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

Ptrick

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Quick question: Is the P-88 a bolt-on replacement for any drum with a P-85? I'd like to lose the P-85s on all of my Ludwig snares. They're such ungraceful strainers. I want smooth action, smooth turning knobs...basically I want the technology of 2020 on my Ludwig snares!
It is a direct fit for holes drilled for a P85.
 

Browny

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Watch the FB buy/sell groups and see what pops up.

It’s tough, there’s SFA good vintage gear down here, and sometimes our prices are so inflated it’s not funny. Try not to buy anything through FB/gumtree from Doncaster East as that’s the weird dude who buys stuff to resell at a jacked price. Unless he has something you really have your heart set on I guess.

BBs pop up a bit but they’re never cheap. Perhaps not 70s 6.5” BBs, but certainly the odd 90s/recent BB. I’ve seen one or two 14x5 Krupa at a reasonable price. There was some 40s Carlton NOB snare on FB pre-iso, maybe it’s still available, I think it was maybe $400AUD or something.

I’d just keep an eye out and see what’s appearing. If you have one particular snare you’re waiting on, who knows when or if it will turn up, and at what price.
 

Treviso1

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Gretsch Bell Brass 3mm Drum is within that budget, especially a second hand drum. That drum is hard to beat at any price. The other one, but it tends to run more money, is the Gretsch Phosphor Bronze 5mm drum...stupid great sounding.
 

RobbiefromAtlanta

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Thanks, I'm buying three right away!
You should buy the Inde strainer. Almost same design because I believe Josh designed it when he was with Ludwig and it's a great throw. I bought one for my Supra and one for my BB.

Looks like it's on sale at the moment

 

VintageUSA

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You asked about the Gretsch bronze:
I ordered the (G4169B) 14X6.5 USA two years ago and I have not played my other snare drums since it arrived.
I love this drum..........cast hoops.........42 strand wires.........the new micro throw (much improved).
And I love the look of the 20 lugs.
I like to crank the batter down tight on this snare............great pop, but still sensitive when needed.

20171012_170258.jpg
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G4169B[1].png
 

unregisteredalien

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A lot of great recommendations here.
Gretch 6.5 x 14 USA Custom Bell Brass is my first recommendation to anyone looking for brass...I own one but pricey.
Check out Mapex's Black Panther line. Many options and price is reasonable. My choice was the "Blaster". " great CRACK!!!
Lot's of great Inde choices out there as well. Look outside the popular box of snares.
Oriollo Bellmaker 65 has been tugging at my heart strings but $$$$.
Dude, I went through video of every snare mentioned in this thread and all the ones you mentioned excited me. The Gretsch sounds phenomenal - it's just a matter of whether that thicker bell brass will render it less versatile than what I'm looking for. The new Black Panther line is intriguing - they don't have a 6.5 brass and I don't want hammered but the shallower brass or the copper options could work. And I'm trying to find out if Inde will ship here - the Kalamazoo bronze with COB hoops looks special.
 

unregisteredalien

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I have the Starphonic copper. Dark, fat and cracking. Little bit of overtone I kill with a zero-ring. I have no experience with the brass one, but the Starphonic build is excellent. I'm also in love with the aluminum in this line.
Thanks man. The hardware and build look next level. If they weren't so shallow I suspect I'd leap for one. Will see if I can find one to play test.
 

unregisteredalien

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Watch the FB buy/sell groups and see what pops up.

It’s tough, there’s SFA good vintage gear down here, and sometimes our prices are so inflated it’s not funny. Try not to buy anything through FB/gumtree from Doncaster East as that’s the weird dude who buys stuff to resell at a jacked price. Unless he has something you really have your heart set on I guess.

BBs pop up a bit but they’re never cheap. Perhaps not 70s 6.5” BBs, but certainly the odd 90s/recent BB. I’ve seen one or two 14x5 Krupa at a reasonable price. There was some 40s Carlton NOB snare on FB pre-iso, maybe it’s still available, I think it was maybe $400AUD or something.

I’d just keep an eye out and see what’s appearing. If you have one particular snare you’re waiting on, who knows when or if it will turn up, and at what price.
Thanks Browny, good to see a fellow Aussie here and appreciate the advice. I've been wondering about that Doncaster East guy!
 

jaymandude

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Dude, I went through video of every snare mentioned in this thread and all the ones you mentioned excited me. The Gretsch sounds phenomenal - it's just a matter of whether that thicker bell brass will render it less versatile than what I'm looking for. The new Black Panther line is intriguing - they don't have a 6.5 brass and I don't want hammered but the shallower brass or the copper options could work. And I'm trying to find out if Inde will ship here - the Kalamazoo bronze with COB hoops looks special.
The bell brass will tune higher before choking. And also die cast hoops.
Hard to say about the Black Beauty for me. When they’re great they’re all you would ever need. When they’re newer with all the gaskets and shitty butt plates and rod splay I think they’re overpriced, almost junk. So to me it depends on the individual drum. But I’m a spoiled bronze supra guy, so take that as you wish.
 
