Available in a wide selection of models, Puresound Custom Snare Wires are specially designed and handcrafted to enhance the tone, articulation, sensitivity and projection of a full range of custom and production-line snare drums.
Puresound snares are made from exclusively formulated steel-alloy wires which are coiled and heat-treated before being uniformly hand-soldered to vintage-style, polished copper end clips. Finally, to protect them from corrosion without adversely affecting their sound, Puresound wires are sealed with a light coat of clear lacquer and individually packaged with both string and mylar straps for mounting.
Due to these unique designs, materials and manufacturing methods, Puresound’s classic Custom and Vintage snare wires are more consistent, more durable and better sounding than conventional wires – achieving optimum sound and performance in any musical setting. But, because Puresound is a snare wire specialist, several series of newly designed, specialized models have also been created to provide contemporary drummers with a variety of unique tonal options and performance levels. Puresound Equalizer, Varitone and 221 snare wires alter the number of strands and their position in relation to the snare bed, the weight of the wire or the type of coil pattern to allow more extreme levels of tone, spread, clarity, response and range.
Choosing the right set of snare wires has always been one of the most effective (and least expensive) ways to change the sound of a snare drum. Now, with the expanded quality and selection of Puresound Snare Wires, it’s an easy way to improve your drum sound and performance, too.
The Vintage Series
Puresound’s Vintage Series snare wires are designed not only to replace worn and no longer available wires on vintage snare drums, they are also designed to enhance the performance of those classic drums. With a new set of Puresound wires, Dynasonics, Radio Kings, WFLs and Super-Sensitives will sound and perform as well if not better than they did when they were new.
The Custom Series
Puresound’s Custom Series wires are available in 12, 16, 20 or 24 strand models which feature medium-gauge wire with evenly spaced, standard coils. The original, 16-strand model is the most popular and, due to its superior quality, outperforms most other manufacturer’s 18 and 20-strand versions. The Custom line offers four different strand configurations that can be employed to change the balance between the
drum and snare components of the sound. Assuming that tuning and snare tension remain constant, models with more strands tend to allow the snares to be more active in influencing the sound while those with less strands allow the drum to be more prominent in the overall drum sound.
The Equalizer Series
The Equalizer line has been created to modify the spread and activity of the snare sound by working in conjunction with the snare drum’s natural acoustics and snare bed design. Equalizers feature an off-set design that removes the strands from the middle of the drum – in effect decreasing the vibration of the wires – somewhat like laminating a dot in the center of the head. Not only is the snare drum drier and crisper with an Equalizer, it is less influenced by sympathetic vibrations from other drums and instruments.
Puresound’s new 221 model creates a truly unique set of tonal and performance characteristics by utilizing a revolutionary 2-to-1 coil design. Each of the 221’s eight strands is made up of a pattern of two long coils and one short coil to achieve a drier, darker, distinctively gutty sound.
The exclusive Varitone Variable Tone Snare Wire System uses light, medium and heavy gauge wire to provide more pronounced dark, midrange and bright tonal options. The Light Varitone model is very sensitive and recommended for light-duty orchestral, jazz and studio applications where their darker, more subtle tonal qualities can be best appreciated.
The Heavy model is suggested for heavy-duty, high volume live playing situations where increased durability and projection are required. The performance characteristics of the Medium Varitone model are similar to those of the more midrange P-1416 Custom Series version. Due to their ability to quickly an significantly change the sound of a drum, the Varitone System can be very effectively used in close-miked studio recording and live situations – often reducing the need for multiple drums.
How Your Snare Beds Affect Your Snare Sound
By Not So Modern Drummer’s John Aldridge
When choosing a set of snare wires for your snare drum, it is important to consider the design of your drum as well as the type of sound you want to get from it. One of the most overlooked considerations in selecting the right set of snare wires is a drum’s snare beds. The snare bed is essential n creating a bow in the center of bottom head that increases the amount of contact between the drumhead and the snare wires themselves.
Keep in mind that not all snare beds are created equal. Some are as wide as 8 inches and as deep as a quarter inch, where others are as narrow as an inch and a half or as shallow as 4/1000ths of an inch. A deep, wide snare bed will produce a bow in the head which is fairly consistent over much of the surface. A narrow, shallow bed will create a bow and a snare sound that are less pronounced. However, both types of beds can be very effective in producing attractive snare sounds in a wide variety of applications.
To determine the type of snare bed your drum has, take the bottom head off the drum and place the drum on a flat surface. Put a light source inside the shell so that you can easily see the gap between the shell and the surface. This will allow you to more accurately gauge the width and depth of the snare bed. Once you’ve gotten a measurement of the bed, you can determine what type of snares will give you the sound and action you want.
Start with the basic premise of choosing a set of snares that will best complement the snare beds on your drum. Remember the old adage, “Less is more”. There are few places where this saying applies more accurately than in choosing a set of snare wires.
- To get the brightest, most resonant sound from the drum and the most activity out of the wires, select a set of snares that are about ½ the width of your snare bed, generally 12-16 strands. That way, the part of the head that is most active (the center of the bed) will have the most impact on the sound and provide you with the most snare action (sensitivity and response).
- If you are playing in an environment where you want a lot of snare action, but would prefer a bit shorter decay, choose a set of snares that are slightly wider – approximately 3/4ths the width of the snare bed – usually 16 to 20 strands.
- In a close-miked studio environment, where you might want to get the maximum snare sound but decreased response and decay, try a snare unit that is wide enough to cover the entire snare bed – 20 to 24 strands.
- To further dampen the drum, use the widest set of snares available (assuming the snare bed is wide enough to accommodate them). This will focus the drum’s tone and reduce the length of decay as much as is possible without muffling or choking the drum. However, as the bow of the head decreases towards the edges of the snare bed, the amount of tension on the snares may have to be increased to keep the outer strands from bussing excessively. Generally, this tends to lessen the impact of using wider snares in the first place, but because Puresound snares are designed to be more active than others, the 24-strand model is wide enough to accomplish this effect while avoiding snare wire tension problems.
- In situations where an even drier, tighter, yet still musical sound is required, the off-set wires of an Equalizer model may be the ideal choice.
Carl Allen (independent)
Gerald Heyward (Blackstreet)
Bill Ashbaugh (N’Sync)
Jim Keltner (LA studio)
Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band)
Stephen Perkins (Methods of Mayhem)
Gorden Campbell (Earth, Wind & Fire)
Joe Porcaro (LA studio)
Peter Erskine (independent)
John “JR” Robinson (LA studio)
Jeff Hamilton (independent)
Steve Smith (Vital Information)