Heads for Ludwig Supraphonic

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
I have a 14 x 5 Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum and I've been playing with the Ludwig stock heads for a long time. I'd like to swap the heads for something better and more suited to the type of music I generally favor (progressive rock & metal).

The rest of the kit is a Tama Silverstar (I'm about to order clear Evans G2's (batter) and G1's (resonant) for all of the toms (floor and rack). And I think the bass drum batter will be an Evans EMAD2 level 360.

Knowing all of the above, any suggestions for the snare head (batter and resonant) with this preferred genre in mind would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have been using Remo ambassador Coated on batter, and snare side Hazy forever on mine, and love it. I tune a la Stweart Copland - high and tight - and this combo has not ever failed me

my other one on my jazz set is Remo Classic Fit Diplomat on batter, and snare side Hazy...way different tuning...more like Joe Morello...
 

Kodeus

Junior Member
For batter head check out the Remo emperor X. Its a standard 2 ply head with a dot added in the middle for extra goodness and durability. As for reso heads for the supra, the Ludwig weather master snare side head is the best in the business. part number C1114. It has a shorter collar than most other reso heads and it really lets that supra sing.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
i tried a CS Coated and really liked it, and now i’m using a UV2. i think they’re both great but honestly would go with the CS.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
Ludwig Weathermaster medium coated or Remo coated Ambassador. I've tried them all and those two IMO sound best on a Supra. If you can find a Ludwig Orchestra batter (original on the vintage Supras) they will sound fantastic.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
All of my 30+ Ludwig metal snares get an Evans ST (SuperTough) batter and Evans Hazy300 snare side (after the stock Ludwig snare side needs replacing.) It's a durable but lively 2-ply, perfect for everything except sensitive work like orchestral. In fact, most of my snares get an ST to sound their best*.

Worth mentioning - although Remo has been OEM'g Ludwig's heads for the last 4 or 5 years, Ludwig still makes their own 12/13/14" snare heads (also timp and concert bass drum heads.) I like the Ludwig batters, they're just not easy to find in stores.

* I have a few older snares that howl a bit for no apparent reason, so I use the ST Dry, which has little holes around the edge and tames the drum nicely.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
My 2 cents:
On top: coated Emperor
snare side: keep the stock head. If it needs changing, use Ambassador snare side.
(Evans equiv: coated Genera G2 top, Hazy 300 snare side)
This head combo gives a real classic sound that I love.
Play it with half a moongel just to take the tiniest bit of ring off, or play it wide open for that glorious Supra 'Thonk'!
 
I would probably not go for an extremely muffled head (Hydraulics, HD Dry) since your snare is rather shallow and already a bit dry. How about the Genera Dry (1 ply with a ring and those small holes) as a compromise? I don't play Metal though and have never used something like Hydraulics with a 14x5 Supraphonic - if you like it, that's all that matters.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I would probably not go for an extremely muffled head (Hydraulics, HD Dry) since your snare is rather shallow and already a bit dry. How about the Genera Dry (1 ply with a ring and those small holes) as a compromise? I don't play Metal though and have never used something like Hydraulics with a 14x5 Supraphonic - if you like it, that's all that matters.

When I bought my LM411, it had an ebony pinstripe on it. It didn't sound as bad as I had expected. In fact, I grew to like it's dryness, but it obviously lacked some sensitivity. When I started experimenting with different heads, I ultimately settled with a coated PS3 and swapped out the hoops for die-cast which brought me almost back full-circle, but with added sensitivity. I'm set up in a fairly large (15' x 26' with 19' ceilings) and lively room so the overtones can get quite a bit exaggerated if they aren't tamed.
 

RickP

Gold Member
The Remo CS is my head of choice for snares regardless of the material . It just does so many things well and they play and sound great
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
+1 on the Remo Controlled Sound, or Emperor X (which is basically a 2-ply Controlled Sound). All the sensitivity of a coated Remo head, with more focus and less overtones especially on rimshots.
 

Buffalo_Drummer

Active member
All of my 30+ Ludwig metal snares get an Evans ST (SuperTough) batter and Evans Hazy300 snare side (after the stock Ludwig snare side needs replacing.) It's a durable but lively 2-ply, perfect for everything except sensitive work like orchestral. In fact, most of my snares get an ST to sound their best*.

Worth mentioning - although Remo has been OEM'g Ludwig's heads for the last 4 or 5 years, Ludwig still makes their own 12/13/14" snare heads (also timp and concert bass drum heads.) I like the Ludwig batters, they're just not easy to find in stores.

* I have a few older snares that howl a bit for no apparent reason, so I use the ST Dry, which has little holes around the edge and tames the drum nicely.
Doesn't the ST have vent holes as well, except it's 2 ply?
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Hey, thanks for all the responses. So much information, so many opinions! Good stuff. I should have asked that you include what type of music you play so I can get an idea of how your favored music genre is influencing your suggestions.

Thanks again.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Yeah on a regular 14x5 Ludalloy chrome-aluminum shell my favorite combo is coated over hazy Ambassadors. Maybe a clear Ambassador SS bottom. It's that picture-perfect lively, but not lingering, bright, but not brash Supraphonic sound.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Yeah on a regular 14x5 Ludalloy chrome-aluminum shell my favorite combo is coated over hazy Ambassadors. Maybe a clear Ambassador SS bottom. It's that picture-perfect lively, but not lingering, bright, but not brash Supraphonic sound.

Is this what you mean (see below)? Or are you suggesting a different bottom (resonant) than the one that comes with this pack? Also, is this better than the original Ludwig WeatherMaster coated head that my snare drum came with?

 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Is this what you mean (see below)? Or are you suggesting a different bottom (resonant) than the one that comes with this pack? Also, is this better than the original Ludwig WeatherMaster coated head that my snare drum came with?


Those are them! But new Supras come with Weathermaster Heavy coated batter and clear snare side, which I think sound great. If your drum is brand new, play the stock heads until they don't sound good anymore; they're ostensibly the same weight as those Ambassadors. But if yours came with a Medium coated (which is roughly a Diplomat weight), I'd slap an Ambassador on top and call it a day.

The hazy Ambassador is a little dryer of a sound than the clear snare-side Ambassador.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Those are them! But new Supras come with Weathermaster Heavy coated batter and clear snare side, which I think sound great. If your drum is brand new, play the stock heads until they don't sound good anymore; they're ostensibly the same weight as those Ambassadors. But if yours came with a Medium coated (which is roughly a Diplomat weight), I'd slap an Ambassador on top and call it a day.

The hazy Ambassador is a little dryer of a sound than the clear snare-side Ambassador.
I bought my supra in 2016 (new) and it came with the coated head shown below (medium). Would you recommend a change now?


1614903655829.png
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I bought my supra in 2016 (new) and it came with the coated head shown below (medium). Would you recommend a change now?

Yeah, that's the original batter head, and after five years I'd think it's had a good long life. Five years is a good long time for a bottom head to last, too, so I'd go ahead and change both of them. Get a bottle of 3-In-One oil for like five bucks and lube up every moving part on the drum, too; especially the snare throwoff. People complain about P-85s, but really all they need is some oil every decade or so. I'm also partial to snare cord over straps; it's a little more flexible, so you can have the snares tighter, but they don't choke the bottom head so much. Those three changes and some good tuning will make your Supra as good as any.
 
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