What Snare Drum Should I Buy?!

acustomdrum

Senior Member
Hi all,

It's time I bought a new snare but I'm absolutely clueless which one to buy as there are so many. What do you all use and what can you recommend?

I'm looking for something versatile, robust, fat cracking backbeat, but also suitable for more subtle music like jazz, funk, serving ghosts notes etc.

TIA
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
The best is to play a few and decide what sound you like.

In the absence of any information on your budget or needs, I'll start the ball rolling by suggesting an aluminum or brass snare which will cover a wide range of bases.

Brass is a little more ringy which makes it fatter at lower tunings and more punchy at higher tunings. Nickel over brass are most widely available: Pork Pie BOB, WorldMax and Pearl Sensitone are very good value, and they are all based on the Ludwig Black Beauty which is fab but pricey.

Aluminium is a little drier which makes it a good balance between crack and body. The classic choice is the Ludwig Supraphonic (402 or 400) but there are also cheaper versions available such as the Ludwig Acrolite, Tama SLP Aluminium or again Pearl Sensitone alu.

However if you prefer wood snares (generally a bit drier than metal and a bit more focused) then the Tama SLP range is really nice value and offers several different woods. Start with a Maple one when trying wood snares, it's a good reference point.
 

acustomdrum

Senior Member
The best is to play a few and decide what sound you like.

In the absence of any information on your budget or needs, I'll start the ball rolling by suggesting an aluminum or brass snare which will cover a wide range of bases.

Brass is a little more ringy which makes it fatter at lower tunings and more punchy at higher tunings. Nickel over brass are most widely available: Pork Pie BOB, WorldMax and Pearl Sensitone are very good value, and they are all based on the Ludwig Black Beauty which is fab but pricey.

Aluminium is a little drier which makes it a good balance between crack and body. The classic choice is the Ludwig Supraphonic (402 or 400) but there are also cheaper versions available such as the Ludwig Acrolite, Tama SLP Aluminium or again Pearl Sensitone alu.

However if you prefer wood snares (generally a bit drier than metal and a bit more focused) then the Tama SLP range is really nice value and offers several different woods. Start with a Maple one when trying wood snares, it's a good reference point.
Thanks for information, some really useful pointers here.

I just came from a drum store and had a play on a Pearl Masters Premium Legend snare. Fucking beautiful snare, not ridiculously high die cast hoops, but shallower ones as stock (big selling point for me in a snare drum). I'm aware one can simply change the hoops but I want to avoid more expenditure.

I alos checkout the Sensitone, was not as keen as the MPL. I think I'm more of a fan of wooden snares than metal. They just seem a warmer tone and less of a ring to metal. I get there are amazing metals snare out there but probably beyond my budget.

My budget is £400/450 max.
 

dwdrummerky

Senior Member
A used Acrolite, Stage Customs & New Beats......

Just joking!

As an all arounder, I am really enjoying my 6.5"x14" Gretsch Brooklyn.
 

trickg

Silver Member
14x6 maple. It can do it all with the right heads and tuning. Fat backbeats, ping and ring - my two favorite snares over the years have been DIY Keller snare projects, both in 14x6, although to be fair, the second one is just a touch shorter than that because I dorked up the bearing edge on my initial cut on one side, so I had to fix it, thus taking about 1/4" off of the shell.

This one is only 5.5, but I bet it's an awesome drum.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/tama-slp-classic-maple-snare-drum.

Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
I'm really pleased with my Tama KA145 brass snare because it has such a wide tuning range, and keeps its power throughout that range.

I'll have to mess around with tuning my 15"x8" Star maple and listen if it sounds poopy at low tunings.

I also have the Tama KA154 brass snare, but always tune that low, with Moongel and its got a nice, low spank going on.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
If you buy a Ludwig make sure it has Ludwig heads on it. It DOES make a difference. My go to snare is an Acrolite. I love my Supraphonics but I hate having to worry about messing them up at a gig. For wood snares try this.....can do anything and won't break the bank.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/mapex-mpx-maple-snare-drum/501996000145010?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsYv-26ct83oLtHBDEmUN8S_CuUZ9YeRfVdVZ7Cz4QfpuX-BxMtt6hRoC4pwQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^221957295815-device^c-plaid^323968650383-sku^501996000145010@ADL4MF-adType^PLA
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Don't forget playability.

Some drums have a certain bounce that you can't get from others.

I have a couple drums with very nice playability and a couple that don't.

All the aluminum drums I tried had good playability.
 

acustomdrum

Senior Member
If you buy a Ludwig make sure it has Ludwig heads on it. It DOES make a difference. My go to snare is an Acrolite. I love my Supraphonics but I hate having to worry about messing them up at a gig. For wood snares try this.....can do anything and won't break the bank.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/mapex-mpx-maple-snare-drum/501996000145010?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsYv-26ct83oLtHBDEmUN8S_CuUZ9YeRfVdVZ7Cz4QfpuX-BxMtt6hRoC4pwQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^221957295815-device^c-plaid^323968650383-sku^501996000145010@ADL4MF-adType^PLA
What's the link? I can't access as I'm in the UK.
 

acustomdrum

Senior Member
Don't forget playability.

Some drums have a certain bounce that you can't get from others.

I have a couple drums with very nice playability and a couple that don't.

All the aluminum drums I tried had good playability.
Agreed. I played a Pearl MPL today and it felt great. Maple drum.
 

acustomdrum

Senior Member
14x6 maple. It can do it all with the right heads and tuning. Fat backbeats, ping and ring - my two favorite snares over the years have been DIY Keller snare projects, both in 14x6, although to be fair, the second one is just a touch shorter than that because I dorked up the bearing edge on my initial cut on one side, so I had to fix it, thus taking about 1/4" off of the shell.

This one is only 5.5, but I bet it's an awesome drum.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/tama-slp-classic-maple-snare-drum.

Some guys like deeper drums, but I'll go a bit shorter every time. Tune down, and you get that fat tone without getting tubby sounding, and shorter drums, IMO, tune up to higher pitches a bit better. A deep drum tuned too high sounds bad IMO.
What's the drum? I can't open link as I'm in the UK.
 
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