A snare and a racket

A Snare and a Racket?  The World Empire of False Religion.

A Snare and a Racket?  The World Empire of Big Companies Run by Psychopaths.

For more on the second example, check out this recent blog entry on rip off artists by Chris Schwarz.

The Good Snare

…is this one…

…and, boy does it make a Good Racket!

The Signature Snare 

This isn’t technically mine. It’s Eddie Henry’s. He’s got mine. Mine was the steel shell version. We swapped in the late 90s because he was gigging and I wasn’t. The steel shell version is better at cutting through the din that the pesky guitarists make. Gigs would be great if it wasn’t for the guitarists and singer.

I’ve done some research and found a neat website called The Sonor Museum. This confirms that this drum is a Sonor Signature 14″ by 8″ HLD 580 Snare Drum, 12 ply shell, finished inside and out in Bubinga, serial number 1712. The 1984 price list – I bought my kit between then and 1986; I’m not sure exactly – shows that it cost $670; around £590 at the then exchange rate. The kit I bought then was this:

Sonor Phonic Plus

10 x 10, 12 x 12, 13 x 13, 14 x 14 and 16 x 18 toms

14 x 8 steel shell snare drum

24 x 18 bass drum

Stands and cymbal arms, Sonor Signature pedals; later double pedals; later still two bass drums.

Using that 1984 price list, all that came to well over £3000. I remember my yearly salary then was only around £7000! More money than sense? Not enough of either, perhaps! Anyway, it was well used and chucked about and held up to it all.

Changing a snare drum bottom skin is always a pain because one usually has to take apart some of the strainer mechanism…

That’s the two square section rods disappearing off to the left. Then the strainer can be slackened and lifted out…

Then the hoop can be taken off. These bottom skins are typically quite thin; I found a bit of damage…

This renders the skin useless, but I intended to replace it anyway.

As usual, my method of dismantling something complex, with or without diagrams, is to take plenty of photographs of each point in the process, to aid reassembly. Here’s some of them. Quite a mucky mechanism…

Some serious rust on the inside of the batter skin hoop…

It was puzzling this, because it was worse on one side only. Then I remembered that Eddie used to rimshot a lot on the pacier songs. For the non drummers – a rimshot is where the side of the stick is made to hit the rim at the same time as the tip strikes the head, giving a loud “THOCK!” I tried that for a while, but it quickly chews up, and eventually breaks, expensive sticks. Eddie played loads of gigs and would get soaking in sweat. So my deduction is that the combination of rimshot and sweat would cause cracks in the chrome, letting the moisture eat it from the inside.

This is a picture of one end of the cam mechanism which moves the strainer on and off the skin…

I found the spigot, to which the upper end of the spring is attached, was loose and was jamming the mechanism. When I reassemble, I’ll put in some gripper washers.

More rust on one of the tension rods from the batter skin hoop…

Cleaning of the steel part was, as usual, with GUNK. A tension rod before cleaning…

…and after…

The larger chromed parts were just polished with Autosol Chrome Polish, as were the 24 tuning lugs. Here’s all the parts cleaned…

The little brass plaque started off looking like this…

…and this (Eddie’s sweat again?)…

After soaking in Brasso…

…it now looks like this…

The shell…

was waxed and put away for a while with the other two shells.

The hoops were treated with rust remover…

…but it didn’t work so well, so I’ll have to rethink what to do about them. Meanwhile, I started on the Bass Drum…

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