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  • #31

    Did Pearl make Free Floaters withOUT a snare bed ? Extended wire versions?

    bill f:
    My 14X6.5 Maple Free Floating snare does not have a snare bed...
    ...Neither does my 14X5.5 Mapex Saturn snare.
    The Free Floater has extended wires. The Saturn does not.

    My 2002 Pearl 14x5 brass free floater did NOT have snare beds.

    bill f: (after taking a picture and inspecting his more closely)
    It has some sort of metal bottom ring. The edge does not roll over at the spots where you'd expect the snare beds to be. Instead, the edges are a bit (not much) thicker at those spots. The edge starts out very thin on both sides of the drum and gradually becomes thicker as it nears what would normally be the snare beds.
    Maybe the thickest points are actually considered to be the snare beds. I'm not sure. But they are definitely not your standard, rolled-over, snare beds.

    I have a free floater as well. It has a snare bed. It is just a shallow one - just a subtle dip in the aluminum strainer mechanism holder.

    gene okamoto: (PDF moderator)
    Free Floaters DO have a snare bed! They're 1.5mm deep and difficult to see but they're there.
    My snare collection:


    • #32
      whats the deal with the bottom bearing edge being so sharp it breaks heads??

      My Kit

      21" Zildjian A Rock Ride for sale

      Laus Deo Semper.


      • #33
        I have a Tico FF snare and I love it. It's really a nice snare. But every 3 songs or so both t-rods (tension rods) under where my hands are, top and bottom, are compeletly loose. Not a litte loose, but almost falling out. I've had the bottoms complete fall out on the floor. I've never had this problem with other snares. I have nylon washers on it, but that isn't helping.

        Could be a stripped lug socket or stripped t-rods...maybe lug locks would be a good solution...

        They don't seem stripped...they tighten up fine and as long as I'm playing it 'quiet' it's fine. They just don't seem to hold up to my playing.

        The same thing always happens to my Maple FF.

        I used to have the same problem with my brass FF, that and the snares coming loose, great sounding snare but that frustrated the crap out of me.

        Use Lug Locks or buy the tightscrews for free floaters.

        Maybe this can help.

        Does this snare have the pearl stainless steel machine t-rods?
        I've owned 3 different snares with these rods and they all have the same problem. Workaround was buying the last remaining stock of DW Tunerz in north america and replacing the diecast hoops with 2.3mm hoops. Snares now all stay in tune and sound a little better.

        I would highly recommend Lug Locks. Great little tools.
        Just throw them on the rods, top and bottom, of the areas where you're having problems, and it should be a good fix.
        My snare collection:


        • #34
          I would just like to ask about the old FF's. The ones with the hexagonal lugs. Are they any good? Would their lugs be like the newer ones where they always fall apart. I'm thinking of buying this snare (the old one w/ hexagonal lugs) and i'm afraid of the parts falling apart. especially the lugs.

          I've never heard of a Free-Floater falling apart. Mine has never given me any problems whatsoever, let alone failed (it's a newer style one, first year they put the S1000 strainers on them)

          I've got one of those you're talking about. A Pearl Maple FF 14"x7.5" MIJ.
          Brilliant snares. Hardware won't fail on you, no worries.

          Pearl snares are very well made, I'd be surprised if the lugs 'fell apart'. There's nothing to worry about

          The old strainers had internal plastic cams that would fail, I lost 2. The newer strainer is much better.

          Is there a 7 1/2 shell for a FF? I thought 6 1/2 was the deepest.

          8'' is the deepest . I know I own a brass & maple free-floater
          My snare collection:


          • #35
            i would just like to add, since i saw this thread at the top:

            I have a 2005 Brass Free Floater, 14x6.5. This had the extended wires stock and the wide snare wire "guides". I recently replaced the extended length pearl snares with puresound blasters, in the normal 14" size, and they sound/work fine. I never had a problem with the extended snares, i just wanted to try puresounds, and i see no reason why they wouldn't work. Also, by aluminum free floater "chassis" does have a small snare bed, you can see it in the wider flat section of the aluminum.
            Pacific MXR 24-8-10-12-14-16 in Ebony Oil

            Paiste Cymbals- 15, 20, 24" Giant Beats, 20" Signature Traditional Prototype Crash, 20" 2000 Mellow China

            Check out my band: Last Year's Winners


            • #36
              My snare sounded flat en crap the last rehearsal even after i put on an awesome Evans power dot center on.I first thought that it would be this head changed alot,but no..

              Later on i noticed that my reso head was CRACKED there were the beginning of the snarewires were.My snarewires were probably a little off place so it scratched against the bearing edge and it sharpened so the head cracked.I tune my reso high and don't want to buy reso heads every week so i came up with this...

