Are Solid-Shell Snares worth the money?

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Reading this with interest, sooo checked out Pearl Exp snare vids and a Craviotto snare vid, huge price difference...and I cant tell any difference in tone...
The Craviottos are hit and miss, at least to my ears. Some sound great, but others have a ton of overtones and upper-midrange honk.

The Pearl solid shells are a little more consistent sounding IMO. I'm not saying the Pearls are better than the best sounding Craviottos, just that they seem more consistent.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Tuning Crav's or Solids's for that matter is effective in small increments I have found. Ply drums are a different kettle of fish tuning wise... One wrong tweek can make the difference.with solid shells. I wonder if people who diss Crav's have actually spent a fair bit of time with them?
 

Richard Jackson

Junior Member
my favourite snares in my collection are staves. I think the snare bed is super important. Great shell bad snare bed = bad snare. That said, if you dig the sound it's worth the money.
 

Richard Jackson

Junior Member
i
The Craviottos are hit and miss, at least to my ears. Some sound great, but others have a ton of overtones and upper-midrange honk.

The Pearl solid shells are a little more consistent sounding IMO. I'm not saying the Pearls are better than the best sounding Craviottos, just that they seem more consistent.
agree those i've heard some nasty ones...and some beauties of course :)
 

Clutch_Rod

Active member
Perhaps we should look at the material & man hours involved, to justify a cost presentation on a $2,000 drum?

A fair hourly shop rate is $40-60. but lets say 40 for now.

How many hours of labor would it take a pro, to build out a craviotto snare shell... 10..20...40? Lets say 20 although its probably more. 800

A nice plank of fine wood 100?,,,, probably more

Hoops, 60

lugs 75-100

Trick throw off and butt plate. 85

Heads. 30

Wires. 30

Mounting screws, bolts, and name plate. 50

And lets not leave out the years of training and knowhow (priceless)

So, I'm seeing at least $1,300 right off the top, and I'm fairly sure... I'm going WAY low on the build quote. not to mention postage & packaging

There is ALOT that goes into getting that drum to your door. I've paid as much as 4,850 (us) for a single snare. was it worth it? NOPE... but, It sounds great and plays wonderfully. and I can definitely see the cost it took to cast the shell and machine the hoops. could I have built it for less? I don't think so...nor do I have the knowhow.

~Just one angle to look at it from.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Perhaps we should look at the material & man hours involved, to justify a cost presentation on a $2,000 drum?

A fair hourly shop rate is $40-60. but lets say 40 for now.

How many hours of labor would it take a pro, to build out a craviotto snare shell... 10..20...40? Lets say 20 although its probably more. 800

A nice plank of fine wood 100?,,,, probably more

Hoops, 60

lugs 75-100

Trick throw off and butt plate. 85

Heads. 30

Wires. 30

Mounting screws, bolts, and name plate. 50

And lets not leave out the years of training and knowhow (priceless)

So, I'm seeing at least $1,300 right off the top, and I'm fairly sure... I'm going WAY low on the build quote. not to mention postage & packaging

There is ALOT that goes into getting that drum to your door. I've paid as much as 4,850 (us) for a single snare. was it worth it? NOPE... but, It sounds great and plays wonderfully. and I can definitely see the cost it took to cast the shell and machine the hoops. could I have built it for less? I don't think so...nor do I have the knowhow.

~Just one angle to look at it from.
I'll play devil's advocate.

If it takes more labor to make something does that automatically make it better? From a practical standpoint?

If the snare sounds identical to a $500 ply snare, but costs 3x the price because a craftsman spent 80 hrs on it and the materials were sourced from a remote Himalayan village, is the extra price worth it?

To most people, I would say probably not.

But there are other reasons to buy an expensive drum over a cheaper drum that does the job just as well. It's the satisfaction of owning a piece of art. It's not so much about the practical use of that instrument, it's the story behind it, how it makes you feel when you look at it, the knowledge of what it took to build it in the first place, or simply a reward to yourself for a lifetime of hard work, etc.

