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Sakae Japanese Cyprus Stave Snare Drum

I think at this point we’re probably now past introducing Sakae as a company and taking about the quality of its products; suffice to say they’re not really ‘new’ anymore and the product line is of a very high quality.

This particular review drum has a 14x5” stave shell made from Japanese Cypress wood and is in a natural finish.

The wood itself is actually a sustainably sourced member of the conifer family, and was originally cultivated for building purposes in Japan. It’s also eco-friendly.

In terms of hardware, the drum came with triple flanged hoops, double ended tube lugs and Sakae’s own throwoff, butt plate and wires. Both heads are Remo, the top being a coated Ambassador and the bottom being a clear snare side.

Looking at the construction side of things, the drum was finished as well as I would be expecting based on past experience with Sakae drums. If you''ve looked at one, you''ll know exactly what I mean.

If you’ve never come across a stave shelled drum, they are made from thick blocks of wood glued together vertically to form the shell, similar to how a barrel might be made. In this case as well, given the nature of the wood together with the stave construction, each drum is going to have a unique appearance.

On the subject of looks, whilst the natural finish may seem on the surface to be a little understated, it certainly does have a lot of visual appeal. The grain pattern of each block is different and since they aren’t all directly ‘related’, the view of the drum changes as you look round it.

Sound-wise, I felt it worked for me at the lower and moderate tensions, but also had merit at the higher tension too.

Overall, I can’t see there’s anything not to like about this drum.

It looks great, sounds good and is reasonably priced too given its nature and the way it is built. And, because of the way the drum is constructed, it might be something a little different to add to an existing set up.

For more, check out - or

David Bateman

September 2016

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