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Old 04-08-2013, 11:18 PM
jaysticks jaysticks is offline
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Default Metal snare drums

Hi all. A little question to you regarding metal snares. Looking for a really great quality high end metal snare, always tend to gravitate toward the sound of aluminium. In the past, I've owned all kinds of aluminium drums from the acrolite, 400, to the sensitone elite, and most recently tama slp ally. After a recent trip to a drum shop in the U.K, had a look at a thin dw ally snare, with the mag throw etc, and it looked very good. Any ally snare lovers out there, share some light on their favourite ally snares, and which are best?
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:09 AM
mandrew mandrew is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I am sure that we can all agree that there are many fine metal snare drums available now. When I started drumming in the 1960's, the number of makers was far less, and Ludwig ruled the roost. If you are looking for the top of the line, there are the likes of AK drums, Dunnett, and a handful of others. For me, Ludwig still makes the best production snares out there, and by that I mean in terms of sound. Its all about sound. There will always be detractors, and I can live with that. I think that Ludwig should make the P-86 throw off standard equipment. Some complain about lug splay, but I have never had a problem with that on a Ludwig snare. I gravitate toward aluminum also, but also love the hammered bronze. Ludwig just makes some drop dead beautiful snare drums and you can't go wrong to far by investing in one! If you learn to select snare wires, heads, and how to tune, they will do all you could ever ask.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:20 AM
jaysticks jaysticks is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

This was one of my queries, whether current Ludwig snares are as good as the old ones!Earlier I watched a video of someone comparing various classic snares on YouTube, the Ludwigs had the most character, and basically just work , with a certain character quite unique to them. Obviously, there is custom stuff with high build quality, the George Way Aero is also appealing.
Unsure whether to go new or old Ludwig!
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:40 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

Love aluminium snares. I have two of them. The metal just offers that perfect "middle of the road" sound IMHO. If I'm ever in doubt of what sound will work, aluminium is my "go to" due to its sheer versatility. Put it anywhere and it just seems to work.

Alas, I can't offer you much by way of higher end recommendations. Like mandrew, I've never seen any reason to move on from my 400 and 402. Sure I could pay more for an aluminium snare.....but I just don't see the need when I already own what I consider to be the best sound there is.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:09 AM
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Terrence R Terrence R is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I saw a thread on here a little while back regarding someone's new Raye ( Ray Ayyote ) drum kit that included a stainless steel snare. The owner said that it sounded amazing as far as I remember. Do a search if you're interested in checking it out. Pretty unique drum(s).
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:52 AM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I've never played a metal snare I've loved more than a bronze Supraphonic, though right now I'm playing a chrome over brass Supra that I like pretty well.

I also agree that a well set up Ludwig 402 is another great choice.

I've owned/ played a variety of Ludwig snares, from a late 60s Jazz Festival, a 1970s 402 and Acrolite, 1980s aluminum Super Sensitive and bronze Supra, 1990s 400, and an early 2000s chrome over brass and they've ALL had that Ludwig mojo. The older drums have a lot of collectibility but even the newest drums still have the sound.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:57 AM
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B-squared B-squared is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

You need to hear from Tamadrm Steve or Karl Crafton on this one. Those two are very knowledgeable about Ludwig metal snares. In the last 5 months I bought a 79/80 Acrolite, a 1971 Supra that I rebuilt from a shell, and a new 2013 Bronze Tube Black Beauty. I also took a couple recent trips down to Drum City Guitarland in Wheatridge, CO, where Tim has most anything and everything Ludwig.

From what I can tell, the only difference between new Ludwig metal snares and old ones, is the new ones usually don't have mufflers (tone controls). I think you can order them, although I am not completely certain. Oh yes, the older ones have 1.6 mm hoops too. I never worry much about hoops because you can buy just about any hoops you want if you ever want to change. That's about the only differences I can think of between new and old Ludwig. I can say that any differences in sound between my 404 Acro and my 400 Supra are very, very hard to distinguish.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:11 AM
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TTNW TTNW is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I think the Ludwig aluminum (Ludalloy) and bronze 6.5 inch deep snares are great. Personally I would go with the LM402T (tube lugs) or the hammered bronze again with tube lugs. They sound just as great as the same shells with different set ups. P86 all the way. Why the 85 still exists, except for part requests, I haven't a clue. It's junk.

