Top metal snare drums

striker

Well-known Member
A month ago I was researching about metal snare drums before buying. I came across this clip. This fellow drummer is rating not just metal snare drums but this is his top 7 snare drum picks no matter the build material. I was very surprised that most or almost all of his picks are metal snares. Others have posted clips claiming that the Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 is the most storied snare drum of all time. I have two questions:

1) Is Ludwig Supraphonic LM402 the most sought after metal snare no matter the genre of music?
2) What metal snare drum is most common among Jazz drummers?

Thanks.

 
1) I don't know if LMM 402 is the most sought after or not but it's certainly very popular. Ludwig makes great snare drums.
2) I've seen some guys use an LM400 for jazz as well as a bronze supra like Bill Stewart.

Didn't Joe Morello play a 14x5" Ludwig COB with Dave Brubeck?
 
What metal snare drum is most common among Jazz drummers?

very few.
(could count on six fingers thru out history)
compared with (Buddy's wood dyna, Krupa's RK, Tony and Elvin's 4157, Jo Jones' Jazz Fest) wood.
in my opinion, pat. pending.
 
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1) I don't know if LMM 402 is the most sought after or not but it's certainly very popular. Ludwig makes great snare drums.
2) I've seen some guys use an LM400 for jazz as well as a bronze supra like Bill Stewart.

Didn't Joe Morello play a 14x5" Ludwig COB with Dave Brubeck?

That is it. Thanks for the reply. Joe Morello. Ludwig Supersensitive 5x14 metal alloy snare drum.
I actually saw the first clip two months ago but did not pay attention to the snare drum type.


 
The LM402 is very popular, but I would rank the Black Beauty way up the ladder on metal snares as well. The Acrolite is a very well-known metal snare as well, due to its ubiquity in school programs (and thereafter yard sales) across the US. The Rogers Dynasonic is another coveted metal snare; Tama made a bell brass snare that is somewhat legendary among metal and hard rock drummers. Pork Pie, DW, Tama, Mapex, Gretsch and Pearl make some great, reasonably priced metal snares. Among boutique brands, you have Oriollo, Dunnett, A&F...

The thing with metal snares is that people think of them as sounding brighter, poppier, or ringier than wood snares. Most jazz drummers would prefer darker, drier sounds that blend. That's not hard and fast of course. For years I used my Ludwig Standard aluminium snare for jazz type stuff.
 
Bev Bevan had a nice deep chrome Slingerland.
 
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The thing with metal snares is that people think of them as sounding brighter, poppier, or ringier than wood snares. Most jazz drummers would prefer darker, drier sounds that blend. That's not hard and fast of course. For years I used my Ludwig Standard aluminium snare for jazz type stuff.

Thanks. Looks like the majority opinion in the Jazz scene prefers wood snares.
Do you tune the Ludwig aluminum snare low or medium-low or do you apply any muffling when you play Jazz?
 
2) I've seen some guys use an LM400 for jazz as well as a bronze supra like Bill Stewart.
He also used to play a 402 before the bronze in the 90s

Personally, I prefer 8 lugs on a snare. Even as a Ludwig fan and owner, I have to say they bank on their name. For snares, there are better throwoffs, wires and certainly putting cheap plastics straps on a now ~$1k is criminal. Some of the QC on the recent stuff I've seen is underwhelming.
But I happily paid for a modern Acrolite, it plays well despite the cheap hardware, it has a ton of character. They have a nice bronze/copper collection as well. But I would never trade my Canopus BB (their version of vintage Black Beauty) for an actual Black Beauty. I'd probably look at N&C Alloys as well.

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According to this clip Ludwig Supraphonic 400 must have been used in Jazz circles.
Another vintage metal snare is "Slingerland Gene Krupa 5x14 Sound King Chrome Over Brass".

 
1) I don't know if LMM 402 is the most sought after or not but it's certainly very popular. Ludwig makes great snare drums.
2) I've seen some guys use an LM400 for jazz as well as a bronze supra like Bill Stewart.

Didn't Joe Morello play a 14x5" Ludwig COB with Dave Brubeck?
I’ve seen Bill Stewart on video and in person. He’ll play a Gretsch set or Canopus set or Yamaha set—whatever is supplied. But he almost always uses Ludwig metal snares, bronze, brass, or aluminum supraphonics.

YouTube teacher/North Texas drum professor Quincey Davis uses the newer Tama 7x14 starphonic copper.
 
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Take the 50s and 60s most popular brands
Slingerland, Rogers, Gretsch, Ludwig, Premier and Sonor

then the 70s brands
Pearl, Tama, Yamaha..maybe another I can't think

Then the latest makes
Canopus, Inde, Mapex, and all the others I don't know or can think of

And each one- pick their most 1 or 2 popular metal snare

Pick choose from that list +/-
 
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Here are some of my favorite metal snare drums (in no particular order):

Beier 14” X 5.5” Steel
Beier 15” X 4” Steel
Dunnett 14” X 6.5” 2N Beaded Stainless Steel
Gretsch 5.5” X 14” Keith Carlock Signature Brass
Joyful Noise 4” X 14” Custom Legacy Aluminum
Joyful Noise 14” X 6.5” TKO Brass
Joyful Noise 14” X 6.5” Beacon Bronze
Legend 14” X 4” Phosphor Bronze
Ludwig 14” X 5” Acrolite (Black)
Ludwig 14” X 8” Black Beauty
Noble & Cooley 14” X 6” Classic Alloy RAW Finish Shell
 
Thanks. Looks like the majority opinion in the Jazz scene prefers wood snares.
Do you tune the Ludwig aluminum snare low or medium-low or do you apply any muffling when you play Jazz?
I keep it tuned fairly high for everything. I typically play with a muffling ring or with the internal muffler on just a smidge. My current preference for jazz or low-volume music is my Guru segmented stave walnut snare.
 
He also used to play a 402 before the bronze in the 90s

Personally, I prefer 8 lugs on a snare. Even as a Ludwig fan and owner, I have to say they bank on their name. For snares, there are better throwoffs, wires and certainly putting cheap plastics straps on a now ~$1k is criminal. Some of the QC on the recent stuff I've seen is underwhelming.
But I happily paid for a modern Acrolite, it plays well despite the cheap hardware, it has a ton of character. They have a nice bronze/copper collection as well. But I would never trade my Canopus BB (their version of vintage Black Beauty) for an actual Black Beauty. I'd probably look at N&C Alloys as well.

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This echoes my reasons for never buying one - their reputation far exceeds what the actual quality of the product deserves imo.
They have somehow brainwashed people into accepting that it's 'part of the charm' but I'm not falling for it - especially for the prices they now charge.
 
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