British Drum Company 13×7” Super 7 Purpleheart Snare Drum
A new snare drum from the British Drum Company.
13×7 has always been one of my personal favourite sizes for snare drums. Many years ago I found that this particular sizing gives you a good solid crack and yet still maintains depth and body too, and I’ve ended up with a bunch of drums in the size because of that.
Now that I come to write this review, it seems my thoughts on this appear to have been echoed by the design team at BDC as well, having read their summary of this drum – ‘The 13” x 7” size offers drummers a higher pitch without sacrificing the “body” of the drum’s tone.’
I’m glad it wasn’t just me that thought that then…
Given that the name seems to pop up a lot now, you might think that purpleheart is a bit of new wood when it comes to snare drums because it’s not mentioned that much, but that isn’t even remotely the case. For example, Keith Keough, the CEO and founder of BDC built me a purpleheart snare drum about 17 years ago; other builders have been using it for a while too, so there’s nothing really new about it, it just seems more visible now that companies are offering it as an option.
The Super 7’s purpleheart shell is 10-ply, with 45’ edges and an outer ply of fiddleback sycamore. It has four air vents (which help with the volume), triple flanged hoops, Palladium hardware, BDC brass snare wires and comes fitted with Remo heads so it’s ready to go out of the box. It also comes with a couple of cool badges too.
BDC say about the Super 7:
The Super 7 is extremely versatile, offering a wide range of playable tones, from bright, cutting backbeats, through to warm and subtle delicate grace notes. Perfect for the studio, but equally at home performing on stage, the Super 7 is a very special snare drum that looks as good as it sounds – both on the inside as well as the outside. I don’t disagree with that statement.
This is a nice drum and to my ear, it’s a little more dry than the two other purpleheart snare drums I’ve played, which for me makes it stand out a bit more in that respect. It’s well built, as is everything I’ve seen from the company, and they’ve used premium materials for it too.
Sound-wise, I don’t think it really works low and wet, even though I tried that in the video, but as an all round, daily driver-type drum I think it works just fine. Personally, I’d like to see the drum come in something other than the dark finish, but that’s just me.