Cutting Down Snare Wires

I wanted to cut some of the wires from my 20-strand snare wires, because I feel like my snare sounds too "snare-y", if that makes any sense. Does anyone have any experience with this? How many wires should I leave? Can I just use regular wire cutters? Thanks in advance.
 
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audiotech

Guest
I would just buy either 12 or 16 strand wires and keep what you have in case you want to go back to the 20. If you still want to cut the wires, I would start with the inner two, for instance number 10 and 11. If that's not enough continue with 9 and 12. Use sharp diagonal cutters capable of cutting steel cable. Most cutters are made for copper wire and will dull rapidly cutting steel. Also make sure that all cut wires are bent away from the snare head.

Dennis
 
I would just buy either 12 or 16 strand wires and keep what you have in case you want to go back to the 20. If you still want to cut the wires, I would start with the inner two, for instance number 10 and 11. If that's not enough continue with 9 and 12. Use sharp diagonal cutters capable of cutting steel cable. Most cutters are made for copper wire and will dull rapidly cutting steel. Also make sure that all cut wires are bent away from the snare head.

Dennis
The problem is I don't want to shell out $30 for new snare wires. I'm too cheap.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The problem is I don't want to shell out $30 for new snare wires. I'm too cheap.
In that case, cut away. Do one or two at a time until you reach the snare sound (or lack thereof) that you're chasing.

Use wire cutters, pliers....whatever. Just make sure you don't leave any sharp ends that could damage the snare head.

What if you don't like it though? Will you still be too cheap to shell out for another set of 20's?? :)
 
In that case, cut away. Do one or two at a time until you reach the snare sound (or lack thereof) that you're chasing.

Use wire cutters, pliers....whatever. Just make sure you don't leave any sharp ends that could damage the snare head.

What if you don't like it though? Will you still be too cheap to shell out for another set of 20's?? :)
Good point, haha. No, I think I'd be able to justify the purchase.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
I wanted to cut some of the wires from my 20-strand snare wires, because I feel like my snare sounds too "snare-y", if that makes any sense. Does anyone have any experience with this? How many wires should I leave? Can I just use regular wire cutters? Thanks in advance.
Use regular wire cutters, and make sure you don't leave any sharp ends that will cut into the bottom head of the drum (or your fingers!). You'll have to decide if you want to cut from the center or from each edge. Cutting wires from the center can help tame a buzzy snare drum.

I use Puresound Custom Pro snare wires (primarily because I love the nylon straps and the "quick-release" cotter pins) and I cut out the center 6 wires to take them down to a 14-wire snare.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
It's important to cut equally from both sides. For example, if you cut an outside wire you'll need to cut the outside wire on the other side as well. Otherwise the tension on the snares will skew and you'll end up lifting some wire(s) away from the head, which will give you serious rattling problems.

And, as has already been said, keep any sharp ends away from the head.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I would think that it wouldn't matter if you cut from the middle or the edges, why do some of you think otherwise? Learn me!
 

TakenHigherByU

Senior Member
I would think that it wouldn't matter if you cut from the middle or the edges, why do some of you think otherwise? Learn me!
I can't give you an exact reason, other than that it works....cutting wires away from the outside doesn't affect the sound nearly as much as cutting out the middle ones.
 
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audiotech

Guest
Because most of the snare's sensitivity comes from the center wires vibrating from the center of the snare head. This is why most equalized snare wires have the center strands omitted.

Dennis
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
^ Yes, exactly.

You can cut from the outside or the middle, but you must leave them simmetrical, otherwise the uneven tension will stress some strands more than others, making them prone to breaking and buzzing.

Cheers.
 
I cut out eight strands from the middle. I tried four, then six, but that just wasn't doing it. Unfortunately, I've found that I don't nearly as much snare on my ghost notes. I think I just have to work on my technique.
 
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