DW Snare Drums?

moxman

Silver Member
I have a lower priced DW Performance series snare drum. I like the mag throw off. It's the kind you see here: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/dw-performance-series-snare-drum

And it's under $400. It's maple, high quality and the 6.5 one.

I think it sounds really good. One thing and DW drums, is that they seem HEAVY as heck, maybe because of the hardware? Also I was having a problem with the bottom lugs detuning, but I'm guessing this isn't specific to DW. Some tunerfish seemed to help with this.
What is tunerfish? lugnuts..aha.
I just changed the reso on mine (I accidentally cranked the head too high and it exploded the other night - 1st time ever happened. I originally thought the Evans hazy 300 was bad to begin with.. But i put a new one on and same thing! It doesn't hold the tuning on the reso .. Two lugs in particular go out of tune within minutes.. I just keep cranking and cranking. And its out of tune almost as soon as i'm finished .. They all lose pitch but 2 lugs are just whacked! The other thing i noticed is the hoop is not totally flush with the head and the shell.. Never noticed this on any other drum.. Usually you stick the head on and it's snug - this DW seems to have some play and it moves around while cranking it up! Not sure if the generous snare beds are causing issues or its bad hoops or bad heads.. But i need to find a solution before i throw the snare off a cliff. Last time the head eventually got seated and stopped stretching.. But i don' get why this is such a laborios process..
 
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Ipromise

Junior Member
I wouldn't say DW's are a rip off - they are a premium product. But as with any premium product, there's diminishing returns. So it's all what matters to you. As others have suggested, I'd at least google how different snare materials affect the sound. Then it's all about preference. Also matching it to the music. From there, do the same research with drum heads. Play with tuning, explore. There's no right or wrongs. :)
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
One thing and DW drums, is that they seem HEAVY as heck, maybe because of the hardware?
I don't buy into the hardware argument. Melt down the hardware on a DW drum, then melt down the hardware of other popular brands, and my guess is, the end result would be so close, it wouldn't formulate the grounds of mentioning.

Nothing more than Pete and re-Pete (repeat). Pete, is told that the hardware that DW uses is high in mass (weight), so Pete, repeats every chance he gets, and everyone that Pete, informs about DW's hardware, they, too, follow suit and repeat the same.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I don't buy into the hardware argument. Melt down the hardware on a DW drum, then melt down the hardware of other popular brands, and my guess is, the end result would be so close, it wouldn't formulate the grounds of mentioning.

Nothing more than Pete and re-Pete (repeat). Pete, is told that the hardware that DW uses is high in mass (weight), so Pete, repeats every chance he gets, and everyone that Pete, informs about DW's hardware, they, too, follow suit and repeat the same.
The lugs look big, so easy to draw that conclusion. If anything is beastly on DW it’s the hoops, but no more beastly than cast or something like the Gretsch 302 hoops. When we’re talking snares, then shell material, plus beastly hoops and yeah, you may need a crane. :)
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
What is tunerfish? lugnuts..aha.
I just changed the reso on mine (I accidentally cranked the head too high and it exploded the other night - 1st time ever happened. I originally thought the Evans hazy 300 was bad to begin with.. But i put a new one on and same thing! It doesn't hold the tuning on the reso .. Two lugs in particular go out of tune within minutes.. I just keep cranking and cranking. And its out of tune almost as soon as i'm finished .. They all lose pitch but 2 lugs are just whacked! The other thing i noticed is the hoop is not totally flush with the head and the shell.. Never noticed this on any other drum.. Usually you stick the head on and it's snug - this DW seems to have some play and it moves around while cranking it up! Not sure if the generous snare beds are causing issues or its bad hoops or bad heads.. But i need to find a solution before i throw the snare off a cliff. Last time the head eventually got seated and stopped stretching.. But i don' get why this is such a laborios process..
Similar with me. The stock head broke (don't know how, I was at a gig and setting up and it was broken). I replaced the bottom head with an evans reso, don't recall which type. Same as you...went out of tune within a song. I'd crank it up again, and it would happen again. I don't recall this happening with the original stock DW reso head. Who knows what happened. I replaced the evans head with another and still happened. I haven't noticed any hoop problems though, but who knows. I put some tunerfish on the bottom head at the last gig and none fell off and I didn't need to retune, so I think they helped. I know
Tama has there own version of lug locks too, and I may try them too.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I don't buy into the hardware argument. Melt down the hardware on a DW drum, then melt down the hardware of other popular brands, and my guess is, the end result would be so close, it wouldn't formulate the grounds of mentioning.

