Liberty Snare Drums - A British Contender
By Dendy Jarrett |
Liberty Snare Drum — 14X6.5” Birch with Inlay Edition
A British Contender ...
by Dendy Jarrett
Regal. Royal. Majestic ... all words that gushed into my head when I pulled this snare drum out of the box.
If you follow any proper British brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover’s Range Rover, Chatsford, Twining’s Teas and the like, you will likely know that most carry a proper badging that evokes the characteristics of regal, royal, and majestic.
So the initial quality didn’t surprise me … but another British brand?
These snare drums demand respect right out of the box. Yes, there are things British that just ooze quality; Liberty is one of those brands. These drums are 100% built and manufactured in the UK. Even the plied shells are made by Liberty Drums, unlike the many companies that buy shells pre-made from another manufacturer, then simply cut bearing edges and drill holes for the hardware. With Liberty this process starts all the way back to wood selection. There's careful consideration given to all the woods purchased by Liberty, and everthing is hand-selected based on grain quality and characteristics. They make sure all of the plies have perfect butt edges where the plies meet throughout the shell.
Unlike some manufacturers who use heat to cure their wood shells while they're in the molds, Liberty allows for the natural drying time to process the shell. The unspoken benefit is that when shells are produced, the wood fibers retain the memory of the shape into which they are being “molded.” When you force heat on them, they will remember, but that memory is “forced”; when you let them cure naturally, that memory becomes ingrained. The result is a drum shell that better maintains “round.”
Let’s talk badge — I love the Liberty Silver Icon badge used on this snare drum. It speaks to British heritage, pomp and circumstance, and all those double-decker buses and Hackney Carriage British Taxis.
This specific snare drum is a 14X6.5” handcrafted 100% Finnish birch shell with a tri-line inlay of rosewood. The birch on this drum is flawless, as is the finish work. The result of the birch with the darker rosewood inlay is a strikingly simple design that exudes elegance. The drum is an impressive 15-ply shell and, while substantial, it is not heavy.
Liberty calls this particular lug style their “beetle” lugs, and they're sleek and sexy. They harken back to styles of the 1950s and 60s.
The snare strainer is a Dunnett R7 strainer (tried and true), and the drum sports 2.5mm steel hoops.
Typically I use a maple snare drum or metal snare, so I was really curious to hear this birch in action. Amazing! This thing is so sweet, it’ll make you want bangers and mash for dinner along with a Blackheart Stout! Stout is everything that this snare drum says. It means business. It would be great for the studio or live playing.
I’d place this snare drum against any other snare I have ever played — warm but commanding, subtle tones but steadfast.
What can I say? I want this drum!
Liberty Drum Company was founded in 2006 by Andrew Street. He started in his garage in England, but the company has grown and moved three times to their current manufacturing facility. Liberty is a great example of a drummer’s hobby that moved into a full-blown manufacturing facility, but remains small enough that the quality control is completely evident in the product.
Whether you are seeking a secondary snare or your primary “go to” snare, this drum would fit the bill. The quality is of custom made status, yet has a price that doesn’t break the bank.
The clear impression is that Andrew Street and Liberty Drums mean business.
Give one a go, and I am sure you too will see that it’s a real “bobby dazzler”!
Harmony Central Talks with Liberty Drums:
Liberty Drums walks through the entire Liberty line up including the Birch In-Lay Edition:
PURCHASE SNARE DRUMS:
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.