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  #1  
Old 10-17-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review



As many of you may know about a month ago I picked up a new Pork Pie “Big Black Bob” Black Chrome over Brass 6.5x14 snare drum. I got this fantastic drum on sale from Music 123 for $191.99. The drum now sells for $239.99. My all time favorite snare is my Slingerland Chrome over Brass 6.5x14 1981 drum. That drum features an extended 15 in snare that crossed the entire snare head and is truly one of the very best ever made. Because of it age and sentimental value to me that drum stays home. I wanted a brass drum to play with my Sonor Force 3007 kit that would complement the awesome sounds of the Sonor kit I decided to give the “Bob” a try. Nothing wrong with the Sonor snare but there is just something about a brass drum that just sings.

Over the past month I have played out with this drum several times and I have experimented with several tuning styles with complete success with every experiment. From tight to a loose tuning this drum produces and it looks great doing it. The tuning I have decided to use is a medium tuning that produces a tight center strike full bodied snare sound and when played near the rim a wonderful sensitive over ring sound. Yes many of you don’t like a drum to ring but you are truly missing a dimension of a drum sound you should learn to enjoy and use in your music. Keep the “Moon Jell” off your snare, your kit too if you want your drums to sing with all the sound they are designed to produce.

It is amazing how even this drum is to my beloved Slingerland. I have read many a review of this drum compared favorably to the Ludwig Black Beauty and though I have not played a Black Beauty in some time I consider this a great complement to the Pork Pies ability.

Bottom line is if you are thinking about a brass drum you need to have the “Big Black Bob” on your list. And at a barging to boot.

Thanks for reading
J4F Drummer
www.j4fmusic.com
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2009, 01:26 AM
duckmanco duckmanco is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Posted to this to save everyone from a new "find me a snare thread", but I have been eyeballing this drum for some time. I am looking for a metal (shell material) snare. The criteria are:

- price south of $250.00USD
- versatile - I want to crank it, rim shot the hell out of it, cross stick it, and tune it low if I want. Don't have a specific metal in mind either, but have always wanted a brass snare, but also like steel.
- sensitive - after getting a new to me craigslist "special" tama wood snare, I found that drum to be very sensitive and I like that for softer ghost notes.

So, is this Pork Pie Big Black the only drum in my price range? If so, anyone got a line on where to find the best price? I'd buy used also.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2009, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

very nice.... i just ordered one from music123's black friday sale and was lucky enough to be able to get one for $79.99. i was going to sell it but looks like i may keep it, just bumed that i paid $365 for the ocdp adrian young snare @ GC, but its nice to have more than one lol.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2009, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

... $199? Let me guess, made in Taiwan and has a seam right?
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Yes, this is the same shell that is sometimes referred to as the WorldMax shell. That snare as well as a few others use this seamed shell.

I bought my Pork Pie Brass snare about 5 years ago. The story goes that the first Big Black snares were made in Taiwan but assembled by Detamore's crew in California. At that time, every Pork Pie drum that came out of his shop, even the imported stuff that was assembled here in the U.S. got Bill's signature on the shell. My snare shell has the silver sharpie signature on the inside.



They put these drums out when the Black Beauty knock off phase started to heat up. When this drum, the WorldMax and others like the Ahead Black on Brass started selling like crazy, Pork Pie started having the drums shipped here already assembled and he stopped signing them. Now only Pork Pie drums manufactured and assembled in California ge the signature on the shell.

Mine is an early model that was priced at $499 at Guitar Center when it first came out. I thought it was ridiculously overpriced. I snatched it up at $199 when it was on sale many months later. It came with triple flange hoops and sounded great.

The current models sound just as good as the older ones. The only real difference is where they are assembled.

I too liked the warm full body sound and the nice ring at medium tunings. Later, I put a pair of die cast hoops on it and a Remo Coated Controlled Sound on top with a clear Diplomat and Puresound Snares on the bottom. It's a little drier than a vintage Black Beauty and with the heavier hoops, it rings a little less than the traditional set up.

It's a great snare. Never lets me down.

The Ahead snare has a different "seamed" shell than the Pork Pie. It doesn't have the center bead. With the S hoops and better quality throw off, I think it's the best of the BB knock offs out there right now.

