Lugs and hoops for a 13" snare build, 6 lug + die cast vs 8/10 lug + triple flange?

johnjssmith

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Hi, I'm embarking in the task of building a snare drum and I'm looking for some opinions from the more experienced people here!

I'd like a "tight", punchy, sensitive and high pitched sound with a very pronounced attack, but not really a dry sound without overtones or sustain, kinda like the maple free floating snares from Pearl.
To achieve that I decided I'd go for an ebony (or maybe possibly teak) 13x6" stave snare drum, 1cm thick , with 45° bearing edges on both the inner and outer side (if you have any comment on this as well, by all means post it as I definitely need the help :p), and now I'm looking around for lugs and hoops, wondering what the right combination would be.

I'm under the impression that die cast hoops would be ideal to get closer to the ideal sound I've described, but then again I don't really know if the desirable "focusing" effect die cast hoops have is due to their rigidity or their weight, and maybe 2mm or thicker triple flange hoops would be a better choice.
On top of that, I can find new 6 lug 13" die cast hoops for relatively cheap that would allow me to only mount 6 lugs on the snares, reducing the overall "non musical vibrating mass" and allowing the shell to resonate more, but I've almost always seen 6 lug snares being associated with lower end snares so I'm weary - even though I suppose using solid hardware and die cast hoops would still allow me to get even tension over the hoop even at high tunings.

The alternative option would be using 2mm or thicker triple flange hoops with 8 or even 10 lugs, so less rigid and lighter hoops but more lugs attached to the shell.

Hopefully someone with more experience and a clearer idea about the effect of all these factors can chime in and enlighten me, I know I need some enlightenment right now :p

Thank in advance!
 

dtk

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OK...not so experienced but...I don't like diecast...if a thinner hoop gives you too much you can muffle it out a bunch of ways (heads, those plastic blobs...o rings)...but if you have diecasts and not enough ring...nothing you can do.

good luck
 

Ptrick

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I just did a 13” build, and went with 8 lugs. It has the equivalent effect of 10 lugs on a 14” snare. It’s easier to tune evenly IMO.

I had a 6 lug 13x7 Yamaha Akira Jimbo Snare, and it sounded fine with the wood hoops. I tried triple flanged and die casts on it, and was left wanting. At higher tunings I just couldn’t dial in the sound without errant overtones.

To me, 14” 8 lug or 13” 6 lug gets you a more ‘character ‘ sound, better for a more open, breathy tone in a lower to mid tuning.

If you want it a tighter crack and greater tuning control, I’d definitely go with 8 lugs on your 13. Replacement hoops are also much easier to come by. You’ll have a wider selection of options with 13”/8 (die cast, triple flanged, 3mm, COB, S hoops, stick savers)

Ebony will scream as a tonewood, but with some oomph behind it.

Having many stave snares built over the years, I’d recommend finding a builder that will make a thinner 1/4” (6.35mm) shell with integrated reinforcement rings. You get the crack, but much more sensitivity and wider tuning range. My preferred builder is Daville Drumworks.

For edges on staves, after trying many options, a 45 degree with a slight roundover is the perfect mix. Activates the shell a bit more. Definitely not too dry.

Good luck with your build, keep us updated!
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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Well, I think die cast is going to help you. I just bought a pair of 13", 8 lug die cast hoops from Drum Factory Direct - literally $5 each! The top is white and bottom is black - I intend on stripping them to hopefully get to the metal underneath.......

I also agree 8 lugs vs. 6 will help get a tighter sound.......

Before you start spending a bunch, add up your project total $$$ and see if you can find a snare ready to go within that budget or a bit more if you think it's worth it.
 

johnjssmith

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Thank you for the advice and info guys, really helpful!

Sounds like 8 lugs it is...
Worst case scenario I can always find new hoops if I don't like the first ones I get for the snare - 8 lug 13" does look easier to come by.

About the the thinner shell + "reinforcement rings", I seem to have gathered that most thin drums are more vintage sounding though, so to speak, with a more open and warmer sound, which I'm not sure will fit with the sound I'm looking for, but seeing your description I'll surely look deeper into it as well, see if I can find some actual snare drums with that design in person and hear how they sound.
I'm going to build the shell myself so I just need to decide what the best thickness and bearing edge options are for me and go for those.

Now JDG, you can't just make such a statement about $5 die cast hoops and not provide a link...
Jokes aside, good for you, even with the wild colors!
I just checked dfd and I couldn't find any such hoop for $5 save the out of round ones, and while I believe softer hoops such as most triple flange ones could be bent into shape a bit I'm not sure about die cast ones, so if you could post a link I'd be really grateful.

