Good quality mid-range snares?

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Wonder if you guys might have some advice.

I have a basic beginner level snare (CB Drums) which is ok but thinking of upgrading at some point, or at least exploring other options out there.

I love the sound of a Ludwig Supraphonic 400 5x14 but that's not realistically within my budget, nor is needed for my current skill level (maybe in 5 years?)

So what are the good quality mid-range snares out there that sound similar to the Supra?

With my band, we play indy rock and aiming to be able to play just about any style, including jazz, so would need a good all around snare.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
If you like the Supra then you should buy a used one. I am sure that you could save up the $300 to $400 for one that is in reasonable condition.
I don't understand why you think that your skill level should stop you from having a quality snare? Having a quality snare will help you to develop as a player.
A supra is a timeless snare that you could keep for life, so buying one is always a good investment.
I'm a Black Beauty man myself :)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I don't understand why you think that your skill level should stop you from having a quality snare? Having a quality snare will help you to develop as a player.
Agree with Bob here. The snare is the very foundation of your set. If you're going to invest anywhere, invest in a good snare.

If you like the Supra, spend some time finding a clean used example. It will be better than almost anything similar that's new at the same price. Easy to sell on too if you ever want to change.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Pearl Sensitone aluminiums make for a pretty good Supra alternative. As does a Ludwig Acrolite. The Acro uses the same shell as a Supra, just without the chrome coating. Both can be found on the used market at reasonable prices. Worth a look.
 

gish

Senior Member
Good advice from Bob. If you're looking to save some $ and want a good quality, good sounding metal snare, you can also look for used Ludwig Acrolites and Pearl Sensitones. I've been using a 5" Sensitone as my main snare for the last 15 years, great drum and works for everything.

Edit- pocketfulofgold beat me to it lol...I'm a slow typer
 

Nour Ayasso

Senior Member
Yamaha stage custom - steel
Pearl sensitone
Mapex MPX steel

These are very low priced steel snares offering great sounds.
But for a brass snares Pork Pie big black brass or PDP ace are your best options for low pricing. Any higher and you mind as well get what you really want.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I've never disliked a cheap metal snare.. I have a chad smith signature and that thing almost makes me as happy as my other high end stuff (I have a black beauty and a starphonic aluminum). Almost.

I was looking around for aluminium snares in December (when I decided on my tama) and I would look at the pearl sensitone elite aluminum. Tama have the slp for around the same price but I like the brushed look and I've had really good experiences with pearl.

The runout models are a bit cheaper but personally I'd rather pay a bit more for the updated one with its tube lugs
 

mrmike

Silver Member
Holy Cow! Talk about serving up a softball. You want a Supra but only cheaper.
Easy as pie. ACROLITE! DONE!

Same aluminum spun shell with one less lug. $100 used. Hold out for one in excellent condition and maybe pay $125.

FWIW I had a Tama SLP aluminum and while it's a nice drum it is much thicker and sounds nothing like a Supra or Acrolite. The Starphonic does sound similar to a 14x6.5 Supra only slightly drier and is built excellent but cost the same as a Supra. Sensitone and the Yamaha aluminums also sound great.
 
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WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Agree with Bob here. The snare is the very foundation of your set. If you're going to invest anywhere, invest in a good snare.

If you like the Supra, spend some time finding a clean used example. It will be better than almost anything similar that's new at the same price. Easy to sell on too if you ever want to change.
Thanks, guys for responses! Good questions and insights.

My thinking was that my current skill level is far from pro skill level, so investing in a pro snare won't obviously 'magically' make up for lack of skill - and that a mid-range snare would probably be good for now.

That said, I totally agree that if I get a top quality snare for life and that would likely help develop skills. Getting a used one sounds like an excellent idea.
 

jbonzo1

Silver Member
Thanks, guys for responses! Good questions and insights.

My thinking was that my current skill level is far from pro skill level, so investing in a pro snare won't obviously 'magically' make up for lack of skill - and that a mid-range snare would probably be good for now.

