People who buy the Yamaha Stage custom birch usually ditch or sell the stock snare, but this time after getting a new one recently, I decided to upgrade it a bit. I put a real Remo Emperor and Diplomat on it, DIxon Sleeved Washers, Puresound Blaster snares, and new black nickel 2.3mm hoops from DFD on batter and snare side. I have to say, this snare is pure awesomeness as I used it for a recent metal show, it cut through everything! It's really a perfect snare now and I never used birch snares before. Normally I use a very old Gretsch round badge or Yamaha Musashi Oak (13x6), this one is right up there with them, my band loved the new snare and it's really cool to have an all black kit with black nickel hoops (i switched out all the hoops on the kit).