LM402 tuning driving me crazy

TJK

Well-known member

This guy’s a little silly but he really nails the sound of a Bonham snare

If this isn’t the sound of the perfect snare drum to you then the 402 is not for you.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member

This guy’s a little silly but he really nails the sound of a Bonham snare

If this isn’t the sound of the perfect snare drum to you then the 402 is not for you.
Wait, so if I want the LM402 I have to like John Bonham and also want to sound exactly like him? I thought the Supraphonic was a versatile drum.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Well I can tell you it does NOT sound like the Supra in YouTube videos and recordings. I have had a lot of success tuning other snares (like the Dave Weckl signature I mentioned before) but this one is just bugging me. I might just return it and get a Yamaha snare instead.
Exchange it for another Supra that isn't faulty. Don't replace it with a different make/model...none will sound as good as a Supra!

And the Supra IS a versatile drum, arguably the most versatile on the planet. You don't have to tune it like Bonham. :)
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Exchange it for another Supra that isn't faulty. Don't replace it with a different make/model...none will sound as good as a Supra!

And the Supra IS a versatile drum, arguably the most versatile on the planet. You don't have to tune it like Bonham. :)
I’m going to try changing the snare wires and straps to cords and see what happens. If nothing goes right I’m going to bring it to my drum teacher and let him tune it since I really don’t know what I’m going to do.
 
If this isn’t the sound of the perfect snare drum to you then the 402 is not for you.
Not true. I play mainly jazz on my LM402, and it is the most musical snare drum I ever used. When I bought it brand new a couple of years ago, it was love at first glance. No hassle to dial in the heads and the wires for a sweet sound. I really like the sound and the texture of Ludwig snare heads, and although there might be better wires out there on the market, I never felt the need to change.

A LM402 shouldn't take big effort to get a really good sound from, so visit your dealer and tell them.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I would suggest you try a coated Emperor on top, with the stock reso.

FWIW, When I first got my Supra I was a little overwhelmed by the overtones, as I had been using wood snares for years. I actually took a while to get used to it.
I think the CS dot head might be making it 'worse' - it may not be damping the ring or overtones, as the extra material is in the centre, not at the edge.
(by the way I also tried a PS3 batter on mine while trying to dial it in - but it actually made the sound a little 'flat' for my taste)

The coated emperor somehow tames the overtones/ring, but retains the warmth and resonance of the drum. Somehow it works really well. (JMO)
 

vindrums

Senior Member
I would be really surprised if this was an issue with the actual drum. Supras aren't particularly fussy drums. Even if there are issues with the hoop or the bearing edge a supra will still sound like a supra. Trust me, I've played some banged up supras in my time.
 

jdavis

Member
I would suggest you try a coated Emperor on top, with the stock reso.

FWIW, When I first got my Supra I was a little overwhelmed by the overtones, as I had been using wood snares for years. I actually took a while to get used to it.
I think the CS dot head might be making it 'worse' - it may not be damping the ring or overtones, as the extra material is in the centre, not at the edge.
I agree with the Emperor batter recommendation - one of my fav heads.

But, (to my ears) the CS is actually slightly -drier- than the standard single-ply heads BECAUSE of the extra material in the center. It's one of the reasons I don't like them on anything but (maybe) bass drums. Just something I've noticed over the years. To each their own, though. (y)
 

TMe

Senior Member
I'm still wrestling with my Supra. The drum sound is just what I want, but the snares buzz in response to every sound. If I could get the snares under control, I'd be a happy camper.

Can anyone suggest how I could get a relatively subdued snare response while still letting the drum sing? Right now I'm using an ambassador reso tuned to about G4 (392) and a coated emperor tuned to about D4 (294). Should I start by replacing the stock snares, or maybe going with a Diplomat reso and a higher tuning? (If I try to tune the Ambassador any higher, it really chokes up.)
 

