Snare drum recommendation needed please!

yammyfan

Senior Member
It's not that big a place so some of you might have read that I'm picking up a new kit this week...

I'm looking for recommendations for a snare drum. I've had good luck with "bang for the buck" snares in the past but I want something a bit better this time around. I've narrowed it down to three brands to make it easier for you: Gretsch, Ludwig and DW. My budget is roughly $600 CDN which is just under $500 USD.

I have a couple of decent steel snares already and I'm very happy with my maple Renown so I'm looking for something other than steel or wood. I play Country, Pop and Rock therefore I am looking for a jack of all trades. The LM402 is the first thing that pops into my mind.

I have an Acrolite already and I absolutely love it. A Supraphonic tops my list but I could be swayed by a brass Gretsch or DW if one can be had for the same or less than the LM402. Any recommendations for a brass DW or Gretsch that fits my budget?

One last wrinkle: I can get a DW Design Series 14 x 6.5 in piano black to match my new kit for $399 or just over $300 USD. I hear they're great snares but I think I'd prefer something that I could more easily move between kits which brings me right back to the Supraphonic of maybe a nice COB or nickel snare. If I'm going to be kicking myself that I didn't pick up the Design snare while I still could, please let me know!

I know that Tama and Pearl make great snares (as does just about everybody else) but I have a strong preference for brands that match my shell packs, hence the short list. Again, if there's some absolute MUST have snare from someone other than DW, Gretsch or Ludwig, let me know.

Thanks for your suggestions!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Per the criteria you've outlined, I'd get a Supraphonic and call it a day. If you want a "jack of all trades" snare, you'll be hard-pressed to make a more solid selection. Aluminum exhibits some of the warmth and dryness of wood, as well as the penetrating sting of metal. There's no tuning range or application a Supraphonic can't handle. It's a snare for all seasons that never falls short.

See? I'm cosmopolitan enough to recommend a non-wood snare that lacks a Pearl badge, even if doing so hurts a little. I'll hide somewhere and cry now.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I think a Design Series snare would be a little redundant given you already have a Gretsch Renown snare, don't ya think?

To me, metal DW snares sound good, but not Ludwig-good.

Get the Ludwig Supraphonic 14x6.5, it doesn't get more jack-of-all-tradey than that! You won't find a better-sounding snare for the money, unless it's the 5" version, or maybe a Supralite, but you said you want something nicer. Get the Supra, your ears will thank you.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
It's not that big a place so some of you might have read that I'm picking up a new kit this week...

I'm looking for recommendations for a snare drum. I've had good luck with "bang for the buck" snares in the past but I want something a bit better this time around. I've narrowed it down to three brands to make it easier for you: Gretsch, Ludwig and DW. My budget is roughly $600 CDN which is just under $500 USD.

I have a couple of decent steel snares already and I'm very happy with my maple Renown so I'm looking for something other than steel or wood. I play Country, Pop and Rock therefore I am looking for a jack of all trades. The LM402 is the first thing that pops into my mind.

I have an Acrolite already and I absolutely love it. A Supraphonic tops my list but I could be swayed by a brass Gretsch or DW if one can be had for the same or less than the LM402. Any recommendations for a brass DW or Gretsch that fits my budget?

One last wrinkle: I can get a DW Design Series 14 x 6.5 in piano black to match my new kit for $399 or just over $300 USD. I hear they're great snares but I think I'd prefer something that I could more easily move between kits which brings me right back to the Supraphonic of maybe a nice COB or nickel snare. If I'm going to be kicking myself that I didn't pick up the Design snare while I still could, please let me know!

I know that Tama and Pearl make great snares (as does just about everybody else) but I have a strong preference for brands that match my shell packs, hence the short list. Again, if there's some absolute MUST have snare from someone other than DW, Gretsch or Ludwig, let me know.

Thanks for your suggestions!
Supraphonic and Apple Pie ,you can't go Wrong
 

drummingbulldog

Well-known member
Supraphonic is a drum that gets it done. If you love the Acro you will have to put the Acro away or sell it because you won't use it much. Tho only thing negative I can say about a Supra is the chrome will pit & flake. If you wait a while & save you can get a c.o.b. supra. Just like a black beauty but chrome and the chrome won't flake off. That or a b.b. are the workhorse brass drum off all time. But a Supra standard is a no brainer.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Supraphonic is a drum that gets it done. If you love the Acro you will have to put the Acro away or sell it because you won't use it much. Tho only thing negative I can say about a Supra is the chrome will pit & flake. If you wait a while & save you can get a c.o.b. supra. Just like a black beauty but chrome and the chrome won't flake off. That or a b.b. are the workhorse brass drum off all time. But a Supra standard is a no brainer.
I might get an LM402 and the Black Magic for $349. I don't think I'll find a cheaper brass snare than that and they get excellent reviews. I know it's not a Black Beauty but if it comes close for half the price and has a fairly typical brass sound, I'm sold.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
What wood Pearl do you like?

Of Pearl's offerings, my favorite wood snares are the Session Studio Select (birch/African mahogany), the Masters Maple, the Sensitone Maple, and the Music City Custom. The Music City Custom, handmade in Nashville, is available in a variety of woods. When I get one, I'll go with maple or walnut.

Note: I'm not trying to derail @yammyfan 's thread, just answering @nicholasBR 's question.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
I've got 20 snare drums and I can make them all sound the same. If you don't have a Supra I'd go with that. Look for a chrome over brass and call it a day. Second option: Gretsch G4160. Great snare that does everything well.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I've seen used 6.5x14 Black Beauty snares pop up for $500 US occasionally. Usually on Craigslist or FB marketplace, and not readily, but occasionally.

I use my BB quite a bit more than I use my 402. Not that my 402 sounds bad or anything (it's one of the best 402s I've heard), but my BB is a more powerful, more defined sound, and I just generally reach for it first. And you already have an Acrolite, which sounds 92% like a Supraphonic anyway, so I'd get something decidedly different. So assuming you have a 5x14 Acro I'd seriously consider a 6.5x14 BB from the used market.

Black Magics sound great too, but they're not quite the same as a real BB.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My fault (it's all still well within the topic of the title anyway). I'm just considering a maple snare myself. For some reason the Music City Custom and Sensitone maple are not availble from Thomann in Europe that I can see.
Availability sometimes varies by geography. If you want maple and can get a Masters, I don't think you'll be disappointed. They're great all-purpose snares.
 
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