8 lug snare drums. Thoughts?

T_Weaves

Silver Member
Just curious as to people's opinions on 8 lug vs 10 lug snares. I've only ever owned one 8 lug and it was a throw in on an inexpensive kit. I'm more interested in better quality snares. Anybody?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My best advice is to check out this video from Sounds Like a Drum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9fnpFABK1s
Glad you posted this, Grunts; I was going to post it myself.

I have owned 6, 8 and 10 lug snares. The shell is allowed to resonate more freely with fewer lugs (less mass attached to the shell) but each lug carries more responsibility to keep tension even across the drumhead, and slight variations and movements of a tension rod will have more effect on the tension and tone of the head. I find that drums with more lugs have generally wider tuning ranges (higher highs, lower lows), but my 8 lug snare covers plenty of tonal range in my opinion.

But the practical difference between 8 and 10 lug snares isn't so great as to completely rule one or the other out for 95% of drummers. I play both on gigs and recordings with no worries, and I have not had issues getting the sounds I want with either type of drum.

EDIT: My first snare drum was a 6-lug Pioneer similar to the one in the Sounds Like A Drum video. It was a fantastic drum and I have been on the hunt for a replacement practically since the morning after I (stupidly) sold it.
 
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Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Glad you posted this, Grunts; I was going to post it myself.

I have owned 6, 8 and 10 lug snares. The shell is allowed to resonate more freely with fewer lugs (less mass attached to the shell) but each lug carries more responsibility to keep tension even across the drumhead, and slight variations and movements of a tension rod will have more effect on the tension and tone of the head. I find that drums with more lugs have generally wider tuning ranges (higher highs, lower lows), but my 8 lug snare covers plenty of tonal range in my opinion.

But the practical difference between 8 and 10 lug snares isn't so great as to completely rule one or the other out for 95% of drummers. I play both on gigs and recordings with no worries, and I have not had issues getting the sounds I want with either type of drum.
I can't add much to Al's insightful post.

I have a few 8-lug snare drums (wood, metal, fiberglass) ranging in 12", 13", 14" and 15" sizes. They all sound great!

Overall, they have a bit more of an open tone than their 10 lug counterparts with slightly diminished tuning ranges. But the voice of each drum is distinct because of having 8-lugs.

The one snare having the most unique voice to me is my Blaemire fiberglass 5" X 14" 8 lug. It just oozes it's own vibe and I think that is largely due to it only having 8 lugs.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
My best advice is to check out this video from Sounds Like a Drum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9fnpFABK1s
Thanks for sharing the vid!

Glad you posted this, Grunts; I was going to post it myself.
EDIT: My first snare drum was a 6-lug Pioneer similar to the one in the Sounds Like A Drum video. It was a fantastic drum and I have been on the hunt for a replacement practically since the morning after I (stupidly) sold it.
I LOVE that drum. Was a random Craigslist find from close to where we film Sounds Like a Drum. Such a great sound and unique character.
 

RickP

Gold Member
My all time favourite snare drums are 8 lugs. A walnut SS 6” x 14 Noble and Cooley - drum is rich and expressive, with fullness . The perfect snare to my ear.

My INDe seamless brushed aluminum 6.5” has become one of my most reliable snare drums. It just sounds good in every room.Tunes up quickly and really holds it’s tuning well.

I love the stick response when using an 8 lug snare, the stick digs in a bit more and I really like playing rolls more on an eight lug snare than a 10 lugger.
 

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Morrisman

Platinum Member
At the cheaper end of the market, my workplace has five Stage Custom kits from various eras.

The 10 lug snare with the newest SC is easy to tune up to a high, crisp sound.

The 8 lug ones get harder to turn as the tension gets higher, to the point where we can’t get much above a medium tuning on those drums.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
All things being equal I don't have anything against 8 or 10-lug snares. I've used a Ludwig Coliseum in the past that had 12 lugs and it's just overkill. The head was tabletop hard in almost any tension and it was tedious when tuning or changing heads. But I've played plenty of 8 and 10 lug snares and I think they're both equally good.

