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  #1  
Old 01-12-2015, 10:28 AM
IronCobraPTW IronCobraPTW is offline
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Default Looking for a new snare drum

Background:

I am a touring drummer and I am in need of a professional snare. My entry level won't cut it anymore. Literally.

I am looking for a snare drum that provides heavy amounts of attack. At this point, all of my gigs are for back beat drumming (rock, funk, pop, mainly pop) I am currently using my entry level tama rock star steel snare. I like the sound but it does not provide the same quality of sound as my other drums do. (tama starclassic birch)

I am using a clear remo power dot for more attack and it is CRANKED. I would rather not do this because i know it isn't the best for the drum and its longevity. I use two moongels to muffle the overtones. Again, I like this sound but i know there is a better quality available.

I hit hard and am not ashamed to say so. I have a bachelors degree in jazz performance, so this is a choice and not lack of understanding.

i have read many descriptions of drums and i think i would be most happy with steel or brass, standard sizing.

My main issue:

I know the best way to assess the sound of a drum is to try it, however, it is impossible to find a place to try the snares i am interested in. I want professional quality, and I am willing to pay for it.

Thank you in advance for your responses and suggestions :)
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

it would help if you indicated your budget for this.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2015, 10:39 AM
IronCobraPTW IronCobraPTW is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

no budget. I am looking for the right sound even if it breaks my bank account!
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Maybe some cast bronze in that case ... (tama bb, ...)
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:30 PM
mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Ye olde Ludwig supras are the way to go if you want something that will cut, sound amazing and won't break the bank.

I'm in the same situation as yourself, studied music at Uni, learnt all my theory, technique and jazz independence and now I play pop music. It's selling out but bills don't pay themselves!

I'd recommend the 2nd hand market for a 400 or a 402, I have both and they're as good as each other and have earned me a lot of money and are proper workhorses. Plus the chicago models are better.

You'll pick a 400 for around the 250 mark in the UK, if you're in the USA you'll get em much cheaper as they're made their and they made millions of em. The 402s are a little pricier because of the Bonham factor.

Worldmax snares are also very good and don't cost the earth. I tend to find a lot of the time you're paying for the name rather than the quality of the drum.

Failing that if you're based in the UK a company called Tiki drums does snare building weekends for 385 in Brighton and you can build a snare to your specs.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Here is a nice one. It's aluminum though.
http://s2.lonestarpercussion.com/res...ama-PAL146.jpg
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

You asked a very generic question and are about to get different opinions in every direction. Some for brass, some for wood ect. You know the top snares; Ludwig Black Beauty, Pearl Reference, DW Collectors, Gretsch USA custom, ect. My suggestion is to go to a store and see what works for you. If you are looking at professional snare drums then none are bad, it's just matter which sound you prefer. I personally own a reference and a collectors, both are amazing but other people on this site might disagree.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

awesome. who are you touring with ? i have been pushing fortunedrums.com lately for snares.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Well, in the case of having no budget, I suggest this http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums...#productDetail
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:10 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is online now
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

I would recommend a Pearl Free Floater. Probably brass (6 1/2" depth). If you want something a bit more dry, there are aluminum shells as well. These snares have a great tuning range and are nice and loud, so you don't have to beat the snot out of the drum. You can find these drums used for pretty cheap, or new if you want to spend more money.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

There are a bunch of great snares out there, it's really a matter of hearing them in person, and having the ability to tune them so you can hear what they do.

You might be surprised to learn that Taye has some fabulous snares, probably my fave is the Metalworks Heavy Brass, featuring a 2mm shell, brass tube lugs, and 2.5mm brass hoops. It's sensitive if you want it, but opens up wide when you hit hard. It will not choke. Pearl, Yamaha, Mapex, Tama, and DW have some great snares, and of course Ludwig has the Black Beauty (which I like a bit better for concert than the Supra that I prefer in town.) I have 92 (93?) snares, and the Black Beauty is the one I play when I'm doing my most important gigs.

