What is the Best Sounding Steel Snare

kenshireen1

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I have a large snare drum collection but only have 2 steel snares: Super 10 and a Sonor D506.
I am searching out a couple of more and would like some opinions are to the best sounding steel snare drums.

thank you in advance
 

Mcjnic

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Tama King Beat Steel Snare ... vintage ... mine is from 1979. Phenomenal snare. Extremely heavy seamless shell with a great sensitive parallel snare mech, die cast top and bottom hoops. Outstanding sensitivity and unbelievably full sound.

EDIT: snare specs
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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The Sonor Prolite steel shell
Model is the best steel shell snare I have tried . I really dislike steel shell snares typically , the Prolite being the exception .
 

Glassman

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I have a first generation Pearl Free-Floating 6.5 x 14 with steel shell and it sounds amazing to my ears. Bright, articulate, etc. I also have a 1983 Tama Mastercraft 5 x 14 (cast hoops, extended wires, etc) and would love to find a 6.5" someday. Too cheap to pay what they cost now.
 

KillinBill66

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I'd recommend the Gretsch Brooklyn Steel snares. 2mm thick shells. And reasonably priced.
 

michaelg

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Tama King Beat Steel Snare ... vintage ... mine is from 1979. Phenomenal snare. Extremely heavy shell with a great sensitive snare mech. Outstanding sensitivity and unbelievably full sound.
Just before lockdown I snagged a Swingstar snare which I believe has the very same shell as the king beat. Haven't managed to gig with it yet but its a heavy duty drum. What hoops are on your king beat and what heads you running on it ? I put on a new Emperor on mine but that was almost too snug a fit and it was a wrestle to get the head seated.
 

Cauldronics

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There are many. I've had the Sonor D506 and a welded shell 70's Pearl 5.5x14. I like the Pearl much more and didn't keep the Sonor.
 

TPC

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Tama King Beat Steel Snare ... vintage ... mine is from 1979. Phenomenal snare. Extremely heavy shell with a great sensitive snare mech. Outstanding sensitivity and unbelievably full sound.
This would’ve been my answer as well. I have the “super sensitive” version and love it. It is HEAVY. Die casts top and bottom. I generally run a coated Emp on top, but for a while I used a vintage calf Head and it was glorious on that drum.
 

BennyK

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I own an earlier 80's 6.5 x 14 TAMA Mastercraft that won't be leaving . I've had the 5" Imperialstar with the regular wire system . The SS Mastercraft extended roller adds it a bit more of everything . Seamless shells both . The Mastercraft came with cast hoops top and bottom , I switched the snare side for a Yamaha aluminum but use the original on top .

The Rogers Supertens are outstanding too .
 

Tama CW

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I like the Tama '77-'86 Master Craft / KB snares as well. I have one Mastercraft 5.0" and a King Beat 6.5". Like them both.....sometimes.

But of course the Supraphonic and Dynasonic should get a nod. Though tuning the Dyna can take some time. I tried the Dyna for about 6 months and finally tired of it. Always seemed a bit choked and overly dry no matter how I tuned it.

I'll toss a Slingerland in here......the Aluminum 8/10 luggers from the late 60's to 1970's. One of those 8 uggers just pushed my Supra off the Jazz kit snare stand. Quite a rim crack and snappy resonance to that little "student" snare drum.
And it's using the original cheap plastic Slingerland heads and 16 strand wires. And it's a precise and loud beast. I don't think it's as dry as an Acro though. Very similar though. I tried a Slingerland Super Sound King brass....just didn't like it.
The simple throw and snare wires on the Slingerland aluminum gives me less snare buzz than the Ludwig metals. It's just an easy drum to tune and play.

I've also tried most of the Yamaha metal snares from the 1980's including SD296 14x6.5 steel, SD 498 (14x8 brass monster), and SD-765 (14x6.5). I liked the intermediate level SD-765 as the best one I've had yet. Doesn't have all the fancy
wires, adjusters, hoops of the other models. But it works.
 

dirtysicks

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I’ve had the Mastercraft and the King Beat. Currently I have a 6.5x14 10 Imperialstar Steel with the same shell but with a basic strainer. I also have a 5x14 Mastercraft (again, same Seamless Steel shell) that I bought for $40. I added some lugs and a basic strainer. They both sound superb. Some of the best sounding drums regardless of shell.
 

pgm554

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I have a first generation Pearl Free-Floating 6.5 x 14 with steel shell and it sounds amazing to my ears. Bright, articulate, etc. I also have a 1983 Tama Mastercraft 5 x 14 (cast hoops, extended wires, etc) and would love to find a 6.5" someday. Too cheap to pay what they cost now.
You hit the holy grail of steel drums.
 


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