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Matt Halpern is one of the biggest names in progressive metal drumming. His work with Periphery has made him an icon in the style, and he’s undoubtedly a massive influence on many drummers.
He was a Mapex artist for a long time, and he released another signature snare drum with them that was quite popular. However, he moved over to Pearl and recently released a new signature snare with them that I think has become one of the best snares on Pearl’s product line.
If you’re looking for a new snare drum to add to your collection, I highly suggest checking it out.
- 1.5mm brass shell
- MasterCast die-cast hoops
- SR-150 Click-Lock snare strainer
- Evans Heavyweight Dry drumhead
- Low-mass STL swivel lugs
- Triple shell vents
Pearl Matt Halpern Signature Snare Drum Gallery
The Matt Halpern Signature snare drum is a brass snare. Brass is one of the most popular metal shells, so this snare has become quite popular. It’s a full-on professional snare that was mostly designed for heavy styles of music, but it can work fairly well in other styles too.
However, it works best in rock, heavy metal, and progressive settings. It produces tones that cater very well to those styles.
Matt Halpern is a very energetic drummer, and this snare drum perfectly represents his playing style.
In this review, I’ll explain all the design options behind this snare and how they affect the tone. I’ll also explain which drummers and settings it will work best for and whether you should choose this snare over other brass options.
This snare has a 1.5mm brass shell that gives it lively and expressive tones. It sounds incredibly bright when you play into it, yet it’s surprisingly responsive to dynamics as well. Brass shells are always very tonally intriguing, and you get that sweet brass tonal quality here.
The sound quality is amazing, and it’s one of those snares that will make people look twice whenever you play it.
It comes with an Evans Heavyweight Dry drumhead that further boosts its tonal quality. This head was made with the help of Matt Halpern for this snare, and you could only get it by getting this snare when it first came out. This drumhead suits the snare perfectly, helping it to get dry and punchy tones.
The die-cast hoops are the other aspect of the snare that enhances its tone. Rimshots sound incredibly strong and articulate, as the snare was designed with rimshots in mind.
Overall, the sound quality is the best feature of Matt Halpern’s signature snare drum, and that’s why I think it’s one of Pearl’s best metal snare drums.
The Matt Halpern snare utilizes several of Pearl’s high-end build features. It has triple shell vents that add a bit of warmth to its tone, as well as musical resonance.
The low-mass STL swivel lugs are another top-quality build feature that adds to the overall quality of the snare. They allow the drumhead and shell to vibrate a lot more than many other types of lugs do.
While the MasterCast die-cast hoops do a fantastic job of improving the tone, they also make the snare drum feel more premium. They’re heavier than standard hoops, and they’re more durable as well.
The Click-Lock snare throw-off is an amazing feature. It feels very rigid, and it only turns the snare wires on or off once it clicks into place. Matt Halpern stated that he had issues with snares turning off too easily while he was playing, so he wanted Pearl to include a throw-off that wouldn’t do that. If that’s something you also struggle with, you’ll love the strainer that’s included here.
The snare is made in Taiwan, which may make people second-guess it compared to snares made in the US. However, the build quality is immaculate, and all the features are fantastic.
When looking at Pearl’s long list of snare drum options, most of what you’ll find that costs more than the Matt Halpern snare are from the Masterworks and Music City Custom lines. Those are Pearl’s two premium drum kit lines, showing you that this Matt Halpern snare isn’t far from the top.
When looking at signature snare drums from other drummers, this one has a fairly predictable price tag.That’s a good thing, as it stays competitive with the other options.
I’d say the value is very good, especially considering both the tone you get and the build features that it offers.
There are certainly more affordable snare drums out there, though. Pearl’s Sensitone brass snares are almost half the price. However, they don’t sound, feel, or look as good as this Matt Halpern snare drum.
If you have the money to spend, I’d suggest picking this snare over those more affordable options. If you’re not willing to spend so much on a snare drum, the Sensitone snares would be the next best option.
It’s important to consider the fact that this snare drum was designed for a progressive metal drummer. That’s the environment where its tone performs the best in. However, it also sounds incredible in other heavy styles like rock and punk.
When it comes to subtler styles of music, it may not be the most versatile option. It will certainly work just fine, but it won’t give you the most ideal tones for a few different styles. For example, it may sound too aggressive and sharp for a soft wedding background band.
Brass snares are typically quite versatile, but this one has a bit more punch to it than many others. The rimshots are especially loud.
With that being said, it’s all about the drummer behind the gear, and a drummer with excellent technique and control will make the Matt Halpern snare sound amazing within any musical style.
The Matt Halpern snare drum has a black powder coated finish. It looks incredibly similar to the Joey Jordison Pearl snare drum that was so popular years ago, although it looks a lot cleaner.
As this is a signature snare drum, that’s the only finish option you get. The great thing about a black snare drum is that it goes with almost any drum kit color, so this snare will fit perfectly with whatever kit you have.
It also has a few unique touches that add to the aesthetics. Firstly, the lugs are a natural metal color that contrasts very nicely with the black shell. Secondly, the lugs have yellow gaskets that look quite visually interesting.
If you play in a heavy band with rocking instruments and you need a cutting snare drum, you’ll love the Pearl Matt Halpern signature. You’ll appreciate it even more if you’re a big Periphery fan.
It’s a fantastic snare drum option for drummers who play loud music with dense and aggressive instrument parts.
It may not be the best option if you want a highly versatile snare drum. It will work, but it won’t be ideal due to how loud and punchy it is. If you want a brass shell with a bit less aggression, there are plenty of other good options out there from Pearl and other drum brands.
Pearl Matt Halpern Signature Snare Drum At A Glance
- Dynamic and lively tone
- Excellent snare for rock, metal, and progressive metal
- Premium build features
- Includes a top-tier and unique drumhead from Evans
- Clean aesthetic look
- Could be too loud for certain settings
- Relatively high price tag