How high do you crank your snare side head?

dpk204

Senior Member
Dave Weckl says to crank it. I fear that I might pull the head. I stopped using the drumdial on my snare side because I don't get an accurate reading and the dial is marking it up. Can you tune it to the point that the head is almost flush with the hoop?

Aren't snare side heads meant to be tuned very high? I don't want to damage the hoop so before I crank it some more, I wanted to ask.

I use a Genera Dry on the top and it sounds very crisp with no ring at all.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
First I would say no to cranking until the head is flush with the hoop. You may strip the lugs. You can get a Genera very tight without going that far.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
I crank my snare pretty tight. If I try to crank it any further, the amount of torque required begins to actually hurt my fingers.

No-where near how tight a free-floater could get though.

I'd say crank it as tight as you want. Anything that happens to the head is your responsibility, and it's up to you to decide where the 'perfect' point is, because a lot of ring is tuned out when you crank it high enough.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I crank my snare bottom tight. I feel the torque and I stop when the head begins to stretch.
If you use a Drum Dial you can see when you have reached this point.
You will turn the tension rod slightly and the dial will stop moving.
You have reached the max tension point when this occurs.
Do not go beyond that point.
This usually happens at about 78 to 80 on the dial.
Torque the snare bottom evenly, and equally up to about 76, (go around the head a few times and loosen each lug and then tighten to 76. Press down in the center of the head after each small turn of the lug to let the dial settle in) and then slowly torque each tension rod an eighth of a turn at a time until the dial needle stops responding.
Thats all that there is to it.
I have never gotten a snare bottom to go beyond 80 on the dial.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
No-where near how tight a free-floater could get though.
Yes, my steely friend. Free Floaters are dangerous to heads indeed. The combo of good build quality and cast hoops is a dream for guys who like it tight (ahem)! I love a cracking popping live snare, so I go quite high on the reso head, but I use the wires response as a guide. Once you start to lose sensitivity, you've cranked that reso head far enough.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Once you start to lose sensitivity, you've cranked that reso head far enough.
Good point, I have backed off on many a snare bottom head in my time because I felt that the snare sensitivity was lacking.
If a snare head is to tight it won't move enough to excite the snares to their max.
This is more noticeable with low volume playing.
 

dpk204

Senior Member
bob, regarding the dial, do you suggest I finger tighten first and then bring each tension rod up to 80 and then stop. One time I tried to get the drumdial to go to 90 but it wouldn't go past 81. I took the head off to see if I pulled it, but it still looked good. I heard that the dial doesn't work well with the snare side.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Always finger tighten first, Then do the opposite sequence method by hand to get the head even by feel and by tapping near each lug with the eraser end of a pencil until the sound is the same at each lug.
I used the dial numbers as a reference so that you would understand what I was saying.
If you tap by each lug while tightening slightly and the pitch doesn't change the head has reached the max tension.
Remember, I'm talking turns of about an eighth of a turn at a time.
 

Homeularis

Gold Member
I crank mine pretty tight. At least until the Tention rods start creaking.

Gives me a killer high crack/pop that I like.

I tune the reso head a little lower for some bottom end finish.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
My snare head is always under much more tension than the batter side. I tune by ear and even though it's under extreme tension, I can still hear pitch differences from tension rod to tension rod if the head is not in tune with itself. You can over tighten it, and you'll probably know it soon enough since most snare heads used are only about 3 mils thick. The snare head does stretch a bit especially under the tension, so it's best to keep an eye on it and keep it in tune with itself from time to time.

Dennis
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Good point, I have backed off on many a snare bottom head in my time because I felt that the snare sensitivity was lacking.
If a snare head is to tight it won't move enough to excite the snares to their max.
This is more noticeable with low volume playing.
Well, you could use marching snare heads on a free-floater if you wanted. Thick heads would certainly give your snare a different sound.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I just Drum Dial checked two of my snare resos just to see where they were at,
One read 78 all the way around and the other read slightly higher, Just under 79.
 

birks10

Senior Member
I don't know guys, i think this is a pretty simple solution as to reso side snare-head tuning. A good rule of thumb that i have used for the last 40 years is, no matter how you like your batter head to sound, tune the reso side on the snare drum a "third" higher than the batter side. I've always gotten an excellent response on all kinds of snare drums using this simple method and I have always had suspicion that this rule of thumb, when followed, has always been most manufacturers intentions as to snare drum response..... IMHO.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I tune it very tight so that the snares will articulate quickly against the head. The top head I always have looser so that it feels good, as loose as possible where it still articulates double strokes well.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I just crank the snare head, crank it, crank it, until I can't crank anymore. Then I play the drum and detune a bottom lug here and there, but not too much.

Works every time.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I just crank the snare head, crank it, crank it, until I can't crank anymore. Then I play the drum and detune a bottom lug here and there, but not too much.

Works every time.
Thanks Jay, I was trying to say that in a semi technical way.
All of us have wrecked a few snare bottoms in our day while we were learning!
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Thanks Jay, I was trying to say that in a semi technical way.
All of us have wrecked a few snare bottoms in our day while we were learning!
With me it was wondering why my snare drum sounded so lousy. I was afraid to crank that snare head, that's why!

You need to have your snares lined up and set right, too. Snare drums can be fiddly things. It takes patience. But once you've got it all set up it's beautiful.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I usually crank mine as high as it'll go, glue is cracking and popping, tension rods are creaking. The bottom head is about 2/3 tight, with some fine tuning near the snare beds if required.
 
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