header.nohb.html

Grosgrain Ribbon on your Snares. Let's discuss...

JimmyM

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
1,239
Location
Sanford FL
vintage ludwig cord, or die.
Hee hee, I just bought 10 yards of it after seeing some cord reviews. Wasn’t very expensive either. Gibraltar saw fit to only include plastic strips in my new snares and I can’t get the old cord unknotted.
 

tnsquint1

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
80
Reaction score
119
Location
Nashville, TN
I am a fan of grosgrain ribbon. Like others, I ordered several spools in different colors to match various snare drums. It’s quite cheap and works really well.

As to resonance, I’ll quote a well known drummer and educator when we discussed snare tuning at length. He is a proponent of a very tight snare side head by the way (as am I). “Why do you want your snare side head to be resonant? It’s just going to be snares sustaining their buzzing. The snare side head is the one you typically WANT to choke.”

Of course, different styles of music and playing situations call for differing approaches. There is no one size fits all. That said, huge fan of ribbon.
 

JimmyM

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
1,239
Location
Sanford FL
I am a fan of grosgrain ribbon. Like others, I ordered several spools in different colors to match various snare drums. It’s quite cheap and works really well.

As to resonance, I’ll quote a well known drummer and educator when we discussed snare tuning at length. He is a proponent of a very tight snare side head by the way (as am I). “Why do you want your snare side head to be resonant? It’s just going to be snares sustaining their buzzing. The snare side head is the one you typically WANT to choke.”

Of course, different styles of music and playing situations call for differing approaches. There is no one size fits all. That said, huge fan of ribbon.
I’m going to try ribbon for the first time when I get my Ludwig snare cord in a few days. My snare is from the late 30’s and only attaches to the throw off with cord.
 

CC Cirillo

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
3,213
Reaction score
6,479
Location
Northern California
Timely thread.

Last night, I was wearing shorts, playing a snare that has plastic straps. The straps were irritating my leg.

I just ordered some ribbon.

(I chose red. The red sounds good, right? Some of these other colors like black or burgundy or navy blue are probably going to make your snare sound too dark.)
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
3,058
Location
Germany
pro cord:
At consistent volume, think backbeats, differences in end plates and mounting methods might sound pretty much the same (if mounted properly), but there might be a difference when playing softer or harder (dynamic response). Harder hits might sound choked, or soft strokes might sound mushy.
Cord combined with flat endplates (without „channels“) remedy that by pressing the wires into the head, as opposed to straight horizontal pull, similar to what deeper snare beds do. Fatcat has these „pitched“ end plates for that purpose; Canopus and generic snappies also work that way with cord.

There used to be a problem with puresound cord (wire?) indenting wooden bearing edges. No issue with standard cord though. Btw, window blind pull cord is very similar, and probably much cheaper.
 

drumr386

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
27
Location
Kingston, NH
I’ve been a fan of the Canopus strips for years which is essentially the same as grosgrain. Personally, I don’t notice any difference in sound, especially in live playing.
I think we tend to overthink potential sound issues. Live playing in a band setting negates 90% of what we think could be happening.
 

Drumbumcrumb

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
623
Reaction score
841
Location
Rhode Island
No issues that I can think of.

The only thing I'll do is leave a drum alone until it needs attention if it has cords. I don't want to ruin the secret combo of ingredients making it work by changing anything.

Lol, I’m glad it’s not just me! I have drums that I just won’t change a thing on because they sound juuuust right, and I’m wary of messing with the mojo. I have a new ‘63 reissue snare wire I bought for my 60’s Acro, but it sounds so damn good I can’t bring myself to touch it. I love assembling, tuning, reconditioning, I just love messing with drums but when you’ve got a snare in the zone - HANDS OFF!

I typically will “rehab” any snare that comes my way with cleaning, tightening, fresh heads and Ludwig cord. I did use grosgrain for a long time (cut at an angle, cuz it looks cool) until I ran across more than a few drums that seemed to prefer cord, and then I never found a drum that DIDN’T like cord, so it stuck. Easy to center, and I like that they pull from the outsides of the tab (not just the middle). Plastic straps never, ugh. Same for the Puresound straps, never liked them and never got a great sound from them.
 

karlcrafton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
219
Reaction score
216
Location
Detroit, MI
The ribbon works great IF you aren't anal, and hear minutia differences like I am hahaha!
I DID hear a difference between the ribbon and cord, BUT I play my snares wide open 99.999% of the time. I want all the action the wires can give, and use several different strand sets.

I DO understand that what "I" hear, no one else is likely to ever hear and it will likely just get sucked up within the total sound of the music, but, what can I say?....

I've used Kevlar micro cord for the last 5 years or so.
It's the size of the old discontinued Ludwig Gold cord.
It has to be sliced to length with a razor blade. Even a good set of shears will not cut it cleanly.
I dip the ends in hot glue to seal them.
It doesn't stretch, wear, or fray and I never have to think about it.
I also use a line of it to attach a drum key to each snare, which I've done since the late 90's.
 

swarfrat

tympanus laqueus XV
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
7,328
Reaction score
2,536
I get that a lot. My wife wouldn't know which end of the needle to use. This is my baby! A power tool most guys are scared of. Ironic because it's basically a mechanical computer and more complex than a small block 350.


