Free Floating Snare thoughts

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
Long time since my last post. Busy times...good to be back with something to ask about.

So, I just bought a Pearl 5x14 FF (with maple insert). It's not even in my hands yet and I have a question about tuning a FF.

I'm used to having my reso more tensioned than the batter and just adjusting the batter if I want to change the basic pitch and sensitivity up.

FFs are balanced between their heads, yes?

I've done quite a bit of online searching and no one really has anything (tutorial or tips) on sequence and what the does what to the drum when changing heads up, or what works and doesn't work with respect to tuning top/bottom, desired head types, strainer types, etc.

Honestly, this could be a pretty good sticky as I'm interested to hear it all from those who've been using them. Almost got a piccolo, but went with the 5.5" for versatility (or at least what my mind knows as a versatile size)...

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Andy
 

MJD

Silver Member
I used a brass FF for the last record i made. I tuned it the way i always tune a snare with the reso a little higher and it sounded great. Since it was not my drum(belonged to our producer) and I didn't use it for a prolonged period of time i can't give you more info than that. As with any new drum i'd say go through some trial and error and figure out where you think it sounds best tuning wise. Also a call to Pearl(or email or whatever) might be in order as i'm sure they've gotten this question before.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
tune it like every other snare on the planet. They tend to be a little dryer sounding than a regular snare. That's about it. I wouldn't over think it. My #1 snare since the mid 90's was a 6 1/2" brass free floater. It's my 'one that got away' piece of gear when I sold it last year.

the lugs don't contact the shell, but they don't pull on each other either. Batter and reso are tuned independently
 

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
Ok. Cool. Thanks. I’m totally looking forward to being an owner of one. Played a Tico Torres once at a shop and made a poor choice in not buying it when I had the chance.

What’s the deal with the extended strainer that I see on some? I don’t believe the one I purchased has the proper extended strainer on it because it doesn’t expand past the bottom bearing. They’re $14 on Amazon. Get it?
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
I had a 6.5 deep brass drum for a few years. Great for rock but one of the least sensitive drums I've ever used.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
Ok. Cool. Thanks. I’m totally looking forward to being an owner of one. Played a Tico Torres once at a shop and made a poor choice in not buying it when I had the chance.

What’s the deal with the extended strainer that I see on some? I don’t believe the one I purchased has the proper extended strainer on it because it doesn’t expand past the bottom bearing. They’re $14 on Amazon. Get it?
The Tico Torres was pretty rare and I've heard they are really great.

first and second gen free floaters have the extended snares so only the snare wires are contacting the head. THey have special throw offs that stick further out from the chassis. I wouldn't worry about it, they stopped doing it, and 95% of us wouldn't hear the difference anyways. And the extended snares can be hard to find and / or expensive.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Ok. Cool. Thanks. I’m totally looking forward to being an owner of one. Played a Tico Torres once at a shop and made a poor choice in not buying it when I had the chance.

What’s the deal with the extended strainer that I see on some? I don’t believe the one I purchased has the proper extended strainer on it because it doesn’t expand past the bottom bearing. They’re $14 on Amazon. Get it?

I have a maple FFS 5x14 too, it's a great drum. Personally I tune it like any other snare (reso fairly high, batter a little lower).

I think the strainer can vary according to the model. Mine is a 2nd generation - I think - and has the long strainer, and long wires. Possibly more recent versions have a normal shorter strainer/wires.
 

Matty1977

Senior Member
I have a 6.5 deep FF with maple shell and I love it.

Many people comment that the aluminium frame on the FFs tends to dry the sound out a bit. However, I have always thought that the lack of any port on the drum kinda negates this a little and balances things out. To my ears any overtones seem comparable to similar sized, "regular" maple snare drums when compared side by side.

Best results on heads for me come from using a Genera HD batter tuned medium-high and an Evans 200 snare side. Overtones are nicely controlled while the 200 gives a bit more wire sensitivity compared to a 300. Will likely try a basic G2 when it comes for the next head change but those HDs are built to last!

Tune it in the same way as any other snare and have fun experimenting with head and wire combinations.

Congrats on your purchase. Hope you will post an update when you get your hands / sticks on it.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Had a 14x8 Brass FF since 1991. Normal tuning on them. I do like mine tuned high though. immense crack to it :) It now just languishes on the shelf now though as I prefer my Tama SLP 13x7 G-Maple.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I have the older(10 yrs. ago?)14x 6.5 brass FF without the die-cast hoops but with standard 32 wire snare and Evans level 360 Genera Dry and I've been loving it for 4 years. Paid $100 locally on CL. Seems sensitive to me. Press rolls sound like"butter!"
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I had a 6.5 deep brass drum for a few years. Great for rock but one of the least sensitive drums I've ever used.
I owned one long ago and that is exactly my thoughts !
This snare drum sounded very good but only when you bashed it. it detuned quite fast too.
 

sticksnstonesrus

Silver Member
Not sure how to figure out the generation. Is there a database tthough pearl?

Hazy 200 ehh? I normally use a 300. I should get it tomorrow night hopefully it doesn’t need too much tlc. Probably freshen up the heads and replace the strainer.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Not sure how to figure out the generation. Is there a database tthough pearl?

Hazy 200 ehh? I normally use a 300. I should get it tomorrow night hopefully it doesn’t need too much tlc. Probably freshen up the heads and replace the strainer.
Gen 1 solid lugs ,2.3 mm hoops,Gladstone throw,extended snare bridge.
Gen 2 hollow lugs 2.3 mm hoops,SR 10 throwoff.,extended snare bridge.
Gen 3 hollow lugs ,SR10 strainer,die cast hoops,extended snare strainer.
Gen 4 hollow lugs ,die cast hoops,SR1000 strainer,regular length snares.
Gen 5 hollow lugs ,die cast hoops,SR160f strainer,regular length snares.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Not sure how to figure out the generation. Is there a database tthough pearl?
From memory (and I'm happy to stand corrected) it goes:

1st Gen: Hex "lugs" (for lack of a better term), with larger strainer and extended snare wires.
2nd Gen: Smooth round "lugs" with standard length wires.
3rd Gen: Smooth round "lugs" and newer style strainer. I think it's the SR-1000, but admittedly I only did a nano-second long google search on that.


EDIT: I see pgm replied whilst I was typing. I'll accept it's no doubt far more accurate.
 
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