The Ludwig Black Magic is my new favorite for affordable brass snares. It has a seamed shell. My Pork Pie sounds a lot like the new Black Magic. Probably because of the die cast hoops, but the Ludwig looks prettier with it's black chromed lugs and hoops.

I've always coveted the seamless spun shell of the original Black Beauty model but the sound difference is negligible. I don't know why though because the few that I have played were old and not in great shape. I didn't think they sounded any better or worse for that matter.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
but the Ludwig looks prettier with it's black chromed lugs and hoops.
Gee, I dunno about that. Maybe I'm just not a fan of that monochromatic look. If I had the Ludwig, I'd trade you in a heartbeat. I love the look of yours. I think it's purdier'n a new set a snow tyres! Purdier'n my Sensitone Black on Brass even.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2009, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
... $199? Let me guess, made in Taiwan and has a seam right?
Aye.... but "Made in Taiwan" doesn't mean what it used to. Lots of good drums are coming out of there for stupid cheap money.

Quote:
very nice.... i just ordered one from music123's black friday sale and was lucky enough to be able to get one for $79.99.
Me too... with a coupon code, the total came to $73 shipped..... though I'm one of the many who got a "backorder" notice (fingers crossed).

Quote:
Gee, I dunno about that. Maybe I'm just not a fan of that monochromatic look. If I had the Ludwig, I'd trade you in a heartbeat. I love the look of yours. I think it's purdier'n a new set a snow tyres! Purdier'n my Sensitone Black on Brass even.
Same here. I love Ludwig, but I just don't like the "black" of the Black Magic... and it is *black*. The Black Beauties have kinduva brown tinge, with shiny chrome. I like that. The Black Magic does come in a real purty, etched, anniversary finish... but for that money I'd just get a brass Supraphonic.

-Ryan
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

A decent brass snare for $80. Man, what does that tell you? They're not selling them at a loss because it's a relatively popular drum, so the cost must be low.

I thought I got a good deal at $199. Ha!

I'll bet when it comes down to what Pork Pie makes, it's probably only a couple of bucks.

Do you think I should hold out for a $400 Sonor SQ2? I won't hold my breath.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
A decent brass snare for $80. Man, what does that tell you? They're not selling them at a loss because it's a relatively popular drum, so the cost must be low.

I thought I got a good deal at $199. Ha!

Nope. They sold them at what is likely a *huge* loss. Probably poor internal communication between sales, inventory, and web folks at Music 123. I dunno, but someone(s) screwed up. The real question is, will they renege on the 200+ folks that paid for them in good faith and got a backorder notice?

-Ryan
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by volvoguy View Post
Nope. They sold them at what is likely a *huge* loss. Probably poor internal communication between sales, inventory, and web folks at Music 123. I dunno, but someone(s) screwed up. The real question is, will they renege on the 200+ folks that paid for them in good faith and got a backorder notice?

-Ryan
Well if it was a mistake, they shouldn't be forced to sell them at a loss. They should just refund everyone's money immediately.

I'd hate to be that guy. The one that updated the website with $79 instead of $179.

Oops.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
Well if it was a mistake, they shouldn't be forced to sell them at a loss. They should just refund everyone's money immediately.
Though, who's really to say it was a mistake? The sale legally obligates them to fill the orders. Otherwise, it's basically a form of bait and switch: I could have bought the drum on sale from somewhere else, but they offered the lowest price, and said the item was in stock. They said they'd give me a drum for my money, and took my money, thus I am owed a drum.

If this was a Mom and Pop shop, I'd be glide to let it slide. Since it's the MF/GC conglomerate that has, frankly, hosed me several times now, I'll hold them to it.

-Ryan
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

I hope you get your snare. If you do, I am also glad that I am not a shareholder of MF/GC.

I'm no expert in retailing laws regarding advertising, and Internet marketing practices. I used to own an ad agency so I'm familiar with creating the policies by which a company markets to the public and its obligations.

As I understand it, a company cannot be forced to incur a loss, through an error in advertising, that does not cause damages to the party demanding they honor their ad.

If the company promptly declares a mistake in their marketing content and also promptly refunds your money, you have a much harder case to prove that you were damaged, but, like I said, I'm no lawyer nor up on the current laws of Internet marketing.

I'm with you though on feeling damaged by the whole thing. I would be very disappointed not to get my $80 Pork Pie.

