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Old 02-14-2019, 10:32 AM
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Default Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

So my purchase trigger finger has been getting itchy recently and I've been thinking about getting myself a dedicated concert snare drum for solo snare drum pieces. I have a Pearl marching snare already for the real DCI-esque marching stuff, but looking for something more orchestral (https://youtu.be/fZOUAtE7QRw).

Think Delecluse.

Problem is, drum-wise I have little to no experience with this end of the spectrum. Are there dedicated concert snare drums, or are they 'normal' snare drums tuned in a specific way, and if so, how?

Just looking for a bit of insight into this before I start spending! If it helps, I'd probably prefer a Gretsch if suitable, as that matches my current kit. This isn't a necessity however.

Cheers.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Concert snare drums generally have multi-strainers with a few types of cables and wires to suit different volume levels and tones. At the least they have cable snares instead of coiled wire.

Beyond that they seem similar to other high quality wooden snares. Usually with thin heads like Renaissance or Strata, or Diplomat or Skyntone.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Concert snare drums generally have multi-strainers with a few types of cables and wires to suit different volume levels and tones. At the least they have cable snares instead of coiled wire.

Beyond that they seem similar to other high quality wooden snares. Usually with thin heads like Renaissance or Strata, or Diplomat or Skyntone.
Ah, didn't know this, thanks.

Could I then safely assume that a high quality snare drum with cable snares and a thin head would make a good starting point? I could also narrow my search to the above, with multi-strainers?
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Yes there is, but I generally get by with my Black Beauty with die cast hoops.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Concert snares are usually shallower drums, but not always necessarily wood. A lot depends on the music that you’re playing. For Delecluse, definitely no more than 5 inches deep.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Here’s a couple of examples by Pearl and Grover.

Of course, you can get a similar sound from a standard sized snare drum with thin heads. Puresound also make a concert snare wire with longer spirals, so there are less loops touching the resonant head. These fit on a standard strainer.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:46 PM
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Puresound also make a concert snare wire with longer spirals, so there are less loops touching the resonant head. These fit on a standard strainer.
The Puresound Concert wires mimic the dry cable snare sound very well. Grover also makes cable snares that attach to a standard throw off.

While there are several companies that make specific concert snares, I think you can go for the sound with wires, tuning, and heads. Remo Renaissance Ambassador top and bottom, tuned medium-high, and some cable or cable-like snare wires should get you what you're looking for.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post

Of course, you can get a similar sound from a standard sized snare drum with thin heads. Puresound also make a concert snare wire with longer spirals, so there are less loops touching the resonant head. These fit on a standard strainer.
That's very true. My stave cherry shell 6x14 is set up for this with Diplomat Fibreskyn batter and clear Diplomat snare side. Using Puresound Concert spiral 12 strand wires givies me a crispy, warm and very sensitive/articulate drum to play.

Last edited by Jeremy Bender; 02-15-2019 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Thanks for the replies. I shall explore this further!
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Pearl makes, imo, the best concert snares. The Philharmonic line of snares are amazing. My favorite is a 5" either brass or aluminum model. I have four of different sizes for different orchestral situations.

You can find them used on ebay or reverb for 300-500 bucks for a metal or ply model. The solid shells are closer to 900 bucks

black Swamp also makes excellent snares and I've heard that Majestic is making decent ones now, but I haven't really played any.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Pearl makes, imo, the best concert snares. The Philharmonic line of snares are amazing. My favorite is a 5" either brass or aluminum model. I have four of different sizes for different orchestral situations.

You can find them used on ebay or reverb for 300-500 bucks for a metal or ply model. The solid shells are closer to 900 bucks

black Swamp also makes excellent snares and I've heard that Majestic is making decent ones now, but I haven't really played any.
Great, thanks. The Philharmonic series look beautiful. How would you describe the difference between the aluminium and maple models?

