- Dec 30, 2017
- Reaction score
- SF Bay Area
ok. great info. but why wouldnt a magnet work. some sort of weird mixture alloy? i will have the sanre early next week. in transit! i will know more then and if i want to even keep it. if i can get it to sound great, shes staying..lolAh the D444 or “snare of mysterious province.” Hard to think of a snare that doesn’t spark more debate then this one among the faithful.
Folks seam to get the 444 and 545 confused, but as noted the 545 was the first snare to feature the new Phonic lug where the 444 in all its versions feature the old double teardrop lug. The 545 has a sticker badge and the 444 a metal one. The sticker badge is the exact same size as the metal one but in reverse. What’s chrome on one is black on the other.
The 444 was replaced by the 454 in the early 70s as the the basic metal snare. I personally prefer the 444 to the 454 and in fact just sold my mint 454 earlier this year. Both models were offered in the US as listed in the 72 distributors price sheet.
I have seen 3 different factory throws on the 444. The black plastic circle version is the most common and is often broken or missing the cap. Two styles of beer tap throws have also turned up.
IMHO no other Sonor snare has had so many replacement strainers bolted on. You never see another Teardrop or Phonic model show up so often with a non original throw off. This is a testament to how good the snare sounds otherwise why bother?
As stated above, the 69 catalog lists the 444 as steel. My unit is COS with a made in Taiwan generic knock off ludwig throw. Over the years folks have said their units are COB and even COA. It’s hard to tell as many catalogs list the snare as “metal” without being specific. A magnet does not stick to my steel snare. This happens on a few models so take the magnet test with a grain of salt.
From the 69 catalog
Deluxe Chrome Snare
Seamless steel shell with resonance channel seamless triple flanged counter hoops, floating head- American Plastic two-point muffler, two-sided all-metal strainer with 22 snares. High gloss chrome.
So I look at the 444 in context with other models offered at the time. In 1972 Sonor offered 6 snares in the US, 5 of which were metal.
D420 steel $85
D454 steel $85
D476 steel $130
D444 steel $140
D426 brass $220
So the 545 is most certainly made from less expensive materials then the 444. Sonor never officially made any aluminum snare model. If the 444 was brass then why is it so much cheaper then the 426 which is the same size and cataloged as brass? It’s my opinion that all D444s are steel. They are heavy and the magnet does not stick which makes guys think it’s COB.
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ok. great info. but why wouldnt a magnet work. some sort of weird mixture alloy? i will have the sanre early next week. in transit! i will know more then and if i want to even keep it. if i can get it to sound great, shes staying..lol
I'm well aware of the different types of stainless steels, but I don't see why Sonor would use stainless steel for a snare to be chrome plated?
The last one is my COB
Those plastic throws can be a real pain. Most are missing pieces. Have heard trick and indie as replacements, don’t know about the dunnettThe last one is my COB
Someone offered me an original plastic strainer but it was plastic (didn’t they made them in metal
Too?) and had already some damage so I didn’t take it.
Would a Dunnett beaded model fit?
Yeah, that center bead is inwards too.Easy internet search reveals that it's probably a Sonor D444 Chrome over brass snare... see link below to a similar one.
Sonor D-444 14" x 5" COB snare drum, chrome over brass from 1960's | Purple Chord - Classic Drums & Cymbals | ReverbSonor D-444 14" x 5" COB snare drum, chrome over brass from 1960'sAll original, excellent conditionFantastic snare drum, warm, powerful, high pitch crack with a really nice sustain, but can easily get that funky controlled popOriginal internal mufflerThis snare was offered together with the top o...reverb.com
You are correct they did not use stainless steel, but rather a ferromanganese alloy. May not be the exact same formula, but it certainly shares the properties described above. I don't know if most folks are aware that some steel formulas are non-magnetic. Some FM shells have been made with low carbon ferromanganese steel alloy and others were not. Since some non-magnet steels become magnetic due to the amount of cold working, its also possible that there was more cold working in the D5xx shells then in the D4xx models. Just my opinion.I'm well aware of the different types of stainless steels, but I don't see why Sonor would use stainless steel for a snare to be chrome plated?
I found this link saying that manganese steel in non-magnetic:
Is this the same as Sonor's ferromanganese alloy? Have you tried a magnet on a (later) ferro snare?
Yep that’s why I call the D444 the “snare of mysterious province.”I got two D444s, a COB and one COS and they look exactly like this drum.
Unfortunately the seller has misidentified this model which leads to confusion....... this happens often especially with the EU specific models and is often unintentional.Yeah, that center bead is inwards too.
OP think you got an early D454. Got a pic of the strainer? This models looks like COB per HH. I personally have not seen one of these versions, only the later steel version. So just like the 444, the 454 has more then one shell type.about to purchase this. is this a sonor shell?????? bead goes inward. hmmmm
You and they.... were right all along.... funny stuff going on now and then..... stay well friendWhat can I say. I presented it to whom I consider the specialists to help out and that was their determination so I passed it along.
They said that there was a lot of odd stuff going on with those snares back then.
Thanks.OP think you got an early D454. Got a pic of the strainer? This models looks like COB per HH. I personally have not seen one of these versions, only the later steel version. So just like the 444, the 454 has more then one shell type.
hey frank. i received the drum finally and have posted a new thread. called it part 2 with pics. hopefully someone can identify this guy. thanks for the help..A
Sorry Joe. Look at all the D444 snares on this post; all have something unique going on; some factory some just to get the old girl back on the stand
Honestly, I didn't expect it to be a D454. Also didn't know, these have COB shells. But hey, mistakes are there to learn from. I'm curious to see better pictures of the drum in question.
What I missed during the D-444 discussion: how to identify if there is a COB shell? Just understood that magnets are not the way to distinguish. Weighting the shell would work, theoretically, but who dismantles everything first. Is there another 'trick'?
Best would be, if you could hear it directly playing the drum, but I fear I can't without comparison (might even fail a blind test).