Metal or Wood?

Quai34

Junior Member
I still have a hard time to get familiar to the extra ping that I always hear in metal snares but I don't have enough experience with snares to give a good opinion though... I listen like crazy to all those of metal and wood snares before buying my first one, especially, I listened to all the Tama Star Series that seemed to me to be extraordinary snares very innovative and with a dedication for tone...And I bought the Plain Mapple....I was ready to buy the copper as my next snare....And the Plain Sendan came...and I bought it....I start to be used to more real tone, the essence of the shell, the ice coat ding, especially because I like high pitch or medium tuned snare where it starts to be heard and especially because I learnt to tune my snare recently on my own...So, I have no more dampening now, well, Just a third of a moon gel, half of it on the hoop!!!
So, even if I ask more questions about metal shell these days (because I got recently a little knowledge on woods and their respective properties in term of tone but not much on metal snare because I had previously some knowledge of wood coming for guitars ...), I'm not sure I will have a metal snare one day and if it's one, I tend to like a lot bronze snare....that seems to have a very woody tone so?? Am I a wood snare guy? I tend to say yes but still again too young in drums to know for sure...But after this Sendan, for sure, my 3 Rd snare will be the Tama Star reserve 15X8 walnut bubinga to use as a tom in tuning the snare to low pitch....If I could have 3 super snares on my kit at all time, why would I need a metal one that will have to take one of the place of the 3 others? I don't think I could afford to get 50/60 snares like my friend who sold me the drums....I have already a little collection of 35 cymbals!!!! All of this for a keyboard player in the band??!! I might be really crazy!!! Ok, I bought 5 guitars and 3 basses to have at my disposal in my studio the main different sound in guitar that could cover almost all the sounds I could need (but no Gibson, is Gibson is for guitar what metal is for snares for me?). Does it mean that I will do the same with maybe an aluminium, a copper, a brass and a steel? Not sure, snares are super expensive!!! Well, the one that I like in fact...
 

Quai34

Junior Member
To follow my long post above, you asked metal or wood as our prefered snares? In tend of offering in a small studio with goals to practice covers and play shows first plus record ice promotion video and tracks second, should I still get:
1) one metal with my 2 work snares? In the sense, I should provide to the drummer something that he likes and used to play...
2) If yes, should it be copper, aluminum, bronze or brass?
We play covers pure Funk/ pop dance for shows and I play for me, jazz, blues, prog rock ala pink Floyd or electronic music, more genesis style than "rave" style...
Let me know what will be your a sweet of wood or metal...If I should start a new thread for that, moderator, fell free to transfer it to a better place. Thanks
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Every few months (or years) I change from wood to metal. I enjoy the change.
For metal snares, Aluminium seems to be my favourite. A little bit of ring is good - it does seem to help with projection. When I want a 'classic' or a 'vintage' snare sound, that's what I use.
I like wood snares too, they seem a little more focused and a little drier. Maybe a little more 'modern' sound, when I'm in the mood for that.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Yes I say Both as well. I grew up playing steel snares. In school, at home. For the last couple years, I've tried all sorts of stuff. My favorite drum is a birch shell 3/8" thick with a bubinga veneer on it--a drum I builit. Nice and dry, no muffling whatsoever. I like the Black Acrolite I picked up. I love my brass snares (Pearl Sensitone and a Pork Pie). I have some maples, built another birch recently.

I tend to lean away from steel simply because, that's what I played for years.
 

brushes

Well-known member
I have maple, bubinga, birch and maple/poplar snaredrums. And I have several aluminium snaredrums and whichever I use, depends on the music that I play, on the sound that I am looking for. Sometimes I prefer the compressed sound of Aluminium, sometimes the woody warmth of my wood snares. Sometimes I want a drier sound, sometimes a wetter sound. What I don't like though, are thick, piercing snaredrums, e.g. stainless steel or heavy bronze snares. Just not my cup of tea.
 
Metal snare in winter (our tempretures go from +2-3 to - 25 easily), wood for the warm part of the year. I've got a 14x6.5 gretsch usa custom bronze - killer snare. 14x6 Angel ash snare - better than maple to my ears and a beautiful 13x6.5 solid walnut shell (shell made by cask drum craft, angel hoops and local made lugs and strainer).
 

Pootle

Well-known member
Hey Superman!