If you do get it and don't like it, I'll buy it from you for a $100. :-)
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2009, 05:42 AM
LittleSquealer LittleSquealer is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

I also purchased the Big Black from Music 123 on Black friday for 79.00. I was contacted a week later with a notice that the item was under a long back order. They made me an offer to purchase another snare (Tama Artwood for 199.00). It wasn't even on sale. I declined their offer and suggested an alternative that was comparable. Tney declined my counter offer and I am still waiting.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2009, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by LittleSquealer View Post
I also purchased the Big Black from Music 123 on Black friday for 79.00. I was contacted a week later with a notice that the item was under a long back order. They made me an offer to purchase another snare (Tama Artwood for 199.00). It wasn't even on sale. I declined their offer and suggested an alternative that was comparable. Tney declined my counter offer and I am still waiting.

The owner of Pork Pie has actually chimed in on other forums. He's talked to the M123 folks, and it sounds very much like M123 is going to make good on the deal.

...just might take a few more weeks or so. Hang in there!

-Ryan
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:03 AM
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Default Love my PP Big Black Brass

I did some recording w/ my BOB a couple of weeks ago if anyone wants to hear mine in action

Here are some vids:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ6t_DUzhaU&fmt=22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I03w-NigxLg&fmt=22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch2RDL221XA&fmt=22

and lastly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csbw4qOKg5&fmt=22

I friggin' LOVE this snare. :)
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:37 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

One alternative to the problems you are encountering at the chain shops: If you want to get the Pork Pie Black Brass and support an honest independent music shop, check out Indoor Storm: http://www.indoorstorm.com. I know the guys there and they are great, friendly, and helpful. They've been working with Pork Pie and other reputable custom builders for years and know their equipment well. I got my PP BB 6.5x14 snare from them--very crisp and articulate.

It may cost more than MF or GC stores, but I'd rather support local guys who believe in customer relationships and respect their work at a level that you usually don't find at chain stores.
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2010, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Quote:
I did some recording w/ my BOB a couple of weeks ago if anyone wants to hear mine in action

Great playing! What heads are you using? What sizes are your Renown's?

My Pork Pie Brass finally came in a few weeks ago.... so my '67 Supraphonic gets to take a break.

The Pork Pie Brass is one heck of a wonderful drum. The Black Beauty is too rich for my blood, and the Black Magic wasn't my cup of tea, having die-cast hoops and the black hardware. Sonically, financially, and cosmetically, the Pork Pie fit the bill perfectly. I put Diplomat-weight Ludwig WM's on the top and bottom (I had 'em laying around) and a set of 16-strand Puresound wires.

Wide tuning range, and that great brass tone. I couldn't be happier with it.

-Ryan

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  #18  
Old 03-15-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by volvoguy View Post
Great playing! What heads are you using? What sizes are your Renown's?
Thanks for checkin' it out.

To answer your questions: For that recording, I had an Evans G1 coated on the snare batter and Remo Clear Ambassador on the snare side (with Pork Pie's stock 16 strand snare wires). The heads on the toms (9x12" and 14x14") are Remo Vintage Emperor Coated on top and Clear Ambassador on bottom. The kick head (18x22") is an Evans EMAD2 beater side head and the stock Gretsch ported logo head on the front (with a pillow stuff in there)

The tuning of the snare was medium tight for the first track we did (the funk/rock original loop track) and then we detuned it some for the rest of the tracks. More of a medium range for the other vids. I actually prefer the medium tight tuning with that drum, but my dad/engineer wanted to try detuning it a bit for the particular room and setup we had going. I was happy overall with the results at both tunings
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
I've always coveted the seamless spun shell of the original Black Beauty model but the sound difference is negligible.
I have to agree w/ this. Seamed brass shells sound just fine.
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I have to agree w/ this. Seamed brass shells sound just fine.
b..b.b.b but it has a SEAM!!!! j/k

I liked the sound of my BOB too. Still, I returned it to the store when I got a good deal on an acro. Once I got that the BOB just seemed to sit on the floor behind my kit all the time.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

You must prefer a dryer snare sound.
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  #22  
Old 03-16-2010, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTNW
I've always coveted the seamless spun shell of the original Black Beauty model but the sound difference is negligible.
I have to agree w/ this. Seamed brass shells sound just fine.


Take all the hardware off, tap the shell, one piece metal snare will ring like a bell... Tonal.

