by Michael Dawson
The famed concert-percussion manufacturer Grover Pro recently launched a unique custom snare drum program where customers can log on to the company’s website and order a one-of-a-kind instrument made from a variety of shell, hardware, and finish options. Once the drum is ordered, you are apprised of its status through regular email updates and a personalized video of its construction in the company’s state-of-the-art factory outside Boston. Each drum is tuned and tested under strict guidelines before being shipped. We were sent four unique Grover Custom snares for review.
All the Options
Grover Custom snares are available with 8-, 10-, or 15-ply maple or steam-bent solid shells from various domestic and exotic woods. (Curly maple, rosewood, cocobolo, bubinga, and purpleheart are currently offered.) The 8-ply maple model can be ordered in 10″, 12″, and 13″ diameters; 10-ply is available in 13″ and 14″. The 15-ply maple and all of the solid shells come in 14″ sizes only. Depths are from 4″ to 8″ for the 8- and 10-ply shells and 5.5″ and 6.5″ for the 15-ply and solid models. Many high-gloss and satin stain, solid, and sparkle exterior finishes are offered. Single and double inlays are also available as an upgrade. And bearing edges can be cut to a double 45 degrees for natural resonance, to a single 45 degrees for a more open and higher-frequency tone, or to a vintage rounded style for controlled overtones and a warmer timbre.
A unique feature of Grover Custom snares is the choice of interior finish, which can be ordered raw or rubbed with tung oil for warmer tones, or you can get your drum with a hard reflective sealer or Sound Mirror silver-colored coating for a brighter frequency response.
For hoops, you can choose chrome or black chrome 2.3 mm triple-flange versions, chrome or black chrome die-cast, or wood options for the top and/or bottom. Lug choices include chrome or black chrome Toaster, Bow Tie, single or double Classic Tube, and Contempo Tube varieties, and lugs can be ordered in-line, symmetrically offset, or asymmetrically offset.
To further trick out your drum, Grover provides five throw-off options (Mini, Gladstone-style, and Trick-based G1, G2, and G3). The G2 and G3 are unique in that they come with two (G2) or three (G3) independently adjustable cable and spiral-wound snare clusters. The G1 throw-off has an Extension option where the wires go beyond the bearing edge for increased sensitivity. The G1, Gladstone, and Mini throw-offs can be paired with one of eight snare types (Jazz Dark, Jazz Bright, Club Dark, Club Bright, Club Combo, Stadium Dark, Stadium Bright, and the silver wire/bronze cable SX Combo).
Any drumhead can be ordered, but Grover stocks Remo Coated Diplomat, Coated Ambassador, Coated Emperor, and Renaissance Ambassador and natural calfskin batters, plus Remo Diplomat and Ambassador models for the snare side.
The final touch in the Grover Custom program is the option to add a personalized inscription on the interior badge. If you want to bypass the custom builder altogether, there’s the option to order a premade drum through the Custom Xpress page on the company’s website.
Click the links below to listen to the four drums we were sent to review. Each drum is played through its entire tuning range, starting from very tight and progressing down to very low.
Click here to listen to the Grover 10Ply Maple Snare.
Click here to listen to the Grover G3 Custom Solid Rosewood.
Click here to listen to the Grover Cocobolo Snare.
Click here to listen to the Grover Solid Curly Maple Snare.
For more on these snares, check out the complete review in the July 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine.