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Dixon snare drum presentation no. 2 by BeatIt

In autumn last year, we presented some pics from our test which four snares made by Dixon had to undergo. Since then, we have also presented the first of the lot, which was the Dixon Artisan Chris Brady Snare. Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time you saw the results of our work and found out our opinion of the next piece of gear, which we received courtesy of the Soundtrade company – the official Dixon Drums distributor in Poland.

The second in line is an instrument bearing quite a complicated name: Dixon Artisan PDSAR654NMDW. By the way, that’s quite a bold marketing move, we think. However, when analysed more closely, it’s not so bad after all and the symbol will reveal quite a lot of information. For example, ‘AR’ stands for Artisan, ’65’ means the actual shell depth (6.5″), ‘4’ refers to the diameter (14″), ‘NM’ is simply North American maple, while the last two letters describe the Dark Walnut finish.

Dixon Artisan PDSAR654NMDW

Cut off from the outside world at Poznań-based Perlazza Studio, under the close supervision of award-winning top producer/sound engineer and an utter drum maniac Przemysław ‘Perła’ Wejmann, we cooked up a test with a goal to showcase this instrument in as many settings as possible.

The first thing to do was to “listen with our eyes” for a few moments. Very nicely crafted, the snare shows no visual flaws regarding the laquer or chrome layers. There are no problems with the proper functioning of the tension rods or the snare strainer. The sizeable badge looks very good. Any player could easily show him- or herself on the biggerst and most prestigious stages with this thing.

Nice appearance is one thing but, sooner or later, one has to get to the main course, which is to check out the snare drum’s sound characteristics.

The film features the following settings:

  • Low tuning (D) – rudiments played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • Medium tuning (F#) – rudiments played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • High tuning (A) – rudiments played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • Low tuning (D) – groove played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • Medium tuning (F#) – groove played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • High tuning (A) – groove played with no dampening and with dampening (2 moongels),
  • Low tuning (D) – with no snares
  • Medium tuning (F#) – with no snares
  • High tuning (A) – with no snares
  • Rim only in high tuning (A) and low tuning (D).

Instrument specs:

  • Model: Dixon Artisan PDSAR654NMDW
  • Size: 14″ x 6.5″
  • Material: North American maple (10 plies + a 4-ply reinforcement ring)
  • Shell thickness: 4.8 mm
  • Hardware: chrome
  • Hoops: Power Hoops 2.3 mm
  • Lugs: full length, tube type
  • Number of tension rods: 10
  • Heads: Evans G1 Coated (top), Evans SS Clear (bottom)
  • Finish: Dark Walnut.

Dixon-Artisan-PDSAR654NMDW Snare Bottom

This kind of a detailed treatment should allow our viewers to form their own opinion on the instrument’s response, virtually, in any setting imaginable, with the exclusion of being played in the mix with a whole band. Sorry about that. We’ll try to do better next time… Nevertheless, we dare think that our test of the Dixon Artisan PDSAR654NMDW gives quite a good idea of what this peace of equipment is capable of.

Here is what Maciej ‘Blindman’ Głuchowski, who is featured on all our four Dixon snare clips, had to say: ‘The sound gels together very nicely. It is my favourite out of the four (the other three were: Dixon Artisan Chris Brady, Dixon Artisan PDSAR554HB2 and Dixon PDS224BN). I have the impression this snare resembles the sound of the Supraphonic quite a lot, so if you don’t have one at your disposal, you can try the Dixon and it certainly won’t spoil your recording. It sounds great in all the tunings we used.’

Drummers and Drummerettes! Here is our film presenting the Dixon Artisan PDSAR654NMDW!


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