Classic Radio King or...

Bluenote

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A Noble & Cooley SS maple?

Want to add a snare to my 4-deep stable, but having a tough time deciding which way to go.

I have a Chicago badge Slingerland kit with minimal yellowing to the WMP. A matching 7x14 RK would be a great add, but I’ve read the threads here on SS Maples, heard the sound files, and am more than a little impressed.

Complicating things is I have a Chicago-badge WMP Super Gene Krupa I bought later on that has the finicky Clamshell strainer.

I have never heard this drum at its optimum; I’m checking out Jim Petty’s site for parts and will see if I’m missing anything, and have read threads here about what to do to battle the (typical) issue.

The Krupa looks just like the kit, minimal yellowing...it begs to belong.

I once had a FrankenKing 7x14 that delivered a great sound (BDP) and sold it.

Just not sure I’ll ever get the Krupa to be as crisp...

What would you do? What era RK would you target? Or would you go for the SS Maple to be your flagship wood snare?

Or would you fight the good fight to make the Krupa a killer?

(Its edges are good, nice shell, etc)

Appreciate any thoughts on this.
 
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If your RK has the bridges, you might try bypassing them. On both of my RK's, it seems that the bridges might be a little misplaced, and since they aren't adjustable, I found it easier to avoid them. Sure, it cuts sensitivity some, but it really improved how the drum sounded.

I also have both a RK 7" and a N&C 7", and they are pretty different animals. My RK has a three point strainer though, I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't. The RK shell and re-rings are thicker, and the edges are very round. The sound is thunkier and thicker. The N&C is a thinner shell and has sharper edges. It's a more sensitive, and more modern sounding drum. Both wonderful drums, but different.

MSG
 

Bluenote

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If your RK has the bridges, you might try bypassing them. On both of my RK's, it seems that the bridges might be a little misplaced, and since they aren't adjustable, I found it easier to avoid them. Sure, it cuts sensitivity some, but it really improved how the drum sounded.

I also have both a RK 7" and a N&C 7", and they are pretty different animals. My RK has a three point strainer though, I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't. The RK shell and re-rings are thicker, and the edges are very round. The sound is thunkier and thicker. The N&C is a thinner shell and has sharper edges. It's a more sensitive, and more modern sounding drum. Both wonderful drums, but different.

MSG
Good stuff. “Thunkier”... great word! That should live on...

I’ll elaborate some...hopefully not too much...

I’m happy to have a matching snare for the kit, esp. with equally-minimal and even yellowing, but the drum has always had a little cloud over it. Twas an eBay purchase back in 2007 or ‘08.

On Day 1, out of the box, there was disappointment...in the clamshell, with the lever never giving me “crisp” in any position.

Paid $305. Seller didn’t mention the issue, and - guilty as charged - I didn’t ask.

I accepted my oversight, or lack of, and tried to move on.

If I have looked at the drum 50 times, then most of those times I have frowned and dreamed of what it could be with a 3-point strainer.

The drum was stored away, in a cabinet away from any sunlight, and I played other snares.

One of those is a Chicago-badge c-o-b, which I really dig, won’t ever sell.

Logic and my budget - and I’m only jamming weekly at my house, not making any gig dough right now, says I should confront the clamshell issue and make things right.

But you start watching clips of some tubs and it triggers Want, lol. The N&C would be a treat (but) it goes beyond actual Need...

Actually, the strainer on the c-o-b would be great. Works like a charm...

Attaching some pics (soon). I confess, I don’t know what you mean by bridges, but I don’t think my snare has them...

Thanks for the input!
 
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Those clamshells were really hard to dial in and those damn metal straps!!! Awful! I used a drum with a clamshell once on a festival backline, and it drove me nuts all night. Too tight and the snares bow away from the head, too loose and rattle city. I guess I am really particular about strainers. There are several that I HATE and just won't buy a drum the has one of them. And they usually came on great drums.

I know it's sacrilege, but if it were me, I would be looking into replacing the clamshell (extra holes be damned!) If you think you can dial the drum in with a new strainer, go for it. But if you don't think the drum would never be to your liking even with a new strainer, sell it before altering.

But I still go back to my original comparison of RK and N&C. They are two very different drums.

