Custom Snare Wires

Posted: July 10, 2010 11:58 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I noticed a big difference when I finally found the right head combination for my kit. Similarly, I felt a big boost in my comfort level when I first played the sticks I’ve now used for the past 20 years. I also heard a big difference when I installed my first set of R.I.M.S. on a mounted tom way back when. And as I mentioned in another post, I recently saw a huge difference in my bass drum sound when I installed a KickPort in the resonant head.

But whenever I’ve put a set of custom snare wires on a snare drum, I haven’t noticed enough of a difference in sound to warrant the higher prices they command. Admittedly, I haven’t tried every last one on the market, but I have tried a few.

Anybody want to set me straight on this?

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

     
Posted: July 12, 2010 09:20 AM

Rev.D.

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Snare wires are the sound of the snare, Without them your snare is just a tom/timbale. Different wires give you a different sound. The less strands you use, the more open the snare sounds, the more strands, the fatter/tighter it sounds. This also goes for a loser or tighter wire tension. More wires gives you more sympathetic buzz. I use Grover cable snare wires on my main snare.. They are strait wires so they have a lot less sympathetic buzz than the spiral wires. They also cover more surface area so they are way more “snappy” than spiral ones. On my 3x13 picalo I use 12 strand spiral wires for a more open jazz sound.  I would suggest buying a few different pair and experimenting to see which wires best fit your playing style.

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A good drummer will sound good on anything. A Bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

Posted: July 12, 2010 09:41 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Hey Rev,

I understand what you’re saying. You’re right — changing any of those characteristics will make a difference in your snare sound. But I often wonder if the difference is primarily heard from the close proximity of the drum throne, and not so much from the audience’s perspective. Will those subtle nuances really make such a big difference to someone listening to your snare sound at the back of a small club, while you compete for with amplified instruments? The same question applies to drummers playing in arenas: Do those extra-expensive snare strands really make much difference after being miked, compressed, EQed, gated, layered with effects, and shot out through enormous stacks of P.A. speakers? I’m still not convinced.

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

Posted: July 12, 2010 10:02 AM

Rev.D.

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The differences are hard to hear when the snare is not miked. The best way to make sure they are heard when playing a lot of ghost notes or when doing a lot of brush work is to mike up not only the batter head, but also the bottom head. Point the bottom mic toward the snare wires(since the batter mic will capture the body of the drum) and mix it in with the top mic till you arrive at a sound that you like.  That should work despite whatever effects you have on your snare. I only use a batter mic for my 13x7 snare with Grover wires, and the crack it gives of when played is loud, articulate and extremely bright, even when played softly. You’ll never know till you try.

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A good drummer will sound good on anything. A Bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

Posted: August 16, 2010 05:12 AM

guarilio989

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its feeds like this that make glad to be apart of the internet age where you can get all kinds of tips and tricks with just a few clicks. I was the same way about snare wires as bashboomcrash until now. I actually just ordered Puresound wires to put on my Gretch snare and see how that works.

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Hit Hard, Play Fast, Have Fun

Posted: October 22, 2011 04:19 PM

al15

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I just put a set of 24-strand steel Puresound Custom Pro’s on my 5x14 Pearl Reference snare, replacing the ones that came on it. It was a substantial improvement! I also picked up a brass set. I’m anxious to see how they sound.

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Al in Illinois
I just love to beat on stuff with sticks!

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