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Old 04-16-2019, 01:59 PM
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Default Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

I seem to have acquired a Ludwig Black Magic 14 x 6.5 snare drum. It is a rather handsome thing, with die-cast hoop (definitely on the batter side), tube lugs (ten of them) and generally so black light just falls into it.

My hope is to get a solid, warm and comforting sound from it, with a low to medium tuning. The original head was beaten to a pulp, so I have borrowed a near new Genera HD Dry from another snare to get started. Anybody have any other recommendations for head choice?

I am a not-very-hard hitter, playing classic rock.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

“I seem to have acquired”. Meaning you woke up in the morning after a drunken party gig to find a Black Magic snare drum at the foot of your bed.

Maybe those of us who suffer from severe bouts of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) can start referring to some of our drums as coyote ugly.


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Old 04-16-2019, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

That’s a tough one. I personally don’t dig a ton of crazy overtones, but found pretty much anything more than a 10 mil single ply to chock things out too much. Have had the best luck just with a Coated Ambassador and lately Aquarian Texture Coated and Modern Vintage. The Modern Vintage is a bit warmer and has been great on both my Bubinga and Bronze snares. Both snares are pretty lively, so the warmer Vintage sound did just enough to keep me from having to try and EQ anything out of my mics. They Sounded great on the Aluminum too, but being a dryer snare to begin with, both the Ambassador and Texture Coated sound the most open on that one.

I posted a snare head comparison video earlier. Includes Remo, Evans and Aquarian, recorded by the same people, so a pretty good starting point.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=163752

Last edited by AzHeat; 04-16-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

I have a Pork Pie Big Black 14" x 6.5", which is essentially the same black nickel plated, seamed brass shell as the Black Magic. I've used the 2.3mm Triple-Flanged hoops that've come with it, as well as a pair of S-Hoops and Die-Cast hoops. I like all three, but if I'm playing loud rock a lot with it, I throw the Die-Casts on.

Favorite heads for it (used in a rock application) are thick two-ply, but not completely deadened. A coated Remo Emperor, Evans G2, or Aquarian Response 2 would serve you well.

I find low tunings do well on mine, but I think it's the best anywhere in the medium-ish range.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

I have an 8x14 and prefer a Coated Ambassador over a Hazy Diplomat. I tried out a Coated Emperor over a Hazy Ambassador and found that there were some strange overtones. Not what I expected, but the single ply set up sounds much better to my ears. I also use that on my Black Beauty.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

The Genera may be a little dry, maybe a G14 or so. One ply thick
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshinya View Post
I have a Pork Pie Big Black 14" x 6.5", which is essentially the same black nickel plated, seamed brass shell as the Black Magic. I've used the 2.3mm Triple-Flanged hoops that've come with it, as well as a pair of S-Hoops and Die-Cast hoops. I like all three, but if I'm playing loud rock a lot with it, I throw the Die-Casts on.
I guess I lean the other direction. I've tried those combos as well and if loudness/openness/decay is what I'm after, the triple-flanged are the way to go, IMO.

As for the OP, I'd stick with the die-cast and a twin-ply head if he's going for a more controlled sound. That's just me, though... :)
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

Warm and comforting are not attributes I would assign to a brass shell.

2 ply coated batter and gut snares in the basement might get you there. I have no experience at all with gut snares. I'm just trying to think of something to soften the sound up.

If it's too bright and metallic, you could soften the shell interior with moleskin.

It will take a little tweaking to overcome the natural tendencies of the brass shell.

Here's another vote for keeping the die casts on it. They tend to corral the stray O-tones.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

Remo Powerstroke 3. Try it, you might like it. Use 2 keys, get it finger tight, then 1 or 1.5 full turns all around. JMO
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

If you want a warm and comforting sound, you don't want Die-cast. They are great for focusing the overtones, but they'll also give you a brighter more aggressive sound.

Triple-flanged would be better for a more pleasing tone. You can still control overtones with moongel.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

I have a Black Magic, with a Die Cast on the batter side.

I'm using a Aquarian Modern Vintage reverse dot on top with a Remo no collar clear Ambassador on the snare side. Sounds great. I tune mine medium-high, but the shell really contributes a lot of low end so it sounds meaty even in higher tunings.

Personally, I wouldn't stick with anything like a dry head that cuts out overtones. For a black brass snare to have "that" sound, you need those overtones.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Ludwig Black Magic - Head and Tuning Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
“I seem to have acquired”. Meaning you woke up in the morning after a drunken party gig to find a Black Magic snare drum at the foot of your bed.
I didn't set out to GAS a snare...I have generally been pretty happy with my Blackrolite, but I spotted this one for sale, and it seemed a bargain so I thought I'd try it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
That’s a tough one. I personally don’t dig a ton of crazy overtones, but found pretty much anything more than a 10 mil single ply to chock things out too much. Have had the best luck just with a Coated Ambassador and lately Aquarian Texture Coated and Modern Vintage
I will check out that video. I haven't been impressed with Remo heads, but I may try the Aquarian (I've mostly been an Evans guy, but that's as much out of laziness as anythinng)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshinya View Post
I have a Pork Pie Big Black 14" x 6.5", which is essentially the same black nickel plated, seamed brass shell as the Black Magic. I've used the 2.3mm Triple-Flanged hoops that've come with it, as well as a pair of S-Hoops and Die-Cast hoops. I like all three, but if I'm playing loud rock a lot with it, I throw the Die-Casts on...
I'll try out the die casts, and if it sounds too fierce I might try softer hoops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_G View Post
I have an 8x14 and prefer a Coated Ambassador over a Hazy Diplomat. I tried out a Coated Emperor over a Hazy Ambassador and found that there were some strange overtones. Not what I expected, but the single ply set up sounds much better to my ears. I also use that on my Black Beauty.
Another vote for single ply noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
The Genera may be a little dry, maybe a G14 or so. One ply thick
Another single ply vote; thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavis View Post
I guess I lean the other direction. I've tried those combos as well and if loudness/openness/decay is what I'm after, the triple-flanged are the way to go, IMO.

As for the OP, I'd stick with the die-cast and a twin-ply head if he's going for a more controlled sound. That's just me, though... :)
Deffo going to to try the die cast with the HD Dry for starters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Warm and comforting are not attributes I would assign to a brass shell....
Once again the trouble with language to describe sounds. I'm after the sort of sound that I hear on Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", which I've been listening to a lot lately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Vater View Post
Remo Powerstroke 3. Try it, you might like it. Use 2 keys, get it finger tight, then 1 or 1.5 full turns all around. JMO
Not a Remo fan, but I think I have the tuning pretty much as you described, but haven't been able to take it around the block yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBitePrettyHard View Post
If you want a warm and comforting sound, you don't want Die-cast. They are great for focusing the overtones, but they'll also give you a brighter more aggressive sound.

Triple-flanged would be better for a more pleasing tone. You can still control overtones with moongel.
We'll see how I get on with heads and tuning first. I can always bother triple flanged from another snare to try it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
I have a Black Magic, with a Die Cast on the batter side.

I'm using a Aquarian Modern Vintage reverse dot on top with a Remo no collar clear Ambassador on the snare side. Sounds great. I tune mine medium-high, but the shell really contributes a lot of low end so it sounds meaty even in higher tunings.

Personally, I wouldn't stick with anything like a dry head that cuts out overtones. For a black brass snare to have "that" sound, you need those overtones.
I tried an Evans reverse dot snare of some description and really didn't like it because the tone was so different in the centre as composed to off centre.
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