The snare drum is the central hub of any drummer’s kit, and will define your sound to a large extent, that is why so many drummers hunt for the very best snare drum and in fact, they usually own more than one snare drum. But it can be a daunting task for those who are unfamiliar with what’s out there to determine what snares to have on hand. Luckily, there are a few stalwarts that never seem to go out of style, and every engineer, studio owner, producer and drummer would be well-served to have one of them by hand.

So in this article, we will present you the 9 most popular and well-recognized snare drums available throughout the decades, you won’t do wrong with any of them and you won’t need to break a bank to get one.

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 14×5.5 Snare Drum

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Continuing on the success of the highly acclaimed Yamaha Stage Custom series comes the new Stage Custom Birch (redesigned for 2014). Already considered to be among the best drum sets in its class, the new generation Stage Custom Birch has received several significant upgrades.

Yamaha upgraded the shells with the same thicker ply concept used on Live Custom and rounded the bearing edges for more head to shell contact, which provides a fatter sound. Additionally, the shells contain the Absolute-style lug (typically found on Yamaha’s higher-end kits), die-cast claws and new bass drum spurs, a ten-lug snare drum, a beautiful badge, new tom depths, and a brand new Pure White color option. Ideal for beginners and pros alike, the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch provides high end Yamaha quality at a great value. This product is a Snare Drum; 14 x 5.5 Inches.

Pearl S1330B 13 x 3 Inches Black Steel Piccolo Snare Drum

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Piccolo and Effects Snare Drums have become some of the most widely used and best selling Snare Drums in popular music today. Their crisp brilliant attack and tight sound with excellent projection have led many players to use them as both a secondary and primary snare.

Pearl’s 13’x3′ Piccolo Snare Drums are available with your choice of Brass, Maple or Steel shell. Each offers a slightly different tone and voicing, allowing you to fine tune the pitch to best suit your personal needs. The item number listed on this page is for an individual component drum, not a complete kit. The photograph on the left may be an example of a complete kit or of a similar component drum and is intended to be a representation of the piece you are ordering. Please pay close attention to the description when ordering each component piece.

Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum – 6.5 Inches X 14 Inches

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Built to focus on tight, crisp projection, the 7″ depth on this 13″ model ads full-bodied sonic elements to its powerful attack. Beaded Black Nickel over Brass Shell w/ Matching Die Cast Hoops and Tube-Lugs.

Ludwig pioneered the black-nickel over brass shell concept in the early 1920’s, setting a standard that all others would follow. Black Magic Snare Drums bring that signature sound and quality to a whole new playing spectrum, with four models to satisfy any playing situation. Accentuated with matching tube lugs and die-cast hoops, Black Magic snares deliver classic tone that drummers have come to expect from Ludwig.

Tama S.L.P. Big Black Steel Snare Drum

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This Tama S.L.P. offers a full, wet tone to power up your backbeat. On the cornerstone of a 1mm thick steel shell, this snare is fitted with hardware that can stand up to a challenge. The Steel Mighty Hoops are triple-flanged and 2.3mm thick, providing a “wetter” sound than diecast zinc and an articulate rimshot or accent, when needed.

This titan-sized snares drum have been enormously popular with drummers who are into heavier styles of music such as hard rock, metal, and punk. Although tremendously rich and fat due to its massive size, this snare’s steel shell also imparts some brightness, giving you long sustain and a heavy-fisted, penetrating character that will easily cut through whatever sonic cacophony you might be rocking to.  Whether you’re playing clubs, concerts, or recording, the Tama S.L.P. Big Black Steel snare drum will give you a deep, brutal, bucket tone and sizzling overtones with every powerful, devastating hit.

MAPEX MPML4800BMB MPX Series Maple Snare Drum

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 MPX snares were introduced to complement the Mapex Black Panther Series of premium snare drums. The MPX line includes eight new models available with steel, maple or birch shells. Features include low mass lugs, flanged steel hoops, fully adjustable throw-offs, and Remo drumheads.

The MPX maple snare drum delivers a warm and sensitive sound with a crisp and fat backbeat. Their tone and tuning range are well suited to match a variety of playing styles and musical genres. Of course there are more expensive, more quality snares, but this is a great snare to add to an arsenal of snares if you are looking for different sounds.  The 14×8 has nice low end wood often lacks and can be used as a tom when desired. 

Ludwig Snare Drum (LW6514SL)

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The Ludwig Supralite is regarded as one of the best snare drums in the market. Measuring 14 x 6.5 inches in size, the drum features a versatile, warm steel snare offering one of the best economical prices in the market.

The Ludwig Supralite has a 1.5mm beaded steel stell which allows the user to achieve a wide tuning range, including a rounded attack with ample overtone. The drum features a classic appearance and is equipped with stout chrome-over-brass lugs that compliment 2.3mm triple flanged hoops. Regarding performance, the Ludwig Supralite is a great drum with awesome settings. The drum provides a perfect balance, more sensitivity and brighter with good tuning range that will provide you with the sound you want.

Mapex MPX14 inch x 5.5 inch All Maple Snare Drum 

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The Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum demands attention in any playing situation. The drum’s solid 100% maple shell provides crisp attack along with full rich tonality. The gloss-finished drum shell is adorned with chrome-plated triple-flanged hoops, and chrome-plated lugs. Mapex includes Remo drumheads, and a 20-strand snare wire with the MPX Maple Snare Drum.

The natural all maple finish gives it a classic look and the size is suitable for all playing styles. It can be used as a concert snare standalone and can also be great in a kit.

ADM Student Drum Set (GS81)

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This is a quality snare drum every student can get at an affordable price, and it’s a drum produced by a reliable brand, which has been reliable for many of its good quality. Measuring 14 x 5.5 inches in size, the ADM snare drum is designed with birch shell as the primary body material, making it equal to other of its peers in the snare drum market.

Having the student in mind, ADM Snare Drum offers precise craftsmanship that ensures correct use when the rods and lugs are fully set-ups. The ADM Student Drum Set delivers powerful, punchy and clear sound with an aggressive attack. ADM snare drum is a steel snare drum having a glossy black finish. The drum also has a powerful punch and aggressive attack. The 8-pics lug provides balance while aiding fine tuning.

Griffin Snare Drum

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At such low price point, snare drum by Griffin is a real steal! With a sharp, aggressive attack and powerful punch, Griffin’s wood 14” snare drum features eight (8) tuning lugs for a more stable, higher quality sound when compared to other six (6) lug drums. Utilize the snare drum throw-off to tighten, loosen, or mute the snares as you prefer, and they even include a drum key with each wood shell snare drum as well.

The black wrap with simple, high-gloss finish that is gorgeous to look at and the unrivaled craftsmanship make this deluxe musical instrument a worthy addition to any drummer’s collection. An excellent choice for beginners, students or professional musicians, this 14 inch x 5.5 inch snare drum can be easily used as a primary or secondary snare. Drum head top: White coating. Drum head bottom: clear.