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  #1  
Old 07-12-2013, 09:02 AM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Ok so the title seems pretty open ended but I want to know, what makes a Ludwig snare drum.... well a Ludwig? I mean when we say Ludwig snares most of us immediately rush to Black Beauty, Supraphonics and Acrolite, but are they really the only true Ludwig snares? Is it limited to only USA metal shell Luddys? Or even then what about wood? Aren't the pioneers and Jazz festivals very highly sought after snares? And then we go on to the Taiwanese drums they make, where even the lowly Ludwig Element snare (admitantly only during its 100th anniversary when they had the birch poplar combination which was toted as being amazing and punching far above its weight, those drums were amazing) got very favorable reviews on it's own. Not only that but we have the mysterious Carl Palmer snare that sounds FAR deeper than it's actual very shallow 3.7" depth, and the cheap but incredible sounding Supralites that are fast becoming adopted by the pros in lieu of FAR more expensive snares. Not only that, but the quality of the drums coming out from Taiwan are also suffering from FAR less quality control issues than the USA factory itself, and lets not forgot from Taiwan we are getting Black Magics, Supralites and the Artist Signature snares, all of which gaining VERY high critical acclaim. So is a Ludwig snare drum USA made, or is it the unique way that Ludwig approach making snares that makes it a true ludwig. Because from where I am standing, people can now own a genuine ludwig snare, with that special little extra something that Ludwig give its snares, for under $200 with the supralite. What do you think?
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:25 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I don't know, man. I took a permanent marker and wrote "ludwig" on an old broken snare I had laying around, and now it sounds world-class. I can only conclude that it's really just the name.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:38 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Technically it's any drum with a Ludwig badge. Sentimentally, it's any drum that came out of the Chicago or Monroe factories.

Rightly or wrongly, the history of the company is what comes to mind when people think Ludwig. The Supralites and Black Magic's are just the same generic shell that all the other knock-offs use anyway and by default, miss out on that rich tradition.

No less a Ludwig really, but still lacking the crucial history, culture and romanticism of what built the brand in the first place.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:03 AM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I have always associated it with a sound, and to me that Ludwig sound is crunchy.
On a side note:
I played a supralite next to a sensitone stainless steel, and a black magic next to a world max and afterwards did an inspection. I will say that both the Ludwigs not only sounded superior, but they still carried that ludwig crunch sound, something very different to the pearl and world max. I then looked and although the shells may be the same, the bearing edges were both SLIGHTLY different and the snare beds were also different to their counterparts.... could simply those things really attest for that Ludwig sound?
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:30 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I'm lead to believe the BM and the World Max are the same shell.....just different bling.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2013, 10:37 AM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Does shell mean exact same drilling, plating process, bearing edges and snare beds or does it literally mean just the same shell.... Plus I didn't know the worldmax came in 13x7.... I don't know, I just can't explain it. When side by side testing (and they let me chuck some triple flange hoops on the BM and use my drumdial to make them equal) the BM STILL had a different character to the WM....
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:12 AM
mpthomson mpthomson is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
Does shell mean exact same drilling, plating process, bearing edges and snare beds or does it literally mean just the same shell.... Plus I didn't know the worldmax came in 13x7.... I don't know, I just can't explain it. When side by side testing (and they let me chuck some triple flange hoops on the BM and use my drumdial to make them equal) the BM STILL had a different character to the WM....
I believe that Ludwig get the finished shells from the same source Worldmax do, could even be Worldmax themselves. It's also the same shell used by whole host of other makers/assemblers, Pork Pie springs to mind.

Worldmax have had a 13x7" available for a while. Most of the sound in a drum comes from the head anyway, could be variations in the mylar batch, differing ages of head, whether that's on the drum or date of manufacture, there are a whole host of reasons why they might sound slightly different.

Interestingly a WM black brass drum won the 'Snare Drum Olympics' a few years ago beating a Black Beauty in the process. As humans decide on the best sounding drum it's still a subjective comparison, but they are blind testings and the assessors don't know what they are listening to when they score.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:50 PM
mandrew mandrew is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I am not sure, but I think it is part of the Ludwig manufacturing process. All Ludwig snares made in the U.S.A. go though a final process before shipping, in which a top secret "Ludwig sound packet" is installed!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Have never played a Ludwig drum in my life. Dunno, could be missing the true orgasm and all that other associated crapper but I'm pretty happy with the stuff I have to hit. Brady, Gretsche (modified), and UFIP are okay really. But then carry on everyone....I'll put my head back down and witness.....
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Many companies make nice sounding snare drums. Ludwig is one of those companies in my mind, their drums sound like Ludwig snare drums and those sound nice to me.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2013, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I don't know, man. I took a permanent marker and wrote "ludwig" on an old broken snare I had laying around, and now it sounds world-class. I can only conclude that it's really just the name.
I'll bet it would sound even better if you drew a Mapex Saturn badge on it.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2013, 06:47 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
I'll bet it would sound even better if you drew a Mapex Saturn badge on it.
Well, that's just a scientific fact!! The size and weight of that badge makes everything sound spectacular!!

