Ludwig Supra-phonic question

steverok

Silver Member
Although I'm sure this has been covered here, I would like to ask fresh. I am seriously considering adding a second Supra-phonic to my arsenal. I own a 1988 14x6.5 Supra, which I assume is chrome over aluminum or ludalloy. It has a little pitting and flaking, and was out of my possession for a good 5 or 10 years, for whatever reason.

I am considering getting a 14x6.5 chrome over brass LM402B. I may want the tube lugs for a different look, although I have yet to locate one of those. Can anyone say what are the main sonic differences between the brass and aluminum versions ? Some say brass is brighter, while I have also read that brass is warmer and deeper. Would a new one be as good as an older one ?

I love my Supra that I have, but I am just thinking that I would like to spoil myself with a brand new one, and take better care of it. I appreciate any help or insight before I spend that kind of coin.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Generally speaking you'll hear more "ring" from the brass shell. If you get the chance, go and hit a Black Beauty. You'll be able to pick up the sonic difference between that and the 402. The COB and the BB are exactly the same shell....just a different coating. So listening to a BB will give you a pretty accurate indication of what the COB will sound like.

As for new or old. They stopped making the original COB's in '63....the same year the COA was introduced. They did continue to make them on rare occasions but only as a special order for endorsers etc. So unless you can find an old one (they are very rare) then you'll have little option but to buy a newer model as the new COB's were only reintroduced a few years ago.

The beauty of the COB is that it won't pit. Pitting is a reaction in the bonding process of chrome and aluminium. There is no issue bonding chrome to brass.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I only have two snares - an LM402 and a BB knock off (Pearl Sensitone 6.5x14). I've had many snares over the years and these two are about as good as it gets for me.

I'm always a little baffled by some of the descriptions I read regarding how brass sounds. To my ears, brass is beefier with a sweeter and warmer "crack" than the aluminum, which is dryer with a very pleasing higher sparkling crackly crack - the kind that makes me giddy. You can't go wrong with brass, whether it be a COB or a BB, or dare I say, even a BB knock-off (although I've pledged to myself to get the real deal one of these days).

I can't decide which sound I like better, which is why I have both and enough OCD to switch back and forth several times per practice!
 

steverok

Silver Member
Thanks guys, these replies are very helpful and encouraging. I love my Ludwig 402, especially after I updated it with PureSound blaster snares and new heads. I highly recommend the Aquarian Studio X Power Dot batter head. It really seems to do the drum justice. I get the crack, the sensitivity, the warmth, and the power from it. I don't see how it could sound better.

I have a lead on both a BB and COB Supra, either with tube lugs. I am leaning toward the Supra, because it's a little cheaper, and I know I love chrome. Also, I just ordered a nifty Ludwig Black/Olive snare bag to travel in style. I should hit the stores this weekend and look for a BB to test, but I really just want to be impulsive and order it now. I don't know how well I would be able to judge it with the stock heads and snares, anyway. I have to own something before I really know what it's all about.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I don't know how well I would be able to judge it with the stock heads and snares, anyway. I have to own something before I really know what it's all about.
I completely agree with not being able to test most drums with stock heads but Ludwig is worse than most IMO. I bought my Supra gently used and it had the stock heads on it top and bottom that were clearly not used much and it sounded thin. So I put an Ambassador on top and that helped it out a lot, but it wasn't until I changed the reso that it really popped into its own.

It's a bummer because now whenever I wander into a music store and see a Black Beauty, I want to play it and love it enough to make an divorce-triggering impulse buy, but I know those heads are just going to be holding it back and I will remain in marital bliss. I guess that's a good thing.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Haha! You guy's are crackin' me up :)

I just posted about my COB snare in another thread. Look on the "Help with Bronze snare" thread.

Check this COB out:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250676654623?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I have one of these from this seller. They accepted $365 (free ship, original Ludwig packing, which is great [IMO]). Fast ship too. There are 2 of them left.

I also took the gaskets off.
For the quality of the drum and the sound.... if someone was looking for a COB, it's hard to pass this one up for the price (I explained the "B" stock "flaws" in the other thread).

Brass to me is more "solid" sounding than a 402.
Depending on the tuning, people could say it's "brighter", but to me, it sounds fatter and more solid.

It's a lot heavier shell, and the feel is great. I can still get the 402 type "thonk" from the Brass when I want it.

That (eBay) snare comes with Imperial lugs, but, Ludwig's Tube lugs aren't real expensive, and you can readily get them if you wanted to swap the Imps out.

I have the part number if you want it, & I would highly recommend using Ludwig's Tubes over a generic. The few bucks you might save are not worth it IMO (other people have learned...).

I have Tubes on my '09 402, and they're pretty nice looking with the chrome shell and the Tube lug kind of breaking it up.
I had Tubes on both of my Brass BB's, but I changed one to Imp lugs. I've just been liking them a lot lately.

