8 lug snare drums. Thoughts?

trickg

Silver Member
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!
I think that the default response to the whole 10 vs 8 lug debate is the whole "lower tuning range" response. The truth is, 8 lugs give a player enough latitude to crank the heads to the point where they choke and are no longer musically useful, so at that point, is it really an issue at all, particularly with a kit snare?
 

Skrivarna

Senior 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 have 8 and 10 luggers, all sounding great (I don't think any of the sonic properties that differs are related to the number of lugs). BUT, there definitely is a consistent difference in their ability to hold their tuning.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
8 and 10 lugs are both fine, in my opinion. I like that 8-lug snares seem to hold lower tunings better, since there's more tension per lug than on a 10-lugger.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I tend to prefer 8 just because it’s easier to dial through. Kind of lazy.
I owned bad 10 luggers and excellent 8, And the contrary! I never went through good 6 luggers (cheapo tin can snare drums)

I think it also has to do with the hoop stiffness: a 8 luggers with thin hoops will have a limited ranger be difficult to tune, but with a heavier hoops it’ll be perfect for instance, one of my worst snare had 10 lugs plus die cast, so it’s not that easy.
Not the topic, but for Bass drum, I definitely prefer 10 lugs.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Personal opinion ,10 lugs tend to be more versatile in terms of tuning range and action related to things like rebound.

My snare drum chops are very rudimental in nature as is my style.

I own a 8 lug Gretsch New Classic 4x14 and it's a different voice than my 10 luggers,but with that being said ,I'm generally not impressed with 8 lugs or less on 14 inch snares.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
I've had this 8 lugger for about a week and half now and I'm really happy with the tuning range and tonal quality. It's beech and man does it crack on rim shots. Played softly the articulation is right there. Sonor has this TuneSafe system and fine pitch tension rods too so that probably helps. My Delite kit has the same TuneSafe lugs and I've probably retuned it once in 6 and a half months.

I'm glad I bought it. It's a keeper. Try one if you get a chance.
 

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Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I don't think 6 v 8 v 10 any one config is "better". They give you different sounds.

Rudiments and preciseness come from tighter head and even tension. That's what you get from 10.

More sloppy (not in a bad way) dirty bluesy sounds like that guy keeping' the groove down in that smokey juke joint 6 lugs works best.

8 lugs is kinda between.

If I'm playing in an orchestra or symphonic wind ensemble or brass band I want a lot of lugs.

In my blues band I want fewer lugs for a dirty less defined sound. Actually for my blues band the cheaper newer or older vintage 6 lugs work best. So when I do a crushed whip-cream roll it is just all roll no openness.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I don't think 6 v 8 v 10 any one config is "better". They give you different sounds.

Rudiments and preciseness come from tighter head and even tension. That's what you get from 10.

More sloppy (not in a bad way) dirty bluesy sounds like that guy keeping' the groove down in that smokey juke joint 6 lugs works best.

8 lugs is kinda between.

If I'm playing in an orchestra or symphonic wind ensemble or brass band I want a lot of lugs.

In my blues band I want fewer lugs for a dirty less defined sound. Actually for my blues band the cheaper newer or older vintage 6 lugs work best. So when I do a crushed whip-cream roll it is just all roll no openness.
I’d say this sums it up pretty well, although there are some orchestral snare drum parts that are almost all roll, and a 6-lug drum would work great. (the long roll in Capriccio Espagnol especially)
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
My two favorite metal snares, a Joyful Noise brass TKO and Tama Star Reserve hammered copper, are both 8-Luggers. They’re very open, expreressive and resonant. With that said, I own terrific 10-lug snares as well. Other build variables have more influence on a drum’s tone than lug number (within reason) based on my experience. No huge advantage either way.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
I’ve prefer 8 lug... Less fiddly to tune and I like hitting back beats between two lugs - 8 leaves more real estate...
 

microkit

Senior 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.

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 picked up a 6 lug marching snare for nothing (literally nothing, I sold some parts for more than my cost) and would like to suggest you look at some no-name options to see if they strike your fancy. This one had single tension lugs, but there are many cheap snares out there, lots of cheapo Japanese stuff, that may meet your needs.
 

Skrivarna

Senior Member
I've had this 8 lugger for about a week and half now and I'm really happy with the tuning range and tonal quality. It's beech and man does it crack on rim shots. Played softly the articulation is right there. Sonor has this TuneSafe system and fine pitch tension rods too so that probably helps. My Delite kit has the same TuneSafe lugs and I've probably retuned it once in 6 and a half months.

I'm glad I bought it. It's a keeper. Try one if you get a chance.
Hmm, technically that would be a 16 lugger, wouldn't it? ;-)

But on more serious note, I have a vintage version of that same drum (with the same lugs) and it is a really good drum (though the old sonor snare mechanism needs some loving care).
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
The Rogers eight lug Powertone and Tower snare drums were at the top of the heap during the 1960s. Two of the absolute best eight lug snare drums that could be bought … by any maker.
Shallow wide bed, modern edges. Sensitivity to the edge of the drum. Wide tuning range, an excellent choice by many. From 1962-72 approximately 40,000 total units produced. Sizes were 5 inch, 6.5 inch x 14... in wood and Chrome over brass.
Current values range from
200-300 for a COB 5x14
450-700 for a COB 6.5x14
450-1200 for a wood version in either size, depending on condition, color, size.
By many who play and or collect vintage Rogers drums of the period, the Powertone is their preferred snare drum. The Tower does not fall far behind.
An excellent choice in a vintage, high quality snare drum.
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
I picked up a 6 lug marching snare for nothing (literally nothing, I sold some parts for more than my cost) and would like to suggest you look at some no-name options to see if they strike your fancy. This one had single tension lugs, but there are many cheap snares out there, lots of cheapo Japanese stuff, that may meet your needs.
This is not a yearning for any old 6-lug snare; there was a specific mojo to that drum, I made a mistake in selling that drum, and my desire to pick up another is straight up 100% sentimentality for that particular drum. Thanks for your recommendations though ;)
 
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