I have both a Craviotto maple and a Noble and Cooley walnut SS snare. Both great sounding snares. I did however put die cast hoops on the Craviotto. I find the drum easier to dial in with them. As far as value for the money vs. hype? Personal opinion. I have great ply snare drums by Allegra, Gretsch, and Ludwig. The old Premier Signia snare was a monster, sorry I let it go. I think the SS snares are great, and I love playing them, but if money was tight I would not have them. I still sound like me when I play.