Needing some advice with changing snare wires

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
So, I've got a DW 14"x6,5" Collector's Series Aluminium Snare. The reso head kept breaking on me so I went ahead and bought replacement snare wires. The same kind, which are the DW True Tones.

Today, I tuned the heads up (both fresh heads) and proceeded to put the new wires on along with the straps supplied. (They're are the plastic ones which so far, I personally don't like all that much, haha.) A few issues...The butt plate side worked out smoothly. Though, the side with the mag throw off, when I went to thread the straps through the clench, it didn't come out enough for me to be able to pull them through properly. To make sure that they've been fitted correctly.

The second issue, when both straps are tightened and I go to flip the snare around to the batter side, the wires lift straight off the reso head. I can get somewhat of a snare sound if I crank the tension dial up to the max, though that's it. There's no mid to low snare sound. It just sounds like it would practically without the wires on. The throw off doesn't seem to be making any noise to indicate it's switching between the on and off position either unless again, I crank the tension to the max.

The drum itself isn't out of round thankfully. I've checked. A few months before all this went down I stripped the entire snare apart for cleaning purposes. Though, I don't remember tightening each screw to a snug fit when I put it back together. Just to finger tight until I was ready to use it again. Maybe that's part of the issue?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Not that I've tried, but it might be worth the investment to even get some nylon straps instead? Anybody know good quality ones that fit DW drums well?
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I would replace the straps. Many times, those plastic straps are very stiff and can't conform to the bearing edge/snare bed.

I've been using this for years:


You get 5 yards for $2.99 and in almost any color you can think of. They even have sparkle and glitter colors if you really want to match your kit. I usually just get the standard black but you can go nuts. Plus one roll is enough to do at least 10 snares, if not more. It also easily cuts with scissors.

The Tama replacement snare wires come with this fabric ribbon instead of straps. It is soft and pliable and easily conforms to the bearing edge and snare bed, but it still holds tight under tension. I also noticed that I get better snare wire to head contact because the ribbon is thinner than the plastic strips, so the snare wires can be that much closer to the head, even if it's only a minuscule amount.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
Yes, grosgrain ribbon is one of the best ways to get good seating, tension, and alignment.

Not from hobby lobby though, they are terrible. Hopefully there is a small independent crafts shop near you; most will have this kind of ribbon.
 

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
I would replace the straps. Many times, those plastic straps are very stiff and can't conform to the bearing edge/snare bed.

I've been using this for years:


You get 5 yards for $2.99 and in almost any color you can think of. They even have sparkle and glitter colors if you really want to match your kit. I usually just get the standard black but you can go nuts. Plus one roll is enough to do at least 10 snares, if not more. It also easily cuts with scissors.

The Tama replacement snare wires come with this fabric ribbon instead of straps. It is soft and pliable and easily conforms to the bearing edge and snare bed, but it still holds tight under tension. I also noticed that I get better snare wire to head contact because the ribbon is thinner than the plastic strips, so the snare wires can be that much closer to the head, even if it's only a minuscule amount.
Yes, grosgrain ribbon is one of the best ways to get good seating, tension, and alignment.

Not from hobby lobby though, they are terrible. Hopefully there is a small independent crafts shop near you; most will have this kind of ribbon.
Awesome. Thanks! Will definitely pick up some ribbon.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I was using Hobby Lobby as an example above, but yes, this is a very common type and width of ribbon, so if you don't like Hobby Lobby please feel free to obtain it from anywhere you choose.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
For sure go through the drum and make certain the hardware is tightened, but that does not sound like the cause of the issue. It sounds like the straps are pushing the snares away from the reso head. Grosgrain ribbon works, but I use the blue Ludwig cord.
Also, check to make sure the wires are not upside down.
 

