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What's the Piccolo Snare Holy Grail?

T-Dub

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cpk313

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I have a solid copper shell DW 4x14 that I think is pretty badass. My former drum teacher who passed a few years ago was a very good friend of Joe Morello and I was told it had been his. I have no way of verifying that so a helping of salt goes with that tail. Regardless it is a fantastic snare, it's heavy, probably 20+ lbs. I've had/have some other nice 4x14's, a solid aluminum shelled Trick snare, very loud, and I have a maple DW 4x14 which is also very nice but the solid copper shell snare is something special.
 

Matched Gripper

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I don’t know about holy grail. But I’ve got a Pearl steel 3x13 I bought for $70. Whenever I’ve needed a piccolo (not often) it has sounded exactly like a piccolo. I have another 4x14 but it is way more than a piccolo.
The black one? If so, great drum for the $!
 

jeffh

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One of my favorite builds: a 4x13 Padauk stave. Padauk is one of the most beautiful sounding tonewoods, and this one had a 3/8" thick shell to give it some extra punchiness. Diecasts, Trick multi, and bearing edges that allowed a wide tuning range. Wouldn't mind doing another (or a few) of these sometime. :) This drum lives in Nashville now, and I still miss it.

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cruddola

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I have an old 3rd-hand brass Yammie 935 on my Tour Custom kit at my sister's basement studio in Wisconsin. Right next to her piano that cost more than the dump i live in. Guitar Center guy was offering the seller a lousy 80 bucks. The seller wanted 125. I gave the buyer 150. It's all I had in my wallet. Guitar Center drum guy was mighty pissed that i showed up to spend overtime money.

Can't compare it to others as it's the only pic-snare I've ever owned. But I love what it gives me. I've used it for country and folk more than any of my snares. It's absolute killer with brushes on DYI coated Diplos on top and a clear Ambo on the bottom.
 
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stinkingbadges

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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.")

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I was about to post about mine. I purchased this drum from legendary DFO contributor Tommy Wells before he passed away several years ago. My only negotiation with him was that he had to sign it for me. He laughed and said he would but it would probably make the drum worthless! A lot of folk on here now may not know of Tommy but he was a first-call studio drummer in Nashville and came out of Detroit in the early R&B years.
His PRO thread on here was a must-read.
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Drum Mer

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That is the later seamed A version.

I had a two of the first gen seamless version (the same as the regular brass model pictured above).

I sold them as I found to be too much of a one trick pony.

I never heard of the lugs of the sd493 bending, but someone might have had that issue with a blue monday model.

All models sell for about the same prices anyway these days if you have some patience.

The regular brass is harder to find than the DG and 493 I noticed.
 

Vintage Old School

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This is my Holy Grail piccolo snare: a custom built Joyful Noise 4" X 14" Black Nickel plated Luminary shell. It is absolutely amazing!
There is a long story about this but I'll give you the Reader's Digest version. I won a Luminary snare drum after submitting a review of auditioning
a TKO snare drum. Curt Waltrip contacted me and said I could spec out a Luminary so with little forethought I blurted out how I would love a Black Nickel
Luminary 4" X 14". Curt graciously accepted the challenge and despite several hurdles delivered this beauty. Because of all the trouble I caused Curt with
this project I recommended he name it Monkey Wrench, but he wisely chose to call it Patience: #1 of one. This one is going to my grave with me.

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"Patience"
 
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nuthinmuffin

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Funny how we take in music in random ways... Recently while shopping I've noticed a lot of songs with cranked up high pitched snares..piccolos I'm assuming... While these aren't my home base, I really love 4x14's..truly believe they're a magical size for snares... Having said this...I wonder for those who LOVE Piccolo Snares, what is "THE" drum or drums that define this world???

Pearl 3 x 13 Maple in Liquid Amber...puts many "better drums to shame. $109 new in 1993

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Yamaha SD 493 3.5 x 14 Brass...one of the all time best. Dave Weckl's go to snare before they came out with his signature Aluminum drums. $275 in 1986

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I have owned and recorded with both and can attest to the sound of these 2 drums...if you want a badass sound on a budget, find the Pearl online used and impress yourself.
 
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dingaling

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I have 4 piccolos that I’ve collected over 30 years. N&C SS from the 90’s of course, Brady Jaharra, Sonor Cast Bronze, and a Sonor lite in Birch. All are winners, all sound different, all are at the top of the heap IMO.

I also have a vintage Ludwig downbeat but it’s not the best sounding drum IMO.
 

Matched Gripper

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That is the later seamed A version.

I had a two of the first gen seamless version (the same as the regular brass model pictured above).

I sold them as I found to be too much of a one trick pony.

I never heard of the lugs of the sd493 bending, but someone might have had that issue with a blue monday model.

All models sell for about the same prices anyway these days if you have some patience.

The regular brass is harder to find than the DG and 493 I noticed.
Oh! I thought all DG snares were all seamless. How can you tell the seamless from the seamed?
 

Darren

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Funny how we take in music in random ways... Recently while shopping I've noticed a lot of songs with cranked up high pitched snares..piccolos I'm assuming... While these aren't my home base, I really love 4x14's..truly believe they're a magical size for snares... Having said this...I wonder for those who LOVE Piccolo Snares, what is "THE" drum or drums that define this world???
Right here my friend!!!
 

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David M Scott

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It's been argued here in the past as to what size constitutes a true "piccolo" snare drum. If 14" is acceptable, then I would concur that the N&C 3.75x14 SS ("Phil Collins snare") is right there at the top. The 3.5x14 Pearl Free Floating brass or maple snare is also up there, along with older Yamaha 3.5x14 brass piccolos. For 13" snares, my choice would be a 3x13" Ludwig Classic Maple. I really like the sound of DW's carbon fiber Pi snare, but that's probably too new to qualify for the "Holy Grail" category.
Then there's the snare that wasn't supposed to sound like a Piccolo that does. When I bought my simple Sonor Safari it came with a so called 5x14 snare in 6ply poplar. Even with the stock import heads it was tight/snarky. I soon added an Ambassador coated and a 30 wire Puresound strainer. When I crank heads and snare it is as close to any of the Piccolos I hear on the videos here. I should state that with heads off the shell of mine is a hair less than 5in actually more like 4 3/4in. I have always been a fan of a deeper, bigger snare sound.
I have a Pearl Compact Traveller
Drums in a bag "frame kit" I use for small venues, street gigs etc. I invariably carted my 5x14 heavy chrome, 10 lugger along and consigned the Sonor to storage. Lately I am working with a small group in a tight space and so I hauled it out.
Volia' suddenly the Sonor sounds great, still snarky but less volume andthe other folks like it. Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks is dead wrong.
pics of Pearl Traveller below
Cheers
 

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gotdrums57

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I use a Carl Palmer Venus piccolo snare with a Noble Cooley snare strap on the bottom and a Remo Goldtone head when I'm playing rock and an Evans Calftone batter head if I'm playing jazz or country. On the snare side I use an Evans Orchestral 300 Clear Snare Side Drum Head. The Orchestral head is coated and has a really great response.
 

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Bonzo442

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Not a dry piccolo by any means Ludwig’s 405 the lm400’s Little brother it’s got ring & pop
 

Ncrhythmman

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I found a 13x3.5 Brass Mapex on Reverb for a great price. This drum is good quality & heavy metal for it's size...Love the looks & sound of it. My go to snare drums are in the 6.5 - 7" range / So I use this one mainly for a Side Snare. Fortunate to have found it on Reverb.
 

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