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  #1  
Old 05-26-2010, 04:18 PM
rubboardman rubboardman is offline
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Default Best all around snare drum

I am in the market for a new snare drum, I play mostly blues but would like your opinions about what would be the best all around snare drum, for all types of music. I have a 5.5 x 14 birch snare, so I am leaning more towards a metal or brass snare, any input would be welcome. P.S. don't really need the very high end snare just a really nice all around good sound.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:45 PM
Ludwigz Ludwigz is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

I play blues, as well as other types of music... best all around snare?

14x5 Ludwig Supraphonic. Old, new, doesn't matter.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Ludwig Supraphonic 14"x6,5"!
There is no other choice!
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

An Acrolite is pretty versatile and won't ring as much as a brass snare.

I like brass.

You got your Black Beauties and all the knockoffs (Pork Pie, World Max, Ahead, etc..)

Snares are like rides. You end up having a few at least to cover the different sounds for different styles.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:36 PM
rubboardman rubboardman is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Is supraphonic the name of the Ludwig drum? Is it the chrome plated aluminum drum, what does supra phonic stand for?
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

The best all round snare is one that you put a different head on. You cna completely change the sound of a snare by chaning even just the batter head. Then some tuning adjustments and whatever damping you may or may not want, and you can get any sound you like. Different heads are made to get different sounds but IMO, brass is a good material to start with for snares. And maybe even continue with. Lot of people like brass snares and my Pearl Sensitone is a great one. 14" - 6.5" of heaven.

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Old 05-26-2010, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Bronze or copper may also be a good fit for you. They're both dark, with bronze ringing a bit and copper being pretty dry. Careful with the Acrolite/Supraphonic, they're higher pitched, which you said you didn't want.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Ludwig Supraphonics are those high end metal seamless snares with P-85 throw-offs - although, I'd still count a drum with a P-86 as a Supraphonic, unlike a drum with a P-70, (Supersensitive) which is a type of snare tensioner/strainer that tensions the wires independently of the pressure of the wires on the head installed on the same shell.

Supras, as they're affectionately called, come in chrome over aluminium, brass (chrome over brass, and black nickel over brass aka "Black Beauty"), and Bronze. They come in 14x5 and 14x6.5 (with a piccolo option on one or two of them).

Very popular snares. Bonham made the aluminum 6.5x14 legendary as Ringo did with his 5x14 aluminum. Black Beauties are pretty much the gold standard for brass snares.

Ludwig is very proud of these snares and it's reflected in the price, but they hold their value very well.

Anyway! To the OP, any of the Ludwig Supra's would get my vote, but I'm partial to the 6.5x14 aluminum (which I have) and 6.5x14 Black Beauty (wished I had).

I've also been on the lookout for a 5 or 5.5x14 maple snare. I played on a Mapex Meridian maple that knocked my socks off. It could be played lightly or smacked hard with the butt end of a hefty stick and never choked - I was amazed at the sound and even more amazed at the price ($125 new!). Don't know why I didn't buy it right then, but it may still happen.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:01 PM
Mike St.Clair Mike St.Clair is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Mapex Black Panthers offer a lot for the money. You should try to get out and find a shop with many to play on. Again, I find it impossible to buy something based on internet opinions although Ludwig Supra's have been a standard by which others are made and judged and most often copied.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

At $499 street price, the new Tama Starphonic (phonic, get it?) 6 x 14 brass might be worth a look. Good reviews.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Yeah, the Mapex Black Panthers are definitely worth some close scrutiny. I was just checking one out and love the new stick saver hoop design they came up with. Pretty stout and probably plays like a cross between a triple flange, die cast, and a Slingerland... like an S-Hoop, but cool-looking and with something to grab onto (anyone with an S-Hoop knows what I'm talking about with that).
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by Moldy View Post
Bronze or copper may also be a good fit for you. They're both dark, with bronze ringing a bit and copper being pretty dry. Careful with the Acrolite/Supraphonic, they're higher pitched, which you said you didn't want.
Your higher pitched comment seems inaccurate to me. I have a 6.5x14" Supraphonic chrome over brass and it tends to sound great no matter what tension I tune it at. It only sounds "high pitched" when I crank it way up. Bright may be the word you're looking for but not high pitched.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

It's impossible to go wrong with an aluminum or brass beaded drum. Supraphonic, Black Beauty, or any offerings from Pork Pie, World Max, Pearl, Yamaha, Tama, whatever...