Welded snare will ring like a welded piece of thin metal... Atonal.

Sure you don't play w/o hardware, but the sound is noticeable and so is the feel when doing heavy rim shots.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2010, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
[i]Quote:

Take all the hardware off, tap the shell, one piece metal snare will ring like a bell... Tonal.

Welded snare will ring like a welded piece of thin metal... Atonal.

Sure you don't play w/o hardware, but the sound is noticeable and so is the feel when doing heavy rim shots.
Ants at a picnic...

The World Max shells *do* get you in the right ball park.... and yes, I have played the big names in the brass snare market side to side.

Is it a Black Beauty? No. Doesn't change that it's a heck of a nice drum for the money.

-Ryan
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  #24  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Here is some info for you all. One person said that i must have made only a couple of dollars on it. Wrong. I made my full pop on it. They took the heat.

B
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  #25  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:22 PM
Mike St.Clair Mike St.Clair is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Bakerboy, outstanding sounding kit and great job. Reminded me of some cool 70's recordings. My local GC has always been helpful and cared about me in the past. So has our local Sam Ash and the same guy has been there for years. The same manager has been at GC for years too. (Just responding to show not all big box stores are bad)
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2010, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

It's good to hear this snare doing so well, I just recently bought this snare, I pick it up next week.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2010, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Based on that recording, I cannot imagine justifying the cost of an equal-sized Black Beauty with a sound like that. What difference does the seamless shell make, anyway? I'm beginning to get the feeling that it's psychological, analogous to people drinking and preferring cheap wine after having been told it was far more expensive than it actually was compared to a wine that was actually expensive.
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by zlumpy View Post
Based on that recording, I cannot imagine justifying the cost of an equal-sized Black Beauty with a sound like that. What difference does the seamless shell make, anyway? I'm beginning to get the feeling that it's psychological, analogous to people drinking and preferring cheap wine after having been told it was far more expensive than it actually was compared to a wine that was actually expensive.
I've played the Black Magic and World Max drums side by side with a Black Beauty at our local-ish drum shop. Tuned the same, it's a really comparable sound to the Black Beauty.

I think the seam/seamless this is mostly snobbery.... especially if one is using heavier heads and/or any muffling.

Played open, I think the seamless shell gets you a small bit more resonance and ring, and a smidge more sensitivity.

In the big picture, a Black Beauty isn't sooooo much more expensive.... though still not remotely feasible for me at the moment. Plus, I'm totally loving the Pork Pie.

-Ryan
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Thank you so much for the informative reply! This is exactly what I have been looking for. Besides the small difference in resonance and slight additional ring, is there more of a tonal difference? What I mean, more specifically, is does the Black Beauty have more body, or oomph, in its tone? I figure it wouldn't, considering the dimensions are the same (14x6.5"), but I don't know for sure.
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  #30  
Old 05-16-2010, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Sup guys,

New to the forum, and just picked up this snare and when i was going to change my heads, i was inspecting the inside of the shell and notice a line (I think its the seam). I took two pictures below (sorry for the poor quality, camera phone). Im not sure if thats where the shell was seamed together or if i have a defected snare. Does anyone else have this?




Thanks!

Last edited by tlsole; 05-16-2010 at 08:11 AM.
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  #31  
Old 05-16-2010, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Quote:
Sup guys,

New to the forum, and just picked up this snare and when i was going to change my heads, i was inspecting the inside of the shell and notice a line (I think its the seam). I took two pictures below (sorry for the poor quality, camera phone). Im not sure if thats where the shell was seamed together or if i have a defected snare. Does anyone else have this?
That looks like a seam to me. I intentionally didn't look too close at mine for just this reason!.

-Ryan
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  #32  
Old 05-16-2010, 07:24 PM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Yes, the Pork Pie Black Beauties are welded. The Ludwig BBs are seamless, but most of the imitations (Pork Pie, World Max, etc.) are welded shells. Still a good snare.
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  #33  
Old 05-16-2010, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Add Pearl Sensitone Brass to the list of welded seam shells. As far as I know, only the Ludwig Black Beauty has a seamless brass shell. (not even the Ludwig Black Magic is seamless)

I try not to look inside my Pearl shell, either!
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  #34  
Old 05-17-2010, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Wich ones do you prefer? I'm shopping for a Brass or Bronze snare:

- Pearl Sensitone Brass 14X6.5
- Pork Pie Big Black Bob 14X6.5
- Pearl Jimmy Degrasso 14X5.5
- Ludwig Rocker Bronze 14X5.5

Brass or Bronze are the most versatile? I'm new to Metal shell.
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  #35  
Old 05-18-2010, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

How do you guys have it tuned? Im trying to get a medium-low fat/body sound. Also, the way my drum is angled, im hitting the area around the seam, does anyone know if its bad for the drum/seam? last thing i want is a messed up drum shell, im not to hard of a hitter, i do alot of rim shots though.