Nothing more than Pete and re-Pete (repeat). Pete, is told that the hardware that DW uses is high in mass (weight), so Pete, repeats every chance he gets, and everyone that Pete, informs about DW's hardware, they, too, follow suit and repeat the same.
So you don't agree with Stoker.
Got it.
You just seemed a bit hard on the guy about he just making a statement of belief. I for one could probably find documented cases of how DW does a bit more in their hardware department than you claim.
That might have been what Stoker was speaking of.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
If we’re talking toms, then the DW suspension mounts are way heavier than for example a Tama Starcast mount. I’ve never had the opportunity to weigh the DW lugs personally, but my PDP oval lugs were beastly. In all, out of the box, my Brooklyn 12” rack tom weighs about the same as my PDP. When stripped down, the Gretsch shell was beastly, where the PDP was light as a feather. PDP also had 1.6mm hoops, compared to the Gretsch 302.

Not exactly a DW comparison, but too many variables in weight. I haven’t noticed the DW Performance Series to be any heavier or lighter than my old PDPs, so with heavier hoops, I’d have to assume the lugs were significantly lighter. Tough to tell without taking them apart.

Comparing DW to say a Stage Custom...you could carry a 5pc SC for about the same weight as one DW FT. Not the same with some of the other Yamaha lines though. I suppose it all depends.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I don't buy into the hardware argument. Melt down the hardware on a DW drum, then melt down the hardware of other popular brands, and my guess is, the end result would be so close, it wouldn't formulate the grounds of mention.
Gotta agree. I've had enough DW drums apart to say that the lugs are very light. The recievers are held in place with little rubber tabs instead of springs which reduces the weight even further. Some may not like the look of the round lugs and that's fine, but many just parrot what they read on the the internet posted by other misinformed individuals and then it magically becomes fact. LMAO!!
 

moxman

Silver Member
Similar with me. The stock head broke (don't know how, I was at a gig and setting up and it was broken). I replaced the bottom head with an evans reso, don't recall which type. Same as you...went out of tune within a song. I'd crank it up again, and it would happen again. I don't recall this happening with the original stock DW reso head. Who knows what happened. I replaced the evans head with another and still happened. I haven't noticed any hoop problems though, but who knows. I put some tunerfish on the bottom head at the last gig and none fell off and I didn't need to retune, so I think they helped. I know
Tama has there own version of lug locks too, and I may try them too.
I came across this interesting bit of info comparing the stretchiness of the Evans hazy 300 compared to the Remo hazy 300. As I suspected the culprit may be just the head.. I did pick up an Aquarian reso as well so I'll try that.. I've found in the past Aquarian 300 hazy don't stretch and hold the tuning forever.. I've used Evans hazy on 13" snares for years and they never stretched like this. In any case this was posted about 10 years ago but probably still a valid comparison using pipe band snares:

"We took two of our best drums (for the mini band season) and replaced the bottom heads. One with a Remo and one with an Evans.

first thing we noticed before we placed the heads on the drum, was that the heads are not identical even though they are both 300s and hazy...... For one, the evans are less hazy - clearer and two, the evans have a brighter pitch when not under tension (you can test this yourself when in the shops by flicking the materials [skin] to hear the inherent pitch - evans seem brighter)

The test:

We very carefully bought both heads down evenly - occasionally using a drum dial to check even tension. We made sure each head was tightened to the same pitch - not tension. and found the evans harder to get brighter because they seemed to stretch quicker and needed more revolutions to match the ambassador which got to pitch quicker.

note: to test the pitch of the snare heads, we sat the drums upside down on their batter heads, resting on pillows... this way the top head didn't affect the pitch coming of the snare head when we tapped it lightly with a stick... we of course also made sure the top heads were as even as possible before starting!

Over the next day both heads stretched and needed to be redressed and tensioned but each time we found the evans needed more turns to reach a desired pitch versus the ambassador... the ambassador seemed to have held its tension.

now... one week later we pulled both drums out (after resting in the same environment) and checked the heads again. The evans had flattened and softened off dramatically in comparison to the ambassador! and again needed a lot more turns to bring it back to the pitch and tension to equal the ambassador.

