Give an inch...

AzHeat

Platinum Member
A question that can only be solved by buying the same exact snare in both sizes!🤪

Seriously, it's like asking what can a 20" BD do that a 22" can't. The only exception here is, there's actually much more to having 13 and 14" snares, than a 20 and 22" BD. More like an 18" vs. 22" or 20" vs 24". The 1" in diameter differences in snare sizes are far from subtle.
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
The main advantages of a 14-inch drum, for me, are:
1.) More surface area to play brush patterns
2.) Since 14 inches is the most common diameter, parts are more readily available than they sometimes are for a 13 (especially snare wires, snare-side heads, and snare-side hoops)
3.) Better cross-stick sound. For some reason, it can be difficult to find the sweet spot on a 13-inch drum.

As for a 13-inch drum...
1.) It can handle high tunings more easily
2.) The smaller diameter makes it more compact for tight set-ups
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
It might possible to find a 14" remo ambassador head in even the smallest town's music store. Maybe even snare wires. 13" is very unlikely.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
I tried a very nice 13”. But what didn’t work for me was the fact that I end up sitting a bit closer and I constantly found myself not hitting the drum in the sweet spot that I had no problems with when using 14”.
 

sonormapex

Senior Member
Setting up our kit night after night is a game of inches for sure, and making ANY changes can throw you off. dboomer makes a very good point and I can see the concern there. We search for years to find that sweet spot!!!
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I have 3 13" snares & 3 14" snares. To state a preference I like the 13's more. Especially my Tama G-Maple 13x7. (Others are a Yamaha RC Brass 13x6.5 & a Pearl Brass 13x3) The G-Maple can just do everything brilliantly. My 14" Snares are all very different from each other (Masterworks 14x6.5 20 ply) Yamaha RC Birch 14x8 & Yamaha SC Steel 14x6.5) The Masterworks is an animal & just makes me smile.
If I had to choose one out of them all then it would be the Tama G-Maple. Simply brilliant :)
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
:unsure:
A 13" can be pitched higher without choking.
A 14" can be pitched lower and produce a fatter sound.
I prefer the sound of a 14" at all the various tunings (loose, medium, tight).

Starclassic Brass 1200.jpg
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
When did the 13" snare first make it's appearance?
I don't know if it's the first, but according to this article the drummer for John Philip Sousa's band had one. It was metal, made by Sonor, and inspired Ludwig to make what are arguably some of the most sought after snares.


So yeah, they have been around for a while. Sonor started in 1875, who knows how long they had been making them before the one mentioned in the article.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I have totally switched to 13" snares for all gigs. I tried very excellent 12" snares but we do a lot of brush work in our group and I missed the additional 2" of surface area. But that wasn't biggest issue: biggest issue with 12" was cross-sticking. Sounded horrible on every brand and shell type in a 12". But a 13" inch sounds great cross-sticking and has plenty of room for brushes. Tuning isn't really any different than a 14" I can tune any 13" to sound like a 14". My main gigging snare is now a 13" Sonor Prolite I scored used on Reverb. That 1" makes a big difference behind the kit my legs are much more comfortable and give me more flexibility. It's amazing how much of a difference just 1" makes in comfort.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
I prefer a 14" for all of the reasons previously mentioned. I like the extra real estate for brushes, I think a 14" has a better cross-stick sound and a bigger sweet spot (more room for error) for the cross-stick to sound acceptable. I also prefer the tone and feel of a 14" drum. I've heard some 13's that sound great as far as just a nice poppin' backbeat, but they don't pass the test for brushes and cross-stick for me, so I only use 14" snares for my main and since I don't use a side snare, that pretty much means no 13" snares on gigs for me. The only time that width becomes an issue with a 14" for me is on some of the older drums with extended snares, guides and rollers but it's just something I have to deal with because those old extended snare drums sound so good!
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I'm starting to wonder if all the backlash against "manspreading" has negatively impacted some men's ability to comfortably straddle a 14" snare drum?

😆
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
No preference one way or the other. I play brushes a lot but don´t feel restricted by the smaller diameter. In fact, two of my favourite snares of late happen to be 13" - a 3" Pearl brass Piccolo (current version) and a 7" Sonor Ascent Birch in black lacquer. Both are incredibly versatile.
My 14"x5,5" Gretsch Renown Maple with die cast hoops does have the nicest cross stick sound though.
 

trickg

Silver Member
In your opinion; what does a 14" snare drum do for you that a 13" won,t...or can't?
It sounds like a 14" drum instead of a 13". It also has a different feel and action off of the head. I know people who absolutely love 13" snares. I'm not one of them.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I prefer a 13" snare. It's more comfortable to sit behind, tucks in to the rest of the kit a little better. Heads are cheaper, and I can make it sound like I want. I'd say it does more.
At times the 14 inch head is cheaper being the norm, or the more popular
 
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