I mention only the more common manufacturers, because you're more likely to find their drums in stores where you can try them. The bigger shops will have additional brands, and they're also worth checking out. Fork's, Pro Drum, Donn Bennett's, Dale's, etc will have some of the better boutique drums.

That said, you will not go wrong with a Black Beauty, and it's not priced too high, so you may be encouraged get a backup at the same time. I think GC's price is $750, and you can definitely knock off $100 or more if you shop it.

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Old 01-12-2015, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

I would go for the Black Beauty as well. Since as you said that you aren't in a position to hear them yourself, I would go with a tried and true majority pick, the BB. Every drummer should have one. After you have one of those in your arsenal, then you can get other snares for more specialized tones. But the BB will cover probably 99% of what you need in fine style. The 6.5 size covers more sonic ground than the 5" deep drum, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

If you are a touring drummer you have a great opportunity to try out snare drums on stage!

Find your local Guitar Center. Rent a snare drum and try it out.
Or, buy a snare drum and try it out, they have a 30 day return policy.
(I'm not sure but I think you can return your drum to a different Guitar Center then you brought it from.)

Lay down your $700 for a Ludwig Black Beauty and test drive it.
Return it and test drive another snare. Keep doing this until you find what you like.
Sounds to me like you need some kind of 14 x 6.5 brass snare drum.


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  #14  
Old 01-12-2015, 07:38 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Another nod for a BB/Supra. My BB is a joy.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronCobraPTW View Post
I know the best way to assess the sound of a drum is to try it, however, it is impossible to find a place to try the snares i am interested in. I want professional quality, and I am willing to pay for it.
I sincerely doubt this. Even if you're on the road all the time with your professional gig you can still find the time to stop into a larger music store that stocks higher end stuff and try it out. The Guitar center by my house has a Black Beauty snare and the larger one in Tempe has Dunnett stuff. You are certainly able to try stuff before you buy it.

Checking the local Craigslist is another option.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2015, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Another vote for a Ludwig Supra. A great do it all snare. The thing with a lot of great snares is they can produce a lot of overtones...thats what makes 'em great IMO. The range of overtones gives a lot of flexibility. If you want to dry it out and go all for attack, then maybe dropping $$ on an expensive snare is self defeating.

Have you tried different head combos on your existing snare? To dry it out I'd recommend something coated instead of what you're using. My experience is that anything clear on the snare isn't going to lend itself to dryness or attack. Even with the black dot. (hence the reason your dealing with overtones you don't like)

I'd try a Remo coated Emperor or power stroke with an ambassador reso head or something similar in one of the other brands.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

The Black Beauty is a great choice. You can get one used for around 500 and it will sound really good.

Some of us older folks will also tell you that Sonor Ferro Manganese snares from the late 70s are still considered to be some of the best sounding snares made.

There is always discussion on this forum on if spending more then 600-700 on a snare is worth it, so best not to touch that and leave it up to you. -) That said, if money is really no object, and you want metal, look for something in upper end true bell brass. If you want wood, look at the Sonor 'One of a Kind' series or talk to the nice folks at Guru. You are not going to go wrong in any of those directions, though they may in fact break the bank. ;-)

if i had the budget for it, i always wanted a Noble-Cooley Zildjian Alloy Snare. :-)
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2015, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

A couple of thoughts - both purely subjective. Ive owned piles of snares but two stick out as heavy duty projection monsters. First, the DW Edge snare series. That, to me was a cannon when struck, yet delicate enough to use brushes on if necessary. Next was a Brady stave, another cannon when hit, but had such nice tone that you could finesse it as well.

