Snare Tuning...HELP before I lose my sanity!

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Hi everyone,

During the holidays I cleaned my main two snares, a Ludwig 14x6.5 BB and DW 14x6.5 Performance maple. Both have diecast hoops. I figured now was a good time to also experiment with new batter heads, wires, and using grosgain ribbon instead of strings. To say I went down a worm hole of threads on this forum and endless YouTube videos is an understatement. Sounds Like A Drum makes it look so easy.

Here's what I was using previously (and sounded great):
-Ludwig BB: Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning). PureSound 20 strand wires using string to attach to throw-off and butt plate.
-DW Performance Maple: Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans HD Dry on batter side (medium tuning), DW 20 strand wires using string to attach to throw-off and butt plate.

Here's what I did to each:
-Ludwig BB: new Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and new Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning). Using same PureSound 20 strand wires, but switched from using string to using grosgain ribbon to attach to throw-off (upgraded the old P85 to a new P88) and butt plate.
-DW Performance Maple: new Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning), switched to PureSound 16 strand wires using grosgain ribbon to attach to throw-off and butt plate (upgraded to DW 3 position butt plate - WOW this thing is awesome btw!)

So here's my problem. They sound great when hit in the center but BOTH sound horrible if hit off center. The snare wires sound wonky and buzz like crazy. My initial thought was to tighten the reso heads tighter and adjust the wires as needed. Well the reso head on the maple snare is cranked so tight the hoop is less than 3/8" from being even with the shell! Not quite as extreme on the BB. I don't feel comfortable tightening either any more. I added various damping measures to each and while it removes some of the wonky buzz, it's still there. The only thing I can think of is the snare wires are too tight or the hoops aren't evenly compressed. Any feedback is appreciated.
 

halldorl

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The thing with Puresound wires is they have to sit perfectly straight. A slight bend in the wires and they will sound like crap. When I used PS wires I always used string to set them up properly. A ribbon was more prone to cause bent wires and crappy sound.

Also, the Evans batter heads you are using will cause loss of sensitivity as they are thick and/or pre-dampened.

What heads and wires were you using before?
 

mcjaco

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I had never had Evans heads on any kit I owned. I bought a used kit that the past owner had used Evans. I could not get the snare to sound like I wanted it. It was okay, but not to my liking. Swapped it out with a coated Emperor, and viola. much better. That's with PS 20 on the bottom with a ribbon. Always amazed at how much a head can change the sound.
 

Ron_M

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What Halldor said. There will be a difference, between using snare cord or ribbon, in the snare wire's endplate angle. This will change the snare's response, and may introduce more or less snare buzz. Various manufacturers use different endplate geometries, so cord might work best on one, while ribbon's works best for another.

I don't think it's the heads, since you're using the same heads (save for switching to a g14 on the DW).
 

jaymandude

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Here’s a question. Did everything sound really good to you when you were using the old drumheads? There’s a good chance at least to me, that everything was broken in and you had the drum adjusted and dialed in and everything was at peace with itself and comfortable.
I think the idea that you have to change bottom heads to another company, in my opinion is ridiculous. Evans snare heads are fine, hundreds of thousands of drummers use them without a problem. Even the top head I don’t think should make that much of a difference unless it’s just a massive difference that what you were using . I’m not sure what a G 14 years but maybe it’s just a little bit heavier single ply. You don’t need to change it to an ambassador or a G one or a single ply to get the true tone. At least I don’t think so.

i’m with JDA. Maybe it’s the alignment of the wires. But beyond that .. It’s really just a tuning issue and messing with the drum and taking it in a bunch of different rooms on a bunch of different gigs, using gaff tape, using moon gel, using some kind of muffling thing till everything gets happy and settled and you find a place for it. And then it’ll be good for a year or two. If it makes any difference I had the same snare heads on a Craviotto for I think eight or nine years. And I just changed both of them a week ago and I absolutely hated the sound of the drum. But I realize it’s just a heads getting broken in and settled.

Good luck
 
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Ron_M

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Do us a favor and change from grossgrain to cord. It's the easiest thing to do. Your symptoms are classic "snare wires aren't laying flat". Do it and report back.
 

cworrick

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ach to throw-off and butt plate (upgraded to DW 3 position butt plate - WOW this thing is awesome btw!)

So here's my problem. They sound great when hit in the center but BOTH sound horrible if hit off center.

So obviously, Don't hit off center. :blink:

Problem Solved. No adjustments needed. :salute:


:laughing6:
 

Ron_M

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Number Four get the drum sounding Good to fair as a tom tom

forget the wires.
It's a tom tom first

get a nice sweet singing pitch tom tom
then attach the metal junk
C'mon Joe; sx dx rx. What kind of an engineer are you?
 

JDA

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engineer is another somebody else's job ; )

it's like mic's and recording equip I could care less that's somebody else's job
otherwise sx dx and rx I don't know what you mean unless that relates to 1978 Thunderbirds
or maybe a Suzuki suv from the 80s ; )

If I can get thru the morning to noon east coast time on dfo
I usually ok for the rest of the day; usually..

