Steel snare drum question

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Maybe it's time for an upgrade? Maybe you should try other material: aluminum, brass....maple? Yes, I'm talking about spending more money than you probably want to spend, but it couldn't hurt to look around at some of the more expensive offerings. I got my hands on that DW Performance snare that was 14x8, steel, and that drum sounded great right out of the box. Of course, at $350, it should sound pretty decent. Pearl's Ian Paice model is a 6.5x14 steel drum too that sounds really good - but at a higher price point. At a certain point I learned that these "starter" snares were just not going to cut it, so I kept myself in the 5x14 Acrolite and above range. I basically eliminated ever being able to blame the gear if anybody didn't like what I was doing ;)
Oh, I play out with a Pearl Master's MCX 14 x 5.5 snare. It sounds fantastic. That Tama Rockstar snare has been sitting on the shelf for years.

Within the next year or so, I plan on getting another Ludwig kit (possibly doing an order), and I'd like to have a Ludwig snare to go with the kit. I may be going for an Heirloom when the time comes. For now, I'm doing pretty good though. Here's a pic of my minimal set-up with my Classic Maples and Pearl snare:

 

mindmischief

Well-known member
dang I was planning on buying a Dunnett steel snare, now I have my doubts about playing steel overall. I've played with some steel snares at guitar center from gretsch, ludwig and dw and they seem alright but really loud. I've never had a chance at playing a brass snare but im interested in a COB from gretsch. My current snare is an aluminum star phonic from tama. I really wonder if that Dunnett steel snare im eyeing would mix in well with the gretsch brooklyn kit I have one the way.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Steel is an incredibly broad term encompassing a huge range of ingredients.
Stainless steel on down to crap steel that will corrode if you sneeze on it.
This will make for a huge range in tonal characteristics.

High End steel drums are usually stainless and are very dry sounding. Low end are lower quality steel and end up being loud and abrasive.
 

mindmischief

Well-known member
Steel is an incredibly broad term encompassing a huge range of ingredients.
Stainless steel on down to crap steel that will corrode if you sneeze on it.
This will make for a huge range in tonal characteristics.

High End steel drums are usually stainless and are very dry sounding. Low end are lower quality steel and end up being loud and abrasive.
is there any hi quality stainless steel snares out their with existing reviews? I'd like to hear one maybe to get a feel of what the Dunnett may sound like.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I that like with metal bass drum hoops and Pearl-style tom arms, our eyes assign a quality of sound to steel snare drums before we even hear them.

At least, that's my excuse.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
it sounds great! I think one would mix in nicely with my gretsch brooklyn
That Dunnett Stainless Steel snare sounds killer. But you should also consider a Gretsch Brooklyn Chrome over Steel. This is probably my favorite steel snare (that isn't a Dunnett.) It sounds just as good, for 1/3 the price.

 

cornelius

Silver Member
I have a 6.5x14 Dunnett Raw Steel snare. Great drum, really versatile - nice smooth sound - not what one would normally expect from steel. The Gretsch above sounds nice, and there's also the Gretsch Solid Steel snare, which is heavy gauge and a reasonable price for that kind of shell.
 

Drum Guy

Member
heard the Steve smith sonor steel 5.5x14 snare - great...my question is will it ever rust, corrode? do all steel snares eventually give way to corrosion of some sort?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
heard the Steve smith sonor steel 5.5x14 snare - great...my question is will it ever rust, corrode? do all steel snares eventually give way to corrosion of some sort?
Everything corrodes. If you don't clean and maintain a steel drum, it will rust. But as long as you keep it clean and maintain it, it will last forever.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
It depends on the steel.
Your Opinel knife will rust, but your Swiss Army knife won't.
Or the drum way : old Ludwigs or Slingerlands chrome will, probably; Old Premier or Pearl will be less prompt to rust ;-)
A bit of joke inside you may find exceptions!
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
I am just going to say if we’re mentioning high end steel snares then the 90s king of them all is the Ayotte Keplinger. A stainless steel that cuts, has great sensitivity and unlike many steel snares has pleasing overtones.
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
High quality stainless steel should not rust.
I was being a bit extreme when I said everything corrodes. I agree quality stainless shouldn't rust, but that is also dependant on the amount of chromium in the mix. But leave it in a tropical rainforest for 10,000 years, or in a salt water environment, eventually it will break down.

Regardless, if the drum gets cleaned and taken care of, it shouldn't matter what it's made of. It should last a long time.
 
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