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  #1  
Old 01-28-2015, 09:21 PM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Best snares on the market

Ok, so i want this to be as least subjective as we can, we have some wonderful drum builders either on here or at least represented on here. Price is no point, this is simply an "as is". Id like to know an overall, a live, a studio, and then some genre specific. This is not a "i want to buy", this is just for help for other people and because i hate these best of posts by companies like musicradar who say the best is what paid them the most. Curious.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

At the risk of sounding sycophantic, Andy's (Guru) snares are consistently the best I've played. I own an earlier-model Guru and it's simply superb and the more recent additions are even better. The thin-shelled, deeper snares produce depth and sensitivity with a wide tuning range.

In terms of owning one snare, I'd have a Guru but if you're after something more inexpensive, a Supralite is a great all-around choice across just about any playing situation (tuned appropriately).

I haven't played a Unix snare but I'd put them as a good choice based on what I've read. There are some very skilled builders on this forum and it is all the richer for it.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Many people will sing the praises of various Ludwig models as being "the one" snare drum. Bermuda praises his 6.5x14" Black Beauty, many people swear by their LM400s and 402s, the Supralite is an excellent budget metal snare in a variety of sizes, and the Acrolite is (because of its wide exposure from school snare kit sales) perhaps the most ubiquitous snare drum in the US. Many threads have discussed how Ludwig drums shaped the public perception of what snares should sound like; as a result, people buy Ludwig snares to get "that" sound.

Even their less well-known offerings have a lot to offer. I semi-famously got a Ludwig Standard aluminium snare in a trade, and this "entry-level" snare ended up replacing some much more expensive snares on my stand for gigs and show runs that required performance and versatility.

I have no doubt that on that blessed day when I finally get to play a Guru snare, it will truly be a pinnacle of my drumming career. But until that day, Ludwig snares seem to be working quite well for me.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Overall wood: Guru thin shelled stave
Overall metal: Joyful Noise TKO brass
Overall hybrid: DW/Sabian Vault Edge

There is absolutely no way to avoid subjectivity in a thread like this. I own just under 20 of some of the finest snares made and these are the standouts for me. I've also played and/or have heard others as well and I've taken those into account. Just one drummer's opinion though.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I semi-famously got a Ludwig Standard aluminium snare in a trade, and this "entry-level" snare ended up replacing some much more expensive snares on my stand for gigs and show runs that required performance and versatility.
I'm actually looking into getting one. I finally found the right tuning with my 5" Acrolite and I just love that sound. Now I want to try a 6.5" snare.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

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I'm actually looking into getting one. I finally found the right tuning with my 5" Acrolite and I just love that sound. Now I want to try a 6.5" snare.
Standard snares only came in 5" depths. They're not hard to find on eBay, but I was stunned to find one (and then an actual Standard kit) in my podunk town in central Washington.

If you're interested in a 6.5" Luddie and not sold on going all out on a used Supra hunt, try the Supralite. It's got so much going right for it, and at a great price point. Probably my next metal snare. The 6.5" Acro is also a very, very nice piece of gear, but it's also at near-LM402 prices, and not prevalent in the used market.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

My school has a 14 x 6.5 black galaxy Ludwig Acrolite. It sound amazing! It is a lot deeper and fuller than the 5" version. I want one so bad!
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

If money is no object, without a doubt, a Guru snare gets my vote every time for a wood drum. In metal, any Ludwig brass, bronze or aluminum snare, or AK snare.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2015, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

For a wood drum I'm very impressed with Craviotto.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2015, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Wood- 6x14"- Le Saprano Paduak
Metal- 6.5x14"-Gretsch, Phosphor Bronze
Other- 6.5x14"-DW Concrete
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2015, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

I can't comment on the Guru or Cravato or any other high end snares. I can only give my 2 cents on what I use. My 5.5x14 Pearl brass sensitone elite sounds great, my maple Magstar snare is great and my 6.5 x14 supra phonic ludwig. Someday I would love to try a Guru.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

There are so many beautiful snare drums to be played, but if I had to pick favourites;

Metal - Joyful Noise Bronze 14 X 6.5 - any Joyful Noise snare is equally good, I just enjoy the bronze tone
Wood - Craviatto, Guru, Brady - too many woods and sounds to narrow it down
Other - Kumu StonEdge - stone... yep...
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Not sure but I own:

Pearl chad smith steel 14x5
Ludwig black beauty 14x6.5
Tama starphonic alu 14x6
Sonor s-class 14x5.5
Mapex saturn 14x5.5
Ahead black on brass 14x6

