ONE O ONE BLACK DIAMOND & SUPRANOLIC SNARES
Top notch wood-fibre composite snares from the young, eco-conscious, Swedish custom build company
Here come the second and third offerings from the cool new Swedish company, One O One. Founded by Ola Bengtsson (who originally built drums with his father back in the ‘90s) and joined by Paul Nielsen, the company specialises in making drum shells using synthetic materials and modern technology. The aim is to be eco-friendly, employing recycled wood products.
What sets One O One apart is the unique shell material, which is a composite made from compressed recycled wood fibres – not dissimilar to Remo’s longstanding Acousticon, although made to One O One’s own ‘company secret recipe’.
The manufacturing process involves rolling together several ultra-thin fibre layers and bonding them as one like a ply shell, although there is much less of that natural wood ply tendency to straighten out. Therefore, One O One shells have less inherent tension. The resulting shell is more consistent and uniform than a plywood shell, and also reckoned to be stronger, meaning it can be made thinner.In fact One O One’s standard shell is just 2.5mm thick, which is half the thickness or less of a typical high-end hardwood shell. However, the shells are strengthened at the bearing edges with reinforcing rings which double the edge width to 5mm.
One O One has sent us two snares this time around, and mighty handsome they are too. The 14”x7” Black Diamond has gold hardware and has the above described 2.5mm shell. But the 14”x6” SupraNolic has an even thinner shell. In fact, One O One claims this is the thinnest woodfibre snare ever at just 1.5mm. Now that really is thin, although it also needs reinforcing at the edges where it is 5mm, the same as the standard 2.5mm shell.
The shells look and feel consistent and round. Bearing edges, unusually, are sharp 45-degrees on the bottom side and rounded on the batter side. The snare beds are graduated, typical of a modern drum.
As for finishes, the Black Diamond is, well, black. The SupraNolic is also black. But there is a difference: the SupraNolic is textured, with a ‘wood structure’ grainy wrap, while the Diamond is a satin smooth black lacquer.
However, One O One is a custom company and therefore you’re able to have all sorts of fun with finishes. One O One will print custom graphics for you – or anything else that happens to take your fancy. What’s more, with every custom order made, they offer you the
There is an even response all over the drum head and at all tunings which is largely due to the consist ency of the shell const ruction
choice of your own personal Diamond Drum badge to go with it.
At this early stage of the company’s evolution, the hardware is inevitably generic and familiar looking to Rhythm readers. Rest assured it is of excellent quality. In particular, the DW Mag throw-off and three position butt is a formidable addition.
You get the choice of standard ‘S’ hoops, or more expensive 2.3mm die-cast (illustrated). And One O One say the gold plate of the die-cast hoops, from its German supplier, perfectly matches the DW throw’s gold plate.
The combination of extremely hard wood fibre shell, the lack of inherent tension and the exceptional thinness of the shell body all combine to make One O One drums super-resonant. Both these drums are lively with an immense crack.
What strikes you is the clarity, the clean consistent tone, and the feeling of airiness and openness. There is an even response all over the drum head and at all tunings which is impressive and, no doubt, largely due to the consistency of the shell construction.
As a rule of thumb, the thinner the shell the deeper the pitch. But, to be honest, short of owning and playing the drums for several months, I don’t think I can truthfully detect a difference with the thinner SupraNolic shell. Perhaps there’s slightly more airy clout, a tad harsher if anything. But don’t hold me to that. What does make a difference is the shell depth. The 7” deep Black Diamond drum has a lower fundamental.
What you don’t get with One O One is the species-stereotypical flavour of each wood. The characteristics unique to maple, birch, mahogany or any other wood type are missing with these unspecified recycled wood chips, that are hardened to an almost metal-level density. However, while the clarity of tone may lead some to suggest there’s a lack of character, this is unfair. The hardness and thinness of the shells, results in a sound that verges on that of a metal snare. While synthesised, these shells are still predominantly wood, meaning you could argue you are getting a blend of both wood and metal qualities in one neat package.