Name brand or Custom name brand?

Asianmyster

Junior Member

alparrott

Platinum Member
Snares are very individual, and even within those four companies, there's hundreds of choices. What kind of music do you play, and what kind of snare sound do you like to hear? From there, we can start narrowing it down.

Brand is often immaterial with snares, as sound and quality can vary wildly from one drum to the next, and even over the course of a product's life. Many people, for example, would not buy a modern Ludwig drum and would only buy vintage. Meanwhile, in terms of brass shells, to take another example, many manufacturers use shells from the same source, and only minor differences separate several brands in that material.

Best solution is for you to go hit some snares. And keep in mind that even after you've hit them all, tuning, heads, hoops, and snares can all drastically change the sound of a snare as well.

Second best solution (and the one I personally follow) is to just buy every snare you ever take a liking to. It's not cheap, but it gives you a nice warm feeling inside (grin).
 

porter

Platinum Member
I would be hard-pressed to find a Seven or SJC snare that was worth it, IMO. Look at some solid shell options- M4 Drums make stave shells, as does DaVille Drumworks, or if you want a metal shell snare, look at Pearl Sensitones- they're incredibly well priced, and as Al alluded to, basically the same shell as a lot of more expensive metal snares.

There are plenty of big companies that can (IMO) deliver a superior product than the "custom" makers you mention. If you really want custom, why not get something the big guys can't really offer you instead of something that's at best on par with what they do?
 

mandrew

Gold Member
Do you want wood or metal? For metal, you can't beat a Ludwig, or a Dunnett. There are a lot of good ones, but when you get into wood, the variety becomes endless. You have to learn what you like, so that you can recognize it when you hear it. To learn what you like, you just have to dig in and play some. No short cuts. Many of the greatest drummers ever played standard name brands. It is as much the player as the drum.
 

Asianmyster

Junior Member
Snares are very individual, and even within those four companies, there's hundreds of choices. What kind of music do you play, and what kind of snare sound do you like to hear? From there, we can start narrowing it down.

Brand is often immaterial with snares, as sound and quality can vary wildly from one drum to the next, and even over the course of a product's life. Many people, for example, would not buy a modern Ludwig drum and would only buy vintage. Meanwhile, in terms of brass shells, to take another example, many manufacturers use shells from the same source, and only minor differences separate several brands in that material.

Best solution is for you to go hit some snares. And keep in mind that even after you've hit them all, tuning, heads, hoops, and snares can all drastically change the sound of a snare as well.

Second best solution (and the one I personally follow) is to just buy every snare you ever take a liking to. It's not cheap, but it gives you a nice warm feeling inside (grin).
My style of playing consists of funky grooves with some progressive metal mixed into it. I would like a fat sound with a good responsive feel. If you've heard of Benny Greb or Matt Halpern, I would like something close to that. Also what is the difference between a metal and wood based drum? (Terms of sound)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My style of playing consists of funky grooves with some progressive metal mixed into it. I would like a fat sound with a good responsive feel. If you've heard of Benny Greb or Matt Halpern, I would like something close to that. Also what is the difference between a metal and wood based drum? (Terms of sound)
"Fat sound with a good responsive feel" can happen with either wood or metal snares. That's more a function of heads and tuning than of shell material, honestly.

What is the difference between a wood and metal snare drum? One is made of wood, and, well, the other, it's not...

I get a more controlled sound from my maple snare, and a ringier, edgier, more cutting sound from my metal snares, but that's how I've tuned and adjusted them. I once owned a Ludwig Pioneer snare, which was various types of wood, which far outperformed any of the metal snares I owned at the time.

Most snares actually perform well in a wide range of tunings and settings. You originally said "5-6.5" depth and 13-14 in width" -- that's literally thousands of snares. You need to have a reason to go a certain way. Deeper snares give you a bit more body, some oomph, more cushion for the pushin', right? and diameter can affect relative pitch.