Genazvale

Junior Member
I have the same problem. I thought it was me that I can't tune it properly, though I used a tuning app. It sounds perfect without snares, but yes, there's something that buzzes like a loosened nut when snares are on. Better when I tight them more, but then it doesn't ring... Tried stock snares and PureSound - no difference at all.
Well, still searching for the sound.

I tried to play with rods a few days ago and finally heard the sound I was dreaming about. Just FYI.

(ps: bought in Thomann about a year ago)
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I can't help you with your Supra, but I can say that the Yamaha Weckl snare is pretty awesome. So is a Recording Custom aluminum snare, and it's less expensive than a Supra. I bought one 6 months ago and I love it.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I have two Ludwig snares (LM402 & LB417) and they both share a design flaw that is worth being aware of; that the butt plate is too close to the snare side bearing edge, so as the snare side head ages and stretches, and as you continue tightening it to compensate, the metal collar of the head eventually gets forced against the butt plate, and you bottom out - you can't tighten it any further after that.

Because of this, I use the no-collar Remo Ambassadors (#SA-0314-TD), which provides a lot more room between the collar and butt plate. But even with these, I have to change them every year or two. The stock head, and regular profile Remo and Evans heads can't really be tensioned enough to sound right before they bottom out.

However, these are really great snares so I'm glad someone hipped me on how to get that full tuning range back using a collarless snare side head (shout out to Karl Krafton for that!).
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
I'm still wrestling with my Supra. The drum sound is just what I want, but the snares buzz in response to every sound. If I could get the snares under control, I'd be a happy camper.

Can anyone suggest how I could get a relatively subdued snare response while still letting the drum sing? Right now I'm using an ambassador reso tuned to about G4 (392) and a coated emperor tuned to about D4 (294). Should I start by replacing the stock snares, or maybe going with a Diplomat reso and a higher tuning? (If I try to tune the Ambassador any higher, it really chokes up.)
The head combination and tuning you are using on that drum is spot on in my opinion. I have my 1976 402 tuned the same way, the top is about 306, just a hair sharper than yours. I have snare cord and Ludwig 20 strand snare wires on it. It sounds great. The only difference is that you have those tone sucking gaskets under the lug casings. It probably doesn’t affect the problem that you are describing, but that’s the first thing I would have done, removed those, when I got the drum. They inhibit shell resonance and the drum sounds “subdued” when compared to one without the gaskets. Very noticeable difference. I don’t think a Diplomat batter tuned higher is your answer, or changing tuning on the bottom head. You could try changing snare drum wires, but other than that, your drum should sound great. You’ll never get rid of snare buzz completely, but you should be able to play the drum without it being an issue when playing it in a band setting.
 
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markdrum

Silver Member
If all else fails you might want to try one of the Remo Ambassador-weight collarless heads. Because of having no collar they mold to the drum's bearing edge better. I've had a couple of problematic snares that came around when I used these heads on them. I know, this gets expensive after a while but the end result can be so sweet!.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
If all else fails you might want to try one of the Remo Ambassador-weight collarless heads. Because of having no collar they mold to the drum's bearing edge better. I've had a couple of problematic snares that came around when I used these heads on them. I know, this gets expensive after a while but the end result can be so sweet!.
I have a question. What is the “Supraphonic sound”? Because some people say the drum has a very clean but distinct sound with little overtones while others say there’s a particular “ping” sound and some overtones. When I play the drum completely open with a diplomat side and CS coated batter I hear this overtone that kind of sounds like “wewew” or a kind of a “meowing sound” if you could call it that. Is that normal or am I doing something wrong?
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I have a question. What is the “Supraphonic sound”? Because some people say the drum has a very clean but distinct sound with little overtones while others say there’s a particular “ping” sound and some overtones. When I play the drum completely open with a diplomat side and CS coated batter I hear this overtone that kind of sounds like “wewew” or a kind of a “meowing sound” if you could call it that. Is that normal or am I doing something wrong?
Describing the Supra sound gets a bit subjective, so this could get a bit weird!
It does have a certain sound, yes. It's clean but it has body, warmth and resonance. A nice balance of brightness and almost woody tone, depending on how you hit it. Clear and dry right in the centre, more overtones as you move out. It kind of has a characteristic 'thonk'. There! That's my attempt at describing it, haha.

