Black beauty or hammered bronze?

Ely

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I currently only have one snare, and thats a mapex black panther 14x5.5 maple. It's been a real workhorse of a snare, but as I am starting to gig more I am accumulating more money. And more spare change laying around combined with this community's influence results in me acquiring G.A.S... So, I am in the market to finally get a metal snare drum, and I'm looking for one that will last a lifetime. I have narrowed it down to a 14x6.5 ludwig black beauty or hammered bronze. I have heard both of these snares in person and just can not make up my mind. I would ask if you guys could list the pros and cons of each one but I don't really think there are many (if any at all) cons for either snare. Is there really a wrong choice? Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance,
Ely.
 

mlayton

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ive owned a 6.5 black beauty and two 5x14 hammered bronzes. I have not owned the 6.5 in hammered bronze however. out of what I did own, I preferred the hammered bronze. they kinda have a sound of their own to me. the black beauty sounded great. but not too much different than a ludalloy 6.5 supra to me. you'll be happy with either. I can say that.

mike
 

brodeo

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I have a 6.5 hammered bronze ludwig and a 6.5 smooth black beauty, I think the BB is probably a little more versatile as the HB is pretty dark, but the hammered bronze probably gets more stand time for what I do (loud rock).

With either one I'm sure you'll be happy. Also consider a 6.5 Acrolite
 

Shedboyxx

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<p>I own the 6.5 x 14 Bronze and was thinking this through a few years ago. The Black Beauty is a fine drum and is probably on more recordings than the bronze although there are some older bronze versions of the Black Beauty.</p>
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<p>It came down to liking the warmer sound of bronze to me. I've owned the Yamaha Paul Leim Black Beauty knockoff and eventually sold it because I wanted the bronze drum. I also already had a Mapex 5.5 x 13 drum which is still one of the most popular snares I use when I play out. Last night in fact. <img class="bbc_emoticon" src="http://www.drumforum.org/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png" title=":)" /></p>
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<p>From an objective standpoint there are only two issues I can think of that favor the BB. First if you are playing louder music, IMO the BB edges out the bronze <em>ever</em> so slightly for cut and power. Secondly there is just the rep of the BB that may or may not help when you have people asking what you have to record with. Other than that both are generally priced close enough to not make a hug difference, especially if you've decided to put out that level of dough for a drum.</p>
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<p>Bottom line for me is to go with what sounds best to your own ears. Both are fine sounding drums and I one day hope to have both in collection....as well as a few others. <img class="bbc_emoticon" src="http://www.drumforum.org/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png" title=":)" /></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Jim</p>
 

Ely

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Yeah my buddy has an acro that he's fixing to unload to me for like 100 bucks I hope. But I have another question. I am going to be ordering through gc since I have close to $200 in gift cards. But on their website for the hammered bronze it says factory B-stock. What does this mean? And if I decide to go HB then should I have the guys at gc custom order one from ludwig?
 

brodeo

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B-Stock generally means the drum has some small imperfection or topical blemish that doesn't affect the sound, and typically will be on the inside of the shell. I've had a B-Stock supra and I couldn't even find the imperfection. they're a good deal
 

Ely

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brodeo said:
B-Stock generally means the drum has some small imperfection or topical blemish that doesn't affect the sound, and typically will be on the inside of the shell. I've had a B-Stock supra and I couldn't even find the imperfection. they're a good deal
The B-stock bronze on gc's website is still $750 though. Which if I'm correct is the same price as a brand new one straight from ludwig.
 

brodeo

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Ely said:
B-Stock generally means the drum has some small imperfection or topical blemish that doesn't affect the sound, and typically will be on the inside of the shell. I've had a B-Stock supra and I couldn't even find the imperfection. they're a good deal
The B-stock bronze on gc's website is still $750 though. Which if I'm correct is the same price as a brand new one straight from ludwig.
Well GC aren't known for being good value a lot of the time. I picked up my hammered bronze on Ebay used for about $400 around 2 years ago, just place an alert for "ludwig hammered bronze" or similar and something might pop up. Good luck!
 

brodeo

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Also, check the for sale section here often. People are always offloading something you want
 
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RickP

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I have owned both the hammered and smooth Bronze supras and sold them both. I prefer the Black Beauty and the COB supras much more. I like the sound of brass shells better. The stick articulation is sharper to my ear and the rim click is more pronounced. The Bronze shells are drier and have more woodiness to them then the Brass shells. Please don't get me wrong, I like the bronze shell snares, but the brass shells are much more my cup of tea. My bronze shells were not being used, so I sold them so another srummer could enjoy them.
 

atomicmorganic

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Might be worthwhile to find a store that has both on hand, so you can A-B them. I know that this might not be possible, but might even be worth a short road trip.
 

