101 Drums is a Swedish company that specializes in making drum shells and snare drums out of a specially treated wood-fiber material. The shells are designed to be impervious to extreme weather changes and moisture. They’re lightweight, yet can boast comparable sonic properties to a typical 6- or 10-ply wood drum. Snares are currently available in 4.5×14, 5.5×14, 6×14, 6.5×14, 7×14, and 8×14 sizes, but the shells can be custom ordered with 4″ to 54″ diameters. The raw shells are cured in an oven, which makes them very durable while also eliminating tension within the fiber. The resulting sound is intended to be deep and round.

Our Review Drum

The drum we received had a 5.5×14 shell that’s 2.5mm at the center and 5mm at the bearing edges. It came with a DW magnetic MAG throw-off. The edges are cut to a double-forty-five-degree profile with a rounded back cut. Hardware included black-nickel die-cast hoops, tension rods, and beavertail lugs. The company offers custom wrap finishes, like the green-on-black 101 Drums logo finish seen here. The supplied heads included an Evans UV1 batter and a clear 300 on the snare side. Puresound wires come standard.

We tested this snare across the entire tuning range and found that it had a super-crisp and snappy attack with a dense, focused tone. Higher tunings had a quick, biting attack plus nicely balanced overtones that decayed quickly. Lower tunings elicited more smack and bark, but the drum never lost clarity or responsiveness. Very low tunings sounded super-fat, focused, and punchy, and the drum recorded exceptionally well in that register. This isn’t a drum with a ton of character, but I don’t see that as a detriment, especially if you’re looking for an instrument with a lot of presence that hits strongly but then gets right out of the way. This unique drum would be a great all-around choice for just about any genre. List price is approximately $900.