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This is the third wood hoop snare I've purchased but the first that is tensioned with claw hooks. This drum is very different from my other wood hoop snares which utilized 19 ply hoops and traditional tension bolts. The drum is typical DW/PDP quality, meaning it's first-rate construction. The big difference in in the sound produced by the vintage-style hoops. The sound is much darker than my other wood hoop snares. It came with a coated emperor head, which was way too "thuddy" sounding for my taste. I experimented with several different head brands and settled on my go-to head, an Attack Terry Bozzio model with the center dot. This head helped the drum produce a nice dark sound that projected well. I had another drummer play it at a gig while I listened from the audience and I was pleased with the sound, which sounded lower in pitch out front than from behind. This is not everyone's drum but for a vintage sound it's a steal for the price. A fine addition to my arsenal!
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This PDP wood hoop snare is a very good deal for the money. It is manufactured well, it looks good, and the features are nice. Other snares I have seen with wood hoops/claws have been significantly more expensive than this. The DW throw-off is very nice and easy to use. In terms of sound, this is probably not the snare for everybody. It is not be loud or very articulate. It is fat and earthy. It has a vintage sound - as in vintage from the 30's or 40's, almost like an old field drum. It is a unique sound for sure, however, so if you are looking to expand your snare collection, this is a very nice option for the money.