If you're hearing a 'wewew' sound then it could be that the head is not in tune with itself - if the 'wewew' sound you describe is the 'beats' you hear when two or more lugs have pitches that are close, but not the same. If that's the case, I try to tune this out when getting a head in tune with itself (i.e. finely adjust the lug tuning until the beats disappear and you hear a single, clear tone from the head). I find the Supra exposes this more than some other drums because it is such a resonant drum. It can be infuriating if you haven't come across it before (and indeed if that is what is it - I'm just guessing based on your description). This drum taught me a number of lessons about tuning, and that was one of them.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Describing the Supra sound gets a bit subjective, so this could get a bit weird!
It does have a certain sound, yes. It's clean but it has body, warmth and resonance. A nice balance of brightness and almost woody tone, depending on how you hit it. Clear and dry right in the centre, more overtones as you move out. It kind of has a characteristic 'thonk'. There! That's my attempt at describing it, haha.

If you're hearing a 'wewew' sound then it could be that the head is not in tune with itself - if the 'wewew' sound you describe is the 'beats' you hear when two or more lugs have pitches that are close, but not the same. If that's the case, I try to tune this out when getting a head in tune with itself (i.e. finely adjust the lug tuning until the beats disappear and you hear a single, clear tone from the head). I find the Supra exposes this more than some other drums because it is such a resonant drum. It can be infuriating if you haven't come across it before (and indeed if that is what is it - I'm just guessing based on your description). This drum taught me a number of lessons about tuning, and that was one of them.
Is it because the reso isn’t tuned with itself or the batter? Or both?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Is it because the reso isn’t tuned with itself or the batter? Or both?
Best way to know for sure is to tune each head with the other head muted so you can clear any dissonant overtones in one head first, then play the drum (with the snares off) to see if you've ended up with an unpleasant interval between the two. In my own experience the reso is high enough above the pitch of the batter that I've rarely had an issue with dissonance between the two heads.

It might be helpful to try a straightforward tuning method like Bob Gatzen's snare tuning video. Following that may not get you exactly the sound you're looking for, but it should get you to a solid baseline snare sound that should be easy to adjust to your desired sound.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Best way to know for sure is to tune each head with the other head muted so you can clear any dissonant overtones in one head first, then play the drum (with the snares off) to see if you've ended up with an unpleasant interval between the two. In my own experience the reso is high enough above the pitch of the batter that I've rarely had an issue with dissonance between the two heads.

It might be helpful to try a straightforward tuning method like Bob Gatzen's snare tuning video. Following that may not get you exactly the sound you're looking for, but it should get you to a solid baseline snare sound that should be easy to adjust to your desired sound.
Well I tried to tune the heads “to itself” and I still have this goddamn wavy “eeeeeeee” sound. I can’t believe I’m not able to tune this snare. It’s really really really really frustrating and I think I’m going to have to bring this snare to my drum teacher so he can tune it himself.
funny how I can make 100 dollar snares sound ok just with tuning but I can’t tune my 700 dollar Supra lol.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
I have discovered the reason for the absolute ass sound. The fucking hoops were warped. Both of them. So, as a prize for spending 700 bucks on a snare plus a set of new heads, I have obtained 3 months of extreme frustration and 2 sets of warped heads plus a set of warped rims. Fuck me. At least the shell isn’t warped. The lugs have dented and scratched the bead after I tried going gasket-less so the only thing that isn’t damaged on this drum is the throw off. Really ironic.

I have to buy 2 new rims, new snare wires and a set of heads. I haven’t felt this shitty since I had an ear infection a few years back.

thanks Ludwig! Thanks to your top notch QC I have to buy almost every single component of the drum after already paying 700 bucks for a goddamn snare. This was definitely not worth the money and definitely one of my worst financial decisions I’ve made. Hats off to you Ludwig. I am never buying a snare from you again.
 
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