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Provenance 1962 VW Type 2 Steel 14 x 4

As I’ve noted in a few previous reviews (here and here), Provenance Drums is a small English company based in Essex which makes snare drums from reclaimed materials.

This review is going to look at the first of two drums made from the same 1962 VW Type 2 van panel. The second drum will be in a subsequent review. There is also a third drum made from this panel, a massive 14x8” but that was with its owner and not sent for review.

This first drum is a 14x4” piccolo.

To look at, the drum/shell has instant visual appeal and character. The nature of Provenance Drums means that the shell material has had a previous life, in this case the panel from a VW van. 

The shell itself isn’t particularly thick and has ‘bent over’ bearing edges. The outside is a light matt finish and has a long distinguishing ‘scar’ just under the top hoop. The panel looks like it’s been used, but in a nice ‘worldy’ sense. The inside of the shell features the original black paint which offsets against the light exterior.

The drum features 8 tube lugs, triple flanged hoops, Aquarian heads (standard coated/clear combination) and Puresound wires. The build of the drum was good and in line with the standard of the other Provenance drums I’ve seen.

I didn’t have any issues with tuning the drum and the sound was loud, cutting and clear. I used it on a couple of gigs and had no problems with being heard. The drum was consistent and held its tuning, and I enjoyed playing it.

Whilst the drum wasn’t quite for me in sonic terms (because I generally go for a slightly deeper shell), I did like it all the same. I’d actually say it was a fairly close call for me on that front, as I was torn between finding it almost just right and a little too thin sounding for my personal taste. I found I liked it at a slightly higher tuning as it felt a little more solid to play. Was close, all the same. It did perform well though over the time I had it and I had no complaints with it at all.

Overall, this is a nice drum. It looks cool; no, it doesn’t look shiny and new but it does have a unique look to it that stands out. And, aside from my personal tastes, it also has a dynamic range to it, which isn’t something you can say about every drum of this size. 

For a bit more on this drum, check out -

and for more on Provenance,

David Bateman
September 2015

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