Ludwig Black Beauty Shells being Hydroformed

lossforgain

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Here's a cool video about how the current BB shells are made. I'd be curious if an A/B test against the spinning method would yield any discernible difference in the way they sound.
I didn’t realize the method had changed, so you know when that was?
 

Redfern

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Yeah, it’s pretty intense the way hydroforming works. They utilize the same method on aluminum bike frames now. It allows more complex shapes and curves more easily.
 

Hop

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Maybe the question to ask is were the 60's Supras and thus the late 70's Black Beauties, deep drawn by spinning or by stamping?
I would think that they were stamped and not spun (which can sometimes leave telltale machine marking), but I've not seen a definitive evidence source, with pics or videos, of the process.

Examples of deep drawing via stamping and machine spinning...



An additional question to ask is if the earlier forms of manufacturing included the annealing process (heat to excite/align grains and slow cool to relieve stress from forming) like they do at Jones.
I'm don't know if there's been any information available on that topic either!!!

Another interesting topic is the bead on the shell, which not only adds some strength, but it can affect the tone as well.


 

CC Cirillo

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Interesting.

So my BB wasn’t hydroformed.

Great. One more thing for us to debate and for me to question my investment.

Is hydroformed better, or is my older BB now going to be worth more?

Somewhere, I hope there’s a dude taking the hardware off each type to do a side by side YouTube comparison with lots sonic measuring devices. I think this would be a good collaboration between “Sounds Like A Drum” and Dolby.

I’ll probably need one of each.

It’s getting real up in here, and I’m still flummoxed over what to do about my gaskets.
 

mikesdrums

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It's a brass snare drum shell, but I didn't see anything in the video or its description on YouTube that said it was a Ludwig snare drum. Did I miss that part, Eric, or do you just know that from being in the industry?
 

esooy

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It's a brass snare drum shell, but I didn't see anything in the video or its description on YouTube that said it was a Ludwig snare drum. Did I miss that part, Eric, or do you just know that from being in the industry?
This video was passed onto me by someone who would know.
 

feelyat

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This podcast episode talks about the hydroforming process. It’s an interview with Uli Salazar of Ludwig.


He seems to imply that the process changed from spun, to deep drawn, to hydroformed, over the last 20 years. The main advantage he touts is the uniformity of shell thickness that the process produces.
 

Matched Gripper

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Here's a cool video about how the current BB shells are made. I'd be curious if an A/B test against the spinning method would yield any discernible difference in the way they sound.

Jones? The most famous name on drums?
 

feelyat

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It’s getting real up in here, and I’m still flummoxed over what to do about my gaskets.
I'm having the same problem. My 80s drums don't have them, but those shells were made for drums of that era, so no gaskets is what I'd expect. My modern BB, with the hydroformed and laser-cut shell and Aldridge-proof plating, came with gaskets. Who am I to decide that they were wrong to build them that way?
 

Seb77

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Who am I to decide that they were wrong to build them that way?
You are the owner? I'd say go ahead and change the heads, hoops, washers etc.

Re: those videos - amazing to see those forces at work. Brass is still relatively soft, imagine doing that to ferromanganes steel (the Sonor Phonic alloy), might be impossible.
 

Hop

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Adding this question here from carl1969....

When did they stop using spun shell and switch to hydro forming for the shells ?
As Eric pointed out in post #10, the Jones video was uploaded to YouTube in 2012, so it's clear the hydroforming process was in full swing by then, but we don't know how much earlier they adopted it (prior to that video publication date).

I don't think there is any ready or common knowledge floating around on which and how long the processes were involved at Ludwig. Even in the podcast Uli doesn't provide definitive information, just that three different process, over time, were used. I'm under the impression that Ludwig didn't do this type of metal work in their factory. However I have no definitive proof as I never worked or toured the factory in the 60's or 70's (although I did tour in the 80's and don't recall this type of machinery).

Also, I wonder if the shells were ever spun in the manufacturing process. Two disadvantages for spinning is that it requires more physical labor and time to get blanks into the same shape compared to a press and the potential for machine marks, so over the long haul it seems an advantage to make them by press forming from the get go. Also consider that the resources required for manufacturing would be significant and require many steps (machinery & maintenance, personnel wages & training costs) compared to outsourcing the task to a nearby specialized company or companies, like they did for the shell chrome plating (i.e. to "Reliable Plating Corp."). There were/are plenty of these manufacturing companies in the Chicagoland area. So then it raises the question whether spinning or forming was more economical in the 60-70's (more lathe & operators than presses & operators). Lastly, if they were spinning the shells, I'd have to imagine they needed to transition to pressing them fairly early on as demand went up for Ludwig metal snare drums in the '60's.
 

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The difference in sound is probably less than maple vs. whatever. Meaning it's some fanciful internal bias confirmation playing influencer with the listener's ears. Maybe a shell 2x as thick, or one with huge flanges or ... speaking of big flanges, what happened to the Joyful Noise thread?
 

lossforgain

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Adding this question here from carl1969....



As Eric pointed out in post #10, the Jones video was uploaded to YouTube in 2012, so it's clear the hydroforming process was in full swing by then, but we don't know how much earlier they adopted it (prior to that video publication date).

I don't think there is any ready or common knowledge floating around on which and how long the processes were involved at Ludwig. Even in the podcast Uli doesn't provide definitive information, just that three different process, over time, were used. I'm under the impression that Ludwig didn't do this type of metal work in their factory. However I have no definitive proof as I never worked or toured the factory in the 60's or 70's (although I did tour in the 80's and don't recall this type of machinery).

Also, I wonder if the shells were ever spun in the manufacturing process. Two disadvantages for spinning is that it requires more physical labor and time to get blanks into the same shape compared to a press and the potential for machine marks, so over the long haul it seems an advantage to make them by press forming from the get go. Also consider that the resources required for manufacturing would be significant and require many steps (machinery & maintenance, personnel wages & training costs) compared to outsourcing the task to a nearby specialized company or companies, like they did for the shell chrome plating (i.e. to "Reliable Plating Corp."). There were/are plenty of these manufacturing companies in the Chicagoland area. So then it raises the question whether spinning or forming was more economical in the 60-70's (more lathe & operators than presses & operators). Lastly, if they were spinning the shells, I'd have to imagine they needed to transition to pressing them fairly early on as demand went up for Ludwig metal snare drums in the '60's.
There is a company in China that I just posted about in the Builder’s section, that looks to be offering spun alloy shells for around $60 each (although shipping to the US is quite high). I know things are cheaper to produce in China, but the company in question doesn’t look like a sweatshop. It makes me wonder how much a spun shell truly should cost.
 


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