Premier Modern Classic, Solid maple shell

Today I’m looking at a stunning solid shell snare drum that recently arrived in the shop. Its rare these days to come across solid shell snare drums, especially hand built in the UK. But here we have a snare drum from the hands of one of the best craftsmen in the world, Keith Keough.

This is one of the early drums that Keith made when he was at Premier’s UK facility in the North of England. The badge says ‘Modern Classic’ and that really is what we have here. Premier went on to develop the hand built Modern Classic range winning awards globally; this is one of the early drums, call it a prototype if you wish.



The drum features a solid steam bent maple shell with a 10mm thickness; an interesting point to note here, that a lot of steam bent shells are quite thin requiring re-rings to keep the drum in shape. Not here. This drum is as solid as they come, a really beautiful shell left unfinished giving it a kind of aged, vintage vibe.


There’s good attention to detail with the hardware with 10 aged tube lugs, with small plastic plinths between the shell and the metalwork giving the shell maximum resonance. Fitted with a high end Trick GS007 snare strainer, its easy to adjust snare wire sensitivity whilst playing while the lever itself has several on/off points for quick wire adjustment.


Inside the shell has a Premier paper tag dating the drum 02/02/2013. Keith’s signature appears on the shell alongside #2 of 50. I’ve spoken to Keith about this drum, and its doubtful that 50 of these were made. Its more likely that this was number two of the first 50 shells he made for Premier that were fitted with different hardware configurations (but this is just mere speculation on my behalf).


From a players view this drum, this drum sounds as good as it looks. Plenty of volume and tone, amazing response tuned high and a great fat weighty sound tuned low. The Trick throw gives the player optimal precision over the snare wires, allowing for great sensitivity and little choking. We’ve made a short video about this drum on our You Tube channel Nick Hopkin Drums.

A stunning, solid maple shell snare drum that looks and sounds awesome. Keith has gone on to form the British Drum Company, and great drums are promised there; from a collectors viewpoint, this is a must have for anyone serious about unique hand built drums. There are more images of this drum on our website here.

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