My very favorite snare is a 1964 Gretsch Round Badge 5 & 1/2 by 14 with the crappy renown strainer. That strainer is a pain in the butt, often slipping when I really dig into the drum... but the tone... I've looked closely at the shell many times - it's just a really good one, with beautiful bearing edges that are just right; not too sharp, not too round. I've played lots of RB snares. Some blow me away, some don't. For whatever reason, this one is special. I've heard a lot of people say Gretsch isn't really known for their snares like other companies... I love em!
I just purchased this dw thin rolled aluminum snare, which I think will replace my black beauty as my all purpose snare. The finish isn't the prettiest but the sound fits right perfectly between a metal snare and wood snare, and is extremely versatile, plus I love DW's mag throw off and 3 position butt plate.
I think my message got lost during the forums changeover to the new forum. I really like this snaredrum, beautiful! I think it sounds just as good as it looks?
I recently got myself the Sonor GH signature snare. Very versatile and the sound is fantastic. I’m blown away by the sound of my rimclicks on the S hoop. It came with 3 different strainers in a cool box, 3 dampening rings (one with numbers on it for tuning, very useful), 2 drumkeys and a purple Harcase.
I like to play the snaredrum with my fingertips sometimes and I can’t believe the difference in volume to my other snaredrum when playing like that.
Why have I waited so long to get an aluminum snare? I recently got a Recording Custom 6.5x14 and it quickly became my favorite. I love the dryness, the articulation, and the overtones, such as they are. With the die-cast hoops it comes with, rim clicks are fabulous. What a great drum!
Though I have quite a few snares now, except for special situations, I've always enjoyed having a main one that sort of does everything for me. I have the old Colaiuta sig and also been using the old hammered brass he used for a long time. Nothing uniqur I guess, but this new one sort of fits right inbetween those other two and this combo is what I've been plaing for the most part since I got them around Christmas.
There really isn't that many other drums I feel that much need for. The one that stands out is an AK 4x14 Copper. Adding in a few more Gretsch 5x14 options like bell brass, steel and aluminum would realy fill in all the gaps.
I've swapped about a dozen snares over the years. Pretty unnecessary but at least I always bought used ones at low prices and sold what I liked less. I can recommend these a lot if you're looking for good used snares for about $100 to $250: Tama SLP Classic Maple 14x5, Tama Artstar ES Brass 14x6.5, Sonor D454.
Waited many moons to get a Ludwig smooth bronze. I finally bought one and it sounds killer. The newly designed throw-off is a huge improvement, it's smooth and strong. I like the look of the their art deco style lugs.
After learning a lot on a Pearl EX snare and. later, a Pearl Short Fuse side snare as a main, but I finally got a decent (imo) main snare drum...
It's a Yamaha Tour Custom Maple 14x5.5, and I like it a lot.
I have been very pleased with my Angel drums 14x6 ash snare. Sounds killer with tons of body yet a very pleasing crack. Will attach a short video clip of it for you to check it out. Got it on sale, so the price was much lower than the usual one they go for. Ash Snare
Depends on the sound you're looking for. About 2 years ago, got a deal ($325/US) on a used 2009 Tama Stewart Copeland chrome over brass 5.5" x 14". It's beefy-the shell is thicker than a Ludwig Supraphonic, but it kicks ass. I've seen newer ones that are a bit higher in price. Definitely look it up on the 'net and sample the sound, as I did. Glad I made the purchase. My other snare is a Pearl Masters Maple, same size. Got a deal on that one as well ($225/US) brand new in 2010. Love it as well.