Replacing snare wires

timmdrum

Silver Member
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?
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.

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. :D
 

roncadillac

Member
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.

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. :D
Yes, I very lightly touched on this but not in great detail. The bottom (reso) head of a snare is much thinner then any other head, don't slap a 'normal' head on the bottom or you'll kill sensitivity and make the drum sound like a box.

Good catch!
 

fl.tom

Senior Member
Here’s another take... If the two missing wires:

— haven’t left remnants on the end plates that can potentially puncture the bottom head,
— are not causing a misalignment of the end plates, and
— are not noticeably impacting the sound/snare response,

think you can safely defer replacing the set until a later time.

If you feel more comfortable replacing them now with your son’s upcoming gig, some low cost, but good quality wire sets a number of us here use are the German 16- or 20-wire ones from Drum Factory Direct:


Each set is $11.78 and with shipping to the MD/Northern VA area, you’ll still be under $20. Just count the wires on your son’s snare to determine which model to purchase (probably the 20 strand).

Also, if you order before 3pm, dFd will typically drop them at the post office that evening and you should have them the next day. I’ve repeatedly used dFd with 100% success and received parts next day when I’m in that neck of the woods.

If you’re looking for a little darker tone, the non-plated steel Puresound wire sets others have recommended are a good choice. And if minimizing snare buzz and/or getting a little more sound of the shell is also desired, the Puresound Equalizer model in particular is a good option:


Best of luck.
 

roncadillac

Member
Here’s another take... If the two missing wires:

— haven’t left remnants on the end plates that can potentially puncture the bottom head,
— are not causing a misalignment of the end plates, and
— are not noticeably impacting the sound/snare response,

think you can safely defer replacing the set until a later time.

If you feel more comfortable replacing them now with your son’s upcoming gig, some low cost, but good quality wire sets a number of us here use are the German 16- or 20-wire ones from Drum Factory Direct:


Each set is $11.78 and with shipping to the MD/Northern VA area, you’ll still be under $20. Just count the wires on your son’s snare to determine which model to purchase (probably the 20 strand).

Also, if you order before 3pm, dFd will typically drop them at the post office that evening and you should have them the next day. I’ve repeatedly used dFd with 100% success and received parts next day when I’m in that neck of the woods.

If you’re looking for a little darker tone, the non-plated steel Puresound wire sets others have recommended are a good choice. And if minimizing snare buzz and/or getting a little more sound of the shell is also desired, the Puresound Equalizer model in particular is a good option:


Best of luck.
x2 on DFD in general, great prices and selection. I ALWAYS check there first when buying any spare parts/misc stuff.
 

drummom

Member
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.

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. :D
He doesn't notice they are broken. Dad cut the broken ones off and if I ask what he likes he says to ask you all or message Larry. I appreciate the explanation... I'm learning more about drums then I ever wanted to know but love the kid so have to learn.

I don't want to go too cheap... I've got to listen to him play :) I'll probably go with the profound.
 

drummom

Member
Here’s another take... If the two missing wires:

— haven’t left remnants on the end plates that can potentially puncture the bottom head,
— are not causing a misalignment of the end plates, and
— are not noticeably impacting the sound/snare response,

think you can safely defer replacing the set until a later time.

If you feel more comfortable replacing them now with your son’s upcoming gig, some low cost, but good quality wire sets a number of us here use are the German 16- or 20-wire ones from Drum Factory Direct:


Each set is $11.78 and with shipping to the MD/Northern VA area, you’ll still be under $20. Just count the wires on your son’s snare to determine which model to purchase (probably the 20 strand).

Also, if you order before 3pm, dFd will typically drop them at the post office that evening and you should have them the next day. I’ve repeatedly used dFd with 100% success and received parts next day when I’m in that neck of the woods.

If you’re looking for a little darker tone, the non-plated steel Puresound wire sets others have recommended are a good choice. And if minimizing snare buzz and/or getting a little more sound of the shell is also desired, the Puresound Equalizer model in particular is a good option:


Best of luck.

Thanks, kid and I usually like a bit darker. So, if he has 20 strand, I stick with that. It is one of the Mapex Armory ones but I forget which as I swapped it out.

My husband cut the two lose wires so I'll have to make sure he didn't puncture anything. It would be nice to leave it for a while but since he's going to have to take it out of the house if he gets into the talent show, I don't want to risk equipment failures but we do have extra snares.
 

drummom

Member
Yes, I very lightly touched on this but not in great detail. The bottom (reso) head of a snare is much thinner then any other head, don't slap a 'normal' head on the bottom or you'll kill sensitivity and make the drum sound like a box.

Good catch!
Thanks, this is the stuff I need to learn and teach him. I didn't realize it was different so I'm glad I asked. We want to eventually upgrade all the heads as watching youtube videos on our kit upgrading the heads made it sound better.
 

roncadillac

Member
Thanks, this is the stuff I need to learn and teach him. I didn't realize it was different so I'm glad I asked. We want to eventually upgrade all the heads as watching youtube videos on our kit upgrading the heads made it sound better.
I highly suggest subscribing to a channel on YouTube called "sounds like a drum", Ben (one of the creators) worked for/with Evans drum heads for a while and now has this awesome channel along with his buddy Cody. Some of the content may be way above your head this early in the game but as a whole it's fantastic detailed information that drops weekly and is a great excuse to turn drum education into 'family time'.
 

drummom

Member
The number one thing that will improve his sound is private lessons. :)
A little handheld recorder from Tascam or Zoom can be a huge help as well. Just get a musician specific one so that it can handle the loud volumes. They start at just $100.
Agree! Thanks, he's in weekly private lessons and does music camps. We have a great instructor.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Another good source for medium to low priced snares is Drum Factory Direct. They have a line of "German Made" snares that do really well.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I'll second this, and add a suggestion for Rob Brown, also on YT. As a fairly new drummer, I find his approach speaks to me- he tends to do away with a lot of hyperbole and distill things to simplicities that are still functional. I've learned a lot from him, as well as SLAD.


I highly suggest subscribing to a channel on YouTube called "sounds like a drum", Ben (one of the creators) worked for/with Evans drum heads for a while and now has this awesome channel along with his buddy Cody. Some of the content may be way above your head this early in the game but as a whole it's fantastic detailed information that drops weekly and is a great excuse to turn drum education into 'family time'.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I got my snare drum used, and it has a couple of missing wires, but it still sounds good and isn't damaging anything so I've left it alone. It's on my list of things to do, but until it's a problem I'm okay.

Here’s another take... If the two missing wires:

— haven’t left remnants on the end plates that can potentially puncture the bottom head,
— are not causing a misalignment of the end plates, and
— are not noticeably impacting the sound/snare response,

think you can safely defer replacing the set until a later time.

[snip]
 
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