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  1. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    3,087

    Default Snare construction inspired by Pearl in the 80's

    For ages I have been contemplating building/constructing a snare that matches my 1984 DX series Pearl kit (see sig).
    The snare that came with these kits is a "Professional series" 6 1/2 x 14" steel shell.
    I prefer wood shell snares live and for decades have used an 8 ply maple '80-83 Pearl snare (see sig for resto of that)
    The toms have outer birch ply and I always thought/wondered if a birch shelled snare may suit my kit better. For some reason, Pearl didn't build birch shelled snares when the DX series came out.

    Finally, last year, I found an Australian distributor for Keller shells.
    Alan "Tucker" Weir owns disturbance drums:
    http://www.disturbancedrums.com
    Tucker specialises in stave shelled drums if you're inclined to go that way, but has also worked hard to source ply shells.
    Tucker is awesome, cannot do enough to help, has a great service ethic and nothing is a problem!

    So after to ing an fro ing with e-mails and prices, discussing snare beds and options, I started the order process. Mid way into that, Tucker came up with a new/another supplier from the UK, with thicker shells and less ply's. So less glue.
    I was happy to be guinea pig...
    We arranged for an all birch 6 1/2" x 14" shell, with snare beds around 3mm deep, and double 45 degree bearing edges, in keeping with the era and the rest of the kit. I decided to have the vent hole put in using the golden ratio. The vent hole, vent hole drilling and bearing edges were included in the shell price. Lug drilling was up to me, Tucker will drill if you use his lugs.
    I also ordered a pair of 2.3mm hoops and some Puresound wires from Tucker.

    On to the hunt for hardware.
    I bought another Professional series snare to strip. In the meantime I was involved in a question about these snares in the Vintage section, when PDF'er scoopyx said he had one in pieces that could be mine for postage.
    The shell was out of round and warped and he had no inclination to repair it.
    Done deal.
    While I was tempted to use the extended gladstone strainer from the shell, I half wondered if somewhere not to far down the track, Pearl may elect to discontinue the S-025 snare wires that fit it.
    So I went halfway, getting a Sensitone S-017 Strainer and butt from my local Pearl supplier.

    scoopy's gear turned up first.



    One of the issues with the old Pearl spring loaded coffin lugs can be that the inserts not end up seating properly due to burrs. 6 lugs required attention. This is no reflection on scoopyx at all, it happens to many of us.
    You can see the problem here:



    So out with the small triangular and round files.
    Then wrap the spring in felt, reassemble, and hand cut rubber gaskets for the lugs:



    Next came a box from Tucker:



    You can clearly see the thickness of the shell



    Tucker left the markup tape on for me:



    Skyline of the bearing edge:



    It turned out the fundamental pitch of my bare shell was slightly sharp of B.

    Taking my time, I marked out and drilled all the holes. One tiny error, which isn't evident at all. I was happy.

    While I have done my own finishes in the past, my band's guitarist, who is also a luthier, elected to finish it for me.
    Internally, the shell was sealed with shellac after a 120 grit sanding.
    Externally the finish (after 360 grit sanding) was stain with 16 coats of nitrocellulose, sanded and buffed.
    Due to weather, this took a while.

    After I got the shell back I polished it with a high quality furniture polish, then buffed again. I rubbed the bearing edges with cabinet makers wax and 0000 grade steel wool, then buffed them too.

    Assembly took no time.

    So here it is:
    A snare inspired by what many consider to be perhaps the best Pearl shells of all, the early to mid 80's, but in Birch.
    scoopyx's shell donated the lugs, superhoops (series1) and internal damper









    The snare has had one rehearsal.
    A review after it's first gig this coming Friday night...


    Enjoy!



    Grant

  2. I'm Ron $%&# Swanson

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    OC, California
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    great job! that looks really well done. How is the sound?
    I'm using my Christmas avatar until they are the correct size.

    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."- Calvin (Bill Watterson)

  3. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks!

