Are We Responsible for the Increased Cost of Snare Drums?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Larry, I absolutely hate - like in can't stand and won't put up with anymore - that 6.5" Supra you gave me. In fact, I hate it so much that I have to force myself to use it everyday!!

There, that should tank the prices for Supras, anyway.

It's really my favoritest snare drum. It's yummy delicious!
Yea, I hate Supras, Black Beauties, bell brass drums. I really like CB snares, they are sleepers and highly under rated : /
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
I can tell you that from the boutique standpoint rising prices have little to do with supply & demand, or with marketing.

I spend very, very little on marketing. I serve a low-volume niche market. I price my snares on a cost-plus basis, with fixed fees for the labor and shop use that go into each snare drum, and those fixed fees haven't changed much over time. But the costs of wood, custom and standard parts, and finishing supplies continue to creep up.

Let me give you an example that's usually not even on people's radar. The cost of the sandpaper I use has increased about 60% in the past five years. That's not something that usually gets considered when people think about the cost of a drum, but I can assure you there's a lot of sandpaper involved in putting a good finish on a wood drum. So the choices are: lower the quality of the sandpaper and reduce the quality of the finish, change the finishes to something less pleasing but requiring less sanding, or allow for the increased cost in the price of the drum.

OK, sandpaper is a small thing and we're only talking about a few dollars per drum -- but when all those individual materials and processes are getting more expensive, it really adds up. Tools cost more than they did a few years ago. Wood costs more. Metals cost more. Finishing materials cost more. Shop supplies cost more. Labor? Well, labor hasn't changed much since about 2009, as you may have seen in your own salary.

The only way to keep those costs in check is to (1) increase volume -- not so easy to do without increasing expenses like marketing, (2) reduce the quality of materials -- which means reducing the quality of the finished drum, or (3) reduce margins -- which means making the company's financial picture unstable. Every day, I'm thankful that my business model is not based on market share. I'm never envious of the big manufacturers.

What do you pay for a same-quality shirt, a cell phone or data plan, a restaurant dinner entree, etc., compared with ten years ago?
We, or at least I, am happy to pay whatever boutique drums cost due to the extra detail and hand craftsmanship

In terms of main manufacturers, they just relocate to wherever it's cheaper.

I pay roughly the same for clothes, phones and drums as I did 10 years ago, it's just our obsession with all things vintage means main manufacturers can charge what they want for their name products.

Why do Mercedes-Benz charge so much for their g wagon? Why do apple charge so much for their phones? Because they can as it's a lifestyle choice that transcends the product itself.

"I have a black beauty", "wow you're amazing, I want your lifestyle"

*cynic alert :)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
"I have a black beauty", "wow you're amazing, I want your lifestyle"
The vanity is much worse than you indicate.... I bought a new BB instead of a used BB just because I didn't want the stupid looking 70's era B/O badge.


@OP.... The price on a "Ludwig Acrolite" is high. Anyone that calls it an Acrolite knows what the drum is, and what it's worth. The price on "Remo Snare", "Student Snare", etc are low, even though they are often the exact same drum. Basically, you want to buy Acrolites from those that have no idea what they're worth. FWIW, I bought my "Rockers Drum" on shopgoodwill for $51

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119464
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
The demand (and prices) for 1970's-1980's Sonor drums went through the roof about ten years ago, fueled in-part by a lot of guys over at the Sonormuseum.com message boards.
Of course that forum like this one serves an international audience so markets can vary in Europe, America , Asia etc...
 
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crispycritters

Senior Member
In response to the title of the thread - probably.

If I had a £ for every time I've read a good review or recommend for the Acrolite on various forums I'd be able to buy several. I saw a (minty) used one on eBay UK recently for £350... hmm. No I wasn't tempted.
 

Bull

Gold Member
I saw three $80-$120 Acros on my local Craigslist ,just the other day. I just went back to post some links here and they were all gone. There was only one Acro listed and it was $180. lol
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I bought my early 80's b/o Acro from a used equipment music store for $100. I love it, but I'm keeping it in storage for now.

I picked up a brass Slingerland off of Reverb about a year ago. I way over-spent on that one. I got bent over, for lack of a better word. I decided, even though I saw the exact same snare drum in C/L selling for $150, I would put it in C/L for $250, thinking I might get $200 for it. I knew it was still steep, but considering what I paid for it, like an ignorant fool, I might get away with only a $150 loss. But later on, I get an e-mail from a stranger telling me that my snare drum ain't worth no more than $100! So I told him to piss off, and I dropped it to $200 obo.

So far, not one e-mail or text inquiring about it. People just want you to give shit away. Screw that!

