Most Underrated Snare Drums

RickP

Gold Member
Supraman mentions the Ludwig Bronze Supraphonics - I have owned both smooth and hammered models as well as a copperphonic and quickly sold all three . I found them all too dry for my liking . I fat prefer the Brass shelled Black Beauty and COb Supraphonics as well as the Ludaloy Supraphonics .
Now back to the original question at hand , underrated snare drums . Some of the most underrated snare drums I have discovered are :
Noble and Cooley CD Maple snares
Tama SLP Walnut
Yamaha Recording Custom Aluminum
Ludwig Classic Maples ( overshadowed by the metal snares )
INDe Drums - Aluminum
INDe Drums Black nickel over brass
 
Supraman mentions the Ludwig Bronze Supraphonics - I have owned both smooth and hammered models as well as a copperphonic and quickly sold all three . I found them all too dry for my liking . I fat prefer the Brass shelled Black Beauty and COb Supraphonics as well as the Ludaloy Supraphonics .
Now back to the original question at hand , underrated snare drums . Some of the most underrated snare drums I have discovered are :
Noble and Cooley CD Maple snares
Tama SLP Walnut
Yamaha Recording Custom Aluminum
Ludwig Classic Maples ( overshadowed by the metal snares )
INDe Drums - Aluminum
INDe Drums Black nickel over brass
+1 For the Ludwig Maple Classic snares. I was going to mention them at first, but gave the nod to Pearl based on price points. Tama Starclassic give you a lot for the money. As a longtime Noble and Cooley player, I have to say, virtually all their offerings are underrated. Just very pricey. Maybe one day I'll get around to trying INDe's aluminum snare. Oh brother, what trouble did I start here?! Keeping my Ludwig smooth bronze though. ?
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Supraman mentions the Ludwig Bronze Supraphonics - I have owned both smooth and hammered models as well as a copperphonic and quickly sold all three . I found them all too dry for my liking . I fat prefer the Brass shelled Black Beauty and COb Supraphonics as well as the Ludaloy Supraphonics .
Now back to the original question at hand , underrated snare drums . Some of the most underrated snare drums I have discovered are :
Noble and Cooley CD Maple snares
Tama SLP Walnut
Yamaha Recording Custom Aluminum
Ludwig Classic Maples ( overshadowed by the metal snares )
INDe Drums - Aluminum
INDe Drums Black nickel over brass

Rick posts a great list. The CD Maples are really good snares, with the bonus of you get to choose your own color/finish.
I will add Pork Pie BOB (black over brass) and Pearl Omar Hakim Signature mahogany snare. As someone else said already, Pearl makes really good snares, period--I think it is their strength.
I have a custom Grover maple snare that I love, and it was not insanely priced like a Dunnett or Sonor.
The INDe Kalamazoo snares look like they might be a gem: universal snare bed, aluminum shell. Josh's demo online sounds good.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
+1 For the Ludwig Maple Classic snares. I was going to mention them at first, but gave the nod to Pearl based on price points. Tama Starclassic give you a lot for the money. As a longtime Noble and Cooley player, I have to say, virtually all their offerings are underrated. Just very pricey. Maybe one day I'll get around to trying INDe's aluminum snare. Oh brother, what trouble did I start here?! Keeping my Ludwig smooth bronze though. ?

Every time I've seen Bill Stewart play, he always uses a Ludwig metal snare: either a Supraphonic, Bronze hammered, or, recently, copper. That fact always makes me think twice whenever I window-shop a custom Sonor or any snare that's expensive.

Canopus snares are great, too.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I think that a lot of the Tayes are vastly uunderrated. I've got one of the aluminum 6" snares with the wood hoop and that thing sounds fantastic! Great tuning range and not too much ring. It has just enough ring to be musical. The vintage brass Tayes are great as well. They're a bit expensive and heavy but they also have a great sound and they're very versatile. The sound is powerful. The only drum that I've had that could match it is the Oriollo Oribronze. That one is a tank as well. Taye makes some great snares at reasonable prices.
 

Magnus_N

Member
So I've heard. Makes me wonder why so many people removed them then? If it is because the frame is difficult to deal with, I count that as a strike against it. I would need a frame, new heads, and maybe a new stand to possibly find out I can't tune it the way I like my snares to sound. Not worth the cost. Thus, it's overrated. Besides, if it was THAT great, why has no other manufacturer followed suit?

It is not for you obviously. Properly set up, it is a fine drum, though I probably like the 6,5"x14" more than the shallower one. Without the frame it is not a complete Dynasonic.

/Magnus
 
So I've heard. Makes me wonder why so many people removed them then? If it is because the frame is difficult to deal with, I count that as a strike against it. I would need a frame, new heads, and maybe a new stand to possibly find out I can't tune it the way I like my snares to sound. Not worth the cost. Thus, it's overrated. Besides, if it was THAT great, why has no other manufacturer followed suit?
You can get a replacement frame with snares for $60 here: http://shop.bigbangdist.com/p/rogers-dyna-sonic-snare-rail-unit-with-20-strand-snare-wires?pp=24
If you're curious, try them! It takes a bit more time to set up but it's a great Snare. In the end, it may not be YOUR favorite snare but you can't judge it by what it is now. It is more delicate than other systems and easier to break / lose. Imagine this drum being handed down to kids that didn't know how to use it, so that may have caused that so many frames are missing decades later. Also, getting replacement parts before the Internet was probably not so easy, so some people may have used regular snare wires because they were available in the store. Regarding the stand, I haven't had any issues. If you can set the snare basket to a slight angle so that the frame hangs freely, you should be fine.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Love my Pearl Joey Jordison signature 13” snare. Little poppy for some but me likey!
 

