Re: Are Ludwig Supraphonics really that good a snare
Les has talked about "cheap pot metal", and things breaking in the past (not just with Ludwig to be fair), but to this day, I have yet to have anything break, or a lug come apart. What gives? I take care of my stuff, but I hardly "baby" it either.
The lug walls on an Imp, large Classic, Bowtie, seem pretty dang thick to me.
Maybe they changed the thickness or metal in the mir-70's when I started playing?
The Mach lugs could knock out some concrete.
I compared a DW TB12 mount to an Elite mount, and the Ludwig had thicker walls.
Compared to a SOLID GMS or Ayotte lug, that's apples and oranges.
If the lugs on a Ludwig were solid, then the sound would change--and I don't think anyone would debate that.
Personally, I don't think the parts used on Ludwig snares are "cheap". They aren't as fancy, or thick or whatever like a Trick throw or something, but, I don't care for Trick throws. They work smoothly, but they have no style, and are a giant hunk of metal stuck on a snare to me.
I have a few P-85's in a bin, that I changed over to P-86's (I like the 86's styling, how it works) and all the 85's work fine.
The (9) 86's I have work like a charm.
They aren't THICK parts, so if the drum was abused, they might need replacing, but no one but me is handling the drum anyway.
Once in a while, a stage crew is moving my gear, but it's on a stand at that point.
If someone dropped the drum then, no brands strainer is gonna survive.
Comparing type of sound, a friend of mine has a Pearl Steve Ferrone sig snare. It's basically a BB copy. It sounds great, but there are differences. The sound of it is more controlled than my BB's--and I have tuned his snare a few times for his bigger shows, and he wanted it to sound like mine. The seam in the shell could contribute to that, and the lug type, and the different edge, and the snare bed, and...
I think that Pearl snare is probably as nice as anyone could want, and told him a few times "if you ever want to sell..'
But, I wouldn't give up my BB's either. I think they are a bit more open, and have a sound that just isn't like other drums. The Ludwig is more sensitive as well.
The amount of lip extending off the bend from the edge inside on a Ludwig shell is more than the other shells I have looked at--and a LOT more than my WorldMax Brass snare--that I do like a lot.
I use a wide open snare, and I like and use the ring I get (on purpose) of the snare. If it's too much coming off the drum for FOH (with their mic choice, the venue, etc...) I just move the mic off the head a bit more. Problem solved, and I get the sound I want.
A lot of people put Moongel, a ring, or whatever to damp down the ring, so IMO, at that point, what's the difference in brands of snares people would use?
You're just going to get a smack, and short sound out of any brand drum anyway. If someone is doing that, then use anything that they think is a good drum, and isn't going to have parts failing on them.