Now it's like I never want to buy from Reverb again because I don't know what good prices are. I mean like one Sensitone with a custom alloy costs only a hundred dollars, while a different Sensitone made from Phosphorous bronze will cost me a cool $550! What makes the bronze one worth paying an extra $450? The badge is a little fancier on the PB Sesitone, so it's got that going for it. Nobody in the audience is going to give a crap which Sensitone you're playing when you're just playing simple songs for simple people.
 
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Red Menace

Platinum Member
I picked up a brass Slingerland off of Reverb about a year ago. I way over-spent on that one. I got bent over, for lack of a better word. I decided, even though I saw the exact same snare drum in C/L selling for $150, I would put it in C/L for $250, thinking I might get $200 for it. I knew it was still steep, but considering what I paid for it, like an ignorant fool, I might get away with only a $150 loss. But later on, I get an e-mail from a stranger telling me that my snare drum ain't worth no more than $100! So I told him to piss off, and I dropped it to $200 obo.
If you ever lose you cool and decide to sell it for cheap, hit me up.

I have a 6.5" Slingerland brass snare that I just got up and running, forgot how good these things sound. Like a Supra without the dry aluminum tone. I think I just prefer the sound of brass to aluminum.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
If you ever lose you cool and decide to sell it for cheap, hit me up.

I have a 6.5" Slingerland brass snare that I just got up and running, forgot how good these things sound. Like a Supra without the dry aluminum tone. I think I just prefer the sound of brass to aluminum.
Well, the one I saw in C/L a couple weeks ago was exactly the same, but the owner said it is in mint condition. I didn't go to see it, but to me, mint should mean mint. Mine is good, but not mint, and he was selling his for $150. Mine has some blemishes in the brass, but all the chrome is nice, the lugs and throw-off. It sounds amazing and it's built sturdy. I'll definitely PM you first when I'm letting it go. I might need to save-up for that Phosphorus Bronze Sensitone.
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
The demand (and prices) for 1970's-1980's Sonor drums went through the roof about ten years ago, fueled in-part by a lot of guys over at the Sonormuseum.com message boards.
Of course that forum like this one serves an international audience so markets can vary in Europe, America , Asia etc...
Indeed, just like Ludwig, sonor gave itself legendary status a while ago and almost every signature or horst link drum price is through the roof

I played a signature 14x8 snare for a few weeks years ago and it sounded great, but no better or worse than what I can get now.
 

picodon

Silver Member
I'm cynical enough to believe that the opposite is just as true:
Introduce a new drum at an insanely high price and if it sounds more or less decent it becomes legendary.
A cool website, a few endorsers, generates buzz on the forums and sales will follow. Marketing is an art by itself.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I'm cynical enough to believe that the opposite is just as true:
Introduce a new drum at an insanely high price and if it sounds more or less decent it becomes legendary.
A cool website, a few endorsers, generates buzz on the forums and sales will follow. Marketing is an art by itself.
Examples would be Tama's legendary Bell Brass snare, Paiste's legendary alloy snare, and Noble & Cooley's legendary maple snares. And those existed before the internets ;)

But none of these legendary drums made as many legendary hit records as the Ludwig Supraphonic did, eh?
 

viva_nate

Member
I saw something like that happen to Olds trumpets. Everyone kind of realized the quality those older horns had reading reviews on the Internet, then you couldn't find them. Part of the problem is that manufacturing for things like musical instruments has gone downhill many of the high end( expensive) boutique horns lack the finer touches that the older horns had because they just don't have the market so they can't find or afford to produce or source things like decorative brackets. Not that these new high end horns aren't nice and sound great, but you can tell they were made in a shop with maybe a dozen people as opposed to a plant of hundreds of people designed by a committee of great performers. Many performers stockpile specific models of horns for example the Committee.
This, a little o/t, but this happened with platen/letterpress printing equipment recently. About 15 years ago you could get a proof press or a C&P for pretty cheap because they were these monstrous pieces of cast iron made around the turn of the century. Then the design community found them and they became standard pieces of equipment for, like, wedding invitations - but no new ones are being built. So now you pay thousands for a two-ton piece of equipment missing a bunch of stuff that, if you don't know how to use it, can easily remove an arm. And then you have to figure out how to move the thing. This is what being able to share knowledge and catalogue every obscure thing cheaply on the web does, I think.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
As the prices of boutique or prestige/legendary drums spiral upwards, there will always be someone who makes the same (or very similar) drum for less. And we will buy it, because it's the same sound for less money.

BOB, Tama SLP, Pearl Sensitone, DW Performance, I salute you!
 

rain dog

Member
200? most of the new snares i see are 400 to 800 with the collectors being twice that. but still a few 100 to 200 around.
 
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