What's the Piccolo Snare Holy Grail?

Burps

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Back in the late 90s I was looking for a new snare and I purchased a black 3”x13” Remo Mastertouch piccolo snare from Guitar Center. I so fell in love with it that I eventually bought a black Remo kit to match the snare!

When I ordered the Remo kit, the MasterTouch had been discontinued and the MasterEdge took its place. I love the kit, but I love that snare even more than the kit. I have never laid a stick on any other piccolo, so I can’t honestly compare it with any others.
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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My understanding is that a piccolo snare is 3 x 13. Having said that, David Garibaldi’s snare sound is amazing to me! Don’t know what snare(s) he recorded with, but his beautiful signature Yamaha snare was 3.5 x 14 brass with zinc die cast hoops and blue tinted shell. Unfortunately, it was discontinued and is selling for stupid prices used.

Ludwig came up with the name "Piccolo" for their 3x13 metal snare, a long time ago. Since then, all shallow-shell snares seem to be called piccolos. I don't know what to think of that.
 

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James Walker

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I don't know about "grail" status, but if you ever get the chance to grab a Legend 14x4 phosphor bronze, take it. I like it better than the shallow Pearl or Yamaha brass snares I've played.

(Someone on DFO was selling a 14x6.5 version of this drum a few years ago, and it remains one of my great "non-purchase regrets.")

14x4_legend.jpg
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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Another vote for the Pearl FF 3.5x14 Maple. 2nd Generation FF is my favorite.
Funny, I just bought a mint one (minus the batter head), off of Reverb a few weeks ago. In amazing shape - one owner. Stuck a new Remo coated vintage Emperor on it. I also have a players 14x3.5 brass FF. Missing the badge, pitting hardware, shell is corroded a bit, but still sounds and plays great. I plan on ordering a Guven 5mm cast bronze shell for the new one. Should be fun!

One other 'piccolo' came to mind. 1920's Ludwig 14x4 NOB's. I have a players 6 lug version (Universal). This drum is picky, must have diplomat heads - top and bottom. I tried amb's top and bottom, and it choked up, wasn't the same drum. With dip's, this drum is amazing, can be cranked up, tuned down, fat, very vibe-y, etc. I'm running Canopus vintage wires on it. Love it.

Screen Shot 2022-03-15 at 7.53.40 PM.png
 

Markkuliini

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I would have to disagree. I was selling them new at a family music store in the 90s, and they were always marketed and sold as piccolo drums. The “soprano” models were Masters maple shells available mostly in Liquid Amber (occasionally other finishes), in 10” and 12” sizes. Yes the 3x13s sound fine (the brass is the best one), but are nothing compared to the Noble Cooley I mentioned — and of course they were a lot cheaper as well so it stands to reason that they don’t compare.


I agree. I have both Pearl 13x3 Brass and N&C piccolo from late 80's (pictured). Pearl is ok for hiphop/drum and bass stuff, but quite limited tuning-wise, and naturally it doesn't have much bottom end. It definitely has it's place, and I dig it too.
But...
N&C is on the whole another level. REALLY versatile, tunes great up and down. Quick but beefy. Sounds superb!
I feel like I can copy the Pearl's sounds with most 3" deep drums, but haven't yet found anything that could touch N&C.

IMG_20191010_142306_20200516131428859.jpg
 
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If we are calling 4x14 a piccolo?

Drum Paradise has an Arnie Lang that everyone was using on records in the 90's. That is when (and why) many "signature" 4x14's first appeared (Erskine, JR, Vinnie, etc....)
The Brady Jarrah ply 4x14 from "Two Princes."
The Sonor Bronze (while very expensive) is well regarded.
The original Gretsch Max Roach 4x14 is sought after, but I have been told had some issues with the strainer placement.
The 4x14 1920's Black Beauty that went from Papa Jo, to Cobham, to John Riley to ??? is a pretty great sounding drum.
Larrie Londin had a 1920's BB that was 4x15 that he loved.
Vinnie's Walnut Longo was a 4 or a 4.5 from what I remember, and sounded GREAT!
The original Ludwig Downbeat is 4x14, and sounds great, the lug style makes it a little temperamental though.
Isn't the Smitty Copper a 4x14?
Erskine loves 4" snares, as does John Riley, Tain, as do I. I also have a solid Cherry 8 lug 4x14 that is AMAZING!!!

There are 5 pictured here.
IMG_1271.JPG

MSG
 
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Trilock_Gurtu

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If we are calling 4x14 a piccolo?

Drum Paradise has an Arnie Lang that everyone was using on records in the 90's. That is when (and why) many "signature" 4x14's first appeared (Erskine, JR, Vinnie, etc....)
The Brady Jarrah ply 4x14 from One Headlight.
The Sonor Bronze (while very expensive) is well regarded.
The original Gretsch Max Roach 4x14 is sought after, but I have been told had some issues with the strainer placement.
The 4x14 1920's Black Beauty that went from Papa Jo, to Cobham, to John Riley to ??? is a pretty great sounding drum.
Larrie Londin had a 1920's BB that was 4x15 that he loved.
Vinnie's Walnut Longo was a 4 or a 4.5 from what I remember, and sounded GREAT!
The original Ludwig Downbeat is 4x14, and sounds great, the lug style makes it a little temperamental though.
Isn't the Smitty Copper a 4x14?
Erskine loves 4" snares, as does John Riley, Tain, as do I. I also have a solid Cherry 8 lug 4x14 that is AMAZING!!!

There are 5 pictured here.
View attachment 552793
MSG
One Headlight was a N&C maple SS piccolo. That's from Matt Chamberlain's mouth. But, Two Princess, another amazing piccolo sound was a Brady jarrah ply, according to Aaron Comess.
 

wflkurt

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I have a 1959 Ludwig Las Vegas model 4x13 that sounds great. I used to own a 1960 Ludwig downbeat 4x14 that was such a great drum. I really never should have sold it. I would love to own a gretsch Max Roach in champagne to go with my progressive jazz set but I can't afford one of those right now and I have other things I need to buy. If the yard sale Gods are listening.....
 


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