Note that I am using a pre-1969 model as an example, but the same principle applies to the 1969 and later models because, although the mechanism has changed, the basic parts are still present in an updated form. Remember, this mechanism has been used in some form since the 1920s, so it has withstood the test of time. The first mechanism was basically unchanged from 1920 until 1968 (the example I am using).
Before proceeding, and to eliminate confusion, here is what a modern (1969 and later) mechanism looks like:
The following series of photos will show the nomenclature of my 1966 Super Sensitive, and the parts of which you need to be aware to change wires and/or adjustment the snare tension for optimum performance.
Note the differences between the older models and the modern ones. The adjustment knob on the pre-1969 models are smaller and placed unobtrusively, and the snare guards are quite different. Also note that the basic adjustment and wire end plate slots are similar enough that changing wires and adjusting either model will work per my advice. Here is a photo of the butt side of the drum:
You have a clear view of the wire end plate and how it fits into the slot. The 1969-present models are similar, with the differences noted above. These two photos show how the wire end plates fit into the slots:
Changing wires is relatively simple. You back off the tension adjustment knobs equally (turn them simultaneously for best results) until there is enough slack to remove the end plates from the slots. Don't attempt to remove both end plates at the same time - remove one without stretching the wire, then the other. If you are removing the wires to change heads, mark which end plate goes into the strainer side to make sure it goes back the same way. While either way will fit, I like to be extra cautious and make sure that parts that are under tension are always reassembled exactly the way they were disassembled.
If you are replacing the wires, make sure you purchase the correct wire for the model year you own. Puresound makes wire sets for the 1920-1968 Super Sensitives, and a slightly different set for the 1969-present models. Aside from the end plate tabs that fit into the slots, there are other differences between the two models, both of which are designed for optimal performance for the Super Sensitive snare drums for which they are made: the pre-1969 wires are 15" long with 12 strands, and the 1969-present wires are 16 7/8" long with 16 strand wires.
When installing the wires, use the tension adjustment knob to make sure the inward part of the snare wire end plates are equally spaced relative to the bearing edge of the snare drum shell. This photo shows properly installed wires:
Notice that in the example above the end plates extend exactly 0.25 inches beyond the bearing edges on each end. Also note that the wire tension is only tight enough to prevent sagging (you will need to check this with the snare drum in the normal playing position on a stand.)
Tune your heads to your personal taste before fine tuning the wire tension. After you have your heads tuned, adjust the snare wire tension by turning the tension adjustment knobs simultaneously. I have found that the lightest tension - just beyond the wires sagging in the center - will provide the most sensitivity. The tighter you tension after that point, the drier the sound becomes (which may be desirable for concert and symphony work.) Do not over tension the wires! If you over tension you run the risk of stretching the wires, which will shorten their life at best, and ruin them at worst.
If you don't have a hard shell, foam lined case for your Supersensitive see Storing and protecting Supersensitive Snare Drums for a case I recommend.
If you have further questions don't hesitate to contact me.