Black Beauty - but not from Ludwig

Will248

Well-known member
As of now, I do not own a brass snare drum and I'm looking for that classic BB sound, a throaty, somewhat unruly but versatile shell in 14x6.5. Unfortunately, I'm not very fond of Ludwig's current offerings, they charge 1000€ for a new BB with mediocre (at best) heads and wires and a hit and miss quality control. That's why I'm considering other options.

Older Ludwigs, from the 80s or before, are very rare in Europe and most of the time even more expensive and have a shitty throw to top it off :D right now, I'm considering a Worldmax BB clone that would set me back 250€ and I have an eye on a Dunnett. I always wanted one of his snares and while they're equally expensive as the original, their quality is higher and for me, they have that special something.

1) Dunnett doesn't offer a black nickel over brass, has anyone an idea which of his snares comes closest to a BB? 2N COB, 2N raw brass,...? It's hard to come by his drums to test them in person...

2) How about the Worldmax, any issues here (strainer especially)? I don't want a Black Magic as I prefer triple flanged hoops on the brass shell.

3) Any other ideas and recommendations for snares in that realm? My budget is around that 1000€ mark (but I'm not afraid of a good deal!), but only for a boutique drum like a Dunnett, even though the new Pearl Matt Halpern signature looks great. But I guess with it's thicker shell and DC hoops that comes too close to my Tempest Bell Bronze.


Thank you!
The back magic sound just as good with the right tuning.
 

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MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
The black magic and worldmax have the exact same shell from Reliance.

Brass is quite ringy, so it was a good thing from Yamaha to add a alu die cast hoop to the first to gen’s manu katche signature snare and early seamless brass snares. It makes you can do with a thin/single ply top and bottom head with basically no extra muting.

I would go for one of those, or a Worldmax. Just replace the strainer on the latter.
 

s1212z

Drum Expert
I don’t think the black magic is the same 1.2 mm thickness as a black beauty but could not find the specs. Whether spun or rolled make a difference, IDK. I believe N&C copper is rolled and a titanium Dunnett has a seam as well, both $1k snares.
 
As of now, I do not own a brass snare drum and I'm looking for that classic BB sound, a throaty, somewhat unruly but versatile shell in 14x6.5. Unfortunately, I'm not very fond of Ludwig's current offerings, they charge 1000€ for a new BB with mediocre (at best) heads and wires and a hit and miss quality control. That's why I'm considering other options.

Older Ludwigs, from the 80s or before, are very rare in Europe and most of the time even more expensive and have a shitty throw to top it off :D right now, I'm considering a Worldmax BB clone that would set me back 250€ and I have an eye on a Dunnett. I always wanted one of his snares and while they're equally expensive as the original, their quality is higher and for me, they have that special something.

1) Dunnett doesn't offer a black nickel over brass, has anyone an idea which of his snares comes closest to a BB? 2N COB, 2N raw brass,...? It's hard to come by his drums to test them in person...

2) How about the Worldmax, any issues here (strainer especially)? I don't want a Black Magic as I prefer triple flanged hoops on the brass shell.

3) Any other ideas and recommendations for snares in that realm? My budget is around that 1000€ mark (but I'm not afraid of a good deal!), but only for a boutique drum like a Dunnett, even though the new Pearl Matt Halpern signature looks great. But I guess with it's thicker shell and DC hoops that comes too close to my Tempest Bell Bronze.


Thank you!
Take this as you may, but I just drove a few hours to the only store I could find with a Black Beauty in stock, walked in fully intending to buy it and walked out with... a Mapex Persuader, something that wasn't even on my radar, after trying everything in store.