Ludwig's metal snare edges are a bit different than other shells, and their snare bed is different too. There is more metal coming off the edge flange on their snares compared to other brands.
I read in one of the books on Ludwig that the snare bed "formulation", or whatever, was a pretty guarded secret for years. NOW, you could go in with a computer and duplicate anything you wanted.

There has to be something to it, because Ludwig's sound different than Slingerland's, or Rogers etc...

Their center bead does something too. Even on beaded snares I've played that aren't Ludwig, and also the World Max snare that I own, all have been real nice, but there's just something different about the Ludwig shell.

I've tuned up a friends Pearl Brass Steve Ferone sig snare for a few bigger gigs he's had, and it's a GREAT sounding drum, but it's not a BB. Not "worse" or anything of the sort, it's just different. I like it a lot actually. Beaded shell, 6.5, 2.3's...tube lugs like I've had on my BB's. Even though I set it up, and I played it, it still sounded pretty different.

Maybe it's Ludwig's seamless shell?

It's really everything rolled into one. The edge difference, the shell, the size of the lug (which a lot of people think are too short on a 6.5), total weight of the hardware on the shell...the tension rod splay....

It's flippin' magic, that's what it is!

I haven't actually ever been interested in any Steel shell snares I've heard, until I heard/played the Supralite. That line is some seriously good sounding snares.

The character of Brass and Bronze of other brands can kinda get close, but there's not really a snare that sounds like a 402. When you hear that sound, you know what it is.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2013, 07:46 PM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Here's an ear test. Two 14x5 snares.
One is a Ludwig LM400 Supraphonic the other an Obelisk maple.
Can you tell which is which, #1 is..#2 is....?

https://soundcloud.com/aftrglow/2-sn...ttin-in-a-tree

Sorry did not bother to edit the audio for pauses and they have different heads on.
hmmm, what does make a Ludwig snare?
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2013, 07:50 PM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I don't just put it down to the seamless shell.... I have side by side (and just now again with my fiance) compared a black magic with a worldmax and a taye brushed brass, NONE have the same character as the ludwig black magic.... and as I said I accept they may be the same shell manufacturer, but maybe they do something different with it as I cannot explain it but they are special :)
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:19 PM
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Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I can't say for sure what "it" is about them, but my 6.5" hammered-bronze Supra is simply a masterpiece of a drum. I can play ppp jazz or fff rock and it sounds good no matter what. I can tune it flappy low or super tight and it sounds amazing. I do want to eventually get a chrome-over-brass in the 5" size though.

Subtle things like shell thickness, bearing edge and flange play a part and if I'm not mistaken, Luddy metal were some of the first drums to have a very shallow snare bed, so that contributes to the response of the drum and how they gave birth to the "modern snare drum" meant for louder music.

My '64 Clubdate maple/poplar/maple drum is good but nowhere near as good as my Supra.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2013, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

I play a LM402 chrome over aluminum. in my opinion the seamless shell, the way the snare beds are made, and the way they chrome the aluminum are the main contributing factors to its sound. it just has that nice fat,dry,ringy,crack that is unique to this drum.I haven't heard any other aluminum snares that can duplicate its sound
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2013, 11:36 AM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

On a response from the worldmax and black magic comparison from a local store:

The tube lugs on the Ludwig are heavier duty, the screws are heavier, the edges on the top are wider than the WM, and the bottom lip/edge is a LOT wider than the WM shell.

This lends discredit to the rumour they are the same shell...
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2013, 02:03 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
This lends discredit to the rumour they are the same shell...
All my research has lead me to the same point....they are the same shell. If you can find me something to the contrary, I'm all ears.

I would have thought the fact that they have different hardware and shape the shell differently goes without saying. Companies at the very least, want identifiable features. The way in which the shell is finished off and hardware that is specific to each manufacturer is the obvious way to do this. But that doesn't necessarily discredit the actual raw shell being the same at all.

It's no different than different car companies using the same engine. The engines are all sourced from the same place yet individually tailored to the specifics of the company using them. Or indeed drum companies that source their hardware from the same factory as the competition.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

As for their wood shells, someone here said that it's the molds, the glue and something about no heat and radio frequency curing that gives them the Ludwig magic. Who was that any way?
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:50 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
On a response from the worldmax and black magic comparison from a local store:

The tube lugs on the Ludwig are heavier duty, the screws are heavier, the edges on the top are wider than the WM, and the bottom lip/edge is a LOT wider than the WM shell.
This is also what I posted before when I was taking apart and cleaning my WM and a Ludwig maybe a year or more ago.

