Recommend Wood Snare (pair w. Mapex Saturn V shells)

Cpb19

Active member
Hi all, I’m new to the site. My daughter uses a Pearl sensitone snare and is in the market for a wood snare (maple?) to pair with a Mapex Saturn V shell pack. We’ve considered various black panthers, Canopus (“the maple” or yaiba), or the new Ludwig jazz fest legacy. She plays a mix of classic rock and hard/metal, mostly with her siblings (guitar and bass).

Any thoughts on what we considered thus far or other suggestions? Thank you.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
This is a very tough question, mainly because there are too many other factors involved to make a solid recommendation. By the time this thread runs dry, you'll be no better off, or worse in options than when started. Snares are too personal and their tone can vary so much. I'll say value wise, the Black Panther snares and some of the pearls are way underrated. Canopus makes beautiful drums. Maple, also doesn't mean a particular sound. I have a bronze snare that sounds so woody, I'm having a tough time finding a wood snare I like as much or more. For the genres in question, the best snare is one that'll tune to the ranges. Classic rock - low and thuddy and metal - high with a hell of a crack. To me that spells a brass snare, something like the Mapex Black Panther Sledge Hammer or Gretsch Brooklyn chrome over brass (COB) or hammered COB or other brands that fall into this category. A 14x5.5-6.5" deep shell will be the most universal, with a nod to the 6.5 for metal (more volume).

You'll get a lot of get out and listen recommendation, but if you don't have a ton of music stores with qualified staff around you, it's more like building a puzzle upside down, with pieces mixed in from other puzzles. Best to decide on a price, find sound bites on YouTube, especially if by Drum Center of Portsmouth, Sweetwater or Memphis Drum Shop, because they are pretty consistent with their tuning and reviews and go from there.

All the best on your hunt!
 

Cpb19

Active member
Great, thank you. I’ve been down this road with the other instruments and drums for my kids (she was between the Tama and Mapex, and went with Mapex based on personal preference). Simply too many choices.

What she’s looking for primarily is a warmer sound for the classic rock. She’s tuned low-ish on the Mapex if that helps. I’m not a drummer, so I’m little help to her.

We’re trying to keep the price no higher than $750, but it would be great to be on the lower side ($500 or less would be great).
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
$750 is a pretty high budget, so opens up a world of options. That's actually the highest I've ever paid for a snare. Most of mine have been in the $350 - 500 range. Some shells will have a naturally lower tone than others, but tuning low is more of a technique than the shell material. Obviously shells with a lot more high overtones don't help with the sound, but high overtones can be tamed with heads, gels or even something like a Big Fat Snare Drum
I was covering for a band last year that played a variety of songs. I covered the thuddy classic rock songs with that. Just through it on before the song started and removed it after. Some snares are happiest in a particular range, tuned high, mid or low and suffer at one of the other ranges.

This is where the workhorse snare should excel in. A Ludwig Supraphonic (aluminum) is probably one of the most recorded snares, especially for older recordings, followed but the Black Beauty (COB). I don't have either. They are way too pingy for my taste, but I'm pretty lonely here with that preference, but having said that, I only use single ply heads on my snares, which are pretty pingy. Already getting deep in the weeds with drum geek talk, which will serve to add confusion. The Drum Center of Portsmouth, Sweetwater and Memphis Drum Shop videos I recommended earlier all use the same single ply heads to demo their snares. That'll give you a good feel for what the drum will sound like if played wide open (no muffling). They also show the snares in low, mid and high tuning, so you can really get a good feel for how that particular snare may sound in the genres.

