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  #1  
Old 08-13-2018, 09:39 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Hi all,

It's time I bought a new snare but I'm absolutely clueless which one to buy as there are so many. What do you all use and what can you recommend?

I'm looking for something versatile, robust, fat cracking backbeat, but also suitable for more subtle music like jazz, funk, serving ghosts notes etc.

TIA
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:49 AM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

What's your budget?

20 char
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2018, 12:58 PM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

The best is to play a few and decide what sound you like.

In the absence of any information on your budget or needs, I'll start the ball rolling by suggesting an aluminum or brass snare which will cover a wide range of bases.

Brass is a little more ringy which makes it fatter at lower tunings and more punchy at higher tunings. Nickel over brass are most widely available: Pork Pie BOB, WorldMax and Pearl Sensitone are very good value, and they are all based on the Ludwig Black Beauty which is fab but pricey.

Aluminium is a little drier which makes it a good balance between crack and body. The classic choice is the Ludwig Supraphonic (402 or 400) but there are also cheaper versions available such as the Ludwig Acrolite, Tama SLP Aluminium or again Pearl Sensitone alu.

However if you prefer wood snares (generally a bit drier than metal and a bit more focused) then the Tama SLP range is really nice value and offers several different woods. Start with a Maple one when trying wood snares, it's a good reference point.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:54 PM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by makinao View Post
What's your budget?

20 char
£400/450 max. Don't wanna be going towards £500.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:59 PM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo_CR View Post
The best is to play a few and decide what sound you like.

In the absence of any information on your budget or needs, I'll start the ball rolling by suggesting an aluminum or brass snare which will cover a wide range of bases.

Brass is a little more ringy which makes it fatter at lower tunings and more punchy at higher tunings. Nickel over brass are most widely available: Pork Pie BOB, WorldMax and Pearl Sensitone are very good value, and they are all based on the Ludwig Black Beauty which is fab but pricey.

Aluminium is a little drier which makes it a good balance between crack and body. The classic choice is the Ludwig Supraphonic (402 or 400) but there are also cheaper versions available such as the Ludwig Acrolite, Tama SLP Aluminium or again Pearl Sensitone alu.

However if you prefer wood snares (generally a bit drier than metal and a bit more focused) then the Tama SLP range is really nice value and offers several different woods. Start with a Maple one when trying wood snares, it's a good reference point.
Thanks for information, some really useful pointers here.

I just came from a drum store and had a play on a Pearl Masters Premium Legend snare. Fucking beautiful snare, not ridiculously high die cast hoops, but shallower ones as stock (big selling point for me in a snare drum). I'm aware one can simply change the hoops but I want to avoid more expenditure.

I alos checkout the Sensitone, was not as keen as the MPL. I think I'm more of a fan of wooden snares than metal. They just seem a warmer tone and less of a ring to metal. I get there are amazing metals snare out there but probably beyond my budget.

My budget is £400/450 max.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2018, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Tama Aluminum Starphonic: https://youtu.be/48NWpQh2LOI

Tama SLP G-maple: https://youtu.be/oJYucPl2VYI

You can’t go wrong with either.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Buy a used Supraphonic
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:31 PM
axisT6 axisT6 is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Tama SLP Bubinga
Oriollo Aluminum
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2018, 08:02 PM
dwdrummerky dwdrummerky is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

A used Acrolite, Stage Customs & New Beats......

Just joking!

As an all arounder, I am really enjoying my 6.5"x14" Gretsch Brooklyn.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2018, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

14x6 maple. It can do it all with the right heads and tuning. Fat backbeats, ping and ring - my two favorite snares over the years have been DIY Keller snare projects, both in 14x6, although to be fair, the second one is just a touch shorter than that because I dorked up the bearing edge on my initial cut on one side, so I had to fix it, thus taking about 1/4" off of the shell.

This one is only 5.5, but I bet it's an awesome drum.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drum...ple-snare-drum.

Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
I'm really pleased with my Tama KA145 brass snare because it has such a wide tuning range, and keeps its power throughout that range.

I'll have to mess around with tuning my 15"x8" Star maple and listen if it sounds poopy at low tunings.

I also have the Tama KA154 brass snare, but always tune that low, with Moongel and its got a nice, low spank going on.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:18 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

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Originally Posted by MrPockets View Post
Buy a used Supraphonic
After plenty of research, I'm just not diggin' the Ludwig range. Might be different if I were to play one, however.
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  #13  
Old 08-14-2018, 12:33 AM
Lennytoons Lennytoons is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

If you buy a Ludwig make sure it has Ludwig heads on it. It DOES make a difference. My go to snare is an Acrolite. I love my Supraphonics but I hate having to worry about messing them up at a gig. For wood snares try this.....can do anything and won't break the bank.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/mapex-mpx-maple-snare-drum/501996000145010?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=Cjw KCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsYv-26ct83oLtHBDEmUN8S_CuUZ9YeRfVdVZ7Cz4QfpuX-BxMtt6hRoC4pwQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^221957295815-device^c-plaid^323968650383-sku^501996000145010@ADL4MF-adType^PLA
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:42 AM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Don't forget playability.

Some drums have a certain bounce that you can't get from others.

I have a couple drums with very nice playability and a couple that don't.

All the aluminum drums I tried had good playability.
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  #15  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:11 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennytoons View Post
If you buy a Ludwig make sure it has Ludwig heads on it. It DOES make a difference. My go to snare is an Acrolite. I love my Supraphonics but I hate having to worry about messing them up at a gig. For wood snares try this.....can do anything and won't break the bank.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/mapex-mpx-maple-snare-drum/501996000145010?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=Cjw KCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsYv-26ct83oLtHBDEmUN8S_CuUZ9YeRfVdVZ7Cz4QfpuX-BxMtt6hRoC4pwQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^221957295815-device^c-plaid^323968650383-sku^501996000145010@ADL4MF-adType^PLA
What's the link? I can't access as I'm in the UK.
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  #16  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:13 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

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Originally Posted by WallyY View Post
Don't forget playability.

