Everyone, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see where anyone specifically addressed this particularly important question: Yes, Drummom, snare drum bottom heads are significantly different than batter or resonant heads of any other drum. They have to be very thin so they can conform to the purposefully-not-level bottom bearing edge (where the head touches the drum shell). If you care about it to this degree, check out the bottom edge of the shell (through the clear or hazy head) where the snare wires' cords/straps go over the edge; as you look around the bottom edge (better to do this looking across the drum head rather than straight down at it), you'll see a slight "dip" (called the snare bed) in it at these two spots. This is so the snare wires will contact the head evenly all the way across and not be overly loose in the middle, which would increase rattle-y noise. A head not made for the bottom of snare drums won't work because they're too thick to conform to those dips in the bottom edge of the drum.Thanks all - so, what's my best choice? The head looks ok. We took it apart to make sure it would fit in the bags I bought. Are the heads for the same or different for the top? We still have the original heads except on the base (drumming is $$$).
We have fabric straps on the current wires. Can we reuse those?
Yes, you can re-use straps & cords, but every set of snare wires will come with some. If you get the less expensive Gibraltar or good-drum-brand snare wires like Tama, Ludwig, etc (which will be fine), they'll probably come with nylon straps, so if he likes the fabric ones better, then by all means, re-use them. Keep the others for spares; things break, usually with exceptionally bad timing.