Cleland Snare Drum Cleland Instruments Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Carbon Fibre Drums
Serving Pipeand Parade Bands Worldwide
Building The Lightest & Strongest Drums Ever Made!

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Click here for video: You could be playing one now!

The New Drums & The New Technology

The Shell

carbon fiber shell The shell of the drum is visually different from any other drum on the market today. The shell's strength and stiffness are derived from its unique monocoque shape, so the surfaces of the structure carry the stresses. This type of structural design is used where weight, stiffness, and strength are considerations. When a design is light, stiff and strong it is increasingly sensitive to vibration.

The shell is constructed from the strongest, stiffest material per unit weight, with the highest sonic response characteristics - Carbon Fibre. Carbon Fibre is moulded under heat and pressure, resulting in a stable component, virtually impervious to changes in ambient conditions. One very desirable result of manufacturing the shell using a moulded process is product consistency. Every shell and every detail of the shell is mastered uniformly.


  • The musician can focus with total concentration on what is being played. The distraction of carrying a heavy instrument is counterproductive and in some extremes, over time can be career limiting.
  • A carbon/composite structure can be engineered to have a desirable resonant frequency for amplification of sound. In other words, the drum is louder with regular playing effort, enabling increased percussive dynamics.
  • A carbon/composite structure's engineered resonance can be tuned to a specific pitch and sound. The stiff structure tends to have a higher resonant frequency which means that the instrument will resonate at the high pitch that is in demand to meet current sound requirements.
  • The stability of the material means that the shell's shape and properties (and therefore sound) is not affected by temperature and moisture changes, which, for the musician, means stable tuning.
  • The advantage of the moulded shell being the same from shell to shell is more consistent sound properties drum to drum which means that tuning a set of snares to get uniform sound is easier.
  • Carbon utilized in this type of structure can demonstrate its modulus (elasticity), this means giving a return to the energy put into it. The sticks when striking the head have a lively feel so the drum is easier and more pleasant to play for musicians of all skill levels.
  • The inherent elasticity of the shell shares the load with the head under high impact, inducing less yield level forces on the head fibres, which assists in maintaining tuning.
The bottom line is a serious competitive advantage for the player.

snare drum The Bearing Edge

The new bearing edge shape has been created to allow the head material to flow more easily over the transition edge. The termination point of the arch is accurately molded to give the head membrane the cleanest possible suspension edge.

This technology yields direct benefit. The head comes up to pitch more quickly. The stress on the membrane material is reduced during the tensioning process. Supporting the head in this fashion gives the cleanest possible break for each sound wave oscillation. This means not only easier and more accurate pitch attainment, but a crisper, cleaner sound.

snare mechanism The Snare Mechanisms     Click picture for a larger image ===>

The upper snare:

The mission of the internal top snare mechanism is to accurately place the snare strands in an optimum position of proximity with respect to the head. In order to place the snares accurately they first must be tensioned accurately. We have designed lightweight, precision snare supports. These snare supports slide on special bearing material over the mechanism support tube. This robust design offers very accurate tensioning of the snare strands. The snare strands are then brought in contact with the head by a bridge that moves the snare strands only toward the head. In this way, the musician can select as much or as little snare contact as desired. The additional benefit is that the bridge ensures contact of all the strands, virtually eliminating the chance of an undesired snare strand rattle.

snare mechanism The lower snare:     Click picture for a larger image ===>

The mission of the lower snare mechanism is to accurately place the snare strands in an optimum position of contact with the lower head. The lower snare mechanism performs virtually the same function as the top snare mechanism. Traditionally the lower snare and mechanism have been located on the outside of the drum.

There has historically been inherent issues with bottom snares that is tied to the installation location on the outside of the drum. In order to achieve the contact needed for the function of placing the snare strands against the head, it has been traditionally necessary to carve a "snare bed" into the lower bearing edge or the drum shell. In our opinion, the interruption to the bearing edge has an effect on the support of the head membrane and therefore on the sound. We also feel that more snare sound tends to come from less tension on the snare strands.

We have elected to move the lower snare inside the shell and use the same precision mechanism that we use for the top snare. The benefit is maintaining the continuous bearing edge to support the head membrane, to maximize sound clarity. The other benefit is that the snare strands do not have to fight gravity to stay in contact with the head. The snares therefore can be adjusted to any desired tension, and as again placed with as much contact with the head as the musician desires.

drums at work

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Installed January 1, 2009, Last Updated April 20, 2020 - This site is hosted and maintained by Don Robertson