I just re-read my post from a few years ago.
A fun fact, one of the snares actually came true. The 13×5.75 birch, actually came to life! Just not in single ply birch, because I wanted something less loud.
There are several ideas that I still think would be rather cool. However, as I grew, my thoughts as a drummer changed. I became a whole lot more practical. Probably because of work and all, I realised that it is really quite hard to earn money.
First consideration before ordering a custom drum, do you even have enough money to pay for it? I mean, if you don’t, don’t spend on it lah! There are many fantastic options out there. I for one had this rather long obsession with mapex drums. Taiwanese made shells, that really aren’t too bad! The hardware set are quite good too. PDP offers some really cool options! Now that Chad Smith has his signature snare in PDP. One should really check it out! Tama has its SLP snares, which were really quite attractive. Pearl has its own line of affordable snares. I am pretty sure you can find a Chad Smith signature steel snare for around 200-300+. Pork Pie has its patina brass snare. You really don’t need to spend the most amount of money for a snare, there are really quite a few other options out there.
Second thing to take note, an untuned expensive drum will sound WAY worse than a tuned cheap drum. Same concept goes for drum heads and snare wires. Though often neglected, most of the time, simply changing the drumheads and snare wires, your drum tone will be WAY better. Of course tuning is still paramount. Watch Bob Gatzen’s tuning videos on YouTube and be amazed! It will still take some time before you can get comfortable with tuning, but you can save the money that you spend on the expensive custom drum on tuning tools. A torque drum key costs around 30-40 dollars. It will help you tune by tension, which in a lot of cases it really does suffice. A tune bot will cost around $140? Which is pricey, but you are now able to tune drums to perfection, how nice is that?
Third thing you need to consider before paying is why are you building this snare for? Are there cheaper alternatives? If you are making a 14×6.5 brass snare, think about why you are buying it. Is it because of sound? Is it because if looks? All too often, people build snares just for the sake of it. I mean, just how many 14×6.5 snares do you need? The thing about sizes is that, even though the materials aren’t the same, there will be similar sonic qualities because of size.
Does having four 14×6.5 snares have more difference in tonal quality than one 14×6.5, one 13×7, one 12×6.5 and one 14×4.5?
I don’t think so. Having contrast in tone is SOOO Important. You really wouldn’t want your snares to sound the same.
Well, I know it sounds like I am discouraging people from buying custom snare drums, but I am honestly not. There are things that you can only do with boutique custom drum makers. My custom drum is this 13×5.75 red stained, birch shell with staggered lugs, MAG throw off and 3 position butt plate. Haha, I dare you to find a drum with my same specs. The closest will probably be the Benny Greb’s snare, but I really cannot afford that. Everything from the finish to the lug placement were all hand made and hand assembled and it is cheaper than the Sonor.
Having the ability to choose and design my own drum was just a great feeling. HAHA! And the tone. Goodness, such a great snare!
I am just here to tell people to be more practical that is all! 🙂
I definitely won’t make any of my previous designs. Why? They aren’t practical at all. My current train of thought is to have a 14×4.5 and a 12×6.5 probably birch next. However, I am actually rather happy with my set up. Maybe I might just get the new Chad Smith acrylic snare! HAHA!
However, now I just spent too much money alr, I need to save! Oh well! 🙂