What is the Best Wood Shell Snare Regardless of Cost

blueshadow

Just Shuffling along
Staff member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,895
Reaction score
2,377
Location
North of Austin, Texas
I'm partial to metal snares but have owned a few wood snares and have played a few either on backline or on friends kits that I liked. For the most part either a thick ply shell like a Ludwig Classic or a solid 1 ply shell sound best to me. I did play a gig where the backline snare was a 60's 5x14 Ludwig Pioneer 6 lug, that drum sounded really really good
 

DavedrumsTX

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
262
Reaction score
300
Location
Dallas, Texas
Mine is the Cleveland Powertone followed closely by my Gretsch 1960's maple snare
Best is a relative word. Favorite is probably more fitting. Mine is my 66 Jazz Festival. I’ve owned Craviotto, N&C, you name it. It’s my favorite.
1617105396768.jpeg
My favorite all around is my Joyful Noise Blackbird Studio Model
1617105536948.jpeg
 

Vintage Old School

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
51
"Best" is a contextual phrase for me as in describing the best tool to accomplish a specific job.
That being said my favorite “best” wood snares (in no particular order):

Segmented Shells:
SOTA: Walnut, (2) African Padauk
Guru: African Padauk, Ash/Ovangkol, (2) Ovangkol
DW: Bamboo

Steambent Solid Shells
Noble & Cooley: Cherry, Maple, (2) Walnut
Dunnett: Cocobolo
Joyful Noise: Mahogany
Craviotto: Birdseye Curly Maple, Curly Walnut
Carolina Drumworks: Birdseye Maple, Walnut

Ply Shells:
Stone Custom: Koa/Cherry
Noble & Cooley: Horizon Maple/Mahogany
Dunnett: Jarrah/Ebony
 

fusseltier

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Messages
209
Reaction score
90
Location
Earth
I've had steel, poplar, maple, and walnut snares, and depths from 5 inches to 8 inches.
But hands down the best sounding and playing snare I've owned is my Tama Star Walnut 14x6.5 snare drum, which I got to have a matching snare with my shells I ordered, and it blew me away it sounded so good and better than I expected it to sound.
I got it just to make my set match, which wasn't necessary, but I'm glad I did.
Tama Star Walnut 14x6.5.
 

Monday317

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
96
Reaction score
65
Location
Western PA
EASY!

The one you love best is the best. For me, it's the Pearl Omar Hakim signature snare; 13" x 5" mahogany-ply. Nothing beats it IMHO and anyone who disagrees should admit their inner desire to be a bass player.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,833
Reaction score
1,750
Location
SF Bay Area
EASY!

The one you love best is the best. For me, it's the Pearl Omar Hakim signature snare; 13" x 5" mahogany-ply. Nothing beats it IMHO and anyone who disagrees should admit their inner desire to be a bass player.
You're completely right. I had the Hakim snare, loved it, and still want to be a bass player (and a guitarist), but I'm a drummer too!
 

Zeroesque

Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
8
I pragmatically cut down the studio collection from a few dozen snares to just 6 over the last couple years. Seems like guys only pull the few priciest things off the shelf (Dunnett Titanium, Ludwig Brass Millennium, etc.). I kept those and a couple personal favorites, one of which is probably my desert island snare of any material:

20210330_075652.jpg
20210330_075709.jpg
20210330_075718.jpg
20210330_075728.jpg
20210330_075837.jpg


Given the badge, arrangement of the controls/hardware, and the fact that it doesn't have any trace of paint (or label) on the interior, I can't figure out what year or even which model this is. There is no sign of modification or re-drilling. I put the Premier low-profile die-cast hoops on. This thing could be a knockoff for all I know, and it wouldn't matter. It just sounds like the snare in my head.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,833
Reaction score
1,750
Location
SF Bay Area
I pragmatically cut down the studio collection from a few dozen snares to just 6 over the last couple years. Seems like guys only pull the few priciest things off the shelf (Dunnett Titanium, Ludwig Brass Millennium, etc.). I kept those and a couple personal favorites, one of which is probably my desert island snare of any material:

View attachment 492375 View attachment 492376 View attachment 492377 View attachment 492378 View attachment 492379

Given the badge, arrangement of the controls/hardware, and the fact that it doesn't have any trace of paint (or label) on the interior, I can't figure out what year or even which model this is. There is no sign of modification or re-drilling. I put the Premier low-profile die-cast hoops on. This thing could be a knockoff for all I know, and it wouldn't matter. It just sounds like the snare in my head.
Somebody identify that drum! JDA?
 

Corbin L Douthitt

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
178
Reaction score
84
Location
Texas
Mine is the Cleveland Powertone followed closely by my Gretsch 1960's maple snare
Best? the one in the GO bag when I grab it.. kinda like asking 'what is the best hammer?" or " What is the best pick up truck?"- whatcha gonna use it for?
 

microkit

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
6
I have been in a bit of a maple kick lately . Rediscovering how great maple is for snare drums and drums sets .

I'd be curious to hear what else you use and what the order of popularity is. I've always been interested in recording and its neat to hear "this microphone works 70% of the time and if not that its A or B".
 

Jackal Jack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
130
Reaction score
101
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
My personal favourite (the best for me) is a 5.5x14 Premier 2001, early 70's African Mahogany era. Great tuning range, and even when cranked up it retains a nice richness/fatness. The flobeam strainer is brilliant (once dialled in) and most importantly - the sound makes me happy, so haven't really looked at anything else since, at least in wood snares. Just hoping it doesn't need replacement wires anytime soon!
 

pwc1141

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
1,536
Location
Pattaya, Thailand
Just to respond to the comments on the acrylic logo on my Brady snare as a "sticker" .... from the internal label with date and serial number, the first thing I did when I got it was to contact Brady drums who confirmed the drum was genuinely one of theirs ....:)
 

Deafmoon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
1,119
If you ask a world class musician of say...oh, Herbie Hancock. He will probably tell you a Gretsch 6-1/2" snare. I say that because he specifically asked Brian Blade to go get one!
 


Top