justadrummer

Junior Member
The Gretsch COB 4160 is a great drum that has been around seemingly forever, and doesn't get a lot of press.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
70s Premier metal snares
Beverley Cosmic
Black Panthers

From my own collection it's the Mapex Deep Forest Walnut from the 90s. Very well made drum, the strainers are better than the newer Black Panthers. Great tuning range.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
James Beier makes an awesome line of steel snare drums at very reasonable "working man" prices. I don't think they're underrated so much as they are "unknown." The entire Beier line up may qualify for the most well kept secret of modern snare drums. The 4" X 15" 1.5 steel snare is killer.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Well, let's see . . . maybe my list should be titled "underappreciated:"

- All the Ludwig Supralites
- Yamaha Stage Custom metal shelled
- Pearl Sensitone, Utility - heck, just about all the inexpensive snares that they make
- PDP specialty snares; you know, the ones that don't come with the full kits.
- Premier metal drums from the 1970s. These are killer.

As you can tell, I find a lot to be desired in cheaper snare drums. I've owned several of the very expensive snares by the major brands (DW Collectors; Pearl FFS; several Supraphonics; Yamaha Anton Fig; yadda, yadda), and while I liked them all, I found that I can get the same quality sounds out of cheaper snares - and that allows me to trade more often and pick up great bargains.

GeeDeeEmm
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The Gretsch COB 4160 is a great drum that has been around seemingly forever, and doesn't get a lot of press.
None of the Gretsch snares seem to get much press. Have the bronze and cast aluminum. Both tune low to high perfectly. Bronze is nice and wet while the aluminum is nice and dry. Cross sticks are just amazing on both. Not sure which is my favorite. Depends on what I’m playing.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
None of the Gretsch snares seem to get much press. Have the bronze and cast aluminum. Both tune low to high perfectly. Bronze is nice and wet while the aluminum is nice and dry. Cross sticks are just amazing on both. Not sure which is my favorite. Depends on what I’m playing.

They don't get talked about as much as Supraphonics, but I prefer them. Die cast for the cross stick, can't be beat.

I also feel hammered brass snares don't get much attention in general. If you want something slightly drier it's another way to get it without sacrificing the head or general feel you like. If you can't decide on wood or metal you can sort of get a bit inbetween there. Fairly inexpensive, too.

I love the Gretsch metal snares and I'd really like to get all of them. I don't have a bronze myself yet, but it's most definetly on the list.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
They don't get talked about as much as Supraphonics, but I prefer them. Die cast for the cross stick, can't be beat.

I also feel hammered brass snares don't get much attention in general. If you want something slightly drier it's another way to get it without sacrificing the head or general feel you like. If you can't decide on wood or metal you can sort of get a bit inbetween there. Fairly inexpensive, too.

I love the Gretsch metal snares and I'd really like to get all of them. I don't have a bronze myself yet, but it's most definetly on the list.
I second the motion that Gretsch snares don't get enough recognition. The Gretsch Brooklyn Steel snares sound absolutely killer, and they're under $300.

Also, the Yamaha Stage Custom Steel and Birch snares both sound fantastic for the price. It's easy to write them off when they're so cheap and included with drum kits. I really like the Birch snare in particular.

Mapex Black Panther snares don't get enough recognition either, they sound phenomenal.
 

justadrummer

Junior Member
They don't get talked about as much as Supraphonics, but I prefer them. Die cast for the cross stick, can't be beat.

I also feel hammered brass snares don't get much attention in general. If you want something slightly drier it's another way to get it without sacrificing the head or general feel you like. If you can't decide on wood or metal you can sort of get a bit inbetween there. Fairly inexpensive, too.

I love the Gretsch metal snares and I'd really like to get all of them. I don't have a bronze myself yet, but it's most definetly on the list.

I have a couple of Gretsch 4160 COB snares that came with kits, both are winners. I also have a Gretsch Bell Brass, which is a monster in it's own right. So I concur that their metal snare drums are great.

I also have a bunch of a bunch of Gretsch wood snare drums of various sizes and eras. I've determined that I like Gretsch snare drums in general.

Gretsch drums are coveted by many, but their snare drums in particular don't get as much press.
 

justadrummer

Junior Member
Well, let's see . . . maybe my list should be titled "underappreciated:"

- All the Ludwig Supralites
- Yamaha Stage Custom metal shelled
- Pearl Sensitone, Utility - heck, just about all the inexpensive snares that they make
- PDP specialty snares; you know, the ones that don't come with the full kits.
- Premier metal drums from the 1970s. These are killer.

As you can tell, I find a lot to be desired in cheaper snare drums. I've owned several of the very expensive snares by the major brands (DW Collectors; Pearl FFS; several Supraphonics; Yamaha Anton Fig; yadda, yadda), and while I liked them all, I found that I can get the same quality sounds out of cheaper snares - and that allows me to trade more often and pick up great bargains.

GeeDeeEmm

I consider Pearl Sensitone snares, virtually any of them, to be great values, and really great sounding drums. In my opinion, they just might have the best bang for the buck. (Pun intended...)

Mapex also makes a nice selection of snares at good prices these days. They are worth checking out.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I consider Pearl Sensitone snares, virtually any of them, to be great values, and really great sounding drums. In my opinion, they just might have the best bang for the buck. (Pun intended...)

Mapex also makes a nice selection of snares at good prices these days. They are worth checking out.
True. I have an unfair bias against Mapex after buying a Saturn Pro kit when they first hit the market. That kit was a huge disappointment soundwise. I traded it back in to the music store where I worked. I know that Mapex now makes some of the best drums on offer, but that initial experience left a sour taste. Honestly, that's MY loss.

GeeDeeEmm
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Pearl 13X3 maple piccolo. Amazing tone and wide tuning range.

 
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