IMG_20220312_092141142.jpg
It's also the oldest vintage thing I own. Best I can tell it's a 1948. There's a whole community of nuts that collect these things just like drums
 

bpaluzzi

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,834
Reaction score
5,208
Location
SF Bay Area
The ribbon works great IF you aren't anal, and hear minutia differences like I am hahaha!
I DID hear a difference between the ribbon and cord, BUT I play my snares wide open 99.999% of the time. I want all the action the wires can give, and use several different strand sets.

I DO understand that what "I" hear, no one else is likely to ever hear and it will likely just get sucked up within the total sound of the music, but, what can I say?....

I've used Kevlar micro cord for the last 5 years or so.
It's the size of the old discontinued Ludwig Gold cord.
It has to be sliced to length with a razor blade. Even a good set of shears will not cut it cleanly.
I dip the ends in hot glue to seal them.
It doesn't stretch, wear, or fray and I never have to think about it.
I also use a line of it to attach a drum key to each snare, which I've done since the late 90's.
I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.
 

bigbeat

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
788
Reaction score
338
Location
Orlando, FL
A guitar player friend just bought a new Yamaha Stage Custom Birch kit and asked me to come over to set it up and tune it. I was surprised to find the snare came factory equipped with grosgrain ribbon holding the snare wires.
 

karlcrafton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
219
Reaction score
216
Location
Detroit, MI
I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.
I'll go 65% b.
Playing alone, at home, w/no ear covering, what I hear is what I hear.
I DID A/B everything and what worked every time was the cord.
Snare wires can change by the drum.
A cool color ribbon would be spiffy, but it still isn't the cord-for me.
On a gig, I have stuff set up at home already, so I don't really think about it.
I adjust or tweak a tiny bit and off I go.

With the band going, it only the main sound of the drum anyone would hear, so I'll give you that.
I could use the ribbon, but then I'm tensioning other things to get what I want differently, to achieve what would be the same result, and be in the same situation.
....and the ribbon would fail before the kevlar cord ever would, so....

Plus, it's all good fun anyway.
 

feelyat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
218
Reaction score
149
Location
Chicago, IL
I cycled through a phase where grosgrain ribbon appealed to me. I even switched out a P85 on an old Ludwig snare to accept the ribbon. It looked great, and because it’s fabric, it doesn’t mold itself to the drum edge like plastic does.

I may be imagining it, and I’m willing to accept that, but I do hear a difference with cord. It seems to impart a more comprehensive body to the drum’s sound. Maybe it’s that ribbon chokes the head, or maybe it’s something else, but I’ve switched all my snares to cord (puresound gray) and haven’t looked back.

Maybe it helps that I don’t play with a super tight snare side head. Based on some of the drums I’ve bought used, people seem to do that a lot.
 

bpaluzzi

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,834
Reaction score
5,208
Location
SF Bay Area
I'll go 65% b.
Playing alone, at home, w/no ear covering, what I hear is what I hear.
I DID A/B everything and what worked every time was the cord.
Are you having someone record the drums then doing a blind a/b comparison?

Even with that, it’s impossible to tell if you’ve tensioned the snares exactly the same.

If you DIDN’T record the drum, there is absolutely zero chance that you can do any kind of objective assessment with the multiple minutes required to switch ribbon for cord.

I stick with my initial assessment: there is absolutely no difference in sound between properly set up cord and ribbon.
 

karlcrafton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
219
Reaction score
216
Location
Detroit, MI
Are you having someone record the drums then doing a blind a/b comparison?

Even with that, it’s impossible to tell if you’ve tensioned the snares exactly the same.

If you DIDN’T record the drum, there is absolutely zero chance that you can do any kind of objective assessment with the multiple minutes required to switch ribbon for cord.

I stick with my initial assessment: there is absolutely no difference in sound between properly set up cord and ribbon.
Ok, great.
It doesn't change the fact that I hear different things with my snares between the ribbon and cord.

I'll add that if I DIDN'T want as much snare action, sensitivity, overtones and "dirt" in the snare, to get the sound that I like, when I hit the drum with the heads I like, I wouldn't care if I used plastic strap, had gaskets on the drum.
I would use a single ply batter because the way I play, that head gives the least "character" and most "perfect" studio type snare sound.
In recording, usually most of what I want comes through. I can't recall ever putting anything on the snare to dampen it, and our engineer will usually just dial out anything that's going to be a possible problem or something we don't like.

I'd agree, the overall sound picked up by mic's isn't going to change with the mic 1-2" away form the drumhead if I use cord or ribbon.
What's hitting my EARS playing the drum, is a different story, and I tried a couple different things just recently, and I still liked the cord better.

