Thicker batter = More snare buzz?

Phil A.

Junior Member
I've had ambassador batters on my snares for a few years. Recently I've been trying on some different heads and I've noticed that I get a good amount more buzz with the other ones, all else equal. The ones I've tried are the Evans Calftone, Remo vintage ambassador, and Aquarian modern vintage. All these sound great away from the rack tom but in the stand there's a big snare trail. With the regular ambassador it's there but much more controlled. I've noticed this on both my acrolite and 6.5 supra. Snare wires are 16-strand puresound equalizers and generic 12-strand. Has anyone ever experienced something similar?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Not all heads tune up identically. The same tuning that minimizes overtones and buzz with an Ambassador might promote overtones and buzz with another head. Coated Ambassadors might just be ideal for the way you tune your snare, whereas players who tune differently might achieve better outcomes with other models. If Ambassadors render the results you want, why not stick with them? The Coated Ambassador is the official snare head of Dave Weckl, Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, and more drummers than I can cite in a month. Its popularity is no accident.
 
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ToneT

Well-known member
Did the pitch of your resonant change when trying out different batters?
Are your wires centered and not crooked-looking at the end clips when engaged?
Interesting, because those Equalizers are claimed to help tame and/or eliminate buzz.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I just went through a couple of snare drums, changing heads and stuff, and one thing I noticed was that changing the plastic/nylon snare straps to grosgrain ribbon really made a difference in the sympathetic rattling and buzz of these particular drums.
It may not work for you, but it's definitely worth a try, my spool of ribbon was under $1.50 iirc.
 

Phil A.

Junior Member
Thanks for all the replies

Did the pitch of your resonant change when trying out different batters?
Are your wires centered and not crooked-looking at the end clips when engaged?
Interesting, because those Equalizers are claimed to help tame and/or eliminate buzz.
Yes I left everything the same and tried my best to get the wires perfectly centered. The Equalizers did do a pretty good job shortening the buzz, it's just it worked better with the ambassador than the others.

I just went through a couple of snare drums, changing heads and stuff, and one thing I noticed was that changing the plastic/nylon snare straps to grosgrain ribbon really made a difference in the sympathetic rattling and buzz of these particular drums.
It may not work for you, but it's definitely worth a try, my spool of ribbon was under $1.50 iirc.
I'll have to try that. I haven't had good luck in the past with string but I think that's because my knots were never right. I'll try to figure out the proper way to do it.


Not all heads tune up identically. The same tuning that minimizes overtones and buzz with an Ambassador might promote overtones and buzz with another head. Coated Ambassadors are ideal for the way I tune my snare, whereas players who tune differently might achieve better outcomes with other heads. If Ambassadors render the results you want, why not stick with them? The Coated Ambassador is the official snare head of Dave Weckl, Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, and more drummers than I can cite in a month. Its popularity is no accident.

That's a great point I hadn't thought of. I tuned all the heads to roughly the same pitch but maybe I'll experiment a bit more with the tuning. And if it doesn't work out, the ambassador is always there.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I’m guessing the thicker batter has a lower resonant frequency compared to an ambassador. Either tune the batter higher or raise/lower the offending tom.
 

Treverer

Junior Member
I just went through a couple of snare drums, changing heads and stuff, and one thing I noticed was that changing the plastic/nylon snare straps to grosgrain ribbon really made a difference in the sympathetic rattling and buzz of these particular drums.
It may not work for you, but it's definitely worth a try, my spool of ribbon was under $1.50 iirc.

I wanna switch to grosgrain as well, heard a lot of good things about it. Did you buy a special ribbon? I can only find those used in sewing, for decorative elements. Aren't they to flimsy for that kind of stress?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I wanna switch to grosgrain as well, heard a lot of good things about it. Did you buy a special ribbon? I can only find those used in sewing, for decorative elements. Aren't they to flimsy for that kind of stress?
Nope, not at all. Grosgrain ribbon is very durable and isn't prone to stretching very much, which is why it works so well as a snare strap.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
IMO it's not the thicker batter. It's the tuning between your rack tom and your snare. They are too close together in note/frequency. A different tuning should solve that but likely create a less than ideal tuning scenario. I'm guessing you like your drums tuned where they are. I deal with this too. At best snare buzz can be minimized pretty good by a different tuning on the rack tom. But a drum is dirty and throws out all kinds of freqs. Also, if there were no rack tom in the first rack tom position, that might eliminate snare buzz pretty good

I have an acoustic guitar hung on the wall near my drums and when my snare is tuned a certain way, when I hit my snare, an A note rings out loud and proud on the acoustic from like 7 feet away. It's as loud as if someone plucked the string pretty hard. With a plectrum. It's a frequency thing. Counter-intuitively I found that loose snare wires buzz less than tight snare wires. Which seems backwards to me initially. It still does ha ha.

