Crimped Snare Beds?

MikeM

Platinum Member
My Joyful Noise TKO Brass has these. You can't really see from any pics of these drums since the bottom hoop pretty well covers them (you can a little if you're looking for them), but as soon as you take off the bottom head, you can see that there are massive indentations into the side of the shell which is how they're getting the bearing edge to sit so much lower than the rest of the snare side bearing edge (that's the crimped part for those who didn't already know - I didn't). In fact, the beds sit so low that tuning the bottom head is a nightmare.

Who knows about these things and has experience with them? I'm seriously questioning the wisdom of this practice since going for an "even" tuning causes such a radical distortion of the reso head that it can't possibly resonate in any "even" sort of way.

I haven't had this drum for very long and spent a ton on it, but I'm getting a little frustrated at my inability to get the thing to open up and tune nice. I'm thinking it's the snare beds distorting the bottom head and causing the drum to choke - it doesn't seem to matter how I tune the drum. None of my other metal snares have anything even close to this - do Ludwigs even have snare beds? I should know since I have two ... I looked at them the other night to see; if they're there at all, they're not very deep - and I definitely like the way they tune up and sound.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I have had a couple of snare drums with deep snare beds, and I really like them. Most metal snares (like your Ludwigs) do not have deep snare beds, though.

There are trade-offs. Shallow beds can make a snare drum more sensitive, especially at low volume, and it's easier to tune the reso head evenly.

But drums with deeper beds tend to be less problematic about sympathetic buzz, and they CAN be tuned evenly and provide plenty of sensitivity. You just have to get that reso head seated. And yes, you can see the distortion of the head, but it's not a problem. You can still get an even pitch at each lug.

Give it some time, and keep experimenting with tuning. A deep snare bed should not prevent you from getting a good open sound. It should have more effect on the nature of the snare response.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Hey Mike, have you made any more headway with this snare? I'm really curious.

If you are still struggling, maybe you could PM Clint (cdrums21). I believe he has the same snare, and may have some helpful input.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I'm still struggling with it. I do have the bottom head tensioned evenly all the way around - the pitch is the same at every lug and overall the reso is at, or near, the same pitch as my other 3 snares. But obviously with that design, I have to crank down on the rods at the snare beds quite a bit more than the others to get it there. This concerns me a little because I imagine that the snare side hoop is bending to conform to the shape of the shell (not that I would care if the drum was sounding amazing).

On the sensitivity issue; since the bearing edge is lower at the snare clips, the reso head itself must be tracing a gradual arc from one end of the snare to the other, which means that when you switch the snares on, they're going to make contact with the reso head in the center of the drum long before they make contact out at the clips. Normally, I like my snares kinda loose (to keep the drum open sounding), but that doesn't work because by the time I get the snares against the head out at the clips, they're quite tight up against the head in the middle and much tighter than I would normally go for.

I suspect that between the wires being tighter than I want and the distorted shape of the reso head itself, that I'll probably never get it really dialed in where I'm comfortable with it. I was actually toying with the idea of emailing Curt to ask about the possibility of a shell swap for one without the crimped beds since I can find no other reason for the difficulty I'm having. I have no idea how he'd feel about that, but it's such an amazingly well-built drum that I hate thinking that I might end up selling it.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Yeah, I hope you can get it set up to suit you. Maybe he'll work with you on the shell.

It's very odd that the deep snare bed is causing you to have to tighten the snares too much. My Musashi, while not the same class of drum at all, has really deep beds and it actually sounds better with loose snares than my metal shell snares with shallow beds. There is less random and sympathetic buzz. I know it's not an apples to apples comparison because of size and shell material, but still shows that deep beds can work...

I guess each drum really is an individual. Good luck on getting yours to respond the way you want!
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Thanks for bringing this thread back. That motivated me and I just sent an email to Curt explaining what I explained to you to see what he thinks. I also asked if he would consider swapping shells for one with no, or little, snare bed. As I said in my email to him, it probably wouldn't matter to anyone who prefers a little dryer head sound or a tighter snares sound. It just doesn't seem to be working with my tuning and snare tension preferences. I'd sure hate to have to sell it, but that's just too much dough for a drum that isn't scratching my itch and that will just be under-used. If push comes to shove, I will very reluctantly flip it.

Interesting about the deep beds on your Musashi. It doesn't seem like it should matter that they're such different drums as the same principals should still apply. Right??
 

12x7

Senior Member
My Tama exotix snare was unplayable for me, cause it was so biting and loud. I looked at the snare bed and it was virtually non existant. I pulled out some sand paper and made them deeper. It made the drum a bit mellow and tightened up the sound. It is more dry, but it sounds more pleasing to my ear. And for recording it is a dream.

