Gear Review: DW’s New Ultralight Edge Snare

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Anytime DW announces a new snare drum, it’s important news. But when one of the world’s most recognized drum manufacturers recently announced that a new snare—Ultralight Edge—was made from a non-traditional material, drum enthusiasts took notice.

Drums manufactured by Drum Workshop Inc. are played by some of the best drummers on the planet. Known by most of us as simply “DW”, this company offers sets with outstanding wood tone with quality hardware that’s engineered to take the abuse of the road and still sound great. A central element of many DW drum sets is the patented DW Edge snare drum developed by John Good in 1991. A generation of drummers know and love this snare for its crisp, bright sound and solid feel. DW snares can be found in many sizes including the most popular 5”X14”. Depending on your style and musical genre, drummers may choose depths of 5, 6, or 7 inches at widths of 12, 13, and 14 inches. Hardware options often customize the look of this handsome snare drum. It is a great-sounding, durable snare drum that players can count on to project a rich, warm tone with plenty of volume. Drummers appreciate the tuning options but love the large, generous sweet spot it offers. How could DW improve on it?  By offering an ultra-light version built of new material. And that’s just what they’ve done.

The sound of a drum is very much about what it is made from and departing from other tried and true materials, DW has built the latest Edge snare out of a material they’ve dubbed “Space Carbon”, described by DW engineers as “a high-grade material upcycled from private-sector space program manufacturing”. That explains the name, and it is reported to have a character all its own. The new material combined with the proven Edge snare design brings players a snare with both a unique tone option and the benefit of being super lightweight.

The new 5.5 x 14” Ultralight Edge snare is assembled by hand at the DW’s California Custom Shop using the same tried and tested Edge construction. It utilizes a carbon-weave cylinder fitted precisely over machined aluminum Edge rings. The high-tech hybrid design promises to deliver brightness, articulation, volume, and sensitivity with unique tonality of its own. 

Drummers who are fans of DW hardware will appreciate that the Edge snare series includes the companies Super Solid, Reverse, Top and Super-Sonic options, that give players a wide selection of sounds to choose from. Like all DW’s products, this drum offers typical professional-grade features, including DW 3.0 steel True-Hoops, MAG Throw-Off, 5-position Butt Plate, True-Pitch 50 tuning, True-Tone 20-stand snare wires, and, of course, the trademarked DW Drum Heads by Remo. In keeping with DW’s practice, the new snare can be customized in any of five DW Custom Shop drum hardware color options: chrome, gold, nickel, black nickel, and satin chrome. 

There’s a lot more to learn about the material, unique tone possibilities, and construction of DW’s lightest snare drum, the Ultralight Edge, HERE.

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