    I tune high normally.
    When I first hit it, it was like a rifle going off!
    I backed it off on both reso and batter and:

    Medium attack, responsive, warm, crisp. Minimal overtones. Satisfying

  4. I miss the beat

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Neverlands
    Posts
    427

    Default

    Nice job!

  5. Registered User

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Brisbane Qld
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Really great job,the SR-017 strainer perfect.

  6. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    Default

    Thanks Headshrinker and Robert!

  7. Registered User

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,446

    Default

    Who did the shell come from in the end? There's a number of very good boutique shell manufacturers in the UK now, Alan Tocknell, Gareth Heeley, Gary Noonan etc

  8. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mpthomson View Post
    Who did the shell come from in the end? There's a number of very good boutique shell manufacturers in the UK now, Alan Tocknell, Gareth Heeley, Gary Noonan etc
    I don't know exactly sorry.
    The shell is well made and sounds great!

    Gigged it first time last night.
    Totally impressed with it. Batter tuned higher than reso (I saw that in the snare shell sticky). Warm. Sensitive.
    Went well through the PA.
    My favourite sound guy/good mate was there too. He dropped in to catch up with me and have a natter. Caught him at the bar a bit later and he said "you don't need a mike on that snare"! So it's projecting realllllly well.

    Another source in the UK is:
    http://www.carreradrums.com/shop7201...te=common/home

    Don't know what their shells are like...

  9. Matt Flacche
    #9
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    It looks like a nice project. I think you have a miscalculation in your construction, which could be fixed. Your lugs are clearly pulling the tension rods "in" toward the center of the drum. I think this could be fixed by either using a lug that comes off the shell more... say 1/16" OR you could make thicker gaskets out of rubber or felt to give you the appropriate spacing. If this is not important to you... enjoy!

  10. Pearl does it for me

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ilfracombe, Queensland Australia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Flacche View Post
    It looks like a nice project. I think you have a miscalculation in your construction, which could be fixed. Your lugs are clearly pulling the tension rods "in" toward the center of the drum. I think this could be fixed by either using a lug that comes off the shell more... say 1/16" OR you could make thicker gaskets out of rubber or felt to give you the appropriate spacing. If this is not important to you... enjoy!
    You're on the money Matt.
    I made the rubber gaskets for the lugs for 2 reasons. One is perhaps arguable, to acoustically isolate the lugs. The other is to jack the lug out. As it turns out, the screws I had on hand for the lugs didn't allow adequate length to put the gaskets on. I had noticed it myself, but it's a work in progress, so can be revisited. The build/construction/project had been going on for well over 6 months and in the end I wanted it out to gig, so I could evaluate where it was all at.
    The one thing I didn't pay particular notice too was actual shell diameter...

  11. Matt Flacche
    #11
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    Default

    As long as your tension rods are not binding up, it should tune and play fine. The receivers have some play inside the lug casing, so they appear to have "adjusted" to accept the tension rods. When you mod the gaskets, I would make them about 1/16" larger than the lug casing, all the way around. If you trace the lug casing onto the rubber, then cut around it, you will be able to control the size easily. And thickness... try to get some thicker rubber to make your gaskets. You may be able to find it at a hardware store, or craft store? I'm not familiar with what stores are in Austrailia??? Nice snare drum. How did it gig?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3pearlkits View Post
    You're on the money Matt.
    I made the rubber gaskets for the lugs for 2 reasons. One is perhaps arguable, to acoustically isolate the lugs. The other is to jack the lug out. As it turns out, the screws I had on hand for the lugs didn't allow adequate length to put the gaskets on. I had noticed it myself, but it's a work in progress, so can be revisited. The build/construction/project had been going on for well over 6 months and in the end I wanted it out to gig, so I could evaluate where it was all at.
    The one thing I didn't pay particular notice too was actual shell diameter...

  12. Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Brixton, London, England
    Posts
    2,077

    Default

    Well done. That's a lovely looking shell, if you could find the maker that'd be great!

    Carrera shells are simply stunning too - I've got a kit with his shells and it's awesome.
    I play Panda Percussion and Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals with negligible talent.

    At any time let x be the number of kits I own, then x+1 is the number of kits I want.

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