Top notch wood-fi­bre com­pos­ite snares from the young, eco-con­scious, Swedish cus­tom build com­pany

Rhythm - - GEAR REVIEW - Words: Ge­off Nicholls

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.

Hands On

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.

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