The Dunnett titanium is a very nice sounding drum. Unique. I finally met someone that has one. I think I was predisposed to like it before I even heard it. It is special though.

OCDP is making a bell brass snare now. 14x6.5 with die cast hoops and offset lugs. It retails for about 1K but soon you will be able to snag one for about $700. Pricey but a lot cheaper than a used Tama. They are getting more and more expensive. I've seen them as high as $3,000.

Another great metal snare is Pearl Cast Aluminum (I think they call it UltraCast) It's a 3mm cast aluminum drum and it sounds better to me than the 1mm aluminum snares out there.

What's your budget?
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:47 AM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

my two faves right now are the Sonor Ferro 6.5 x 14 and the Tama Copeland...very different animals, very nice sounding in their own right.

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:51 AM
milesmetkodrums27 milesmetkodrums27 is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

Check out some of Mike Johnston videos on YouTube. In all the videos where he plays a Gretsch kit he plays a 5.5 x 14 Gretsch Aluminum snare.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:34 AM
markdrum markdrum is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I can vouch for the Pearl Ultracast 6.5. It's got a great, full sound. Just enough ring to have a musical tone but with a lot of kick. The thing weighs a ton but it's worth the work. It has the same throwoff and butt-side strainer that the current free floaters have. It's expensive but it has it's own sound. I'd love to try a 5-5.5" after using the 6.5". Try one out if you can.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:49 AM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

If you're looking for a ''high end'' metal snare, and went through the usual Ludwigs, then check out some heavier gauge drums. The heavier shells usually cost more, but the results can be worth it. For around $1K you can try a Keplinger or Sonor Steve Smith model. These drums aren't aluminum alloy, but straight steel. I like these drums because they have a good deal of low end fatness. They're not dark, but full sounding...

For something different check out AK or Joyful Noise... but they're Brass/Copper...
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:23 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

If aluminum is what you like,then the LM 400 series by Ludwig is the benchmark for aluminum as well as any other snare drums.The LM 402 6.5x14 and the LM 405 C(classic finish)will do anything you ask of it.These drums like the Black Beauty are legend for a reason

The Black Beauty LB 417 or any of the varients are black nickle over brass and a different animal,but amazing drums.

Look at the Ludwig LB 550 series drums also like the LB 552 which are bronze shelled and warmer than brass.The first time I heard one it was being played by Joe Morello and I was no further than 15 feet away,and would have sworn it was a wood shelled drum.

Lastly,I recently played a Tama Starphonic 6x14 cast aluminum snare that I really liked.Dry and very warm,and built like a tank.Tama is often overlooked but they make great snare drums also.

In the end ,you really have to go to a drum shop and play as many as you can,but if I had only one snare drum...it would have to be the LM 402 supraphonic or the LM 405 C Acrolite.Supras have the same shell as the acros,just different finishes and lugs.

Steve B

Last edited by tamadrm; 04-11-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:23 PM
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Dirtysticks Dirtysticks is offline
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Default Re: Metal snare drums

I am mostly a wood guy, but I love brass, copper, and aluminum. I'v heard some great sounding bronze snares as well. I heard a George Way Bronze 6.5x14 that was amazing! I also like the George Way Aluminum ( Ronn Dunnett makes some amazing snares!). In my personal collection I only have one all metal snare and it is amazing ( Pearl Marvin "Smitty" Smith 4x14 Copper snare). It is warm, but cutting. It can be gritty and pretty low for it's size as well as super high and cracky! I've had people hear it before seeing it and be suprised how deep it sounded.

I also love the brass qualities in my DW Edge. I currently have a Dunnett Stainless steel6.5x14, a Dunnett Aluminum 6.5x13, and a George Way Bronze 6.5x14 on my radar as possibilities for my next snare acquisition!
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