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Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum | A New Legend Is Forged

By :Adam Frost 0 comments
Zildjian 400th  Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum | A New Legend Is Forged

"Second chances do come your way. Like trains, they arrive and depart regularly. Recognizing the ones that matter is the trick."

- Jill A. Davis

Not too far down the road from us in Norwell, Massachusetts, you can find the Zildjian cymbal company. Our New England neighbors to the south hold a special place in our hearts, here at Drum Center of Portsmouth. It's not just their proximity that we appreciate, more so the remarkable history the Zildjian family name invokes. The Zildjian family has been crafting cymbals since 1623, making them the oldest musical instrument manufacturer in the world. In 1928, they opened the doors to their first US facility in Quincy, Mass - and the rest is history. This year marks the 400th Anniversary of Zildjian, and to commemorate this historic occasion they have announced an extremely limited and special release - one that we are genuinely excited about - The NEW Zildjian 400th Anniversary  Alloy Snare Drum!

The First Zildjian Alloy Snare Drum

If you're a proper drum nerd / enthusiast like us, you’re most likely aware that the Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum is not Zildjian’s first rodeo regarding snare drums.

From 1989-1990, they partnered with fellow Massachusetts manufacturers Noble & Cooley (America’s oldest drum company), producing alloy for about 400 cast bronze snare drums. Over time, these drums have become coveted by collectors for the unique tone produced from Zildjian’s cymbal alloy. 

The Zildjian Noble Cooley Collaboration Snare Drum

While the legendary New England collaboration produced a VERY special instrument, the original sand cast shells proved to have some structural issues, reducing their numbers through the years.

As such, these drums have been increasingly rare to find in the wild. If you are lucky enough to find one, you may find yourself crossing your fingers with every rim shot, praying that your massive investment’s integrity holds true. For the rest of us, the opportunity to own a cast bronze Zildjian snare drum was lost to history…until now!

The NEW Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum

Zildjian Cast Bronze 5mm Shell Edge

The NEW Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum shell is cast from Zildjian’s own B20 alloy using an updated, innovative, and reliable process. This beefy bronze 5mm straight shell boasts the extreme volume you’d expect, along with a shocking amount of dynamic articulation. Zildjian claims that the 400th Anniversary Snare “was designed to be an expressive, deeply versatile instrument”, and after playing it for a few days, we can verify this statement with 100% confidence.

Attention To Detail

While impressive, it’s not just the shell that makes the Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy snare drum sound so unique. The hardware and components of Zildjian’s cast bronze behemoth are equally as droolworthy! For starters, the 3.2mm half cast flangeless straight hoops are forged from Electro Polished 304 Stainless Steel, yielding a glorious cross stick and ear-splitting rimshot. Also fully machined from 304 steel are the tasteful tube lugs, which are sleek and relatively low profile to the rest of the aesthetic. The minimalist style steel throw off and butt plate are silky smooth, and along with the integrated drum key, are refreshingly proprietary. These seemingly small touches are especially important to us with a snare drum at this asking price. We've seen many manufacturers charge a massive amount for generic components thrown on a mass-produced bronze shell. The time-tested Puresound wires are a snappy, pronounced and extremely sensitive addition to this decadent instrument.

400th Zildjian Alloy Snare Drum Side
Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum Throw Off

If you happen to be one of the lucky few to purchase this next-level collectible, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable unboxing experience! The Zildjian 400th Anniversary  Alloy Snare Drum ships with luxurious white inspection gloves, ensuring that your pizza-ridden fingerprints don't tarnish the exquisite shell. A signed certificate of authenticity is also included, boasting it's extremely limited production number.  Finally, your brand new heirloom quality instrument is snugly transported in a rugged custom molded hard case. Again, we find this to be refreshing, yet expected attention to detail at this price point.

Unfortunately, the price associated with this snare drum means that it isn’t for everybody. It is a significant investment for the drummer who desires the ultimate collectible piece of drum history.  However, if you look at the previous iteration of the Zildjian cast bronze snare, it has seen massive returns on investment over the last 30 years. (Feel free to use that line with your spouse when they see your credit card bill next month.) 

Zildjian Snare Drum Custom Hard Case

Our Final Thoughts on the Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum

Second chances don't come around very often in life. With all of the lore surrounding Zildjian's first “crack” at a cast bronze snare drum shell, along with its dwindling numbers, the prospect of owning one is nearly out of reach. The New Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum is not only a second chance at owning a piece of history, it is  in our opinion a VASTLY superior instrument. From the more reliably thick cast shell, to the proprietary stainless steel machined hardware, this B20 beast outperforms its predecessor in every tangible way. It's not just a one-trick pony, either. It is true that the Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum maintains the seemingly limitless volume and projection you'd expect from a 5mm cast bronze shell, but this snare drum would be just as relevant behind an orchestra, at your local hardcore metal festival, or at an overpriced jazz brunch.

If you are considering purchasing the Zildjian 400th Anniversary Alloy Snare Drum, we suggest that you DO NOT hesitate. They are extremely limited, and once they’re gone…they’re gone! And if you’re lucky enough to wield this Thor-like instrument, we suggest buying it from us at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. We’re all drum geeks, and we understand the history that makes this purchase so significant and special. 

Own a Piece of History!

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