New Ludwig Heads - a review

Stroman

Platinum Member
Recently, on a whim, I put a coated Heavy Ludwig Weathermaster head on my 13" Musashi snare drum. I needed a new head for the drum, and instead of buying one I used one of the heads I took off my Maple Classics when I bought them in 2010.

It sounded absolutely splendid!

That got me wondering about the new Ludwig heads made by Remo. I found some on sale fairly inexpensively, so I tried a 14" on my Pork Pie Big Black.

First, physically comparing the new heads with the old, the coating looks a little bit splotchy on the two heads I got, although it feels like the old Ludwig coating. On the old heads, the coating is extremely smoothly applied. The splotchiness is very minor and purely cosmetic. You can't even see it in the pic I'm attaching. As for the the all-important collar, it looks the same as the old heads, and the hoop is the same, too. I love that shallower collar, and I think it is the biggest difference between the Ludwig heads and others.

As for sound? Like the 13" Musashi, the 14" BOB tuned up really easily, and the head sounds great. I find it really hard to quantify the difference between this and a Remo Ambassador, but there IS a difference. The Ludwigs tune up more easily than any head I've used, they have an open yet pure tone, and they have a kind of soft feel under the stick. Doubles are really comfortable and clean. And my favorite part is, they wonderfully bridge that area between really crisp articulation and full tone. I personally find it hard to achieve both crispness and fullness with one tuning, but these heads allow me to do it easily.

I hope they keep them around for a long time to come.
 

Attachments

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Honestly though, isn't the ONLY REAL difference the ink used to put the Ludwig logo on the head? Maybe because they've sat for a decade they've softened?

I'm just guessing that if you find a brand new Amb head and the same brand new Ludwig Amb head, they're just isn't going to be much of a difference.

For me, just about anytime I put a "new" head on a drum, it's going to sound better than it did. That's part of the reason for changing them right?

There are a few here that would label me argumentative. . .and maybe so, I'm just being honest though. I mean, if they are TRULY different, I'd love to know why!
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Honestly though, isn't the ONLY REAL difference the ink used to put the Ludwig logo on the head? Maybe because they've sat for a decade they've softened?

I'm just guessing that if you find a brand new Amb head and the same brand new Ludwig Amb head, they're just isn't going to be much of a difference.

For me, just about anytime I put a "new" head on a drum, it's going to sound better than it did. That's part of the reason for changing them right?

There are a few here that would label me argumentative. . .and maybe so, I'm just being honest though. I mean, if they are TRULY different, I'd love to know why!
What I'm saying is, the new Ludwig heads made by Remo ARE like the old Ludwig heads. They are also different than Ambassadors, new or old. The collar is different and that affects tuning, IME. I suspect the film is a different formulation of polyester than Ambassadors, and that may account for the different feel. I don't know.

But I can tell you without a doubt, the Ludwig heads are not just Ambassadors with a different stamp.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
What I'm saying is, the new Ludwig heads made by Remo ARE like the old Ludwig heads. They are also different than Ambassadors, new or old. The collar is different and that affects tuning, IME. I suspect the film is a different formulation of polyester than Ambassadors, and that may account for the different feel. I don't know.

But I can tell you without a doubt, the Ludwig heads are not just Ambassadors with a different stamp.
I see. I could certainly see Ludwig wanting a specific type of collar. I know some drum companies have to stay away from Evans for that reason.

(y)
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
What I'm saying is, the new Ludwig heads made by Remo ARE like the old Ludwig heads. They are also different than Ambassadors, new or old. The collar is different and that affects tuning, IME. I suspect the film is a different formulation of polyester than Ambassadors, and that may account for the different feel. I don't know.

But I can tell you without a doubt, the Ludwig heads are not just Ambassadors with a different stamp.
This has been my experience, too. The Ludwig head's coating doesn't feel anything like the Ambassador coating. The one I have is much rougher. And, I might add, it sounds better than any Ambassador I own. It sounds crisper with more mid/high-frequency presence. I don't know if I would appreciate their sound on toms - I haven't tried that, yet - but the snare sound is perfect for my tastes.

GeeDeeEmm
 

newoldie

Silver Member
Sounds interesting.
Are these new Ludwig Heads by Remo now being sold nationally, who would the retailers be; and are they offered in different weights in addition to Heavy?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
While there are Ludwig-by-Remo 14" coated heads, Ludwig continues to make their own 12/13/14" heads for the snares that come out of the factory. I'm sure they can be ordered from any Ludwig dealer.

Bermuda
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
While there are Ludwig-by-Remo 14" coated heads, Ludwig continues to make their own 12/13/14" heads for the snares that come out of the factory. I'm sure they can be ordered from any Ludwig dealer.

Bermuda
That's very interesting. I thought all current Ludwig heads were made by Remo. Do you know how I can tell if the heads I got were made by Remo, Bermuda? Do they only make the ones that are installed on their snares?
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Thanks for posting a review!

I've been really curious about the switch from Ludwig to Remo. It's easy to say "they'll be the same" but I feared these would be re-branded standard Remo heads. It is nice to hear that the Weathermaster heads remain distinctly different.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Thanks for posting a review!

I've been really curious about the switch from Ludwig to Remo. It's easy to say "they'll be the same" but I feared these would be re-branded standard Remo heads. It is nice to hear that the Weathermaster heads remain distinctly different.
You're welcome.
 
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