1. Brands, shell materials, sizes. 2. Heads 3. Tuning tips and preferences 4. Snares / other adjustments. Please indicate the type of music you play when posting. Anyway for me - I'm not a drummer. I'm a drum owner. Actually my wife (longtime hand drum player) has been playing set for while now, so I can buy her drum stuff for her birthday and seem generous while I satisfy my gear addiction. Our set gets used for jazz, folk, blues, roots rock, 1. We have two snares - A 14X6 Mapex poplar shell and a 13X6 Phattie maple shell. (Stauffer was a local Blacksburg kid and there are lots of his drums floating around town.) The slightly lower toned mapex seems to get used more. Maybe just cause we like the finish more? Tehy aren't really that different. 2. Mapex -Coated Ambassador on top, Clear Mapex branded head on bottom. Phattie - CS -Dot on top, Ambassador clear snare on bottom. 3. I've tried a lot of things. Now they are both tuned to a substantially higher tension than the toms bottom lower than the top, but not a full third lower (tried that didn't like it). 4. No real clue here on the snares. Tighten them, loosen them. It's all pretty good. Basically, things sound good. The biggest defect is probably that I'm putting them in a little room. But I'm interested in hearing any tips.