The BMagic, and some other shells may be the same- I don't have a Black Magic to see, but the lip on a Ludwig USA shell is twice as big.

The difference in the seam, is that it seems to control the ring a touch, which is a good thing to most people.
On one of the shows I did last year, one other drummer had a PP B.O.B., and it sounded great. I really liked it a lot. Nice crack, cool tone, solid, seemed sensitive... still didn't sound like my BB though. Weather the difference is worth a couple hundred bucks is up to anyone buying, adding in the lug differences, the smaller screws (the screws are a lot smaller, I was surprised).

Like on other threads, people will complain about the P-85, talk about rod splay, or whatever, but I've asked before, do you enjoy playing and listening to the thing, or do you just look at it? There are things that impede the performance of an instrument, and sure, those make something a no-go.

I never had a problem with a P-85, & I don't care about the P-86 not having key screws.
I don't break snare cords, and if someone uses plastic or strap, how much do you need to fool with that part of a strainer??
It's on, it's off. If something binds at some point, just spritz some teflon lube on it. Big deal, it's just maintaining the working order of the drum. Some of these will bind, some won't, mine didn't.

My (10) P-86's are all perfect. I changed the first ones over because I liked how they looked better with the Tube Lugs and straight hoops I had on my BB's way back when. I liked how they worked too, so I kept getting them.





Now, if someone just thinks a different strainer is just COOL, well heck yeah, put it on!!
Make yourself happy with what you are playing on.
I wish the holes on an 86 would line up with the holes of the strainer on the Supralite, but it's not a deal breaker for me, that drum sounds great!
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmike View Post
As for their wood shells, someone here said that it's the molds, the glue and something about no heat and radio frequency curing that gives them the Ludwig magic. Who was that any way?
That was Bermuda. They use Radio waves to bind the wood and glue.

What makes me laugh, is the most sought after vintage drums are the older 3ply shells, with the freaking inner seam of wood overlapping inside! Far from a perfect "fit & finish", but who's complaining about that??
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:31 PM
StaggerLee StaggerLee is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

So.... black magics are the same shell, but have been tailored differently (different lip/bearing edge and snare profile), and that combined with the treatment (hardware and plating) made that drum sound so different from other same shell snares? How can it be possible that those few small things made this snare a ludwig, and so special.... surely if that was the case everyone else would be jumping on doing that?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:12 PM
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Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
That was Bermuda. They use Radio waves to bind the wood and glue.

What makes me laugh, is the most sought after vintage drums are the older 3ply shells, with the freaking inner seam of wood overlapping inside! Far from a perfect "fit & finish", but who's complaining about that??
Yeah, my '64 Clubdate drum's interior, while being still fairly round since it's had heads on it constantly for it's life, looks LAUGHABLE. If somebody made a drum like that today, nobody would buy it. Even the sparkle wrap was overlapped with the scarf-joint when they formed the shell. the reinforcement ring also looks distorted where the seam is. When I compare it to how my Silverstar snare shell looks, it's amazing how technology advanced. A 6ply, 6mm shell with no reinforcement hoop, vs a 3 ply, 8mm shell with big, fat maple rings inside, with ugly overlapped seams. The old Ludwig's tone is kind of "blah" too. I use it with a EC2 head that kind of produces a "Steely Dan" muffled tone when I need that kind of sound.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:14 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

While an Acrolite is one of my primary snares, there's something special about the wood ones too. Comparing them to others I think some of it is that they didn't get carried away with super sharp bearing edges. And the back roundovers are more pronounced.

And maybe like Fender guitar amplifiers, it's just the sound we all grew up with. So a Ludwig just says "snare drum" in our aural memories. Things shift away now and then, but the ear and history tend to pull things back to what sounds "right" or familiar.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
So.... black magics are the same shell, but have been tailored differently (different lip/bearing edge and snare profile), and that combined with the treatment (hardware and plating) made that drum sound so different from other same shell snares? How can it be possible that those few small things made this snare a ludwig, and so special.... surely if that was the case everyone else would be jumping on doing that?
I would say the bearing edge and snare bed make up 99% of the difference between the BM and the WM. Bearing edges make a world of difference - take it from someone who has had wood ply shells re-edged, and they came back sounding like a whole 'nuther drum...
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Here's an ear test. Two 14x5 snares.
One is a Ludwig LM400 Supraphonic the other an Obelisk maple.
Can you tell which is which, #1 is..#2 is....?

https://soundcloud.com/aftrglow/2-sn...ttin-in-a-tree

Sorry did not bother to edit the audio for pauses and they have different heads on.
hmmm, what does make a Ludwig snare?
I'd say # 2 is the Ludwig, just listening on my laptop. More body and grit.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: What makes a Ludwig snare drum?

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I'd say # 2 is the Ludwig, just listening on my laptop. More body and grit.
got it, you have a good ear!
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