Budget 6 1/2 x 14 snares that sound like Acros or Supras

Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
IMO, you get what you pay for. My second opinion is that's it's better to have less gear but stellar gear.
The Acrolite is hard to beat on performance vs price. The only affordable snares I've played that punch above their weight are Pearl Sensitone (various models). I rent and sample a ton of drums. Budget snares usually sound 'budget' to me.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
I'm not a fan of steel. Very sharp, very harsh sounding in my experience.
Ya, some can be. But that Yammy Stage Custom and Pearl steel sure come off great in all the demos I've heard, and the basic character of each drum seems to go with it from demo to demo. Did not care for the demos of the Yamaha that's just badged "Steel," as it defines what you're talking about, but the Pearl and SC come off pretty great to me.

Let's be honest here, Chris...Paul McCartney, or anyone in the actual record business, is unlikely to call me ever. At best I'll maybe do some sessions with a local band. And as you may remember, I already own the best snare in the known universe. I just don't want to take it to gigs at some corner dump where people are within ripping off or falling into the set distance. I don't know why I've gotten all precious about this snare when I never did before, but I guess drummer horror stories will do that to you.

So my MO so far is to take the words of drummers whose opinions come from a much broader gear background than mine, and buy stuff that may not make up the set of my dreams but has super tone anyway. So I now have two very solid choices of metal snares that are easy to find at a hundy or less, as well as a world of non-drummers selling occasional really nice stuff they don't know all that much about at basement prices. I may go cheap but it's always well-chosen cheap. I'm relying on that, my undeniable charm which you've seen on constant display here since I joined :D my abilities at singing harmonies, and rock solid but unspectacular drumming to form a confluence of positivity around my lack of recent experience and cheapness.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
Dn't know why Paul McCartney is even mentioned.
The basis of my opinion is that I recently recorded close to 40 different snares for a drum sample company:

And again, slightly fewer for Roland:
And I certainly took your opinion about the Pearl to heart. I just wanted to bring up Paul because I think it's incredibly cool you played with him, and very few people are in that club of all-time greats, and you got to do it with Hamish Stuart to boot. It also points out the disparity between the two of us :D
 

BGDurham

Well-known Member
You might consider reviewing former Modern Drummer Editor Mike Dawson's multi-episode "Snare of the Week" series. It has expensive/inexpensive and known/unknown snares. Here is episode 1:
 

Superman

Gold Member
There are SO many good used snare drums sub $300 out there. I pick them up all the time. I got a Pearl BNOB Sensitone for $150 last week. I got a Hendrix stave maple well under $300 recently. I grabbed a Pearl MCX Maple for $175 a couple months ago. This thread isn't about me, but I wouldn't even consider a Stage Custom snare in the used market. Just my opinion.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Buy once, cry once with this one. Save up and get a 402 otherwise you'll get exactly what you pay for cheap and nasty. You'll also end up wasting more money making a cheap snare sound vaguely usable. As we all know you can't polish a turd!

A 402 is a snare for life.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
There are SO many good used snare drums sub $300 out there. I pick them up all the time. I got a Pearl BNOB Sensitone for $150 last week. I got a Hendrix stave maple well under $300 recently. I grabbed a Pearl MCX Maple for $175 a couple months ago. This thread isn't about me, but I wouldn't even consider a Stage Custom snare in the used market. Just my opinion.
If I can find a nice higher end snare for low money, I will certainly snag it over a cheaper one. I just wanted to know what the most current cheapos that play above their league are as a fallback plan in case I can't pick up a sweet vintage Slingerland metal snare for $100. Looks like it's not out of the realm of possibility, though.
 

Iristone

Well-known Member
IMO, you get what you pay for. My second opinion is that's it's better to have less gear but stellar gear.
The Acrolite is hard to beat on performance vs price. The only affordable snares I've played that punch above their weight are Pearl Sensitone (various models). I rent and sample a ton of drums. Budget snares usually sound 'budget' to me.
This is valid under the assumption that all costs of the snare drums are spent on materials and craftsmanship (including the salary/wages of the craftsmen).
In reality, it is often complicated by brand upcharge and import postage/tax. A Japanese drum of a similar quality will cost a lot more than an American one in the US for that matter (in China it's the polar opposite). Some manufacturers would deliberately cut corners on their lower-cost products, so that the customers would think that all the extra money was used to buy the higher quality.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
This is valid under the assumption that all costs of the snare drums are spent on materials and craftsmanship (including the salary/wages of the craftsmen).
In reality, it is often complicated by brand upcharge and import postage/tax.
With years of experience I have found very few cheap drums actually deliver consistently. I do think some drums and drum brands are over priced, but that's where user reviews and friend's recommendations make the difference.
I just have not found a $200 snare drum to be that great. They can be good on one day, or on one song, but not consistent performers.
That's why I say you generally get what you pay for (up to a point). Large numbers of people will tell you a Pearl Sensitone or an Acrolite are great performers. I would take that feedback over one or two people raving about a $100 steel drum. But each to their own.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
OK, so here's what I'm getting out of this entire conversation summed up into one sentence:

Jim, you may actually enjoy the heck playing out of a cheap but good steel snare, but you're best served by getting used to the idea of bringing your prized Ludwig and watching it like a hawk on more cheesy gigs, and waiting for a deal on the metal snare you really want, which of course is a Supra.

Do I have it right?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
FWIW, the Stage Custom snare you're considering is anything but cheap and nasty and it enjoys a fabulous reputation outside of this forum. It benefits from thicker hoops and better drum heads (especially Remo CS reverse dot) but it is still a solid snare to begin with. You'll eventually replace the heads anyway so there's a guaranteed upgrade.

I own budget snares and I own "classics" in a manner of speaking and budget snares can flirt with greatness if done right. The Yamaha snare is such a drum.
 
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Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
This is cheaper than a 6.5" Supra:

Or get an Acrolite (not 6.5")
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
FWIW, the Stage Custom snare you're considering is anything but cheap and nasty and it enjoys a fabulous reputation outside of this forum also. It benefits from thicker hoops and better drum heads (especially Remo CS reverse dot) but it is still a solid snare to begin with. You'll eventually replace the heads anyway so there's a guaranteed upgrade.

I own budget snares and I own "classics" in a manner of speaking and budget snares can flirt with greatness if done right. The Yamaha snare is such a drum.
Just when I thought I was out...

:D

Are the CS dots just something you enjoy or does it work and play well with Ambassadors? I didn't like the CS reverse on my Ludwig.

This is cheaper than a 6.5" Supra:

Or get an Acrolite (not 6.5")
If I can find a sweet deal on either once I'm finally ready to pull the trigger, I'm on them. But why not the 6.5 Acro?
 

Mcdonap

Member
Buy once, cry once with this one. Save up and get a 402 otherwise you'll get exactly what you pay for cheap and nasty. You'll also end up wasting more money making a cheap snare sound vaguely usable. As we all know you can't polish a turd!

A 402 is a snare for life.
Great advice.
I would add, if you don't need this for a gig or recording today, why not save up a little longer and get what you really want. If you do need it for a gig or recording NOW, why not borrow one. Surely you have some contacts from your bass playing?
 
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