I've considered some used snares here and there but I really couldn't find anything that I liked 100% and I have a friend who's built two stave snares for himself that he swears by (they aren't my cup of tea but they do sound like honest to god high quality snares), so between spending the same money on a used snare vs a custom build I decided that the latter will be more fun and instructive, and even if I don't get my ideal snare out of it I hope I'll get in the ballpark.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Here is a $5 black snare side. It is "out of round" but I called and they said it is nominal. I'm pretty sure I can fix that issue.


I don't see the $5 white hoops but they have red ones that are not out of round in either snare side or batter side for $5. They're both listed in the spring cleaning sale Section on the left side of the home page at the top of the tabs.

 

Ptrick

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All the Hendrix snares are made with the thin shell and built in reinforcement rings. Check them out here:

 

Tmcfour

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A 13" is a little tighter of a sound than a 14". I'd personally go triple flange instead of the die cast. The die cast may dry out the sound a little too much for my taste.
 

johnjssmith

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Thanks a lot for the link JDG, I can't say I would buy "out of round" die cast hoops, but if those aren't really out of round they're sure worth a try even if I'd have to buy them from the other side of the pond.
Please let me know what the defects are, if any, when yours arrive!

About those Hendrix drums, I checked the video and I like what I'm hearing, but then again there are so many variables that influence the sound of a snare that I can hardly judge the impact of that particular shell thickness + reinforcement rings on a drum's sound from a video that only features that kind of shell with unknown tuning.
Once again, I'll see if I can find an actual, in the flesh thin drum with reinforcement rings to compare to a very similar but thicker one.

At this point it seems I'll go with 8 lugs for sure, possibly find triple flange hoops for cheap, and then I'll most likely compare them with die cast ones and see whatever I like better.
Or maybe I'll find thick no-flange hoops for relatively cheap and use those, I figure they'll have the same effect of die cast hoops, if maybe a bit subtler...
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I just got the diecast rims. They're perfectly fine. They are bendable but barely because they are diecast. They're not as stiff as other die-cast Hoops I've had but they're fine and the finishes perfect. I sure do wish I picked up a black batter and maybe just would have kept them black but I'm going to strip them because that was my plan.
 

idrum4fun

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Here are some of my 13" snare drums. All have 2.3mm hoops and sound great! I sold the blue satin drum some years ago. I used Pear Superhoop II hoops, but they are no longer available for 13" snare drums. I also have a Gaai snare drum, in a 6x13 size, also with 2.3mm hoops. I should take pictures of it, as it has a pretty cool wrapped finish!

-Mark
 

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Ptrick

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Here are some of my 13" snare drums. All have 2.3mm hoops and sound great! I sold the blue satin drum some years ago. I used Pear Superhoop II hoops, but they are no longer available for 13" snare drums. I also have a Gaai snare drum, in a 6x13 size, also with 2.3mm hoops. I should take pictures of it, as it has a pretty cool wrapped finish!

-Mark
Nice drums! Just double checked, looks like 13” 8 hole pearl superhoops are available again.

 

idrum4fun

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Nice drums! Just double checked, looks like 13” 8 hole pearl superhoops are available again.

I checked that website and it shows only 1 of each! My guess is that they are NOS. Pearl hasn't offered these in years and the only snare drum I can think of that these came with was the Omar Hakim drum. The 2016 parts catalog only shows a 13" 6-lug Superhoop.

The Omar Hakim snare drum is still being offered, with the Superhoop II, but it appears that the hoops are not being sold separately any more.

-Mark
 

MillerMav

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I have always been a fan of the Akira Jimbo snare and am actually building sort of a "tribute" snare to his at the moment. It is a 7"x13" with 6 lugs (12 total single point lugs) and I plan to do ply wood hoops as well.

The only thing I could recommend for more "crack or attack" is to go with a 30 degree round over batter side edge and sharp 45 resonant side edge. The 30 round over will muffle the batter side ring and the sharp 45 helps activate the snares better. One of the reason people love Ronn's metal/alloy snares (I like to believe) is due to the formed batter side edge and then just using the wall thickness of the material for the resonant side.

I'm not a professional builder by any means but it's how I cut the edges on this current snare; I'll post up when I'm done with it.
 

johnjssmith

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Glad to know the die cast rims are fine, I'll see if they have some more available then...

Great looking drums Mark, I'm a fan of the "sober looking" blue one!
Could you give us some more info on their specs?
Thickness, material, bearing edge angles, and most importantly, how do they sound?
They look like they sound good, but are they more on the "phat, warm n round" side or on the "tight, punchy crack"?

Thanks a lot for the tip MillerMav, I'll eagerly wait to hear how your wip sounds when it's done!
I get the point of using 30° edges with roundover to dampen the head but I'm wondering if that'll make the drum lose a significant amount of sensitivity (because of the same dampening), or if it will make it more sensitive (higher contact area between the head and the shell -> more vibrations transferred to the bottom head via the shell).
I'll definitely have to sleep on this :p
But if your experience brought you to the answer already I'm all ears, I'm not getting a lot of sleep lately anyway...
 


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