Advice for increasing snare sensitivity on new build

drumco1547

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Good morning guys-

I recently built a 6x14 ash ply drum. The bearing edges are 30 degrees, rounded over lightly by hand. Both sides.

The snare beds were filed by hand, only laying back about 1/16th-1/8 of an inch (and they are only 3 inches or so wide).

Trick throw. Snare side ambassador, coated ambassador on the top.

I like the ring of the drum but want to increase the sensitivity of the snares. There is a bit of a delay in the snares engaging, regardless of going through various head tensions and wire tensions.

The snares themselves are gibraltar snappy snares.

I have thought about any of the following ways to help increase the sensitivity/response:
Recut the bottom edge at a sharper profile and sand it less (45 degree, sharpish).
Take a smidge more depth out of the snare bed.
Try different snares with higher strand count.

Any advice from similar experiences? If I can solve this I think I'll have a great drum on my hands.

Thanks
 

Pedal_Pusher

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What is your intended use for the drum? I recommend a wider snare bed (all the way to the two closest lug positions) and the thinnest snare side head you can get, such as a Remo Diplomat M5. I have also had good luck with Puresound snares and grosgrain ribbon attachments. Glad to hear you like the ring of the drum. Most folks don't understand about resonance and that the sound you hear is not the sound that the audience (or the microphone) hears. Also that "ring" means you don't have to work so hard to project the sound. Good luck, and hang in there, it is worth it in the long run.
 

drumco1547

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Thanks for the advice.

To answer your question, I'd like the drum to be good for rock sounds where the ring adds tone and character and can have a big sound. But, I'd also like to able to muffle just a bit w/gaffers tape and crank it up a little more and play it in a jazz setting.

Either way, I'll need a bit more sensitivity to balance out the tone at higher volumes.

How deep are the snare beds that you pull from lug to lug?

Also, thanks for the diplomat tip. After all these years, I don't think I've done one on snare resonant side.
 

Pedal_Pusher

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You are quite welcome. The depth of the snare beds that you are doing is fine, but just make them wider by tapering farther so you can go as far as almost to the lug. The wide snare bed should help if you decide to go with wider snares such as the 30 or 42 strand units. A wide bed should not be a problem with narrower snares. A fourteen by six made of ash should sound great for rock and you might want to experiment with batter heads and batter side hoops. I mention the hoop because of the rim shot sound you may need for rock. You might even consider a wood batter hoop but they are pricy. If you can try one out at a retail shop or play one on a friend's drum you can see if that is the sound and feel you are after. You can get close to a jazz sound if you crank it up. Are you planning to use wire brushes? The coated Ambassador will work for jazz tunings and wire brushes but it may be too light for rock if you are a heavy hitter. I really can't recommend rock heads since I am a jazz weenie but I have heard some rock players who use Fiberskin and the new Evans 56 heads and they sounded nice and round to me. If you want to get an even more open traditional jazz sound that works well with wire brushes I can recommend the Aquarian Modern Vintage heads. I like the medium weight. Tune it up to sound like a timbale and channel your inner Joe Morello. After you get the drum sound and feel you want, get another drummer to play your snare (or better whole set) and you may discover that you can give that gaffer tape to a stage hand.
 

drumco1547

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Sure did. I just assumed that was the way to roll since all my favorite snares have em.

Thanks Rock Salad-
 

Redfern

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Deeper snare beds are definitely not the answer. Wider ones are. They should be shallow for sensitivity.
The other thing that you have going against you for sensitivity is the depth of the drum. 6” is not going to be as sensitive as a 4” depth. Just how it is. The delay you experience in response is due to the depth. Minute as it is, it’s real. Add to that the round over on the edges and you have what you have.
To regain some sensitivity, the 45 with no round over will get you there but you’ll lose some fatness that the 6” depth brings to the table.
Hate to say it, but to get all that you want from this snare may be a tough ask. I’d honestly suggest another snare for your jazzier interests. Just my 2 cents.
 

drumco1547

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Thanks Redfern- knowing where the drum is, 6" ash with more tone than snare sensitivity- it seems it may have to stay as a rock drum and have that be that. I still may play with widening the beds, and trying a variety of wires and diplomats on the resonant side. Appreciate the input. On a 6" drum, is there a better wood species and/or bearing edge that works well as a good all-purpose drum that can be used for jazz and rock? Anything come to mind?
 

Matched Gripper

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Good morning guys-

I recently built a 6x14 ash ply drum. The bearing edges are 30 degrees, rounded over lightly by hand. Both sides.

The snare beds were filed by hand, only laying back about 1/16th-1/8 of an inch (and they are only 3 inches or so wide).

Trick throw. Snare side ambassador, coated ambassador on the top.

I like the ring of the drum but want to increase the sensitivity of the snares. There is a bit of a delay in the snares engaging, regardless of going through various head tensions and wire tensions.

The snares themselves are gibraltar snappy snares.

I have thought about any of the following ways to help increase the sensitivity/response:
Recut the bottom edge at a sharper profile and sand it less (45 degree, sharpish).
Take a smidge more depth out of the snare bed.
Try different snares with higher strand count.

Any advice from similar experiences? If I can solve this I think I'll have a great drum on my hands.

Thanks
These videos, which have been posted previously, about snare beds and their relationship with snare wires, might be helpful.


 

Butch1970

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I 2nd the suggestion for wider snare beds.

I recently got a 5.75x14 Sonor Vintage Series snare (Beech shell). It’s got round over edges top and bottom but very wide snare beds. Sensitive as all get-out. Good luck with the build!
 


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