Medallion Brass Snares

Need a centerpiece for your collection that can excel in any situation? Here you go!

Dynamicx Drums was founded in 2010 to provide drumset players with snares of the same meticulous quality and craftsmanship that have made parent company Black Swamp revered in the orchestral percussion world for the past twenty-one years. All Dynamicx drums are designed and manufactured in the U.S. We received two gorgeous Medallion Brass snares for review: a 5×14 in Torch Patina ($780) and a 6.5×14 featuring a black-nickel finish with a hand-engraved six-leaf pattern ($1,099).

The Specs
Medallion Brass snares feature a 1 mm rolled/welded shell with a center bead and rolled edges. The snare beds are deeper than those on most drums of this type, allowing the twenty-strand Dynamicx-branded curly wires to marry perfectly across the entire drumhead regardless of the tension of the head or the wires. This helps heighten sensitivity while minimizing sympathetic buzz.

The triple-flange hoops are made from 2.3 mm steel. Both drums feature ten of the company’s sleek Arch tube lugs, which make minimal contact with the shell while providing maximum tuning and tension stability. The RCK throw-off is a simple, sturdy design that employs a smooth side-action arm and an easy-to-use knurled thumbscrew. Drumheads include a single-ply Remo Ambassador Coated batter and Ambassador Snare bottom. The shells are available in a classic black-nickel finish or a torched patina, and either version can be upgraded with one of several hand-engraved patterns.

The Sounds
When forced to make a choice, most professional session drummers would likely go with a brass snare to cover all gigs because of that alloy’s long-standing reputation for versatility, musicality, and reliability, whether being smashed for fat backbeats or feathered lightly for intricate articulations. If you’ve yet to add a brass snare to your arsenal, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a professional-grade version, check out these Dynamicx Medallion Brass options.

Frankly you can’t go wrong with either one of these drums. Both possess a full, rich, and sonorous tone, perfectly balanced overtones, a clear and punchy fundamental note, exceptional sensitivity, and an extended tuning range containing multiple sweet spots, from super-tight “pop” to midrange “honk” to ultra-fat “splat.” When tensioned tightly, the snare wires were a bit more “grippy” than most, allowing for crystal-clear interplay between ghost notes and hi-hats at lower dynamics. And when tensioned loosely, the wires opened up to a nice spread that added a broad reverb-like texture without rattling excessively. Both of those qualities are a testament to Dynamicx’s overall craftsmanship and attention to detail, especially in terms of the bearing edges and snare beds.

Now to answer the most difficult question: which of these drums should you get? The easy answer: both. If I had this pair of Medallion Brass drums at my disposal, I wouldn’t feel a need to add anything more to my collection. I would keep the 5×14 either tuned tightly for a crisp, articulate sound that’s perfect for funk, jazz, symphonic, or uptempo rock, or I would detune it super low for a classic ’70s thud (no muffling required). Then I would tune the 6.5×14 somewhere in the middle so I could take full advantage of the shell’s lush, fat tone in midtempo and slower songs requiring a wide, broad backbeat with tons of character.

But that’s just me. Check out our video demos to hear the full sonic range of each of these fantastic instruments, and decide for yourself.