Your Favorite Snare Wires?

sage32

Senior Member
What are your favorite snare wires and why?

I just purchased a used Yamaha Musashi Oak 13x6.5 and I'm looking to get a nice set of wires since the ones that it came with are damaged.

I only have experience with stock wires on a Tama Swingstar, Starclassic, and Yamaha Stage Custom. For premium snare wires the only names I've heard of are Puresound and Fat Cat, but I have no experience with either of these.

Any advice or recommendations you guys have to give would be greatly appreciated!
 

porter

Platinum Member
I've always had good luck with the standard Puresound Custom Pros. There's 20 or 24 strand options in steel or brass, but I honestly have never heard a drastic (or, arguably, even noticeable) difference, having used several of the different models on different snares. They sound great and very versatile though. The best part is that they come with straps that enable you to take the wires off without taking the straps off, so you can change your bottom head or switch to a different set of wires without messing with the straps. Puresound does make several other sets with more noticeable differences.

If you're looking for a giant and consistent video comparison of 99% of snare wires available today, AJ Donahue has got you covered.
 

Mcdonap

Member
While I haven't tried too many brands, I like the Canopus vintage wires - both kinds, but especially the dry ones.
 

dzarren

Senior Member
I have a 12" musashi snare and i put on puresound 16 strand steel wires on it. It's definitely my favorite snare right now. I went with the 16 strands because the less strands you have, the more of the drum you hear. Listen to how gavin harrisons drum sounds, lots of pop, tons of body.

Then find someone on youtube playing some 42 strand wires on a drum, and you realize how little of the drum you actually hear, and all you hear is the slapping of the snares.

I say go for puresound stuff, it's always great. I have the 24 strand custom pros on two of my other drums, one brass and one steel, and since they are so easy to sway around, i have two different drums, but 4 different easily available sounds.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
I never really put much thought into wires until just recently. I bought a new DW snare and it has a Mag throw off, three position butt plate, True hoops, and Truesound wires. Side by side with my older DW snare, all of these things make a difference. Enough that I'm outfitting the older snare with these new features. The Truesound wires don't really effect the sound that much, but the amount of sympathetic buzz is decreased dramatically. Making the drum sound cleaner and tighter without choking the life out of the snares.
 

Superman

Gold Member
I still have the original snares on my Musashi, but I've put 20 strand Puresound snares on my Pearl Reference and my Pearl Jupiter and they sound great.
 

force3005

Silver Member
I like the Grover snare wires made by Grover Pro Percussion. I have used the Club series combo and bright wires on both my 5-1/2 x 14 maple and beech snares and I like them over the two Puresound models I was trying at the time. They give a more crisp focus attack and a warm quicker decay. They are of spun wire like guitar wire.

I used this type back in the 80’s on my COB 6-1/2 x 14 and our sound tech could not believe the difference between OEM Slingerland wires and Grover wires. Before EQing the snare one night, he asks me what I did to it and I told him that I put on a new type of snare wire to see how it sounds live. I remember his exact word was “tits” just “tits” during sound check. We talked later about the wires and at that time we came up with, because more of the wires were in contact with the surface of the head and laid flatter also on the head. I had better tuning, sound control and less snare buzz.

If I remember right, they are a little pricey $35 but, of very good quality. It took me more than a few years to find them again and I am glad I did.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Whatever brand it is, I prefer the cheaper looking chrome wires. I always go for the highest sounding pitch in wires. (Meaning with the wires off the drum, I flick them and listen)

The cheapo chrome wires sound higher pitched to me. Like Ludwigs snare wires are fine. I have some chrome Tama wires that I like.

The Puresounds are fine, they are a tad darker sounding than the shiny chrome wires IMO. But I like them too.
 

porter

Platinum Member
You can definitely try cable wires (which is what the Grover wires mentioned above are). However, be aware that they have a drastically different sound compared to regular wires. They're most commonly found on orchestral snares and recall the sound of rope drums – personally, not a sound I would ever want for drumset playing. YMMV though!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like the Grover snare wires made by Grover Pro Percussion. I have used the Club series combo and bright wires on both my 5-1/2 x 14 maple and beech snares and I like them over the two Puresound models I was trying at the time. They give a more crisp focus attack and a warm quicker decay. They are of spun wire like guitar wire.

