Bronze Snare Recommendations

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
If you want a true Bell Bronze (cast bronze) shell, go with Duluth. John Holt at Duluth is your guy and he's one of the best in the business. He worked with Ocheltree on the Paiste Spirit of 2002 and and the Tree Bronze snares. I believe his shells are also used in the DW Truecast. Duluth isn't an actual drum shop, but John has been making custom snares and shells for so many other companies and drummers directly, they're one of the best at what they do. Other options are Oriollo in Serbia, VK drums in the UK (super high quality. They make custom snares for Danny Carey), and some of your other hard-to-find models from manufacturers like Sonor, Tama and Noble & Cooley (they did the Zildjian cast snare).

What's great about John is he offers two cast options: CA 907 (80% copper, 20% tin or something like that). He calls this the Tree Bronze. It is less prone to cracking because it's got less tin. He recommends this option for a standard bell bronze snare.

The other option is CA 954, which is aluminum bronze (mostly copper with some aluminum). He uses this alloy mostly for hoops. It's a darker alloy.

He can custom-make any shell size, thickness or bearing edge. For example, the DW Truecast is 5 mm edges with a 3 mm concave middle.

I had a 5" x 14" shell made to fit my Peparl free floating chassis. I tried to mimic the highly sought-after Tama Bell Bronze snares and went with the 3mm thickness with the 45 degree sharp classic bearing edge on one side. Since the shell can be switched upside down on the free floaters, I had John make a rounded 45 degree edge on the other side.

Long story short, John was phenomenal to work with and quoted me some addition CA 054 aluminum bronze hoops with the shell. He packs everything perfectly tight (super high grade packaging with plywood, foam, and polishing cloth). Since my shell didn't require and drilling or mounting of hardware, he had it out to me in like 4 weeks tops. Super quick.

If you want, you can buy your own lugs, grommets, throw offs and additional hardware and ship to him, and he'll install it on the shell for you.

I couldnt be happier with my Duluth shell. Drum business has bee so good for him, he just launched his own website: https://www.duluthbrassdrums.com/

View attachment 96987
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This is what I did.


It’s being built as we speak. I’m having custom brass tube lugs made as well.

5mm thick, 14x6.5, bronze shell, aluminum bronze hoops. Gold trick throw off, brass tension rods

John was awesome to work with
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
When will you have enough? Do they all really sound/feel that different to you? Is there really something you're not hearing from your current stable of snare drums?
I for sure can tell a difference in sound and feel.

But I enjoy collecting Snares just as other people like collecting coins or whatever.

I enjoy the craftsmanship, the beauty of them and also the sound variety.


I don’t have any snares made of the same material except my Supra & acro. They are different:
Ludwig copper phonic
Ludwig black beauty (nickel over brass)
Ludwig raw Brass
Ludwig Supraphonic 14x6.5 (aluminum )
Ludwig Black Galaxy Acrolite 14x5
Ludwig Keystone X (Oak/maple/Oak plies)
Ludwig 110th anniversary exotic avodire (maple)
Sonor Benny Greb 2.0 (Beech)

Soon I will have a 5mm thick bronze shell from Duluth which is custom to my liking and configuration. And it will be nothing like I own


I also have an A&F Raw Brass snare on order as well BUT that’s because it’s absolutely beautiful and also happens to sound great. Wanted one the moment I Saw it.


I collect Jordan 1’s and high end snares. It makes me happy
 

mitkoni

Senior Member
Not to de-thread, but how do you like the yamaha crosstown hardware? I see you are supporting a tom/cymbal no problem. Just wondering if they are worth the extra price. I have to say my hardware bag is now ridiculously heavy and would like to save my back.
I like it :) I was worried a bit about adding a tom on a clamp too, but so far so good. It's definetly much lighter.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I've had a bit of a wild hair to build one myself; how much did the shell and hoops run you?
I think it was roughly 500-550 or so for the shell then like 150 for the hoops.

Trick 24k gold plated throw off was 125, custom built brass tube lugs from All Star Drums was 140 I think, air vent was 10, then brass tension rods were like 10-15 bucks

I’ll be using Sonor 24 strand Bronze snare wires as well which were like 60 bucks.

So I’m right around 1100 bucks total.


However you can get it cheaper if choose a cheaper throw off, lugs and stuff like that.

But 1100 with Bronze hoops is cheaper than any where I’ve seen on online.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
Dont know if this means anything, but if youre going for a bronze snare I'd avoid phosphor bronze - it's much closer to copper than actual bronze. Can't remember the exact metal ratios but if you're bothered it's easily researchable.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Man, I just found two new options.


The Ahead Snare is only 650 and is Cast Bell Brass which im fairly sure is just Cast Bronze.


