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.


Snare of the day

Noble & Cooley 7″

OK, so we’re on a Noble & Cooley trip here this week, but can you blame us? Featured today is a solid maple shell 14 x 7″……


This stunning Noble & Cooley drum is available at our shop, brand new in the bag, only played a couple times in store. It features a 14 x 7″ Solid maple shell in a cherry finish, fitted with the classic Noble & Cooley hardware that they believe enhances the sound of the drum. The snare throw is so smooth and allows for unlimited tweaking to get the snares ‘just right’.

And this drum sounds amazing! Just Wow! If you’re looking for a solid shell snare drum with modern hardware, rather than something vintage that may not be so road-worthy, then this is the drum for you. It just sounds awesome right across the tuning range, with great sensitivity.

An older gentleman visited the shop yesterday and played some jazz grooves on it and said ‘wow, what’s this snare’? I laid into it a little, playing some rock grooves with a rim shot and it sounded sublime. So versatile and so lovely.

More information on the website. We also have Noble & Cooley snares available in 4″ and 5″.

Snare of the day

Noble & Cooley solid shell

Our featured snare drum to kick off the week is this stunning Noble & Cooley solid maple shell….


One of the last drum manufacturers in the USA making solid shell drums, this 14×4″ snare drum is a real classic. Favoured by many players in the studio, this drum has a great crack to it, yet has the body and depth you’d expect from a solid maple shell. Sensitivity right across the head at all tuning, and a focused sound due to the die cast hoops.

Several name players, producers and studio owners rate these drums in their top 5 for studio use. I believe Phil Collins used a 4″ Noble & Cooley snare drum on most of his classic tracks. More info on this drum on our website.

Snare of the day

Noble & Cooley Solid Maple 4″

Today’s snare drum choice isn’t yet vintage but is certainly a classic. Ask any seasoned studio player or producer to name their top 5 snare drums and you’ll find a Noble & Cooley in the list.

This is a 14 x 4″ solid maple shell in great condition, barely used (unfortunately, its previous owner passed away). Fitted with original hardware and snare wires, alongside new Aquarian heads. The drum tunes up easily and instantly sounds great. Not much more to say on this one, other than its very very nice!

This drum is available at Nick Hopkin Drums with Worldwide shipping.