Is a snare bed necessary for floor tom/snare conversion?

sage32

Senior Member
In this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYwRLHMGbb0 is an awesome 14x14 floor tom with snare wires. I want to try doing the same thing by finding a used floor tom and installing a snare system on it. But it occurred to me that toms don't have snare beds so will I be fine without one?

I searched the forums and found that without snare beds you lose articulation and get a lot of sloppy sympathetic buzzing. But I'm not planning on tuning this tight or making it my main snare. I want this to be a fun effect drum to get that super deep, fat, kick you in the gut, ballad snare sound that can also double as a floor tom when I disengage the snares. I was also thinking that maybe if I got some Puresound Equalizers that might help?

What do you guys think? Would my plan work without a snare bed? Or would I just be better off looking for a vintage marching snare? Or maybe even a standard 14x8 snare?
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
I have a cheap snare that doesn't have snare beds and with the factory heads I was getting a constant rattle no matter how I adjusted the tuning and snare tension, I got a thicker reso head Evans Hazy 300 (3 mil) and it killed the excess rattle instantly.
I wanted to get the Hazy 500 (5 mil) but it wasn't in stock at Guitar Center, but next time I'm going 500!

I know that doesn't answer your question directly, but get a reso head that's 3 - 5 mil and you should be set!
 

sage32

Senior Member
I have a cheap snare that doesn't have snare beds and with the factory heads I was getting a constant rattle no matter how I adjusted the tuning and snare tension, I got a thicker reso head Evans Hazy 300 (3 mil) and it killed the excess rattle instantly.
I wanted to get the Hazy 500 (5 mil) but it wasn't in stock at Guitar Center, but next time I'm going 500!

I know that doesn't answer your question directly, but get a reso head that's 3 - 5 mil and you should be set!
The drum in the video is using a hazy 300 and I have them on 2 of my snares (my Musashi Oak still has the stock reso but it sounds great!). My first snare was a stock snare that came with my Tama Swingstar and I remember when I switched out the stock heads for Evans it greatly improved the sound! I'd mostly likely stick with the 300, although I am intrigued at the possibility of the 500. I don't have any experience with those, but it would be cool to experiment.

If Guitar Center was out of stock on the 500s you could always try Musician's Friend. I did a quick search just now and they have some Evans 500s in stock.
 

whozarmy

Junior Member
If you use a roller action strainer, and extended wires that run past the edge of the drum, like the old Tama mastercrafts, or original free floaters, you won't need snare beds
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I posted my conversion of a Mapex MPX maple snare to my Army Tribute snare. That snare was very inexpensive, 99.00 and had some issues with sound and I check to find that the snare bed was almost nonexistent. I sent it back for another, same story, sent that back and the Mapex Rep for the retail store took it upon himself to go to the warehouse and find me one with a snare bed. 1-2 mm is all. The drum is now fine. I had to use an Evans Dry head to kill the never ending snare buzz. I would not try to use the 14 without having it cut for snares. The sound won't be acceptable if you have any other good snares with sounds you are used to. Let us know.
 
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motleyh

Senior Member
Put beds in it. It's a question of getting response from the wires -- sympathetic buzz is a different issue. And I'd even suggest a bed shape that's a smidge deeper than normal (maybe 1/32" to 1/16" more) on a 14" deep shell to get enough activity from the wires. Otherwise it may not sound very snare-like.

Yes, a set of wires that extend beyond the shell would work without beds, but it could be challenging to find a strainer/butt that would accommodate them.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Just file your own bed in to the edge. Do a bit of research on the internet, make a template, tape it on the drum, grab your hand file and start shaving away. Clean it up with some sandpaper and you are good to go.

Drum building isn't rocket science. Its just simple woodworking to do edges and beds. Remember, some of the crappiest built drums with the crappiest edges sound the best to people.
 

Ron_M

Senior Member
I would recommend beds. Your wire set won't mate properly with the snare-side head otherwise. If you'd like to have the flexibility of using it as a floor tom in the future, i'd try the RhythmTech wire set before adding a bed. These work fairly well with a dynasonic, which has virtually no bed. If you don't care for the response/sound, then go ahead and file/rout a bed.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
The drum in the video is using a hazy 300 and I have them on 2 of my snares (my Musashi Oak still has the stock reso but it sounds great!). My first snare was a stock snare that came with my Tama Swingstar and I remember when I switched out the stock heads for Evans it greatly improved the sound! I'd mostly likely stick with the 300, although I am intrigued at the possibility of the 500. I don't have any experience with those, but it would be cool to experiment.

If Guitar Center was out of stock on the 500s you could always try Musician's Friend. I did a quick search just now and they have some Evans 500s in stock.
I'm going to get a 500 for the snare I'm rebuilding once I've got all the other necessary parts, I've got to get a throw off and a couple lugs before heads will be necessary.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Two comments. First the Rhythm Tech snares are OK if you have a stand that will allow for the extra depth of the rail piece. Secondly I tried a 500 snare head on one of my snares, wish i could remember, and it killed the sound. One snare, one attempt, but just a mention.
 

Spaz

Senior Member
I've also been contemplating to turn one of my 14" floor toms into a snare drum. I've been watching a lot of Snarkie Puppies and their drummer has one. I love it.
 
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