Building a Snare

Bretton

Silver Member
Could you post that youtube video again without the constant rimshots and the double bass barrage so that we could actually hear the drum. Thanks.
haha, yes I can get a little carried away with my kicks. I've more recently put an ST Dry batter head on, and puresound Twisted snare wires and made it my dry snare.

I'll try and get around to making another video soon, where I don't play so terribly.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I have custom kit on the way from Dark Horse Percussion but I didn't order a snare with the kit. I wanted to get a really personalized snare. I'm really picky when it comes to the sound of my snare.

I play ska so my kit is tuned to sort of mix rock and jazz. My snare I keep tuned tighter than average on the batter side and about average tuning on the resonant. Pretty much tuned as a punk snare (tight batter, loose resonant). I like to have a high pitched attack that cuts through with a nice amount of power and depth in the drum. I currently use a 13" x 7" pork pie lil' squealer. I can pull the perfect tone out of it but the drum goes out of tune like nothing (has to be tightened up every 3 songs while I'm playing a show) and frankly the extreme amount of vents isn't very realistic for recording, not to mention each vent adds another piece of metal to the shell.

What I'm thinking of building is a 13" x 7" beech stave snare with a double 45 bearing edge and of course puresound snare wires. I am ordering the shell sanded with edges, snare beds, and drilled and then hardware from somewhere else. I'm just staining and assembling it. I can't find a place that supplies both items exactly how I want them and at a reasonable price.

I like the size of the drum because the diameter really gives the drum the pop while the depth of the snare keeps it from getting too high pitch.

I chose to go with a stave shell due to the natural wood sounds. I've spent many years trying to find the sticks I like the most because I like to hear the wood tone of the sticks come through in my sound. I don't want a ply snare because the glue cuts out the tone. I've read the steam bent (1-ply) shells make the wood a lot higher pitch due to the extreme bending and pressure. And lastly, the solid shells are just really pricey though I'm sure they sound amazing!

I'm thinking beech wood because maple doesn't seem to get a nice enough crack for the attack but birch doesn't seem to get any warmth in the sustain. It's my understanding that beech will the the crack on the attack and have a fair amount of warmth in the sustain.

I decided the double 45 bearing edge because that will give the most of the wood's tone and add that little bit more depth to the drum, getting close to the tone of maple without loosing the high cracking attack like birch.

Does this seem like a proper combination to achieve the sound I'm looking for? I've done a ridiculous amount of research but want to get some opinions of all these different options being together on one drum.
I think you are wise to get a 13 by 7. I have a 13 by 4 and I like the crack of a smaller diameter, but I sometimes wish the drum had more body.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
here's the snare I recently built, 13x8 (ish) steel pipe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riXMsQCM2rM

45 degree inner, 1 mm roundover outer. What I hear is the wider the roundover, the more shell touches the head, thus more "woodey" sound. sharp edge = sharp sound, round edge = round sound
Could you post that youtube video again without the constant rimshots and the double bass barrage so that we could actually hear the drum. Thanks.
 

SNG_drummer

Junior Member
K.I.S. - From what I've read online, things have told me that beech has more attack than maple but you're saying it has less. Is this from experience of hearing the drums? I was checking out this site that wsabol posted. Everything on there for beech wood seems to match what I'm looking and ash is close but not the exact match for my taste. The way you describe the woods makes would make the ash sound like the better choice though. I'm stuck in the middle now. I've listened to some videos of recordings of beech snares, I'll start searching for ash ones now.

Ash is like maple++. Thats what I've always heard. They are very similar but ash is a bit more responsive.

http://www.drumsolo.cc/snare_drums/snare_gallery/white_ash/white_ash.htm

KIS will also be able to go into more detail hopefully.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ash is like maple++. Thats what I've always heard. They are very similar but ash is a bit more responsive.

http://www.drumsolo.cc/snare_drums/snare_gallery/white_ash/white_ash.htm

KIS will also be able to go into more detail hopefully.
Yes, mostly :) Of course, it depends on what species of ash, & compared to what species of beech. The harder forms of both will tend to be more responsive, thickness for thickness, but that depends on the shell construction too.

