20's NOB 14"x5" Ludwig(?) Snare... experts welcome

dalec

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Hi!
I have a 14"x5" Nickel over brass 6-lug Snare which I believe is a Ludwig Pioneer or Universal. But I'm not sure, maybe some of you can help. No badge on the drum, only a few holes, three of them maybe for a muffler? No script on the brass rims, original throw off seems to be a Ludwig 338 (although pictures of the drum show a P-83), but it misses the Pat. Pend. script which seems to be common on the 338 model. Butt plate looks different than on the 20's Ludwig drums I have seen. The shell is definitely 2-piece, but the edges are not soldered to the inside which makes me wonder, as I always heard that the Ludwig 2-piece shell is always soldered.
I am curious what you think...
Best regards,
Lars
Ludwig_20s_01.jpg Ludwig_20s_02.jpg Ludwig_20s_03.jpg Ludwig_20s_04.jpg Ludwig_20s_05.jpg Ludwig_20s_06.jpg Ludwig_20s_07.jpg Ludwig_20s_08.jpg Ludwig_20s_09.jpg
 

AaronLatos

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Hi Lars!

I've seen the following shell constructions from that approximate era, either marked Ludwig or unmarked:

A: 1-piece

B: 2-piece with "rolled back and under" but non-soldered edges

C: 2-piece with soldered edges

Yours looks like a B.

Drums I've played with B and C sound consistently great. I have a 4" B, and a 6.5" C. Both are 6 lug and amazing. The 4" has the depth of a 6.5" while retaining the in-your-face response of a piccolo snare, and gets a lot of compliments from other drummers/engineers.

The 6.5" is simply my favorite metal drum I've ever owned, and I've owned some doozies!

Re: manufacture, my 6.5" C came with Ludwig stamped hoops. I'm not 100% sure the style B drums are all Ludwig, but yours, like mine, has a Ludwig style butt, plus has a Ludwig throw. The butts were a different generic part, but the construction still feels Ludwig to me. Some other folks might have more history.

Re hoops and setup on these:

Try heavy hoops. Modern style 2.3 mms are great on these drums, and if you can find a set or even just batter side 6 lug diecast (will likely be from a Gretsch student drum), do it. My 6.5" with a diecast batter was just described by a grammy-winning producer who regularly works with Brian Blade, etc, as "well, now isn't that just exactly how a snare drum is supposed to sound!"

Batter head: try a Vintage A with a piece of gaff tape approx 3x3". It's the money on these drums.
 
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dalec

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Hi Lars!

I've seen the following shell constructions from that approximate era, either marked Ludwig or unmarked:

A: 1-piece

B: 2-piece with "rolled back and under" but non-soldered edges

C: 2-piece with soldered edges

Yours looks like a B.

Drums I've played with B and C sound consistently great. I have a 4" B, and a 6.5" C. Both are 6 lug and amazing. The 4" has the depth of a 6.5" while retaining the in-your-face response of a piccolo snare, and gets a lot of compliments from other drummers/engineers.

The 6.5" is simply my favorite metal drum I've ever owned, and I've owned some doozies!

Re: manufacture, my 6.5" C came with Ludwig stamped hoops. I'm not 100% sure the style B drums are all Ludwig, but yours, like mine, has a Ludwig style butt, plus has a Ludwig throw. The butts were a different generic part, but the construction still feels Ludwig to me. Some other folks might have more history.

Re hoops and setup on these:

Try heavy hoops. Modern style 2.3 mms are great on these drums, and if you can find a set or even just batter side 6 lug diecast (will likely be from a Gretsch student drum), do it. My 6.5" with a diecast batter was just described by a grammy-winning producer who regularly works with Brian Blade, etc, as "well, now isn't that just exactly how a snare drum is supposed to sound!"

Batter head: try a Vintage A with a piece of gaff tape approx 3x3". It's the money on these drums.
@AaronLatos,
Thanks a lot! I didn't know that there were two versions of the 2-piece shell. Indeed it sounds unbelievably fat for a 5" deep drum. I would love to find a 6,5" 2-piece drum, but they seem hard to come by... I will keep my eyes open for some heavier hoops although I really like the sound with the single flange hoops.

@A.TomicMorganic,
Are you sure that the brass hoops on my drum are reproductions? I saw some pictures of Ludwig drums with hoops that look the same as mine, see attached picture.
Ludwig_Snare.jpg
 

AaronLatos

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All the modern single flange hoops I've seen (both steel and COB) have a slot for the snare wire/cord, not a bend/cutaway. Not saying that's necessarily original, but saying that looks old.

I'll take a look at my 6.5 tonight, I think it looks like yours except is painted steel (some of those drums came with black painted hoops).
 

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