So you're shopping for a new 14x6.5" brass snare [UPDATE: purchase made]

unregisteredalien

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And it's gonna be your first and only brass snare! So what do you get?

The Black Beauty seems to be the benchmark, but I see people saying good things about Yamaha, Pearl and others...

Criteria:
- New
- Brass
- At/near 6.5" depth
- Budget US$900

(Reasons: poor 2nd hand market in Australia; I have 5" steel, 5.5" birch and 7" maple snares; I'm not made of money).

Hit me with your wisdom!
 

Neal Pert

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I've owned 3 Black Beauties and I'd still defend the Yamaha Recording Custom Brass 6.5. It's what I presently own even though I can afford the Black Beauty. Incredibly well-built, fantastic-sounding drum-- better strainer and overall build than the Ludwig. Obviously it doesn't have the "iconic" status of the Black Beauty, and obviously the Black Beauty is a fantastic drum. I just feel no need to get one. The best producer in the region just tonight told me that he LOVES that drum already, after one track from me with it.

EDIT: I will say this, though. If I already had a Black Beauty, I wouldn't trade it for a Yamaha, either. Just saying they're both great and both worth having. I played a Black Beauty for 13 years as my only snare drum, so I'm obviously a huge fan.
 
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unregisteredalien

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I've owned 3 Black Beauties and I'd still defend the Yamaha Recording Custom Brass 6.5. It's what I presently own even though I can afford the Black Beauty. Incredibly well-built, fantastic-sounding drum-- better strainer and overall build than the Ludwig. Obviously it doesn't have the "iconic" status of the Black Beauty, and obviously the Black Beauty is a fantastic drum. I just feel no need to get one. The best producer in the region just tonight told me that he LOVES that drum already, after one track from me with it.
Thanks, this is exactly the kind of input I wanted. I lust after a BB, but I almost want to be talked out of it. I have a lot of respect for the Japanese makers and they're priced much more attractively.

Do you know how the Yamaha shell is made - spun/cast/welded or whatever? And do you think it makes a difference? Eg, to me the spun BB sounds noticeably better than the welded Black Magic.
 

Bri6366

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I've owned 3 Black Beauties and I'd still defend the Yamaha Recording Custom Brass 6.5. It's what I presently own even though I can afford the Black Beauty. Incredibly well-built, fantastic-sounding drum-- better strainer and overall build than the Ludwig. Obviously it doesn't have the "iconic" status of the Black Beauty, and obviously the Black Beauty is a fantastic drum. I just feel no need to get one. The best producer in the region just tonight told me that he LOVES that drum already, after one track from me with it.
I'm just getting a feel for my new Yamaha RC Brass 6.5, but the reason I went with it was for all the reasons above. The drum is welded.
 

SpinaDude

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Black Panther SledgeHammer. The hammering kills a lot of the overtones, strainer is top notch,it can cut through anything, it's sensitive and has a rich tone. Since Mapex is making way for their new line of BP snares, you might find a good deal on one. Really a great drum and half your budget. And in my experience better made than a Gretsch.
 

Bri6366

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Thanks - annoyingly, no one in Australia seems to sell that model! The closest Gretschs I can see are the Bronze and the Brooklyn Chrome Over Brass - any opinion on those?
The thing that gets me about the Ludwig and Gretsch snares is you're paying $$$$ and for that money, you're getting a strainer that is on the level of Pearl or Tama's budget line. They should have a Trick for that money. When you get above the Yamaha RC, the law of diminishing returns comes into play. I.e., a drum for a lot more money might sound a bit better. Check out the video's and also look at the features of the Pearl and Yamaha snares.
 

unregisteredalien

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Black Panther SledgeHammer. The hammering kills a lot of the overtones, strainer is top notch,it can cut through anything, it's sensitive and has a rich tone. Since Mapex is making way for their new line of BP snares, you might find a good deal on one. Really a great drum and half your budget. And in my experience better made than a Gretsch.
Build quality and hardware, no doubt - I have a Phat Bob and they're top notch. I'll check out some videos, but having compared hammered and smooth in other ranges (eg Ludwig) I'm thinking smooth. Easier to remove overtones from a smooth drum than to add extra ring/zing to a hammered drum.
 

pgm554

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Rogers is releasing new brass Dynasonics,so if you got $900 budget ,take a shot.
I think the Pearl brass Sensitones and free floaters are great sounding for their price point
Mapex brass masters are pretty decent.
DW's got a COB Truesonic in that price range too.
 

unregisteredalien

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Rogers is releasing new brass Dynasonics,so if you got $900 budget ,take a shot.
I think the Pearl brass Sensitones and free floaters are great sounding for their price point
Mapex brass masters are pretty decent.
DW's got a COB Truesonic in that price range too.
The Rogers is another I probably can't get in Australia, unfortunately.

Will definitely check out the Pearls - if you had to go with free floater or sensitone, which way would you jump?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I have a gorgeous like new DW collectors in polished brass. I love this drum but I'm trying to get rid of drums I haven't touched for a while..... and even with shipping it'll be way within your budget, mate.......

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SpinaDude

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The thing that gets me about the Ludwig and Gretsch snares is you're paying $$$$ and for that money, you're getting a strainer that is on the level of Pearl or Tama's budget line.
Considering I had the strainer for a Broadkaster practically crumble in my hands, I can;t second this enough. I started shopping around for them on DrumFactoryDirect and it looked identical to a $30 strainer. Those drums are going for north of $600 on Reverb. Are you f%#$king kidding me? Why that drum doesn't have the equivalent of a Trick or Dunnet strainer on there is beyond my capacity. And IMO, that snare never really sounded very good in the first place.
 

MillerMav

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I would highly recommend INDe drums brass snares. I don't own one but I have played them and heard others played them and they sound fantastic. The price point can't be beat either.
 

ARGuy

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I'm going to guess that most of us are not familiar with what is or is not available in Australia, and what it costs to have things like snare drums shipped there. We may end up suggesting drums that are simply not going to work from either of those standpoints.
 

Seb77

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Ludwigs are a standard, but you might actually prefer something else. An identical shell with different lugs and hoops can create a different sound, response and feel Tube lugs or fewer lugs let the shell vibrate more, more lugs control the sound. Hammering on the shell might have a similar effect, but what about a hammered shell with 8 tube lugs, or one with thinner hoops? Many variables.

I recently got a Worldmax black nickel over brass with 10 tube lugs, should be similar to a Ludwig Black Magic. I haven't compared it in person to a Black beauty - if you hear a difference, maybe they're not for you.
 

pgm554

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The Rogers is another I probably can't get in Australia, unfortunately.

Will definitely check out the Pearls - if you had to go with free floater or sensitone, which way would you jump?
I prefer the free floaters for the crack and sensitivity.
On the used market they are under $200.
Sensitones are 3 to 4 hundred used.
 


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