best snare drum upgrade

decadeA

Active member
What exactly are you trying to get your snare to sound like? What kind of music are you playing? You keep posting all these snare questions, but haven't defined your goals.

I still say heads and tuning. I have a Midtown snare, it's essentially the same but a 5x13. I can get it to sound just like I need it to, be it low, medium, or high tunings. It has a PS3 batter and Diplomat reso. It's plenty sensitive, has tons of crack, and a nice ring at high tunings. The reso is tuned pretty tight, the batter slightly less. The wires are loose enough to still buzz at the edge, but tight enough not to rattle like a 73 Pinto.

Not trying to be rude, but I don't think it's the snare.
I’ve had the kit for 2 years. A human being would think to change their heads if they’ve been there for two years. I have a Remo ambassador on the batter and reso. I also have pure sound 24 strand wires which I have adjusted to your description. I have tuned up the reso head a lot and tuned the batter to whatever it needs to be. It is the snare.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I’ve had the kit for 2 years. A human being would think to change their heads if they’ve been there for two years. I have a Remo ambassador on the batter and reso. I also have pure sound 24 strand wires which I have adjusted to your description. I have tuned up the reso head a lot and tuned the batter to whatever it needs to be. It is the snare.
Changing the heads, knowing how heads interact with the drum, and what heads do what to the drum are all different things. Two years is not enough to make you a tuning expert. There are people who have been playing for longer than you have been alive that still can't tune.

You still haven't said what you want the snare to sound like. If you don't know that, how can you possibly tune it how you like?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Okay, it doesn't sound bad. It's a bit dry and a little ringy, but a good starting point. What about it don't you like? I'm not saying you should like it, I'm just curious what about it turns you off.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
whenever I talk about a new drum upgrade, people say ‘oh yeah so you should get new cymbals, heads and a new snare drum. I have zildjian A cymbals and decent heads, so I was looking to get a better snare drum. I don’t like the 7 million overtones that I have to dampen and it is a bit dry for me.
sjc alpha:
or a wood snare.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
whenever I talk about a new drum upgrade, people say ‘oh yeah so you should get new cymbals, heads and a new snare drum. I have zildjian A cymbals and decent heads, so I was looking to get a better snare drum. I don’t like the 7 million overtones that I have to dampen and it is a bit dry for me.
what are you doing, and why do you need a new snare? Are you recording, if so, put some money into good mics and audio equipment that can make the drums sound good, and you’ve got good cymbals.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
whenever I talk about a new drum upgrade, people say ‘oh yeah so you should get new cymbals, heads and a new snare drum. I have zildjian A cymbals and decent heads, so I was looking to get a better snare drum. I don’t like the 7 million overtones that I have to dampen and it is a bit dry for me.
A two ply batter will help reduce overtones. To brighten it up a bit, you might ditch the 24 strand wires for the stock set and use a thinner reso.

It's just a suggestion. If you really want a new snare, go for it. But if you aren't sure how to get the sound you want out of one, you will more than likely run into the same problems with another. No amount of money spent on a snare means anything if you can't get it to sound how you want. Expensive snares can be made to sound bad too.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
In my opinion that snare sounds really bad.

It costs $200, but sounds like an $80 snare drum. No resonance. Slightly choked. Thin low-end, mostly midrange tone. Just being honest!

But without going on a rant about SJC, lets just say they put style before sound, so I'm not surprised.
it does sound a bit choked, but I’ve never tried the Yamaha stage custom or the supralite so I don’t know. I can also say that it sounds a bit better in person, I have played it before. Still a bit muffled, not that ringy. I can recommend the pear sensitone steel snares, I like them but I don’t know if they’re within your budget.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
For your budget range, a used bog standard metal 14x5 Pearl Sensitone will more than tick the boxes and you'll have enough cash left over to buy fresh heads and maybe some puresound wires. That's a nice step up.

If you're buying new then you get what you pay for. If you want a quality new snare then save up, do your homework and buy a drum that will last a lifetime.
 
I don’t like the 7 million overtones that I have to dampen and it is a bit dry for me.
It's always hard to describe sounds with words but to me, dry means less overtones and ring, so this seems like a contradiction to me and I'm not sure if my advice is going in the right direction. You know how to tune but a Tuning App or a Tune Bot might help you to improve the sound even a bit more. If you want less or shorter buzzing of the snare, you can also lower the tension rods next to the snare bed a bit. Also, there are wires like the Puresound Equalizer (only 12 strands, none in the middle) that reduce the buzzing slightly. If that doesn't yield the results you're looking for, you can still slap the old wires onto the snare and sell it while keeping the new wires.
In any case, buy used if you're not 100% sure, so you don't loose a lot of money in case you want a different snare in a couple of years.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Whatever sounds the best to you. Go to a music store and hit a bunch. Everyone is a fanboy to a different company and will recomend that. The style of music, and your preference dictates what to buy. One guy might like a deep fat sounding snare while another likes a tight crack. Both are right.
 

makinao

Silver Member
whenever I talk about a new drum upgrade, people say ‘oh yeah so you should get new cymbals, heads and a new snare drum. I have zildjian A cymbals and decent heads, so I was looking to get a better snare drum. I don’t like the 7 million overtones that I have to dampen and it is a bit dry for me.
Not liking overtones and complaining about dryness seems contradictory. That's probably why I, and others here are having a hard time understanding exactly what you want. I think all our suggestions in your various threads are fine. It's time for you to go to shops and try them out to see which one checks all your boxes.
 
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