So this morning so far here on dfo, we've had 8 main water pipe breaks and one guy who can't find his snare in Canada.
 
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Drumbumcrumb

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I had never had Evans heads on any kit I owned. I bought a used kit that the past owner had used Evans. I could not get the snare to sound like I wanted it. It was okay, but not to my liking. Swapped it out with a coated Emperor, and viola. much better. That's with PS 20 on the bottom with a ribbon. Always amazed at how much a head can change the sound.
Or - Voila even. I’m sorry to be a spellchecker, but there are 2 that drive me NUTS - Viola for voila (a viola is a small violin, and doesn’t even phonetically resemble voila) and ‘defiantly’ for definitely - how do you look at defiantly and just smoosh the end in your mouth to make it defntly? Idk
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Plus 1 on the “get the wires straight” especially Puresound (not my favorite wires, much prefer the German style). Use cord, not straps. Flip the drum over and watch the snare wires as you engage them - Do they do a little wiggle, like a shrug? They’re crooked. They should pull PERFECTLY evenly and ‘square’, which is much easier to achieve with cords as you can adjust more with 4 points of pull than just 2. Also, make sure they are smack dab centered, even distance from the drums edges on both sides.

Don’t despair. We’ve all been there - Why did I mess with it?? - but if it sounded good before it can again.
 

mcjaco

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Or - Voila even. I’m sorry to be a spellchecker, but there are 2 that drive me NUTS - Viola for voila (a viola is a small violin, and doesn’t even phonetically resemble voila) and ‘defiantly’ for definitely - how do you look at defiantly and just smoosh the end in your mouth to make it defntly? Idk

There's spellcheck and there's typos.

Thanks for the grammar lesson.......
 

Matched Gripper

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Hi everyone,

During the holidays I cleaned my main two snares, a Ludwig 14x6.5 BB and DW 14x6.5 Performance maple. Both have diecast hoops. I figured now was a good time to also experiment with new batter heads, wires, and using grosgain ribbon instead of strings. To say I went down a worm hole of threads on this forum and endless YouTube videos is an understatement. Sounds Like A Drum makes it look so easy.

Here's what I was using previously (and sounded great):
-Ludwig BB: Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning). PureSound 20 strand wires using string to attach to throw-off and butt plate.
-DW Performance Maple: Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans HD Dry on batter side (medium tuning), DW 20 strand wires using string to attach to throw-off and butt plate.

Here's what I did to each:
-Ludwig BB: new Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and new Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning). Using same PureSound 20 strand wires, but switched from using string to using grosgain ribbon to attach to throw-off (upgraded the old P85 to a new P88) and butt plate.
-DW Performance Maple: new Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning), switched to PureSound 16 strand wires using grosgain ribbon to attach to throw-off and butt plate (upgraded to DW 3 position butt plate - WOW this thing is awesome btw!)

So here's my problem. They sound great when hit in the center but BOTH sound horrible if hit off center. The snare wires sound wonky and buzz like crazy. My initial thought was to tighten the reso heads tighter and adjust the wires as needed. Well the reso head on the maple snare is cranked so tight the hoop is less than 3/8" from being even with the shell! Not quite as extreme on the BB. I don't feel comfortable tightening either any more. I added various damping measures to each and while it removes some of the wonky buzz, it's still there. The only thing I can think of is the snare wires are too tight or the hoops aren't evenly compressed. Any feedback is appreciated.
The first thing I would try, and the easiest fix, is changing out the grosgrain ribbon back to the cord and see what happens.

But, from your description, it sounds like the bearing edges aren’t true. Have you checked for trueness? Take off the heads and lay the edges of the drum on a flat surface, like a glass or granite table top. See if you can slip the corner of a piece of copy paper under any part of the edge, or worse if the drum rocks on its edge.Having said that, if it wasn’t a problem with the old heads, maybe the new heads aren’t seated properly. I like to press my palm on the middle of the head (moderate pressure), when installing new heads to make sure they stay centered when tuning. Also, thicker heads may take a little longer to mate with the bearing edge.
 
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Seb77

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Here's what I was using previously (and sounded great):
-Ludwig BB: Evans Hazy 300 on resonant side (tuned pretty tight) and Evans G14 on batter side (medium tuning). PureSound 20 strand wires using string to attach to throw-off and butt plate.
I haven't tried a 14mil. single-ply head, but the 12mil Ambassador X. In the center the drum sounded drier than a standard 10mil. Ambassador, but off-center overtones were a bit unruly - lower, with longer decay, creating more buzz. I'm back to standard 10mil., and that's what I would recommend if you like to play off-center with brighter tones and less buzz.
 

Ron_M

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engineer is another somebody else's job ; )

it's like mic's and recording equip I could care less that's somebody else's job
otherwise sx dx and rx I don't know what you mean unless that relates to 1978 Thunderbirds
or maybe a Suzuki suv from the 80s ; )
Just poking fun. symptom, diagnose, prescription. Medical terms, but sometimes used by engineers to note troubleshooting process. And I agree about mics and recording
 
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