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If not for MAPEX would be my #1 -

Mapex Always

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This company does everything right , and this drum right here took months to build and it’s ridiculously amazing.

Just arrived , and every time I walk down to the drum floor I can’t stop looking at it.

Love it!

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A&F Drums just sound correct.
 

microkit

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I don't get into a lot of drum aesthetics that are deliberately unusual or different, but A&F gets it right on many levels.
 

Matched Gripper

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This company does everything right , and this drum right here took months to build and it’s ridiculously amazing.

Just arrived , and every time I walk down to the drum floor I can’t stop looking at it.

Love it!

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A&F Drums just sound correct.
How about a description of that drum!
 

Mapex Always

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Holy crap that thing is gorgeous! Definitely need more details on that beauty.

All 3 of the A&F snare drums that I own and the countless I have tested are just the benchmark in snare drum sound , it’s impossible to go back after putting one of these in front of you.

The two “best” snare drums in my opinion (and for many people) available today are the 14” x 6 1/2” raw brass and the 14” x 6 1/2” raw steel. As for this particular snare drum, it has such a sound to it it’s absolutely incredible, it is a 14“ x 7“ Chandler blue maple/teak shell with Rosewood hoops, all brass hardware, A&F in house wires, tweaked out A&F throw off and butt end, with Remo heads.

It is a true pleasure to play!
 

fusseltier

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I don't know what to say, I had a Mapex pro maple set, and it was the worst drum set I've ever owned and I've had many sets from many manufacturers in over 45 years playing drums.
 

Mapex Always

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I don't know what to say, I had a Mapex pro maple set, and it was the worst drum set I've ever owned and I've had many sets from many manufacturers in over 45 years playing drums.

Well you didn’t have to say that.






:)





Anyway , ya , nothing better than Mapex , best sounding drums on the planet and built to the 9’s ,, sorry about your experience but the good thing is - you can choose one of those many drums , from one of those many manufacturers , from over your past 45 years of playing , to spend time with.

A&F would be a GREAT start.

Enjoy
 

fusseltier

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Well you didn’t have to say that.






:)





Anyway , ya , nothing better than Mapex , best sounding drums on the planet and built to the 9’s ,, sorry about your experience but the good thing is - you can choose one of those many drums , from one of those many manufacturers , from over your past 45 years of playing , to spend time with.

A&F would be a GREAT start.

Enjoy
I've got a custom special order tama star walnut 8 Piece set of shells and matching 14x6.5 snare from Japan, which is a work of art. And the power tower rack system.
 
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SpinaDude

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I have yet to try a full size A&F snare in person. My brother-in-law has the pancake snare, and I wasn't overly impressed with the sound. It was also out of round and had to be exchanged for a new one -- which to their credit they jumped on without issue. As for the sound -- it's a specialty drum, so it's not fair to judge based on that.

Then there was the weld thread on here that also turned me off. In my personal opinion, it was not something that would affect the sound, and I doubt it would affect the drum's integrity either. But to me it spoke of poor craftsmanship -- rush to get it done, ugly or not I don;t care, and gimme the next one to finish.
But so many forumites have them and have nothing but praise for them. Rob "Beatdown" Brown, whom I deeply respect showed us his when he got one and his joy at smacking that thing was apparent. I've seen him use that snare in almost every video since. And now Doc has not one but 3. Something is drawing everyone back to that well. I really want to try out a couple for myself and see if it's for me or not. It's not fair for me to judge a drum or drum company without once taking a stick to it.

So I'm officially in the A&F curious camp now. LOL

And now for the real reasons I jumped into this thread...

1. That drum is gorgeous. I've seen it pop up in adds and it always grabbed my eye. Beautiful combo of wood tone, color and hardware finish. I'm not a maple guy as far as sound goes when I'm playing, bat that drum is a stunner.

2. I hit very hard. I really lay into my gear with a lot of rim shots and...well I'm just a hard hitter. How will those no flange A&F hoops hold up to my mashing? How about the lug clips coming over the rim?
 

Mapex Always

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I've

I've got a custom special order tama star walnut 8 Piece set of shells and matching 14x6.5 snare from Japan, which is a work of art. And the power tower rack system.

Thought you may enjoy …



@SpinaDude , a few things -

A&F are a true lifetime warranty company , the people are absolutely aces ,, will fix and back up any product in a heartbeat in the easiest way possible for the customer , I’m talking immediate care and attention. As for the welds it’s in their description of their products , that’s how they want it for “the sound”.

“Beatdown” now has 2 A&F’s , by far his favorite snare drums ,, especially the raw brass. Also watch the first 4 minutes of this video.
,, Watch it pay attention I couldn’t say it any better , every word of it.

Yes you can bang the daylights out of it and not a single thing would happened to it.

As for the Club Maple 14” x 7” that I just had built, forget everything you know about maple, this thing is an entirely different animal …. Whether it be the Rosewood hoops, the A&F touch, or the fact that the maple is mixed with teak wood , it’s just in a “sound” of all its own!
 

Mapex Always

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Ok my goal was 2 days / 8 hours of play , which ended up turning into 4 days , 13 hours , a Church outing and a private party , with every tuning you can imagine as part of the Masterworks , Orion and Star outfits.

The end result - WORTH every penny of the $1,600 asking price. Yes you can get two very nice snare drums , maybe even three , for the price of this one 14“ x 7“ , you could possibly even get yourself a nice professional level drum set. And though it may not be the A&F Raw Brass or A&F Raw steel (no snare is) , it is as top notch of a snare drum that one can find.

The rosewood hoops and double brass claws are the absolute cat’s meow when you’re dialing in the sound of this instrument. It’s one of the only snare drums that will have a crack and a throaty response in the exact same tuning, sensational. The highest registers were something to behold - MOST SNARE DRUMS LOOSE A HIGH PERCENTAGE of their character when tuned like a “tabletop” , not here , not this one. Special. The bearing edges and straight lines just open this baby right up with nearly a ring in sight.

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Very few snare drums can match the feel of a Ludwig metal snare with a Ludwig medium / heavy head ,, this wood snare comes close to that feel.

I only have 23 snare drums , not a single one in storage not a single one on a rack, every single one is on it’s own dedicated stand , every single one is in constant play day in and day out …. But , If I could only keep 10 , and I am extremely selective , this snare drum would be one of those!! It is that good.


@SpinaDude , I did a lot of rim shots , And I always considered rosewood to be a softer wood? I could be completely wrong on that. But, I only came away with , under a flashlight , three of the tiniest looking marks not visual without a direct light on it ,,, though I do believe there is professional style rim shooting and amateur style rim shooting :) I would have to say I’m much more towards the professional side with my rim shots. But I remember telling you I would get you that information after I put it to the test.


EXTRA NOTE - If you’re someone who plays out a lot and does not want to talk to a BUNCH of people, my advice to you - do not bring this snare drum with you, everybody wants to talk about this drum - from sound to looks to nostalgia to “what the heck is it” :)
 

Mapex Always

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With an additional four hours today on this particular snare drum, I’m anticipating more and more the arrival of the beech SQ2 it’s going to be paired with , as an accessory snare drum in the first floor tom position. I’m obsessed with the 40 rudiments as part of my set play , and these two different snare tones , between the A&F and the Sonor primary snare , is going to be magnificent for this kind of rudiment work.
 


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