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

unregisteredalien

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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.
It isn't a fetish for new. As others have noted, the 2nd hand market is very lacking here, and I'm taking a big risk and incurring heavy shipping charges if I buy used from overseas.

With respect, having compared Mapex and Gretsch hardware up close and personal I don't think "Chinese hardware" is any kind of insult.

As for single piece vs 2pc/welded (if that is the distinction you're drawing) I made a call based on what my ears told me.
 

funkypoodle

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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.
That's the ultimate seal of approval! I have had gut reactions like this when playing my LM410 & LM402. 43 years after trying to get my first "stencil" snare to sound like a snare it's pure bliss. To top it off the Imperial lug is an object of timeless beauty. Life is short & you ultimately got the one you desired. Kudos!
 

itsjjp

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A "new" used Slingerland COB snare with 8 lugs. 10 lugs are unnecessary and 8 luggers resonate way better. Well under the target price even for one in mint condition. I would not pay more than $500, and for that price it would need to be all original, except maybe the heads, and in excellent to near perfect condition. Most come in between $300 and $400 with some signs of use. Don't buy a beater when amazing ones don't cost much more.
 

Chasforeman

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Recently, at my local music store, I asked my favorite drum employee to play a Ludwig Supraphonic, a Raw Brass, and a Mapex Sledgehammer in a random order while I stood on the other side of the room with my back turned. I did not want to be influenced by appearance. I chose the Raw Brass on sound alone and, in my opinion, it looks the best. I think it sounded warmer than the Supraphonic. The Mapex was too loud for me. I'd love to do this blind experiment at Memphis Drum Shop where they have one of everything.
 

damespointkid

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Having played most of those mentioned and having owned my fair share of BBs, including a couple of 70's, I've truly missed 2: Joyful Noise and A&F.
But honestly, I still have a 6.5x14 hammered BB that is a workhorse. It will be one that I keep around. Now I just need to get back the others :)
 

Deafmoon

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Don't drive yourself nuts trying all these brands. First decide what sound you desire. That is determined not by brand but by the thickness of the shell. Ludwig's are very thin, maybe 1.6mm? Gretsch bell Brass is 3mm. Some of Ahead snare drums are that thick as well. If that is the sound you want, you can narrow your choices much faster. Sadly though, I can't even get to a shop to hear the difference anymore for my own ears. And I'm in New York! You have to rely on You Tube or travel to a super shop like we have in New England with Portsmouth Drum Center to lay out comparisons. Youtube can work, but stay focussed on the sound you want not on the individual or their talents, or lack of, in demonstrating the drum. Peace.
 

Deafmoon

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Recently, at my local music store, I asked my favorite drum employee to play a Ludwig Supraphonic, a Raw Brass, and a Mapex Sledgehammer in a random order while I stood on the other side of the room with my back turned. I did not want to be influenced by appearance. I chose the Raw Brass on sound alone and, in my opinion, it looks the best. I think it sounded warmer than the Supraphonic. The Mapex was too loud for me. I'd love to do this blind experiment at Memphis Drum Shop where they have one of everything.
The raw is a very warm sound. If you want a real dry sound with that, check out a 6.5" Acrophonic without the chrome finish. Another great sound, in my opinion.
 

Chasforeman

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The raw is a very warm sound. If you want a real dry sound with that, check out a 6.5" Acrophonic without the chrome finish. Another great sound, in my opinion.
Very nice. I like the dryness of aluminum shells and the hammered effect takes it to another level! The hammered appearance is beautiful too. With a little muffling, the Raw is very versatile.
 

Slingwig26

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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!
You could probably find an old Slingerland Sound King COB fairly inexpensively over Ludwig and Yamaha. I have a 5x14 and I love it!
 

Redbeard77

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Recently, at my local music store, I asked my favorite drum employee to play a Ludwig Supraphonic, a Raw Brass, and a Mapex Sledgehammer in a random order while I stood on the other side of the room with my back turned. I did not want to be influenced by appearance. I chose the Raw Brass on sound alone and, in my opinion, it looks the best. I think it sounded warmer than the Supraphonic. The Mapex was too loud for me. I'd love to do this blind experiment at Memphis Drum Shop where they have one of everything.
Was that at Lone Star Percussion? I haven't been since COVID started, but they usually have a good selection for such a small store, plus some boutique brands like Q, A&F and Dunnett that you don't see often.
 

