New heads for an old drum

oldmetalhead

Junior Member
Ok everyone. Now that I have purchased a Ludwig LM-404 Black Galaxy snare drum I would like to know if the Remo Emperor blue head would give me the same sound as the one on it now. I am not going to replace the bottom head but the top head is a Ludwig weather master medium. So would this be a good head to replace the top head or not?
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
The Ludwig Weather Master medium is a single-ply coated head, much like a Remo Ambassador. The blue Emperor you're thinking about using is a 2-ply head, which will sound substantially different than the Weather Master, especially since it's clear and not coated. You can put a clear head on a snare drum but I wouldn't recommend it, especially since your Acrolite is made of metal. You'll be fighting against a lot of over-ring. If you still have your heart set on using an Emperor, I'd get the coated version. That'll help mitigate some of the weird overtones and warm up the sound of the drum slightly. Otherwise, the coated Ambassador is always a great place to start, to help you get a "baseline reading" of how the drum sounds and responds.
 

oldmetalhead

Junior Member
Drifter, thanks for your response. The only reason I wanted to go with a Blue Emperor is for cosmetic reasons. If there is a blue head out that that can match what I have I am open to any and all suggestions.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think you have exactly two blue options; the Remo Colortone Emperor, and an Evans Hydraulic. Right now no one is making a single ply colored head in snare drum/tom sizes.

Of the two, the Emperor is by far the better choice to sound more like what's on there now, just realize that it isn't going to sound the same. Nothing else sounds like a coated 7-mil head, other than another 7-mil coated head.

I have a clear Emperor on my Ludwig Supraphonic and it gets me the sound I'm after. Aluminum snares don't have quite as many metallic overtones as some others so if you want to go with all blue heads I'd get the Colortone and just don't worry about it. It may not sound exactly like it does now, but it'll still sound like a snare drum.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
You mean the Powerstroke 77? That's a whole lot of head and a huge transition from the Ludwig medium you're used to.
 
Ok everyone. Now that I have purchased a Ludwig LM-404 Black Galaxy snare drum I would like to know if the Remo Emperor blue head would give me the same sound as the one on it now. I am not going to replace the bottom head but the top head is a Ludwig weather master medium. So would this be a good head to replace the top head or not?
A Remo Ambassador, or, Evans G1 is a good starting point for your drum. I put a G1 on my mid-eighties Acrolite with great tunability up and down its range. Just a point of clarification, the Ludwig Weathermaster medium the drum came with is the equivalent of a Remo Diplomat coated batter, as Ludwig heads always ran thinner than comparable Remo and Evans heads.
 
He wrote the P7. Maybe he meant the P3???
The Powerstroke 77 is in fact available in blue in 14" size ,unlike the Powerstroke 3

The P77 however is even further away from the OEM head (dual ply like the Emperor, plus a center dot and an inlay ring like the P3). It's very muffled. It would be great for lower tunings on that snare, but it won't sound anything like the OEM head.

Long story short, there are no single ply head with a blue color available for a 14" snare. But going with the Emperor won't completely change the snare, it will focus the attack more and reduce the sustain. Personally, I did not like a dual ply on my Acro (I tend to only like them on snares that are at least 6" deep), but it's not like it sounded bad, I just didn't prefer it.

If you must have blue, Emperor Colortone will be closest (dual ply, but no additional muffling)
 
The Ludwig Weather Master medium is a single-ply coated head, much like a Remo Ambassador
If you'd like to compare, you have to compare it to a Diplomat
Weather Master Medium -> 7 mil -> Remo Diplomat
Weather Master Heavy -> 10 mil -> Remo Ambassador

If you are going for the typical Ludwig sound, I would replace it with a new Ludwig Weather Master. On my LM402 the WM sound fantastic, and the coating is much more durable than Remo's coating. My current head looks brand new after several gigs.
 

trickg

Silver Member
IMO a good heads setup for that drum would be:

Batter: Evans G1 coated
Snare: Evans hazy 300
 

oldmetalhead

Junior Member
The Powerstroke 77 is in fact available in blue in 14" size ,unlike the Powerstroke 3

The P77 however is even further away from the OEM head (dual ply like the Emperor, plus a center dot and an inlay ring like the P3). It's very muffled. It would be great for lower tunings on that snare, but it won't sound anything like the OEM head.

Long story short, there are no single ply head with a blue color available for a 14" snare. But going with the Emperor won't completely change the snare, it will focus the attack more and reduce the sustain. Personally, I did not like a dual ply on my Acro (I tend to only like them on snares that are at least 6" deep), but it's not like it sounded bad, I just didn't prefer it.

If you must have blue, Emperor Colortone will be closest (dual ply, but no additional muffling)
So I wouldnt need the internal muffler that comes with the drum or moon gels?
 

srmckinney

New member
The Ludwig Weather Master medium is a single-ply coated head, much like a Remo Ambassador. The blue Emperor you're thinking about using is a 2-ply head, which will sound substantially different than the Weather Master, especially since it's clear and not coated. You can put a clear head on a snare drum but I wouldn't recommend it, especially since your Acrolite is made of metal. You'll be fighting against a lot of over-ring. If you still have your heart set on using an Emperor, I'd get the coated version. That'll help mitigate some of the weird overtones and warm up the sound of the drum slightly. Otherwise, the coated Ambassador is always a great place to start, to help you get a "baseline reading" of how the drum sounds and responds.
I totally agree.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You want an Ambassador Coated for your Acrolite, or if you hit harder, an Emperor Coated.

Acrolites are fairly dry to begin with, so going with something like a Powerstroke with built-in muffling will dry it out too much.
 
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