I got the idea when I bought a Dunnett Cola snare for a weekend. (returned it---wife in shock over purchase) The snare beds were WAY deep. I figured how can I screw up my beds when the Dunnett was so extreme.

It is nice to have people talking about snare beds, as IMHO, they are one of the most important parts of the snare.

BTW I listened to a youtube clip of that snare and it sounded dry, I do not think you can get the sound you are hearing from it. Maybe experimenting with snare wires. get a 42 strand, and then a 16 strand.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
My Tama exotix snare was unplayable for me, cause it was so biting and loud. I looked at the snare bed and it was virtually non existant. I pulled out some sand paper and made them deeper. It made the drum a bit mellow and tightened up the sound. It is more dry, but it sounds more pleasing to my ear. And for recording it is a dream.

I got the idea when I bought a Dunnett Cola snare for a weekend. (returned it---wife in shock over purchase) The snare beds were WAY deep. I figured how can I screw up my beds when the Dunnett was so extreme.

It is nice to have people talking about snare beds, as IMHO, they are one of the most important parts of the snare.

BTW I listened to a youtube clip of that snare and it sounded dry, I do not think you can get the sound you are hearing from it. Maybe experimenting with snare wires. get a 42 strand, and then a 16 strand.
Very interesting bit of anecdotal information you posted. I just got off the phone with Curt (30+ minute conversation and as nice a guy as everyone says) and what he explained is much like you describe. Namely, that with "Barely Beds" (as he called them) you get a much wider sweet spot, which is great for backbeat players who need a bigger target, but with deeper beds, you get more voices as you move around the drum's surface so you need to be more mindful of just where you're hitting and how hard. He also gave me some tips on how to bring up the tension on the reso head, which needs to be tension tighter than where I have it, and the finer points on how to make the most of the strainer & snare set up, which will also need to be tighter than my normal setup.

I'll be trying all these tips tomorrow night at practice. I think you're also right, 12x7, that I'm probably not going to be able to get out of this drum what my other drums are giving me and Joyful Noise has made the design decision not to do barely beds so a shell swap is not an option. So it's now a matter of me adjusting to the drum instead of the other way around. I'm moving forward with an open mind; we'll see if I can adjust to a narrower sweet spot and more voices with more snare reso and wire tension than I'm accustomed to hearing. Different drums, different purposes, and different setups.

I agree - this is a fascinating topic! Who knew?
 

wcbrown

Member
hi mike,
been toiling with the same "problem" but in a good way. i have a Beacon Bronze i purchased in November, i was like you at first. very frustrated with what i was getting, like you said wasn't scratching my itch. the only real advice i can share with you is this:
just stick with it and tweak, tweak, tweak!! it's there trust me, i have also tried, and i like, Pearl Ultrasound snare wires. these drums aren't for the faint of heart, that's for sure.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Started to tweak my 5x14 Standard brass model today. To get a crsiper and more articulate sound, I needed to loosen the two rods on both sides of the snare bed approx. a quarter of a turn, then increased the other six rods at least the same amount. This made all the difference in getting bettter snare response.
I use an Ambassador clear snare side tuned med-tight at a higher pitch than the batter. At least a major fifth or sixth pitch difference between the bottom and top heads. There was a bit of a learning process to tuning Curt's drums due to the fact that I was brought up playing snare drums with a shallow bed. It takes some practice to dial in just where you like it.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
How's it going over there Mike? Very interested in this thread.
+1. Any updates you could share?
Inquiring minds want to know! lol
Well, all I can say is that I've had two more practices with it and have taken all of Curt's suggestions. When it's just me playing by myself with it, it sounds awesome. It really does. Yeah, the snares are tighter than I'd like and I back them off so far that they're starting to come off the reso head out toward the edge so I can't really go any looser, but it sounds good.

Then the guitar player plugs in and we start running through some material. This is where I'm still struggling because it still has that choked feel to it. I guess I really like that 7" diameter sweet spot you get with the barely beds because I'm really missing it when I play this drum (and I get it right back the moment I throw my Supra back up on the stand). I can make my other drums have this characteristic just by going a turn or two too many on the snare strainer to get the wires tight enough to start choking the drum, but I can't unchoke the JN without getting tons of very loose wires and much diminished snare action.
hi mike,
been toiling with the same "problem" but in a good way. i have a Beacon Bronze i purchased in November, i was like you at first. very frustrated with what i was getting, like you said wasn't scratching my itch. the only real advice i can share with you is this:
just stick with it and tweak, tweak, tweak!! it's there trust me, i have also tried, and i like, Pearl Ultrasound snare wires. these drums aren't for the faint of heart, that's for sure.
Good to hear that there's still hope! I do plan a strict regimen of further tweaking as I'm not ready to give up yet, but tbh, hopes are starting to fade and I'm worried about a drum that is so finicky that dialing it in becomes too much of a chore. It's quite possible that these types of snare beds aren't for everybody - including me.
Started to tweak my 5x14 Standard brass model today. To get a crsiper and more articulate sound, I needed to loosen the two rods on both sides of the snare bed approx. a quarter of a turn, then increased the other six rods at least the same amount. This made all the difference in getting bettter snare response.
I use an Ambassador clear snare side tuned med-tight at a higher pitch than the batter. At least a major fifth or sixth pitch difference between the bottom and top heads. There was a bit of a learning process to tuning Curt's drums due to the fact that I was brought up playing snare drums with a shallow bed. It takes some practice to dial in just where you like it.
The problem I'm having isn't with any lack of sensitivity; it's too much sensitivity and at the expense of a definite sweet spot and wide openness. But I'm willing to try anything (and everything) so I'll try your tuning tips. BTW, are you tuning the reso that way and leaving the head out of tune with itself? Seems to me that's what will happen when I try it, unless I'm misunderstanding you prescription :)