I've used those sites pretty regularly. Having said that, I bought a Tama Starphonic Bubinga a while back based on those videos, because I was really looking for a nice deep sounding drum. It was fantastic. I then bough my Gretsch USA Bronze, which ended up having an even lower and warmer natural tone than the bubinga! I wouldn't have guessed that. Wood is always lower than metal right? The bubinga was still my go to for the high cracking sound, just so I didn't have to retune the Bronze, but the bronze did that better too. I still liked the bubinga for the dryer sound, but then bought a cast aluminum snare, which is dry and can cover the same ranges as the bronze. So my bronze ends up covering low to high with more overtones and my aluminum for less overtones. That has put my bubinga snare in no mans land for me. Just a beautiful drum with fantastic hardware, but I can o both lower and higher with the other two. The Bubinga is still king when looking or a lower volume snare. It's a very "polite" snare, so has its place too.

There's trial and error with just about all instruments. So far I've knocked on the Ludwig Starphonic and Black Beauties and than ruffled additional feathers with taking a whack and the Starphonic Bubinga. I'm now looking for a place to hide to avoid the scorching that is about to take place!

In all seriousness, I'm just trying to point out, it's a tougher search than you may think and YouTube will help reduce confusion a ton. That said, how a drum really sits with one's tastes and expectations is still a matter of preference, so no holy grail. There are more common choices, which should get you at least close and go from there. I'd also highly recommend going the used rout. Love the $750 budget for when you know you're a 100% on a snare. Get them used, have your daughter play them for a bit, if she doesn't take to it or decides she's looking for something different, resell and get a different one. The new $750 snare will be worth 50-60% of it's value used, and there's going to be tons of experimentation in the days/months/years ahead. You could be flipping $400 used snares weekly without losing much, especially, if no shipping is involved.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd let her pick the drum. She will have more of a stake in it. Drums are made so well these days that it's hard to mess up. You won't mess up. Let her pick what appeals to her.
 

Cpb19

Active member
Thank again for taking the time you have, I very much appreciate it. The used/flipping idea is a good one. A good portion of our gear is used and I’m not adverse to going that route. And I do see used black panthers around fairly frequently.
 

Cpb19

Active member
And thanks to you larryace. She’ll pick it; I’m just trying to narrow it down with her.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I would encourage her to stay with a maple snare from one of the major manufacturers. If I could only have 1 wood for a snare, maple would be my choice of the normally offered woods.

Pretty much every major brand makes a great maple snare. Tama has the Starclassic, Pearl has the Sensitone, Ludwig has it's Classic Maple series,, Yamaha has it's Maple Custom series....all fine choices...are all on par with each other IMO, it depends who you talk with as far as preferences. So it's just about your budget and what lights her up. If you stick with the major brands, you're going to be OK new. Used carries all the inherent caveats, but used is a great way to go. I'd keep her relegated to the major brands. A Ludwig Classic Maple snare, or a Tama Starclassic would be my first and second choices respectively.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Well, it’s always subjective. But, of what you listed, Canopus’ The Maple is a fantastic drum and the one I’d put at the top to try out. Are you in an area where you can physically play the drums? Can’t beat real world tryouts. I’ve had my heart set on drums only to play them and find they weren’t what I was looking for.
 

Cpb19

Active member
As to Canopus, yes. The shop where we got the Mapex kit carries Canopus. We’re in Westchester county, NY.
 

Cpb19

Active member
While perhaps odd, I’ve never had a snare match the rest of the set. I think of them differently. In any event, we came across a used Ludwig classic maple since my post and went with that. Thanks for all the help.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I would encourage her to stay with a maple snare from one of the major manufacturers. If I could only have 1 wood for a snare, maple would be my choice of the normally offered woods.

Pretty much every major brand makes a great maple snare. Tama has the Starclassic, Pearl has the Sensitone, Ludwig has it's Classic Maple series,, Yamaha has it's Maple Custom series....all fine choices...are all on par with each other IMO, it depends who you talk with as far as preferences. So it's just about your budget and what lights her up. If you stick with the major brands, you're going to be OK new. Used carries all the inherent caveats, but used is a great way to go. I'd keep her relegated to the major brands. A Ludwig Classic Maple snare, or a Tama Starclassic would be my first and second choices respectively.
I'll second that, great advice!

