Cotton Stuffed Lugs

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Hello, everyone. I am currently modifying a Maxwin by Pearl 14 x 5.5 steel snare and had a question for whoever would like to answer...The inside of the lugs were bare. Nothing but the threaded inserts for the screws and the spring. So I stuffed them with cotton to reduce the amount of twaiinnngggg that I heard handling these while cleaning them up. This is ok to do, correct? I know the lugs on my Sonors are stuffed with foam to, I assume, do the same thing-stop unwanted overtone from the sympathy vibrations of the spring.

Btw, the mods Im doing arent really mods. Just cleaning it up, and because some dillhole put pieces of hockey tape around the drum, the chrome is starting to peel off and bubble. Im going to rough up the chrome and paint over it. Not sure what yet though, but something awesome. Im not really worried about resale or ruining the drum, as it was an added bonus to the Imperialstar kit I picked up. Thanks in advance!
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Actually what you are doing is an old jazz trick jazz drummers did way back when jazz and blues clubs ruled the planet. To cut down on the overtones and ringing of the metal springs, they put cotton, felt, foamrubber, or other thick clothe in the lugs. I've had to do this same thing with some of my drum lugs and I noticed a very definite improvement - no ringing of metal on metal. It's fine and vastly improves the sound by removing rattles, rings, etc.

Sounds like you have a cool restoration / refurb project going there. Please post pics when you are finished!
 

B-squared

Silver Member
The only thing I can think of that you might want to watch for is condensation getting into the cotton. If you live in a humid area or if you are going to be in and out of the cold it might be a concern.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yep, when I owned older Slingerland and Ludwig kits, that would be the first I did when I got them. Take all the lugs off and put some kind of insulator around the springs. I actually heard the 'twang' of springs at some point in my early childhood and from that point on I was very anti-twang.

Unfortunately it's not like I was doing alot of studio sessions as a child, but I knew I didn't want to hear the twanginess!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I too noticed this on some old toms I took apart, and some old vintage Slingerland lugs I ordered for a restoration came with this stuff inside them. Got me thinking, maybe I should check all my drum lugs for this......needs some time on rainy day.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, be careful with the removing the nuts and putting them back. Due to their age, you could easily strip out a lug - I did this once long ago, but was able to get a spare lug at the drum shop in L.A. since they had them lying around. I can imagine doing this now, and not being able to find any parts especially if you live in a rural area.

Just a thought ;)
 

Green_C

Member
This thread reassures me that I'm not some nut job hearing things that aren't there and fixing problems that don't exist.

When I was tuning up my 10 year old son's set over Christmas break I found his 12" tom had an annoying spring buzz that lasted as the main drum tone decayed. I tracked it down to one or two lugs on the batter head. So I disassembled the drum and wrapped each spring in the top lugs with a couple cotton patches. Problem solved.
 

Bigdumbdrums

Senior Member
So this happened to me last night in a recording studio! I have a 1966 Supraphonic and used it 2 weeks ago in the same studio, with the same engineers and it was chosen out of 4 snares I brought as the best sounding one. We recorded with it and it sounded great.
Last night, we were tracking again and I brought the same snare. As we were micing it up, I gave it a few whacks and we all heard a very noticeable metallic harmonic overtine that was completely foreign. Even the singer was like "WTF is that?!"

This was NOT your average shell overtone.

We tried muffling, retuning, different snare stand, everything we could thing of and nothing got rid of the sound. I only needed to whack the rim to get painful tinny shrieking sound to happen. It was awful.

We went with another snare.

I suspected it was the lugs and sure enough, this thread helped prove it to me. I've since removed all lugs to find no baffling inside. I have a bag full of cotton squares/pads and for each lug, I used 2:

1 rolled up and shoved through the spring itself.
2. another cotton pad was then placed over the spring after it was installed back inside the lug. The 2nd cotton pad filled the remaining lug cavity.

The nasty ring is gone completely. The drum sounds awesome now.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I have a 1966 Supraphonic
1 rolled up and shoved through the spring itself.
2. another cotton pad was then placed over the spring after it was installed back inside the lug. The 2nd cotton pad filled the remaining lug cavity.

The nasty ring is gone completely. The drum sounds awesome now.
Oh gosh. I have a 68' Supraphonic. Your story makes me want to take it apart and check for stuffing.


.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Well, be careful with the removing the nuts and putting them back. Due to their age, you could easily strip out a lug - I did this once long ago, but was able to get a spare lug at the drum shop in L.A. since they had them lying around. I can imagine doing this now, and not being able to find any parts especially if you live in a rural area.

Just a thought ;)

Always use this when reassembling old(er) lugs.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I wrap the lug springs in electrical tape to keep them from vibrating.
I have done this on all of my vintage kits.
 
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