped
  • Synthetic RCI Starlite Atomic Bomb
  • Metal Joyful Noise E/WB 6524 Winged Elite Bronze (George H. Way Hollywood CO Brass won the blind listening test)
  • Orchestral Black Swamp Percussion Orchestral MS6514CRVAD

Public Voting

After the Olympics, the public attending the Southern Drum Show was invited to vote as well. Though not as rigorous as the judge's voting, their tallies are below.

  • Plywood Witt Percussion Maple 4-ply
  • Segment Famous Drum Co. Art Series
  • Single Ply Solid Wood Baltimore Drum Co. Premium Performance Hickory
  • Synthetic Jeff Ocheltree Ocheltree Starlite
  • Metal Taye Drums SS146 Stainless Steel
  • Orchestral Black Swamp MSA6514 TDT Titanium Elite