New Black Beauties

Drumquest2

Senior Member
Following on from a recent thread, are the new BBs as good as the older versions and do tube lugs give a different sound to vintage ? What are the best heads for these snares?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Yes.

Minimal difference between tube and imperial lugs.....especially once the rubber gaskets are removed from underneath the imperials.

Heads are a matter of choice. Some like the stock Ludwig heads, some like Ambassadors or other 1 ply head. Others, including me prefer an Emperor or similar 2 ply head and others again like even more muffling
 

Chonson

Senior Member
Following on from a recent thread, are the new BBs as good as the older versions and do tube lugs give a different sound to vintage ? What are the best heads for these snares?
Bear in mind, the 1920s are utterly different in construction. IMO the 1920s versions are the absolute best, but the modern ones are still great.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Bear in mind, the 1920s are utterly different in construction. IMO the 1920s versions are the absolute best, but the modern ones are still great.
Ah.....it didn't even occur to me that the OP would be referring to drums from that far back. If that's the case then I've never heard or seen a vintage one, but would step out on a limb and say that there would likely be a huge difference between a BB made in the 20's compared to one made from the 80's onwards. I'd wager the only real similarity is the name. But it's fair to say that there has been little change since their reintroduction in the late 70's/early 80's to the drums made today, except for the relatively recent addition of the rubber gaskets under the lugs. The one exception would be the bronze BB's which were made for a short time in the late 80's
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
Ah.....it didn't even occur to me that the OP would be referring to drums from that far back. If that's the case then I've never heard or seen a vintage one, but would step out on a limb and say that there would likely be a huge difference between a BB made in the 20's compared to one made from the 80's onwards. I'd wager the only real similarity is the name.
That there would be correct mate.Ludwig was making NOB shelled drums since 1920,but didn't call them a Black Beauty till 1932.Slingerland actually introduced a black beauty in their 1928 catalog(gasp).Ludwig called the early drum,the Inspiration model,then the Deluxe model,then eventually the black beauty.Some of these drums were gold plated,and some were chrome,not to be confused with the white nickle over brass universal,professional,and pioneer and anniversary models.

The shells were 2 piece heavy brass,that were welded at the center bead where the shells actually overlapped.Production stopped in 1940,due to that invading of other countries stuff.

Production was resumed in 1977,at which time you could get an engraved or plain shelled drum.This is of course a snap shot of a subject that will take a book to fully document.

There are some BB collectors like Mike Curotto,who wrote a book about vintage snares,who don't actually like the sound of pre 40's BB's.Yet some rave about them,as well as other 6 and 8 lug NOB Ludwig snares.I had a 6 lug universal NOB in high school,which I deeply regret selling.

So as to weither they are better sounding that their newer counterparts,I just say,as I usually say......not better....just different.

Steve B
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Steve, I was once told by a local Ludwig "expert" that the older BB's in the 20's..are actually bronze shells. I'm checking his story. Can you confirm or deny that? I know you said they were made of brass but are you absolutely sure of that fact?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
John Aldridge, has said on occasion that he believes some older BBs were bronze.Certainly some 80's drums are for sure.John has hand engraved more BBs than probably any man alive,and is a published and recognized expert on vintage drums.Although I have never seen a pre 40's bronze BB,I am inclined to believe Mr.Aldridge on the subject,that they do exist,but most were brass.

I think Ludwig and Slingerland,and probably others as well used whatever was on hand ,or cheaper to use at the time.That type of manufacturing ethic is well known in the business.As an example,I have a late 70's Slingerland Spitfire model,5x14,lacquered brass snare.The catalog says that the shell is brass,but if you look at the drum,the metal has a reddish hue to it.I have no doubt the drum is bronze,and others that own the same model,seem to be in agreement.I put it side by side with a Ludwig bronze supra,and the metal is the same color.

Sorry for the long winded answer,but .....yes.I think whoever made metal shelled drums around that time used mostly brass,but they used bronze too.

Steve B
 
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