My favourite is the mapex.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2015, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

I don't have 20 snares but I've had a few. I have zero complaints with my Tama Starphonic black steel snare. I generally prefer the sound of metal snares but it depends on specifics and use.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:06 AM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

as i said, not making this for me to buy, just a question really. ps i have 10 snares and my favs are my ludwig supralite and natal solid stave but i dont rate them as the best snares out there by a long shot. the best 3 snares i heard were the original edge snares, forgot who made them before dw stole the idea but i tried one, guru snares are amazing and as are craviottos. but also i love luddy metal snares, i alway find them the best metal shells along with the ak copper i tried.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2015, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

The snare I've heard recently that made me flip my lid is the Dunnett 2N Stainless steel.
8 lugs.

Very sensitive, & responsive at different tunings, and wire tensions.
The ring was there, but not a long or obnoxious tone to it. Very full sounding with a lot of body.

He had a Titanium with engraving by John Aldridge at the NAMM show that is INSANE.
I've seen a lot of cool stuff in pics, and in person over the years, but this is probably my most favorite looking drum ever.
Hey, price no object....

The Craviatto AK Diamond 5.5 is stupidly awesome too. I liked it better than the 6.5.

Pork Pie has a new 6.5 "Pork Rub" brass shell that sounds great. With no plating, just the patina finish, it sounds different than all the "BB clone" shells. It's not very high priced either.

"Bang for your buck", the Supralite line is pretty hard to beat. I have the 6.5, and it's just as "pro" as a 402 IMO.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

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Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
The snare I've heard recently that made me flip my lid is the Dunnett 2N Stainless steel.
8 lugs.

Very sensitive, & responsive at different tunings, and wire tensions.
The ring was there, but not a long or obnoxious tone to it. Very full sounding with a lot of body.
+1 on the Dunnett 2N Stainless Steel. I wasn't even in the market for a metal snare but I snagged one the instant I heard it. Amazing drum!

Of course the definitive answer to the best snares on the market is "it all depends." It depends on the sound you're after, it depends on your budget, it depends on your personal preference, etc. Who cares what others think? Get what you like and can afford.

That being said I think Joyful Noise makes some of the finest snares--wood and metal--hands down, and though the price point is considered high by many, the quality and sound is an absolute bargain in my book. If you can only own one Joyful Noise make it the TKO brass 6.5 X 14". I also feel the same about JN's Beacon Bronze snare drum as well.

For wood snares I lean towards the older original Ayotte snares, Craviotto, SOTA (no longer in production since the late 80's), Guru and Carolina Drumworks. I hope to add a Guru to my collection someday (yes Andy, you are still very much on my radar!). While I don't own any stave drums I hear the Drum Art stave model snares are also very nice. Worth your consideration.

I own two snare drums from Carolina Drumworks that are exceptional: a 7 X 13" birdseye maple and a 6.5 X 14" walnut, both single ply steam bent shells. When money permits I'm ordering a bubinga snare from Jeff as well. First rate craftsmanship and a fantastic value.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

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Originally Posted by Vintage Old School View Post
I own two snare drums from Carolina Drumworks that are exceptional: a 7 X 13" birdseye maple and a 6.5 X 14" walnut, both single ply steam bent shells. When money permits I'm ordering a bubinga snare from Jeff as well. First rate craftsmanship and a fantastic value.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Doug. :)

But, in response to the OP, there really is no "best" snare. It depends -- on a lot of things. What's right for one person's use isn't necessarily right for another, and even for a single player there might be several "best" snares.

Musical genre, playing style, playing environment, desired sound characteristics, kit sizes and tuning, cymbal selection, amplification (if any), sticks/brushes, etc., etc., are all factors, and if you look at that list you'll notice it can vary from gig to gig, room to room, and so forth. If you're playing the exact same kind of music with the exact same group in the exact same place, then maybe you can identify a snare that does it all the way you want it to -- but that's a really limited range of expectations.

I have some clients who own one snare, and others who own 40 (not all from me). I have a client who does a lot of session work on a daily basis and keeps 10 snares in his car (not all from me). The question really is -- what snare is going to best fill a specific need for you? If that need is pretty consistent, then that snare may cover most of your requirements. On the other hand, if -- like so many drummers are -- you're involved in some variety of playing, you should probably replace "best" with "favorite" ... which is clearly a personal and subjective choice, as you've mentioned.