I've been looking at the Gretsch USA Custom Bronze 14x5. Any experience or thoughts on this one, especially in relation to the Pearl? https://www.thomann.de/gb/gretsch_14...snare_drum.htm
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musi...aii/index.html

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Old 02-18-2019, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

I built myself a concert snare:




It has double 45 degree edges, a very distinctly cut out snare bed and the 3 different sets of wires (wound guitar wire, simulated gut, and snappy). I don't really tune it any differently than a regular snare. The multi strainer does give me many different sound opportunities and I have a set of Evans Orchestral heads for it that I should put on to see just how it sounds in its full glory, but I have been using it as a snare for a drum kit so I have regular heads on it. Overall, I'm happy with the snare.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

You know, I can't find that Yamaha Concert snare in the UK anywhere. Thomann stock the Pearl Philharmonic, which looks beautiful but is the best part of a grand (gbp £), but I can't seem to find anywhere that even talks about that Yammy. I can't even find it on their website.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

The Yamaha US site:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musi...ums/index.html
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Pearl stuff is the standard. Outstanding instruments!
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Technically, there are a few differences between kit snares and concert snares besides just wires-vs-cables.

The goals for performance are different. Concert snares are intended to be extremely sensitive at the lowest possible volume, and to have consistent character and response from that level all the way up to maximum volume. They are also usually a little drier in sound (although player preferences can vary). When I build concert snares, I cut a slightly different batter edge profile and a significantly different snare bed shape.

I normally use three types of cable, which respond at different volume levels: a light cable set with graduated tension, a heavy cable set, and either a stainless steel cable set or a small set of coiled wires.

Depending on the snare beds of a kit snare, you can sometimes have success with after-market cables like Patterson or Black Swamp, but keep in mind that in that case you won't have the much more refined adjustments of a triple strainer.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Technically, there are a few differences between kit snares and concert snares besides just wires-vs-cables.

The goals for performance are different. Concert snares are intended to be extremely sensitive at the lowest possible volume, and to have consistent character and response from that level all the way up to maximum volume. They are also usually a little drier in sound (although player preferences can vary). When I build concert snares, I cut a slightly different batter edge profile and a significantly different snare bed shape.

I normally use three types of cable, which respond at different volume levels: a light cable set with graduated tension, a heavy cable set, and either a stainless steel cable set or a small set of coiled wires.

Depending on the snare beds of a kit snare, you can sometimes have success with after-market cables like Patterson or Black Swamp, but keep in mind that in that case you won't have the much more refined adjustments of a triple strainer.
Thanks. Great information directly from somebody that actually builds them. Are there any particular things I should look out for when buying one? Sadly, due to their rarity here in the UK, it's unlikely I will find many in shops to actually try first, so may have to take some of it on trust and hope for the best.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Mighty,

see if the Local Philharmonic has a website and send them a msesage thru to the percussionist and see what they play and where they bought the snares.

https://www.nottinghamphilharmonic.co.uk
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Mighty,

see if the Local Philharmonic has a website and send them a msesage thru to the percussionist and see what they play and where they bought the snares.

https://www.nottinghamphilharmonic.co.uk
Thanks, that's good advice.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

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Are there any particular things I should look out for when buying one? Sadly, due to their rarity here in the UK, it's unlikely I will find many in shops to actually try first, so may have to take some of it on trust and hope for the best.
I'd say look at two criteria: one, the shell material, and two, the cable/strainer setup.

For the shell, you have an initial decision of metal or wood. I'm partial to wood snares, and that's the majority of what I work with, but that's just my preference. In either case, there are a variety of metals or wood species that can shape the tonal character of the drum. Most mass-production wood shells tend to be maple ply, but boutique companies can open the doors to numerous species and solid woods, and lots of choices in terms of warmth, attack, and fundamental frequencies.

There's also the question of depth, and there's no one answer there, either, but there are choices to be made. A "standard" might be 5", but I've built concert drums in depths ranging from 4" to 8". Again, it's a question of what character you want for the drum -- for example, dry and crisp vs. rich and projecting.

The other criterion is the mechanism for the cable/wire system. I'd suggest something that handles three types of cables/wires, with individual tension adjustments for each of the three as well as a main tension adjustment for all three at once. Also, of course, a smooth and silent throw-off to take them all out of contact with the head.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

Musicians Friend has a bunch of concert snares. You may not be able to have them shipped to England but it makes a nice catalog for viewing.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/sear...rt+snare+drums
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Buying/Tuning a Concert Snare Drum

The concert snares seem over priced IMO, and are primarily to imitate other drums in a small space. IE you already have a marching snare, and a set snare, why do you need a special throw off for a march?


I think its neat and all but you can get a couple snares for the price of concert snare. Though arguably it probably is a fairly small market.
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