Just get one in the depth you want. You won't regret it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubboardman View Post
I am in the market for a new snare drum, I play mostly blues but would like your opinions about what would be the best all around snare drum, for all types of music. I have a 5.5 x 14 birch snare, so I am leaning more towards a metal or brass snare, any input would be welcome. P.S. don't really need the very high end snare just a really nice all around good sound.
You really can't go wrong with any of the $200-$300 (US $) mid-level Black Beauty clones that most manufacturers have now (Ludwig "Black Magic", Pork Pie "Big Black", etc..). I personally own a Big Black that I bought about 3 months ago and I love it!

By the way, I think it is funny that Ludwig has an inexpensive clone of their own flagship snare!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

The best sounding snare is the one I don't have at the moment. I would love to add a Ludwig to my collection. Supraphonic would be great.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Another voice to the chorus.

Ludwig Supraphonic LM402. Best choice you'll ever make IMHO.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
The best sounding snare is the one I don't have at the moment. I would love to add a Ludwig to my collection. Supraphonic would be great.
Agree...

I use to have a 14 x 6. It was one of the most versatile snare drums. I've played all kinds of music and could get this drum to sound good with any style I played.

I want to replace it!
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Good thread!
I have a 14x6.5 lm402 Ludwig Supra and a recent new purchase a Pork Pie Big Black, and I must say I hardly ever play the Supra anymore, the sound of Brass is just awesome. I always have a special place for the Luddy but with all the Black Bueaty clones being sold out there at a comparable sound i might add, why spend that much on a snare. Your paying for the name. Pork Pie, great product from a great reliable drum company.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

I thinking that I want a Tama Bell Brass lately. I hope the feeling passes.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Best all around snare is a 402 no question. Get one and you won't regret it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmike View Post
I thinking that I want a Tama Bell Brass lately. I hope the feeling passes.
It probably won't...

For an "all around" great snare you can't go wrong with a:
400, 402, or Acrolite (5 or 6.5). For a little more money a 5 or 6.5 Brass, or Bronze (my fave) are great.

For playing mostly Blues, I'd personally go for a Bronze shell.
A little warmer tone that will sit really well "in" the music, but it still can crak and drive the band when you need it to.
Ludwig's Bronze shells have a great tuning range and are really sensitive. They sound great with a million different heads too.
You can find them for reasonable prices on eBay. Might be a little more expensive than some snares, but the saying "buy once, cry once" was used recently, and it fits the situation.

Throw in the Pearl Chad Smith in the mix too. Real nice snare for the money.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:52 AM
hareonna20 hareonna20 is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Even though I don't own it, I hope to get a Pearl Free-Floating Brass 14 x 5 snare. My most favorite drummer uses one, too but they have a 14 x 8.....
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2010, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Just look at the facts rubboardman.

1) The Supraphonic LM402 is the most recorded snare drum ever!

2) Guys like George Massenburg (Recorded/produced/and or mixed for Toto, Earth Wind and Fire, Amanda Marshall, Chantal Kreviazuk, Herbie Hancock, Journey, Neil Diamond...well to name a few) says that anyone who goes into studio without one needs to put their head on straight.

3) 2 of the greatest drummers of all time (bonzo and ringo) who could've played anything they wanted picked the Supra .

Its just the best, most versatile drum. But theres always opinions. And thats mine.

Oh and i have mine. Its a 1971 and its freaking beautiful and always sounds amazing no matter where i am playing or recording.

God Bless,

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  #24  
Old 05-27-2010, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Well I am really excited about all the feedback, after reading everyones post it is obvious the Ludwig is the winner, I am really glad the Ludwig snare got 90% of the positive feeds it makes my choice that much easier. As I tell people that are thinking about buying one of my handmade percussion intruments, a good instument is never cheap, and a cheap instrument is never good. Thanks to everyone Ludwig 5x 6.5 is the one for me. Please check out my website, some of you drummers might want to give the Zydeco Rubboard a try some day. www.rubboards.com
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2010, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

LM402.

'nuff said.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

What do you guys make of this test? Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 vs Pearl Sensitone Steel Snare.

It will be more interesting if you don't read the comments until after listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uZ9E3Nvvk

I'm no expert so it would be interesting to know what you serious snare-heads think.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
What do you guys make of this test? Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 vs Pearl Sensitone Steel Snare.

It will be more interesting if you don't read the comments until after listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uZ9E3Nvvk

I'm no expert so it would be interesting to know what you serious snare-heads think.
I honestly didn't think much of either drum in the video. 3 minutes of drone waffle from the tester didn't help. My son has the Pearl sensitone, it's OK I suppose. I had the Ludwig some years ago. Kept it for about a week & went back to my maple Slingerland.

