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There is a fine selection of high-priced metal snares available, which are made from a variety of metals - not just the usual steel or brass, but aerospace-grade aluminium, copper and even titanium. Although it’s tempting to assume that rare metals such as titanium must sound great because they’re expensive, this is not necessarily the case...
They have a particular timbre, which may or may not appeal – aluminium is quite dry, copper earthy and darkTake a trusted, known snare along with you as a reference when you try out some of the more exotic offerings. And be prepared for some surprising sounds.
An important structural feature in which expensive metal snares differ from cheaper ones is their shell construction. Up-market snares are usually seamless, while most cheaper shells have a vertical weld.
Producing a seamless shell means spinning the metal as opposed to the relatively easy method of bending a fl at strip into a circle and welding it together. Obviously, the welded join causes some interruption in the shell resonance. Having said that, some snares - such as Ludwig’s, for example - are spun in two halves, top and a bottom, and are also joined at the central strengthening bead.
Here’s our guide to buying the best…