Snare drums are the most integral part of all drum kit setups. Along with the bass drum, they’re used to create backbeats for grooves.
Most drummers end up with snare collections as they move further into their playing journeys, as having one snare drum can limit the number of sounds at your disposal.
If you’re looking to get a new snare drum for your drum set, you may be wondering how much it costs. Snare drum cost depends on a variety of factors, and you can separate snares into beginner, intermediate, and professional categories.
I’ll explain how much you’re going to need to spend within each one of those categories.
- Snare Drum Prices at a Glance
- Beginner Snare Drum Cost
- Intermediate Snare Drum Prices
- Professional Snare Drum Prices
- Prices of Snare Drums That Are Popular
- What Affects the Cost of Snare Drum?
- What Makes Snare Drums Expensive?
- Why Purchase a Snare Drum?
- What are the Most Expensive Snare Drums Available?
- What are the Best Cheap Snare Drums?
Snare Drum Prices at a Glance
|Type of Snare Drum||Snare Drum Cost|
|Solid Shell Snare||$1500-$3000|
Beginner Snare Drum Cost
Beginner snare drums cost from around $100 to $300.
You won’t find any snare drum costing less than that if it comes from a reputable brand, and higher-priced snare drums tend to have better features that place them in the intermediate category.
The sound quality of beginner snare drums isn’t incredible. They tend to have the least tonal range, and most of them don’t have the rich cracking tones that you get from higher-end snares.
They’re also not very responsive to quick notes due to the snare wires being weaker in quality.
However, these snare drums are perfect for drummers that are just starting out. You can also get them to sound relatively decent by tuning them well and using different muffling techniques.
Most beginner snares are made from poplar, but you’ll find a few steel ones too.
Something else to note is that you can buy a few snare drums that come from intermediate drum kit lines for under $300. While the drum kit line is intermediate, these snares can technically be considered beginner options.
Intermediate Snare Drum Prices
Intermediate snare drums typically cost between $300 and $600.
These snare drums have a wider pool of materials and more snare drum features included too.
There are also a lot of intermediate snare drum lines offered by different brands. These snares are created separately from drum kit lines, and they’re intended to be purchased as standalone products.
Good examples are the S.L.P. line from Tama and the Black Panther line from Mapex. Many of the Black Panther snares are high-end professional options, but you get a few more affordable ones that cater to intermediate drummers with tighter budgets.
Intermediate snare drums have far better tonal ranges than beginner ones. Depending on which snares you’re looking at, they tend to be quite versatile.
They can also easily be used by working drummers in professional environments. A decent set of drumheads and some accurate tuning will make an intermediate snare drum sound just as good as a professional one. It just won’t have as many high-end features.
Professional Snare Drum Prices
Professional snare drums can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000, but most will cost between $500 and $1500.
These are high-end snare drums that have all the best features that drum brands have to offer. While you can tune and dampen an intermediate snare to get it to sound fantastic, professional snare drums tend to sound amazing straight out of the box.
They’re much easier to work with to get whatever sounds you’re looking for. Professional snare drums also have great hardware features that add to their playability.
In this price range, you’re sure to find a few niche options as well. You get brands that create uniquely sized snares that are made of rare woods and metals.
If you’re willing to pay the high price for a snare drum in this range, you can most likely use it for every purpose, as professional snare drums are always the most versatile ones available.
Prices of Snare Drums That Are Popular
With snare drums being the most important drum in a drum set, there are many of them that have strong reputations. These snare drums have been used by countless drummers throughout the years, and they’ll always make it onto recommendation lists due to how well they perform.
While it’s common to hear of them, it’s not so common to hear about how much each one costs. So, here’s a quick list of some of the most popular snare drums on the market, along with an expected price range.
The cost may differ depending on where you get the snare drum from. Also, it’s good to know the estimated value so that you know how much you can sell one of these snare drums for if you ever come across one of them.
- Ludwig Black Beauty – $850 to $900
- Ludwig Supraphonic – $650 to $750
- Gretsch Drums USA Bell Brass – $1000 to $1200
- Tama Starphonic – $500 to $600
- Gretsch Brooklyn Standard – $500 to $600
What Affects the Cost of Snare Drum?
The type of material used is one of the biggest factors that affect the cost of making a snare drum.
