Let’s Talk Pork Pies

Local Oaf

Well-known member
I have been looking at Pork Pie Little Squealers for replacing my old stock-level Pearl Steel snare and I like the sound.

What experiences have y’all had with Pork Pies in general, but specifically little squealers?
Do they hold up?
Anything similar but better you might recommend?

Thanks!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bill Detamore is very involved with the Little Squealers since they are made overseas. And for the most part, alot of the Pork Pie lines coming from over there (which includes the Hip Pig kits as well), are well built and good value. The question is is if it's an upgrade to what you have now. I think stepping up to one of the Pearl Sensitones would be a bigger upgrade. You get better components and a very good build with those. What Pearl steel snare do you have now? Is that the stock one that comes with the Exports?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Haven't seen any bad things about the Little Squealer, but haven't seen any great reviews either. That would not be my first choice from Pork Pie.

If I had a Pearl Steel snare and wanted to upgrade to a Pork Pie specifically, it would be a Big Black Brass (BoB), without a doubt. It's basically a Ludwig Black Beauty for half the price.

Unless you have your mind set on a wood snare, I would go with either the BoB, or the Patina Brass which is very similar and also sounds killer.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
The Little Squealer is a terrific snare. I've been playing the steel 6x13 inch model off and on for a couple of years. I've gigged with it several times and it really cuts without being overly ringy. It's really well made; it has heft when you hold it in your hands, and the hardware is top-notch. The chrome is nicely done too.
 
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thebarak

Senior Member
I had one for a year or so. A nice little 12" X 5". I thought it was a great sounding snare drum right out of the box and it seemed to be quite well made. I paired it with my Gretsch USA Custom kit until I got a matching snare for that. It was surprisingly hard to resell the Pork Pie, but I cannot think of anything negative to say about it. It was much better than many snare drums that cost many times more!
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
Bill Detamore is very involved with the Little Squealers since they are made overseas. And for the most part, alot of the Pork Pie lines coming from over there (which includes the Hip Pig kits as well), are well built and good value. The question is is if it's an upgrade to what you have now. I think stepping up to one of the Pearl Sensitones would be a bigger upgrade. You get better components and a very good build with those. What Pearl steel snare do you have now? Is that the stock one that comes with the Exports?
It's not even the export. It's just a "Pearl Steel Snare" that I got for 30 bucks at Goodwill when I was first assembling my kit. It's okay, but definitely an entry level drum.
 

roncadillac

Member
I've owned 2 pork pie drums, loved 1 and hated the other:

I had the 12x5 (5.5? Don't remember) black on black maple and those damn tension rods NEVER stayed in tune. No, never stayed on the drum at all. I could crank the tension rods almost flush (not that I did, just for example) and within 30 mins of playing I'd have loose rods on the batter side and straight up rods on the floor (yup, fell out) from the reso side. This was normal playing mind you, not bashing. A friend of mine owned one and had the exact same issue as well as a slew of reports of the same problem around the web, always their colored (non-chrome) rods.

I also had a 14x6 black matte steel snare, it was powder coated inside and out with a thick bumpy black coating. It absolutely killed the "twang" or whiney overtone I hear in most steel snares. It came stock with 2.3mm tf hoops and I got it on a MF 'stupid deal' for $90 lol. Hands down one of the best drums I've ever owned and I highly regret selling it. It could handle any dynamic range, head combo, tuning style, etc, with ease. It never fell out of tune and was equally at home with brushes on an acoustic jazz gig as it was with constant high velocity rim shots on a punk gig. One time I was playing live with it and at the end of an especially lively and intoxicated show with my old punk band and knocked it off the stand (last beat of the last song fortunately) only to watch it hit the stage, roll end over end until it fell off the stage about 3' onto a concrete floor, then proceeded to roll all the way back to the end of the hall before flopping on its side like a rolling coin. Not a single scratch and every single lug was just as in tune as when I started the gig, I absolutely 100% am not joking. And don't let the 'punk band' comment play into the issue with the 12" detuning, I normally don't play like that and didn't when I had the 12"
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
I've owned 2 pork pie drums, loved 1 and hated the other:

I had the 12x5 (5.5? Don't remember) black on black maple and those damn tension rods NEVER stayed in tune. No, never stayed on the drum at all. I could crank the tension rods almost flush (not that I did, just for example) and within 30 mins of playing I'd have loose rods on the batter side and straight up rods on the floor (yup, fell out) from the reso side. This was normal playing mind you, not bashing. A friend of mine owned one and had the exact same issue as well as a slew of reports of the same problem around the web, always their colored (non-chrome) rods.

