In the late 1990s, Orange County Drum and Percussion (OCDP) made a big splash in alternative music scenes thanks to its adoption by several iconic drummers. The brand’s signature ventilated snare helped shape the sound of bands like 311, No Doubt, and Blink 182. Genre tastes changed, and OCDP eventually became part of the Guitar Center family. But, that hasn’t diminished its reputation among drummers looking for high-quality instruments and versatile sound.
The Orange County Drum and Percussion maple snare drum is a newer offering that continues the brand’s heritage while catering to the needs of modern instrumentalists. It’s a premium take on a classic snare design, providing plenty of flexibility to achieve the sound you’re after for any genre.
Orange County Drum and Percussion Maple Snare
This Orange County snare is a thing of beauty. There’s no denying that! While many OCDP products are mass-produced and ready-made, the brand still prioritizes custom designs and unique builds. OCDP even makes signature kits for artists like Travis Barker and Adrian Young.
The maple snare is readily available to drummers everywhere. However, it still has those signature OCDP touches that the brand used to build its reputation. Check out some of the drum’s core specs below:
- 25-ply maple shell
- 14 inches in diameter and six inches tall
- Available in multiple finishes
- Trick snare throw-off
- Offset lugs
- Aluminum zinc alloy hardware
- Die-cast counter hoop
- Metal-lined air holes
- Engraved aluminum branding
This drum has a lot to offer players of any skill level. So, how does it perform in the real world? On-paper specifications are suitable for making snap judgments about a drum’s capabilities. But to see if a drum is worthy of a spot in your collection, you have to dive a little deeper than face value. Luckily, we have you covered!
In this Orange County snare drum review, we’ll go over some of this instrument’s advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if it’s the right drum for you.
One of the first things you’ll notice about this snare is the premium build quality. It’s not some cheaply made instrument that cuts corners! It has high-quality materials throughout, which ultimately impacts the sound you can achieve.
The shell is 25-ply maple. The outer play determines the look of the drum, but all models feature thick walls for maximum to help you get an impressive tone. For some perspective, many snares feature between five and ten layers of wood. This drum has denser construction, which results in more durability and supreme resonance.
Orange County Drums takes things even further to improve the sound. The insides are hand-sanded for optimal smoothness. Meanwhile, the edges have a ply of flatness to ensure uniformity and a deeper tone.
Of course, the focus on resonance does have some tradeoffs. Usually, those design choices would limit the drum’s applications. However, OCDP took some measures to provide as much flexibility as possible.
Not only can you make adjustments to the hoop, but its overall design counteracts the shell’s beefier construction. Thicker plywood often leads to ringing, which ends up making your snare drum sound more like a tom! To ensure that you’re still getting that distinct “crack,” OCDP utilized die-cast hoops.
They’re a bit thicker than what you’d typically see, resulting in more control over the sound you produce. Plus, you get that satisfying snap when you focus on rimshots. It offsets the warm tone perfectly, providing an overall balanced sound that works for most play styles.
That brings us to our following points: Accessibility and versatility.
Orange County Drums cater to a pretty broad audience. That fact is evident by the “universal” sizing of this snare.
It follows the standard 14-inch diameter and six-inch height. Those parameters are a good middle ground for any playing. From studio work to heart-thumping live gigs, it can serve you well no matter the situation.
It’s a relatively beginner-friendly instrument, too. Thanks to its standard sizing, those just learning the ropes will have no problem adjusting. All the while, pro drummers can make fine-tune adjustments to get a precise tone.
The snare mechanism deserves a special shoutout, too.
OCDP went with a trick throw-off snare. The design is one of the most reliable and easiest to use. With a flick of a lever, you can engage or disengage the snares. It’s a simple mechanism that can dramatically change your sound in an instant.
Despite all of the good that this Orange County snare drum offers, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some potential disadvantages.
This drum has many positives, but design flaws could dampen the playing experience a bit. One of the most frustrating is the implementation of the snare throw.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem to write home about. It’s a pretty standard-looking throw-off snare mechanism clad in a stunning dark chrome finish. But if you pay closer attention, you’ll notice that it has a horizontally oriented mounting system.
Again, it doesn’t seem like a significant issue. As you start playing, however, it presents a glaring problem. The constant stress you put on the drum as you play can cause the snare’s throw to move. Some players say it makes a “creaking” sound that throws them off. For others, it’s a matter of unwanted flex and adjustment changes.
The pressure you create when drumming can change the snare tension. As a result, those fine-tune adjustments go out the window with intense playing!
We would have preferred OCDP to utilize vertically oriented mounts. They would provide more stability when playing, eliminating the snare tension problem.
Size and Finish Options
This eye-catching Orange County snare drum is available in several different finishes and size options.
When it comes to the aesthetics of the drum, there’s not much impact on performance or sound. That’s because OCDP uses maple wood as its core for all models. Regardless of the color or style, it still has the 25-ply shell. Only the outer final ply is unique.
Two of the most common finishes are ash. The first is plain ash. It’s a natural option that lets the grain patterns shine through.
The second is Black Burst ash. A subtle burning effect on the top and bottom edge of the shell creates a modern vignette. It’s a minor detail that packs a big visual punch!
A few other colors are available as well. You might see a final ply of chestnut or colorful stained ash. Those wanting something flashier can get a glittery sparkle finish!
Now, let’s talk a bit about size. Beyond the standard sizing, OCDP offers snares with slightly shorter diameters. Several 13-inch models exist, making it easy to produce cutting attacks with a noticeably sharper sound.
You can also find OCDP maple snares with more depth. Drums with a seven-inch height create more body to the tone, making it a perfect match to smaller diameters. OCDP also has deep snares up to 13 inches tall. They’re ideal for symphony-style playing where resonance and warm sound are the top priorities.
The Final Verdict – 4.5 Stars
All in, we’re going to give the maple snare from Orange County Drums 4.5 out of 5 stars. This instrument is a worthy buy for most drummers out there. It’s ripe for experimentation, offering plenty of flexibility in style and sound. However, it’s also a good choice for beginners or those wanting something more traditional.
The build quality and tone are what sets this drum apart from the competition. It uses thicker walls, which naturally produces warmer tonality. OCDP offsets that very focused sound with wide diecast hoops. Combine the two distinct design features, and you get the best of both worlds. It’s warm, punchy, and balanced enough to work for most styles of music.
What more could you want?
Drummers looking for something super-focused and genre-specific should look elsewhere. But if you want an excellent universal snare drum to get you through casual play, live performances, and studio work, this unit from OCDP has you covered!