Snare Drums - Wood Snare Recommendations

Just high tuning aside, Im looking for a snare that's going to give me that quintessential sound like 311's drummer Chad Sexton's snares, basically any funk or reggae drummers snare, high number ply snare, etc. I've owned a 6.5 × 14 vented OCDP snare, and Pearl piccolo, played other various snares, Pork Pies, etc. Looking at a Spaun acryllic coke bottle vented snare and a wooden one from them. But what do you recommend/use, and what do you like about them? Only wooden snares please. Thanks!
 
Totally. Thanks, I've seen that video before. I use rimshots a lot as well. But yes, a lot of the times its the technique/tuning not so much the snare itself. I just like to hear what snares are out there like that from others that also love that boutique, high end snare crack and overtone.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You can get pretty close to Chad's sound if you use that offset rimshot technique. I think a thicker shell will work best for that cutting rimshot sound. At least 6mm shell thickness, generally a 14x5" snare...but no deeper than 14x6".

In thinking about what snares have that sound, the first snare that popped in my head was a Pearl Masters Maple. So I looked this up, and sure enough, it does seem to be in that ballpark. He plays some rimshots around the 0:35 mark.


Here's another Masters demo with rimshots

 
You can get pretty close to Chad's sound if you use that offset rimshot technique. I think a thicker shell will work best for that cutting rimshot sound. At least 6mm shell thickness, generally a 14x5" snare...but no deeper than 14x6".

In thinking about what snares have that sound, the first snare that popped in my head was a Pearl Masters Maple. So I looked this up, and sure enough, it does seem to be in that ballpark. He plays some rimshots around the 0:35 mark.


Here's another Masters demo with rimshots

Nice. Thanks man, the high tunings sound great on those. I've seen a lot of the Drum Center CZ videos, that guys a great drummer. Nate from the North Shore drum shop videos has some great stuff too.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Tuning is a bigger factor than the snare itself, though for the 311 sound, avoiding deep snares would be wise. My main snare is a 5.5"/14" Pearl Session Studio Select (Birch/ African Mahogany). I can easily achieve the bright, high, somewhat ringy sound you're after. A Remo Coated Ambassador tuned high and tight will get you there. There's no need to pull your hair out over finding the perfect drum.
 
Tuning is a bigger factor than the snare itself, though for the 311 sound, avoiding deep snares would be wise. My main snare is a 5.5"/14" Pearl Session Studio Select (Birch/ African Mahogany). I can easily achieve the bright, high, somewhat ringy sound you're after. A Remo Coated Ambassador tuned high and tight will get you there. There's no need to pull your hair out over finding the perfect drum.
Oh definitely, believe me, no hair pulling lol. I've been able to achieve that sound for years on any snare Ive owned, only use coated Remo Ambassadors tuned high, all about the rimshot technique etc. Its more of just I like to see what other folks are using snare wise out there that are also after that sound. Theres so many great boutique snares out there that achieve that sound so effortlessly. Just curious as to what make/model they may be. Thnaks for your input!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Oh definitely, believe me, no hair pulling lol. I've been able to achieve that sound for years on any snare Ive owned, only use coated Remo Ambassadors tuned high, all about the rimshot technique etc. Its more of just I like to see what other folks are using snare wise out there that are also after that sound. Theres so many great boutique snares out there that achieve that sound so effortlessly. Just curious as to what make/model they may be. Thnaks for your input!
I hear you. I'm a lifelong advocate of high, tight snares. I've never really warmed up to the low and loose sound -- or the feel, for that matter. I like a lot of rebound from my snare.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.
 
I hear you. I'm a lifelong advocate of high, tight snares. I've never really warmed up to the low and loose sound -- or the feel, for that matter. I like a lot of rebound from my snare.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.
Hey thanks a lot for the welcome man, yes today is my first day on the forum....any forum haha.

I hear you on the lifelong high and tight snare advocate. Same sentiments. I just cant dig the sound of a loose low tuned "dead" snare sound. Although I see its place in certain older 60s/70s classic rock, folk rock, or country songs....it wouldnt right with a high tuned snare. But for most rock n roll, punk, funk, reggae, R&B, and gospel styles it's a must, and sounds so damn sweet! Amazing response/feel too and love ghost notes.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Hey thanks a lot for the welcome man, yes today is my first day on the forum....any forum haha.

I hear you on the lifelong high and tight snare advocate. Same sentiments. I just cant dig the sound of a loose low tuned "dead" snare sound. Although I see its place in certain older 60s/70s classic rock, folk rock, or country songs....it wouldnt right with a high tuned snare. But for most rock n roll, punk, funk, reggae, R&B, and gospel styles it's a must, and sounds so damn sweet! Amazing response/feel too and love ghost notes.
I play a lot of country but stick with a high and tight snare most of the time. It's just my signature sound. I sometimes apply a Remo tone control ring, which dries and fattens things without requiring me to loosen my batter head. If I do go looser, it's only for backbeats. Otherwise, I like the sensitivity a tighter tuning allows. It's all a matter of preference, of course.
 
Definitely. I think a lot of songs that were say originally recorded with a low tuned snare sound great when you hear a drummer in a cover band do it with a tight snare. Can make it 1000 times better!
 

wraub

Well-known member
I can pretty close to that sound with my maple 14x5.5 Yamaha Tour Custom. Tbh, I really haven't tried to dial it in, but I think it's in there.
 
Nice, I'm sure it is in there. Yamaha makes great drums. I recently upgraded to an intermediate kit and spent a couple months straight researching so many drums and Yamaha Stage Customs were definitely up there for me. I just preferred maple over birch.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Budget aside, check out the Pearl Hybrid Exotic snares. The reason for this is i have a kapur snare drum (Pearl Ltd Edition 14x6.5) and since then i'm shouting that kapur is a great wood type for snares haha. The Hybrid Exotic mixes kapur with fyberglass and has the same characteristics. Nice dry sound without too much overtones, but when you crank it up (like i do) you'd get a great wooden pop sound out of it, while retaining sensitive snare sounds and full bodied sound.

The Tama SLP Kapur snare is a great choice as well!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Wood snares can be a bit of a minefield. I use a steambent maple as my main wooden snare. If you're buying once and crying once they're well worth a look.

I also have a Mapex Deep Forest Walnut which is a great snare. Check the Mapex black panther snares, there's some very nice offerings like the equinox
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Maple is a great benchmark snare, as it's pretty balanced as far as lows mids highs are concerned. Everyone should have a great maple snare to start with. If you have the dough for a solid shell, cool. I'd stay away from the really thick shells, and stick with a 6 mm or thinner shell, but you might like the focus of a thicker shell. Pearl makes a great thicker shell snare.

Andy says purpleheart is like maple on steroids, but I've never heard one. Padauk is a great wood too, they make the marimba bars out of it. Padauk is my go to snare for live. You could buy a naked solid shell with the edges done, snare bedded and drilled for your favorite hardware. You finish it and assemble it.
 
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