Many drummers agree that the snare drum contributes the most to creating a drummer's "sound signature". Sakura clearly invests a lot of time into tuning and modifying his drums to meet his sound needs, which is probably why he owns so many. On this page I've listed details about his snare drums along with comments from Sakura himself when available.
Pearl 14"x5.5" Custom Classic

Size: 14"x5.5"
Material: 1-ply maple
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: CLOSE BY DUNE video, Carnival of True EVE, Carnival of True
Possibly used to record part or all of DUNE.

Sakura's comments: "I purchased this as soon as soon as single-ply shells were first available since I was attracted to them. I tested this out a lot with my MR set. I tried cutting the edges and snare beds myself... it was originally 5.5" deep, but because I modified it it's probably shallower. I often used this one when shooting PVs."

Pearl Toshi Nagai 14"x6.5" Hammered Copper

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: Hammered Copper
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: With Ambassador head: "GRACE" and "gimme A guitar" albums, and "BUBBLE FESTiVAL 2003" DVD.
With Emperor X head: "high!", "Paradise," "Flower Language," and "INFERNO".
Uses 24 strand wires on this one.

Sakura's comments: "For the band I'm in, SOAP, I was deciding on what I wanted as a snare drum sound, something that expresses itself by its perfomance and arrangement power, and that was this snare drum. No matter where I take it it always pleases me. Since Ken really likes metal shelled snares, he gave me a really good response to using this. Now, if I'm without this anymore, it's just not SOAP's sound. I think this is truly a one-of-a-kind instrument."

Ludwig 14"x6.5" Supraphonic

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: "Ludalloy" (aluminum)
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: A good chunk of "heavenly ~films~" and "Kiss me deadly", "I'm so happy" from "Carnival of True EVE", most of "Carnival of True" video. I'd venture a guess that it's a Supra on much of the "heavenly" album.

Notes: This is a vintage 1960s Supra.

Pearl 14"x6.5" Aluminum Free-Floating

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: Aluminum
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: THE BATTLE OF LOVE, TRUE IMPULSE, THE MIDNIGHT LOVE, FOREVER YOUNG
"Vivid Colors" and "shizuka no umi de" in "heavenly ~films~".
Also THE SECOND SCENE DVD on every song.

Sakura's comments: "This used to have a brass shell but I received this aluminum one from a friend at Pearl. So it's actually one I'm borrowing for awhile. The brass shell has a very metallic sound, but this aluminum shell is much calmer, which I prefer. It's not as soft as a Ludwig Acrolite, it feels a little harder, but I think that's good. At higher tunings it can sound a bit like a maple drum. It's one I definitely don't want to let go of."

Pearl 14"x5.5" Hammered Steel

Size: 14"x5.5"
Material: Hammered Steel
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Quite possibly the "Sense of Time" video, and also all or part of "DUNE" and "Tierra."

Sakura's comments: "I have some really fond memories with this hammered steel snare drum... this snare was given to me by the person who got me started using Pearl. Since I wanted a drum that sounded old, I asked them to make this with old-fashioned lugs. Though it has a papery sound, it rings with a sound like a mixture of both an old steel and a modern drum."

"I know this drum better than any other since I've been using it since we (L'Arc~en~Ciel) debuted... I wanted it to be seen as a single instrument, even the lugs, with the idea that it would resonant with all parts, not just the shell and heads. There are even springs in the lugs, just like old drums. However, since the strainer isn't really musical, it's separated from the shell."

Slingerland 14"x6.5" Radioking

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 1-ply maple
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: Possibly "Secret Signs" on "heavenly."
"Still I'm With You", "and She Said" and "natsu no yuuutsu [time to say good-bye]" from "heavenly ~films", "All Dead", "Secret Signs", "Cureless", "Wind of Gold", "natsu no yuuutsu [time to say good-bye]", "Brilliant Years", "Taste of love", "Vivid Colors", and "shizuka no umi de" from "The Other Side of heavenly" video, and "and She Said" and "Brilliant Years" from "kiss me deadly". Also used at ZIGZO's first live.

Sakura's comments: "This Radioking isn't vintage, I purchased it new. However, it's as close as you can get to a vintage model, with the brass parts plated in chrome. I had been yearning for one so I bought one and tried it. At first, it didn't really click with me. However, in the time I continued using it, and in a moment, suddenly it began ringing out. Now, I can't be parted with it. I think it really suits a raw sound with few overdubs."

Lang Percussion 14"x6" Gladstone

Size: 14"x6"
Material: 1-ply maple
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: The one in the photo, nowhere as far as I know. However, he also has a Gladstone with chrome hardware that is used throughout "THE FIRST SCENE", and also every track on "MONSTER MUSIC."

Sakura's comments: "This Gladstone snare is not an original, it's a replica revived in America, but it's ridiculously good. It feels really solid and moreover, it allows you to feel the nuance of every single strand of the snares."

Pearl 14"x6.5" Carbonply Maple

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 4 inner plies of maple, inner and outer ply of carbon fiber
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: First part of THE LAST SCENE, and also perhaps some or all of the tracks on "Add9 Suicide".

Sakura's comments: "The first Carbonply snare I received was a 10 lug model. I didn't like it so I had them change it to an 8 lug snare for me, and I also had them change the lugs to Gretsch style separate lugs. When playing it, it's probably a bit too "round" I think but if you mic it and use a low-pass filter, it mixes with the "roundness" and it results in a workable sound."