I also had a 14x6 black matte steel snare, it was powder coated inside and out with a thick bumpy black coating. It absolutely killed the "twang" or whiney overtone I hear in most steel snares. It came stock with 2.3mm tf hoops and I got it on a MF 'stupid deal' for $90 lol. Hands down one of the best drums I've ever owned and I highly regret selling it. It could handle any dynamic range, head combo, tuning style, etc, with ease. It never fell out of tune and was equally at home with brushes on an acoustic jazz gig as it was with constant high velocity rim shots on a punk gig. One time I was playing live with it and at the end of an especially lively and intoxicated show with my old punk band and knocked it off the stand (last beat of the last song fortunately) only to watch it hit the stage, roll end over end until it fell off the stage about 3' onto a concrete floor, then proceeded to roll all the way back to the end of the hall before flopping on its side like a rolling coin. Not a single scratch and every single lug was just as in tune as when I started the gig, I absolutely 100% am not joking. And don't let the 'punk band' comment play into the issue with the 12" detuning, I normally don't play like that and didn't when I had the 12"
As an aging punk, I want a snare that can survive a punk show and has no twang (that's what I hate about so many snares). I will look into the second one. Was there a specific model name for that one?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
As an aging punk, I want a snare that can survive a punk show and has no twang (that's what I hate about so many snares). I will look into the second one. Was there a specific model name for that one?
You can totally eliminate the metallic ring from any snare with the right heads (Remo Controlled Sound, Evans Genera Dry, etc) or with muffling like Moongel. Don't let the ring keep you from getting a BoB. They are so incredibly versatile.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I have the Pork Pie Little Squealer 12 x 6 Maple/Birch metallic fade as my main snare. No ring, and sounds great.
 

roncadillac

Member
As an aging punk, I want a snare that can survive a punk show and has no twang (that's what I hate about so many snares). I will look into the second one. Was there a specific model name for that one?
Something along the lines of "pork pie black matte steel snare drum 6x14". Its not on their website anymore and not currently available on MF/GC but I saw a few on ebay and reverb. In all honesty, I've played with a few of their little squealer snares and they all sound and feel great. It's only the powder coated hardware that has the slippage issue, they all have 2.3mm hd tf hoops and great quality chrome. Stick with chrome and you are fine! The 7x13 acrylic shell snare will make your neighbors sell their house and the birch/mahogany model handles low tunings and vintage vibes really well.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I had a 6 x 14 steel Little Squealer, and it sounded just like a Supraphonic, with a little more bite. A very nice, well built and surprisingly sensitive drum. Am sorry I sold it because it would have been nice and loud for some gigs. You won't be disappointed.
 

roncadillac

Member
And maybe it's just me but I LOVE the look of the pork pie hourglass lugs, especially in chrome. As an added bonus, they are so chunky and durable they act in a similar fashion to many "high tension" or "bridge" lugs and I can't say I've ever seen a pork pie drum with lug splay (I love tama but their Chinese factory drum lug splays have been absurd lately). Bill is good people as well, shoot PP an email and he personally responds.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
+1 on the PP lugs. +1 on everything PP does. I've had several PP wood 12" snares and a 13" wood snare. The 13" was Made in USA. The 12" were Chinese. They both were top-notch.

And maybe it's just me but I LOVE the look of the pork pie hourglass lugs, especially in chrome. As an added bonus, they are so chunky and durable they act in a similar fashion to many "high tension" or "bridge" lugs and I can't say I've ever seen a pork pie drum with lug splay (I love tama but their Chinese factory drum lug splays have been absurd lately). Bill is good people as well, shoot PP an email and he personally responds.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I only have experience with the USA stuff, but I've seen a few little squealers around with other bands. They sound fine as far as I can tell, but if you are going to get one, buy used. I personally wouldn't pay much over $100 for one.

If you like the sound and have the funds, go for it.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I had the 12x5 (5.5? Don't remember) black on black maple and those damn tension rods NEVER stayed in tune. No, never stayed on the drum at all. I could crank the tension rods almost flush (not that I did, just for example) and within 30 mins of playing I'd have loose rods on the batter side and straight up rods on the floor (yup, fell out) from the reso side. This was normal playing mind you, not bashing. A friend of mine owned one and had the exact same issue as well as a slew of reports of the same problem around the web, always their colored (non-chrome) rods.
I have the same drum and had the same problem. It used to drive me crazy but stopped doing it after a while. I think once I changed out the junk stock heads that may have helped.
 

roncadillac

Member
I have the same drum and had the same problem. It used to drive me crazy but stopped doing it after a while. I think once I changed out the junk stock heads that may have helped.
Happy changing heads worked, unfortunately it didn't for me. I honestly think the powder coated tension rods were the culprit. I've read a few comments about powder coated tension rods loosening over the years and have noticed many companies who offer matching colored powder coated (and satin) rims and lugs have been going back to chrome tension rods.
 
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SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
When did they change the lugs on their custom drums? A buddy of mine got new kit from them with oak and maple shells and bread and butter lugs, but the badges aren't the usual brass plate badge. His has badges that are just the Pork Pie pig and no text or anything. The kit sounds really good.
 
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