Fat with a responsive feel tells me a 5.5 to 6.5" deep snare, 14" wide, with a medium-to-low tuning. Start there, play as many snares as you can find that fall in that range, and you'll know it when you find it. Although probably you just want a Supraphonic LM402. Everyone does =)
 

porter

Platinum Member
If you want a responsive feel, I'd definitely recommend checking out some stave drums. There is an inherent feel to them that, to me, seems much more "live" and responsive than ply ones.

I think a 13x6.5 stave would be a good choice, especially if you lean more towards the Benny than the Matt. S-hoops, a 14mil single-ply head, you'll be set. If you want more Halpern, probably a 14x6 or around there.

(Maybe I should finally edit together the snare test I did a few weeks back so I can give you an idea of how my 13x5 Padauk handles some medium-low tuning...)
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
For your budget, get a Ludwig Black Beauty. You can keep this drum your entire life. It can support your drumming journey throughout your life.

GJS
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Check out a Ludwig Bronze snare drum. Whether with tube or imperial lugs, smooth or hammered, they sound great. The Ludwig Black Beauty is top notch too. For wood, I love my Gretsch USA Custom. It's my go-to snare for anything.

But really, you can't go wrong with any company's top end snare. It comes to preference as to hardware, throw-off, finishes, snare-bed (deep or shallow or none), etc.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Sonor snare drums are great! Also expensive :(

So besides the artist snare drum you might want to check out the Ascent series snare drums:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAJ8IpETE9I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBFHzErXkjs

You could also land a Gavin Harrison snare:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sonor-Gavin-Harrison-12x5-Protean-Snare-Drum-FREE-Shipping-See-Video-/251283889580?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a81afddac


S Classix Snare:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sonor-S-Classix-5-x-14-Birch-Snare-Drum-Ebony-Germany-S-Class-399-00-/230993882076?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35c84eebdc

You could also easily land a nice Delite snare which is the older version of the Prolite series.

Lots of choices in that budget.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
My future snare to replace them all is a 7x14 DW Edge. That's just me. I've coveted that snare for at least 15 years. Might finally pull the trigger on it. They are incredibly heavy.
 

nightraider43

Senior Member
You may also want to check out the Mapex Black Panther Phat Bob. It's 14"x7" with 12mm, 10 ply thick maple shell. This is one serious piece and costs around $440 USD on Musician's Friend.

Steve
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
My future snare to replace them all is a 7x14 DW Edge. That's just me. I've coveted that snare for at least 15 years. Might finally pull the trigger on it. They are incredibly heavy.
Have you ever tried one?
 

Croc

Senior Member
LOTS of great suggestions here! There are indeed a lot of choices in this price range and I have to believe you will be able to attain the sound you want with any number of them. Try as many as possible but understand that many dealers won't have them tuned the way you prefer.

I have a 12" Sonor Gavin Harrison Protean that just knocks my socks off. Extremely responsive, tunable, and a thing of beauty (to my eyes at least!). I must confess that I didn't audition other candidates exhaustively but something just clicked with this little guy.

Best of luck in your quest!
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
Trying to answer this question is a bit like formulating an answer to the question, "what is the universe?". The answer depends on the perspective of the individual answering it. There are no wrong answers, but equally, there are a limited number of right answers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that.

In my case it's the snare that sounds best to me for the money I have to spend on it. My 14x5.5 Steel black panther which cost me £85 has a stunning cost to value ratio- for me at least!
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Trying to answer this question is a bit like formulating an answer to the question, "what is the universe?". The answer depends on the perspective of the individual answering it. There are no wrong answers, but equally, there are a limited number of right answers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that.

In my case it's the snare that sounds best to me for the money I have to spend on it. My 14x5.5 Steel black panther which cost me £85 has a stunning cost to value ratio- for me at least!
+1 You have to know the sound that you are after :) Just take the advice from a lot of us that have spent $$$ chasing after something so elusive.
 
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