Hmm... The LM400 (Supra Phonic) series isn't steel at all -- it's seamless spun aluminum with a chrome plating (Ludalloy). I'm pretty sure that Supras are always aluminum, but there are many Ludwig historians about who could tell us for sure. I think the 300 series are steel.The Ludwig LM400 is the most recorded snare in history. I use mine for, Rock, Blues, Soul / R&B and Country, I am sure many Jazz players use them as well.
That's about the same year as my 'new' one. The one I had before was from '83, but they're mostly the same (only difference with the late '80s models is that they were never drilled for a tone control knob). If it has the parallel-action strainer it's a King Beat. If it's the Roller Glide, then it's the Mastercraft. Both have (or originally had) wires that extend out beyond the bearing edge, both generically say Imperialstar on them, but both use the same shell and hoops so will sound about the same. Mine has the Roller Glide (with newer shorter wires). I wouldn't say one's better than the other and, just based on what I've seen on eBay, the King Beats don't sell for as much. Only reason I didn't want a KB was because it wouldn't fit in my snare case.I should have mentioned, my Tama snare was from '87. Generically labelled an "Imperial Star", I never knew if it was a Mastercraft or a King Beat ... or ...?
It has the snare that extends past the rim edge. And it weighs more than the rest of the kit combined. Is that the same as yours, MikeM? It is a fantastic drum.
I second that comment. Snare is all about personal preference. There is a reason they're's so many different metals, woods,etc for snares. I personally prefer steel, copper, or maple. Metals give you more of a cracking aggressive sound. As maple is deep and warm and gives you more of a jazz sound. Most people use metal for heavier styles and aggression. Maple is more for sensitivity and tone (exactly what jazz drummers are about). Shell usually depends on your preferences, what are yours?No drum is versatile if you can't play.