RE­VIEW WorldMax blac k Dawg nickel over brass snare

£260 A mod­ern up­date on a clas­sic de­sign hits all the right notes – in­clud­ing price

Rhythm - - NEW GEAR -

Tai­wanese brand WorldMax has earned a well-de­served rep­u­ta­tion for its keenly-priced snare drums. From the com­pany’s ranks we have a Black Dawg 14"x6½" black nickel over brass shell snare for re­view.


WorldMax man­u­fac­tures more than one type of brass-shelled snare and this par­tic­u­lar model is from the com­pany’s most af­ford­able line. The drum has un­doubt­edly been in­spired by Lud­wig’s leg­endary Black Beauty snare, hence the tongue-in-cheek Black Dawg moniker. The beaded brass shell is 1.3mm thick and has been ex­pertly black nickel-plated and then pol­ished, mak­ing for a flaw­less ap­pear­ance. The fin­ish is not just about looks – the black nickel also in­flu­ences the re­sponse of the drum, adding a de­gree of dark­ness and fo­cus. A tidy weld is only vis­i­ble on the in­side and the shell is also ex­cep­tion­ally round with a di­ver­gence of only 1mm over the en­tire cir­cum­fer­ence. Bear­ing edges are folded over at 45 de­grees with gen­er­ous snare beds in­cor­po­rated into the res­o­nant side. Ten chrome dou­ble-ended tube lugs en­cir­cle the shell while 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops (again in chrome) ten­sion down onto Tai­wane­se­made Remo heads.

Hands On

Brass is an in­her­ently warm and mu­si­cal al­loy – that’s why an en­tire or­ches­tral sec­tion is named af­ter it – and the qual­i­ties it brings to wind in­stru­ments are also present in drums. Straight out of the box this snare rings true in all the right ar­eas. Tuned up it gives an ear-pop­ping crack, while lower down it de­liv­ers ir­re­sistible crunch; mid­way be­tween the two finds a near-per­fect blend of both char­ac­ter­is­tics. Brass typ­i­cally man­ages to cut through with­out sound­ing harsh, and that’s def­i­nitely the case here – it’s loud and au­thor­i­ta­tive but there’s a sweet­ness present. The drum’s gen­er­ous 6½" depth, mean­while, means that the note is al­ways full rather than sound­ing snappy.

I took the snare on a dep ska gig where I cranked the bat­ter head up to bis­cuit tin ten­sions. By flick­ing the snare wires off I used it as a makeshift (but con­vinc­ing) tim­bale at points in the set. The slightly sticky ac­tion of the lever was the only ob­vi­ous clue to its hum­ble pri­ce­point – son­i­cally, it hit the spot.


Words: Adam Jones

A world of ex­pe­ri­ence WorldMax has been man­u­fac­tur­ing drums and com­po­nents for nearly three decades Mea­sur­ing up Black Dawg snares are avail­able in four other sizes in­clud­ing a sta­dium-bust­ing 14"x8"

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