Boutique snares?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
And when you can get ply drums from any number of big names with great warranties, plenty of spare parts, and resale value without the price tag of 'custom'.
All good points. I guess it's about one's priorities. To me, sound is king. Steambent trumps ply in that department, but my opinion is way biased.

A good steambent snare can be built for less than $700 I'd wager
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
A good steambent snare can be built for less than $700 I'd wager
About £650 I paid for mine (not sure what that is in dollars) and that included having an experienced drumbuilder on hand to make sure it didn't end up as firewood.

I'd happily do another snare building weekend again. He's moved to Devon....hello Cornish cream teas oh yeah!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If I wasn't totally set with drums, I would for sure buy a raw pre-drilled and bedded shell, and finish and assemble it myself.

I got a really nice (fully assembled and finished) Carolina snare (birdseye maple, walnut re-rings, steambent) in 2016, and that was only north of $700.

Mikyok, did you edge and bed the snare yourself? Was it steambent? Did you bend the wood?

And yea, go Cornish cream teas! Or cream cheese, whatever you like!
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If I wasn't totally set with drums, I would for sure buy a raw pre-drilled and bedded shell, and finish and assemble it myself.
I wanted some huge kicks back in the mid 90s. I ordered (2) 22x22 maple shells, and everything needed to finish them from Precision Drum. It was way more economical, only $800 and about 6 hours of my time. The only work I didnt do was make the shell and edge it.

I want to build a snare. I want to build the shell too.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Mikyok, did you edge and bed the snare yourself? Was it steambent? Did you bend the wood?
Paid extra for Preston at Tiki do steambending of the shell, worth every penny. I'm nowhere near good enough with wood to even attempt that.

I did the edges, snare beds, marking, drilling etc myself. The edges are round over top and bottom which I had to do by hand and had to sand the snare beds out by hand. It's one hell of a workout! Makes you appreciate the work that goes into them and why they cost a little extra but man they're worth it!

It's a godsend having Preston around to keep you in the right direction, obviously he doesn't want any old crap leaving his workshop.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
All good points. I guess it's about one's priorities. To me, sound is king. Steambent trumps ply in that department, but my opinion is way biased.

A good steambent snare can be built for less than $700 I'd wager
Says the owner of Guru drums...
 

Clutch_Rod

Active member
A counter point thought:

The very mention of boutique, insinuates a higher expense, AND re sell (in general) so, weigh your budget to what's available. assuming your buying new, as anything goes in the used market. And my counterpoint perspective is.... buying into a brand! THAT's a different perspective, and one I prefer. are you a money grinder, and just looking for the thrill of the kill on a deal, when you buy? Is that what you want to be known as? or are you a buyer of fine instruments? Craviotto, Cherry hill vs Ludwig and Gretsch.... is there a difference? I'd say so, depending on what's important to you. feeling good about a drum regardless of how it sounds, costs or plays, DOES to some extent have a value.

I've known so many drummers to sell off drums they got bored of, only to buy them back at some point. I get that money matters but, time after time I've seen more sellers regret, than buyers remorse, when it comes to high end drums. a lot of the 80's drums are coming back into fashion, for a reason. cheap will always be in fashion to some, and I get that. but it's a good idea to buy into a brand and keep the drumming industry alive. with out it.... we'd have to play another instrument.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
Can't help but chime in on this, especially regarding two parts of the discussion:

1. I've known Keith since the mid-80s. He's a fine builder, with lots of experience and quality work. He's also a great guy, open to conversation, and very knowledgeable about drums generally. If he's in your area, I'd recommend that you contact him directly.

2. As a boutique builder myself, I can tell you that there are dozens of nuances in the design/build process that combine to make substantial differences in tone, voice, sustain, projection, durability, tunability, etc, that to most people would fall under the category of TLC. In reality, there are reasons for these decisions, choices, and techniques, and they require a great deal more time and craftsmanship than mass-production methods can allow. Generally speaking, a good boutique builder works toward the highest quality level he can, while a mass producer works toward a target price point and builds what they can accomplish within it. I don't do a lot of modification work, but I've taken apart drums from even the "best" big brands and found plenty of skeletons in those closets. So, yes, you pay more, but the product is more as well. If a big brand went through all the steps, processes, and checks-and-balances that I use, I'd hate to think what that price tag would be. All that being said, if you can't hear or feel the difference, or appreciate the difference between a high-end musical instrument and one you can manage to play on, by all means save the money. There's no single universal solution that's right for everybody.
 
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