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7 Best Snare Wires in 2022 Reviewed

Plenty of drummers agonize over their snare heads, beds, and other snare mechanisms yet overlook the true unsung hero of snare sound: the snare wires. 

The often-neglected gear can significantly change the way your snare drum sounds. They produce a snappy sound when the wires resonate against the bottom drumhead. 

Quality snare wires are the place to start if you want a makeover in your overall sound without replacing the drum. We’ve compiled reviews on the seven best snare wires in 2022, plus tips on what to look for in quality snare wires to supercharge your sound. 

7 Best Snare Wires Reviewed

Quality snare wires generate a desirably crisp and vibrant sound. Below are the seven best snare wires and their pros and cons: 

1. PureSound Blaster Series Snare Wire, 20 Strand, 14 Inch

PureSound Blaster Series Snare Wire, 20 Strand, 14 Inch

The PureSound Blaster Series is one of the most affordable options on the market. It’s designed for 14” snare drums and includes 20 strands. 

These wires are premium-grade steel alloy developed for high-intensity and high-volume drumming. The Blaster Series is a perfect choice if you’re a hard hitter who plays metal or rock.

The Blaster series is compatible with various drums, from metal to shallow piccolos and metal to wood and deeper snare drums. They also provide exceptional control, perfect for having a tight sound, and articulate at higher tensions. 

One of its most prominent features is the angled end plates that generate more wire contact on the surface of the drumhead. The result is a crisper-sounding, tighter, and more responsive snare. 

All PureSound products are designed and made in the US, meaning you can ensure these products are highly reliable and durable. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Puresound
  • Size: Made for 14” drums 
  • Strands: 20 strands of wire 
  • Material: Premium grade steel alloy 
  • Additional Features: Bent-end clips and steel coil 
 
 

PROS

  • Budget-friendly without sacrificing sound 
  • Made in the US 
  • Excellent snared response 
  • Designed for metal and rock drummers 

CONS

  • Not ideal for quiet venues or recording studios 
 

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2. Canopus Vintage Snare Wires 14” Chrome Plated

Canopus Vintage Snare Wires 14" Chrome Plated

Swap out your busted and worn snare wires with the Canopus Vintage 14-inch chrome-plated strands. They harness the classic 1960’s sound in a rich manner without lingering overtones. 

It features a thin 0.5mm end plate enabling your drums to jump between more resounding booms and warm, soft tones. The vintage line from Canopus is perfect for hearty backbeats and quieter acoustic sweepers. Furthermore, the thin plates mean it’s ultra-sensitive, giving you an excellent response for studio recording or quiet venues. 

Canopus Drums is one of the leading drum and hardware brands. They produce parts from Tokyo that are built to last and designed to be unique. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Accessories
  • Size: Made for 14” drums  
  • Material: Chrome-plated
  • Additional Features: Vintage Slingerland wire design for base template
 
 

PROS

  • Canopus is a reliable brand 
  • Produces a vintage 1960s sound 
  • Eliminates lingering overtones 
  • Made for quieter acoustic sounds 

CONS

  • Not great for loud or hard hitters 
 

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3. Noble and Cooley Cam Action Snare Wires 14”

Noble And Cooley Cam Action Snare Wires 14"

Manufactured by Noble and Cooley, these cam-action design wires exert consistent pressure on every part of the snare for a more focused and cleaner response than conventional ones. Also, the manufacturer reduced the sympathetic tom-tom-buzzing on these and made the bottom micing easy. 

Since it only has 20 strands, it produces snappier and tight responses. The cam-action design is perfect for deep steel snares and drummers looking for more articulation. The steel material gives a very moderate attack, versatile for most playing styles. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Accessories 
  • Size: Made for 14” drums 
  • Strands: 20 strands of wire 
  • Material: Steel alloy
  • Additional Features: Cam-action design for focused output
 
 

PROS

  • Very affordable 
  • Cam-action design for focused and clean response 
  • Tom-tom buzzing reduced 
  • Snappy and strong articulation 

CONS

  • Same wires ship stock on Noble snares, so not an upgrade from baseline models
 

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4. PureSound Super 30 Series Snare Wires 14” 30-Strand

PureSound Super 30 Series Snare Wires 14" 30-Strand

The PureSound Super 30 Series uses steel alloy wires with handmade construction and copper end clips to boost articulation and response. With its quick and crisp response, it draws out the natural frequency of the drum for an enhanced tone. 