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  #19  
Old 01-13-2015, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

For your situation there are so many great options available. Based on my experience and preferences I would say to consider first a quality bronze snare drum (Joyful Noise Beacon or any of the Ludwig bronze shells). For a shallower bronze snare try to locate a used Legend 4 X 14". Great all around snare drum. For a brass snare it would have to be a Joyful Noise TKO. For a metal shell, I'd give the Dunnett Beaded 2N Stainless Steel snare a serious consideration. For a wood shell the list is endless, but I would encourage you to consider a Carolina Drumworks 7 X 13" Maple single ply steam bent, or one of CDW's Bubinga or Walnut single ply steam bent snares as well.

Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Worldmax snares are also very good and don't cost the earth.
Second. I have a 6.5x14" WorldMax Black Hawg, and I wouldn't part with it for the world. Mine has die-cast hoops, where the one in the link does not, but that's not insurmountable. Of course the supplied heads were "meh" at best, but when I replaced them with Ambassadors, all I can say is "DAYum." The drum sings like...a thing that sings a lot. I can't hit it hard enough to choke it, cross-sticking is beautiful, brushwork is excellent, and the tone regardless of how it's played is phenomenal.

Yeah, it's a poor man's Black Beauty, but it's beautiful to me. :-) I know you said money is no object, but I can't see spending twice what I paid for the Black Hawg for a Ludwig drum that, to me, sounds no different (and yes, I've heard BBs before).
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:45 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

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Originally Posted by STXBob View Post
Yeah, it's a poor man's Black Beauty, but it's beautiful to me. :-)
The other Poor Man's BB is the Pork Pie Big-Black-Brass. I owned one for a short while before buying a real BB.

IMHO, the imitations are really close. A critical listen is required on a blind test, and you can forget about differentiating the two when a rock band is playing behind you.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VywZ30u-6Q0
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2015, 02:07 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

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Unfortunately, I can tell that he put an aftermarket head on the BB, and not a LW3314. I could hear it from the very first crack. There's also a distinct difference in the howl between the two snares.

That said. Add a guitar and I'd never hear the difference.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Unfortunately, I can tell that he put an aftermarket head on the BB, and not a LW3314. I could hear it from the very first crack. There's also a distinct difference in the howl between the two snares.

That said. Add a guitar and I'd never hear the difference.
looks like Remo CS or CSX on both.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

If money is no option and it sounds like your a tama metal snare drummer then why not go for a Tama bell bronze.
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  #26  
Old 01-14-2015, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Tama Starclassic G Brass. I saw a band open for the Winery Dogs and the drummer was rocking one of these. Sounded amazing and looks great too.

If I weren't looking to sell snares, I'd probably acquire one. I saw one in a store the other day, I'm glad I didn't try it out. :)

But take a road trip and get to a big city with a few stores and smack stuff in person.
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  #27  
Old 01-14-2015, 06:16 AM
IronCobraPTW IronCobraPTW is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by double_G View Post
awesome. who are you touring with ? i have been pushing fortunedrums.com lately for snares.

A band called Bel Heir that is signed to RCA records. and thanks ill check them out!
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  #28  
Old 01-14-2015, 06:18 AM
IronCobraPTW IronCobraPTW is offline
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Thank you for all the great responses. I purposely asked a vague question because I wanted to hear as many different opinions and options as possible. this has all been great. it has given me a lot to consider. please continue the debate!

I will be trying out all of these suggestions. It makes it easier when you can call a store beforehand and ask about their stock!
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
The other Poor Man's BB is the Pork Pie Big-Black-Brass. I owned one for a short while before buying a real BB.

IMHO, the imitations are really close. A critical listen is required on a blind test, and you can forget about differentiating the two when a rock band is playing behind you.
I remember reading somewhere that much of Pork Pie's stuff is rebadged WorldMax. That's the retail stuff, mind, not the stuff that's created in their brick-and-mortar shop.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new snare drum

Out of curiosity where are you located? If you are in or near the Philadelphia area I know of a store with a terrific selection of snare drums. Be happy to PM it to you. (FYI, This is my first post and I am unsure of the protocol of recommending a retail store. Regardless I do not work for them.)

Paul
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