Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sonor D 472 Pancake Snare Drum

The  1960's were a very profitable time for many drum companies. The old standbys, like Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, and Rogers posted great sales figures. European companies, like Premier and Sonor, did their best to snatch a piece of  the pie. All the drum manufacturers went out of their way to offer something for everyone. Various drum kit configurations in a multitude of wraps and finishes were the order of the day. Even drums made of Fiberglass, e.g. the Fibes Drum Company, made a brief, but spectacular splash, in the marketplace.

But it wasn't just drum kits that enjoyed a renaissance. Snare drums of every size and description seemed to pop  out of the pages of drum company catalogs. Every company had its flagship snare drum. And most drum companies  offered other snare drum choices as well. Which brings me to the rail thin beauty that you see pictured here.

The Sonor Drum Company sold traditional size snare drums like their competitors, but for a short time, they also sold this 2.5 x 14 pancake snare drum.  This drum  has a small wood shell  wrapped in red marble finish and, as can be seen,  has offset lugs.  I believe the drum was sold as an add on  and was not intended to serve as the main snare drum in a drum kit configuration.  That being said,  this drum needs no apologies. I've seen and heard this drum played as the main snare voice and, although somewhat limited, does quite nicely, particularly in small jazz settings. Also, although these drums are rare, you can find one if you look  hard enough.

The drum was not a success, but interestingly enough, the Rogers Drum Company also offered a pancake snare drum for a very brief period of time. It too "failed at the box office." as was discontinued.

The idea did not die, however. In the late 1990's, Dallas Arbiter sold a complete kit that they called, "Flats."There were two series, the Lite and the Pro series. This English company advertised the stability and portability of these kits. and  the drums had an ingenious single screw tuning system.