Best snare I've ever used. I use it with my Reference Custom. It's perfect. Especially if you come from the rudimental side and you need a more articulate drum. The Evans Hi def with the dry vents sounds fantastic on it.
Mapex Black Panther 14x3.5 phosphor bronze (preferably hand hammered)
I got the non-hammered version for $100 used. You will LOVE this snare! Every drummer I've ever played in front of has loved it and I always get great compliments from non-drummers as well. Most piccalos can get drowned out, but not this one. It's got some serious cajones man.
If you're set one brass, I'm sure that one will sound great too.
Do we consider a piccolo snare to be determined by diameter or shell depth? TRADITIONALLY, a piccolo snare is any snare that has a head size of 13" no matter what the depth. Then from what I understand a 12" is a Soprano and a 10" would be a Sopranino. I think that is the way some companies list them in their catalogs(Yamaha being one of those....).
So in regards to your question I owned a Free Floating Brass drum which was 3x14 that I loved but is not a TRADITIONAL piccolo due to the head size. I also owned a 3x13 1958 WFL maple. Currently I have a Joey Jordison 6x13 steel shell and a 1980's Ludwig maple Power Piccolo 6x13. I am looking for a cool shallower shell snare and I have heard that the Garibaldi sounds amazing. Does anyone remember the Noble & Cooley 3x13? VERY cool drum. Also, Yamaha made a 3x14 brass snare in the 80's that Weckl used often. Don't think they are produced the same way currently.
PERSONALLY, I think that a piccolo is any 13" snare. Shallow or tall. I think that if you are looking for a SHALLOW depth snare the best thing to do is experiment. Sometimes those little drums choke at high impact. I never experienced choking on the Pearl FF. But again, every player is different.
I've had my Pearl Brass Free Floating since 1995 and have never had the urge to replace it. Every where I play I still get compliments on it's 'crack' and power. I never have to mic it up since it is SO loud and with so much presence it bleeds thru every mic around. (if that's what you want) Acoustically it can be TOO loud.
Another PRo about The Pearl FF family is the shells are interchangeable by simply removing the tensions rods and changing the batter head. I have aquired a 3.5" Maple shell - so when I need to be a bit quieter and a waemer tone (small room ~ studio) I use the Maple Shell. For live and large venues I go Brass. I haven't used a snare mic in over 10 years.
I also use the Piccolo as my main snare, not just an effect snare.