I love working on different snare drums across all of the various drum manufacturers. For me (personal opinion), outside of vintage Ludwig and Leedy snare drums, the modern Pearl Free-Floating set up and the late '90s-early 2000s DW Craviotto series snares are some of the best snares made...well that and the Sonor bronze cast artist series (I mean, my god, Ryan Van Poederooyen and his bronze Sonor 6x14 will melt ears). But I digress.
I had a chance early this year in February to help a client who came via referral from Fox Music in Charleston. Fox Music has been a staple in the Charleston area for nearly 100 years ... good people and a great family run business ... the way it should be. The client had a misbehaving snare drum that he couldn't get tuned properly. It was a Pearl Free-Floating piccolo snare drum in natural maple, 3.5x14.
Upon inspection, it had a few issues. The obvious was a clipped snare wire ... the not so obvious, once I took it apart, was a combination of three things: 1) nearly half of the tension rods were mismatched and of different lengths, 2) the shell wasn't seated properly on the cast hoop, and 3) over years of playing, the accumulation of wood chips, within the outer shell at the cast base hoop, was not letting the shell sing.
That doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Wrong. Not having the shell properly seated in the cast base hoop was one of the major tuning culprits. However, that nearly half of the tension rods were mismatched and of different lengths was an equal contributing factor. Consistency is key in tuning and piccolo snare drums will easily exacerbate inconsistencies.
The result: this Pearl Free-Floating piccolo snare drum now pops with ease.
Take a peak at the before and after pics below.
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