42-strand snare wires

WallyY

Platinum Member
I think I tried 42 strand wires about 42 years ago.
My snare must have had a thin bed. I didn't care for the buzzing or the excessive amount of snare sound.
Even now, I have a hard time looking at a drum with those wide snares.
I'm firmly in the mindset of less snares sound better.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I got a used snare recently that Puresound 42's on it.

It sounds good, but different, as I was a "normal" 20 strand guy.

I would say the "snare" sound is more pronounced, but it also dries the entire drum sound out a bit. I didn't really notice any sensitivity differences. I think that's because you have more snare wires (which you would think would be more sensitive), however there is also more mass touching the bottom head and therefore making it more muffled/controlled. The opposite is true with 20 or 16 strands.

All in all, I don't notice a huge difference, other than being a bit drier overall.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
I got a used snare recently that Puresound 42's on it.

It sounds good, but different, as I was a "normal" 20 strand guy.

I would say the "snare" sound is more pronounced, but it also dries the entire drum sound out a bit. I didn't really notice any sensitivity differences. I think that's because you have more snare wires (which you would think would be more sensitive), however there is also more mass touching the bottom head and therefore making it more muffled/controlled. The opposite is true with 20 or 16 strands.

All in all, I don't notice a huge difference, other than being a bit drier overall.

Thanks for posting your experiences!

Yeah, increased sensitivity is not really what I'm after in this case. It's more a matter of getting a bit more snare sound vs head/shell tone on the backbeat!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Get some and see what you think, get some Gibraltar ones, they're inexpensive so if you're not keen you haven't lost out. Snare wires are a very personal choice. No right answers, it's what your ears like. Plus you have to think about head choices also.

I've used 42 snare wires for years and love em but I like a big open snare sound and prefer the extra sensitivity. It's a beast you learn to control.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's generally a cheap thing to experiment with. Material and width will influence things just as much.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Get some and see what you think, get some Gibraltar ones, they're inexpensive so if you're not keen you haven't lost out.

This is what I did.

My results:
More snare wires = less drum shell sound.
Less snare wires = more drum shell sound.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
Yeah, so I bought the 42-strand set at the local music store. They had a nice phosphor bronze Pearl set and a no-name brand nickel/steel set which cost a third of the price, but also appeared visibly low quality. So I got the Pearls.

So the snares seem to fit nicely on my drum with no excess rattling or funny noises, so my snare beds must be okay, right?

The good news is that these snares initially seemed to do pretty much what I wanted them to. A crisp sound on mid tunings with much more snare contribution on the backbeats compared to the 20's. I don't mind the extra sympathetic buzz either.

The bad part is that they seem to suck a significant bit of low-end out of the drum, even at the loosest snare tensions, making low tunings sound less deep. Tuning the reso head lower than I normally do seems to help with the tone (but that also affects sensitivity and crispness).

I'm gonna try them on my 14x10" floor snare/tom next. Probably gonna be a better fit on there, since that drum has low end to spare the way I keep it tuned.

So, I guess I'm still curious about the Puresound 30 strand set!
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
Pure sound also makes 24 strand wires. Just sayin'. I used those on a Gretsch Bronze USA and they sounded phenomenal.
 
I bought a COB 14x5 Gretsch snare three years ago that came with factory 42 strand wires. I always thought that drum had a high pitched ring, it never sounded particularly fat or meaty no matter the batter head. The other day I put a set of Gretsch 20 strand snares on it and I’ll be dang if that didn’t make a world of difference, for the better. Now it’s my favorite snare. Intense meaty resonance with fantastic snare response using Ambassador weight batter and snare side heads.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I bought a COB 14x5 Gretsch snare three years ago that came with factory 42 strand wires. I always thought that drum had a high pitched ring, it never sounded particularly fat or meaty no matter the batter head. The other day I put a set of Gretsch 20 strand snares on it and I’ll be dang if that didn’t make a world of difference, for the better. Now it’s my favorite snare. Intense meaty resonance with fantastic snare response using Ambassador weight batter and snare side heads.

Sounds like the 42 strand wires dampened the resonant head too much.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
ALOT more snare buzz. haha.

I love my 42 for just messing around but find it is a bit much sometimes.

Check out the Sabian wires too. the 20 or 22 is amazing.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
Yes and in my case it made the pitch of the drum seem higher even when the snares were loosely applied.

This is what I took away from the experiment as well. My Pearl 42-set are sitting on the shelf right now and I sold the snare in question.

I'm gonna try it on my Tama SLP Super Aluminum (Supra copy) some day, even though that snare sounds pretty much perfect with the included 20-strand set.
 
There is nothing wrong about 42 strands. But I never had the need to use those myself on one of my snare drums.

As far as I understand snare wires, 42 strand wires have a higher potential to cause problems with certain snare drums and are more sensitive to precise mounting.

I would definitely try em if I was lacking anything a 42 strand set of wires could improve, but this actually never happened in my 40 years drumming.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
There is nothing wrong about 42 strands. But I never had the need to use those myself on one of my snare drums.

As far as I understand snare wires, 42 strand wires have a higher potential to cause problems with certain snare drums and are more sensitive to precise mounting.

I would definitely try em if I was lacking anything a 42 strand set of wires could improve, but this actually never happened in my 40 years drumming.

Good post! If you check my OP, I had a problem snare that I thought a wide snare array might fix. And while it did address my particular problem, it introduced another which was loss of low end which made the 42-strand set unviable for a dedicated low-tuning snare!
 
Top