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
So, what I think it's come down to is the snare strainer/mag throw off itself. When I disassembled the snare to give everything a good clean, I don't think I positioned the bolts correctly in order for the strainer to work as it should. Problem is, DW doesn't have any kind of diagram showing you what goes where. So, it's all guess work...at least for me. If anyone has some kind of a diagram, that'd be a big help. I've contacted them. But the last time I contacted them via email over something, I never got a response.
 

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
So, the first couple of images are of the strainer/throw off intact but then in the last couple images when I take the tension bolt off you can see inside where there's one of the screws right down the bottom. Maybe it's either placed in the wrong spot or that needs to move along when the strainer is turned off? Wish I was more experienced with stuff like this. Would make things a whole lot easier..haha. Just realised I'll need to take some compressed air to the strainer too, or wipe it down. Missed that spot.

20200803_125733.jpg20200803_125715.jpg20200803_125843.jpg20200803_125706.jpg
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I feel like there's a process issue at work here.

No matter the throw off, you should be able to:

Start with the throw off engaged and the tension almost as loose as it can go.
Center the wires between the edges of the bottom head, leaving a little less space on the butt side.
Thread the strap/string/tape/cord through the butt end and lock it down tightly.
Thread the strap/string/tape/cord through the throw off, pull the snare wires snugly against the head and lock it down tightly.

It should already be almost good to go, but a little adjustment of the tension knob should make the wires just tight enough to respond without sounding flappy.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I think the snares are either upside down or the straps are threaded the wrong way through the slots, making the snares pivot away from the head as they get tighter.

Look closely at the edges of the snare wires - do the plates sit flat against the drumhead?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
See, this is the thing. I have to crank the tension knob up until it's almost at it's tightest to get some kind of a snare sound.
This is the thing that confuses me. The wires should already have been pulled snug against the head before tightening the screws down. You shouldn't need to add much more tension at the adjustment knob.

Rereading the first post, I'm not sure I totally understand what you mean by:
I go to flip the snare around to the batter side, the wires lift straight off the reso head.
Are you saying that when you flip the drum over the wires drop away from the head? If so, something isn't tight enough. Either there is some slack in the strap/strings that shouldn't be there, or the clamps holding the strap/strings aren't tight enough.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If you engage the snare and the tension pulls them away from the head they are on upside down. The wires side that is soldered needs to sit against the head, not the plates the wires are soldered to.

Think of it like a guitar string. When its slack it sits on the neck. When you add tension, the string comes off the neck. This is exactly what happens when the snare is on upside down. The end plates act like the nut and saddle and pull the wires away from the head when under tension.
 

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
Ok, so what I'm going to do is buy some grosgrain ribbon today and see if I have any luck with it. Maybe the issue at the beginning was that when I was attaching the straight plastic straps to each end of the of the drum, I went ahead and flattened where they fold over the plate because without doing that, it wasn't pliable enough for me and I didn't think it'd sit flat on. Maybe that's where I went wrong? Either way, with the ribbon I hopefully shouldn't run into any errors like that. I know they're not upside down though.
 

Jasperdrummer

Junior Member
I got the grosgrain ribbon. I was only able to find 6mm in width. So, it's quite thin. I attached them to the snare. Lined the wires up perfectly each end and tightened them. Wires weren't moving which is good. Perfectly stationary. Everything was sounding alright until I turned the strainer off when the snare was flipped over. I look back at the reso head and the see that the snare wire plate on the throw off side has moved over a little and is pretty much completely loose. I know that when you turn the strainer off, the snare wires move off the head, but the plates don't become loose do they? I then turn the strainer back on and the drum starts sounding like it's off even though the wires are tightly touching it. (This is with the tension dial up as well.) At this point it's absolutely driving me insane but maybe I'm better off with something thicker than 6mm?
 

Warrenoids

New member
Grosgrain ribbons are quite slippery, same with a used drumhead. Personal opinion, but I would recommend parachute cords. They won't slip on you, and it's easier to make sure that the snares are parallel with each other.
 
Top