For grins, I do have one snare right now that has a little too much afterbuzz with a few strands, but I really like the wires that drum has on it and the overall sound.
I'll try some ribbon tonight and report on the result.
Who knows, maybe the ribbon will work better than the cord the way it's set up...
 

karlcrafton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
219
Reaction score
216
Location
Detroit, MI
I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.
Quoted this again because of A/B trying out things last night...

WELL...... here's what I found.

I tried Kevlar cord and ribbon with my 30 strand Fat Cat wires (With Pitch), and Canopus Vintage 20's.
The Canopus wires just lie flat to the head and extend almost all the way across.
The Fat Cat "pitch" has the tabs slightly raised (for snares with little to no bed).
The cord is flat on the head, and then a space, and then the wires sit flat on the head. So, the end tabs never touch the head with these.

With the cord, on every drum, the snare wire sound is really "transparent" combined with the drum and the WHOLE sound. The wires definitely had more action and buzz, and sizzled a bit more after the strike using the cord.


With the ribbon, the 5/8 size sits and pulls the wires exactly centered.
This created a more of a "contained" snare wire sound with both brand wires.
The amount of buzz was changed by the tension, but was even sounding throughout.

There was excellent "snare" sound, and it kinda sounded more like a "recorded drum" than with the cord.
I'd say that the drum sounded maybe more "professional" since it didn't have that "dirt" in the sound. But I do like the dirt and buzz a lot of times. I mean, Black Beauties and Classic Maple snares aren't ever gonna sound like sh*t, but having a little more character is something I really dig.

Part of what bpaluzzi was saying was correct, each drum sounded basically "the same" in tone, and with response/sensitivity.
The difference between where the wires were stretched (cord holes further out on the tabs) is what created the change in sound of the wires on the drum. NOT the material attaching them.
The cord affects the wires in 4 spots if they aren't (and aren't going to be) pulled perfectly even in all 4 spots.
The wires were perfectly straight with no effort with the ribbon. With that, it makes sense it would be an "even" snare sound without any "extra" stuff going on.

I can't say I like either wire attachment "better" now, but the amount of material (cord/ribbon) touching the head didn't deaden or liven up the drum itself with the wires on or off.

The snare that I was referring to previously was helped by the ribbon pulling in the center and leveling out the wire sound after the hit.
I was able to get a more even sound with all varieties of tension with the ribbon also.
The extra wire buzzing wouldn't be picked up by a mic unless you purposefully went after the sound of it on a bottom snare mic, but, the ribbon did even out and contain the wire sound for sure more than the cord.
Thicker cord might do the same as ribbon, in containing the wire action, but the Kevlar cord is very small (1.8) but super strong, which I would say doesn't hinder the wires in any way.
 

RyanLovesDrums

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
1,892
Reaction score
1,825
Quoted this again because of A/B trying out things last night...

WELL...... here's what I found.

I tried Kevlar cord and ribbon with my 30 strand Fat Cat wires (With Pitch), and Canopus Vintage 20's.
The Canopus wires just lie flat to the head and extend almost all the way across.
The Fat Cat "pitch" has the tabs slightly raised (for snares with little to no bed).
The cord is flat on the head, and then a space, and then the wires sit flat on the head. So, the end tabs never touch the head with these.

With the cord, on every drum, the snare wire sound is really "transparent" combined with the drum and the WHOLE sound. The wires definitely had more action and buzz, and sizzled a bit more after the strike using the cord.


With the ribbon, the 5/8 size sits and pulls the wires exactly centered.
This created a more of a "contained" snare wire sound with both brand wires.
The amount of buzz was changed by the tension, but was even sounding throughout.

There was excellent "snare" sound, and it kinda sounded more like a "recorded drum" than with the cord.
I'd say that the drum sounded maybe more "professional" since it didn't have that "dirt" in the sound. But I do like the dirt and buzz a lot of times. I mean, Black Beauties and Classic Maple snares aren't ever gonna sound like sh*t, but having a little more character is something I really dig.

Part of what bpaluzzi was saying was correct, each drum sounded basically "the same" in tone, and with response/sensitivity.
The difference between where the wires were stretched (cord holes further out on the tabs) is what created the change in sound of the wires on the drum. NOT the material attaching them.
The cord affects the wires in 4 spots if they aren't (and aren't going to be) pulled perfectly even in all 4 spots.
The wires were perfectly straight with no effort with the ribbon. With that, it makes sense it would be an "even" snare sound without any "extra" stuff going on.

I can't say I like either wire attachment "better" now, but the amount of material (cord/ribbon) touching the head didn't deaden or liven up the drum itself with the wires on or off.

The snare that I was referring to previously was helped by the ribbon pulling in the center and leveling out the wire sound after the hit.
I was able to get a more even sound with all varieties of tension with the ribbon also.
The extra wire buzzing wouldn't be picked up by a mic unless you purposefully went after the sound of it on a bottom snare mic, but, the ribbon did even out and contain the wire sound for sure more than the cord.
Thicker cord might do the same as ribbon, in containing the wire action, but the Kevlar cord is very small (1.8) but super strong, which I would say doesn't hinder the wires in any way.
So after this experimenting, what thickness and material of cord do you think is best?
 


Top