Some time ago, we locked ourselves away at 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, award-winning producer, studio owner and, most of all, a drum maniac, Przemysław Wejmann. To be more exact, it was drummer Tomasz Mądzielewski, who tested all the gear while the beatit.tv team recorded the video and the sound engineer/producer took care of the sonic side of things. We have already posted the first bit 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 PDS7554EB-DN snare, which is available in Poland thanks to the official Dixon distributor in Poland – the SoundTrade company.
Tomasz Mądzielewski, as a 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 to do the job.
We are testing the Dixon PDS7554EB-DN snare drum
Dixon PDS7554EB-DN is a snare drum from the ‘Classic’ series. It is made from ebony (hence the letters EB 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 frills for the customer, but we do not consider it a crime as what one gets in this price range is more than merely a solid instrument. It is equipped with die cast rims. We must admit that the hoops, combined with the drum’s beautiful, natural laquer finish give an impressive visual effect. It is safe to say that this snare drum is simply a great piece of applied arts.
2. The product
The tuning rods and the lugs work very nicely. 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 during the skin change operation. The amount of grease in the tuning rod bushings was just right. The throw-off mechanism and the snares leave nothing to be desired. 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 as well.
3. The test
Let us go over to the sound qualities of the instrument. 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 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 test:
- Bass drum: Beyerdynamic M99
- Snare drum: Shure 545SD (batter head), Audix i5 (resonance head)
- Overheads: Earthworks TC30
- Ambience: Prodipe
Dixon PDS7554EB-DN basic specs:
- Wood: Ebony
- 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 simply watch the video with our test to form their own opinion. However, we are more than happy to share our impressions with you. The Dixon snare drum made from ebony makes a very good impression indeed. It does not require any complex operations in order to be dampened and sounds very nice when muffled. The response in the high, mid and lower ranges is more than satisfactory. The snare drum’s sensitivity and response is such that all the ghost notes can be heard easily. If you do not own any expensive snare and would like to have a brand new and good one in your arsenal at a price lower than 500 dollars or Euro, this instrument is just right for you.
Let’s see what our sound engineer Przemysław Wejmann has to say about the Dixon PDS7554EB-DN snare drum:
’This snare drum has made a very nice impression on me. Perhaps not as much as the Gregg Bissonette Signature one, but it certainly is quite focused dynamically and has a significant crack in all frequencies, including the bottom end, which I really like. This quality is worth pointing out because the shell is not very deep. Five- or five-point-five-inch snare drums don’t always sound good or have enough projection at the low end of the spectrum. It is also quite sensitive, which allows the snares to nicely respond to ghost notes. A very good, universal instrument, which will deliver in most music styles!’.
If there is anything we could pick on in the case of the Dixon PDS7554EB-DN, it would be the fact that 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
- eye candy!!!
- good dynamics, focus and response in high mid and low tuning
- reasonable price
- no bag
Drummers and Drummerettes! It is time for the most important test, namely, the one using our viewers’ ears! We give you the Dixon PDS7554EB-DN Snare Drum!