Parallel action snares

5 Style

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Years ago I bought a Yamaha SS snare (used) in store after playing it a bit. Great response! Never even giged with it before a nylon piece that was part of the strainer mechanism stripped and it became really difficult to keep the strainer locked down. I looked a bit for a replacement piece, but wasn't able to find one. Got rid of it... probably sold it to someone who was willing to either do the leg work to find the part or willing to figure out another solution...

Super sensitive snares can sound very good, no doubt, but they're complex, cumbersome and in my experince hard to keep working properly. Not worth it (at least to me) especailly considering that a good conventional snare can also ve very sensitive/responsive/etc. I have no doubt though that they're the ticket for orchestral type of work though...
 

Iandrumz

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5 Style said:
Years ago I bought a Yamaha SS snare (used) in store after playing it a bit. Great response! Never even giged with it before a nylon piece that was part of the strainer mechanism stripped and it became really difficult to keep the strainer locked down. I looked a bit for a replacement piece, but wasn't able to find one. Got rid of it... probably sold it to someone who was willing to either do the leg work to find the part or willing to figure out another solution...

Super sensitive snares can sound very good, no doubt, but they're complex, cumbersome and in my experince hard to keep working properly. Not worth it (at least to me) especailly considering that a good conventional snare can also ve very sensitive/responsive/etc. I have no doubt though that they're the ticket for orchestral type of work though...
Agree on the super sensitive. Very aptly named. The premier 2000 series though is bullet proof. Only issue I have seen is the nylon bushing in the flobeam mechanism can wear. Only saw that once and to be fair it was on a 30 year old drum.
 

rock roll

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I have a few parrallel throw snares and all came with the snare mechanism all set up sounding good.
I recently got a 50's super ace that needs to be adjusted ... It needs tightening...not the wires but the throw itself.
I've never done this before , so I'm asking for advice on how to adjust it.
I'll start a thread on this I guess.. Thx for any future info. DFO is an amazing resource.
 

kdgrissom

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I own three Ludwig SS's and my experience is that there are too many adjustments that don't travel very well. So, some re-adjustment is necessary when getting ready to perform. I'm guessing that some don't want to go through that kind of bother. Having said that, the difference in the quality of sound (compared to a regular snare system) goes from "translucent" to "crystal clear". That matters tremendously in the Classical end of the business where you are called on to play "ppp" and the articulations must be heard in the audience.
I sometimes think of a normal snare system as a light switch (on-off) and a parallel system as a light switch with a rheostat control.
 

Bri6366

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Back in high school we had a couple Ludwig SS snares along with a couple Supras. I thought the SS Snares sounded better and since that time always wanted one. I finally purchased one in the mid 2000s and I've had it set up with my Ludwig kit for quite some time now. When I gigged on it I usually bought my Supra as backup just in case there was a problem. Most of the time I gigged on my Tama snare. I see it's been discontinued for a while. Ludwig snares are already expensive and I'm sure the added cost hurt sales. But in terms of sound it's a killer snare.
 

pgm554

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There were a couple of very good extended snare systems that went away or are difficult to get.
The Pearl free floater (Tico Torres) is the only one I can think of that is still available.
The others are concert snares and not quite the same.
Most of the snares these days are marketed as furniture or 2 and 4 one dimensional groove oriented crack.
Very few snares are showcased as articulate anymore(Lars Ulrich anyone?).
Best parallel I've played is the Fibes SFT 690.
Simple and bullet proof throw.
Excellent articulation and dynamics.
The older Pearl Free Floaters come in number two.
 

Seb77

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I'd think we can say the system didn't succeed. Not even orchestral snares for ppp playing seem to need parallel action. Some great modern orchestral drums just use (artificial) gut snares stretched over the edge.

My only experience with extra-long wires has been on a Pearl Free-floater. This system (mid-90s version of FF) uses rollers to pull extra-long wires horizontally but they don't move the wires up and down or keep them under tension, the wires just slacken when the throw-off is disengaged. On the version I have there's not even a height-adjustment (earlier ones had this). The drum also has very shallow snare beds.
The problem was the drum with the factory setup seemed to have only one tension it worked at, on the loose side, and that caused a lot of sympathetic buzz. WIth tighter wires, the tone was choked. When I changed to standard-length snappy wires and cord on the same drum, the response improved for my taste.
Would have been interesting to be able to experiment with snare height, but with shallow beds, there's probably very little leeway for this anyway. Even with deeper beds, I don't see why you'd have to be able to adjust the height, as you probably want the wires to touch all the way. So the main purpose seems to have been to keep the wires under tension when disengaged. But why? To me this question seems to be at the core for parallel-action snares: why would you want to keep the wires under tension when disengaged and not just drop them slack? I think (I read?) this would go back to natural gut snares, that they somehow stayed in shape better that way?
 

kdgrissom

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I should amend my statement about the Parallel systems. The one over riding advantage they all have is the ability to be tuned so that there is precise and articulate snare response throughout the dynamic range. The older Ludwigs were exceptional in this regard, as they allowed tension adjustment on each individual wire strand. Different sound colors of snare quality could be had by mixing gut, nylon and wire too.
 

pgm554

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Let's just say the Pearl isn't a pure parallel ,but a subset of the extended snare wire approach.
I find a lot of them quite good.
Tama had a few (not the Kingbeat),that were quite good too.
Yamaha's sucked.It was basically a generic that Pearl used at one time as an answer to the Ludwig Supersensitive.
I liked the Slingerland Slaphot although the plastic tended to not be durable.
Yamaha did do some OK stuff on the Colaiuta brass snare .
I pretty much think the Ludwig SS 6.5 was a pretty good snare too.
Nice sensitivity and a great throaty sound.
 

kdgrissom

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pgm554,

Don't forget the Slingerland "Super Sound King". It's sorta rare to find these days.
I need to study up on the Premier catalogs to learn more about their parallel system.
I think Sonor had something too.
 

pgm554

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Steve Smith had a Sonor snare that was parallel too.
Weighed a ton.
 

Elvis

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Dual throw-off's were expensive (compared to regular throw-off arrangements) and fragile, that's why they never really caught on.
However, they could create some of the sweetest sounding snare drums you ever heard!
Rogers tried to marry the two systems with their Dyna-Sonic snare drums.
A frame held the snares under tension, but the whole thing was actuated by a regular throw-off.
It worked amazingly well.

Elvis
 

Ron_M

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Pearl's early 80s S-011 and S-015 parallel set- ups have two adjustment screws per roller, so you can really dial in the wire set. I have the S-015, and it works great. The snare has excellent sensitivity.
 

Seb77

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Pearl's early 80s S-011 and S-015 parallel set- ups have two adjustment screws per roller, so you can really dial in the wire set. I have the S-015, and it works great. The snare has excellent sensitivity.
So, how would you describe the adjustment height-wise? Do you use different settings? With the 90s version it said "no-adjust roller beds" as if they had found the best setting and carved it in stone so to speak.
 

Ron_M

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I have a problem with any "no adjust" parallel set-up, just because of tolerance stack-ups/parts variability. That's why I like the adjustability of the Pearl. Two screws to bring the 'roller' up and down (not really a roller since it doesn't roll), so you can precisely adjust the height and angle of the wires to lay as flat as possible.

pearl 1.jpg
pearl 2.jpg
 

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