Beech is typically on the mellow side of hard maple, with a more balanced sound. It doesn't poses the midrange concentration of maple. You could say it's a little less warm. If you were being especially harsh, you could classify it as neutral. Ash has a bit more bite, rather like birch, but a bit more low end too, again, a bit like birch, but unlike birch, it retains a nice midrange balance. White ash is the one to go for if you can get it.

There are a lot of alternative woods out there that poses certain qualities typical of well used & loved woods, but offer a bit more of something. Two examples: We often use purpleheart instead of maple, & sepele instead of mahogany. In both cases, they're harder than their original peer, & in solid wood shells, that brings out some extra performance.

Outside of that, you'll hear a lot about "exotic" woods, often chosen for vanity reasons rather than absolute tonal advantage, & dismissed by many as such, but there are some exotics that really do pack a big punch. Typically grouped as "tone woods", these species really offer something different, & dare I say, more musical. True rosewoods are a related species group that come to mind. They're special, very special.

We have our own personal favourites, & you'll see those appearing in our new Origin range, to be launched in October. Do these species make a difference? If you know exactly how to bring out the best in them, hell yes :)
 

bruin21

Member
I just threwup a little bit at the thought of neon green hardware. Black w/ brushed aluminum, black w/ gold/brass, black w/ black nickel, jeez, black with plain ole' chrome.
I just lost interest at neon green...
 

SNG_drummer

Junior Member
I do apologize, meant mostly everyone, not everyone.
I haven't heard much about ash. Do you know the complete personality of the wood? Could you explain why you would chose it over beech for the sound I'm looking for?
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
What I'm getting from everyone is that wood isn't a big deal but the rounded double 45 is going to bring out the sound of the wood a little.
Well, you won't get that impression from me. The wood species is an important element of the sound, especially in a solid shell. The fact that your shell is 1/2" thick reduces it's importance compared to a thinner shell, but it doesn't negate it. BTW, I think beech is a good choice, but I think ash would be even better suited to your sound criteria (purely a personal opinion, of course).
 

SNG_drummer

Junior Member
Thanks for all the quick responses!

I forgot to mention that I was planning on a 1/2" thick shell. What I'm getting from everyone is that wood isn't a big deal but the rounded double 45 is going to bring out the sound of the wood a little. Although beech wood doesn't have an amazing eye appeal I think I'll stick with that since sound always comes first to me and then looks. The snare will already catch eyes since it will be a black stain with neon green hardware.

Even if some of the details are very minimal that only a dog would notice, I feel like those are the small details you find when recording. I'm building this snare to get the perfect sound with minimal adjusting on the recordings. My band and I are always out for the most natural recordings versus all these modern day effects to change the instrument's sound.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
But I think a 13x7, 1/2"+ with 45+1/4 round over from any species would do just fine.
Yes, I'm on board with that Bob, especially including the roundover. Certainly the way to drive as much excitement as possible into that shell.

If the OP is buying his stave shell "off the shelf", then 1/2" thick is probably what he's going to pick up. Considerably thinner than that becomes specialist work. 13" x 7" is a great size BTW :)
 

bruin21

Member
KIS:
I completely agree...especially with the list of unmentioned caveots! But I think a 13x7, 1/2"+ with 45+1/4 round over from any species would do just fine. but, yes, I am in complete agreement with you.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I think the type of wood is too often overhyped. For these it is more about head, edges and tuning; especially with a stave/segmented drum, where the shell is usually more than 1/2" thick.
Bob.
Bob, although I agree with most of your post, I'd like to put our experience into the mix. As we're already talking about stave snare's, let's go with those. On the thicker shells (say 1/2" +) I agree that the wood species becomes less prominent, but on the thinner shells (say 3/8" & under), it really becomes a key feature, & on the really thin stuff (1/4" or less), it's a very big deal. A roundover, giving a good contact between head & shell, amplifies the signature of the wood too. Ok, on a ply shell, especially a thicker one, the wood species becomes close to irrelevant. If we're talking shell resonance, we find that a 1/4" ply shell has a similar resonance profile as a 1/2" stave shell, with a ton of caveats applied, of course.
 

