Snare drums


Senior Member
I'm posting this for some help in distinguishing the differences I should be hearing in my snares.

I currently have 2 Yamaha snare drums. One wood and one metal.
To my ears I cant really tell a huge difference between them. True the metal snare does need the head to be replaced but I was thinking there should be more of a difference between wood and metal? Or am I missing something? Or is it just my drums?

Can someone tell me how the different snares should sound? I mean as a general rule for wood, metal ,brass , maple, oak etc etc


Platinum Member
To really compare the drums, put brand new heads on them and tune them identically, go through their tuning ranges in small increments and play them both side to side. Different snares sound different and feel different, that's for sure. Of course, the way the shell is made, its thickness etc. has a bigger effect on the sound than the shell's material.


Senior Member
Hi Synergy,

What are the drums exactly? It does depend on what the metal snare is made from (and indeed the wood snare) i.e. is it steel, brass, copper aluminium? for instance copper is a very warm sounding metal so it would sound closer to a wood drum than say steel, also the harder the wood used for your wooden snare the harsher it will sound.



Senior Member
The metal is steel and I am not sure what wood is used for the snare. I am awaiting a reply from Yamaha concerning info about the wod snare- what wood/year etc.

It is a Stage custom snare from the late 90's I think.

I am looking for a new snare but not entirely sure what I am after because I already have these 2 snares that I am unsure over.

I dont want to go out a buy another snare and just add it to the other 2 that I am unsure about. Does that makes sense?

I was looking at a Black Panther but I am still really open to anything- within reason, I wont be spending anything more then say $250 on it.

I was also looking at a Yamaha Musaki ( I know I spent that wrong) But was weary as I already have 2 yamaha snares


Senior Member
You should hear the difference between a steel snare and a wooden snare, if you had new heads on both I'm pretty sure you would be able to tell one from the other.

There are lots of great snare drums on the market, I'm pretty sure that you would be able to pick up something pretty decent for $25. What to get depends on the sound that your after, are you after tight and funky, deep and greasy, warm and crisp etc.



Gold Member
sounds like your wood snare is birch - which plays tight and bright, maple will be a warmer sounding snare, i think if the snare was maple you would notice a bigger difference... your steel snare if tuned up should be louder and brighter than even the birch, but like Wavelength said identical heads and tuning are the best place to start.
( and i have only played the Musashi snare in store, but oh my - what a wonderful drum these are! )
good luck!


Senior Member
Thanks for the imput guys.

I dont know why but I am currently drawn towards a Maple Black Panther or a Musashi. I havent heard either side by side with a kit so I will have to hold out on that decision until I can back to the shop.

I dont know why these 2 spring to mind- It may be marketing? Who knows.

If there are any alternatives to these 2- let me know- and in with your opinions on their sound.

I like the sound of the maple though- I am moving towards darker turkish type cymbals for hats and ride and I think I want a warmer tone from my snare but still with a little kick that the snares will provide.

Are the Panther and Musashi a good fit for this?


Senior Member
Thanks Jeremy, I had found Dogbreath's post after my OP-

So if I follow the logic the metal snares are brighter- ie 'louder all things remaining equal'

My steel snare I forgot to mention has a dampening thing inside it that the wood snare does not- should I take this out?

I figured I would go with teh Panther as I am currently looking for a warmer sound and look into the Oak at a later date- with more money haha


Senior Member
Thanks Ainulindale,

That was I was after- as I keep foscusing on those two snares- I think because of marketing/ availability at local shops.

But I am open to anything that sounds good- I was just unsure what I was after when I started this.

I think I have settled on maple- so that will help narrow things down and now I can go to my new ma and pop store I have found and really go in and have a look with more open mind