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tuning around snare beds

 
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floid
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:13 pm    Post subject: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

I'm having trouble tuning the snare side of my wooden Gretsch Catalina snare, and I think it's to do with the snare beds.
If the snares point to noon and six, and counting the ten lugs clockwise from noon, then lugs 1, 5, 6, & 10 are by the beds. Using a hazy ambassador, I finger tighten all lugs, seat head, finger tighten again. A half turn per lug roughs in a low tuning. But as I try to crank up towards where I want to be, the bed lugs' tensioning gets weird. Lugs 2, 4, 7, and 9 don't have as much tension and are lower in pitch. Cranking tighter on them doesn't seem to even things out. After three or so tries of loosening and starting over, the head is deformed and will not even obtain low even pitch. I've started over with a fresh head and gotten the same results. I've reduced my adjustment increment, and still can't get out of a low range before everything goes wonky.
I can get "something sorta close" that just doesn't have much meat to it. Been living with it since I got this kit but I'm tired of the sound.
What am I doing wrong? Should I not tune the snare side tighter than the batter? Get an acrolite?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:09 am    Post subject: Re: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

How deep are the beds?

I've got a couple of older snares, and they're super deep compared to modern ones...like 1/8" or so. The bottom head wrinkles, where a calfskin head would conform to the contour.

They're just really dry, kinda plonky sounds.

An Acrolite would make a nice complement to it, or maybe you could have the bottom bearing edge recut to make the beds shallower.
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floid
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

They're not quite an eighth, but it looks more than a sixteenth. Half a turn beyond finger tight they still don't make good contact with the head. And yeah, plonk or bonk or somewhere in that vicinity is where I usually end up. The head doesn't really have a fundamental note
You mentioned calfskin, is such a snare intended to work with a thicker snare side head?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject: Re: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

Calfskin conforms to the beds better, because it stretches...which, of course, is a whole different can of worms.

In general, calfskin snareside heads are still super thin. A thinker head will just make the snares less responsive, adding to the plonk.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:28 pm    Post subject: Re: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

Thought i'd update:
This is not the first wooden snare i've had this problem with, and I recently encountered it again. The solution for me turned out to be throwing away one of the basic things I thought I knew about tuning drums: that whole thing about muting one head so you can rough in the tuning of the other. I roughed in the batter, flipped the snare over on its stand, and was able to get the snare side where I wanted it pretty quickly with nothing more than some finger muting and then open tuning each lug. A few flips over and over in the stand and it was ready to string snares.
Snares ended up sounding good WAY looser than usual, simply b/c they didn't fight the rest of the kit.
Gradually learning over and over again that each lug on a kit affects the whole kit, making it pointless to try to treat it in isolation.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:59 pm    Post subject: Re: tuning around snare beds Reply with quote

Azza guitarist who - rightfully, I say - is obsessive about very little but certainly about keeping in tune, you make me feel good!

And of course, I do play wooden guitars. Twisted Evil
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