As an earlier poster said, Pearl free floaters are just superb, especially for the money. You can change shell material too if you really want true flexibility. From a component quality POV, blows the Ludwig away. From a sound POV, well, that's the endless subjective exchange of views.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I honestly didn't think much of either drum in the video. 3 minutes of drone waffle from the tester didn't help. My son has the Pearl sensitone, it's OK I suppose. I had the Ludwig some years ago. Kept it for about a week & went back to my maple Slingerland.

As an earlier poster said, Pearl free floaters are just superb, especially for the money. You can change shell material too if you really want true flexibility. From a component quality POV, blows the Ludwig away. From a sound POV, well, that's the endless subjective exchange of views.
Gotta go with the Supra here. I have the 400 right now. It can do anything...except sound like it's big brother. I hope to get the 402 in year or so.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
What do you guys make of this test? Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 vs Pearl Sensitone Steel Snare.


Both snares are capable of a hell of a lot (alot??) more than was displayed here Poll. Both are great drums when actually struck with a stick (as opposed to rolling marbles across the head....which is what I thought I was hearing in that demo). Would you save money and buy the Sensitone instead of the Supra........sure logically, why not? But it'd be a cold day in hell before I actually did it. The Supra is a love affair, the first drum I ever heard, the first drum I ever owned.......the heart rules the head on this one.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Guys, I agree that the guy doing the demonstration seemed unlikely to extract a whole lot out of anything. It would be interesting to see a similar test by a drummer with great touch and feel.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

A 6.5 Supra is hard to beat.

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  #32  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
What do you guys make of this test? Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 vs Pearl Sensitone Steel Snare.

It will be more interesting if you don't read the comments until after listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uZ9E3Nvvk

I'm no expert so it would be interesting to know what you serious snare-heads think.
Interesting indeed! I think it sounded just as good!
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

I once bought a used 5x14 COB Supra thinking it would replace my 5.5x14 Legend maple snare. After a few hours of tuning and side-by-side comparison, I determined I liked the sound of my old snare better. I re-sold the Supra soon afterward.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:46 PM
Mike St.Clair Mike St.Clair is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

The bottom line is the snare is YOUR personal choice and is kind of your signature when it comes to your drumming. I probably played on 50 or so different snares before I bought my DW 10 and 6 maple snare. Years later, I find it quite loud, but it does sound awesome. It's really tough to find one that does it all for you for a long time if you play on others. I really don't think basing your purchase off of what has been "most recorded" or played by x,y, or z famous drummers is necessarily the way to satisfy your taste. Recording techniques, music types, and your taste all change through the years. JMHO.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by Mike St.Clair View Post
The bottom line is the snare is YOUR personal choice and is kind of your signature when it comes to your drumming.
A signature sound may be great in some situations, but can easily pigeonhole the drummer at times as well. I know more than a few musicians who won't hire a drummer simply because they don't like the way their drums sound.

It's really difficult to say that one snare (or cymbal, or kick or tom) will be supremely versatile. I find myself using one of a few 6.5" Supras on about half of my gigs and sessions, but I also have 58 other snares on hand to make sure I can get whatever sound I need for a particular purpose.

If I absolutely had to live with one snare, it would be my 6.5" COB pre-serial Supra. :)

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Old 06-01-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Well, after testing the waters to find a great snare for the type of music I play, which varies from rock to country to whatever I may get in the studio, I always come back to the Ludwigs. I've tried the craviotto maple solid shell, the DW edge (what a disappointment), the Pearl brass sensitone, tama maple...to name a few and I end up using a supra 402 (6.5x14) or the hammered bronze 6.5x14. That bronze snare really is a special drum. Woody tones with the bite of metal...always sounds great recorded. Just my 2 cents.....
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

Of course there is no one drum capable of everything. This is why I own 33 snares. But I am confident the 400 and 402's can cover many bases. This is why Pearl copied them with the Sensitone models.

One cannot compare this:


With this:


Or this:


Or this:


They all have their own identity. But the Luddies cover a lot of ground.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

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Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
They all have their own identity. But the Luddies cover a lot of ground.
I couldn't agree more. I have a 1960 Supraphonic and a Birch Absolute Custom also, and they are both great drums. I am looking to add a Pork Pie maple in the near future!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

As you can see, there are myriads of great sounding snare drums available today, but in my humble opinion, you cannot go wrong with either one of these great Ludwigs...
LM400---5X14, LM402--6.5x14. Again, if the 402 was good enough for John Bonham, it should work for you.
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  #40  
Old 06-02-2010, 06:21 PM
Mike St.Clair Mike St.Clair is offline
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Default Re: Best all around snare drum

It really depends on the application as many have said. If you have several styles of music you plan to play, then of course, you need more than one snare, not to mention cymbals and shellpack configurations. It never ends when it comes to that. Good sound engineers can make garbage drums sound quite decent too.
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