Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Rogers Dynasonic Snare Drum

Perhaps no other snare drum from the 1960's has created as much controversy as the Rogers Dynasonic snare drum. Every drummer who has played the drum has an opinion. And the opinions are varied to say the least. One drummer will claim that the Dynasonic sounds best tuned high and tight with Diplomat heads. Another will say that the drum sounds better with medium to low tensioning with Ambassador heads. And still others, some who don't even know anything about the drum, will say the drum sounds " terrible" in any tuning range. There simply is no middle ground.

To my way of thinking, all of this quarreling is really a " tempest in a teapot." The Dynasonic was designed to be the most responsive and sensitive snare drum of its time. Rogers designers, in particular Ben Strauss, did their best to make a snare drum that was playable "right out of the box." A special sheet indicating how to tune the drum was included with a Dynasonic purchase. As with any product, some Dyna's were better than others. If you happened to purchase a "good" one, you bought a hell of a snare drum. And the drum could be tweaked to no end.

The drum you see pictured is from the mid 60's. This beauty is wrapped in red sparkle and she still sports her original heads. The clockface strainer has a black background around the logo which indicates a pre 1964 vintage. After 1964, the black background was dropped and the shape of the strainer changed somewhat. Every Dynasonic was outfitted with a metal snare bridge that, theoretically, would keep the snare wires flat and in even constant contact with the snare head.

The drum came in wood and metal shells and in 5 x 14, 6 1/2 x 14, and 8 x 15 sizes. The shell was a 5 ply maple/poplar mix and was finished in a clear varnish. Rogers tom and bass drums, on the other hand, were finished with either black or grey speckled paint. Early Rogers Dynasonics came with brass "bread and butter" lugs. This model has the "Beavertail" lugs which replaced the earlier brass ones.

Many famous drummers played the Dynasonic, including Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson. Perhaps because of this association, the Dyna has become a very collectible drum, particularly the wood shell model.

To read more about the Dynasonic, kindly click on the following link

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