Chasforeman

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Was that at Lone Star Percussion? I haven't been since COVID started, but they usually have a good selection for such a small store, plus some boutique brands like Q, A&F and Dunnett that you don't see often.
Sadly, no. I tried to wait it out. Lone Star's showroom is shut down currently. Ghost Note in Denton is, too. I supported Guitar Center because I wanted to listen in person and they actually had those in stock. However, I may have walked out with something different than the Raw Brass (very happy with it) if I went to one of the other shops.
 

Brien B

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In the 80's/90's I played a 1930's Ludwig NOB for years as my gigging snare drum and only changed rims and heads from original.
I recently bought a used Slingerland brass piccolo snare that had a "made in Taiwan" sticker on the inside shell. I was bummed, until I threw a new strainer, snares and heads and tuned it up. It was awesome.

Here is what I have learned in my old age. Brass shells have a unique "sweet" sound no matter what you get.
My opinion, go with what sounds great to you and what makes you happy. I personally fall into the buy a used Slingerland etc. camp. but I don't think you will go wrong with whatever you pick.
 

Huwman

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I bought a 6.5" BB back in the 90s as I heard it demonstrated in a shop and it was an instantly 'that' sound - no messing about.

I have bought and sold a few drums since then, but tellingly never parted with the old standard BB. So far I've owned and sold (as they didn't really cut it in my - reasonably loud - band:

Ludwig Acrolite 5" 1970's
Ludwig 400 1960s
Ludwig 402 1970s
Another Ludwig 400 - but 1970s
Another Acrolite 5" 1970's
Ludwig hammered bronze 6.5"
Pearl free floater maple
Ludwig Classic Maple
Ludwig 6.5" Acrolite

selling: Ludwig COB 'Brass Edition' 400 - it's very, very good but still lacking some oomph next to the BB - go figure.

So I now have a fairly new LM402 and the stalwart Black Beauty, and this is a perfect line-up depending what I need for recording or live. I personally steer away from hammered snares as you can always damp down to that level, but you can't dial in wetness to a dry snare --- it's the daft overtones which partly keep a black beauty alive and above the mix in all live situations you can find yourself in.
 

MarkBock

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Don't rule out the Pork Pie Black over Brass snares or Worldmax - I put together a snare with some hardware and a Worldmax shell that sounds great. You will be well below budget with one of those!
I love my Pork Pie Big Black. 6.5 x14, buy new for less than US$300....in the US, anyway....
 

BennyK

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I'd go for a seamless spun shell with sharply defined edges . Doesn't matter what brand, but Ludwig seems to have that ' thing ' . Whether this is psychologically driven or not is an ongoing debate . I've had producers and engineers specify a BB for some situations .

Taiwanese World Max nickel over brass are phenomenal .
 

DrummerAt125

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One of the Pork Pie customs will be in that price range, and they’re exceptional. The forced patina brass they do in 14x6.5 is truly world class and looks amazing.
 

David M Scott

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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!
Look at Mapex Brass Cat. just bought one and blown away by sound and sensitivity. Its my new “one size fits all” .. the bearing edges almost let the heads float so theres no flat tones. Hardware is superb with dual strainer control that Has quick “lock in place” Gladstone style throwoff And “micrometer click” adjustments that really do give you many options such as being able to give the batter head great sound as if low, medium or high By leaving the head in the
medium position. check it out in YouTube. Im a believer.. at age 80.
 

BYD213

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Don't even get me started on Ludwig strainers, I mean, it literally takes 2 hands to engage it - and you sometimes have to grab the housing and shake it to help it along!
 

emada

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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?
To my ear, COB would be preferable to either distinct chrome or brass. They’re buttery!
In the 80's/90's I played a 1930's Ludwig NOB for years as my gigging snare drum and only changed rims and heads from original.
I recently bought a used Slingerland brass piccolo snare that had a "made in Taiwan" sticker on the inside shell. I was bummed, until I threw a new strainer, snares and heads and tuned it up. It was awesome.

Here is what I have learned in my old age. Brass shells have a unique "sweet" sound no matter what you get.
My opinion, go with what sounds great to you and what makes you happy. I personally fall into the buy a used Slingerland etc. camp. but I don't think you will go wrong with whatever you pick.
NOB...that’s the real winning combo.
 

Old Dog

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I love my Pork Pie Big Black. 6.5 x14, buy new for less than US$300....in the US, anyway....
I just purchased a NOB Pork Pie in that size. EXCELLENT. I only have a Pearl Brass Sensitone to compare it to. Both have been mentioned and both are GREAT for their price. I got each at about $250, both used.
 


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