Oh and the "bridges" that I referred to are the little attachments on the strainer and butt sides of some drums that the strings or straps go over to alleviate the added upward tension on the bottom head. The problem that I have found is that they often didn't line up with the bearing edge very well. On both of my RK's I just go under the bridges with the string. Using the bridges both of my RK's are a PIA, without the bridges they are GREAT drums.

Apparently I am not the only one who didn't dig them, I heard that Buddy was once given a snare with those bridges and had the company remove them. I don't know if that's true or not.

Hope that helps.
Good luck!
MSG
 

Bijan

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If you want crisp you may want to get the N&C. I love old RKs but they tend to be woody and thuddy, which is a good thing IMO. If you’re looking for a lot of articulation the newer drum may suit you better.
 

Bluenote

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Those clamshells were really hard to dial in and those damn metal straps!!! Awful! I used a drum with a clamshell once on a festival backline, and it drove me nuts all night. Too tight and the snares bow away from the head, too loose and rattle city. I guess I am really particular about strainers. There are several that I HATE and just won't buy a drum the has one of them. And they usually came on great drums.

I know it's sacrilege, but if it were me, I would be looking into replacing the clamshell (extra holes be damned!) If you think you can dial the drum in with a new strainer, go for it. But if you don't think the drum would never be to your liking even with a new strainer, sell it before altering.

But I still go back to my original comparison of RK and N&C. They are two very different drums.

Oh and the "bridges" that I referred to are the little attachments on the strainer and butt sides of some drums that the strings or straps go over to alleviate the added upward tension on the bottom head. The problem that I have found is that they often didn't line up with the bearing edge very well. On both of my RK's I just go under the bridges with the string. Using the bridges both of my RK's are a PIA, without the bridges they are GREAT drums.

Apparently I am not the only one who didn't dig them, I heard that Buddy was once given a snare with those bridges and had the company remove them. I don't know if that's true or not.

Hope that helps.
Good luck!
MSG
In reading some old threads about the clamshell, there were some Forumites that obviously had an immense amount of patience in their quest to make them work right.

I just don’t have that high degree of patience. I tip my cap to them (and they also brought good info to the threads.)

- - Thanks for elaborating on the bridges...!

I’ll see what I can do, but if I fail I may sell it. I won’t drill, tempting as that would be.

Confounds me that Slingerland stuck with that strainer for so long...

Thanks for great input, amigo. Greatly appreciated!
 

Bluenote

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If you want crisp you may want to get the N&C. I love old RKs but they tend to be woody and thuddy, which is a good thing IMO. If you’re looking for a lot of articulation the newer drum may suit you better.
Yeahhhh, I’m smitten by the series of vids I’ve watched with SS Maples. Big dough, though, so I’ll think about it some more.

Also notice people love their N&C Alloy snares, too. No shortage of great snare options out there...

I’m still not sure about depth. I’ve always liked 5s and 5.5s...but a 7 intrigues.

Thanks, Bijan. You’re probably right.
 

niles

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Hello Guys, Let me put my 2 cents in. Its not the Clamshell strainer, its the way the snare wires lay on the head when engaged. If you look across the head with strainer engaged the snare wires bow. What i did on mine was remove the screws that hold the snare wires to throw-off, lay the snares flat on the head, measure the distance from strainer to snare wires, and make or get a sleeve to take up the distance. These strainers and wires were used with calfskin heads and had to be pulled up tight to get a response. This trick used with plastic head will give you all the sesitivity you need. Hope it works for you, Niles
 

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evanf

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That's a great solution Niles. What did you end up using as a sleeve? I have a few drums with Clamshell strainers and would love to try your method out.
 

niles

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Hello Evan, I used a aluminum tube , I believe you can use auto brake tubing also. The inside just needs to fit your screw diameter. Worked for me. The drum kept choking when the snares were engaged. So I looked at a Dynasonic rail system, and basically copied that theory, snares laying flat against the head. Niles
 

thin shell

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The clamshell originally had some spacers that do exactly what Niles' spacers do.

If you have the later style clamshell with the separate pieces that the snares attach to that pivot, then the spacers are really important. The originals were shorter than what Niles used. You could put a couple of washers under each side and see how it works. Add one washer at a time until you find a combination that gives the best results.




Radio King Clamshell bushing 003.jpg


Radio King Clamshell bushing 004.jpg



Radio King Clamshell bushing 005.jpg
 
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