Ultra-affordable yet high-quality plant-based options for everyday use.
The Dios series was originally ddrum’s maple-only offering. The line has since expanded a bit to include a shell pack and snare with a gorgeous zebrawood veneer and snares made from steel, bronze, and bamboo. We got our hands on a trio of new snares to review: 7×13 Satin Gold and 6.5×14 Satin Black maple, which were added to match two of the most popular Dios shell-pack finishes, and a unique 6.5×14 made from ten plies of bamboo.
6.5×14 Satin Black Maple ($279)
This classy, timeless-looking drum features an 8-ply shell made from North American maple finished with a deep, satin-black paint. It came outfitted with 2.3 mm tripleflange steel hoops, but die-casts are also available as an upgrade.
There are ten double-sided tube lugs with bullet-shaped shell mounts. The throw-off is a smooth, silent lever-style option that extends perpendicularly from the shell when disengaged. Drumheads include a single-ply coated batter and a clear, ultra-thin single-ply bottom.
The bearing edges are cut to 45 degrees from the inside and have a 30-degree counter cut on the outside. This profile allows for maximum sensitivity and articulation while bringing the apex in a bit from the edge to ensure flat, even drumhead seating. Standard twenty-strand snappy wires are held in place via black grosgrain straps, which are a subtle but welcome upgrade from stiff plastic strips or metal wires. The tension rods come with black plastic washers, which help maintain consistent tension and make the tuning process feel smoother.
This 6.5×14 snare had a clean, open, and articulate sound across a wide tuning range. All I needed to do to kill the overtones to get a tighter, punchier response was drop on a 1.5″ piece of tape or gel. But you could run this drum wide open if you prefer snare tones with noticeable pitch bend and sustain. The overtones are prominent while not being overbearing or out of balance. If you were just starting to build up your snare collection, this would be a solid choice for an all-purpose deep maple drum at a minimal investment. This size Dios maple drum is also available in Satin Gold, Emerald Green Sparkle, and Red Cherry Sparkle finish.
7×13 Satin Gold Maple ($249)
Aside from its dimensions and finish, this 7×13 Dios Satin Gold maple snare is identical to the 6.5×14 model. The gold finish gives it a bit more visual panache while still having a classy, universal look. Given its smaller diameter, this 13″ drum sounded expectedly more comfortable and cracking at higher tunings, but I was a bit surprised by how much air it moved and how much punch it packed at lower tunings. The overtones were more controlled than in the larger version, even in the often-troublesome middle tuning register. I could probably lean on the 7×13 Dios maple for almost any playing situation, which makes its killer price point all the more appealing. Satin Black, Red Cherry Sparkle, and Emerald Green Sparkle finishes are also available in this size.
6.5×14 Bamboo ($499)
The 6.5×14 Bamboo model snare is built from an 8 mm, 10-ply bamboo shell, and it comes with die-cast hoops. The rest of the features, however, are the same as the other drums’: ten bullet-shaped tube lugs, 45-degree edges with a 30-degree back cut, a perpendicular lever-style throw-off, grosgrain snare straps, plastic tension rod washers, and single-ply drumheads. Bamboo is a notoriously strong yet flexible plant that’s technically classified as a grass.
Given the lower density of bamboo, I expected this drum to have a very open but somewhat thin tone. Yet it proved to be quite powerful, punchy, and tuneful. It was my favorite of the three Dios snares we reviewed for tight, articulate funky sounds. It also maintained focus and fullness when detuned for a deep, chesty smack. The middle tuning range had the most overtones, which could be used to your advantage if you want a snare sound that occupies more sonic real estate without being muddy. The overtones are also easily dampened out with a little tape or gel for a more focused but still lively sound. Adding die-cast hoops to this bamboo drum was a wise choice by ddrum, as they help focus the pitch while also thickening up the attack of rimshots. If you’re looking for a snare sound that’s just a little left of center, with a resonant yet powerful tone that has a little more bite than maple or birch, bamboo might be your thing. Check out an extensive tuning-range demo of the 6.5×14 Dios bamboo snare, as well as the 7×13 and 6.5×14 maples, at moderndrummer.com/gear.