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Seb77

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Isn't "bell brass" actually cast bronze? Comparing this to a 1.2mm brass Black Beauty is apples&oranges imo. There might be cast brass as well, should have more of a yellow colour. I rmemebr playing a great dw drum like that, but macuh too heavy to carry around. A great studio drum.
 

phdamage

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unsure what the used market is down there, but if you can find an older Pearl Steve Ferrone signature, it's a black beauty clone that is usually far cheaper than a BB. I had both and only sold the Ferrone because of the higher resale value (I got both for dirt cheap). I thought they sounded almost identical

if we're talking new, i'd take a look at Tama stuff. i've never heard a kit or snare made by them at my recording studio in the last 20 years that didn't at least sound good, if not great, unless the heads were toast. I even bought a low end metal snare of their's on tour in europe in a pinch and it sounded great. the only tama snare I own right now is that big black steel snare. it's pretty damn good and was super cheap.

secondly, Pearl sensitones are solid and consistent and also very affordable.
 

bpaluzzi

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Strong recommendation for the WorldMax "Vintage" build-out. Solid brass hoops, lugs, and clips. Under $400.

I don't think any of the other drums we've discussed have brass hoops, do they? Especially with the single-flanged hoops, the brass makes a big difference. This drum will ring for days, but takes external muffling very well. Available in 5x14, 6.5x14, and my favorite, 7x13. Solid recommend.

First video is with a Snareweight with the small leather insert. Second video is wide-open
http://instagr.am/p/CCpVxqbDy6c/
 

Josh Vibert

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I had a Porkpie BOB setup similar to the Heuer Hitmaker with diecast hoops, 30 strand Puresound Customs and CS batter. It was a great drum and I got compliments on it. I just wanted a real Black Beauty, though, so I sold it along with a Pearl Masters Maple and a Pearl Brass snare and bought the LB417 (6.5x14) Black Beauty I really wanted. Not a single moments' regret. I get complimented on it all the time too and now I get to feel that little swell of pride as I answer, "Thanks, it's a Black Beauty." instead of the embarrassment I used to feel when folks would say, "That snare sounds great, it is a Black Beauty?" and I'd have to say, "nah, it's a Pork Pie clone of a Black Beauty." For some people, sound is all that matters. For others, sound, look, and pride of ownership are all factors. If a BB is what you want, don't settle.
 

unregisteredalien

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It's happened:

L-BB.jpg


I read up on and listened to clips of every drum mentioned here, and tried all the ones I could in person. I wanted a lively brass snare and nothing breathed and sang quite like the BB. Hard to explain but this drum almost feels alive. And when I played it with a full kit it made me laugh out loud with happiness. This feels like a purchase I will never regret.

Short thoughts on the other stuff I played:

- Gretsch hammered: sounded good, but the hoops stood very tall and as many said the throw off was a bit of a joke on such an otherwise nice drum. Also the hammering made it a bit too dry for my taste. No bell brass to try, but I leaned away from heavier brass from other makers so was comfortable to leave it.

- DW: tried NOB and polished brass, nice drums and I loved the 3 way butt plate in particular, but the heavy hardware felt like it was choking the drums and they came off quite dry.

- Tama Starphonic: a really lovely drum and would be a cracker for home/studio use, but very, very dry and lacking the tone and presence that I want from my first brass drum.

- Mapex BP: only dregs of the old range remain here and the new range isn't available yet. Deemed it not worth waiting for as the Aussie distributor has put up prices and they lack the style/size options I wanted, athough the Metallion looked interesting (as did the copper Predator).

- Pearl Sensitone: very nice, very close, and if I wasn't willing to stretch the budget I might have walked away reasonably satisfied with either the NOB or the raw brass.

The serious contender that I couldn't try was the Yamaha Recording Custom: no stock and none til the end of the year. But having checked out what I could of theirs, I think I'd come back to a Yamaha RC if/when I want an aluminium option.

I decided I wasn't willing to risk it on other contenders (Inde, Pork Pie, Rogers, Worldmax, etc) which aren't in shops here. I reacted quite differently to the DW recorded vs in person and figured that could happen with any drum.

Thanks to everyone who helped me with this homework project. To all the BB guys, I'm happy to join the club! To everyone else, sorry to be so bloody predictable!
 

atomicdave

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900 bucks will get you a Slingerland COB 6.5, shipped to Aus, and with prob $400 to spare! There are other great COB snare drums, so investing that much into a new one with chinese hardware isnt worthwhile in my opinion. Even an early Ludwig 2pc brass shell snare drum can be found for around $500. I just dont understand the desire by so many to have NEW...old snare drums are around for a reason, as in they are quality produced instruments. If you are environmentally conscious, consider buying used/vintage gear as a recycling effort also.
 


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