View Full Version : tweaking snare beds, help

11-25-2009, 01:49 AM
I have an MIJ snare that really should sound better than it does- the shell is sound and the hoops are decent, the heads and snares are brand new...
Basically, there`s almost zero snare response and little to no sensitivity. It does have some small shallow snare beds but I am guessing they are the culprit for this problem. Since this one is indeed a luan shell (so a soft wood), I am thinking I could just gently sand out some deeper snare beds using one of my nicer drums as a model- sort of a test project. I did a search on here but "snare beds" came out with a bit too many extraneous hits to find anything.
Is there a thread here already on repairing snare beds? Anyone have advice or experience doing it that would be helpful? Remember, this is by no means my main drum- it`s just a fun project - so no need to recommend the elaborate- I am thinking simple. Thanks in advanceSumo Dude

11-25-2009, 02:29 AM
Here's a part of a thread where Mcjnic used a dremmel tool. It's not a blow by blow account, however. The whole thread (http://www.vintagedrumforum.com/showthread.php?t=6964) is a good read about a very shallow snare bed problem.
BTW, I visited your site, man I dig your vibe... great stuff!
Clapping Happy2

11-25-2009, 09:04 AM
I have as well (checked your site), Dude, were you a hyperactive kidExcited? Do you ever sit still? I mean wow! And a day job to boot? It wears me out just thinking about it! Cool that you can go like that. I am old, and it hurts to just get up,Hurting let alone go all the time.

11-25-2009, 10:26 AM
Fellas, you`re too kind to animals:D

Lifes`s too short to sit around and all you can do is sit around I guess!

So anyway- I got that beautiful Hoshino kit the other day (photos coming- I took them but haven`t uploaded them yet) The bass, and two toms sound excellent with new Remo Ambys on them. The snare, while in good cond. inside and out- obviously needs the beds worked on. So thank you - I`ll read that thread and do my research and post about it again in a few daysSumo Dude

11-28-2009, 09:17 AM
Go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and get a cheap wood file. The one that is half mooned on one side and flat on the other. Draw a template for your snare beds with a fine point sharpie then file to the line you drew. You may want to sand the last little part and smooth out the edge with some fine grit sandpaper.

11-28-2009, 12:20 PM
Thanks alot for that affirmation. Very funny- I started this thread thinking about making beds for a cheap MIJ I just picked up but even before reading your reply a situation just arose that just made me go on instinct and do exactly what you describe on another drum today with just fantastic results.
Thursday night I received a killer Austin badge Fibes 5x14" maple snare from an auction- the shell and heads like new. But the Nickelworks strainer on it was stripped and broken and the butt plate was stripped too. Hmmmmm.... guess why? Whoever built the snare @ the factory must have forgotten to put in any snare beds at all- I sh`t you not- I was so suprised! Beautiful drum- but with all the signs of no beds. Snares rattle at every tension and no sensitivity. The stripped out strainer and butt must have been from someone trying to get it to stop freaking rattling- but ofcourse nothing would work. I did some soul searching, grabbed a light wood file and sanded out two sweet beds- not too deep and not too wide or shallow. Took on the show tonight and it sounded beautiful. I bet it`s the first time this used Fibes ever sounded right.
This week I am going to work on a few MIJ Pearl Luan 60`s snares and do their beds. If done carefully and not over-done - I see this can be a real improvement and a good skill to have.Sumo Dude

big daddy
11-28-2009, 02:36 PM
I think you're headed in the right direction. It's a pain to keep taking the head and snares off, but you'll have less chance of ruining the drum if you go a little at a time and keep testing your work.

FYI... I have a very nice Tama Artwood maple snare (not vintage) which has basically NO snare beds to speak of. This drum has plenty of snare, no rattle and is articulate (for a 6.5 " deep drum), so go figure.

11-28-2009, 07:32 PM
Interesting....I was given a Gretsch Catalina 5X14 by a friend who could NOT make it sound right-and the same issue-NO snare bed.So I also wood filed a 1/8"by maybe 1 1/2"wide bed on either side and carefully matched the bevel as best I could,and tapered it into the regular bed.It's residing with the "bastard"church set.Nice for free......

11-28-2009, 10:39 PM
I here you`all- needs to be done carefully for sure. I wonder- metal drums have no snare beds yet have lots of sensitiivity?

11-28-2009, 11:38 PM
I here you`all- needs to be done carefully for sure. I wonder- metal drums have no snare beds yet have lots of sensitiivity?

That's not true. The only metal drum that has ALMOST no snare bed to speak of is the Rogers Dyna-sonic.......every other well made metal snare drum (wood too) in the world has snare beds formed into the shell in some way shape or form.

big daddy
11-29-2009, 12:16 AM
Agree with LD - Even my Kent metal snare and a CB-700 COS snare I own have snare beds.

11-29-2009, 01:06 AM
Man oh man, did I ever go through this one. I have a Slingerland Artist model snare that came with my Buddy kit. It really had no snare bed to speak of. Pretty much missing in action. I tested the stupid thing till I wanted to kick my dog...then remembered I only have a cat. Dang. I ended up taking the dremel tool to it in the middle of the night. That snare sings now. I went a bit deeper than most. I've played a few snares over the years and remembered the beds of one of my faves. I popped that one onto this snare and am very happy. I was very surprised that Slingerland would have let a snare out the door without cutting a doggone bed into it. I've since learned that this was not unusual. Oh well. Love the drum now! It's very very sensitive with a soft touch. It doesn't choke at all. I lay into it HARD and it still sizzles. Cool.

11-29-2009, 06:27 AM
Thanks for all these stories and experiences- it`s a kind of collective information that really, really makes a difference. I just came back from the second show with the new Fibes that I cut the beds in and I am really happy with it. Later this evening I am going to begin working some beds on some MIJs.