              Where the bearing edge is very sharp i placed a little piece of tape over it won't cut in the head.Now my only point is,will it effect the sound of the snare,or does the freaks only hear that?
              I played a little bit since i replaced it and i don't notice any difference,exept that the FF sounds great again.
              Pearl MLX sequoia red (long lugs)
              Pearl "All maple shell" snare 14x6.5
              Ludwig Supraphonic "Chrome over brass" snare 14x6.5
              Yamaha brass snare 14x5.5
              Pearl free floating brass snare 14x6.5
              Sabian and Zildjian cymbals.


              • #37
                There was some discussion recently on Pearl 13" free floaters. I thought it was worth adding to this thread.

                ... Pearl actually did make 13" free floaters a few years ago. They had acrylic shells and were a limited run. It was stated in another thread (I think masterworks section) though, that the 13" cradles are no longer produced.

                and here is the referenced thread....

                Even though they did the FFX (Acrylic 13" FF) run a few years back, they don't have the frames anymore.
                My snare collection:


                • #38
                  I had a second generation brass FF, the strainer guts were plastic and stripped out from normal use... aside from sounding too boxy, it was built poorly.
                  FS: 6.5x14 Craviotto mahogany, 8 lugs, 30deg edges, minty. $500+ship.


                  • #39
                    I have a 6.5 x 14 brass and I can see how you might describe it as boxy - although it compared favorably to a Yamaha brass of similar dimensions. However, the beauty of the FF is the shells interchange. I dropped a custom Zebrawood shell in it and now it really sounds fantastic.
                    As for durability, mine is built like a tank. But maybe I'm just easy on equipment.
                    My snare collection:


                    • #40
                      I always wondered about this FFs as I never owned or played one, but my thinking is this:
                      To get the pop from a snare drum, the bottom head is the main ingredient, actually, when I used Die Cast Hoops on a snare, it was only at the top, because using them at bottom, choked the drum drastically, so i get the nice rim shot, and the openness of the flanged at the bottom.
                      But it seems to me that the resonance given on a tight reso head will not affect as much the shell's vibration, in the FF system, as this head in not in direct contact with the shell.
                      This is the main reason why I do not own one, and because, after playing my Ludwigs, I have found no need to buy another snare drum, and I find a hassle to totally detune a snare drum and tune it again, just to get the sound from another shell material. Actually, that is why I own the Acro and the Supra, in order to get their different tones without detuning them. I know that they are very versatile, but I prefer just exchanging snare drums, instead of detuning or changing shells. One is tuned poppy and tight, the other fat and deep. but it is true that the benefit of owning just one system and exchanging shells makes me wonder if it is worth a try.
                      Very good info! I love this place!
                      The Ryctor!
                      Pearl BRX - 70's Ludwig Acrolite 404 - 1984 75th Anniversary Keystone Badge No Serial Ludwig Supraphonic 400 - Ludwig 402-Pearl Maple 14x5.5 MCX - Pearl MBX 6.5x14 - Zildjian A Customs and Vintage A's - Remo - Vic Firth - Audix


                      • #41
                        The best of both worlds would be to have many snares - and one of those is a FF.
                        You're right - you don't want to be swapping shells in the middle of a gig, that's not what the system is about. What is soooo nice is that if for instance you didn't like the sound of the current shell or maybe you changed bands and want a different sound - you don't have to buy a whole other drum - just the shell. And those can be bought cheaply or build one yourself for even less. Plus, if you're going into a session, you can easily change out so that you have more wood snare options or more metal snare options - whatever is going to be needed.
                        My snare collection:


                        • #42
                          (copied from a recent thread)

                          Has PEARL ever made a 14x8 free floater snare

                          Absolutely. It's not currently on the price list, but it was in the past. You can order one and there are lots of them floating (pardon the pun) around.
                          My snare collection:


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by PDGood
                            (copied from a recent thread)

                            Has PEARL ever made a 14x8 free floater snare

                            Absolutely. It's not currently on the price list, but it was in the past. You can order one and there are lots of them floating (pardon the pun) around.

                            My Kit

                            21" Zildjian A Rock Ride for sale

                            Laus Deo Semper.


                            • #44
                              Does anybody know if it is possible to buy the free floating system by itself, and if so, how much would that cost? There is one on ebay right now, and it's price is rapidly approching the price at which it would just be better to buy a FF snare and sell the shell (or.. you know.. keep it).

                              edit: I have seen a picture of a black brass FF, or so the poster said. It did not look like it had the same finish as the black steel FF drums, but I had never heard of a black brass one, so perhaps it was steel. It was a deeper snare, though, and I have only seen shallow black steel FF snares.
                              Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute Nouveau in Sea Blue Fade
                              Tama Super Mahogany 24/16/13


                              • #45
                                iv tried to buy the free floating system for a stave snare i made cant figure out how to buy one it seems like and un-orderable option.... not possible