Snare recommendations?

Mastiff

Senior Member
I'm not much of a gear guy, but my cheapo snare is literally falling apart. Any recommendations for a mid-priced all around snare for rock/prog/funk type styles? I'm mostly just shedding now, but want something I could use for light gigging in the future if it comes up. The rest of my kit is tuned pretty dead and I pretty much like it that way, if that matters.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Your main choices are wood or metal. Any preference?

Any preference on diameter/depth?

Knowing those things would help a lot.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Choose whether you want metal or wood, then buy what looks pretty to you. Really. There are practically no bad snares (or drum sets) being built anymore. Even in the $150 range, there are many, many great-sounding snares. (I bought a 7X13 Ludwig Supralite last year. It's in that price range and just blows me away.) Go up in price and you'll get heavier hardware, more unique shell materials, better strainers, etc., but likely no better sounds - just different sounds.

Surely you have a music store somewhere within driving range from you? Just go there and sample some of the various offerings. You are bound to find something that rings a bell with you. If you don't have a music store close by, then sample the tons of online videos that demonstrate snares.

Be open enough to buy used gear and you'll save a lot of money. Find the snare you like (either in person on thru a video presentation), then track down a used one via Reverb, ebay, or CL. And always remember - cash talks!

GeeDeeEmm
 

trickg

Silver Member
If you want metal, the DW Design Series Black Nickel over brass is oddly the best value going right now at $289 for 5.5", and $299 for 6.5".

If you want wood, go with maple - there are a number of solid choices for a maple snare that are a bit more budget minded:

Tama SPL Classic Maple
Yamaha Tour Custom Maple
Ludwig Standard Maple with Chesnut veneer
Tama Sound Works Maple (Currently running $249)

Musician's Friend is currently selling the OCDP maple in 6x14 for $159 - it has black nickel hardware, but from a price perspective, considering that it has die-cast hoops, you can't even piece out the hardware for $159.


Seriously though - just go to one of the online vendors and search "maple snare drum" - you'll get a lot of good options.

For a metal snare drum, unless you find something used, expect to pay at least $300 and up. For maple, typically you're looking at around $250 and up.

I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not a snare drum is "good" - once you get past a certain price and quality threshold, how the drum is going to sound is going to depend much more on how it's set up - what heads/wires you're using, and how it's tuned. Almost everyone says my snares sound good, and it doesn't really matter what they are - currently my two main snares are DIY projects that I made from Keller maple shells. I think it comes down to how I've got them set up, and even more importantly, how I hit them.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Sheesh - for that price, I'm thinking about snagging one of those OCDP snares myself. How bad could it be? It looks like Musician's Friend is blowing out their OCDP stuff to get rid of it. I'll have to see if there are some other cool OCDP deals to be had at MF.com.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Sheesh - for that price, I'm thinking about snagging one of those OCDP snares myself. How bad could it be? It looks like Musician's Friend is blowing out their OCDP stuff to get rid of it. I'll have to see if there are some other cool OCDP deals to be had at MF.com.
It sure looks nice for the price. I have no prior experience with, or knowledge of OCDP.
 

trickg

Silver Member
OCDP - Orange County (California) Drums and Percussion are/were a boutique drum company originally, and they got popular because Travis Barker from Blink 182 and Joey Jordison (before his move to Pearl) endorsed them. Now they are owned by Guitar Center, and the drums are made in China.

I don't see drums being made overseas as being a deal breaker for me - I'm fairly certain my beloved Pearl SMX Session Custom was made overseas - possibly Taiwan.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
I've been playing a Premier Hi Fi that I bought used for $80. It's in mint condition. It's every bit as good as my Supraphonics and I can't make myself replace it. Fit and finish is fantastic and it has a great tone tuned low, medium or high, Older Premier snares are very underrated and can be bought for a song. They pop up occasionally on shopgoodwill.com, Reverb or ebay.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
It sure looks nice for the price. I have no prior experience with, or knowledge of OCDP.
I'll let you know what I think of the OCDP Chestnut Ash 13x7 next week. They've had them marked down for a few weeks, I bit the bullet and picked up an open box in mint for $95.

You really have TOO many choices out there. As someone above stated, at a $150, there are a ton of great choices. And I'll be honest, I don't think you need to spend that much.
 

trickg

Silver Member
You really have TOO many choices out there. As someone above stated, at a $150, there are a ton of great choices. And I'll be honest, I don't think you need to spend that much.
Yep - the stuff I posted about above is based on just a cursory search - for anyone who wants to do some digging, great deals can be had, and IMO used gear can represent a fantastic value because when it comes to stuff like drums, they can literally offer decades of good service, but once purchased and played (with exceptions when it comes to collectible drums) they will no longer command the same price tag as the equivalent used item.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Yep - the stuff I posted about above is based on just a cursory search - for anyone who wants to do some digging, great deals can be had, and IMO used gear can represent a fantastic value because when it comes to stuff like drums, they can literally offer decades of good service, but once purchased and played (with exceptions when it comes to collectible drums) they will no longer command the same price tag as the equivalent used item.
I totally agree, Yes. As long as you take care of them, they will last forever. Under $200, your choices are mainly wood and steel, maybe a used brass. But, that doesn't mean you can't find something great for you.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
For Rock/Prog/Funk, I'd give a slight edge to metal snares over wood. Metal cuts through the mix better. But wood will still work great.

The Ludwig Supraphonic (new or used) should be on your short list. It's possibly the most famous snare in history, and for good reason. It sounds phenomenal and works with everything. The only downside is that the hardware is slightly lacking compared to the recent competition. Still very good though. The Supra still sounds better IMO.

You should check out the Ludwig Supralite as well. I recently got a 14x6.5 Supralite and can say that it's fantastic, and very close in sound to the Supraphonic. I talked about the Supralite in this previous thread.

I second @GruntersDad about the Gretsch Brooklyn COB snares. They also sound amazing. Although, I think the Brooklyn Chrome Over Steel sounds slightly better because of the added crack, and it's about $120 cheaper than the Brass. You can't go wrong with either.

A wood snare you should check out is the Mapex Black Widow.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I totally agree, Yes. As long as you take care of them, they will last forever. Under $200, your choices are mainly wood and steel, maybe a used brass. But, that doesn't mean you can't find something great for you.
I got my Ludwig Acrolite for $30, and aside from it needing to be cleaned up with some new heads and wires, there really wasn't anything wrong with it.

I ended up putting tube lugs on it, and painting it black hammered metallic - I've probably got less than $100 in it total, and that includes me swapping out the P-85 that was hanging up a bit for a new one - the heads and wires I put on it were things that I already had.
 
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jdavis

Member
Lots of really good stuff available for not much dough: Acrolites, Pork Pie BOB's, Worldmax, Sensitones, SLP, etc...

Don't be afraid to buy used - better bang for your buck! (y)
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I recently bought a Pearl Modern Utility snare for the drum set at church, and I really like it. Peace and goodwill.
 
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