Now, a few things to keep in mind:
- This was a bronze BB, not brass. There isn't a huge difference, but there is one.
- The Mapex ships with nice Remo US heads, including an Ambassador X on too which is thicker than the Ludwig head on the BB, and that is a bit of an unfair comparison as I prefer thicker.
- The Mapex also comes with nice Pure sound wires.
- Also this Mapex is a hammered shell. I did try the smooth brass one (I forget the name) and that was nice too but I prefered the hammered one.
- That was me on that day in that room, maybe I would have preferred the BB in my studio, I may never know. The BB had a bit more presence and liveliness to it which some may prefer.

It wasn't a price issue though, even though the difference is pretty big. Would have I paid BB money for the Mapex? Hell no. But had the Ludwig been as cheap as the Mapex I still would have went for the Mapex.

It's the first time ever where I get to try a Ludwig snare and don't prefer it.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Take this as you may, but I just drove a few hours to the only store I could find with a Black Beauty in stock, walked in fully intending to buy it and walked out with... a Mapex Persuader, something that wasn't even on my radar, after trying everything in store.

Now, a few things to keep in mind:
- This was a bronze BB, not brass. There isn't a huge difference, but there is one.
- The Mapex ships with nice Remo US heads, including an Ambassador X on too which is thicker than the Ludwig head on the BB, and that is a bit of an unfair comparison as I prefer thicker.
- The Mapex also comes with nice Pure sound wires.
- Also this Mapex is a hammered shell. I did try the smooth brass one (I forget the name) and that was nice too but I prefered the hammered one.
- That was me on that day in that room, maybe I would have preferred the BB in my studio, I may never know. The BB had a bit more presence and liveliness to it which some may prefer.

It wasn't a price issue though, even though the difference is pretty big. Would have I paid BB money for the Mapex? Hell no. But had the Ludwig been as cheap as the Mapex I still would have went for the Mapex.

It's the first time ever where I get to try a Ludwig snare and don't prefer it.

Wow. I’d say it’s pretty tough to knock Ludwig off the perch when it comes to great metal snares. Oriollo makes some great metal drums, and I hear good things about JNDC and Dunnett, but Mapex? That’s interesting.

I still wish Ludwig would make a cast shell snare. I just don’t understand why they don’t.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Had the 14x8 Black Magic & it is a fantastic snare. Sold it when I bought my BB.
Yes! I had a 6.5" Black Magic that I sold when I got my Black Beauty! And I agree, the Black Magic snares are really fantastic.

Without doing a side-by-side comparison I doubt most would notice much of a difference between the sound of a Black Beauty and any of the ~$300 WorldMax-type clones. It's easy to get lost in all of the tiny differences in hardware but 90%+ of the sound is coming from having black nickel plating on a brass shell.
 

basset52

Senior Member
Take this as you may, but I just drove a few hours to the only store I could find with a Black Beauty in stock, walked in fully intending to buy it and walked out with... a Mapex Persuader, something that wasn't even on my radar, after trying everything in store.

Now, a few things to keep in mind:
- This was a bronze BB, not brass. There isn't a huge difference, but there is one.
- The Mapex ships with nice Remo US heads, including an Ambassador X on too which is thicker than the Ludwig head on the BB, and that is a bit of an unfair comparison as I prefer thicker.
- The Mapex also comes with nice Pure sound wires.
- Also this Mapex is a hammered shell. I did try the smooth brass one (I forget the name) and that was nice too but I prefered the hammered one.
- That was me on that day in that room, maybe I would have preferred the BB in my studio, I may never know. The BB had a bit more presence and liveliness to it which some may prefer.

It wasn't a price issue though, even though the difference is pretty big. Would have I paid BB money for the Mapex? Hell no. But had the Ludwig been as cheap as the Mapex I still would have went for the Mapex.

It's the first time ever where I get to try a Ludwig snare and don't prefer it.
I think you've been brave enough to trust your ears and buy what makes sense to you regardless of the enormous reputation of the BB. I bought a Black Beauty a couple of years ago because I wanted to experience its magnificent reputation ( I'm not being sarcastic). However it was not my sound and I sold it a year later. It was not my sound. I could have altered the sound by heads and tuning but that didn't seem right to me. I bought a Supraphonic and it is my sound , same as my acrolite. Each drum has its own character and sound IMV, sometimes its yours, sometimes its not.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Any other ideas and recommendations for snares in that realm?
The Tama KA145N.
pen_KA145N_00_01.png


If you find an older model, it will come with triple-flange brass hoops and an older throw-off.

