Serious snare question - The actual sonic difference between 5 and 6.5

Elvis

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Oddly I’m replying to myself and want to challenge my own statement. Recently listened to Drum History Podcast, the builder of GMS drums states fatter tone comes from a more narrow shell. He did not provide much rationale or numbers however he is an experienced builder and that is noteworthy. Similarly paradoxical, I’ve hear John Good say reinforcement rings brings pitch up.

34:00 is where the GMS builder talks about tone.
Thanks for the heads up on Drum History Podcast. I was unaware of that until now. # of lugs makes a lot of sense. It is a harder feel and a colder sound, however, its also more controllability over tuning and if one lug fails to hold tension all of a sudden, more lugs will leave you with a drum that sounds less like the box it came in.
He is right about "more than 8 lugs" feeling very "solid". The 10 lugs on my old 14x4 Pulse and the Sonor I have now leave me with a much stiffer feeling head than the same tension on 6 lug drums I've used in the past.

Elvis
 
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Matched Gripper

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It is. But you’re the only person who has come out to say the actual pitch will be lower.

i think I have to do this myself to know. I have the same 5 and 6.5 drums in alumimium and bronze. And no gigs
6.5” is a longer tube than 5”. Analogous to a pipe organ. Or the tubes on a vibraphone.
 

drumtimejohn

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I don't do a drum dial, but tell me (since you obviously do), is that much of a jump in tension?
How many more turns of the rods did you have to give the deeper drum to bring the pitch up to the shallower drum?

Elvis
As someone noted, not much. 1/8-1/4 turn sounds about right.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Difference?


The short answer is, the 6.5 drum will exhibit more tonal depth & body overall.
That's one of the reasons the same model of snare is offered in two different depths. Choice.
 

Elvis

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Difference?


The short answer is, the 6.5 drum will exhibit more tonal depth & body overall.
That's one of the reasons the same model of snare is offered in two different depths. Choice.
...Choice...
Do people still say that?
Remember?
Choice kit, Steve.
Remember?
...oh well...anyway......
 

JazzDrumGuy

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A larger drum is louder and fatter/thicker/deeper sounding, all other things being equal including tuning. I love my 6.5 BB, but can't stand my 5 BB. I love my 6.5 COA Supras (KB & B/O), but the 5" is just okay. Slingy COB Krupa - amazing; the 5" - hate it!
For metal, I like deeper. For wood, it's really the opposite. Deeper snares don't do it for me - I like 4"/5"/max 5.5"........maple.....
 

Elvis

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I love my 6.5 BB, but can't stand my 5 BB.
Oh my drum brother! How it pains me to read of your suffering!
Life is too short my friend. You don't need this kind of stress in your life.
PLEASE, for the sake of your sanity, send me that 5" black beauty and again know the joy of a stress free life.
I will make quite sure that snare drum never troubles you again.
Peace, my friend. :angel11:

Elvis the :angel13:
 

Elvis

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DrumtimeJohn & Rotarded,

Thanks for your timely replies to my question.
I can hear that difference in my head, just a little better now.
Thanks again. =)

Elvis
 

jaymandude

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“The greater the length of the pipe, the lower its resulting pitch will be.“

There you go. You're correct.

What's actually more interesting to me is that in someone here's unscientific test, the difference was to them, merely a quarter turn on each rod. Dn't know if thats top or bottom, o both. But I can't imagine a quarter turn on each lug of a Supra being more than a whole step. Lower in pitch none the less. So yeah..

Like I said, I should check for myself while I have the rest of the year off from touring..
 

Elvis

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Well, it is only an inch and a half. How much of a difference in sound could there be (everything else being equal).
 

halldorl

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Well, it is only an inch and a half. How much of a difference in sound could there be (everything else being equal).
Well, for example I can´t stand the 5x14" Supra but I love the 6.5x14". The 6.5" gives me richness, body and musicality while the 5" is all "splat" and high end brittle crack.