Pearl 14"x6.5" Ultracast

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 3mm cast aluminum
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: THE LAST SCENE, every song after the medley.

Sakura's comments: "When Pearl released the Ultracast, I had them send me one, and that's the one I have now. The material, aluminum, does not have the shrill sound of metal, but instead while it is mild it also has a very solid sound. It's very easy to use so I think it's really great."

Pearl 14"x6.5" Custom Classic with Reinforcement Rings

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 1-ply maple
Hoops: Die-cast hoops
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Every song on "True" except for "kaze ni kienaide."

Sakura's comments: "As for this snare, while it's a prototype from when Pearl was about to release single-ply snare drums, at that time they didn't have reinforcement hoops, yet this one does... this one feels like it was made by a different manufacturing process, even within Pearl snare drums it has a special feel. Among single-ply drums it can really express flexibility and dynamics."

Pearl 14"x6.5" Brass Free-Floating

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: Brass
Hoops: Triple-flanged brass hoops
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Possibly used on some or all songs on DUNE.
The "NOLSTAGIA no yokan" live peformances seem to all feature this one.
Also, "Still I'm With You", "and She Said", "GARASU dama", "As if in a dream", "The Rain Leaves a Scar", and "Voice" from "The Other Side of heavenly."

Sakura's comments: "This brass shell is from when I first started drums, about 17 or 18 I suppose... at that time it was the first snare drum I bought. As you might expect I have replaced the parts from that time, but since I have taken care of the shell, it's in the same condition as it was back then."

Ludwig 14"x5" Pioneer

Size: 14"x5"
Material: Brass
Hoops: Single-flanged
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: Certain songs on "NARCISSUS."

Sakura's comments: "This Ludwig is a model from the 1920s. The sound is a most delicate thing. The single-flanged hoops from this era catch every subtle point, and the brass shell itself is very thin. Even though brass is a standard metal, I think it's quite different today, but that's a really good thing. No matter what genre of music you choose, once you get taken with it, it will show authority."


Pearl 14"x6.5" Custom Classic with Reinforcement Rings

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 1-ply maple
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: Possibly used on all or part of "Add9 Suicide."

Sakura's comments: "At the same time I had the MR set made for my comeback, the person who introduced me to Pearl, whom I've mentioned before, talked to me about making this one. Therefore, it's a single-ply shell with reinforcement rings, and I also had them do the edges to 30 degrees, the same as a Slingerland Radioking. However, the Radioking's sound is totally different! Like you'd expect this one has a Pearl-ish sound."

Pearl 14"x5.5" Carbon Fiber

Size: 14"x5.5"
Material: Carbon Fiber (made from a free-floating shell)
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 8
Can be heard: Can be heard as a free-floater still on "The Other Side of heavenly", during "Dune", "C'est La Vie", and "Blurry Eyes".
Uses 16 strand wires on this one.

Sakura's comments: "This carbon fiber snare drum I couldn't be separated from for a long time. I produced this one myself. It seems to get along well with microphones so there was a long period in which I used it for recording." (and when might that be...?)

Pearl 14"x5.5" Stainless Steel

Size: 14"x5.5"
Material: Stainless steel
Hoops: Single-flanged hoops now, triple-flanged in the past
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Certain songs on "FOREVER YOUNG".
"Secret Signs" and "natsu no yuuutsu [time to say good-bye]" from "kiss me deadly".

Sakura's comments: "These two were prototypes before Pearl started the Sensitone line of drums. I found them at the Pearl factory and borrowed them. The way they're made unites both old and modern techniques, and has the best of both worlds. Especially since these two types were sizes that they didn't have during the old times, while they seem old, there is something different, and they give a wonderful sound."

Pearl 14"x4.5" Stainless Steel

Size: 14"x4.5"
Material: Stainless steel
Hoops: Single-flanged hoops now, triple-flanged in the past
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: "Secret Signs" and "natsu no yuuutsu [time to say good-bye]" from "kiss me deadly". (I can't tell which one it is)

Sakura's comments: "These two were prototypes before Pearl started the Sensitone line of drums. I found them at the Pearl factory and borrowed them. The way they're made unites both old and modern techniques, and has the best of both worlds. Especially since these two types were sizes that they didn't have during the old times, while they seem old, there is something different, and they give a wonderful sound."

Pearl 14"x6.5" 20-ply Maple

Size: 14"x6.5"
Material: 20-ply maple
Hoops: Die-cast
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Nowhere as far as I know.

Sakura's comments: "As a Reference prototype drum, this is one of Pearl's initial attempts at a thick shell. Just from that, since it's so thick, the range of its tuning is decided by that. If you tune it high pitched, it really comes alive with a heavy sound."

Pearl 14"x8" Brass

Size: 14"x8"
Material: Brass
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Nowhere as far as I know.

Sakura's comments: "This brass snare drum was left behind at the Pearl warehouse, where I got it. When I started playing drums, 8" deep snare drums were in style. With that in mind I thought I'd try using one out but, since it wasn't very good as a snare, I thought I'd try it as a tom, and the unique sound it has is very interesting. I've even tried it out live."

Remo 14"x5" Acousticon Shell

Size: 14"x5"
Material: Wood fiber + resin
Hoops: Triple-flanged
Number of lugs: 10
Can be heard: Nowhere as far as I know

Sakura's comments: "Since this one uses a Remo shell, please just publish 'no comment.'"