8EA72AD9-A051-4C77-B478-6451E46C39D2.jpeg
 

Treverer

Junior Member
Had the 14x8 Black Magic & it is a fantastic snare. Sold it when I bought my BB.
Does the BB have anything that the other one was missing?

And I like Oriollo as a brand, but you can't test their drums nowhere and their website is very hit and miss. When you configure the snare you don't get to see the different options on the shell, on their website are half a dozen lug designs floating around, the test videos they promote link to the wrong YT pages etc. I know that here in this forum alone are a lot of satisfied customers, but for close to a 1000 Euros the ordering process is a bit too much "into the dark" for my liking.
 
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Frosticles

Silver Member
Does the BB have anything that the other one was missing?
I played both intensively & the BB is just on another level to be honest. The BM is fantastic & I would very happily of kept it. They are very close to the BB sound but not entirely there. As soon as I hit my BB, I knew & understood what the hype is about :)
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The Worldmax is the best way to get into brass snares. I got a 14x6.5 with die cast hoops last year for a couple hundred quid.

Worldmax make the Black magic and BOB under license so save yourself a bit of money if you can find one and they're in stock!

The only problem is if you like it you'll want the real deal BB!
 

someguy01

Gold Member
Does the BB have anything that the other one was missing?

And I like Oriollo as a brand, but you can't test their drums nowhere and their website is very hit and miss. When you configure the snare you don't get to see the different options on the shell, on their website are half a dozen lug designs floating around, the test videos they promote link to the wrong YT pages etc. I know that here in this forum alone are a lot of satisfied customers, but for close to a 1000 Euros the ordering process is a bit too much "into the dark" for my liking.
Oriollo is a forum member, I imagine you could send a message with any questions/concerns.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
The concerns mentioned are fair though, the website is not 100% clear about everything. I say that as a happy Oriollo customer, I’ve ordered from him twice and he delivered exactly what I asked for. But I came to it with a precise set of descriptions and a willingness to gamble a little.
Oriollo is a forum member, I imagine you could send a message with any questions/concerns.
 
The Tama KA145N.
pen_KA145N_00_01.png


If you find an older model, it will come with triple-flange brass hoops and an older throw-off.

View attachment 109312

Was watching a Rick Beato video (best drum fills? Don't remember) where he had short covers of songs and the drummer was using either a Black Beauty or this Tama depending on the sound... And the Tama sounded amazing! To be fair, they were tuned very differently, with the BB being super low... But damn that Tama just popped.

Problem though is this Tama is actually more expensive than a BB.
 
Wow. I’d say it’s pretty tough to knock Ludwig off the perch when it comes to great metal snares. Oriollo makes some great metal drums, and I hear good things about JNDC and Dunnett, but Mapex? That’s interesting.

I still wish Ludwig would make a cast shell snare. I just don’t understand why they don’t.

Like I said though, that was me on that day in that room, and the Mapex ships with a head choice I prefer so right there it's a bit of an unfair comparison. I tried to convince myself to get the Ludwig anyway and experiment with heads and snare wires... But then I just kept coming back to this Mapex and it had something special.

I do like a snare with a bit more low end and a smoother top end. Just like how I play 15" K Light hats, and K Dark Thin cymbals, I'm looking for something similar from my snare. That's sort of why I was interest in this bronze BB, but I think the hammered shell of the Mapex is what made it sound more appealing to me. So I do hope to one day get to sample a hammered brass snare from Ludwig.

I do really like the 8-lug BB on the DrumcenterNH video, can only find one 5000km away though so I'd have to order it without trying.
 
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