What Is Your Most Played Snare and Why?

CC Cirillo

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Notice I did not ask your favorite, or most valuable, or most collectable, or the one most likely to wow your forum mates, or even your best sounding snare drum. I'm asking what is the snare you play the most, and why?

In other words, no Case Queens. Maybe it's your cheapest snare because you keep your kit at a shared practice space in the skanky part of town, or maybe it's a grail snare you have in your home studio.
For me it is my 1969 Acrolite. I bought this used for a pretty good price and took it completely down to the shell. The badge was loose and swiveled around, so I made a bolt and washer contraption to spread the rivet and make it snug. That right there, the work to get it running, helped us bond.

I have five other snares, ranging from an old Pioneer to a Black Beauty. My brass drums
come out for the bigger venue gigs, but it's this basic Acrolite that sees the most stand time at almost all my rehearsals in the three to four projects that have tolerated my playing over the last five years.

Why this drum? Let's start with the sound. For me, with a Vintage Ambassador and some Puresounds, I can keep it tuned quite dry and muffled enough that it won't take off anyone's head at close quarter rehearsal's. Yet it still has some good crack and resonance, which really helps when you want to drive a band, especially at lower volume. It’s still rock and roll.
Good crack at a lower volume. That’s key. I'm not saying this from only hearing it on the throne, but I know it delivers out where my band sits. I know this because I have bandmates who are drummers, and any time I step away from my kit I come back and someone's playing it. This is a great boon to help one's tuning.
There is a lot of variation across the head: some open ring near the rim, crisp articulation a few inches in, and a good, chubby 70’s backbeat dead center. That versatility is crucial for me in a covers band and also important since I typically play a bikini kit at rehearsals.
Because of these attributes, I’ve also used it with great success at lower volume gigs where there is no sound reinforcement.
Lastly, its light to carry and affordable if it had to be replaced. If Lao Tzu played drums, he’d probably use an Acrolite. The Tao remains unchanged.
That’s mine; what’s yours and why?
 

JDA

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with my mini-set I like 6.5 WFL 6L
With my larger set I like 5.5x14 Gretsch RB.
all wood always (unless pistol to head..)
I think the larger 6.5 timbre fits the smaller set.
The larger set the quick snap of the 5.5 suits

So there's "overall" Set (+snare) consideration.
Not a snare "alone" . Appear's to be a holistic collection
feels to me.
Also the vintage snare mates with the vintage timbre of (rest of) one (the small) set.
A more modern approach with the other much newer (larger) set.

Or it's just wtf I have : )
make do with what have.

I feel this about snares tho. Dimension is 1st factor
ten 5 1/2 x14's.... versus ...4 snares of varying depths ...< the latter, is the larger "sound" variety.
I see many with 25 5x14 snares. (or 10 7x14 snares..
that's repetitive to me.
Need different steps in sizes
to enact real differences between snares

metal/ wood/ size
the 3 1st decisions
 
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EvEnStEvEn

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I have 70-something snares to choose from, but my 6.5 Dynasonic has done nearly every gig since it got it a couple years ago. Its a 1980 model.

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On the home kit it's whatever strikes my fancy - but I'm still having fun with this 6.5 maple stave I bought at Christmas, it gets daily play.

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Ptrick

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Probably the most gigged snare over the last 20 years has been my Yamaha 14x6.5 copper snare I stripped the lacquer off of and patina’d using liver of sulfur (in 2006-long before Ludwig lol).
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In the last year or so, it would definitely be one of my cast bronze snares. And I can see them getting played for the next 20 years...

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James Walker

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Most of my drum set work in recent years has been on orchestra gigs, on which I'm often called to cover "section" percussion from the drum kit, so last year I built myself a drum with a 14x6.5" Keller birch shell and outfitted it with two snare strainers - one with conventional wire snares, the other with cable snares for the orchestral stuff. This way I have both sounds available without having to schlep two different drums, and without having to find space in my setup (often at a premium on my orchestra gigs) for a second snare drum.

(My next purchase: a couple of the new Drum Foundry arch throwoffs, to replace the functional but not-so-aesthetically-pleasing strainers currently on the drum.)
 

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DWSlingerland45

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Right now it's a Yamaha RC 8x14 it's been on the stand for about 6 months straight. I mention it only because years ago when I was gigging I played a 5x24 Supraphonic that I bought for 50 bucks in 1988 or so. I put cable snares on it and played it exclusively for YEARS .... Probably 4 days/ nights a week either practice or gigging for 8 years straight... I sold it when I took a break from playing around 2000 or so... Wish I had it back.
 

Ang

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1990’s Ludwig 6.5” x 14” hammered bronze with imperial lugs and triple flanged hoops.
Clean sounding drum that can be tuned low or cranked high. It’s sensitive everywhere you play it, I’ve been working on learning to play jazz and this is a great drum for that, I used to play it in a lot of rock/alternative bands years ago.
 
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halldorl

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The most used these days is the Gretsch USA Bell Brass. Kinda does it all and then some. Mic’s love it, sound engineers love it, I love it. But I have only had it for a few months so ...

The Tama Star solid shell Maple 6.5x14” is the one I have used by far the most the past years.

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DrummerJustLikeDad

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It has always been my dad’s 1968 Ludwig Acrolite, but since coming home with a brand new snare from Maxwells last year, I’ve set my dad’s aside (To baby it, more than anything).

Maxwells told me the one I bought is the one they used in their sound file, which is still uploaded on this now-expired listing.

She sure sings pretty. I’m so thankful I was able to get it.

 

drawtheline55

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Right now my go to snare and gig out snare is a Yamaha recording custom Brass, 6/1/2x13
yes 13" and I am not usually a 13" kind of guy. Got it a while ago from DCP, Shane has always said
when Yamaha hits it right, they hit it right, he was correct.
 

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