One of the first shops I visited when I started working with Noble & Cooley was SoundPure in Durham, North Carolina. Those of you who have ordered from there know Barry Knain is extremely well-versed in everything drum related and is particularly knowledgeable about drum construction. He knew so much more about Noble & Cooley products than I did, it was downright embarrassing and made me realize I needed to get better educated. When I visited the store, he was generous with his time and, unsurprisingly, we talked about Noble & Cooley and other brands we both love. He raved about the Alloy Classic in particular, and I remember saying I had never played it. To which he responded, “Shame on you. That is an experience every drummer needs to have, and you work for the company. You have no excuse.” Which of course was funny, but also true.
So I took one home from the factory to try. And like I mentioned in my last blog post, a different instrument made me want to play differently, and inspired me to try some new things. It also made me realize that for many years, I had largely been playing my 5” x 14” SS Classic, which is my favorite snare, but it is only one snare (What was I thinking??? This is drum heresy!). I have a 13” TAMA and a Pearl Free Floating piccolo, and I recall using a Paiste deep shell on one of the NOK recordings, but I’d mostly just used my standard maple. Noble & Cooley, too, has focused primarily on wood drums. Despite the legendary status of the Zildjian snare and the longtime popularity of our Alloy Classic, we’ve been mostly a wood drum company. Which, of course, is inconsistent with the rest of the drumming community. Most of you have metal snare drums and I believe many drummers choose metal snares as their “go-to.” I’m sure some of this is legacy from playing our first Supraphonic or Black Beauty when we were young. But those drums also sound spectacular, so it has to do with tone as well, not just inertia.
Consequently, when we had a discussion internally about designing a copper snare drum, it made complete sense to me, as it seemed to complement and diversify our line well. So that’s what we did, and the drum itself came out awesome. It’s gorgeous, sounds warm and fat like you’d expect, and is really comfortable to play. We finished it like the Alloy Classic so it will always look like you bought it at Sur La Table (ask your wife or girlfriend what that is). And the etching looks so sharp (great call, Nick). The 8” version in particular is a beast, but the 6” is probably better for all around playing. They’re both a lot of fun though, and for a drum company focused on wood drums for so many years, it’s been great to have something a little different to jam on. I would describe the rest of the specs but,frankly, you are better off contacting Barry at SoundPure as he will explain far better than I can.
We hope you enjoy playing these as much as we enjoy having them in our lineup.