Good luck in your Brass snare search!!
 

steverok

Silver Member
Well, I just ordered a new LM402BT, which is chrome over brass with tube lugs, along with new snares and heads. For better or worse, I have no wife to audit my musical purchases, or my cash outflow. Really looking forward to getting it, and doing the old A/B. Will let y'all know next week !
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Well, I just ordered a new LM402BT, which is chrome over brass with tube lugs, along with new snares and heads. For better or worse, I have no wife to audit my musical purchases, or my cash outflow. Really looking forward to getting it, and doing the old A/B. Will let y'all know next week !
You will...somewhere...some how...down the road,curse your impetuous nature,for not putting up the few extra bucks...and buying the legend.The Black Beauty is in most pros arsenals for a reason.The classic 5x14,imperial lugs,p-85(or 86)strainer.It dosen't get any better.That and the pre serial number Super Ludwig 400.cob are the holy grail of players snare drums.The mojo lasts a liftime.Use the force....young Jedi

Steve B
 

steverok

Silver Member
You will...somewhere...some how...down the road,curse your impetuous nature,for not putting up the few extra bucks...and buying the legend.The Black Beauty is in most pros arsenals for a reason.The classic 5x14,imperial lugs,p-85(or 86)strainer.It dosen't get any better.That and the pre serial number Super Ludwig 400.cob are the holy grail of players snare drums.The mojo lasts a liftime.Use the force....young Jedi

Steve B
You trying to make me feel bad ??? I truly like the chrome finish better, overall, and I only buy 6.5x14. They are both brass shells, so I expect a similar sound. Money was never an issue.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Awesome! You are going to LOVE it.

COB/BB makes no difference. That snare is simply fantastic.

Congrats on the purchase, have fun, and POST PICS!!!
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
You trying to make me feel bad ??? I truly like the chrome finish better, overall, and I only buy 6.5x14. They are both brass shells, so I expect a similar sound. Money was never an issue.
My next snare purchase will be a Ludwig COB. I used to really want a BB, but they are really hard to keep nice, as the nickel finish scratches easy, and has been known to discolor as time goes by. I think you made a wise decision. I'm really tempted to pick up that one Karl just bought.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
You trying to make me feel bad ??? I truly like the chrome finish better, overall, and I only buy 6.5x14. They are both brass shells, so I expect a similar sound. Money was never an issue.
Of course I am.All I can say is M O J O.Kidding..the're both great drums,its just that one is a true classic.

Steve B
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Seems like the biggest drawback of having the COB is that you don't know which is the 402 or the COB until you pick them up. Not much of a drawback, I admit. ;-)

(of course, if the COB has tubes...)
 

sacco

Senior Member
I have a relatively new COB and I like it very much. I share the opinion of those who say it somehow has more body and more warmth than the Ludalloy version (and some more ring, yes!).

A question for the Ludwig experts: am I wrong or the COB model is not produced anymore? I did not see it on the Ludwig site the last time I visited it. I bought mine about four years ago, and I remember having seen it in the shop were I bought it for at least one year before my purchase, so I guess it was produces like five or six years ago.
 

steverok

Silver Member
Hi everyone,

I received my new snare drum via UPS today. It's a Ludwig LM402BT, chome-over brass Supra-Phonic with tube lugs. When I first tuned it up and put it on the stand, I was a bit underwhelmed by the sound. In comparison, my old aluminum LM402 Supra-Phonic has a Remo snare-side head, with PureSound 20-strand blaster snares, and my favorite Aquarian batter head. I was supposed to have an extra Aquarian batter head, but to my dismay, I discovered that MF had sent me an uncoated Studio X head. I also had a new Remo Emperor X coated w/ power dot, so I put that on there, with much better results. I then hoofed it up to Sam Ash, and got the proper, coated Aquarian head, and it's even better now. Tomorrow, I'll be getting a new Remo snare-side head, and PureSound blasters to install, so I'll be able to make a direct A/B comparison, which I will do on YouTube, once I get them both alligned. I do wonder why Ludwig uses such a weak sounding batter head. I am hoping that the new snares and bottom head will make a difference as well. As of now, I think I am getting more bottom from the old aluminum Supra-Phonic, but the new one does sound very good, with a good crack and nice sensitivity. I also noticed that the rim is a little lower on the new one, by about 1/8", which is a bit of a dissapointment, as the rim shots are harder to achieve and a little less pronounced. Anyway, here are the pictures.





 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Ludwig heads are really weak IMO. Not sure why they don't ship with better heads (right, because they still fancy themselves a viable producer of drumheads).

I'm sure that once you get the right heads on there, and again when you but some PureSounds wires on, that drum is going to scream THANK YOU! ...and all will be right with the world.

Beautiful drum you got there.
 

Chaos_Inferno

Silver Member
God damn I would love one of those bad boys. I want a deeper snare for all around everything, as I like my Melody Master but I want a 6.5" snare drum... and I think that a Supra would be fantastic. The tube lugs are sexy on a Supra, to be honest I've never seen one of those before.
 
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