Compared to other wide-format snare wires, the PureSound Super 30 series generates a more penetrating and distinctive sound without sacrificing the feel or choking the drum. Also, the wires evenly spaced apart offer a consistent sound. 

Rim shots will have a solid attack, and buzz notes will resound clearly. The Super 30 wires won’t choke out your drums, ensuring fuller and more resonant tones. 

These wires are manufactured in America, guaranteeing performance reliability, quality assurance, and consistency within each wire strand and from batch to batch. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Super 30 
  • Size: Designed for 14” drums 
  • Strands: 30 strands of wire 
  • Material: Steel alloy 
  • Additional Features: Steel coils generate a crisp and faster response 
 
 

PROS

  • Versatile set of wires made for a variety of music genres 
  • Able to play on many types of snare drums 
  • Crisp and detailed articulation 
  • Made in the US 

CONS

  • A little more expensive 
 

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5. Pearl Ultra Sound Snare Wires 14” 20-strand, C-Type

Pearl Ultra Sound Snare Wires 14" 20-strand, C-Type

Pearl’s Ultra Sound snare wires have patented graduated tension wires strategically positioned for tighter and looser strands. The tighter wires keep the head contact throughout the loudest playing, while the looser wires respond to the lightest touch. 

These strands also feature C-shaped end discs with looser tension strands at the center. The spacing allows for open sounds and louder projection, which is great for metal and rock music snare drums. 

The specialty of the Pearl Ultra Sound wires is that the center has a tighter strain, with the outer wires fixed with a looser tension. When hitting the drum's center, it lets you draw out a more articulated and fuller sound. 

Additionally, you’ll notice a more sustained sound utilizing a moist effect when striking the edges of your snare. It’s ideal for playing many genres of musical styles. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Ultra Sound
  • Size: 14” drums 
  • Strands: 20 strands 
  • Material: Steel alloy 
  • Additional Features: Graduated tension gives a dynamic sound 
 
 

PROS

  • Relatively affordable 
  • Variation in tension adapts to your playing style 
  • Great for rock and metal music 
  • Ultra quick response 

CONS

  • Not ideal for all genres, especially softer music
 

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6. Canopus Back Beat Snare Wire for 14” Chrome Plated

Canopus Back Beat Snare Wire for 14" Chrome Plated

The Canopus Back Beat snare wires boost your sound to achieve quieter tones and tasty ghost notes. It’s specifically for drums 14 inches in diameter and is best for drums made with metal shells. 

These strands have added chrome into the mix, which decreases the weight and limits the oxidation for greater sound output. The more carbon added helps to generate a brighter tone. It’s the perfect set of wires for pop and rock music or anything that demands higher sensitivity. 

The sensitivity is relatively high due to the overt lack of thickness. The wires measure 0.5mm wire thickness and 1.35 mm spiral thickness. The thickness of the wires directly corresponds to the snare’s sensitivity, which is perfect when you want the snare to respond to the slightest touch. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Accessories 
  • Size:  14” drums 
  • Strands: 20 strands 
  • Material: Chrome-plated
  • Additional Features: N/A
 
 

PROS

  • Chrome-plated material adds a brighter tone 
  • Perfect for pop and rock music 
  • Very sensitive for greater response 
  • Ideal for snares with metal shells 

CONS

  • Expensive 
  • Not ideal for all snares
 

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7. Sabian Accessories: Blend Phosphor Bronze 20” Snare Wire

Sabian Accessories : Blend Phosphor Bronze 20" Snare Wire

The Sabian Accessories Blend Phosper Bronze snare wires are unique accessories that sound unlike anything else. 

Whereas most strands utilize steel or steel alloy, Sabian made these from brass. As a result, it tends to have more resonances and darker sounds. They’re exceptional when attempting to manipulate the length and tone of an excessively lively or dry drum. 