But I decided a while back I wanted all of my snares to have the same number of lugs for ease of part swapping. I like to hear how each drum sounds with a triple flange, S-hoop or die cast and that's only possible if all the drums have the same lug count. For me it's all 10 lugs, but that's only because I already had a couple great drums that were 10 lug drums
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
Earl palmer used a fiberglass 6 lug drum. Buddy Rich had a 6 lug pro model snare with wfl that he used a lot. Steve Jordan uses a 6 lug trixon and ludwig snare on a lot of the projects he does today. Look some of those drums up and they go for $1000s bc they sound great

Just bc it has less lugs doesn't mean it's cheap, don't get too caught up in the drum trends. If you're a good drummer you'll make a snare sound great
 

AModestRat

Member
I tend to prefer 8 lug drums as they sound more open to me and are easier to tune. I have nothing against my Ludwig with 10 lugs, just personal preference!
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
10 lugs permit higher tension with ease, but 8 lugs will better retain tension without loosening. This is because there is more resistance per lug when there are fewer lugs. I had a 12 lug Slingerland snare years ago which was great, but that's just overkill. The lugs on the snare-side would regularly loosen and even fall out eventually if I wasn't paying attention.

I think 8 lugs is ideal. My Canopus has 8. I wish my 14" floor tom had 7.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
10 lugs permit higher tension with ease, but 8 lugs will better retain tension without loosening. This is because there is more resistance per lug when there are fewer lugs. I had a 12 lug Slingerland snare years ago which was great, but that's just overkill. The lugs on the snare-side would regularly loosen and even fall out eventually if I wasn't paying attention.

I think 8 lugs is ideal. My Canopus has 8. I wish my 14" floor tom had 7.
New(er) YAMAHA STAGE CUSTON 14 FT has 6 lugs.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
There are differences between 8 and 10 lug 14” snare drums but I kind of get the feeling that as drummers with a high and very specific interest in gear we’re in danger of overstating the minutiae of differences.
If I think back to snare drums I’ve owned I genuinely would struggle to be able to remember if they were 8 or 10 lug models. I gig quite regularly and I’ve never had a snare drum detune so regularly and badly that it’s been noteworthy, likewise I’ve never sat down and thought that the snare drum in front of me has gone untouched by a drum key for months and been happy at the time I’ve saved by not having to tune it. My experience has been the same with 8 lug bass drums too. My experiences with both snares and bass drums leads me to think that in “normal” use, failings of either an 8 or a 10 lug model have got less to do with the number of lugs and more to do with a specific fault or flaw in the construction or design of the individual item. Likewise if a drum has great sound and fewer lugs then the shell design and material has a part to play in that, not just the fact that there are fewer lugs.
If a drum sounds good, is well made and you like how it looks then that’s what counts.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
Just means there is a lower tuning range.
10 lugs permit higher tension with ease.
This is obviously true from a construction point of view, but have you guys ever really felt constrained, tuning-wise, by an 8-lug snare? All well-built (excepting entry level) 8-luggers I've tried have been able to go as high as I could ever want, and more.

In fact, I used to have an early 1900s Ludwig 14x4" with straight brass hoops and six clawed lugs. Used that drum as as an high-tuned aux snare for D'n'B patterns and as a high timbale. Easily got high enough for my purposes.

I prefer 8 luggers for no other reason than that I tune them much faster!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Just curious as to people's opinions on 8 lug vs 10 lug snares. I've only ever owned one 8 lug and it was a throw in on an inexpensive kit. I'm more interested in better quality snares. Anybody?
Here's what I've noticed as you increase the amount of lugs on snare: your "sweet spot" where the drum sounds good gets smaller. So with an 8-lug, that sweet spot is pretty big. 10 lugs gets a little smaller, and a 12-lug is smaller still.

The head also feels different under different lug amounts. 8-lugs can feel like the head is interacting more, and as you increase lugs, it feels more and more like a table-top with less give.

But I think the difference between 8 and 10 lugs is negligible. Both types I can tune low or high. I have a Pearl 8x14 8-lug that I love tuned low with a PowerStroke 4 head, but I can get the same sound out of my 6.5 Supra with the same kind of head. I think if you require absolute crack and high tunings, then you must have a 10-lug. But as always, look at what the music you play requires. Both 8 and 10-lug snares are quite versatile. The 8-lug Ludwig Acrolite is probably on quite a bit of recordings and it sounds just like a 10-lug Supra!
 
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