Super Sensitive Struggles

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Ive been having some issues with a snare and figured I would turn to the community of drummers and drum lovers for some advice. I have a 1968 Ludwig Super Sensitive 6.5 x 14 that I was lucky enough to stumble upon. Little bit of minor putting here and there (but nothing too bad), and zero rust. Snare strainer is in working order as well. All original as far as I know except for heads and the snare wires were nowhere to be found when I came across this beauty so the Puresound snares are on it rather than the original individually adjustable snares. Other than that it looks great and sounds fantastic.
My issue is that I play classic rock and blues and cant stand the intense buzzing associated with the drum. Ive been pondering either trying to sell it or putting a new snare system on the drum. I would never dream of drilling into the shell but I did find a great suggestion on this site of mounting a piece of plexi glass with spacers to the existing holes then mounting the new strainer and butt plate onto the plexi glass. This mod would eliminate any potential damage to the shell while allowing me to essentially turn it into a vintage 6.5 depth supraphonic.
My predicament comes about as I am not sure if I should just sell it and buy a Supra since thats what Im going for anyways. The drum is a 1968, the first year with the round knob muffler and the last year before the strainer was changed to the more modern configuration of the super sensitive. Also I have found that it is really difficult to find a vintage super sensitive in the 6.5 depth. Im thinking these factors would add value to the drum as it is rare. As such, Im wondering if my best bet would be to just sell it or modify it to fit my needs. Thoughts?
 

marko52

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Welcome to DFO, AA.
Regarding your snare, I wouldn't give up on it yet; there are people here who know those drums pretty well, & I'm sure there are youtube videos, too, that could help. But if you've decided you need a change, I suggest you sell your SS as is, with no mods, & then, find yourself a Supra. That way, both your buyer & yourself will each have what you need. How about posting us a picture of your drum? (if you can figure that out; no small feat).................marko
 

Sweets

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My 1965 SS used to drive me crazy buzzing, until I put a resonant snare head with the proper collar on it. I happened to have an old Ludwig extra thin one with the small collar lying around, not sure what is available new.
Maybe you have a different problem, but this fixed the issue for me, and the SS is now my favourite snare.
 
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You have renewed my hope in this great drum. I have searched all kinds of other message boards and not found anything that helped with the issues I was having. Im so glad I signed up to this forum. Marko, you convinced me to abandon my plan to mod this drum, which is what I was going to do until I came across this forum. I was still contemplating selling until I came across the response from Sweets with the suggestion about the impact of the collar on the drum head. I happened to have a very old Ludwig x thin snare side laying around (albeit with a few small holes and one minor tear) and after putting that head on instead of a modern diplomat, 90% of my issues were resolved or became fixable. Just ordered a couple new Ludwig x thin heads from WalMart of all places. I did tape a folded dollar bill to the current redo head to reduce buzz and now it sounds really nice. Looking forward to my new head arriving to see how this baby can really sing. Im very grateful to you both for your advice. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I attached a few pics of her for your enjoyment.
 

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Sweets

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Wow, that makes me genuinely happy, that I could help you.
Enjoy the SS as it should sound, its kind of addictive!
 

Thumper

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May be stating the obvious but do you have the extended length snare wires on and adjusted the strainer & butt height?
 

pbldrum

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Dear Forum, I need help. Just purchased a used Super-Sensitive 5x14, big gold badge guessing 90's? It had a terrible sound out of the box and the bottom head was tuned extremely tight, almost choking the drum. Backed it out and started loosening the knurled wheel adjusters (one is rubbing against the housing) and the snares fell off. Now it seems no matter what I do, strainer on strainer off, wheels tightened or loosened, the snares seem too long for the strainer. And I can't get them to stay on the drum. I can send the drum back to the shop I purchased it from which will incur a loss of new shipping charges and the original shipping and sales tax. The shell is mint and I considered conversion to a Supra but I don't want to drill any holes. Any advice out there I would gladly welcome. Thank you Forum
 

michaelg

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There was me reading the title and thinking folk are gonna open up bout their feelings & drumming.

Open up the thread and more bloody snare talk!