To most, a solid shell drum is more of a luxury, whether they realize it or not. But to a scant few, it's not just a luxury, but a necessity because they feel they have qualities that they can't find in a ply snare.

My point is, there's a fine line between necessity and luxury.

I realize I'm going down a rabbit hole though. The argument can be made that a discerning snare connoisseur needs that solid shell for it's subtle benefits over a ply snare. Yo-Yo Ma needs his $2.5 million dollar cello because he's an elite musician, etc.

I'm completely open to criticism. Feel free to poke holes in my assertions. ;)
 

Clutch_Rod

Active member
Cutting through the chase- In reference to the original post topic. "Is it worth the money"? with consideration to the manufacturing process, yes. because it literally cost a factual amount to manufacture and transport it. In the USA anyway. once the labor shifts to Mexico, Asia, Etc. the cost comes down. and also the re-sell value (in general) comes down. Now, If your budget doesn't accommodate for such a drum. then you should drop down to a cheaper or used one...and brag about all the money you saved, because it sounds the same (Right?) It seems apparent that people just don't want to pay for good quality instruments, and I get it. That's why these type of drums are geared to sell to people who want to participate in the nature of higher, pedigree & prices (like myself) the point to these drums is to, NOT spare the expense of excellence. I see all the time, in these forums that people complain about price verses sound, and I get that too. god forbid you save some money and buy something nice that could bring a lifetime of pleasure and still have a great re-sell when your over it. Cheaper gear is for "value oriented" people, high end is for people who want to spend big money, AND invest in fine instrumentation. If 2-5 grand scares you off... you should be looking elsewhere.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Cutting through the chase- In reference to the original post topic. "Is it worth the money"? with consideration to the manufacturing process, yes. because it literally cost a factual amount to manufacture and transport it. In the USA anyway. once the labor shifts to Mexico, Asia, Etc. the cost comes down. and also the re-sell value (in general) comes down. Now, If your budget doesn't accommodate for such a drum. then you should drop down to a cheaper or used one...and brag about all the money you saved, because it sounds the same (Right?) It seems apparent that people just don't want to pay for good quality instruments, and I get it. That's why these type of drums are geared to sell to people who want to participate in the nature of higher, pedigree & prices (like myself) the point to these drums is to, NOT spare the expense of excellence. I see all the time, in these forums that people complain about price verses sound, and I get that too. god forbid you save some money and buy something nice that could bring a lifetime of pleasure and still have a great re-sell when your over it. Cheaper gear is for "value oriented" people, high end is for people who want to spend big money, AND invest in fine instrumentation. If 2-5 grand scares you off... you should be looking elsewhere.

........or you can be a "high end value shopper" like me. I love the quality of the high end stuff but it better be on sale when I buy it. It doesn't matter what economic strata you're operating in. You can still be a value shopper. :cool:
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Cutting through the chase- In reference to the original post topic. "Is it worth the money"? with consideration to the manufacturing process, yes. because it literally cost a factual amount to manufacture and transport it. In the USA anyway. once the labor shifts to Mexico, Asia, Etc. the cost comes down. and also the re-sell value (in general) comes down. Now, If your budget doesn't accommodate for such a drum. then you should drop down to a cheaper or used one...and brag about all the money you saved, because it sounds the same (Right?) It seems apparent that people just don't want to pay for good quality instruments, and I get it. That's why these type of drums are geared to sell to people who want to participate in the nature of higher, pedigree & prices (like myself) the point to these drums is to, NOT spare the expense of excellence. I see all the time, in these forums that people complain about price verses sound, and I get that too. god forbid you save some money and buy something nice that could bring a lifetime of pleasure and still have a great re-sell when your over it. Cheaper gear is for "value oriented" people, high end is for people who want to spend big money, AND invest in fine instrumentation. If 2-5 grand scares you off... you should be looking elsewhere.