There are very few 14" snare drums I like under 6.5" depth. But, there are exceptions. The afore mentioned N&C piccolo that I once owned which had amazing body and the 5x14" 1920´s Ludwig NOB´s or Black Beauties.

Regarding snare sensitivity; I think depth has very little to do with how sensitive snare drums are. The most sensitive and responsive snare I have yet played was a 70´s Premier Olympic marching snare 10x14". I remember scratching my head over that drum.
 

drumtimejohn

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There you go. You're correct.

What's actually more interesting to me is that in someone here's unscientific test, the difference was to them, merely a quarter turn on each rod. Dn't know if thats top or bottom, o both. But I can't imagine a quarter turn on each lug of a Supra being more than a whole step. Lower in pitch none the less. So yeah..

Like I said, I should check for myself while I have the rest of the year off from touring..
Thank you. I brought out the lab coat for that one! I only tensioned the batter head more on the 6.5 to achieve the same pitch as the 5.5 (about 230 Hz). Of course the 6.5 still maintained a different timbre. After reflecting on that test from 2 years ago, I’m cautious to commit to the 1/4 turn on each rod to achieve the same Hz and unfortunately I can’t seem to find my notes. I’ll need to try it again with another set 6.5/5 snares in the future. Hopefully someone will beat me to it. Like you I tend to reach for the more shallow shells. The 6.5s seem too loud for my matched grip and bop brass drum jazz stylings and thats driving my choice. The big takeaway for me is I know Elvis will always be there to relieve me of 6.5 shells should I need his support. Such an Angel!
 

Matched Gripper

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Well, for example I can´t stand the 5x14" Supra but I love the 6.5x14". The 6.5" gives me richness, body and musicality while the 5" is all "splat" and high end brittle crack.

There are very few 14" snare drums I like under 6.5" depth. But, there are exceptions. The afore mentioned N&C piccolo that I once owned which had amazing body and the 5x14" 1920´s Ludwig NOB´s or Black Beauties.

Regarding snare sensitivity; I think depth has very little to do with how sensitive snare drums are. The most sensitive and responsive snare I have yet played was a 70´s Premier Olympic marching snare 10x14". I remember scratching my head over that drum.
On your 5x14 try tuning the bottom head a full turn tighter than the top head, and the snare wires just tight enough to stop them from rattling, and see what you think.
 

halldorl

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On your 5x14 try tuning the bottom head a full turn tighter than the top head, and the snare wires just tight enough to stop them from rattling, and see what you think.
I have owned three 5x14” Supra’s from different time periods, tried every possible tuning and disliked them all equally. Same with Acro’s. Cranking the bottom head was the first thing I tried.
 

Soulfinger

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There you go. You're correct.
Actually, he´s not. He´s comparing apples and oranges. :)

The pipe of an organ is an aerophone - what makes the sound is the column of air inside, so the longer the column, the lower the pitch.
A drum, however, is a membranophone - the pitch is determined by the size and tension of the membrane. The depth of the shell has nothing to do with it (or else roto toms wouldn´t work at all, and octobans were bass drums).
What the depth of a drum affects is the sound quality, the timbre, or whatever you want to call it. Similar to playing the exact same note on a guitar and on a bass guitar. Both will have the same pitch, but a different timbre.
 

Tornado

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Actually, he´s not. He´s comparing apples and oranges. :)

The pipe of an organ is an aerophone - what makes the sound is the column of air inside, so the longer the column, the lower the pitch.
A drum, however, is a membranophone - the pitch is determined by the size and tension of the membrane. The depth of the shell has nothing to do with it (or else roto toms wouldn´t work at all, and octobans were bass drums).
What the depth of a drum affects is the sound quality, the timbre, or whatever you want to call it. Similar to playing the exact same note on a guitar and on a bass guitar. Both will have the same pitch, but a different timbre.
This. And to change the pitch in a column like a pipe organ, you need MUCH longer columns. With something as wide as a snare drum, you'd need like a 10 or 20 foot deep snare to get started. The tubes under vibraphones and marimbas are resonators for volume and sustain. They do no affect the pitch.
 


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