Love Custom Drums recently teamed up with its sister company, Legado Cymbals, to create a limited run of twenty 5.5×14 Luxo Raw and 6.5×14 Caspian snares featuring bronze shells rolled from premium-quality B20 cymbal blanks that were forged in Turkey. We received a sample of each to review, so let’s check them out.
The sixteen-gauge bronze shells of these snares are left completely raw and feature a large welded seam, which contributes to their tough, rugged appeal. The shells, which have a straight wall (no flange) and subtle snare beds, are outfitted with machined-aluminum, single-point tube lugs that are etched with LCD script on top and bottom. A simple side-action throw-off and PureSound twenty-strand snares—connected with fabric straps instead of wire—are included. The heads on our test drums were Evans Power Center Coated batters and 300 series bottoms. All of the hardware, including the throw-off, butt plate, lugs, and tension rods, are insulated with plastic gaskets to minimize metal-on-metal contact. The 5.5×14 drum comes with 2.3 mm triple-flange steel hoops, while the 6.5×14 has super-sturdy die-cast rims. Separate LCD and Legado metal round badges finish the look.
Both of these drums exhibit an explosive, vibrant tone with supreme sensitivity. Lightly tapping the batter heads with the fingers elicits a crisp, clean snap, while they have serious power when smacked with full-volume rimshots. The 5.5×14 has broader overtones at all dynamics and is a little more responsive at lower volumes. The 6.5×14 is punchier and has additional headroom at upper dynamics. Both drums record well, exhibiting rich, balanced tones with a satisfyingly controlled decay. Hard hitters should grab the deeper version. The 5.5×14 is plenty powerful as well, but it also services delicate playing with a little more nuance. The 5.5×14 Luxo Raw snare sells for $957, while the 6.5×14 Caspian is $1,185.25.