You get inexpensive woods like hardwood and poplar that are used to make entry-level snares, and then higher-priced snares are made from better woods like maple and birch.
The way the plies of wood or molded together also affects the cost of a snare drum. The cheapest snares have very simple shell construction processes, while superior snares go through more intense processes to make the drums produce better sounds and playability.
Regarding metal snare drums, all the cheapest metal snare drums are made from steel. Higher-priced metal snares are made from copper, brass, aluminum, and a few other metals.
Snare drum shells have things called bearing edges, which are the parts of the shell that connect with the drumheads. The type of bearing edge design also affects how much a snare drum costs, as some designs are harder to make.
Hardware refers to all the metal parts of a snare drum other than the shell. This includes counter hoops, snare wires, and a throw-off that controls the snare wires.
You’d be surprised at how much of a difference high-quality snare wires make to the sound of a snare drum. Cheaper snare drums come with low-quality wires, while higher-priced ones come with premium wires that improve the tones.
Counter hoops also make a big difference. It’s quite common for intermediate and professional snare drums to come with die-cast hoops, whereas you only have the option of triple-flanged hoops on beginner snare drums.
That’s not to say that triple-flanged hoops are poorer in quality. All the best snare drums from DW only have triple-flanged hoops. It’s just good to know that snares with die-cast hoops are generally a bit more expensive.
Some snare drums have multiple throw-offs that control separate sets of snare wires. That gives you more control over how the snare drum sounds, but it also means that the snare drum is going to cost more than one with only a single set of wires.
Snare drums come in various shapes and sizes. While it’s hard to say how size can affect the cost of snares from different lines and brands, you can use size to gauge the cost of snare drums within the same line.
For example, the 14” x 5” Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum costs a bit less than the 14” x 6.5” version. More materials were used to make the deeper version of the snare drum, so it costs slightly more.
If you’re considering getting a high-end snare drum with a very deep shell, just note that most 8” snares will cost slightly more. This tends to be even more true when looking at metal snare drums.
The last thing to consider is extra features. When looking at beginner and intermediate snare drums, you’ll see that most of them have very similar designs.
Snare drums in the professional price range tend to offer something a bit extra. Some snare drums may come with internal dampeners that stop you from needing to use external muffling, while others have designs that let you change the tones without using drum keys.
Not all of them have extra features like this, but it’s one of the reasons that a few of them cost a lot more.
What Makes Snare Drums Expensive?
Drum gear can be very expensive in general. Drum companies need to make a profit on the instruments that they sell, and then suppliers and music stores also mark up the prices to make a profit themselves.
Regarding the specifics of what makes some snare drums more expensive than others, it’s because they’re made from higher-end shell materials, and they have better hardware features.
Why Purchase a Snare Drum?
If you already have a snare drum on your drum kit, you may be wondering what the point of getting a new snare drum is.
The benefit of having multiple snare drums is that you have different sounds and textures at your disposal.
One snare drum may be perfect for getting a deep and growling sound, while another would work better for getting a high-pitched and cracking tone.
Another reason to buy an individual snare drum is that most professional shell packs don’t include them. If you want to get a top-tier drum kit, you’ll only be buying the toms and kick drum. High-end snare drums are sold separately most of the time.
What are the Most Expensive Snare Drums Available?
Expensive snare drums are mostly made by custom drum companies. These snares have incredibly niche design features, and there typically aren’t many of them available.
It’s completely unnecessary to buy a snare drum that costs more than $1000, but many drummers enjoy owning them and having something exclusive in their snare drum collections.
Here are a few pricey snares to check out:
- A&F Drum Company A&F’ers Bell Series Raw Copper Snare Drum
- Craviotto Private Reserve Snare Drum
- DW Collector’s Series Carbon Fiber Edge Snare Drum
- Gretsch Phosphorus Bronze Snare Drum
What are the Best Cheap Snare Drums?
There are some surprisingly good cheap snare drums available. If you’re looking for a decent snare drum at a very low price, here are a few good options:
So, how much does a snare drum cost? It depends on what snare drum you get. Naturally, snares with higher-quality materials and features tend to cost more.
Most snare drums fall within the $100 to $1000 range, but you get a few luxury ones that cost a lot more than that.
You can easily get a good professional snare drum for about $500, though. Beginners and intermediate drummers can pay between $200 and $500 for some other great options.