That said, I totally agree that if I get a top quality snare for life and that would likely help develop skills. Getting a used one sounds like an excellent idea.
As your skill level increases, the drum will go right along with you. Get a used Supra or Acrolite and you're good to go!
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I'm starting to see a theme develop here in these which mid-range snare should I get threads.

1. Get an Ludwig Acrolite
2. Get a Pearl Sensitone
3. Get a Pork Pie Big Black
4. Get a Tama SLP

You know, if you go to Amazon and look at Ludwig Jet Pack, you can find an Acro even cheaper than buying it a la carte. Plus you get a nice bag and a practice pad. It's a secret that I stumbled on (not such a secret anymore, huh?)

I have an early 80's Acro and a Big Black. Both are great drums. I use the Acro in studio and the BoB at gigs, but last practice I pulled out my old Gretsch aluminum snare drum for a change. I had recently done some fine tuning on it and man, that thing is sounding sweet and extra-vintage with the new Diplomat snare side head. The Acro might be sitting on the shelf for awhile.
 

Dodeska

Senior Member
Holy Cow! Talk about serving up a softball. You want a Supra but only cheaper.
Easy as pie. ACROLITE! DONE!

Same aluminum spun shell with one less lug. $100 used. Hold out for one in excellent condition and maybe pay $125.

FWIW I had a Tama SLP aluminum and while it's a nice drum it is much thicker and sounds nothing like a Supra or Acrolite. The Starphonic does sound similar to a 14x6.5 Supra only slightly drier and is built excellent but cost the same as a Supra. Sensitone and the Yamaha aluminums also sound great.
The slight problem is that he's in England, where an Acro will cost about £230. Supras are more like £350 - £400.
They're not as readily available as in the US.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
Sensitones sound great and probably have the best build quality at their price point IMO. Unless you're dead set on metal, you may want to consider a good maple snare. A used Pearl MCX is a good quality drum at a good price and would fill the needs you described.
 

ncc

Silver Member
If you are considering wood, I had the opportunity to play a Sonor Force 3007 snare (maple) and I was surprised on how good it sounded (especially for the low cost). It does not have the same construction quality of the high end, but then it is less than 25% of the hi-end cost. If this is something you may be interested in, there do not seem to be many on ebay, but you may want to check with Dales (in Pa) as they bought out most of the old Sonor stock awhile back.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Holy Cow! Talk about serving up a softball. You want a Supra but only cheaper.
Easy as pie. ACROLITE! DONE!

Same aluminum spun shell with one less lug. $100 used. Hold out for one in excellent condition and maybe pay $125.

FWIW I had a Tama SLP aluminum and while it's a nice drum it is much thicker and sounds nothing like a Supra or Acrolite. The Starphonic does sound similar to a 14x6.5 Supra only slightly drier and is built excellent but cost the same as a Supra. Sensitone and the Yamaha aluminums also sound great.
Funny - I've never seen a 9-lug Acrolite ;)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you are considering wood, I had the opportunity to play a Sonor Force 3007 snare (maple) and I was surprised on how good it sounded (especially for the low cost). It does not have the same construction quality of the high end, but then it is less than 25% of the hi-end cost. If this is something you may be interested in, there do not seem to be many on ebay, but you may want to check with Dales (in Pa) as they bought out most of the old Sonor stock awhile back.
Good point on the wood snare angle as well. If you are in the market for a wood one, these Sonor 3007 snares are also good deals and I was quite surprised at how good it sounded when I owned a 3007 set.

Another good one to look for would be the Pearl Studio Session Classic snare drums. I liked it so much I'm using it as my main snare with a set of Pearl Reference Pure drums. They're a birch/kapur shell and the construction is solid and it exceeds in all tuning ranges. This is a sleeper snare, and perhaps easier to find (new the price isn't so bad either) than the Sonor 3007.
 

JackBab

Junior Member
A Premier 2000 series is a good bet in the UK. A British Supraphonic-equivalent.
Exactly what I was going to say! I've had mine for years and quite often fancy a change for a ludwig but always come to the same conclusion of "what's the point?" It still sounds great and does everything I need it to do :)
 
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