Please Share Experiences With 42 Strand Snare Wires


Hello All,

Hope this is the correct forum for this question.

I've decided I'd like to try some 42 strand snare wires on my 1979 Ludwig LM 402 supraphonic 6 1/2" snare drum. I am using a coated emperor on the batter head and a clear ambassador for the snare side head. Drum is round, bearing edges clean, hoops are true. Used for jazz to rock.

I have never used any brand 42 strand snare wires before. I was hoping to get some info on 42 strand wires from those of you who may have already done some experimenting with them and are willing to share your experiences, opinions and conclusions. I'm looking to minimize potential dis-satisfaction with trying the different brands of 42 strand wires available.

Please share any experiences you have with using 42 strand wires. My snare bed looks up to the task. I may have to try one or more brands or I may get lucky with the right info and be happy with my first choice of 42 strand wires. To be used with standard Ludwig snare cord and a standard original P-85 strainer.

Here are the brands of 42 strand snare wires I believe are still presently available to buy:
Percussion Plus
An unk, un-named brand of wires available at
I also have the opportunity to buy a 30 yr set of Gretsch 42 strand power snare wires from a private party. However, I have no way of verifying the sound quality these may or may not have prior to buying them. Maybe snare wires do wear out over time, maybe they don't. Possible damage from past user error, ect. However they are an option and available.

Anyone know of other brands please advise.

Any insight at all regarding this subject will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.



Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
It is generally recognised these days that it is better to go in the other direction as too many snares can cause too much buzz and also take away from the natural sound of the drum. I have also tried different snare wires and thought 42 would be where it was at but found that it was not the right snare wire for a walnut snare drum, which is curious because that is what they come with. Since I have swithched over to the Puresound EQ wires I now hear a difference for the better.
At any rate I am finding that the only way to truly find what you like is to experiment. I was curious about a product and made a query on this site but then realised that everyone has an opinion and that they vari so the only thing to do is to experiment.. It is more expensive for drummers I think to go that root but it seems the only way. This is puresounds web site and you will find alot of info there. If you have an old snare wire you are not using anymore you can carefully cut out the middle strands and toss it on to get a bit of an idea of what I am talikig about, the idea is to hear the drum and not so much the snare wires. The same principal applies to audio equipment, you would hope to hear the music and not the equipment you are playing it through (unless you are an audiophile using a $50,000 Amp).
For all I know your snare will sound wicked cool with 42 strands but check out the site for some idea of where to go next. Hope I was helpful, seriously, less is more.
I agree with Bruce i.e. 42-strand snares causing a lot of buzz and as such can cause problems. However, I recently did a session with a folk/country artist and the producer wanted a very specific sound from the snaredrum. After trying all sorts of drums we finally found what he was looking for with an Eames 6.5x14 maple drum outfitted with a 42-strand snare.

So, IMO these snares are good for specific purposes but not overly versatile. As such I wouldn't invest a ton of money on one...