Good brass snares (besides the Black Beauty)

Beesting

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I was at a Music Go Round store yesterday looking at snares and they had a Pearl Sensitone brass (well used, $300). The top head was totally loose so I borrowed a tuning key and as the head reached tightness, I was surprised how good it sounded. I was tempted momentarily but decided to do some research and more looking. A couple years ago our local Guitar Center had a 6.5" Black Beauty which I played a little and instantly recognized why it's so highly regarded. But $800 is out of my reach. So my question for those who have brass snares other than the BB, what can you recommend?
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Pork Pie BOB snares
WorldMax Black a nickel over brass
Tama Kenny Aronoff signature ( not cheap)
Slingerland Sound King ( can be hard for reasonable cost)
Tama SLP models
 

LRod1707

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Ludwig LB403 6.5x14 Super Brass! Great sounding brass snare. The 1.2mm shell really resonates. And if you look around, you can probably find the 8x14 Super Brass LB488 which is even better. Either one would probably run you about $600. You would be hard pressed though to find a brass snare that sounds as good as a Black Beauty. That nickel plating is like magic! It's worth the investment if you can swing it. The Black Beauty is a "buy once, cry once" deal. It's a forever snare! I really didn't get the hype till I finally bought one. Nothing else sounds like it! I've got the 8x14. Right now that's my #1 in my rotation. I'd even venture to say that the Black Beauty sounds better than my Bronzephonic.
Good luck,
LRod
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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goodcat1337

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Ludwig Black Magic, Pork Pie BOB, and DW Design Black Brass are all really good budget brass snares. I had a Sensitone Patina Brass snare a couple years ago that I really liked. I wish I hadn't sold it. I think all the Sensitone snares are really underrated by a lot of people.
 

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This. I had an older model like this one, great back beats and tone.
 

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Tornado

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I was at a Music Go Round store yesterday looking at snares and they had a Pearl Sensitone brass (well used, $300). The top head was totally loose so I borrowed a tuning key and as the head reached tightness, I was surprised how good it sounded. I was tempted momentarily but decided to do some research and more looking. A couple years ago our local Guitar Center had a 6.5" Black Beauty which I played a little and instantly recognized why it's so highly regarded. But $800 is out of my reach. So my question for those who have brass snares other than the BB, what can you recommend?
The brass Sensitone snares are among the best sounding drums you can buy at any price, in my opinion. But $300 sounds really high for "well used". They can be had in better condition for less money.
 

tbird8450

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While you're looking into other options, keep an eye out for B-stock Black Beauties. I picked one up brand new for $549 recently (6.5x14) and I've been hard pressed to find anything wrong with it. There's a super small blemish on the outer shell that you can see if you shine a bright light directly on the spot. It's so miniscule that I'm not even sure it's the actual problem, but I haven't been able to locate anything else. It sounds and feels phenomenal. The Black Magic snares are fantastic, too, and are priced extremely well.
 

gbow

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The Sensitone is excellent. I have a DW Collectors Black Nickel over Brass which can be had for less than $400 and it's also excellent. Check reverb.com

gabo
 

dsop

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I was at a Music Go Round store yesterday looking at snares and they had a Pearl Sensitone brass (well used, $300). The top head was totally loose so I borrowed a tuning key and as the head reached tightness, I was surprised how good it sounded.
Why is that surprising? I think it's more surprising to come across a snare drum that can't be made to sound decent.
 

IBitePrettyHard

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The best way to get the Black Beauty sound for cheap is to get the Pork Pie BoB or the Ludwig Black Magic (with triple flanged, not die-cast hoops). They sound virtually identical to a Black Beauty. Perhaps they're slightly more open sounding than the BB due to the tube lugs, but it's negligible. I've listened to thousands of drum demos, and played them all in person as well. You can barely tell the difference.

The Black Beauty sound has been successfully replicated in the BoB and Black Magic. In contrast, I believe the Supraphonic sound has *not* been successfully replicated by cheaper aluminum drums. Close, but not quite.

The Pearl Sensitone Black Brass and DW Design Series Brass sound great, but they don't quite have the Black Beauty sound IMHO. The difference may take a critical ear, meaning I may be splitting hairs, but I think they sound different. Still, they're great-sounding drums as well.

If you want the BB sound, get a Pork Pie BoB or Ludwig Black Magic. You won't be disappointed!
 

stick2it

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Can't beat a DW Design Series Black Nickel over Brass with its terrific MAG Throw-Off (5.5" @ $289.99). Change-out the snare wires for Canopus Vintage wires and the batter head (with the dot) for a coated single-ply if you want that "brass sensitivity." More $s won't get you more wow.
 
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Moffdrums

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I was at a Music Go Round store yesterday looking at snares and they had a Pearl Sensitone brass (well used, $300). The top head was totally loose so I borrowed a tuning key and as the head reached tightness, I was surprised how good it sounded. I was tempted momentarily but decided to do some research and more looking. A couple years ago our local Guitar Center had a 6.5" Black Beauty which I played a little and instantly recognized why it's so highly regarded. But $800 is out of my reach. So my question for those who have brass snares other than the BB, what can you recommend?
Pearl “Steve Ferone” 6 1/2 X 14”
 

Woody85

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If you can find an older, used, Tama Kenny Aronoff Trackmaster snare pick it up. The older ones had nickel over brass hoops and are fantastic drums.
Hot take, but I think I prefer my Trackmaster snare over my modern Ludwig Black Beauty snare.
 


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