Has anyone else encountered that?
 
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wraub

Well-known member
Nope, just the standard ribbon from a fabric store. Works well.




I wanna switch to grosgrain as well, heard a lot of good things about it. Did you buy a special ribbon? I can only find those used in sewing, for decorative elements. Aren't they to flimsy for that kind of stress?
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
How about Remo's Ambassador Black Suede snare side? I have one on order from my local shop & want to try it out for this very issue.
They say its textured surface helps "warm" the tone a bit.

Anyone else use a thicker snare side, or one with a texture like this?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
How about Remo's Ambassador Black Suede snare side? I have one on order from my local shop & want to try it out for this very issue.
They say its textured surface helps "warm" the tone a bit.

Anyone else use a thicker snare side, or one with a texture like this?
I've used a Renaissance snare side before, which is also textured film, but not the same as the Black Suede. I found the Renaissance head to be very dark and almost papery, and I quickly missed the "ping" of a brighter clear film head.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I've used a Renaissance snare side before, which is also textured film, but not the same as the Black Suede. I found the Renaissance head to be very dark and almost papery, and I quickly missed the "ping" of a brighter clear film head.

I can see that.
I'll try this black suede on my mahogany shelled snare & see just how warm I can get it. I have a steel Rogers that's my go-to for pingy, loud snares. ;)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
How about Remo's Ambassador Black Suede snare side? I have one on order from my local shop & want to try it out for this very issue.
They say its textured surface helps "warm" the tone a bit.

Anyone else use a thicker snare side, or one with a texture like this?

As I highlight in a thread I started a few weeks ago, I'm using an Ambassador Black Suede Snare Side with a Coated Powerstroke 3 on top. I love this combination. I suspect it would be too dark and dry for many drummers, but if you want a controlled sound that quells all overtones, it just might be for you.

 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I can see that.
I'll try this black suede on my mahogany shelled snare & see just how warm I can get it. I have a steel Rogers that's my go-to for pingy, loud snares. ;)
And by the way, I'm using it on a birch/African mahogany snare that's fairly warm and dark to begin with. The Ambassador Black Suede Snare Side complements that character quite nicely.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
And by the way, I'm using it on a birch/African mahogany snare that's fairly warm and dark to begin with. The Ambassador Black Suede Snare Side complements that character quite nicely.
Now that you mention it, I do remember that thread.
I have a Evans ebony coated hydraulic on the top, so it'll be interesting to see just how dark I can get this. :devilish:
 

Phil A.

Junior Member
IMO it's not the thicker batter. It's the tuning between your rack tom and your snare. They are too close together in note/frequency. A different tuning should solve that but likely create a less than ideal tuning scenario. I'm guessing you like your drums tuned where they are. I deal with this too. At best snare buzz can be minimized pretty good by a different tuning on the rack tom. But a drum is dirty and throws out all kinds of freqs. Also, if there were no rack tom in the first rack tom position, that might eliminate snare buzz pretty good

I have an acoustic guitar hung on the wall near my drums and when my snare is tuned a certain way, when I hit my snare, an A note rings out loud and proud on the acoustic from like 7 feet away. It's as loud as if someone plucked the string pretty hard. With a plectrum. It's a frequency thing. Counter-intuitively I found that loose snare wires buzz less than tight snare wires. Which seems backwards to me initially. It still does ha ha.

Has anyone else encountered that?
I came to the same conclusion. It turned out the reso head on the rack tom had slipped which was causing more crosstalk between the snare and tom. Tightening that back up made the buzz much more manageable. The Aquarian Modern Vintage is now my go-to head on the Acrolite.

I remember that happening once with one of the strings on my acoustic (I think it was also the A). That's really interesting you found that conclusion with the wire tension, I'll have to experiment to see if I get the same thing.
 
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