Some drums have a certain bounce that you can't get from others.

I have a couple drums with very nice playability and a couple that don't.

All the aluminum drums I tried had good playability.
Agreed. I played a Pearl MPL today and it felt great. Maple drum.
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  #17  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:14 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
14x6 maple. It can do it all with the right heads and tuning. Fat backbeats, ping and ring - my two favorite snares over the years have been DIY Keller snare projects, both in 14x6, although to be fair, the second one is just a touch shorter than that because I dorked up the bearing edge on my initial cut on one side, so I had to fix it, thus taking about 1/4" off of the shell.

This one is only 5.5, but I bet it's an awesome drum.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drum...ple-snare-drum.

Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
What's the drum? I can't open link as I'm in the UK.
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  #18  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:15 AM
acustomdrum acustomdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdrummerky View Post
A used Acrolite, Stage Customs & New Beats......

Just joking!

As an all arounder, I am really enjoying my 6.5"x14" Gretsch Brooklyn.
Yep, these are in my top five potentials. Need to check out more of that snare.
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2018, 03:10 AM
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wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by acustomdrum View Post
What's the link? I can't access as I'm in the UK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by acustomdrum View Post
What's the drum? I can't open link as I'm in the UK.
The first link is: Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum. $111.80 USD

The 2nd link is:
TAMA S.L.P. Classic Maple Snare Drum 14 x 5.5 in. Super Maple
$279.99 USD
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2018, 03:42 PM
Lennytoons Lennytoons is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Sorry, Yes Mapex MPX.
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  #21  
Old 08-15-2018, 05:09 PM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Oriollo makes the best metal snares on the market. They are amazing. Check them out.
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  #22  
Old 08-15-2018, 09:04 PM
markdrum markdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by axisT6 View Post
Tama SLP Bubinga
Oriollo Aluminum
These are both great choices. From what I've seen and heard the Oriollo Phantom is the best aluminum snare out there with the Tama Starphonic coming second.

The Tama Bubinga is a sweet snare with a wide tuning range. You can go low like a Stax or MoTown sound or you can go into the higher range normally heard in jazz and, it's cousin, fusion. I've got both and I love the sounds that I get out of them.

Vukan at Oriollo is great to work with and he comes up with some great finishes. The Phantom is a spun shell just like the Supraphonics if that make any difference to you.

The Gretsch Brooklyns are fantastic as well. I like the 6 1/2" deep chrome over hammered brass. You can dial in a great sound with little or no effort.

Don't forget bronze snares as well8^)
Good luck with it!

Last edited by markdrum; 08-15-2018 at 09:24 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2018, 12:31 AM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Another vote for either of the Brooklyn snares. I've played them, they are on my to buy list, but haven't made a move on them yet.

I have to agree, the Starphonic Bubinga is stellar and so is the aluminum. Almost bought that last week, but ordered a Gretsch cast aluminum instead. There were only two YouTube videos and zero reviews for the model. It's a discontinued model, so I'll either be raving about it or kicking myself for not going with the Starphonic. Two entirely different snares, so we'll see.
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2018, 06:36 AM
markdrum markdrum is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

I wasn't aware that it had been discontinued. Did you order it locally or on line? I like the Pearl UltraCast but this Gretsch looks pretty sweet.

Last edited by markdrum; 08-16-2018 at 07:04 AM.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2018, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

I own a Tama SLP classic Maple : perfect all rounder if you like wood snare : perfect build quality, very good hoops and strainer.
They’re rather cheap. Easy to tune. Not a load of personality (compared to my Premier Maple) but really versatile. Perfect all rounder as I said.
Second hand Ludwig are expensive and not that easy to find in Europe.

Last edited by Tamaefx; 08-17-2018 at 11:13 PM.
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2018, 11:38 AM
Swissward Flamtacles Swissward Flamtacles is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamaefx View Post
I own a Tama SLP classic Maple : perfect all rounder if like wood snare : perfect build quality, very good hoops and strainer.
They’re rather cheap. Easy to tune. Not a load of personality (compared to my Premier Maple) but really versatile. Perfect all rounder as I said.
Second hand Ludwig are expensive and not that easy to find in Europe.
I also like that snare a lot - just got one for cheap on ebay.


To the OP: You live in the UK since you posted your budget in pounds, right?


Maybe you'd like these snares:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Natal-Pur...AAAOSwC81avQCk
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Premier-S...UAAOSwmodbcW3o


I once had a Natal Stave and I sometimes play that Premier snare at a shared rehearsal place. They are both very nice drums.
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  #27  
Old 08-17-2018, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamaefx View Post
Second hand Ludwig are expensive and not that easy to find in Europe.
Sorry not the answer to your question but i just was wondering about this comment. With many credit cards (at least in the US) not charging fees anymore, is it VAT or ship/receive timetable that make it impractical to buy from someone in the US (or other places)?
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  #28  
Old 08-17-2018, 05:18 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamaefx View Post
Second hand Ludwig are expensive and not that easy to find in Europe.
In the UK they're fairly easy to get hold of, they're more expensive than the US 2nd hand but shop around you'll get a Supra easily for under £400.

A 400 or a 402 will do everything you want in a snare. I have both, can't choose between either.

There's also this:

https://www.tikidrums.com/collection...nt=27384263048

I did this and built my baby to my liking 3 years back. Can't recommend enough, you learn so much whilst you're there. P.S. worth paying a little extra for a steambent shell.
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