Pearl Sensitone Heritage Snare Drums
Well over a dozen years ago, I reviewed a bunch of Pearl’s Sensitone snare drums. I don’t remember which ones they were now, but I remember doing it and that I liked those drums and the overall concept of the Sensitone line, and while I never bought one it was mainly because I already had similar models in my stash.
At the tail end of 2021, I was given six new snare drums to try, all from the newer Sensitone Heritage series. All of the drums were in 14×5 and 6.5” sizes and in steel, aluminium and brass.
Each one of the drums have the same basic design and features: centre bead, 2.3mm Super Hoops, bridge lugs, 20 strand wires, flanged bearing edges and Remo heads top and bottom. To be fair, it’s a pretty common design, but it’s common because it obviously works.
Steel – The steel drums have a 1mm thick shell which produces a bright, vibrant sound. For me, the drums were typical steel – loud and a little more rough sounding than the other two metals.
Aluminium – Someone asked me a while back what my favourite materials were for snare drums and for metal drums I said brass. I then realised that, in fact, it wasn’t brass, it was aluminium and had been for a while. It’s aluminium because I love the metal’s pure tone and decay. And that’s what these drums had. The Sensitone aluminium drums have a 1.2mm shell which produces a wonderful bright sound with a dry, uniform overtone.
Brass – The brass drums are typically loud and bright. The 1mm thick shells are finished in black and reminded me of another drum I saw once, but I couldn’t quite recall what. I have to think that if you just look solely at the appearance of these drums, they look rather vanilla; like I said before, it’s a pretty basic, but well tried and tested design with Pearl’s touch added to it. I say that not as a criticism but with genuine appreciation of what Pearl has done.
These aren’t flashy drums but what they are, are daily drivers; quality drums which you can depend on to get a job done or last through a gig. Ok, so everyone likes a fancy drum once in a while and I’m no different, but there’s always going to be a need for something that will get a job done, and that’s these drums. The unassuming quiet one at the back that doesn’t shout me! me! me! but does what is asked of it without any fuss.
The Sensitone line for me has always offered value and quality at a great price and the six drums I tried carried that on. The 5” aluminium was my clear personal favourite, so much so that I subsequently went and bought one.
They’re solid drums and the three choices of material all offer something different sonically which will appeal across the board. Like I said, daily drivers and if you only could have three metal drums to cover your bases, you could probably manage it with these as Pearl got it right with them to my ear.