looking for a great recording snare


New member
finishing prepro, about to start tracking drums- I'm looking for a snare with a good thick/solid tone but with a serious crack.
I've got a yamaha maple 14", DW brass 14", and Pork Pie maple 12".

The PP and DW sound a little thin, and the Yammy is a bit 'thuddy/soft.'

any input on drums you've had good experiences with in the studio?


New member
I've used loads of snares in the studio. From Rogers Dynasonics through Remo's. It really depends on your budget and the sound you like.

I just bought three really incredible snare drums. All Sonor. The Artist 6 X 14" maple Cottonwood. 5 X 14" Artist brass. Delite 4.4 X 14 maple. All three snares are superb and all would work well in the studio. The snare response on all three is extraordinary! Possibly the best I've ever heard, and I've owned loads of snares in my time.

Depending on how long you intend to record, it might be worth your while to simply hire a few. Ludwig Black Beauty's are always great. And the newer models sound pretty good. You could try to get an old Brady stave jarrah snare. I had one of those and it was truly incredible.

I think the choice is very wide now. Even the Pearl Sensitones record very well.

I tend to buy a lot of snare drums and always find myself checking out snare drums at the shop. Some I've checked out in detail include:

WFL Ludwig limited edition brass. This is a great drum with a deep throaty roar and very nice snare response. I nearly bought it, but the Sonor brass won out over it. I am still thinking about getting it though.

The new Pearl Vinnie Paul model is nice. It's really deep but surprisingly light in timbre. But it has plenty of attack and a nice snare response.

I've checked out a few of the DW Collectors snares, but of all I tried, I only liked one model. A reflective red covered maple 5 X 14" with black hardware. Someone beat me to it though and I missed out.

Pearl's Chad Smith model is a nice snare drum. It's a very cutting snare with plenty of attack.

I also like the Joey Jordison model. It packs a real punch for its small size and has quite a lot of depth. I think I'll buy one of these because it's great value for money.

I tried 2 Trick snares but to be honest they didn't have anything I like to hear.

The Pearl Reference series are nice. But they have these overly complicated throw offs. They have a lot of attack though due to the many plies.

Having said all that, if there's one I'd recomend over all of them for what I can determine from your post that you need, the Sonor 6 X 14" Cottonwood. It's an amazing drum.

I've also checked out other snares, Yamaha's, Steel Ludwigs etc. They all sound good but it depends on what you need. None of them came close to the Sonors though. The new Sonors are brilliant!


New member
thanks, I appreciate the in-depth response!
Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of the higher-end stuff available locally, so I'm thinking of shopping online, which is scary when dealing with instruments. I'll be comparing against Spaun, Tama, DW, Gretsch, and Yamaha locally. I don't think our Sonor dealer has any high-end stuff.

This kind of feedback is very helpful~
thanks again


New member
If buying on line, I strongly recomend the cottonwood. It's even better than the old Brady of mine that was stolen.

If you want power and a bright tone, the Artist brass would suit.


New member
I have recorded many times with many different snares, I found that a 1960's Ludwig Supraphonic was superb in the studio along with this 60's gretsch jazz snare. If your looking for good crack, check out the hammered steel snares from tama, i just bought one and i am more than pleased, puts out great crack and attack


New member
This is just my opinion... you don't need to find a new snare. Your sound engineer should be able to get you the sound your looking for set aside your drum is tuned correctly. Also different heads might make a difference. Heads that you normally don't use might work better in the studio. The only other thing that would differ snare sound is the shell material. If your looking for a nice clean crack I use some type of single ply head. Also mic placement is important also, possibly try micing the drum from top and bottom. You just have to play around... good luck.


New member
I'm a huge advocate of finding a snare that records the way you want it to with flat EQ and no frills from the board or rack. The more crap you add to the sound, the more artificial it will sound. Keep it real! Just add a dab a wetness to it and that's it. Don't let the engineer turn your drums into a computer. This is why guitarists that know, don't use Line 6 amps.

There are few brands that I would stick by when it comes to snares. Probably Sonor, GMS, and Dunnett are the only ones. For me it's all about the materials. For the sound you describe, you want these:

13"- 14" x 6"- 6.5"
bronze or hammered bronze (tone and crack had a baby, bronze)
solid stave (any wood) with reinforcement rings (the tone God)
8-ply maple w/8-ply reinforcement rings (more tone than crack)
10-ply maple w/10-ply reinforcement rings (more crack than tone)
any Sonor high end model
any GMS high end model
any Dunnett model
Black Beauty (it can do anything)


New member
the best recording snare ever made was the ludwig superphonic 400. i know this because for the past month i have been recording an album and using it as my main snare. it is the most versitile snare ever made. there is nothing you can't do with it. its poppy, its warm, its deep, it can be anything you want it to be.


New member
I'm looking for a snare with a good thick/solid tone but with a serious crack.
I've got a yamaha maple 14", DW brass 14", and Pork Pie maple 12".

I have a pretty big arsenal of snare drums at my disposal, and honestly, any one of them can be tuned or altered to get the job done... it's just fun to have piles of 'em around to play with.

The truth is, Yamaha, DW and Pork Pie are all great drums... You already have what you need, with the possible exception of head selection and tuning.


New member
Got to be Ludwig Black Beauty.....
If in doubt, just listen to Pink Floyd The Wall....

I bought one 12 months ago....I had a Chad Smith before, which is great live, but the engineer had to really work to get any good recording sound out of it...

The first time i played the BB with my band, even the bass player was smiling....!!!!! How often does a bass guy notice drum sounds?

It sounds great live and I can't wait to record with it in Feb 07...
at the end of the day, its a bit like any drum really...even with effects you can only make it sound so good and what are you trying to make it sound like anyway? If the drum is brilliant anyway, then no effects are required!!!

Jase, MelonFarmer

www.melonfamer.tv (Chad Smith on current recordings...BB in Feb 07!!!!)


New member
I own an Akira Jimbo snare that I have used for years but only when I need a real snappy and high-pitched pop. It's not very full bodied but there definately times when it sounds great with the song. I also have a custom spaun 24 ply maple. It sounds amazing and makes up for everything that the Akira Jimbo lacks.