Opinions: 13x3 steel vs 12x7 maple as main

roncadillac

Member
Title says it all, what are your opinions on a 13x3 steel vs 12x7 maple as your main snare?

Putting aside style, genre, etc (and please no, "just get a 14" comments) what are the thoughts on 'non traditional' snare sizes?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
My three "main" snares are a 13" Pearl Omar Hakim, or a 13" or 12" Yamaha Musashi. I'd probably go 12x7 maple, of your two choices. But do whatever you want. It's your snare sound.
 

roncadillac

Member
Given the two choices I'd go with the 13, but I'd prefer a deep 13" inch snare.
I never really liked 14's, even for brush playing, and am usually mic'ed live so I don't have issues with cross-stick on either.

I just bought a pearl midtown kit and the stock 13x5 poplar snare is serviceable but underwhelming... And I typically play only 2 or 3 pc set ups so I REALLY need my snare to shine. I was going to just buy a pearl 13x3 steel piccolo because they are reliable, sound great, and I've used one in the past. However, pearl has the modern utility maple shell snares in 12x7, I love 12s, and always wanted one of their 12x7 "soprano" drums.

Both are basically the same price, for conversation sake, and both offer a finish that will match my kit. I'm leaning more towards the 12 maple but I really wanted a metal shell since I've already got a serviceable wood shell snare.

If pearl (or anyone really, why no love for metal 12's?) made a 12" metal shell snare with a depth anywhere from 5-7" I wouldn't even have to post this thread lol.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I've had both sized snare drums. I sold the 13 as there wasn't enough body in the sound. I use a 12x7 Pearl Soprano as a secondary snare.
 

roncadillac

Member
I've had both sized snare drums. I sold the 13 as there wasn't enough body in the sound. I use a 12x7 Pearl Soprano as a secondary snare.
It's been many years since I really played a piccolo and that's what I remember: impressive crack up front that quickly turns into a one trick pony.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
My 12x7 Jarrah Block from the 90's:
62645573_10219530352469039_5240625249543782400_o.jpg
CS..jpg
So far all I need.

I have other great snares, but this just the most versatile for me.

For more sensitive/brush work I have this early Greg Gaylord snare:
 
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gdmoore28

Gold Member
I have the deep 13" steel Ludwig Supralite. First non-14" snare I've owned. It quickly took over as my main snare. I'll be a 13" guy from now on.
 

roncadillac

Member
The funny part is, I could have just named this thread "convince me to go back to a deep 12" and achieved the same result because that's what's happening lol
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I used a 12x7 Pearl drum, tuned low, for about a year. A lot of interesting sound possibilities for creative music, but finally it was just too thin a sound for normal playing. Weak rim click sound if you do much of that. Tuned high it's more an effect than a main voice-- it's way out of the normal range for a snare drum. I would use a 13, tuned low-- in fact I need to get one...
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
If pearl (or anyone really, why no love for metal 12's?) made a 12" metal shell snare with a depth anywhere from 5-7" I wouldn't even have to post this thread lol.
Gretsch makes a 12"x6" Brooklyn steel snare. Tama had a Metalworks 12"x5,5" not too long ago.

I´d still go with the 13" - I have the Pearl 13"x3" brass, and it´s a great drum, very versatile.
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
I never really liked 14's, even for brush playing, and am usually mic'ed live so I don't have issues with cross-stick on either.

I just bought a pearl midtown kit and the stock 13x5 poplar snare is serviceable but underwhelming... And I typically play only 2 or 3 pc set ups so I REALLY need my snare to shine. I was going to just buy a pearl 13x3 steel piccolo because they are reliable, sound great, and I've used one in the past. However, pearl has the modern utility maple shell snares in 12x7, I love 12s, and always wanted one of their 12x7 "soprano" drums.

Both are basically the same price, for conversation sake, and both offer a finish that will match my kit. I'm leaning more towards the 12 maple but I really wanted a metal shell since I've already got a serviceable wood shell snare.

If pearl (or anyone really, why no love for metal 12's?) made a 12" metal shell snare with a depth anywhere from 5-7" I wouldn't even have to post this thread lol.
I have a 12" sensitone that I absolutely love! Is it not available any more? (Love the midtowns- My fave jungle kit)
 

makinao

Silver Member
If pearl (or anyone really, why no love for metal 12's?) made a 12" metal shell snare with a depth anywhere from 5-7" I wouldn't even have to post this thread lol.
Pearl used to, and I have one. Early 2000s Pearl SensiTone Custom Alloy Steel 12”x5” “Power Soprano” (STS1250 Japan a.k.a. S-5012 U.S.A). 8 lugs with Superhoops. I got a beat-up second hand one, cleaned it up and changed heads, throw-off, and snares. Love it.

It's the one in the middle.

 

roncadillac

Member
@MusiQmaN & @Bonzo_CR Both of your kits sounds great and fantastic, tasteful playing!

@CompactDrums Hopefully you are getting royalties because Pearl made $600 from me almost entirely because of your midtown review.

@makinao nice find! I have been looking for one of the 12" metal firecrackers used but they are always in really rough shape.

To answer everyone else: yup, Tama and Pearl no longer offer 12" metal shell snares in the US that aren't 'custom order'. You used to be able to get a 12" firecracker or a 12" metalworks with a thin steel shell for under $150 new
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
@MusiQmaN & @Bonzo_CR Both of your kits sounds great and fantastic, tasteful playing!

@CompactDrums Hopefully you are getting royalties because Pearl made $600 from me almost entirely because of your midtown review.

@makinao nice find! I have been looking for one of the 12" metal firecrackers used but they are always in really rough shape.

To answer everyone else: yup, Tama and Pearl no longer offer 12" metal shell snares in the US that aren't 'custom order'. You used to be able to get a 12" firecracker or a 12" metalworks with a thin steel shell for under $150 new
LOL no, no royalties... haha...
 

SciFi_Drummer

Junior Member
If you are up for used gear, you may be able to find something similar to this.
snare.jpg
This is a 7"x12" brass Slingerland I found on Reverb last year, and it has been my main snare ever since. I think I saw a copper one on there a few months ago. You may have to wait, but there are good options for 12" snares. This one sounds amazing (to me...).
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
From my personal experience, the 13 will have less body, but the 12 will have a practically non-existent "sweet spot" for rimclicks. A combo of the two in a 5/6/7 x 13 will give you both. That said, if you insist on one of your stated size options, try one, try the other, & if you love one, roll with it until you don't.
 
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