Snares I Own!
tama rosewood snare This is a Tama Rosewood Snare, from the Mastercraft line, circa 1983. It came in 2 sizes: 5 1/2" and 6 1/2" X 14". Mine is the latter. I really like the rolling action strainer with extended snares, and the die-cast hoops. Unlike other rosewood snares, the Tama rosewood is rosewood all the way through. Sonor made a snare with rosewood in and out, with beech in the middle. A nice drum, but not as nice. An old friend from Spruce Head ME sold this to me, he knowing I lusted after it for years. This drum started on my Snares to Get list, and has now moved to this list.
tama starclassic copper This is a Tama Starclassic Bubinga "Omni Tune" snare. It's fully bubinga; there are no filler plies. There's a strip of abalone around the middle. The Omni Tune system allows you to tune the bottom head from the top of the drum. You don't have to flip the drum over! Billy Gladstone (see the Snares to Get list) invented this system. Tama used it on some snares in the late 80s, early 90s, and I always wanted one of those. They released the Omni Tune system on a limited number of full sets--far out of my price range. But when I heard they were going to sell the snare separately, I immediately called Northern Kingdom Music and ordered one. The 6.5" deep models were already gone, so I settled for this 5.5" model. (Note: that funny little thing you see sticking up over the top rim is the special tuning key needed to tune the bottom head from the top side.)
tama starclassic copper Tama offered a hand hammered copper snare drum. But at about $600 retail, it was too far out of reach. Then at the 2004 NAMM show, they released a copper snare in their Starclassic line. I bought this one from Northern Kingdom Music for $300--much easier on the pocketbook. It's got a warm sound, almost like that of my Starclassic Performer snare. But it's got a nice metal overtone to it too.
starclassic snare My Tama Starclassic Performer. It's 5 1/2" X 14". I bought an entire kit like this. The color is Amber Gold. (Somebody said it sounds like a pornstar name!) This is an early Performer with birch inner and outer plies, with basswood in the middle. I bought this kit from Northern Kingdom. Who else?!
tama stewart copeland This is my Tama Stewart Copeland snare. It's COB (chrome over brass), and 1.5 mm thick. (Most metal snares are 1 mm.) This drum is very sensitive, and has a great "bark" to it. Northern Kingdom (see below next to the Supraphonic) sold me this drum at $4 below their cost!
Billy Rhythm custom snare This is a Uptown Rhythm King snare, made by yours truly. The 8X14" shell is made of fiberglass, and was purchased from Paul Mason of Tempus drums. The color is gun metal blue sparkle, or as one person described it, "Superman's hair color." The lugs are custom made by All Star Lugs. The strainer is a Nickelworks strainer. I drilled all the holes, ordered all the parts, and assembled this drum myself. I consider it the first real snare I've made on my own. Perhaps Rhythm King snares will go into full scale production some day.
bearing edge snare This is a custom made Bearing Edge drum. It's Bubinga on the inside and outside, and maple in the middle. The hoops are made of olive ash burl. I've named this snare drum Wellman. It's the only snare I've ever named. It's a very fat sounding snare, and likes to be tuned low. Since the rims are wood, it doesn't have the high end overtones of a metal rimed snare. This snare was supposed to take 4 weeks to build. 14 weeks and much frustration later, it arrived. This drum started on my Snares to Get list, and has now moved to this list.
pearl masters mahogany This is a Pearl Masters Mahogany in African burl mahogany with gold hardware. When I saw this snare on ebay, it really lit my fires for a real mahogany snare. I didn't win it, but "knew" the guy who did. (He posts over on Drum Center Forum.) One day, in an unrelated post, he mentions he's thinking about selling it. I tell him that I want it, and he agrees to sell it to me for $25 less than he paid for it! This drum started on my Snares to Get list, and has now moved to this list.
burl mahogany
Here's a close-up of the burl pattern.
pearl bronze sensitone Here's a Pearl Bronze Sensitone Classic, 6 1/2" X 14". According to the Pearl rep for New England, this was the last one of this size in the warehouse when I ordered it. The single flange hoops, hoop clips, and tube lugs make this snare look like it was from the 20's. This drum started on my Snares to Get list, and has now moved to this list.
ludwig super classic Here's my 1923-25 Leedy Black Elite, Leedy's version of the Slingerland "Black Beauty" (now the generic term for black engraved snares) and the Ludwig "De-Luxe." This was listed on ebay as "Snare, Stand, and Case." I got it for a relative song. Normally, I would never own a snare in this price range. I cleaned it up, but didn't really "restore" it. You will usually see the hardware on this snare two ways: plain brass, or copper plated. Mine retains much of the original "Nobby Gold": a copper colored lacquer. Removing the lacquer shows the brass underneath (not the original look), so some guys have them plated in copper (which looks more original, but of course isn't). Mine stays as is. It's 4"x14" (the rarest of the three sizes) and has the rare floral engraving pattern.
ludwig super classic This 1958 WFL Super Classic has a 3 ply maple/mahogany shell, with maple reinforcing hoops. Nickel hardware. This snare is from the first kit I ever played. I own the whole kit, as well.
ludwig be-bop This is a 1959 Ludwig Transition badge Be-Bop (3"X13"). It started out as aqua and gold duco, and in pretty rough shape, at that. So, I recovered it in silver sparkle. The whole story of the drum can be found here. This drum started on my Snares to Get list, and has now moved to this list.
supraphonic A Ludwig Supraphonic snare. All collectors and players know this snare. It's a real workhorse. Supposedly, it's the most recorded snare of all time. This is the third one of these I've owned. Since they're so common, it's the first snare I sell when I'm strapped for cash. I always know I can pick up another one pretty easy.
supersensitive A Ludwig Supersensitive. This was another gift from Chick. He also gave me a set of 1964 Oyster Black Pearls to go with it! This snare has a baseball bat muffler, snares that span the entire underside of the head, and individually adjustable snare wires. It lives up to its name--it's very sensitive.
rogers dynasonic

The Rogers Dynasonic. What makes this snare unique is the snare mechanism. On most snare drums, tightening the snares also pulls the snares tighter against the bottom head. This can raise the pitch of the bottom head, and cause the snare to "choke." The Dyna has a snare frame that allows you to tension the snare wires independently. Thus, you can have a tight snare sound, yet have a fully resonant bottom head. This is an earlier chrome over brass model.

phattie popcorn snare Here's a 3.5"X12" Oregon Drum. It's made out of solid Myrtlewood. I mean solid. There are no plies, and it's not steam-bent from a board. It's hewn from a log, lathed on the inside and outside to get its shape. Being so small, it has a very high pitch and a crack like a pistol!
phattie popcorn snare This little 6" X 10" snare goes with my Phattie Drums cocktail kit. It's so small, I really only use it with that kit. Sometimes, though, I've been known to use it as a funky little auxillary snare.
stainless marching snare There's a drummer here in the midcoast who's been playing a long time. I've known Chick Bailey for a while. He stopped by the office one day, and said "You know, when I'm gone, my wife will have no idea what to do with my drum room." So I've been "inheriting" some of Chicks stash. This 12"X15" marching snare is a Ludwig Stainless Steel model; it's not wood. 12 big lugs and gut snares. You have to hit this drum hard!
cheap import snare This Pacific snare came with my road/rental kit. It's always in my truck as the backup snare. Nothing fancy, but it doesn't sound crappy like most cheap Taiwanese snare do.

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