I used this type back in the 80’s on my COB 6-1/2 x 14 and our sound tech could not believe the difference between OEM Slingerland wires and Grover wires. Before EQing the snare one night, he asks me what I did to it and I told him that I put on a new type of snare wire to see how it sounds live. I remember his exact word was “tits” just “tits” during sound check. We talked later about the wires and at that time we came up with, because more of the wires were in contact with the surface of the head and laid flatter also on the head. I had better tuning, sound control and less snare buzz.

If I remember right, they are a little pricey $35 but, of very good quality. It took me more than a few years to find them again and I am glad I did.
Interesting. I'd like to try some. The individual snare wires consist of thin wire that are wound around a core....like the thicker strings of a guitar? Did I understand you correctly?
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Uncle Larry, yes just like it. They make styles from jazz to rock wires. I think they have a web-sight?
 

sage32

Senior Member
Thanks everyone for the replies! I like the idea of hearing more of the drum and less of the snares. The tone of the Musashi is very beautiful in my opinion. So I guess that eliminates all the big 42 strand options. I like the idea of hearing the tone of the drum with a crisp snap of the snares and not too much excess buzz. If I can eliminate the sympathetic buzzing that would be perfect, but I'm hearing that pretty much all the different Puresound options are pretty good at that.

Sounds like the Custom Pros would be a good place to start, but I was also particularly intrigued by the Equalizer and Twisted models. Does anybody have experience with either of these?
 

dzarren

Senior Member
I say go for the equalizers. They have fewer strands obviously, so you'll hear more of the drum. Also with the less strands you will get less buzz for sure.
For my Musashi, I really wanted to get the equalizers but they are not offered in the 12" size, which is what I needed. I simply went for the 16 strand 12", which were great.
But if the equalizers come in 13" I think that would be a great choice.

I wouldn't go for the twisted ones. They seem really heavy and total overkill, especially if you want to be hearing the body of the drum. Musashi is an awesome drum.
 

porter

Platinum Member
I wouldn't go for the twisted ones. They seem really heavy and total overkill, especially if you want to be hearing the body of the drum. Musashi is an awesome drum.
Definitely. The Twisteds are noticeably more esoteric.

The Equalizers are an excellent choice as well, just be aware that they don't include the straps the Custom Pros do.
 

dzarren

Senior Member
Yes, that is true they do not come with straps. I have found the best snare wire attachment stuffs is the Pearl nylon cords. I think they're nylon. They're orange, which is a major major plus. I use them on all my snares that don't have on the custom pros, which need straps.

The equalizers will come with cord, and it looks really fancy. It is in fact NOT a cord, but a plastic coated CABLE. Which seems like it would be so awesome, seeing as it would be less prone to stretching and whatnot.

but i find that they're not nearly as good as the Pearl cords, the plastic on the cables gets bit into, and causes these groves that the wire hub will want to sit in, and it messed up the alignment for me sometimes. And it was really hard to initially position well, as the inflexibility of the cables was really hard to work around, so that you couldn't rrally see where the snares would end up after they were tensioned down.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I've tried Puresounds in the past, and didn't really like them, although I do have one snare that sounds great with them and I'm not changing it. I've always liked the sound of the cheap ($8-10) Gibraltar wires. I just don't have much desire or need to experiment or explore sounds, each of my snares already sounds great to me. Although I have heard great things about the Canopus wires...

When I want a different sound, I grab a different drum. :)

Bermuda
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi sage32, one of the Puresound wires I was using was an Equalizer and it does take some of the snare buzz away and you do get a good sound out of it. But the issue is that you must take your time installing and making sure it is lying square on the head because of the 7/8” gap in middle of the wires. This is where the middle of the snare beds should lie in. The beds cut in your snare create a natural dip on the snare head when placed on the snare side and that gap takes in account for that. Now the wires on each side of the gap should lie flat against the head or very close too.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Even though they are expensive, I think I'm going to try the Grover Club Dark snare wire cables on my new Element snare drum.
 
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