While perhaps odd, I’ve never had a snare match the rest of the set. I think of them differently. In any event, we came across a used Ludwig classic maple since my post and went with that. Thanks for all the help.
Nice purchase! You can't go wrong with a good Ludwig snare. I don't think many of us use the matching snare, it's a personal thing.

Apologies for being late to the thread, if your daughter finds herself going down the matching brand route the good thing is Mapex Black Panthers have about 5 billion different combinations, all of which are very good. They sell a lot cheaper than the big names.

I have a Saturn V myself and got a Mapex snare about a month back, I got a Deep Forest Walnut from the 90s which is the snare they've based the 30th anniversary on. Even if you're buying new the 30th anniversary is worth it and you're getting a lot for the money, not sure what they're retailing for in the US but they're £400 here which is for a high end snare is ridiculous value.

 

Cpb19

Active member
Thanks. For what it’s worth, she’s in love with the Mapex Saturn V. She spent her first 3 yrs (starting around 11 yrs old) on a pearl roadshow, which was great as a first set, including size-wise for an 11 yr old, and is what we bring to shows if they don’t have a set. But she looks for songs where she can use her toms as much as possible now with the Saturn V.

A warning that having 3 of your children start a band is quite an expensive hobby. But I can think of far worse things that people spend money on, and it keeps them away from electronics.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
A warning that having 3 of your children start a band is quite an expensive hobby. But I can think of far worse things that people spend money on, and it keeps them away from electronics.
And you know what they are doing! Staying home playing music is far more constructive than playing video games all day or running around getting yourself into trouble. Good for you for taking an interest in your kids and their interests. More parents need to do this instead of pawning their kids off to a digital babysitter and completely ignoring them.

We’re trying to keep the price no higher than $750
Haha can I join your family?! 🙂🙂🙂lol
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
For what it’s worth, she’s in love with the Mapex Saturn V.

A warning that having 3 of your children start a band is quite an expensive hobby.
Love my little Saturn V. They are a kit for life and as good as any high end kit out there.

I'm eternally grateful to my folks for encouraging me to push the drumming never mind teaching me how to sing in harmony and play guitar. Sets you up for life. Keeps them away from social media too, nothing social about it!

You're doing parenting right.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Thanks. For what it’s worth, she’s in love with the Mapex Saturn V. She spent her first 3 yrs (starting around 11 yrs old) on a pearl roadshow, which was great as a first set, including size-wise for an 11 yr old, and is what we bring to shows if they don’t have a set. But she looks for songs where she can use her toms as much as possible now with the Saturn V.

A warning that having 3 of your children start a band is quite an expensive hobby. But I can think of far worse things that people spend money on, and it keeps them away from electronics.
My Dad ran into that-bought piano, organ, alto sax, PA system, my brother had numerous high end guitars, amps, my eldest brother and I fought over drums, a van to carry stuff to gigs-it added up in a hurry. He was very supportive. I know he spent a fortune on it-but he was that way-all or none.
 

Cpb19

Active member
Here’s a typical Saturday 7:30am practice in our house, pre-Saturn V.
. Thus far our neighbors haven’t complained, so I consider ourselves lucky.

Most of the gear I’ve bought in the past 2 yrs has been used but high quality (or with Amex points, as I travel frequently for work and it adds up), recognizing that it may not last and that hopefully I can get 60% back of what I spent as the kids take very good care of their gear. We don’t take extravagant trips (camping is typical), spend an average of $50/yr on video games, have a 10-yr old television, rather than go out to dinner we spend lots of time smoking/bbq’ing, I drive my cars 15+ years, etc. So, it is not in my nature to spend freely, but it is worth it to me as the kids keep out of trouble and bond with each other. And, further benefits are that every hour+ car trip we pick a band to discuss/listen to, and they appreciate the Dead.

Thanks for letting me share/ramble.
 
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