Snare Suggestions?

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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I'm writing because I'm considering a potential opportunity and would love some feedback from you fine folks here:

I currently have only 1 snare drum (a 5.5 x 14 '76 Acrolite), and have multiple sets of cymbals. While I love the cymbals I have and the variety they provide me, I find myself never really using my Keropes (a 20" and a 22") due to the fact that I play with an electric band and the Keropes are so dark and washy they get lost in the mix. I love them as cymbals when playing on my own or on my imaginary jazz gig,but they're just not something I use often enough to justify holding onto them. Especially since I've been considering a high end snare drum for which I could cover a good chunk of the price with the sale of my Keropes. So here's the question...

I'm looking for something with even more articulation, crispness and sensitivity than the Acrolite, while maintaining presence and cut. Part of that equation is head and snare choice and tuning, but I've taken it as far as I can with the Acro. I'm open to different materials and brands, but was leaning towards a 6.5 x 14 for the variety it would provide me. I do love Ludwig snares, and was considering a Black Beauty or a Copperphonic. I recently heard a Dunnett solid maple shell that sounded very crispy as well. I need to get out and try some snares in person, but seeing as that's not happening anytime soon, your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I would post the Keropes for sale or trade here, but living in Canada the cost of shipping (and the exchange rate) doesn't make it very enticing.
 

Groov-E

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Listen to Dunnett videos on YT and pick your favourite (made in Canada !).

TI and brass are versatile, both full-body sounding with the brass calling for more control and restraint when playing quieter.

Sonor Benny Grebb snares are great.

The new Gretsch Brooklyn Standard snare sounds like it could do anything well. In the same register, a Yamaha absolute hybrid maple does it all and some more.

Honestly, any mid-range snare is more than usable with decent tuning and adequate head selection.
 

DWSlingerland45

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You might consider a Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple 6x14 it will do anything. And they are readily available in shops and online. Not sure of the value of those two Keropes but I'm sure it's in the ball park of the AHM by a few dollars either way.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Thanks for the great suggestions so far. Just to clarify, if I had to kick in a few extra bucks after the sale of my Keropes I'd do it for the right snare. Please keep the recommendations coming!
 

JDA

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Wonder if there's a possibility - how many and which Keropes do you own- for a trade here
 

CC Cirillo

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I have a pretty sweet imaginary jazz gig, too.

I’ve got two suggestions for you:

1. Pearl Brass Sensitone. I have this in 5x14 with die cast hoops that I picked up used for under $200. I’ve got it tuned midrange with a ps3 for buttery pie crust grooving, but it can get as crisp as you need. I know these are getting more pricy new but used deals can be found since they lack the cache of other drums. This is a dark horse of a drum. I’ve used it when I’ve backlined my kit and have had other drummers request to use it over their more expensive snares. I view it as sort of an Acrolite of brass drums.

2. Black Beauty. You mentioned it and you did so for a reason. Mine is 6.5 and a special drum for me, emotionally and sonically. (This drum was a gift to myself for meeting a lifelong goal.) It’s not magical and it is still lil ole me playing it, but it is a great drum with a lot of depth. People may disagree, but I think this one sounds best with triple flange hoops. That way there is some of that Ludwig wildness in the undertones. This is like a really well-dressed, lovely and classy woman with slightly messy hair.
I run mine with a Ambassador X and 42 strand wires. I like it tight and crisp, but the brass, shell depth, more wires, and slightly thicker Ambassador seem to give it extra body.

For me, if I could only have two, it’d be an Acrolite and a Black Beauty.
 

Old Dog

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I have a pretty sweet imaginary jazz gig, too.

I’ve got two suggestions for you:

1. Pearl Brass Sensitone. I have this in 5x14 with die cast hoops that I picked up used for under $200. I’ve got it tuned midrange with a ps3 for buttery pie crust grooving, but it can get as crisp as you need. I know these are getting more pricy new but used deals can be found since they lack the cache of other drums. This is a dark horse of a drum. I’ve used it when I’ve backlined my kit and have had other drummers request to use it over their more expensive snares. I view it as sort of an Acrolite of brass drums.

2. Black Beauty. You mentioned it and you did so for a reason. Mine is 6.5 and a special drum for me, emotionally and sonically. (This drum was a gift to myself for meeting a lifelong goal.) It’s not magical and it is still lil ole me playing it, but it is a great drum with a lot of depth. People may disagree, but I think this one sounds best with triple flange hoops. That way there is some of that Ludwig wildness in the undertones. This is like a really well-dressed, lovely and classy woman with slightly messy hair.
I run mine with a Ambassador X and 42 strand wires. I like it tight and crisp, but the brass, shell depth, more wires, and slightly thicker Ambassador seem to give it extra body.

For me, if I could only have two, it’d be an Acrolite and a Black Beauty.

Yep Yep! The Pearl brass Sensitone is a very affordable choice in the used arena. I picked one up last fall, EXCELLENT--just over $200 with shipping from Canada. I have no experience personally with the Black Beauty. . .but that was actually my other choice as well (I've watched so many vids on snares, I feel like I own one).
 

dsop

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The Ludwig Black Beauty would work (smooth or hammered), but I would opt for one with die cast hoops. Another nice Ludwig is the bronze Supraphonic, in smooth or hammered.
I have the Yamaha Aluminum Recording Custom, and it sounds great, and is very sensitive (I put cheap 16 strand wires on it). Probably a bit cheaper too.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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How did you patina the Pearl snare....it looks sweet raw like that and I love the first generation with the tube lugs!
 

CC Cirillo

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Right?


I’m afraid I can’t answer. I’ve wondered myself how this patina occurred. I sense I’m at least the third owner. I asked the seller who simply said it came that way. Parts look sanded, especially around the badge, but perhaps someone attempted to polish with something corrosive or too abrasive and the original coating was stripped.
 

tripp2k

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I'm in the camp suggesting brass. I now rotate between Yamaha Manu Katche brass and Yamaha Copper both with die cast hoops and both with unique sounds. Copper has a drier sound and I tune up quite a bit and is more tame while the brass cuts like a knife at all tunings. I keep wanting to add a 6.5" Supraphonic but not in a hurry. Plenty of options out there used that folks are trying to unload so you might be able to pick up a couple options for the price of a new one.
 
D

Drummer1990

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My #1 recomendation - Ludwig Black beauty either 14x5 or 14x6.5 - most recorded brass snare in history. Most versatile for any application and sounds phenomenal.
 

pgm554

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If your looking for cut,crisp and articulation, get a used Ludwig super sensitive.
Alternatives are the Pearl free floaters.cheap on the used open market.
 

Old Dog

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Right?


I’m afraid I can’t answer. I’ve wondered myself how this patina occurred. I sense I’m at least the third owner. I asked the seller who simply said it came that way. Parts look sanded, especially around the badge, but perhaps someone attempted to polish with something corrosive or too abrasive and the original coating was stripped.

"They" didn't do too much it appears. Just looks like some cleaner or abrasive that barely took off the finish? Looks great.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Once again, thanks to all of you for these suggestions. I can't wait to get out again and try some of these once my local drum shops reopen. That being said, I have a confession: With no chance of playing my usual gig (a Grateful Dead cover band) and being stuck at home, I put the Keropes back on my kit. While they don't work for my cover band, they're absolutely beautiful cymbals that I love to play on their own or in my imaginary jazz gig. They're just so buttery with a great woody stick sound and a warm dark wash. I really want a second snare drum, but know now that I'd regret selling these cymbals soon enough. Now i just have to figure out what else to sell to fund my purchase, or start saving the old fashioned way. Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll be sure to post here once I've made my decision.
 


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