bruin21

Member
Oh, and size?? 13x 6 or 13 x 7 is a GREAT size. I love the crack from my 13x7segmented burl maple. I also built a great sounding 13x4 stave of ash for a friend...I really wish I still had that snare.
 

bruin21

Member
I have built many snares in my lifetime. There are three basic kinds: Metal snares, standard ply snars and snares that are not ply (single steambent, stave and segmented). Of the three types, you can likely tell the difference between the three major groups, and maybe even subdivide the metal snares (SS, brass, copper, aluminum). However, as for ALL the wood snares, I think the type of wood is too often overhyped. For these it is more about head, edges and tuning; especially with a stave/segmented drum, where the shell is usually more than 1/2" thick. Back in the good 'ole days, when everything was 3 ply with re-rings, the material mattered more...ie, maple vs. mahogany. However, today? not so much. You get a bigger/better crack from stave/segments because of the thicker shells. my advise is to go with a wood you like to look at. Cherry is dense and beautiful, ash makes for nice drums, as does burl maple, bubinga, etc. They all are great. And I really think only my dog could tell the difference (but he's not saying). I would go with the following A stave or segmented shell of ANY wood (ash, maple, bubinga, cherry...etc), 45 degree edges with a 1/4" round over (I like a slightly softer sound, hence the round over. also easier on the heads). Lugs the match the kit you ordered (or not), some triple flanged rims and a Trick Strainer. cap is with an Aquarial studio-X coated head and a hazy snareside, shallow snarebeds (~1/8") and some puresound wires. It should last a lifetime. and be useful for nearly every genre of music. Next biggest hype: any particular snare sound for any particular genre of music...heads/tuning...heads/tuning...heads/tuning.
Bob.
 

SNG_drummer

Junior Member
I have custom kit on the way from Dark Horse Percussion but I didn't order a snare with the kit. I wanted to get a really personalized snare. I'm really picky when it comes to the sound of my snare.

I play ska so my kit is tuned to sort of mix rock and jazz. My snare I keep tuned tighter than average on the batter side and about average tuning on the resonant. Pretty much tuned as a punk snare (tight batter, loose resonant). I like to have a high pitched attack that cuts through with a nice amount of power and depth in the drum. I currently use a 13" x 7" pork pie lil' squealer. I can pull the perfect tone out of it but the drum goes out of tune like nothing (has to be tightened up every 3 songs while I'm playing a show) and frankly the extreme amount of vents isn't very realistic for recording, not to mention each vent adds another piece of metal to the shell.

What I'm thinking of building is a 13" x 7" beech stave snare with a double 45 bearing edge and of course puresound snare wires. I am ordering the shell sanded with edges, snare beds, and drilled and then hardware from somewhere else. I'm just staining and assembling it. I can't find a place that supplies both items exactly how I want them and at a reasonable price.

I like the size of the drum because the diameter really gives the drum the pop while the depth of the snare keeps it from getting too high pitch.

I chose to go with a stave shell due to the natural wood sounds. I've spent many years trying to find the sticks I like the most because I like to hear the wood tone of the sticks come through in my sound. I don't want a ply snare because the glue cuts out the tone. I've read the steam bent (1-ply) shells make the wood a lot higher pitch due to the extreme bending and pressure. And lastly, the solid shells are just really pricey though I'm sure they sound amazing!

I'm thinking beech wood because maple doesn't seem to get a nice enough crack for the attack but birch doesn't seem to get any warmth in the sustain. It's my understanding that beech will the the crack on the attack and have a fair amount of warmth in the sustain.

I decided the double 45 bearing edge because that will give the most of the wood's tone and add that little bit more depth to the drum, getting close to the tone of maple without loosing the high cracking attack like birch.

Does this seem like a proper combination to achieve the sound I'm looking for? I've done a ridiculous amount of research but want to get some opinions of all these different options being together on one drum.
 
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