Puresound Snares Review

Puresound Snares

Review By Ben Jacoby ©1999

I've spent some time tweaking the Puresound snares I bought at PASIC (special show prices!) and I'll pass on my findings.


Since everyone has been raving about Puresound snares being the ONLY snares to buy, I figured I'd give them a try. I figured anything had to be better than the usual Taiwan fare which seems to be about all you can get these days...

First Set : I bought 12" Puresound snares to replace the Taiwan snares on the 5 x 12 snare I built and use on my "jungle" kit.  The first thing I *didn't* like about them was that they only have holes for snare cord and don't have slots for tape.  I actually like to use my snare in tom mode and I've found that with snare cords the snares tend to not fall as far from the drum and when you really lay into it, the snares will rattle.

I bitched to the guy at the booth about it, and he gave me a big line of company BS about how cords work just as well and keep the snares more even etc.  So I took them home and tried them, but in fact the cords didn't work as well and the strips do keep snares even when installed properly.  Next day I went back and gave him what for about this and he backed off now taking the tack that drummers are stupid and don't really have the smarts to properly install tape etc. and the throw-offs aren't made with enough travel etc.  Well, that's true!  And I don't know why people who design throw-offs never give them enough travel to *really* throw the snares off no matter what, but they *Don't*. And I've got to live with it.  Just saying it's someone else's problem doesn't help ME!

Anyway, bottom line (and between the lines) is that punching a slot is expensive, and they apparently didn't want to spend the money just yet, but very soon they all will be slotted. (applause!)  By the way my Yamaha snare used filament tape to hold the snares and while it worked OK, it got gummy after a while. Best I've found is to just cut up strips of mylar drawing paper. It takes on the drum shape and actually pushes the snares down away from the drum when you throw them off.

Anyhow. Final judgement: Puresound snares on the 12" drum simply brought it to life!  Made it sound like I paid a grand for it instead of the  $75 or so for parts.  Sensitivity was simply phenomenal you couldn't (can't...snares are still on the drum!) play soft enough to make the snares quit and the sound was so sharp and nice.  Sounds so "expensive".  Truly a success story.

Second Set :   My Radio King snare has needed "special" snares for some time now. The originals have a couple of broken wires and I've tried to get replacements. No luck. I modified a set of Taiwan snare for it and they sounded so bad I took them right off! Figured it must have been the gauge of the wire or something. However, Puresound makes snares especially for Radio King drums! I got a set. OK, so the mounting hole was too small for the screw. You can't expect them to know everything! So I drilled it biggie. Et, Voila! The first set of replacement snares on that drum that ever sounded exactly like the originals.  Man, I've been nursing those old snares along all these years because I couldn't get that sound elsewhere, but now I have it! Success story number two.

Set Three :   I bought a 14" Puresound snare set to fit the 14" maple snare I built using the parts from my Yamaha metal snare which really looks like a million but never sounded very good. (I can switch the hoops/ rods etc. back and forth if I wanted to use the metal drum). Once again, though I hate the snare cords, and the snares did rattle if you really lay into the drum, the sound with the new snares was simply
amazing! The dynamic range with these snares just kills! I think I will have to cut slots in the ends for tape, however.

Set Four: So buoyed by all these great improvements in my snares, I eagerly bought a 13" set to try on my pics. I thought, gads, maybe just possibly Rob is right about my Grover cables being sucky.  Well, that's WRONG! I put on the Puresound snares and MAN, did they ever SUCK! I never EVER heard snares sound this bad. It was like playing e-drums! As you backed off, the snares would simply quit making noise! Tweek as I might I could not get those snares to even *work* let along sound good.

So I figure, maybe it's just a fluke and I rip them off and slap them on my 13" brass pic. Now the Dixon pic has a snare bed, while the brass pic does not. Without a snare bed the snares were even WORSE! Quit at any volume below mf. Really nasty sound. Total waste of money. Tweaked and tweaked and eventually gave up. Put the Grover cable snares back on and all the old sensitivity and sharpness returned! It just blew me away to find wire snares LESS sensitive than cable snares!   So no matter what Rob says, Grover cable snares still rule on a pic! (holding pic over butt to fend off rhythm saw attack!)


But three out of  four ain't bad!  Yeah the snare cord thing kinda sucks but that should change soon. But I have to agree for most purposes these Puresound snares really kill. Gives you drum a really *expensive* sound. It's hard to imagine that something as trivial as changing the kind of wire snares are made of would make such a world of difference, but it DOES!  Check 'em out. For deeper snares you are gonna love 'em.

That's all I know.

Benj.Puresound Snares Review

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