Sabian wires are known for being highly dependable and durable. They make their products to withstand the hard hitters, and that’s evident in the design of the Phosphor Bronze wires. 

The construction features tight wind to ensure a crisp tone. It’s perfect for deep or wood snares since the added attack can augment the natural performance of more open drum shells. 

Additionally, if you’re looking to hear your ghost notes loud and clear, you’ll want to check out the Sabian Prosper Bronze. They work beautifully in a variety of tuning ranges. 

 

Specifications

  • Series: Accessories
  • Size: 20” size drums 
  • Strands: 42 strands 
  • Material: Bronze 
  • Additional Features: N/A 
 
 

PROS

  • Sabian brand produces highly dependable products 
  • Creates a more open sound 
  • Bronze produces a dark and more resonant tone 
  • Highly durable 

CONS

  • Expensive 
  • Unique sound is not for everyone 
 

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What to Look for in Good Snare Wires 

Not all wires will suit your snare drums. It’s crucial to find the right features and build quality so that you can select the best options for your playing style. 

Number of Strands 

By altering your snare wires, you can completely change the sound. The number of strands is a significant part of that effect.

Most snare wires range between 16 to 20 strands. However, there are more contemporary strand options between 30 and 42. 

More wires will yield greater resonates and create a fatter attack. It also adds sensitivity and articulation to the snare drum while providing a more accentuated response. 

Fewer wires result in a snappier, faster, and tighter response. It’ll create less buzz, and the sound produced from the shell will be more prominent. 

Your choice depends on the type of snare and playing style. If you’re playing a deep steel snare and want faster articulation, fewer wires are the better option. 

Material

The wire material significantly affects the sound. Most snare drum wires are steel alloy or steel. With steel wires, you can expect a classic sound from your snares. Steel is a popular choice among drummers and creates a moderate attack and neutral broadband response. 

Sometimes, you’ll find brass wires. Brass causes the drum to generate a distinct, louder sound. They provide a dark, more resonant, and more sensitive tone than steel wires. 

Carbon steel is another material often used. It reduces oxidation for long-lasting and great-sounding snares. It’s also lighter and adds a brighter sound. 

Bronze wires lend themselves to greater clarity and warmth. Some vintage snares may use nylon-strand wires. Nylon produces a smooth and even tone, breathing incredible life into your snare drum sound. 

Plating and Winding 

The plating or coating used for treating snare strands helps shape the response and tone of your drum. The construction varies greatly by model and brand. 

Coatings can either cause the snares to sound dark or brighter. They also tend to have a longer lifespan and greater durability. Uncoated snare stands create a more neutral tone and can be prone to wear and tear. 

End Plates 

Understanding your snare beds is crucial to selecting wires with end plates that enhance your drumming experience. Deep snare beds are better suited for pitched plates, while shallow snare beds often use flatter plates. 

Also, consider the build quality of the end plates. Sensitive metals like copper and bronze produce a greater resonance than steel, producing a crisper, drier tone. 

Straps 

Straps connect to the drum wires at the bottom of the snare drum. The straps help to tighten the wires. When buying wires, it’s vital to ensure you have snare straps. That’s because not all snare drum wires include straps. 

Wire Tensions 

The tension of the strands against the drumhead plays a considerable role in the overall drum sound. Wires with high tension provide a sharper and faster-playing response, which is great for pop, metal, and funk. 

Loose tension creates a wet and more vintage sound desirable for blues, rock, and jazz. It rules in a buzzier sound from the rattling wires. 

Depending on your preferences, you may dial in your wires for tighter tension or loosen them up. Most drummers find the sweet spot is a balanced intermediate tension. 

Looking for the Best Snare Wires? Shop DCP!

The snare wire provides character to the drum. Make sure never to ignore your snare wires. Since they stretch over time, they can lose their tone and become brittle. 

Fortunately, we’ve given you all the information you need to pick the best snare wires in the market based on your needs. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our drum experts. 

Drum Center of Portsmouth has the best drum products, including snare wires, so you can instantly enhance your sound to perfectly suit your playing style.

23 days ago