ddt hits the spot

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:08 am

A recent offering from Germany’s ddt ups the ante in the e-snare stakes and Allan Leibowitz tried it out with some current modules.

The snare is probably the most important drum and it makes sense that e-drum manufacturers pay particular attention to this instrument in their product lines.

With this in mind, we recently tested the 14” MS-140 E Snare from German maker ddt. It’s worth noting that we missed this manufacturer in our big 2011 e-snare round-up, but this product is a significant departure from the rail trigger system used in earlier ddt snares.

What’s in the box

It’s a heavy box, with the chrome snare weighing in at around 3.5 Kg. The drum comes equipped with a clear mylar resonant head and a two-ply mesh batter head. The top hoop is enclosed in a rubber noise protector.

There’s a ¼” TRS output jack, which is a departure from earlier XLR connectors.

Overall, the shell just shouts quality. From the mirror chrome finish to the generous inclusion of 12 lugs on each side (even upscale acoustics snares only have 10!) and the solid flanged hoop, you can tell this is not a cheap instrument.

Internally, there’s a plastic “spider truss”, similar in concept to the platforms used to house triggers in other German e-snares, from drum-tec to R-drums. However, this design uses plastic where most of the others use metal arms. ddt’s trademark blue foam cone sits in the middle of the platform and the rim trigger appears to be mounted below the platform – much like the other centre-mounted triggers. The theory is that rim hits are conducted from the hoop, via the lugs, and through the arms.

Aesthetically, this is a very attractive drum – solid and substantial, with a large playing area and just enough depth (3.5”) to make it look like a drum rather than a pad.

In action

I’ll preface this analysis by pointing out that 10 years ago, Pintech fitted triggers into sex toys and achieved decent playability, thanks to the tolerance and tweaking capability of the modules around at the time.  Today’s drum brains are even more capable, and the latest models boast the ability to accommodate most trigger inputs. So, the centre of the MS-140 will most likely be used in combination with a module that can easily be dialled in to its particular performance profile.

We tested the snare with some of the current crop of modules and found it to be an outstanding performer across the board – often without much parameter adjustment.

  • See a detailed review in the November edition of digitalDrummer.