Concave Bottom on Snare Drum

by Douglas Cooke
(Baltimore; Maryland)

I am thinking about buy a used and in ( very good) condition Pearl export Snare drum and the guy wants $55.00 for it. I have seen and played it, however, it is slightly concave on the resonance bottom side of the drum. On both sides of where the Snare threads go through and connects, the wood of the shell has been uniformly (about 3/16 of an inch) removed so that only the snares themselves touch the reso-skin. That means, when it is tightened, the drum doesn't sit flat on a flat surface and when I eyeball the rim at profile; the concave is visible, however uniform; but on a snare stand it's not noticeable. The wood removal looks professionally done.

So, my question is: is that a normal characteristic for A Pearl Export Snare Drum (bout 10 years old or so), or is this a private modification that will have a negative effect on the drums performance in the future? Right now it sounds and looks great with no rust, new snares and both skins are new Remo Diplomat?


Hi, Douglas--

I think I understand what you are saying and it seems like someone has altered the rim. Did you ask the seller what was done to the drum?

Drum rims are constructed as they are for a reason and I am afraid that if the rim is altered, the shell will eventually suffer. I have no personal experience with this kind of alteration, so I am just guessing.

On the other hand, if you like the sound of the drum, for $55, it might be worth the chance.

Maybe some of our readers have had experience with this.


Site Build It!

I hope I was clear enough and appreciate any answers.

Thank You!

New Drummer

Comments for Concave Bottom on Snare Drum

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 30, 2010
Aaah HA!!
by: D. Cooke

Hi Lynne,
well, my hunch was right and the below text that I dug up on the web lays it out plain and clear. I thought some of your aspiring drummers might find it usefull as well.

The Snare Bed Primer

Of all of the details and attention to detail that is paid to the various aspects and components that make up a snare drum, the snare bed is probably the most neglected and misunderstood part of the instrument. Think back to all of the literature you have seen and read about drums and drumming and see if you remember any sort of discussion regarding snare beds. My guess is that like myself, you really won't recall much at all. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps some companies don't have a grasp on the importance of the snare beds and the role it plays in determining how a snare drum will perform. And it's been my experience that some of them have occasionally forgotten to even install them, let alone discuss them! This was one of the reasons I began making drums.

Snare beds appear to have been in use since the earliest days of drum building when the beds were hand hewn with a wood file. While they were somewhat crudely placed, they were some of the best

The snare bed is the indentation or dip that is located on the bottom bearing edge of the snare drum shell and centered under both the snare release and the butt plate. The length and depth and contour of the beds vary greatly among builders and manufacturers. It is located between the lugs that are located on either side of the throw off and butt end. The snare bed is one of five elements that go into the making of the snare function, the other four being the release mechanism, the snare head, the snare attachment and the snare wire set.

**Thanks, D.--

I'm sure the information will be helpful!


Aug 27, 2010
More clear about the rim.
by: D. Cooke

Hi Lynne,
thanks for the reply. I could be more clear about this, maybe. I know it's difficult to visualize somethig like this. The rim itself is OK and when I sit it alone, seperate from the shell on a flat table it sits flat just like the top rim. It's the shell that has been shaved and I double checked and its only 1/8 of an inch. (it's just like evenly scooped out at both ends where the snare strap comes out. Any way, with all that as it is, when I put it back together, it doesn't sit flat any more; now it is slightly arched as it sits on the table.

I don't know anything about Snare Drums, I've worked with wood, making furniture etc.. and it looks like factory work with how perfect it is, and I was wondering if it was made that way so that only the snare wires and not the two end brackets of the snare make contact with the resonance skin. And if that was the case what difference would that make in the sound as opposed to the shell edge being flat like some others I've seen (mostly photos)?

I won't dwell on this for too much longer. But, I was just curious. I'll probably buy it any way because I like the sound. And the guy is a nice cat. However, if anyone else has any clues to this mystery, I'll welcome them.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Drum Questions.