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Re: Deep shell parade drum out of old marching drum
I found an old marching snare for the same reason (a Verve, incidentally) - went with a Renaissance top head and a very thin bottom head like the other guy said. Get a nice dark snare sound out of it. Went with wires on the bottom, and went with as many wires as I could find on a strand. Think I got a Gibraltar 20-strand wire set.
I'd go with Remo Ambassador Coated on top and a Diplomat resonant head on the bottom. I've done the exact same thing as what you're doing and I find that the shell is almost too deep to get any good response from the snares unless you use a really thin bottom head. As far as snare wire, go with wire over synthetic... again, response.
I have an older 14" Pearl Competitor Series (non free floating) that's in decent shape. The shell is good, the white finish is faded and scratched and torn in places. The hardware and snares are good. What heads would you recommend and would you go with wire snares over the synthetic gut?