Converted Ludwig Supersensitive Snare

dbshorter

Senior Member
Recently I found a Ludwig Supraphonic Supersensitive snare on CL for a relatively good price. The person listing it says that it was originally a Blue/Olive badge SuperSensitive that he converted into a Supraphonic. I don't know much about the SuperSensitive (except that its probably a bit more sensitive than a normal snare, duh) but I really want to find out if converting that snare would decrease the value of the snare; also, would the snare still sound like a classic Supraphonic? Any advice from anyone who has done this project or played a Supersensitive would be appreciated.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
I think the Super-Sensitve was originally marketed for concert work, maybe jazz (?). Yeah, it's supposedly more sensitive. But it's also a Super Pain In The Ass to deal with. Plus expensive to replace the wires.

Most likely he just removed the whole Super-Sensitve strainer system and put another throwoff (probably a Ludwig P85) and butt on there. That would mean extra holes, where the original hardware was and the new ones he drilled for the conversion. And yes, that seriously impacts the value of the drum, but it's going to sound the same. It's gonna sound great!

What is he asking for it? I don't know the real value, but I personally wouldn't pay more than $200, assuming the rest of the drum is in great condition. If you can get it for a low price (make sure to tell him he "ruined" the value of it) that will make a great player's snare. And you'll probably never resell it, once you've heard it, so who cares what it's worth?
 
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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
These pics show why Ludwig metal snares sound nicer than some other brands. The GIANT amount of "lip" after the edge.
Other shells that copy this design just don't have that much metal after the edge. My World Max snare has about half that much. It's a nice snare but doesn't have the sensitivity or openness of the Ludwig shells.
Ludwig's screws are also a bigger diameter than other screws too.

OT, just saw the pics and wanted to throw that out there :)

The snare bed is pretty much non existent too, which makes the Ludwig metal snare very sensitive.
There are parts available to keep up a SS, but they are kind of a PITA to deal with unless you LOVE the sound.

If the shell is in great shape, and you can get it at a price you are comfortable with, and you don't mind the holes, the holes themselves won't really make a drastic change in the sound.

There are a crap load of 400's and 402's out there, so unless it meets with your approval on all levels, don't feel bad about passing on it.
It needs to a GOOD price, not a relatively good price to feel like a good purchase for someone who has got good sources of info for this kind of situation.
If the seller doesn't know much, then saying it's ruined the value and it's not worth as much because of the conversion, you should be able to get a better deal. If the person just wants to sell their "Bonham" snare to anyone willing to pay the price they want, it's not worth the bother.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have a 79 SS, 14 x 6.5. Got it used for 100 bucks at Sam Ash in 2004. I knew that was a good deal.

Hated the SS mechanism. The reason being is that a conventional strainer pulls the wires against the bottom head with a lot of pressure, if so desired. The SS mechanism just can't put that kind of pressure on the bottom head. Now on paper, pressure against the bottom head sounds like it would restrict the drum, but in real life, I love that tone.

Anyway, I ditched the SS mechanism and converted it to a P-85 strainer. I used one of the existing holes for the strainer and I had to drill another one. Plus on the other side I had to drill 2 holes for the butt plate. So 3 holes and about 25 bucks in parts and this drum has a new lease on life. Yea, Ludwig's SS mechanism kinda sucks IMO. I like the drum 1000 times better as a Supra.

Resale value? I never even consider resale value. I buy drums to play, not sell. So if you are worried about resale vale, pass.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
The original SS, as noted, was for jazz, and found great favor as a concert snare. There wasn't much else in the concert world except older drums with gut snares with calf heads. Today, they work best with the concert band/orchestra in mind. Yes, you can use them for other things, but that is their niche. Concert snares have evolved to such a state that no one uses the SS for serious orchestral work. They are still great drums, and I would not be afraid to convert it to a conventional throw off combination. If you buy it as a collector piece, hands off. If you want it to play, full speed ahead on the conversion!
 

spelman

Senior Member
I think the Super-Sensitve was originally marketed for concert work, maybe jazz (?). Yeah, it's supposedly more sensitive. But it's also a Super Pain In The Ass to deal with. Plus expensive to replace the wires.

Most likely he just removed the whole Super-Sensitve strainer system and put another throwoff (probably a Ludwig P85) and butt on there. That would mean extra holes, where the original hardware was and the new ones he drilled for the conversion. And yes, that seriously impacts the value of the drum, but it's going to sound the same. It's gonna sound great!

What is he asking for it? I don't know the real value, but I personally wouldn't pay more than $200, assuming the rest of the drum is in great condition. If you can get it for a low price (make sure to tell him he "ruined" the value of it) that will make a great player's snare. And you'll probably never resell it, once you've heard it, so who cares what it's worth?
Not necessarily new holes. You could use an adapter plate, like this one:

http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/7462771.html
 

dbshorter

Senior Member
Thank you all for the advice. I didn't take that into account that new holes would have to be drilled to convert the snare. I'll keep scouting.
 
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