Any issues with butt tensioning?

Highway Child

Senior Member
Hello Andy,

I play with the strainer somewhere around 8:30. A big butt would be a problem (ho ho)probably rub my right knee (ho ho. Ahem. Seriously now).

My current snare is a Steve Ferrone sig and only has tension adjustment at the strainer. Never been a problem sound wise. I assume the wires are still equally tensioned along their effective length.

l do adjust tension quite often between songs. My band plays a range of old and new soul / R&B and for some of the older tunes I'll loosen the snares. We segue a lot so it would be an advantage for me to be able to do this quickly mid song.

Heres something to think about - a device to instantly adjust between two batter head tensions, from PHAT to POP with one flick! Note - must not be pneumatic....

Happy New Year!

Richard
 

longgun

Gold Member
I usually have my strainer at the four o'clock position..............I've never owned a snare that you could adjust from the butt end, but I can't see there being any difference at all from a "standard" throw

To answer the question, I can't recall a single time I adjusted tension mid-song or even mid gig.......

There has been several times, and I'm sure I'm not alone, where I forgot to engage the snares and had to do it quickly while playing.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I like compact. One thing I like of the Ludwig strainers say on a Supra is how light and simple yet effective they are.
It sounds like a neat idea. I can see where you are going.

And yes you had to expect some jokes with a thread title like that :)
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I do adjust tension mid-song if I feel the setting is slightly off. That probably says more about my ability to get the tension right in the first place but once I'm happy, it stays there for the duration. I tend to have my strainer available on the left hand side of the drum but I don't see an issue having the tension adjustment to the right if I want to change it mid-song.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Adjusting mid song is one of those tweak things where you are reacting to the room and noise on stage and feel like you want it a little wetter or drier. There's also the song to song adjustments for folks who play a variety of music. But that wouldn't be a problem to do with the right hand up at 2:00 on the drum. And my experience with the Gretsch butt tensioner is that when you have the isolated function, it's smoother and easier to adjust.

FWIW, most of the throw-offs I've seen are way over built. It's like over built stands. Extra heavy duty looks serious and sells. The actual loads are very small. You only need to be able to withstand the abuse of flipping it on and off. Which means decent pivot points and a reasonably stout lever.

I also agree that there is a market for a useable dual tension throw off so you can go from New Orleans to Funky Drummer in a heartbeat. I've thought of a few ideas for this and should prototype something and see how folks like it.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
My snare has a vintage and very clunky mechanism so anything will be an improvement. I guess I'd be looking at evenness, stability, sleekness, ease and quietness of engaging and disengaging, quietness when disengaged ...

I occasionally adjust on the fly as a quick cheat to change the snare's pitch.

Weird thing ... I cut off some snares to turn my 20-strand strainer to 12-strand and it didn't change the sound as much as I hoped it would - what's Bob Gatzen's secret?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks again for this superb feedback. This new strainer will be very small & compact, but I do have one concern with that - gloves. Does anyone wear them? I'm just thinking in terms of how big the strainer lever & butt tension adjustment knob would need to be. Obviously, for players with gloves, they'd have to be bigger, but if hardly anyone wears them, I'll dismiss that concern from my mind.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
Andy,

I don't wear gloves, but for those that do, the adjustment knob may only need more aggressive knurling rather than greater volume. You can probably experiment in the shop.

One question - will the adjustment knob "lock" using friction only (analog?) or would you have (numbered?) detents, e.g., a small ball bearing backed with a spring that would lock in v-grooves around the periphery of the spindle. If the detents were numbered, you could set it to X for certain songs, jump to Y for another song and quickly return to X.

Just a thought.

Happy New Year,

John
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
A little late on the discussion here but...

I like having a simple, solid, strainer solution like you've mentioned. However I do sometimes change tension on a gig and like having the strainer mechanism and tension adjustment in the same place.

Sometimes I have to test what the result of the change in tension is in regards to timbre. Having the strainer lever and tension knob both attended to by my left hand leaves the right hand available to tap with a stick (or even fingers) to hear the difference. Mentally it's a 'one stop shopping' approach. While on a gig these little mini-workflows help me. Hope I'm not being too fussy here. :)

Please keep in mind this is my way of doing things and not what I expect everyone to do as a best practice. I own two Pork Pie snares with very simple strainer solutions but also own a Mapex Bronze with a double ended tension solution and a Ludwig Hammered Bronze with a retrofitted Trick solution (thanks to DW member Skitch. All of them work well but I do tend to like the simpler Pork Pie strainers my only complaint being that they sometimes are a little iffy if I have extremely low tension on my snare for the music I'm doing.

HTH

Jim
 
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BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
The only concern I have with small size is leverage. If the lever is small then it may be difficult to engage. Too long and too lightweight and you might suffer breakages at higher tensions but I'm sure you've already thought of that.

In terms of the strainer action, I much prefer horizontal actions to vertical actions. It also helps to keep the profile slightly smaller when the snares are disengaged. I would imagine that a horizontal action is a little more difficult to design and implement from an engineering standpoint, though.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
The only concern I have with small size is leverage. If the lever is small then it may be difficult to engage. Too long and too lightweight and you might suffer breakages at higher tensions but I'm sure you've already thought of that.
Geez, the discussion on this forum sometimes is very, very borderline :)
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I’m pretty sure I’ve never ever felt the need to adjust the snare tension in the middle of a song.

When I do adjust the tension, I always disengage the throwoff first, tweak my knob, then put the throwoff back on. (The idea being that that eliminates abrasion on the snare head caused by moving the snare wires laterally while under tension.)
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
When I do adjust the tension, I always disengage the throwoff first, tweak my knob, then put the throwoff back on. (The idea being that that eliminates abrasion on the snare head caused by moving the snare wires laterally while under tension.)
With things like Ludwig strainers, that's a necessity. Good strainers are pretty easily adjusted while engaged. Also, most every throw off mechanism I can think of is an over center design. Meaning that to disengage it, you go tighter before it comes loose. And that you are dragging the snares across the head (some tiny amount) every time you flip it on or off.
 
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