I also want to say that my personal favorite snares for my own use are three pretty basic steambents -- maple 5.5x14 for jazz, walnut 6.5x14 for blues and basic rock, bubinga 6x13 for funk and some fusion. (Yes, all Carolina Drumworks ... go figure.) Certainly not very high in our price range for steambents. The higher prices tend to be dictated by more exotic woods and more cosmetic embellishment -- never by the acoustic design specs or the build process, which we don't relate to the price.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Old School View Post
I own two snare drums from Carolina Drumworks that are exceptional: a 7 X 13" birdseye maple and a 6.5 X 14" walnut, both single ply steam bent shells. When money permits I'm ordering a bubinga snare from Jeff as well. First rate craftsmanship and a fantastic value.
Anxiously awaiting my first Carolina Drumworks steambent birdseye maple snare.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:44 PM
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The higher prices tend to be dictated by more exotic woods and more cosmetic embellishment -- never by the acoustic design specs or the build process, which we don't relate to the price.
We do have to take that into account Jeff, simply on the basis of time spent crafting the various shell forms. A thin segmented with machined in reinforcement rings is double the crafting time of a straight stave shell, & 1.5 times the crafting hours of a steam bent shell.

Anyhow, the main reason for chiming in here, is to state that there's very few builders that reach Jeff's level of attention to detail & full understanding of what actually matters when crafting a snare drum. I can count, on one hand, the builders who actually know how to augment design of a wood shell snare drum in the USA. Jeff is right up there, & without the associated BS that often purveys the business.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:14 PM
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We do have to take that into account Jeff, simply on the basis of time spent crafting the various shell forms. A thin segmented with machined in reinforcement rings is double the crafting time of a straight stave shell, & 1.5 times the crafting hours of a steam bent shell.

Anyhow, the main reason for chiming in here, is to state that there's very few builders that reach Jeff's level of attention to detail & full understanding of what actually matters when crafting a snare drum. I can count, on one hand, the builders who actually know how to augment design of a wood shell snare drum in the USA. Jeff is right up there, & without the associated BS that often purveys the business.
Wow. Thanks, Andy -- and right back at ya.

I should have phrased that better, I guess. Should have said "within a given construction type." The point I wanted to make was that the integrity of the drum isn't different at different pricing for drums of similar construction methodology. Certainly the cost of different shell types will be different.

You and I are both fans and users of Amedia cymbals, for example. One of the things I like most about Amedia is that they have a number of lines, but no higher levels or lower levels. Everything is their best quality, regardless of price.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

I enjoy the snares that I own from Joyful Noise, Sonor, Noble & Cooley, DrumArt Italy, Ludwg and Yamaha. Go for the sound that makes you smile no matter the name on the badge. To thine own ears be true!
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

For wood, the best I've played is a Taye studiomaple w/wood hoops. I have a 14x8, and it has everything. I can tune and muffle it to sound vintage, or not. Best rimshot I've ever heard, too!
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

Right now, my favorite snare is the 14x6" Tama Starphonic Bronze (limited edition, made of Meinl B10 bronze). It has "the" sound I've been searching for, for me and my style of playing (heavy). Cuts through anything while still sounding musical. Has some serious bite to it, and keeps in tune even at the most high-energy gigs. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Starphonic series at least, it has superb hardware and sounds great in my opinion. Sure, there are more expensive snares out there, but at least for me, I can't say I would need anything "better".
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

"Best" is a varied concept when it comes to something as subjective as the sounds we like to hear.

And, like the ever-changing "state of the art", what we like one day can change the next, and change again, and yet again.

With over 90 snares in my arsenal, I have several "best" snares, each utilized for the sound I need with a certain band, or in a certain club, or on a certain track. But just when I thought I wouldn't hear anything new or exciting, along comes the Ludwig Copper Phonic, and the Guru In-Tense, both of which opened my ears a little more than before.

I love my Ludwigs, but there are a lot of great snares out there from both the mass-producers, and the boutique builders. Some of my other faves include Dunnett & the new Geo. Way, Taye, Tempus, and I still have a warm spot in my heart for my old Impact 12-lug thin fiberglass snares.

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Old 02-04-2015, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

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With over 90 snares in my arsenal, I have several "best" snares, each utilized for the sound I need with a certain band, or in a certain club, or on a certain track. But just when I thought I wouldn't hear anything new or exciting, along comes the Ludwig Copper Phonic, and the Guru In-Tense, both of which opened my ears a little more than before.

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Old 02-05-2015, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Best snares on the market

DW Edge
Premier Signia Seamless Brass
Legend Bronze
DW Cherry
Sonor Ferro Manganese
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