That is a fabulous drum, all of the upgrades are stunning.Like the title asks - what is the snare drum that is your old reliable snare drum ? A drum that you just know works for pretty much everything you do . One that just sounds fantastic .
For me it is a 5 x 14 Ludwig Engraved Black Beauty . This drum was purchased unused from Todd Trent ( former Ludwig A&R Rep and Cheap Trick Drum Tech). It originally had chrome hardware ( Imperial lugs , P85 strainer and triple flange hoops ). I met John Aldridge at the Chicago Vintage Drum Show and struck up a friendship . My Girlfriend commissioned John to engrave my snare drum for my 50th Bday . John also provided Ludwig brass tube lugs , hoops and P86 Millenium strainer as well . The drum was also recently upgraded with Canopus Vintage snare wires ( what an improvement !!).
This particular drum has a huge tuning range , wonderful articulation and can do crisp or fat .
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That or their Cast Aluminum for me. Both tick the same boxes, but with a distinctly different tone. The bronze cracks where the aluminum pops. Articulation is the same across both. side sticks....mmmm those side sticks!The Gretsch 6.5 USA Bronze - Tunes high, Tunes low - it's warm...crisp....great drum!!!