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.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.
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.
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 drumsI 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.
I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.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'll go 65% b.I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.
Are you having someone record the drums then doing a blind a/b comparison?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.
Ok, great.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.
Quoted this again because of A/B trying out things last night...I’d venture to guess 100% of any difference you hear is imaginary.
So after this experimenting, what thickness and material of cord do you think is best?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.