Snare Wires

bongoman

Junior Member
Depends on the drum, and what kind of sound you’re after. Imo shell depth doesn’t matter for wire choice.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
For those of you with 5” deep snares, what wires do you have on them?
For almost all snare drums, I usually start with a generic Gibraltar 20-strand and work from there.


Once I hear what a drum does with the generic, I can make decisions regarding number of strands and wire type/gauge depending on the attributes I want to enhance/squelch.
 
Depends on the drum, and what kind of sound you’re after. Imo shell depth doesn’t matter for wire choice.

I’m looking for new wires for my ‘69 Ludwig Acrolite. I agree depth probably doesn’t have much bearing on wire choice, but I’m just curious what people have on their 5” snares and why.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
On my vintage Acros, the stock wires (with the amber plastic ends) sound best to me. But I also like the Fat Cat nickel plated, the Canopus “vintage”, and Tama’s basic 20 strand.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I normally run stock.

Though a year ago, I got a set of Puresound Blasters for my Gretsch Renown and I really can’t hear the difference.

Maybe I’ll switch back and experiment with it on a few other snares, but then again I’m happy with them.

The only snare wire set that I have that can really hear a difference are the 42 strand wide snares the are on my Gretsch 4160 CoB, and that is a snappy and responsive snare.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I run the stock Tama snappies on all my snare drums except my G-maple. On that I use a Fat Cat Adjustable snappy for a fatter sound.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I run the stock Tama snappies on all my snare drums except my G-maple. On that I use a Fat Cat Adjustable snappy for a fatter sound.
I'm with the fat-cats as well. Years ago just happened to try a set on a 5.5x13 and they were actually better. I'm very lazy and don't experiment anymore..with me if it works?...it works until I die.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I'm with the fat-cats as well. Years ago just happened to try a set on a 5.5x13 and they were actually better. I'm very lazy and don't experiment anymore..with me if it works?...it works until I die.
I do experiment, only because I can, not because I don't like what I already have. Years ago I tried Puresound and it sounded different, but not better than any Tama snappy I was using at the time. I tried a Gibraltar 42-strand snappy and my 14x5 birch Sonor snare shell tone was lost in the buzz. I sold that snappy to a guy with an 8" deep snare and he preferred it. When I tried the Fat Cat I was very surprised at the sonic difference. Finally! Something that does not make a nuanced difference and does not hide what it does!
 

Capital D

Member
Have you considered wires with fewer strands? I had a set of 12 strand wires on my Acrolite for a while and the drum sounded great! It had a lot more of the drum's sound vs. the buzz sound. There was almost no sympathetic vibration when hitting toms or the bass drum either. I sold that drum, but the guy I sold it to put a set of 42s on it. Still sounds good, but there is a lot less of the drum's sound in the mix.

Now I have a set of Grover Pro Club Medium wires on my 14x5 aluminum snare. These wires are like guitar strings, they're not coiled. They are super dry kind of like a marching snare without being cranked up.
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
I'm sporting no-name 24-strand steel wires and aluminium die-cast hoops on my 14x5" NOB "black magic-like" snare, just because I wanted a bit more articulation and "snap" relative to the "thud" of the snare.
I could really use any 20- or 24-strand wire without much of an issue though, and the choice of wires really only depends on your own taste (if you can tell a difference between different snare wires, that is).
 
On my Ludwig Classic Maple 5×14 I switched to Puresound 16 strand wires some years back. Original stock wires were 20 strand Ludwig branded. Wanted to hear more of the fundamental of the drum, and a little less of the snare sound. A lot of classic drums of yesteryear had little in the way of snare wires, but had awesome sound. A bit easier to control sympathetic buzz, perhaps as well. .
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Depends on the drum, and what kind of sound you’re after. Imo shell depth doesn’t matter for wire choice.
More specifically, @kiloalphajuliet , I'd say the thing that dictates what wires to use is the width and depth of the snare bed on the drum's bottom bearing edge. With a wider bed, you could use a wider set of wires or a more traditional slimmer one, but a narrow bed wouldn't accommodate a wide set of wires; you'd find it a lot more buzzy than normal. In addition, there's a couple of different... pitches, I think it's called, where the plates at the ends sit more flat or at more of an angle against the head. I'm not as sure about this aspect, but I think deeper snare beds require the pitched-down plates, where the more standard shallow ones use the more common flatter ones. All my snare wires have the flat plates, and none of my snare drums have a deep bed.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
They are expensive, but after trying nearly every snare wire known to man I’ve come to the conclusion that:

Sonor makes the best snare wires

And

Canopus makes the 2nd best.

Biggest issue with Sonor is they aren’t cheap. But they are hand made at the Sonor factory in Germany.
 

ToneT

Well-known member
I whole-heartedly recommend Puresound Blasters.
The angled end plates do provide increased high frequency (Treble) wire response, if that's your thing.
I've had them on all my snares.
I don't get the crispness I prefer from stepped plates like the Puresound Customs or the DW Truetones, but that's my problem.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Fat Cat Adjustable FTW.

View attachment 102718
I started a thread in a different category about them. I like them, but on a first-gen (I presume) set that came with my Ahead snare drum, the screw backed out during a gig (I found it). So I wouldn't lose it forever, I just tightened it all the way, which means I lost the intended effect. I bought an additional set- screw looks different- for another drum, and it hasn't happened. ?‍♂️ When the screw stays in position, backed out some from fully tight (to relax the tension on the inner set), it performs perfectly as intended, which is awesome.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I started a thread in a different category about them. I like them, but on a first-gen (I presume) set that came with my Ahead snare drum, the screw backed out during a gig (I found it). So I wouldn't lose it forever, I just tightened it all the way, which means I lost the intended effect. I bought an additional set- screw looks different- for another drum, and it hasn't happened. ?‍♂️ When the screw stays in position, backed out some from fully tight (to relax the tension on the inner set), it performs perfectly as intended, which is awesome.
Yikes. I never even considered that could happen (fortunately, it hasn't).

I've found I don't need more a half-turn from the full-closed/tight postion to get the intended effect. Were you running yours pretty loose? Like shaggy loose?
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I've found I don't need more a half-turn from the full-closed/tight postion to get the intended effect. Were you running yours pretty loose? Like shaggy loose?
I don't recall. Maybe. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure which set it was, the older or newer, because I don't recall which drum I was using.
 
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