Wood or Metal

The Big Beat

Senior Member
Which do you prefer, metal or wood snares and why. Also, which snare is your favorite and why. Personally, I prefer wood snares because I enjoy the warmth and dynamics that they give, I don't necessarily look for that high crack too much. My favorite snare(a) are the yamaha musashi oak and any of the gretsch USA customs or full range
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
I prefer the warmth of the wood shells as well. Have a DW 5x14 custom I love and a custom Hinger touch tone 6 1/2x14 maple snare made by Fred Hinger out of New York got it 23 years ago.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
4 metal snares and only 2 wood snares (one of which is a stock snare and seldom gets used)......I think I prefer metal. I love all my snares (including the wood), by my all time 'go-to' is the 402 supra.
 

whiterhino

Junior Member
Wood snare drums to my ears are much more preferred... I find that wood tunes much better than metal, as well wood to me has more range and body and I find fun to tweek around with. Metal sounds a little thin to me. A wood snare drum with die cast hoops is heaven.

Regarding my favorite is a snare drum im proud at say that I own... Tama Starclassic Bubinga Omni-Tune 14 x 5.5. It is so so... drum head friendly in the sense that no matter what the drum head I choose for the batter or snare side, the end result is so very drastic and can sound like a completely different drum like its brand new all over again. Even experimenting with this drum is highly addicting... so I love it!
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Wood for sure. It has complexity and variety that metal snares don't. But, I still do like metal snares, especially my 402...
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I really like a sharp crack and limitless dynamic range. I haven't been able to find that in a wood snare yet, although there are a lot a great wood snares out there. I haven't tried a stave, solid shell, or 15+ ply with my heads and tuning with my band yet (and realistically, may never), but that could, at least in theory, tip the balance for me toward wood.

I really like aluminum (like my LM402) and brass and I suspect I'd really like bronze, too. I was just looking at a Dunnett Titanium this afternoon, but at a thousand bucks, I can can tell you that that ain't never gonna happen!
 

con struct

Platinum Member
My Craviato maple snare drum has a lovely crisp voice with a warmth to it that metal just can't produce. But it's no rock 'n roll snare drum, not by today's standards, so in that sense it's somewhat limited. But it's a real musical instrument and it's my favorite.

I also have a brass Pearl snare drum that can do almost anything. It's just a great drum, one of the most flexible and expressive snare drums I've owned, and it certainly has the metal edge to it.

I'd say that if it's a can-do-anything snare drum you're looking for, definitely go with a very good metal snare drum.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
My Craviato maple snare drum has a lovely crisp voice with a warmth to it that metal just can't produce. But it's no rock 'n roll snare drum, not by today's standards, so in that sense it's somewhat limited. But it's a real musical instrument and it's my favorite.

I also have a brass Pearl snare drum that can do almost anything. It's just a great drum, one of the most flexible and expressive snare drums I've owned, and it certainly has the metal edge to it.

I'd say that if it's a can-do-anything snare drum you're looking for, definitely go with a very good metal snare drum.
That mirrors my experience also. I have three DW solids and they are great snares.

That said, I have three brass snares that sound great. A DW 5 X 14, a Yamaha, 6.5 X 13, and a Ludwig BB 6.5 X 14. The brass snares project much better than wood and have a lively crisp sound. The can also be very loud. It depends how you set them up and tune them. At lower tunings the can have a woody character to them.

Brass snares are very versitle. Cant go wrong.
 

Florian

Gold Member
Im pleased with my Brady Wandoo Burl snare...best sounding wood Ive ever played.....much brighter and fuller than any metal Ive played to boot.

F
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
10 ply DW maple snare drum is my preference.

But obviously, metal snare drums have their place. But I much prefer wood.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
There is something about the variety of sounds that you can get out of a wood snare that draws me that way. Currently I have three wood snares and one hammered brass. But my next will probably be a Pork Pie BOB. Just to have that voice. After that, it will probably be a small but deep wood. I don't play that many gigs that are that loud, but I hear people getting great sounds out of 12-13 x 7+ snares. That one may also be a candidate for trying wood hoops. May be time to build one myself.
 
S

sufc.loyal

Guest
I have a sonor wood snare, 13x7.
The 13x7 is a lovley size, use to play 14x5.5, but now am truly a convert to the 13x7.

There is a different tone that is instantly noticeable.

Other band members like it also, they say it is less harsh than the 14x5.5.
 

Thunderstix

Senior Member
The brass snares project much better than wood and have a lively crisp sound. The can also be very loud.
Metal snares are louder but also more sensitive than wood and can be played softer as well as louder than wood. Brass to me has a broader spectrum than wood.
 

SteveLC

Member
There are so many good snares out there in both wood and metal. It really comes down to the sound that you are looking to achieve, none being right or wrong.

I have had both but right now I'm really pleased with the sound I'm getting from my 6.5X14" Ludwig LM 405 Black Galaxy Acrolite. I play rock music but this is a very versatile snare, IMO. The aluminum shell is great and gives you a nice pop but also has "woody" undertones. I find any old medium coated single ply head and a thin reso (no muffling) is best for my taste. I have the reso tuned tight and the batter just a little less, but still rather tight.
 
My 4.5x14" DW Super Solid really gets me off. I'm gonna' throw some die cast hoops, 30-strands, and thicker heads on it to get a bit more response.

I prefer the warmth of wood snares, but I also love metal - I was on snare line in HS so I'm a snare whore. I'd like to add a 5.5x14" DW steel to my kit too... And also a 3x13" Pearl Piccolo. I love the piccolos.
 

Moldy

Silver Member
Indeed. A snare that don't crack is quite useless to me. And I vote for cast steel. It's absolutely fantastic. Loud, sensitive and has just the right amount of ring.... not dead like wood, not overbearing like brass... juuuuuuuuuuust right.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I like wood because of the warmth and tuning versatility. Yes, metal is louder, but I've been playing 27 years and I've never, ever heard anyone ask a drummer to play louder.

Keep in mind that most "wood" drums are actually made of a wood composite material: plywood. Nothing wrong with that but strictly speaking, it is not wood.
 
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