Tried 20 snares - unexpected results

Chasforeman

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I hate to say this...but I bet if you tried all these drums again while on the gig, you might make a different choice. But all you can do is all you can do. I have tested 15-20 cymbals at one time twice. Both times...I got so confused it was waaay frustrating. Not only confusing but your ears get tired and are not as accurate at the end as they were in the beginning. You were lucky you found someone to work with you at the store. Even some drum shops can be touchy that way. :)
You bet my taste changes. However, I went in with a specific sound/contrasting features to my main snare in mind and that helped streamline the process. I did the same with cymbals at Memphis Drum Shop and had a fantastic time.
 

Treviso1

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Well Done!
I had a similar experience with a snare I was surprised by.
I wrote a lengthy explanation for a review. Reminded me of your experience;

View attachment 519389

OCDP 25-ply Maple snare:
it’s a shame that this drum has some embarrassing provenance. Sure it sucks that it’s only available new thru MUsicians Friend or GC. Sometimes that invokes a less-than-legit-for-passionate-musicians connotation. And I agree the vents lacking any kind of grommet make it look like rodents are responsible for the vents look.
I also agree that 25 seems like some arbitrarily huge number of plys for the sake of making a thick shell just to add heft and smother out personality.
There is nothing sexy about the shark tooth lugs nor the sparkle fade wrap.
And yet...
I have a collection of 31 snare drums including the classic Ludwig LM’s, brass snares, signature snares, even a couple of lofty collectibles, but all players with use and time in the studio and on the road. I don’t collect them to display, but to play.
And here is how I came across this generic, unsexy drum.
I was doing a session for a band and once my parts were tracked, the producer asked if I wanted to replace the snare sound on the tracks with something else. The tracks, recorded using an LM-402, were fine, but since we had a dozen snare samples at our fingertips, why not experiment.
Among the bell brass and 1920’s big band, and Craviottos, were some average drums.
We pulled them in and they all brought a different personality.
Then we brought in this OCDP vented 25 ply snare via pro-tools sample.
It had it all. The attack, tuned to a G, the depth, the resonance, sustain, it gave life to the tracks that was already good, and made them bounce.
So impressed with the sound that when that same band asked me to do their tour in support of the record, I sought out the drum that had been flown in on the record. Found it at, yes, Guitar Center, and bought it just to replicate their record to the truest level I could as a player.
Well that snare proved to be amazing.
It so rarely needed tuning that I found myself going several gigs in a row without even checking the lugs, and when I did, rarely did I ever tweak more than a fraction.
House engineers praised it, the monitor mixer guys bragged on it, and other drummers were surprised by it even after laughing at the thickness of the shell.
Cross sticking is AWESOME on this drum. Ghost notes are soft and beautiful.
Another embarrassment is Guitar Center/Musicians friend videos that demo the drum and only talk about it’s projection, as if it’s only made for, and only competent at LOUD! What a joke. This drum is so much more versatile than that and they completely missed the boat.
I have several favorite snares, and some I like better. But this wallflower of a snare is in my top 5, and that’s with no sex appeal, no collectibility, and no rich history or lineage. It’s just so damn good at all the things it does well, so reliable, and demonstrates how you just never know what a drum is truly capable of till you put it through a crucible of road gigs.
I love this bastard of a snare drum.
I have owned several multi-plied drums over the years, starting with a really great Ayotte wood hoop 36 ply drum that I had years ago and most recently this OCDP drum that I picked up used for under $200 shipped. While I immediately got rid of the Chinese Remo junk heads and wires that it shipped with, teamed up with a Remo Coated Reverse CS and hazy Ambassador bottom, along with Canopus Vintage chrome wires...damn, this drum sounds incredible and plays beautifully. I agree with your assessment in that it really surprised me too. However, you mentioned that it's a sparkle wrap...this is not correct. It is a sparkle fade lacquer finish...not a wrap.
At any rate, as someone who owns many expensive premium snare drums of all makes, wood types, metals, cast shells, I have to say that this is really a great, special drum. It's got to be the cheapest drum I own, but easily in the top 25% sonically, at least to my ears.
 
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pwc1141

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I have never done such a live comparison but have played and owned many, many snare drums over the years and for sure my tastes have changed along the way. I hope for the better but maybe its my ears. Who knows but I am glad you settled on one you like just as I have with my single snare possession these days.
 

Chasforeman

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@pwc1141 "single snare possession these days"
Which is?

I'd love to do it again and take one of you guys with me to listen and play and be able to reciprocate the favor.
 

gbow

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Yep, snare drums are a finicky thing... The heads on the drums can alter the sound dramatically, and the tuning.

There have been many times when I've taken a snare that someone else "hated" and tuned it for them and it became their favorite snare.

Some snares just have a narrow range they sound good at. I have a metal snare that tuned how I tune most snares and it sounds awful. Tune the bottom head to about 375 at the lugs and the batter head to a fundamental of about 187 or so and it sounds fantastic. Tune the batter down to 184 or up to 192 and it sounds horrible! It only "sings" at 187. So not the most versatile snare, but can be made to sound great.

These kinds of things are why you come back tomorrow and the one you like changes. Because overnight, with temperature changes, humidity changes, etc., they change tuning and they all sound different again.

But this is a great thing to do. It all ads to your experience with drums. If you live long enough, tune enough, listen in critical situations like this enough, you'll eventually get pretty good at making any of them sound good.

gabo
 


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