That's all for now. I'll keep screwing around with this thing. We're playing a show Wednesday and I really want to use it for that so I can hear it in another room, but I will have a backup ready to go if I'm not feeling this drum. I'll post how that turns out.
 

wcbrown

Member
a little more in depth on what i am doing, first off i really like bronze drums, i had a 6 1/2 Pearl Sensitone Phosphur Bronze i retro fitted with tubes, loved that thing.
i initially wanted a Studio Bronze, but after reading some reviews, and hearing a couple examples, the Beacon was more for me. i am in a straight blues band, i needed something with a nice woody, dry, rim-shot, but with cutting power, but not too (rock & rolly) bright. we are low volume, but a trio and i needed the back beat to be there. lot's of shuffles and swing.
i can't say that i have any standard set formula for what i do to tune my snares, i have been playing for 44 years, so i guess it's just the old experience thing, however with this, it has taken some time like you said with the deeper beds. not for the faint of heart, THIS is a serious instrument. i DO have the 2 rods on each side cranked a bit tighter. not much just enough to "snug" the mylar. i also bought, after totaling my original do to a drop,a new drum dial. i figured with this much "cash" invested, another 55 bucks ain't gonna kill me. i do not use the dial to tune, but i do check my readings after i get what i want, just too check MY consistency. the batter head is snugged to about 88-89, i was pretty shocked at how close they all where when i checked them. i honestly am not sure what my snare side is, i will check it tonight. i just got the dial last week. the more i sit and fuss with this thing the better it gets, it's just a matter of adjusting i think, these are special drums. the thing Curt emphasizes and is true, there is a wide range of tones across the batter head, i am starting to really get that. lot's of options.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Any further developments Mike?
Here's the latest: I brought this drum home to take it apart, get some pics, and put the stock heads back on to get it ready for some eBay action. There was a lot of sun coming through the window so the light was excellent as I removed the snares and gave the whole reso side a last round of close scrutiny. It wasn't easy to see but I could tell that despite giving extra turns at the snare gates and despite that it *sounded* like it was evenly tensioned, the reso head was definitely NOT seated at the deepest part of the beds. So throwing caution to the wind I set out determined to find out what it would take to get the reso seated all the way. Starting with the reso loosened to just finger tight, I probably got 15 turns on each of the 4 snare gate rods before contact was made (may have been more but I lost count). At this point, the reso hoop was hilariously distorted (it's cool - I have a rubber mallet to undo it). Then I minimally tensioned the other 6 rods to even it out - whatever that meant! I continued to fiddle with the tuning for another 10 minutes when who should call? Curt! Uncanny, I tell you. Man, I don't know how he could've known, but he's a pretty spiritual guy and it wouldn't surprise me if he sensed a major disturbance in The Force as there can be little doubt that I had just unleashed a ton of it on this poor drum!

So we get to talking (he's a really great guy who clearly cares a lot about these drums) and he's telling me that I probably just trashed this reso head - he wasn't going to get any argument from me on that. But the deed was done and it was sounding pretty good. It sounded good before though and never had trouble sounding good on its own, so I decided to take it to practice to check it with the band (the only way to really know, IMO).

So far so good. It was a lot more open than ever before and the balance between shell and snare contribution was right where I like it. I even rotated my Supra in and out for reference because that drum always sounds awesome, and the JN was holding its own and sounding downright sweet.
 
