Ludwig Black Beauty 14 x 6.5 vs 14 x 8

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Has anyone ever played these side-by-side? What experience do you have with either of these? If you had to pick one, which would you get? Thanks!
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I have played them side by side. The 8" depth is "interesting." I tuned it a little bit, and preferred a medium tuning, just like with my 6.5." From directly above the drum, they both sounded great, but when a took a step back to hear the room a bit better, the 8" sounded a little boingy and didn't have much snap to it. The rimshots really popped on the 8", but had a bit more clang than I would like. Between the two, I dug the 6.5 more.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When I think of "Black Beauty", I think of two drums. The stock 6.5" depth imperial-lugged standard, and the old-timey ~5" tube lugged single flanged variant that our grandfathers played before the war. I've owned the former, but not the latter. It was a nice, well made drum that sounded EXACTLY like a Black Beauty does.

When I think of 8" depth snares, I don't really think of them in terms of their pedigree, I just think "deep snare", despite their construction.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I would never choose an 8” drum over a 6.5” drum .
6.5” has more versatility than an 8” drum . I would never have an 8” drum of it was my only drum either . 8” deep drums have their place, they do that big fat 2 and 4 thing so well . Then a 6.6” can do that too .
Another thing to take into account with an 8” drum is your snare stand . Not every snare stand goes low enough for an 8” deep snare . Make sure you test this before you buy an 8” drum .
 

Clutch_Rod

Active member
I own the 5,6.5 & 8. I'd say the 8" simply gives you more drum shell sound. it's slightly slower, just as the 5" is slightly faster.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Has anyone tried using a Diplomat snare-side to quicken the snap on a 8" snare? Or how about a 42 strand?
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
6.5 for me all day.
I've played 8's & they just never give me the sound I expect. It's probably the metal shell. 8" wood gives me that fat, wet sound I love for certain songs. While a metal 8" does the opposite.

A 6.5 in any material tuned a certain way can either be poppy or warm.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Has anyone tried using a Diplomat snare-side to quicken the snap on a 8" snare? Or how about a 42 strand?
8" deep snares aren't slow to start responding, they're slow to stop...the extra depth makes for a longer note just like a deeper bass drum or tom has a longer sustain. Deep snares don't lack sensitivity, they just have more sustain than shallow drums. Thinner heads and more wires would add to the sustain, not decrease it.

On my 8" and 10" deep snares I used 12-strand wires so I could have all the fullness and more shell tone with as little extra sustain from the wires as possible.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
I'm thinking a much higher tunings so it won't choke but I never worked an 8" before. I've lost sensitivity on 13x6.5 and choked them but never swapped a diplomat but I've heard of players use diplomats. But yes, if you keep it mid tuning it probably rings for days, ha!

Thinner heads and more wires would add to the sustain, not decrease it.
Well it shouldn't sustain your bottom head more on a 42, that doesn't make any sense since you are muting more surface area. I generally don't like 42 strands but they do sound fantastic on the Dunnetts on their deeper snares.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have both, and prefer the 8" overall. It's one of my two favorite snares in life, the other is the 6.5" Copperphonic (I also have the 8" Copper but I prefer the 6.5")

With my preferred tuning - med-high - the 8" conveys a little more body, at least in an acoustic situation. Not that it's fat, it's just more full. I've been using the same 6.5" BB on tour since 2007, and would love to bring out the 8", but the multi-drum case I designed won't quite accommodate it.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
8” deep snares are a fad just like Piccolo snares were in the late 80’s and early 90’s . The fad will pass .
Not really a fad, 8" concert snares have been around since at least the '40s, and most of us are familiar with their more mainstream use over much of the rock era. It all depends on the live sound needed, and the individual drum. The 8" BB is a more versatile snare than most of the 8x14s I've owned (I currently have 7 of them, still far fewer than the 30 6.5x14s that I have.)

Size doesn't matter... sound does.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Not really a fad, 8" concert snares have been around since at least the '40s, and most of us are familiar with their more mainstream use over much of the rock era. It all depends on the live sound needed, and the individual drum. The 8" BB is a more versatile snare than most of the 8x14s I've owned (I currently have 7 of them, still far fewer than the 30 6.5x14s that I have.)

Size doesn't matter... sound does.
I am aware of the long history of 8” drums , I guess fad was the incorrect term . What I meant is the piccolo sound was all the rage during the late 80’s and early 90’s . Peoples sound tastes have changed . I can see the same happening with the 8” drums in the future . I am not denying there is a place for these drums .
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I've played a few 14x8s, they're the Spinal Tap Marshall of snares if you need power and cut. My guitarist randomly had a 14x8 Tama (nothing expensive) and you could have done an arena unmiced with this thing, the tone and response wasn't lacking either.

If you have a guitarist or a bassist with a terminal case of cure my shit tone with volume, a 14x8 is the snare for you!

I'm boring and live between 14x5 and 14x6.5. I've just acquired my NOB snare and me likey!
 

ToneT

Well-known member
Has anyone tried using a Diplomat snare-side to quicken the snap on a 8" snare? Or how about a 42 strand?
I have a Diplomat on one of my DW Collectors 8x14 Black Nickel Over Brass snares and it made the snare response brighter and more snappy. Gibraltar 16-strand wires were an improvement over those flat-sounding TrueTone wires.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Full disclosure I've not played the 8" and 6.5" Black Beauties side-by-side, but I do own the 8" and I prefer it to the 6.5". I was in the same quandary as the OP trying to choose between between the 8" and 6.5" and Bermuda steered me towards the 8". That was a solid recommendation in my book. Like Bermuda has already said, it has a bit more body than the 6.5".

I know I'm going against the grain here but I chose the 8" BB over the 6.5" and so--no surprise--I would recommend it over the 6.5" BB if you're only buying one BB.

If you've buying two Black Beauties consider getting the 5" and the 8" depths. Those two will cover a lot of ground.

Trust your ears for your personal preference. Honestly you're not going to go wrong with either the 8" or 6.5" BB, so don't overthink it.
 
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