Considering Duluth Bell Brass Snare Build

drumminstewie

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Hi Everyone,

I am considering assembling a cast bronze snare from Duluth. I am thinking 3 mm 6.5x14 with standard bell brass hoops, with Tama MSL36 lugs, a similar look to the attached picture
8EF5F999-262B-4442-A1BD-9538A7CF67E3.jpeg
. Possibly a DW Mag throw off (not sure what throw off is ideal). As a number of you have assembled Duluth snares, is there any advice you would give me or any recommendations?

Also, I have seen much praise for Savage Custom drums and Cade’s Tama replica snares. Is there a significant sound difference between a standard Duluth build vs a Savage snare?

Thanks!
 

Ptrick

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Congratulations on considering what to me is one of the best snare shells out there. Savage uses Duluth shells, but builds them to his spec and hand files the original Tama beds. Word is now Duluth can make original Tama spec beds as well.

Sounds like you have a good idea what you want. Knowing the specs is the hardest part. I think 3mm with cast bronze hoops in 6.5 depth is the pinnacle of sound for one of these. Just make sure you can source your hardware, as it will be needed for Duluth to drill properly for it.

For some specialized info from a bunch of Bronze nerds, check the Facebook groups “Custom Bronze Snare Builds” and “Tama Bell Brass and other heavy snares”. Myself and forum member polycrescendo co-run the Custom Bronze Snare Builds page, and there are lots of examples of good builds there. I’m sure you’ve checked out www.duluthbrassdrums.com
You can order direct from there and get a quote. John Holt is the owner, and fantastic to deal with.
 

stevil

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Cade built my drum (14x8, double 45 edges, 3mm, Trick throw, bronze hoops profile pic right here <--)

I suppose I could have saved a little money and ordered direct from Duluth, but I'm happy with Cade's work and recommend him without reservation. These cast drums are a joy to play. Keep the rest of us gear freaks in the loop when yours is ready to share.
 

Treviso1

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I ordered my shell from Duluth, drilled and all. Finished it myself. Couldn’t be happier.
I am sure Savage will do a great job. Have only heard great things about Cade.

View attachment 520923

View attachment 520925
That's such a great looking drum. I have hardware for two more builds and I would like to do that finish you have on yours. What is the product you rubbed on that drum to make it look so great? How did you apply it and how long did you leave it on the shell before wiping if off? Please tell me the process? Thank you, in advance.
 

halldorl

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That's such a great looking drum. I have hardware for two more builds and I would like to do that finish you have on yours. What is the product you rubbed on that drum to make it look so great? How did you apply it and how long did you leave it on the shell before wiping if off? Please tell me the process? Thank you, in advance.
Thanks. It is quite simple really:

I used Liver of Sulfur crystals (see pic below) mixed/dissolved in warm water.

The Liver of Sulfur mix was around 4 oz. of Liver of Sulfur in an almost full large bucket of warm water (around 60° celsius). Not sure how many liters but the bucket was large enough to dip the whole shell in. I had another bucket ready next to it with cold water mixed with ca. 10 oz. of sodium phosphate to cancel the patina process.

Make shure the shell is clean and fat/oil free before you start. I cleaned it with warm water and dish soap.

I dipped the shell by holding it with a steel thread that I threaded through two opposite lug holes just for a couple of seconds in the Sulfur mix, the patina happens fast. Then I dipped it again for a couple of seconds and again until desired patina was achieved. Then straight into the cold water/sodium mix to stop the patina process. Let it lie there for a couple of minutes. Voila! Job done. I did not put any coating on it at all. Left it raw.

To dispose of the Sulfur mix, just add 10-20 oz. of sodium, stir and it neutralizes the Sulfur. Then it is safe to dispose of.

Liver.jpg
 
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Treviso1

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Thanks. It is quite simple really:

I used Liver of Sulfur crystals (see pic below) mixed/dissolved in warm water.

The Liver of Sulfur mix was around 4 oz. of Liver of Sulfur in an almost full large bucket of warm water (around 60° celsius). Not sure how many liters but the bucket was large enough to dip the whole shell in. I had another bucket ready next to it with cold water mixed with ca. 10 oz. of sodium phosphate to cancel the patina process.

Make shure the shell is clean and fat/oil free before you start. I cleaned it with warm water and dish soap.

I dipped the shell by holding it with a steel thread that I threaded through two opposite lug holes just for a couple of seconds in the Sulfur mix, the patina happens fast. Then I dipped it again for a couple of seconds and again until desired patina was achieved. Then straight into the cold water/sodium mix to stop the patina process. Let it lie there for a couple of minutes. Voila! Job done. I did not put any coating on it at all. Left it raw.

To dispose of the Sulfur mix, just add 10-20 oz. of sodium, stir and it neutralizes the Sulfur. Then it is safe to dispose of.

View attachment 520938
Thank you, brother! That's fantastic and I am going to do it too!
 

drumminstewie

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Thank you all! I’ve been considering a bell brass for a while and I thought I’d better start asking some questions instead of staring at pictures of them.
 

Buffalo_drummer

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halldorl

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What about the bearing edges and snare bed? What were the profiles that Tama used back in the 80s for the edges and snare beds? Did you specify the same, Halldorl?
Edges are similar to the original, 45*.
Snare beds are steeper and deeper on the Duluth than the original. The original has more gradual beds. Word is that Duluth are now able to cut beds similar to the original. I personally like the deep beds, similar to the ones on the Star series drums. Love the way the drum responds.
Anyway, the drum sounds fantastic and from what I have been able to compare, very close to the original, especially after the finishing process. It dries the sound a bit.
 

Treviso1

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Edges are similar to the original, 45*.
Snare beds are steeper and deeper on the Duluth than the original. The original has more gradual beds. Word is that Duluth are now able to cut beds similar to the original. I personally like the deep beds, similar to the ones on the Star series drums. Love the way the drum responds.
Anyway, the drum sounds fantastic and from what I have been able to compare, very close to the original, especially after the finishing process. It dries the sound a bit.
That's all fantastic! Thank you for sharing the information, brother!
 

halldorl

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That's all fantastic! Thank you for sharing the information, brother!
Most welcome!
A short demo from this morning shot on Zoom Q4.

Drum is set up with Ambassador batter,
Ludwig reso, Canopus/VF 26 strand vintage wires. Triple flange hoop on the reso side, diecast on top (I like this combination for added openness and senitivity):

 

Sonar Dave

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Don't know about which throw-off but that is a beautiful snare.
 

Ptrick

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Any insights on choosing between Duluth’s standard snare bed and the Tama snare bed specs?
Depends if you are going with extended wires or regular. With regular wires, the standard beds work great. With rollers and extended wires, definitely the Tama beds.
 

drumminstewie

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Depends if you are going with extended wires or regular. With regular wires, the standard beds work great. With rollers and extended wires, definitely the Tama beds.
I’m planning on regular wires at this point, so it sounds like the standard beds may be the way to go then.
 

Ptrick

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I’m planning on regular wires at this point, so it sounds like the standard beds may be the way to go then.
Only other thing to consider is how many wires. The Tama wide and gradual beds will accommodate 42 strand wires better I think. With 20-30 strand, I love the standard beds.
 


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