In late 2011, SONOR and Gavin began working on the “Protean” project with the goal to create a snare drum that is as musically versatile as Gavin himself. The name “Protean” comes from Greek mythology meaning “versatile” and “diverse”. Gavin wanted this snare drum to be a daily workhorse instrument that can be quickly altered to suit the musical situation.
“When I had the chance to design this Snare Drum together with SONOR I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve because it is based on my experience of the last 30 years playing professionally. I chose the shell material, the hybrid bearing edges, the dampening rings, the S-Hoop and the 8-strand snare wires because I know they work in all sorts of different situations. We called the drum ‘Protean’ because it’s versatile and you can change the features very quickly to get a sound that will be musically right. I wanted the look of the drum to be able to fit in with any drum set. It has a sleek Art Deco look about it with a classic black satin finish.
It‘s the best of vintage meets modern innovation and to play it is my dream come true.” Gavin Harrison
Shell Hardware Finish: Chrome Plated
Shell Material: Birch
Shell Construction: Medium
Lugs Configuration: TuneSafe
Snare Strainer: Dual Glide System (Snare quick release used under license from Dunnett US patent 7745712)
Snare Wires: 1 x SW 1408 S "Straight 8", 8 stainless steel wires centrally positioned
Shell Plies: 6 plies
Shell Finish Outside: Semi Gloss Black Lacquer 13118
Shell Size: 14" x 5.25"
Shell Thickness: 6 mm
Batter Head: REMO USA CS Controlled Sound, white coated, black dot on bottom, single ply
Resonance Head: REMO Ambassador Resonance, smooth clear, single ply
Hoop: Hybrid Hoops: S-Hoop on top, special 2.3 mm Power Hoop with cutaway on bottom
Tension Rods: 20 square head screws
Bearing Edge: Hybrid Bearing Edges: Vintage round on top, modern 45 degree on bottom
Construction and Finish
The Signature Snare is handcrafted in Germany and will be offered in two sizes: 14" x 5.25" and 12" x 5". They are made from 6-ply, premium hand-selected Birch wood to make a thin 6mm shell.
The timeless Silky Black finish is offset by white underlays between the chrome fittings and the shell.
Hybrid Bearing Edges
The Snare reintroduces the vintage round bearing edge on top which SONOR last produced in 1975. On the bottom a modern 45 degree bearing edge is featured.
Gavin‘s choice of lugs are the vintage Phonic lugs to add “mass” to the shell while eliminating stress from high tension.
The Snares feature S-Hoops on the top side, and a special open, triple-flanged steel hoop on the bottom.
Dual Glide System
Gavin loved the benefits of the new Dual Glide Snare System, but took the idea a little further. The open bottom hoop makes the Dual Glide strainer even more versatile, as multiple snare wires can be used and exchanged quickly. Tuning the bottom head with the snares off is much easier.
Exclusive Snare Wires
Gavin designed three special 8 strand snare wire configurations. The standard assembled snare wire is the “Straight 8”, which features 8 Stainless Steel strands in the center position.
Unique Dampening Rings
Another special feature is a set of three newly designed dampening rings (Light, Medium, Heavy) and they sit perfectly under the S-Hoop rim.
Any range of overtone dampening can be achieved by using them separately or combined.
The snares are equipped with a Remo USA CS white coated, black dot batter head and a SONOR Medium Resonance head by Remo USA.
New "Protean" Tuning Keys
As a touring Pro, Gavin has to tune and exchange heads on a regular basis. Over the years he developed his own technique, which led to the development of a set of two special designed tuning keys. The Protean keys make the exchange of heads and tuning, easier, faster and more convenient.