14 VS 13 Inch Snare Comparison

kenshireen1

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
515
Reaction score
5
Location
atl
I have always been hesitant about buying anything except a 14 inch snare.
Generally speaking what should the difference feel like.
Let's say a 13x6.5 compared with a 14X5.5
 

EvEnStEvEn

~Lounge Lizard~
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
17,255
Reaction score
1,473
Location
Oklur Homer
13" snares are wonderful for the music I like to play.
  • They'll exhibit more snap (usually) at almost any tension.
  • Can be a bit less fatiguing to play for long periods.
  • Just as much or even more volume as most 5.5x14 snaredrums
  • Slightly less sweep area but still good for brush playing
  • They can achieve a good rimshot or crosstick sound too, once you become accustomed to the smaller diameter
  • Noticeably sharper attack & strong projection
  • Lighter to carry
  • Easier to position
  • Heads are cheaper (!)
  • Great overall feel, a good 13" snare will practically play itself.


(Edited to clarify the above remarks are solely my opinion on the 13" snares I own & play, because that's the thing about absolutes - they seldom are. Naturally your reselts may vary)
 
Last edited:

xsabers

World's Second Most Okayest Drummer
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
10,591
Reaction score
1,486
My 13" Phosphor Bronze sounds and plays like a dream, but lighter it is not (unless I had a similar 14" to compare it to...). I like using 13s just to have a little more room to bring my hi-hat in a bit.
 

BennyK

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
13,959
Reaction score
957
13" snares are wonderful for the music I like to play.
  • They'll exhibit more snap (usually) at almost any tension.
  • Can be a bit less fatiguing to play for long periods.
  • Just as much or even more volume as most 5.5x14 snaredrums
  • Slightly less sweep area but still good for brush playing
  • They can achieve a good rimshot or crosstick sound too, once you become accustomed to the smaller diameter
  • Noticeably sharper attack & strong projection
  • Lighter to carry
  • Easier to position
  • Heads are cheaper (!)
  • Great overall feel, a good 13" snare will practically play itself
I avoid emperors on 14's , but the twin ply heads on a 13 will give it a bit more ' potatoes ' , without sacrificing projection and snappiness .

At looser tunings you'll get more focus than the same on a 14 .

If you want to be adventurous and install a SS wire system, some 14 wire bundles will work .

Roomier around the knees and hihat .

Going to a deeper shell won't be tubby or boxy .
 

wolfereeno

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
532
Reaction score
16
Location
New York
I have 4 13's now. Two Tempus, a Yami Mushai, and a custom keller drum. I once also owned a 13 craviotto.

I don't know about all those traits listed above. I simply like that it's a little smaller and I feel comfortable with that size. Soundwise I can get it close enough to 14's unless I want a really deep sound.
 

lrod1707

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
678
I have always been hesitant about buying anything except a 14 inch snare.
Generally speaking what should the difference feel like.
Let's say a 13x6.5 compared with a 14X5.5
I use a 13x6 as an aux snare. I hear more snap & pop than my 14x5.
 

m_anderson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
169
Reaction score
99
Location
Maryland
I was surprised at how quickly I took to a 13 inch after many years of playing a 14 inch. Rimshots, cross sticking, brushes, and just everything about it was immediately more comfortable and natural for me. I use 13x6 and 13x7 TAMA Bubinga snares and the range is incredible. Really deep and meaty on the low end, or a nice crisp and snappy high end. Picked up an older DW 13x5 maple a few month ago that I'm still playing around with. I like it, but I think maybe not as much as the deeper Bubingas.
 
Last edited:

MillerMav

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
539
Reaction score
87
Location
Michigan
I played a 13x9 Ayotte exclusively for 20 years. Beautiful sounding snare but the hoops were really high on the older drums and became quite annoying to play as my technique got better and I stopped hitting so hard. Trying to get new hoops from Ayotte was a whole issue a year or so ago so I ended up selling the drum. That being said; I am waiting for the day that I get back into a great 13" snare; I currently play a 14" Copper phonic that I love but there is something about a 13 that feels good above a 14.
 

REF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
67
Reaction score
31
Location
VA
I remember reading a review on Ludwig's maple 13" in MD back in the 90's. The reviewer mentioned how easy it was to play. So, I made one. Been playing them ever since. I recorded on a 14 for the last six years or so (the guitarist's kit) but, never owned another 14 until last year, purchasing a DW nickel/brass. It's sitting on the shelf. I'm back to 13's. I like it well enough but, the 13's are, indeed, easier to play, for me.
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,295
Reaction score
336
Location
Portland, OR
I love the rebound of a 13, and I like having a little more knee room. The hangup for me is that most of the 13's I've tried have been 7" deep, and I find that a deeper shell means a less integrated sound from the wires, and a little delay between the attack of the batter and the slap of the wires. Noticeable in the low-volume jazz I play. So even though the 13x7 format is popular, I guess to get the same volume as a 14x5.5, I prefer ones that are 6" deep or less.
 

Maggot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
449
Reaction score
85
Location
Durham, NC
I love the rebound of a 13, and I like having a little more knee room. The hangup for me is that most of the 13's I've tried have been 7" deep, and I find that a deeper shell means a less integrated sound from the wires, and a little delay between the attack of the batter and the slap of the wires. Noticeable in the low-volume jazz I play. So even though the 13x7 format is popular, I guess to get the same volume as a 14x5.5, I prefer ones that are 6" deep or less.
You can get plenty of volume out of a 13" at any depth. I think the 13x7 is popular for a certain sound. I had a 13 x 3.5 Steel Pearl Piccolo, and I'm not saying you should play one, but it was crazy loud, and very immediate. I'm looking for a 13 x 5 myself, just because that Pearl was my first snare and I got used to the small size. The only problem was the flatulence you'd hear if you tuned it too low.
 

polycrescendo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
392
Reaction score
276
Location
Norman, Oklahoma
13"s always have a nice mid range crack to me. I'm so glad I have my Musashi Oak 13x6.5 because they can be hard to find now.
 

blueshadow

Just Shuffling along
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
12,810
Reaction score
637
Location
North of Austin, Texas
I've only had two 13's. 6x13 Ludwig that I beat Evensteven out of unknowingly years ago on Ebay, when I decided to sell he bought it from me :) It was great but at the time I couldn't make the cross-stick sound work for me.

I now have a 3x13 birch Ludwig that came with the gig-lite kit I got from Ludwigfire. I really like this drum but haven't quite got it dialed in yet and seems very bright compared to the rest of the kit which has shallow toms and bass. The snare seems almost too loud for the rest of the kit, thinking about muffling it down with some foam maybe on the inside of the shell.
 

VintageUSA

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
209
Location
The South
I bought a 7X13 Black Magic -- great snare drum and easy to play/tune.
And I agree that you will be surprised that one inch makes such a difference in leg room.
 


Top