Q: Black Nickel Plating?

Marshy_Drums

Junior Member
Hello drummers,

this is my first post on the forums, and glad to be here.

So I have a question concerning black nickel plating over brass for snare drums. I've heard that it makes the sound warmer than just brass; is this accurate? Does it change the overall sound? What about brushed nickel plating?

I've been on the market looking for low-mid level 14X6.5 brass snare drums. Some that I've been eyeing up for a while include the Taye Metalworks Black Nickel over brass, the Pork Pie Big Black, Gretsch legend brass and the DW collectors brass (although more expensive). Are there any of these that you guys know?
 

mandrew

Gold Member
In my opinion, it doesn't affect the sound all that much. If you put a Black Beauty, a COB, and a Ludwig regular brass shell in one room, and did a blindfold test, hardly anyone could tell much difference, much less a crowd of people. They all sound great though (speaking of Ludwigs)!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Welcome to the forum :)

With a thickness of circa 20 micron, any added mass is inconsequential. I can't imagine any perceivable affect whatsoever.
 

double_G

Silver Member
"black beauty" drums do sound different than any other metal drums. there is *something*...with nickel plating a brass shell. lately i get the feel that besides ludwig, sonor & DW, all the other vendors might be using the same few shells. they all look real similar like the pic below. i would describe the sound as warmer & woodier (crack) vs. COB [60s ludwig supraphonic or 70s slingerland].

my custom 13 x 7s (fortunedrums.com):
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
I agree with Andy, but will leave the door open. I guess there can be some debate that the actual process changes the sound as opposed to just the coating itself. I am thinking if in doing the nickel plating there is some heat treating that accompanies the process. It is possible the heat treating would affect the sound of the brass shell to a small degree.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
lately i get the feel that besides ludwig, sonor & DW, all the other vendors might be using the same few shells
Yeah, a lot of manufacturers and distributors use the same brass shells. As my main snare, I was going to build a black over brass 'Black Beauty' copy with brass tube lugs and diecast hoops, but I found that I could buy a Worldmax snare made from the same shell I would have been purchasing, with gold plated hardware, single flanged hoops, and black tension rods for much less, so I picked it up

This one, actually
http://www.drumfactorydirect.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_12&products_id=4294

The picture really doesn't do it justice, it's a beautiful drum, although the badge is a little tacky. I use it for everything, and I'm very pleased with its performance. It's the same shell as used on the Pork Pie BOB snares, and some others. I even prefer its sound over an authentic Black Beauty I tried out at Guitar Center, though I didn't have much time to play with the tuning of that one, so that's probably most of the fault.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
"black beauty" drums do sound different than any other metal drums. there is *something*...with nickel plating a brass shell. lately i get the feel that besides ludwig, sonor & DW, all the other vendors might be using the same few shells. they all look real similar like the pic below. i would describe the sound as warmer & woodier (crack) vs. COB [60s ludwig supraphonic or 70s slingerland].

my custom 13 x 7s (fortunedrums.com):

Off topic, but I love the looks of your Yamaha kit in black. In my humble opinion, the top line Yamaha kits are the only ones that truly do black in a classy way. Something about that nicely-chromed Yamaha hardware against a high-gloss black finish. Nice.

GeeDeeEmm
 

double_G

Silver Member
Off topic, but I love the looks of your Yamaha kit in black. In my humble opinion, the top line Yamaha kits are the only ones that truly do black in a classy way. Something about that nicely-chromed Yamaha hardware against a high-gloss black finish. Nice.

GeeDeeEmm
Thanks GDM. yeah the one on the BG is a '88 yamaha tour custom [mahog / birch]. that year (part of the "custom" thing), you could get the piano black gloss & i went for it. still look nuts under the lights.
 
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