trying to decide between 2 solid maple craviottos...you can help me - one is 10 lug 6.5x14, the other 7x14 8-lug...never heard or played a craviotto in person, and not sure if the lug difference is major? Rock/fusion/pop - which might be best do you think?
Generally, I prefer ten-lug snares. I like a tight, focused sound and have found it easier to achieve with a ten-lug arrangement. There's nothing wrong with eight-lug snares, however. Some drummers feel that 10-lug snares have a choked quality and prefer an eight-lug system for that reason. It all depends on what you're looking for.
Go with the 6.5" depth. Any snare that is deeper than 6.5" is not as versatile, IMHO. I would definitely go with the 10 lug 14x6.5" Craviotto.
I prefer 10 lug snares for a tighter more controlled sound, like @C.M. Jones said. But you can still get a nice tight sound out of an 8-lug drum. The difference between an 8 lug and 10 lug drum is subtle.
I have both 10 lug and 8 lug Tama snares. As stated above the 10 lug seems much drier (it also has a heavier hoop). I find myself playing the 8 lug 80% of the time since it is more versatile and has a nice open sound, especially for live situations.
I have a 10 lug 6.5x14 maple Craviotto. I can't say enough about this drum. It's very sensitive, has a great tuning range, and no harsh overtones. It also produces an amazing rim click. It's the best workhorse snare I've owned.