And then, if I want to go over my budget, I found this company:

I can vouch for the Ahead snare. It has a cast 6" shell and it comes with a Trick strainer and S-Hoops. This thing is a monster! It has plenty of authority but it can handle brushes as well. Make sure that you have a good snare stand though. It weighs around 22-24 pounds. I got this to take out on the road so that I could leave my Gretsch Brooklyn Bell Brass at home but I'm thinking about selling the Brookly because I've fallen in love with the Ahead.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I can vouch for the Ahead snare. It has a cast 6" shell and it comes with a Trick strainer and S-Hoops. This thing is a monster! It has plenty of authority but it can handle brushes as well. Make sure that you have a good snare stand though. It weighs around 22-24 pounds. I got this to take out on the road so that I could leave my Gretsch Brooklyn Bell Brass at home but I'm thinking about selling the Brookly because I've fallen in love with the Ahead.


I didn’t end up getting the Ahead. But I did go Ape shit and get a bronze snare from Duluth

That said today I impulse bought a Gretsch USA Custom Bell Brass and then 2 days ago a A&F Raw Brass.

Seems the ahead snare is a steal though
 
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markdrum

Silver Member
Willing to spend a thousand so it’s at the top of my budget.

Gah... my brain is going to explode.

internet buying sucks too because I’m relying on videos.

I just think a bronze casted snare maybe out of the budget but that bell brass may come close.
According to a friend of mine who is a metallurgist "Bell Brass" is bell bronze. "Bell Brass" is just a term the marketing geniuses over at Tama came up with thinking the the word "brass" would boost sales. Try lowering the price next time Biff and Muffy. . Look at the alloy used for the shell.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I didn’t end up getting the Ahead. But I did go Ape shit and get a bronze snare from Duluth

That said today I impulse bought a Gretsch USA Custom Bell Brass and then 2 days ago a A&F Raw Brass.

Seems the ahead snare is a steal though
You'll soon have 3 bell brass snares at your disposal?? (Gretsch Bell Brass, A&F Raw Brass, and the custom Duluth)

Would love to see a demo video once you have them all dialed in!
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
You'll soon have 3 bell brass snares at your disposal?? (Gretsch Bell Brass, A&F Raw Brass, and the custom Duluth)

Would love to see a demo video once you have them all dialed in!
Duluth makes Bronze. Bell Brass doesn’t exist.

It is either Bell Bronze or Brass.

Thank Tama for that confusion back in the days.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
Duluth makes Bronze. Bell Brass doesn’t exist.

It is either Bell Bronze or Brass.

Thank Tama for that confusion back in the days.

But I think other companies have muddied the waters even more. Because while tama bell brass was really cast bell Bronze

And my Duluth is going to be cast bell bronze. But I have literally no ideas what the Gretsch Bell Brass is made of because some companies seem to do cast Brass shells.

So tama used the term for bronze but now other companies are using the same term for actual cast brass snares. I’m assuming the Gretsch and ahead bell brass snares are actually brass this time.

But lol it’s hard to get a straight answer from Anyone
 

cold fusion

Member
Hi All

I'm looking to add a Bronze Snare to Round out my collection and wanted to hear some thoughts on the some of the ones I'm considering or even a suggestion of a few Im not.

I have 7 Snares at the moment, All from Ludwig (BB, Acro, Supra, Copperphonic, Raw Brass, Maple, Oak) but I'm not dead set on making this Bronze addition a Ludwig drum. I'm open to other brands.

Ideally I'd love a VK bronze snare or Sonor BUT my wife would kill me.

So the budget is $1000 or less and I'd like to stick with a 6.5" depth, but open to 8"

So Far there are the ones I'm considering and will pull the trigger next week:

  • Ludwig Black Beauty Bronze (a re-issue for 2020): Retails for $829 BUT a seller on Reverb offered it new for $740!
  • Ludwig Bronze Phonic: $809
  • Ludwig Bronze Phonic B-Stock: $699
  • DW Knurled Bronze 14x6.5: $820 (from my local Drum Shop )
  • Gretsch USA Custom Bronze: $499
  • PDP Concept Select Bell Bronze: $899 (brand new model, expensive for PDP hardware though, but has a 3mm shell)
  • Pearl Sensitone Phosphor Bronze 14x6.5 (if I can find it): $600

Let me know Your thoughts.


I'm Currently leaning towards the Bronze Phonic B-Stock (only scratches internally) but the 3mm Shell thickness of the DW and PDP intrigues me.
Man I just sold mine to guitar center they bought it for $300.00 a 6.5x14 Smooth Bronze Supraphonic (like right now in Fairfax VA guitar center)
 
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