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zzzzzz... seriously sleeper snares... zzzzzz

Demonslayer

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Slingerland 60's/70's COS Festival "student" and Aluminum Student (6 or 8 lugs). I prefer them to any of the higher end COB's that Slingerland made.

Tama Mastercraft "Imperialstar" 5x14's from the 1980's aren't talked about much compared to Supra's, Acro's, Gretsch brass, or Rogers Powertone, etc. But I think they are right up there with them.

If it's the lower one - the 5x14 - then it's a +1 for me. Should have never sold it...

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Demonslayer

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Pearl Sensitone's..... wonderful instruments at a great value, the workhorse of the modern snare drum. But all I hear when I mention the snares is "I hate thier tom arms".

Pearl tom arms are decidedly despicable. However, the Sensitones simply do not fail. Especially the late 90s, early 2000s models. They're fantastic.
 

bellbrass

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Do you know how they compare to the Gretsch and Tama BB?
I've never owned the Gretsch bell brass, but I did play one briefly at a store. I've owned both a Tama vintage MasterCraft and the reissue. I'd say that the Ahead is surprisingly similar to the Tama bell brass snares. The S- hoops dry out the sound a bit; I changed the hoops out for COB triple flanged, and the Ahead really sang. It's built very well, and I actually like the black nickel plating.
 

Demonslayer

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Anyone have some examples of "sleeper" snares? You know, the kind that makes you think "why isn't this snare more popular?" The kind that's got its own character, unique features, range and/or versatility, yet... you rarely hear about it. Maybe there's one at your LDS and it's been there for years, you can't understand why.

I think this guy is one:

View attachment 577414

Gretsch Bronze 14x6.5 1mm shell- this could be a different kind of "Black Beauty" - got snap, crackle and pop, volume, a fantastic strainer, tone, amazing crossstick... this thing should be legendary.

I'm sure that one sounds great, but the Gretsch model that I believe is seriously underused is the 4160. A brass drum that has its own sound.

 

Steech

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I've never owned the Gretsch bell brass, but I did play one briefly at a store. I've owned both a Tama vintage MasterCraft and the reissue. I'd say that the Ahead is surprisingly similar to the Tama bell brass snares. The S- hoops dry out the sound a bit; I changed the hoops out for COB triple flanged, and the Ahead really sang. It's built very well, and I actually like the black nickel plating.
Thanks for your reply!

Is it this one?
 

SaranacJack

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Along the lines of the Gretsch 4160 COB, the Rogers COB Powertone is such an overlooked offering.

It can be had at a fraction of the cost compared to the wood version… and while this may make some waves, I’d take it out over a Luddy Supra or Acro any day.
 

Blue Zurich

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For a while I thought that about my PDP COS. As is from the factory it was a steal, very underrated however when it came to various tunings and which heads mated well with it that all changed. So I bought a Brooklyn Standard which gave me that full range of well...range.
 

bellbrass

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Thanks for your reply!

Is it this one?
That looks to be a brass-plated version; which wasn't an option when I got mine. I have the chrome-plated model:
https://www.amazon.com/Ahead-Black-Chrome-Brass-Snare/dp/B00DL4ZGYW
 

bellbrass

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Steech

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Don't be fooled by what Amazon says in the listing - it says "rolled shell." I have it from Ahead that these are indeed cast bell bronze shells.
Thanks again. Both look like intriguing options.
 

bellbrass

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Thanks again. Both look like intriguing options.
My take on the Ahead bell brass snares is that no, they're not the iconic Tama bell brass, and they aren't the very vintage-y looking Gretsch bell brass, but they are a modern version, with up-to-date hoops, strainer, and snare wires - not to mention tension rod inserts that deter detuning. The Ahead bell brass snares are made for gigging - and they are a lot cheaper than the competition, too.
 

goodcat1337

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I guess my sleeper snares are ones that are considered lower level, but sounded awesome to me. I've got 3 I can think of immediately.

1. Ludwig Supralite
2. Tama Metalworks with the black nickel die cast hoops
3. The current gen Stage Custom stock snare
 

drummingbulldog

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Tama late 90s early 2000 era Artwood. Pearl Sensitone from the same period especially the 5.5x13 model in brass. Mapex MPX is very good as well as l have been impressed by the 8x14 l have after modding it with diecast hoops and wide snares. The lugs and hoops on the MPX are black since mine has the black finish and the hoops were super thin and we're not good. The lugs are just simple but on an 8x14 who cares if the shell is quality. I have another Tama maple in the same config which looks and sounds better but only marginally despite the difference in cost.
 

nitro bengal

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The eight lug/triple flanged swingstar version of these shells also belongs in this conversation. Great cheap rock snares
About a year ago I pulled out the 6 1/2 x 14 Swingstar snare that came with my 1986 Swingstars. After messing with the tuning on it, it has become my favorite go-to snare now. I absolutely LOVE it!!
 

1988fxlr

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About a year ago I pulled out the 6 1/2 x 14 Swingstar snare that came with my 1986 Swingstars. After messing with the tuning on it, it has become my favorite go-to snare now. I absolutely LOVE it!!
I picked one up for $80 to complete a kit I was giving to someone and ended up liking it enough that I gave away another drum instead
 

thejohnlec

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Also, a Ludwig Standard wood snare that I also bought for cheap. I'd assume that it has much the same qualities as a Ludwig branded one of the same era, but can be found for far cheaper.
I have one and love it as well. Same shell as their Jazz Festival with less expensive hardware.
 


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