Snare Drum - TOO Deep?

BachBeat

Senior Member
Just had a thought the other day...

There are so many different snare depths out there. In fact, there are so many different dimensions altogether...

14 x 5 and 14 x 6.5 still seem to be the overwhelming favourite dimensions of the drum building community - but I'm curious as to your experiences:

QUESTION - Have you gone looking for a big, fat snare drum tone, only to discover that the big 7", 8" or 9" deep snare (or anything deeper than a 6.5) doesn't give you what you want? I've heard plenty of deeper drums, and they often sound mushy or have too many unattractive overtones. Beyond tuning - I wonder if it's a dimensions issue; too much waveform action going on in there...or the wrong distance between the skins to allow for a full waveform to develop (though I appreciate that there are many frequencies, rather than just one pure tone).

Anyways, I'd be interested to hear about people's actual experiences with deeper snares. Have you heard or owned deeper snares that really hit it out of the park?

NOTE: No moongel now, or any kind of muffling, and no 'I heard a great snare sound on this album...' Has to be in the flesh, to prevent any post-production magic ;)

Are they what you'd hoped they'd be, or instead of getting a deeper tone (which is arguably more dictated by tuning, fundamental shell frequency and drum diameter, I think...) did you just end up with a 'meh' sound.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I just bought an inexpensive Mapex 14 x 8 snare and finally go it tuned in. I bought it for a deep sound and have achieved it. First problem was the snares keep buzzing was too long after each stroke and after much trial and effort I had to use a dry head that doesn't vibrate itself and continue to excite the snares. All is well now and I have a deep fat sound if need be.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Owning two Supraphonics, one 5" and the other 6.5", I must admit it's easier for me to get a nice deep, low thud on the 5" than on the 6.5". I do get it on the 6.5, but it takes a bit more work. On the other hand, I've been playing the 5" deep snares for over 20 years so maybe it's just because I know that size better?
 

BachBeat

Senior Member
I remember thinking when I was younger that the depth of the drum would make the actual note sound deeper, but have since discovered that it has far more to do with the shell material (fundamental pitch of the material used, etc), tuning, skins, and the diameter of the drum itself, rather than the depth. Depth seems to be more about the length of the note, as well as the overtones. As an example, a piccolo snare is often more 'one dimensional' - lots of crack, etc. or the other thing that came to mind is the 'hyperdrive' style short toms, which seem to produce a much cleaner and shorter note than the more resonant, deeper toms...
 

tooch926

Member
I remember thinking when I was younger that the depth of the drum would make the actual note sound deeper, but have since discovered that it has far more to do with the shell material (fundamental pitch of the material used, etc), tuning, skins, and the diameter of the drum itself, rather than the depth. Depth seems to be more about the length of the note, as well as the overtones. As an example, a piccolo snare is often more 'one dimensional' - lots of crack, etc. or the other thing that came to mind is the 'hyperdrive' style short toms, which seem to produce a much cleaner and shorter note than the more resonant, deeper toms...

I completely agree with you. I have a 5.5" deep bell brass snare and it has a very wide range. I've tuned it down for Cajun and high up for a ska type feel. It's amazing, the technology put into these drums.
 

double_G

Silver Member
13 x 7 nickel plated brass [black beauty] is a nice "compromise". enough sensitivity and perfect tone / crack / recording.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Owning two Supraphonics, one 5" and the other 6.5", I must admit it's easier for me to get a nice deep, low thud on the 5" than on the 6.5". I do get it on the 6.5, but it takes a bit more work. On the other hand, I've been playing the 5" deep snares for over 20 years so maybe it's just because I know that size better?

I prefer the 5" if I want to tune super low. I prefer the 6.5 when I want to tune high. They both work, but I prefer the tone better, even though it seems counter-intuitive.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I prefer the 5" if I want to tune super low. I prefer the 6.5 when I want to tune high. They both work, but I prefer the tone better, even though it seems counter-intuitive.

That makes sense. I've discovered the same thing. For a deep sound, I prefer my 5" Supra to my 6.5" brass Pearl.

IME when I tune a deeper drum too low, it sounds muddy. Conversely, when I tune a shallower drum high, I get an anemic pop without any real tone from the shell. A heard one recording of my Supra tuned high, and thought my practice pad had a better sound...
 

BachBeat

Senior Member
That makes sense. I've discovered the same thing. For a deep sound, I prefer my 5" Supra to my 6.5" brass Pearl.

IME when I tune a deeper drum too low, it sounds muddy. Conversely, when I tune a shallower drum high, I get an anemic pop without any real tone from the shell. A heard one recording of my Supra tuned high, and thought my practice pad had a better sound...

Agreed larryace and brady:

Makes a lot of sense as well. A deeper drum will inherently have 'access' to more tone, which is helpful, because when you tune high, your skins are tighter (whoa...rocket science) and the physical amplitude of head vibration is reduced. Having 'extra tone' in the shell depth (forgive the awkward language) helps to compensate for that, producing a more balanced final sound.

When you tune low, you are introducing extra overtones via the looser skin, and therefore having a shallower drum aids the overall sound by keeping the final sound more focused.

It seems like a bit of an equilibrium, then...finding that sweet spot.

***Note: Insert 'all things being equal', 'this is a generalisation', 'YMMV', etc here***
 

axisT6

Senior Member
Both of my snares are 14 x 9.5. One is a 3/4" thick maple/walnut stave snare, the other is made from 3/8" thick stainless steel pipe. I absolutely love the tone I get from both of them. I have the high end crack along with a full body sound.
 
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