Hop

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I have BB (2 actually, one for playing and an engraved one for looking at) and HBz. After I got my Coliseum it became my primary and the BB went on the shelf, the HBz was then my secondary snare (mine also has the die-cast hoops).


The B-stock bronze on gc's website is still $750 though. Which if I'm correct is the same price as a brand new one straight from ludwig.
This goes without saying but look for a better price so they can at least do a match price for you.

The B-stock may have a slight imperfection - great if you're looking for a something to play vs. "display." However, it may come with a cut badge if that matters to you. I wouldn't pay the same price for a B-Stock as a cosmetically perfect one, you should be getting a nice little discount, but it looks like GC is holding on to the profit center.
 

bolweevil

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To me the bronze has more warmth (like a hint of a wood shell under the sharpness of metal). I've played but not owned a couple of BBs, and prefer the 5" hammered bronze I own. Of course I never had a chance to tune the Black Beauties to my own taste.
 

AaronLatos

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I used to own an early 80s hammered bronze and a 70s pointy badge BB, both 6.5". Either could have been my only snare for life.

The bb had a bit more bite, a bit more defined note, clearer sounding, brighter. At the same tuning, the HB was a hair more wide-spectrum, punchy as opposed to cutting, and warm. If you're a guitar person, a great analogy would be that the BB is more like a tele and the HB is an ES335. Or maybe even a Les Paul and a 335... they're close. If you like the high pitched, spanky crack thing, the BB will do it a little more distinctly, where the HB is milder.

This is splitting hairs, though... freshness of the heads, mic, or even mic pre will make as much difference.

For what it's worth, I wound up selling the BB when the market for them was up, half because I slightly preferred the HB, and half because it help me afford a dream kit (gold glass radio kings).

If you want a new BB and have a b/o badged kit to match (or like the 70s vibe), the b-stock drums are a good way to save a coupe bucks. Another option is the COB supra, which is the same shell, different finish.

If you want to split the difference, there is also the unhammered Bronze supra to consider... as well as the hammered brass (they've only been on the market for a couple of years). I have a 5x14" smooth Bronze w/ tubes that's a ridiculously versatile recording drum: does the 70s fatback well low, nice general purpose middle tuning, barks with calf or fiberskin, and can do the Stewart Copeland vibe up high, esp with a cast batter hoop.

All are amazing instruments. You cannot go wrong with a USA-made seamless shell Ludwig, in my opinion. Good choice and good luck! :)
 

AaronLatos

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Also, GC's prices for metal Luddies makes no sense sometimes. A friend of mine bought a hammered BB from GC a few years back and was all proud that he'd talked them into knocking off 15%. The price he wound up paying was probably still $200 above market value.
 

pontiacrich

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Why not find a drum shop that has both and see which you think sounds better?

Oops...just re-read your post. Sorry about that!

Why not a hammered black beauty? It's not bronze, but it's hammered and with tube lugs it may give you some of that bronze sound.
 

tamadrm

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If you decide on the Hammered bronze,or the Black Beauty...shop around,because the price flucuates wildly.

The LB 552k at Musicians friend(GC) is 759.I've seen that drum for around 620 at other places.The same with the BB.

These's B stock drums going for 550 or less.but you won't get that GC,unless you can find a lower advertised price.

At any rate ,shop around and check Greenbriar for cheap prices on B stock Ludwig.

Steve B
 

Marquisjohnson22

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I would also go with bronze I love my 6.5x14 bronze. It is a smooth shell, but I like the warmth, depth, earthiness and woodiness of the bronze combined with the crack and pop I can get due to it being metal. The brass is nice to, but if I were choosing one or the other, it'd be bronze.
 


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