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Paiste Signature Bronze Snare Drum

There are a select number of instruments that qualify as Holy Grails, either by virtue of the people who played them, the people who built them or some combination thereof.

For instance, on Paganini: After a Dream (Verve), Regina Carter performs on “Il Cannone,” an enormous sounding violin crafted in 1743 by the famous builder Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu and later owned by the legendary performer Niccolò Paganini (who bequeathed it to the city of Genoa upon his death). Doc Cheatham used to get all blue and sentimental when extolling the qualities of the older Vincent Bach Stradivarius model trumpets, while tenor saxophonists stubbornly hang on to their old Selmer Mark VI models, despite the countless advances the Selmer company has introduced over the past 30 years. And the ongoing creative renaissance at Gibson and Fender was precipitated by the perception amongst players and collectors that the output of both companies was for many years demonstrably inferior to those guitars made in the 1950s and early ’60s.

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