It wasn't so much about money but value, I think most have no problem dumping money if it provides sounds and inspiration they are looking for. I will certainly pay for it if I like it enough. I've enjoyed reading the variety opinion overall, as I would expect a different answer and makes an interesting topic. But for the price of a Private Reserve, I'd rather get an Alloy Classic plus a Horizon snare for the same amount; two world class instruments and I've never heard a bad one and sound preferable to most SS. But hey, that is just my opinion and certainly wouldn't force upon anyone else to agree (and why would I want to, pretty boring if we all have the same tastes).

Even something like a Zelkova drumset; totally respect the R+D, time and craftsman that goes into creating it a hollowed shell, it's a work of art. But do I want it for $10k, hell no. Or not even 5k or 2, it's just not a sound that I want. I've own old Ks and sold them off for the same reason, they did not have the sound I was looking for and their value didn't justify the price; plus there are many great sounding modern jazz cymbals that don't have any bragging 'prestige' factor and I could care less, I just want to play a quality instrument.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
The Craviottos are hit and miss, at least to my ears. Some sound great, but others have a ton of overtones and upper-midrange honk.

The Pearl solid shells are a little more consistent sounding IMO. I'm not saying the Pearls are better than the best sounding Craviottos, just that they seem more consistent.
I’ve found the solid shell snares from various makers to be hit or miss. I’m thinking it’s the nature of a solid shell. The qualities of that specific piece of wood must play a part in that. Ply drums tend to sound more consistent from drum to drum within the same line from the same maker. That makes sense to me because I’m thinking the shell is more consistent from drum to drum as a result of the manufacturing process.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If a person isn't foaming at the mouth wanting to buy a solid shell, then they probably should skip it. It's something that a person should really want, not weigh the pros and cons about. The want is first and foremost. If you have to ask the question of this thread, then no it's not worth it.

Wanting a solid shell set....I don't think it's asking that much. I believe it saved me money in the longrun by actually satisfying my itch. Who knows how many drums I would have gone through with no end in sight. Solid shells give me real closure and to me that's worth the price. To me 1500 for a great sounding snare is a bargain. But that's my values. Not everyone shares those values, cool.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
it's not the solid shell Larry, it's the money... you understand that 2 or 3 drums doesn't always trump one drum....one in the hand, two in the bush...one thing I've noticed in this thread is the criticism of solid shell drums being inconsistent ( hit and miss ) not my experience at all,, where as the solid shell owners don't hang shit on the ply drums or their makers, In fact the solid shell sets I've played definitely sound and feel like all the drums belong together, something I can't say about some ply sets I've owned..
 

mrmike

Silver Member
I've bought and sold about five or six high end 1 ply maple snares and always sold them mainly because I thought they didn't sound as good as my favorite ply snares so I really couldn't justify the price. The one exception was a 90's 6.5x14 Slingerland Radio King that I had precision drum do some work on the bottom edge. Might have been the best sounding wood drum I've ever owned. Unfortunately the person I bought it from did something really bad so I ended up getting rid of it because I thought it carried bad mojo.
 
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Clutch_Rod

Active member
I heard DW is going to put our some Radio King snares in the not too distant future, Via their Slingerland acquisition. I'll definitely get a few of those!
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
You don't have to spend a fortune for a good solid shell snare. I just picked up one the Hendrix Player Stave maple snares. 14x6.5, you can also get 5.5 and 8" deep. They're 1/2" thick shells (12.7 mm) and crack like a whip! They're under $500 and come with a nice simple Indie throw, S-hoops, chromed aluminum single point lugs, tight screws, vertical grain, sleeved washers and fat cat snares. Don't argue whether they're worth buying, just get one and have some fun!
 

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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
[QUOTE="Darth Vater, post: 1751829, member: 468. Don't argue whether they're worth buying, just get one and have some fun!
[/QUOTE]
There it is right there ... but I would like to know where all these ordinary sounding solid drums that got sold on come from. I haven't come across any..
 
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