Thanks for any advice!

Edit: Do you guys think i switch out the top TF hoop for a die cast hoop? Would that help for that fat bodied sound?

Last edited by tlsole; 05-18-2010 at 05:19 AM.
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  #36  
Old 05-18-2010, 11:55 PM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by max77 View Post
Wich ones do you prefer? I'm shopping for a Brass or Bronze snare:

- Pearl Sensitone Brass 14X6.5
- Pork Pie Big Black Bob 14X6.5
- Pearl Jimmy Degrasso 14X5.5
- Ludwig Rocker Bronze 14X5.5

Brass or Bronze are the most versatile? I'm new to Metal shell.
I would do either of the first two - whichever is cheaper since they're practically equivalent. As for Bronze, should you decide to go that route, I'd do the Sensitone over the Ludwig (unless you're rich enough to throw down for the Supra version). Sensitone's come with better hardware and heads than the Ludwig and are cheaper than non-Supra Ludwigs.
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Originally Posted by tlsole View Post
How do you guys have it tuned? Im trying to get a medium-low fat/body sound. Also, the way my drum is angled, im hitting the area around the seam, does anyone know if its bad for the drum/seam?
I keep my brass tuned medium to medium high. I wouldn't worry about the seam at all. It's not going to come apart on you. The only potential weirdness with having the seam there is that it may create a weird spot in the overall resonance of the shell - not claiming that it does, but it is an 'impurity' in the construction of the shell that doesn't exist with a seamless shell.

As for triple flanged v. die cast, that's an entirely personal preference issue. Some drums sound good with them and some don't, and even then, it depends on your ears.
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  #37  
Old 05-19-2010, 12:00 AM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
I try not to look inside my Pearl shell, either!
Is your seam that visible? The one I had was barely noticeable...a very faint line in only a couple of spots.
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  #38  
Old 05-19-2010, 12:14 AM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Is your seam that visible? The one I had was barely noticeable...a very faint line in only a couple of spots.
Oh yeah, not just visible, but ugly. I was disappointed in it at first, but when I thought about what it would take to actually break it, I calmed down. I'm only a novice welder at best, but I wouldn't have been happy with the looks of that one. It's just a cosmetic issue and it's on the inside of the shell so I don't lose sleep over it. Hey, it was 230 bucks after all!
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:49 PM
tlsole tlsole is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

Thanks for the info Mike! Im thinkin of going with a die cat hoop to deadin the sound (less ringy, maybe it would give it a more bodied sound?). What do you guys think? Im looking for a fat, deep dead (little ring) sound. Im currently using remo ambassador coated, and will be switching the the evans genera dry or hd dry. A sound similar to the link below (at the end of the clip, when he tuned it low)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZygQPbU5Ihw

Another question, i have a drum dial, and i use it to tune my snare, however, it seems like i can never get one lug to get to the same low tension without the lug screw coming off (no contact with the hoops). For example) I tune my batter to 85, but there will be this one screw at 87, and in order for me to get it to 85, id have to fully detach the screw. Does anyone have this problem? Any advice to resolve this issue would be greatful!
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:04 PM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: Pork Pie "Big Black Bob" Review

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Originally Posted by tlsole View Post
Im thinkin of going with a die cat hoop to deadin the sound (less ringy, maybe it would give it a more bodied sound?). What do you guys think?
Die cast will give it a more solid center of the head crack sound. For my ears, they tend to make playing rimshots sound a little harsh, but for a low dead tuning, that may not be so much of an issue.
Quote:
Another question, i have a drum dial, and i use it to tune my snare, however, it seems like i can never get one lug to get to the same low tension without the lug screw coming off (no contact with the hoops).
Try loosening the tension rod opposite the one you're having trouble with.
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