Noble & Cooley Zildjian Alloy snares

Highly collectable N&C Zidjian snare drums

Have you ever seen three of these snares in the same place? Me either, until these snare drums arrived at the shop.

Noble & Cooley Zildjian Alloy snare drums available at Nick Hopkin Drums

These Noble & Cooley / Zildjain snare drums have become highly collectable and sought after for a number of reasons.

The very first of these snares were manufactured in low numbers. The smooth alloy snares were produced as a collaboration between Noble & Cooley/Zildjian in 1989-90. The drums were available as 14 x 6.5″ and 14 x 4.75″ and it is rumoured that only 300 of the 6.5″ and 100 of the 4.75″ were manufactured. Some drums went to artists, and some were made available to the public via selected stores Worldwide. Due to manufacturing discrepancies, a quantity of these original shells cracked, making the existing drums scarcer and thus highly collectable.


Noble & Cooley Zildjian Alloy snare drum 14x4.75 at Nick Hopkin Drums

In 2003, Noble & Cooley teamed up with Zildjian again to produce a snare drum to mark Zildjian’s 380th Anniversary. Only 500 of these snare drums were manufactured, each coming with a certificate of authenticity. These drums were only offered in a 14 x 4.75″ shell, differing to the original drums in that they feature a one piece ‘groove tone‘ shell. Note also that the Noble & Cooley nodal lugs are staggered.


What do they sound like?

That’s the question everyone is asking. Yeah they look cool and unique and are highly collectable due to the low numbers, but do these snare drums actually sound any good? The answer is Yes, they sound absolutely incredible! Ask a bunch of name players and record producers what their top 5 recording snare drums are (which I have), and these snare drums feature alongside the Ludwig Black Beauty and Tama Bell Brass snares.
I took one of the 380th Anniversary snares out to the legendary Rockfield studios in South Wales a few years back, where a producers was tracking drums for a rock band. They had a 1970’s Ludwig Black Beauty 14×6.5″ snare set up and were 4 songs in. We set this snare up, tuned it up and listened back in the control room…. it ended up being used for the rest of the record, no question. It sounded jaw dropping! I know other name players with both the the 6.5″ and 4.75″ in their snare collections that regularly feature on recordings.

Here’s a short video featuring all three of these snare drums, recorded in the shop with a Zoom iQ5 microphone in an iPad. It gives you an idea of what these drums sound like ‘in the room’.

All three snare drums discussed are available to buy on our website. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. We offer Worldwide shipping on all items and accept all major credit cards and paypal.


Rare Hayman Iceberg

Hayman ‘Iceberg’ drum set

The word Rare, in the vintage drums World, is banded around a bit too much for my liking. This set, however, is super rare.

So here she is; Hayman Iceberg 22,12,13,16


Emerging in 1971, the ‘Iceberg’ was displayed at trade shows but very few were actually manufactured. Sources close to Ivor Arbiter confirm  ‘only a handful’. Of that handful of drum kits produced and I know of only 1 other in Europe in the same condition as this -excellent!

This set is a great example, having come from a collector. It is in great condition with some minor scuffs and scratches from use, the 12 & 13″ toms are still fitted with original Hayman heads! The only thing on this set that isn’t original is the front bass drum hoop.


Don’t miss out on this, I doubt you’ll see another up for sale anywhere soon! Check out a stack of photos on the website. We will ship this set anywhere in the World, contact us for a price.

Snare of the week

Ludwig Jazz Festival

As I regularly get asked for recommendations on snare drums, and advice on getting vintage sounds in the studio,I thought I’d start a weekly column discussing various classic and vintage drums with some accompanying video content.

First up I’m going to take a look at the Ludwig Jazz festival; a timeless classic, this model became Ludwig’s most popular wood shell snare drum of all time. It became the backbeat to Rock n’ Roll alongside the metal shell ‘Supraphonic 400’ and sold in huge quantity in the 1960s due to a certain drummer named Ringo. (Note: Ringo’s drum was a mid-60’s drum but with a 5.5” depth shell – read more here).

Introduced around 1960, this 3-ply 8 lug snare drum evolved from a snare drum that Ludwig were producing in the 1950’s. Ludwig produced the ‘New Swingster Dance Model’ snare which was 14 x 5.5”, later renaming it the ‘Barret Deems Model’ (1956). By 1960 it had been re-named the ‘Jazz festival’ and the shell was half inch shorter at 14×5”.

We have a selection of these wonderful drums in the shop, in a variety of colours and with different features according to age – with and without internal tone control muffler, nickel and chrome hardware options. As I’m sure you’ll agree, these drums sound amazing and remain a firm favourite in the recording studio as a ‘go-to’ drum.

If you are looking to begin your vintage snare collection, or you are looking for a classic vintage sound in the studio, then this would be a great starting point. Here’s a video of some of the Ludwig Jazz Festival snares we have in stock…


All the drums featured in our video are available to buy on our website; we accept paypal and all major credit cards and all items ship Worldwide. I hope you found the words and the video helpful in searching for your sound.