6.5x14 DW Collectors Bell Brass
6.5x14 DW Collectors Thin Aluminum
6.5x14 Ludwig Acrolite
8x14 DW Collectors Black Nickel Over Brass (2)
8x14 Gretsch Swamp Dawg
What’s your opinion of the Swamp Dawg, I’ve had my eye on it for a while?
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I have 2, one Rogers Powertone chrome over steel & my Gretsch Catalina mahogany. Both 14" and are used for different things.
If I need that ring-y pop, I'll use the metal. Warmer tones with some depth, the Gretsch.

I'd love to get a deep, copper shelled snare just because. Something in the 8" range.
I did get a Gretsch Brooklyn 10" chrome over steel for the smaller kit I use at smaller shows. That's a firecracker for sure.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Deep Maple snare all the way. I like the bite and the cutting of metal snare, but from all the snare drums I owned and played, I was always drawn toward 14x6,5 maple snare, would it be Gretsch, Premier, Starclassic, Tama Artwood, DW... Those are the most versatile snares I've found.
I have a 14x5,5 and a 14x7 Premier maple with re-reing - I like both, but I prefer the deeper one. I recently sold my 14x 6,5 steel Premier snare, not a bad drum at all, but I don't care for this type of sound now (though I loved it not long ago !).
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Right now, I'm mostly playing my Ludwig Supra, Acrolite, or Copperphonic. Thus, I would say I am predominantly playing metal snares. However, I have some maple snares that I love as well. It really just depends on the situation and my mood.
 

wraub

Well-known member
My preference is for wood snares, but that may yet change as I keep listening and learning.

My current snare drum of choice is a Yamaha Tour Custom Maple snare drum. Relatively inexpensive, it's got a warm crack that works for a lot of what I play, but it still sounds open and without Moongel or similar on it it has a nice ring almost like some metal snare drums I've heard.

Second place for me is a big leaf mahogany Yamaha Rock Tour drum, which works for most everything else I play.
 

RickP

Gold Member
For years I was a metal shell player , mainly Ludwig metal shell snares . This has now migrated back to wood shell snares for the most part , especially solid steambent snares ( mostly N&C ) . I typically take two snares to every gig , one metal and one wood shell snare . For jazz gigs I typically take a 5” wood and metal snare . For Rock gigs typically a 6” or 6.5” metal and wood snare . Certain rooms favour wood shells or metal and vice versa .
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Well-known member
I currently prefer metal, specifically brass for worship. But I do want an wood, maple snare in a 14x6.5 or 14x8. But right now I'm in love with my new brass snare drum because it just sounds like a cannon with a big boom!
 

Zaxx

Member
Not just metal, but exclusively 13" metal in my case. : ) I currently have steel, brass, copper and aluminium snares and hope to bag a 13" bronze when something comes up at the right price. I've always preferred the brighter high end, crisp definition and sharp response of metal snares. I found you could always calm them down a bit with tuning and head choice when needed, but that it didn't really work in the other direction i.e. you couldn't do much to crisp up/cool down the warmth of a wood snare.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I can apparently "crisp up/cool down" my snare drums with different reso heads, it seems like different thickness heads change the response.sound of the wires. I could be imagining things, but I think I can hear a difference.


Not just metal, but exclusively 13" metal in my case. : ) I currently have steel, brass, copper and aluminium snares and hope to bag a 13" bronze when something comes up at the right price. I've always preferred the brighter high end, crisp definition and sharp response of metal snares. I found you could always calm them down a bit with tuning and head choice when needed, but that it didn't really work in the other direction i.e. you couldn't do much to crisp up/cool down the warmth of a wood snare.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
I have a few - different metals, woods, and dimensions. I usually pick snares to suit the music I am playing, and then the venue.

One snare I had tucked away for a while was a Manu Katche Signature - 14x5.5 black nickel over brass. Forgot how great that drum sounded.

Usually my favorite snare is the one I am hitting. That Manu Katche was up there for a while.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I can apparently "crisp up/cool down" my snare drums with different reso heads, it seems like different thickness heads change the response.sound of the wires. I could be imagining things, but I think I can hear a difference.

Yes, the importance of the snare-side head can't be emphasized enough, not only its specs (i.e., thickness and composition) but also its tension. Players often attempt to address overtone issues by adjusting the batter head, but the resolution is more frequently found on the resonant side. There's a fine line between a snare resonant head that's too tight and not tight enough. A clean sound lies on moderate ground. Miniscule turns of the key can make a massive difference.
 
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