Earlier this year, we went to Perlazza Studio (based in Poznań, Poland), where we tested a number of snare drums and a whole lot of hardware from Dixon Drums, which we did under the sonic supervision of musician (ex-Acid Drunkers and Gues Why), award-winning producer, sound engineer, studio owner and, first and foremost, a drum freak, Przemysław Wejmann. To be more precise, it was drummer Tomasz Mądzielewski, who tested all the gear while the beatit.tv team played the role of camera operators and the sound engineer took care of the sonic side of things. We have already posted the first fruit of that session, which was a test of the Dixon Gregg Bissonette Signature Snare Drum (see: HERE) and it is time we shared more with our viewers. This time around, we have the Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN snare, which is available in Poland thanks to the official Polish Dixon Drums distributor – the SoundTrade company.
Tomasz Mądzielewski, as an offical Dixon endorser in Poland, a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Grażyna Łobaszewska, Pilichowski Band, Mrozu, Anna Karwan or Lion Shepherd, was perfect for the role of ’lab tester’. Needless to say, he was more than eager and happy to do the job.
We are testing the Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN snare drum
Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN is a snare drum from the ‘Classic’ series. It is made from camphor (hence the letters CPH in the symbol). It’s size is 5.5” x 14” (hence the double five in the symbol).
Here are our impressions:
- The packaging and finish
The snare drum has been packed in a casual cardboard box. Inside, there are no “treats” for the buyer, but we do not consider it a crime as what one gets in this price range simply is a solid instrument. Nothing more, nothing less. The finish is natural and lacquered and makes a really good visual impression. We have to admit that we liked this snare’s ebony cousin a bit more but this one leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Especially those who like walnut shells should be satisfied as camphor wood looks quite similar.
2. The product
The tuning rods and the lugs work flawlessly. As we used a head different than the one put on by the manufacturer (WS Classic Coated), we had a good chance to verify that. The amount of grease in the tuning rod bushings was just right. We have no negative comments regarding the throw-off mechanism and the snares. Of course, there is no spectacular strainer similar to the famous DW device, but no-one should hold it against the manufacturer. Not at this price, at least. All the mechanical parts function without any problems.
3. The test
For dampening, we used the Dixon PAMF 1623 and the snare was tuned in the following fashion:
- Low tuning (pitch D), no snares
- Low tuning (pitch D), with snares
- Low tuning (pitch D), no snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler
- Low tuning (pitch D), with snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler
- Mid tuning (pitch F#), no snares
- Mid tuning (pitch F#), with snares
- Mid tuning (pitch F#), no snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler
- Mid tuning (pitch F#), with snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler
- High tuning (pitch A), no snares
- High tuning (pitch A), with snares
- High tuning (pitch A), no snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler
- High tuning (pitch A), with snares, Dixon PAMF 1623 muffler.
The gear used for the purposes of making the test:
- Bass drum: Dixon Artisan Maple Bubinga 18” x 22”
- Hi hat stand: Dixon PSH K902
- Snare stand: PSS K900
- Foot pedal: PPK902
Microphones used for the purposes of making the test:
- Bass drum: Beyerdynamic M99
- Snare drum: Shure 545SD (batter head), Audix i5 (resonance head)
- Overheads: Earthworks TC30
- Ambience: Prodipe
Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN basic specs:
- Wood: Camphor
- Shel Thickness: 8.5 mm
- Diameter: 14”
- Depth: 5.5”
- Finish: Natural, Laquer
- Hoops: Die Cast
- Throw-off: Dunnett
- Snares: 20 Strand
- Batter Head: WS Drum Heads Classic Coated
- Resonant Head: Evans SS Clear.
4. The sound
Obviously, everybody can see and hear for themselves what the instrument looks and sounds like by watching our test. However, we are happy to share our impressions. The Dixon snare drum made from camphor wood does not require any complex operations in order to be dampened and sounds good when muffled. The response in the lower range is “merely” satisfactory, but that is the only not-so-positive comment as far as the sound is concerned. The snare drum is sensitive enough so our ghost-note-playing efforts will not be a waste of time. We can wholeheartedly recommend this instrument to all those drummers who do not own expensive snares and would like to have a brand new and good one in their arsenal at a price lower than 500 dollars or Euro. Pros should also put this Dixon snare to good use, for instance as a second instrument in the kit, tuned higher than the main one.
Let’s see what our sound engineer Przemysław Wejmann has to say about the Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN snare drum:
’Out of the three snare drums tested during this session (also: Dixon Gregg Bissonette Signature and Dixon PDS7554EB-DN), this one is relatively the least sensitive with the most rigid shell, which certainly does not mean it does not respond at all. The low end has slightly less focus and projection. The mid and high ranges leave nothing to be desired. It also refers to the instrument’s volume. It is great for such genres as pop, funk, jazz or nu metal cracks favoured by John Otto (Limp Bizkit) or Abe Cunningham (Deftones). A good snare drum, which is certainly worth the money it costs!’
If there is anything we could pick on in the case of the Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN, it would be the way it responds in the low pitch, which our sound engineer also points out. The snare drum comes with no bag, but we must not forget that the competitors aren’t so willing to include such bonuses with their products at this price range either.
Distributor in Poland: http://soundtrade.pl
- very well crafted
- great design/look
- good dynamics, focus and response in the high and mid tuning
- reasonable price
- no bag
- slightly less dynamics in low tuning
Drummers and Drummerettes! It is time for you to check out the sound of this instrument! We give you the Dixon PDS7554CPH-DN Snare Drum!Share