Last edited:

Smatch

Senior Member
Here's the latest: I brought this drum home to take it apart, get some pics, and put the stock heads back on to get it ready for some eBay action. There was a lot of sun coming through the window so the light was excellent as I removed the snares and gave the whole reso side a last round of close scrutiny. It wasn't easy to see but I could tell that despite giving extra turns at the snare gates and despite that it *sounded* like it was evenly tensioned, the reso head was definitely NOT seated at the deepest part of the beds. So throwing caution to the wind I set out determined to find out what it would take to get the reso seated all the way. Starting with the reso loosened to just finger tight, I probably got 15 turns on each of the 4 snare gate rods before contact was made (may have been more but I lost count). At this point, the reso hoop was hilariously distorted (it's cool - I have a rubber mallet to undo it). Then I minimally tensioned the other 6 rods to even it out - whatever that meant! I continued to fiddle with the tuning for another 10 minutes when who should call? Curt! Uncanny, I tell you. Man, I don't know how he could've known, but he's a pretty spiritual guy and it wouldn't surprise me if he sensed a major disturbance in The Force as there can be little doubt that I had just unleashed a ton of it on this poor drum!

So we get to talking (he's a really great guy who clearly cares a lot about these drums) and he's telling me that I probably just trashed this reso head - he wasn't going to get any argument from me on that. But the deed was done and it was sounding pretty good. It sounded good before though and never had trouble sounding good on its own, so I decided to take it to practice to check it with the band (the only way to really know, IMO).

So far so good. It was a lot more open than ever before and the balance between shell and snare contribution was right where I like it. I even rotated my Supra in and out for reference because that drum always sounds awesome, and the JN was holding its own and sounding downright sweet.
Wow that's pretty crazy. What did Curt say in regards to the head not seating? These drums are far too expensive for there to be any issues with their construction. They need to be perfect for the price. I absolutely love my 5x14 Studio Line bronze and still am kind of blown away by how good it feels and sounds. If I were experiencing the issues you have described I would be going nuts. Hope everything works out for you and your snare.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Wow that's pretty crazy. What did Curt say in regards to the head not seating? These drums are far too expensive for there to be any issues with their construction. They need to be perfect for the price. I absolutely love my 5x14 Studio Line bronze and still am kind of blown away by how good it feels and sounds. If I were experiencing the issues you have described I would be going nuts. Hope everything works out for you and your snare.
He said that it wasn't worth worrying if the head was seated there or not and that if it was the wrinkling that I was concerned with, that I could take a hair dryer or heat gun to remove it. Now here's the rub: how could it possibly NOT matter if the head is seated? I mean, we have these discussions about minutiae like snare cords vs. straps and their sonic differences (cords all the way - I can definitely tell the difference) but being able to seat the reso at the beds and otherwise evenly tension the reso all the way around isn't worth worrying about? I'm skeptical; I think it absolutely matters, but I won't go as far as to say one is better than the other. It's preference. I'm trying to be as thorough as possible, but am coming to the conclusion that deep snare beds overly complicate tuning a drum, despite what it's benefits might be - at least for how I like to tune. I think this drum would probably be a total beast with a barely bed, but that's just me and not part of the JN philosophy.

FWIW, I measured the beds, which are 3" wide and 3/16" deep (as opposed to more than twice and wide and less than half as deep for a barely bed). Pretty hard to get a head to seat in such a deep and narrow channel, but I'll take it on faith Curt's claim that it doesn't matter as long as that's a sound you're happy with.

Is your snare bed that deep and are you seating it all the way down to the bottom of the bed? If you haven't closely scrutinized it already, try checking under really good lighting and carefully run your fingernail over the head above the beds to verify whether it's actually seated. I'd be curious to know.
 

wcbrown

Member
Wow that's pretty crazy. What did Curt say in regards to the head not seating? These drums are far too expensive for there to be any issues with their construction. They need to be perfect for the price. I absolutely love my 5x14 Studio Line bronze and still am kind of blown away by how good it feels and sounds. If I were experiencing the issues you have described I would be going nuts. Hope everything works out for you and your snare.
well........... i have mentioned this before about mine. i bought it at the end of October from Fork's. when i opened it and lifted it out of the box, something didn't look quite right. it didn't take long to figure it out..........splay and not just casual splay either. like you said these drums are far too expensive to be less than perfect. i was upset. anyhow long story short, curt took it back, determined that there was 1. splay, 2. over sized snare side hoop (changed that) AND 3. the shell was a bit out of round (trued that), my confidence pretty much died when i heard that. so i get the drum back open it up, the shell was foggy, cold morning in the UPS truck. though not as bad there still is splay, i then looked at it again after a couple hours and DAM* !!! apperently the strainer was bumped somehow in shipping and the 2 mounting screw areas were dimpled pretty good. i talked to curt, back again. he removed the dimples, but the splay is there. i just hate that other guys think i am imagining this and that i shouldn't be upset over it, well it was a LOT OF MONEY and it should be perfect. i STILL have not fallen head over heels for this thing. buyers remorse and a large dose of dissapointment i guess. i have wanted one of these for 6 years. now..........................????
 
Top