After noticing a common theme... we then decided to get them both back to competition-pitch by the end of practice. Before we could get there the Evans busted.

Conclusion... of course to be completely sure we would have to run the experiments again. But for now, i am confident that the evans hazy 300 does not compare to the rigor of the ambassador hazy 300, atleast not for our pipeband purposes anyway!

having said this, its worth noting that we thought the tone/timbre of the Evans was nicer and warmer even at higher pitches."
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I came across this interesting bit of info comparing the stretchiness of the Evans hazy 300 compared to the Remo hazy 300. As I suspected the culprit may be just the head.. I did pick up an Aquarian reso as well so I'll try that.. I've found in the past Aquarian 300 hazy don't stretch and hold the tuning forever.. I've used Evans hazy on 13" snares for years and they never stretched like this. In any case this was posted about 10 years ago but probably still a valid comparison using pipe band snares:

"We took two of our best drums (for the mini band season) and replaced the bottom heads. One with a Remo and one with an Evans.

first thing we noticed before we placed the heads on the drum, was that the heads are not identical even though they are both 300s and hazy...... For one, the evans are less hazy - clearer and two, the evans have a brighter pitch when not under tension (you can test this yourself when in the shops by flicking the materials [skin] to hear the inherent pitch - evans seem brighter)

The test:

We very carefully bought both heads down evenly - occasionally using a drum dial to check even tension. We made sure each head was tightened to the same pitch - not tension. and found the evans harder to get brighter because they seemed to stretch quicker and needed more revolutions to match the ambassador which got to pitch quicker.

note: to test the pitch of the snare heads, we sat the drums upside down on their batter heads, resting on pillows... this way the top head didn't affect the pitch coming of the snare head when we tapped it lightly with a stick... we of course also made sure the top heads were as even as possible before starting!

Over the next day both heads stretched and needed to be redressed and tensioned but each time we found the evans needed more turns to reach a desired pitch versus the ambassador... the ambassador seemed to have held its tension.

now... one week later we pulled both drums out (after resting in the same environment) and checked the heads again. The evans had flattened and softened off dramatically in comparison to the ambassador! and again needed a lot more turns to bring it back to the pitch and tension to equal the ambassador.

After noticing a common theme... we then decided to get them both back to competition-pitch by the end of practice. Before we could get there the Evans busted.

Conclusion... of course to be completely sure we would have to run the experiments again. But for now, i am confident that the evans hazy 300 does not compare to the rigor of the ambassador hazy 300, atleast not for our pipeband purposes anyway!

having said this, its worth noting that we thought the tone/timbre of the Evans was nicer and warmer even at higher pitches."
Thanks for the info! I suspected it may have been the head itself, since as I said, I don't think this happened before the stock head broke. Can't hurt to switch it out to a remo or acquarian and see what happens.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Found the same to be true with the Evans 300. My Remos and Aquarian’s have held a tension much longer.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Gotta agree. I've had enough DW drums apart to say that the lugs are very light.
I would not call them light.

I weighed a collectors series lug when I was comparing the weight to my Guru Origin lugs.

Results:

Guru Origin lugs: about 11 grams.

DW lugs (full size): about 60 grams.

That's about a pound an a half on a 6 lug (times 2) tom.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I would not call them light.

I weighed a collectors series lug when I was comparing the weight to my Guru Origin lugs.

Results:

Guru Origin lugs: about 11 grams.

DW lugs (full size): about 60 grams.

That's about a pound an a half on a 6 lug (times 2) tom.
Yikes! That’s like a 12” tom and a 15” MacBook Pro!
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I would not call them light.

I weighed a collectors series lug when I was comparing the weight to my Guru Origin lugs.

Results:

Guru Origin lugs: about 11 grams.

DW lugs (full size): about 60 grams.

That's about a pound an a half on a 6 lug (times 2) tom.
True, but tube lugs will be lighter because they don't have recievers. I would be curious what other lugs weigh that are nor tube lugs.

So you have a gram scale, :)
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I took a DW 12 X 9 tom and a Yamaha absolute tom, same size, same heads, same tuning, mounted them on snare stands and really couldn't hear and difference with my ears or under the mic's.

Much to do about nothing.

YMMV
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have DW's too and they sound great, despite pounds of metal on them.

The solid shell drums benefit the most from light hardware.
 
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