:compress:
 

pgm554

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My 1965 SS used to drive me crazy buzzing, until I put a resonant snare head with the proper collar on it. I happened to have an old Ludwig extra thin one with the small collar lying around, not sure what is available new.
Maybe you have a different problem, but this fixed the issue for me, and the SS is now my favourite snare.
Maybe a Remo no collar snare side might do the trick.
I've played many a stock SS and never had that issue.
I'd also look at a different batter like a Evans dry or maybe a Remo Powerstroke 3
Considering it's pretty old ,the snare wires might have metal fatigue and may need replacing.
 

funkypoodle

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There are 2 types of snares for Supersensitives, pre-66 & modern ones. I'm wondering if the wrong type are on your drum, therefore not saying in your mechanism properly. If this is the case, the good news is you can still buy modern ones, but the pre-66 ones are a PITA to find and even Puresound doesn't make replacements. Could you upload a pic of the snare wires that keep falling off?
 

kdgrissom

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Congratulations on owning one of the most iconic drums ever. The patent dates from 1924-ish, but they were playing around with this idea since about 1923.....so close to 100 years. The selling point of the parallel snare system is when it is dialed in properly, it allows you to have the same snare response and quality of sound from pp-ff. My experience with these drums (I own three; pre-'69) is that buzz issues are usually caused by either a bent parallel mechanism, a slightly warped shell, or the snares not being properly balanced in height with each other on either side of the drum. Another cause is when using wire snares that are soldered and the wires have stretched or weakened (rather than the individually adjustable kind).

Edit: I almost forgot. Ludwig quality control sometimes suffered a bit and one of my drums had an issue with the parallel system mounting holes not being drilled exactly level. The problem was fixed by widening one of the holes (hidden by the backing plates anyway).
 
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ARGuy

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Dear Forum, I need help. Just purchased a used Super-Sensitive 5x14, big gold badge guessing 90's? It had a terrible sound out of the box and the bottom head was tuned extremely tight, almost choking the drum. Backed it out and started loosening the knurled wheel adjusters (one is rubbing against the housing) and the snares fell off. Now it seems no matter what I do, strainer on strainer off, wheels tightened or loosened, the snares seem too long for the strainer. And I can't get them to stay on the drum. I can send the drum back to the shop I purchased it from which will incur a loss of new shipping charges and the original shipping and sales tax. The shell is mint and I considered conversion to a Supra but I don't want to drill any holes. Any advice out there I would gladly welcome. Thank you Forum
Pictures?
 

kdgrissom

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Dear Forum, I need help. Just purchased a used Super-Sensitive 5x14, big gold badge guessing 90's? It had a terrible sound out of the box and the bottom head was tuned extremely tight, almost choking the drum. Backed it out and started loosening the knurled wheel adjusters (one is rubbing against the housing) and the snares fell off. Now it seems no matter what I do, strainer on strainer off, wheels tightened or loosened, the snares seem too long for the strainer. And I can't get them to stay on the drum. I can send the drum back to the shop I purchased it from which will incur a loss of new shipping charges and the original shipping and sales tax. The shell is mint and I considered conversion to a Supra but I don't want to drill any holes. Any advice out there I would gladly welcome. Thank you Forum
For a 14 inch Snare the wires frame should measure 16 7/8" long and the wires should measure 16" from solder to solder. If they are for a 15" drum they should be around 17 7/8" long.

Try here too: Snare Drum Addict: Adjusting Ludwig Supersensitive Snare Drums (snaredrumz.blogspot.com)
 

idrum4fun

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Hi AA!

First and foremost, you'll need a Ludwig snare-side head. These WeatherMaster heads ave a shallower collar than your typical Aquarian, Evans and Remo heads. This low collar allows the SS mechanism to fully drop the snare wires. Now, granted, if you NEVER need to lower the wires for any songs, you can probably get away with any other snare-side head. But, if you want the mechanism to operate as it was meant, you'll need a Ludwig WeatherMaster X-thin snare-side head.

Next, check out this link.... Click Here It has some invaluable information to get your SS snare drum sounding, and working, the way it should!

-Mark
 

ARGuy

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After taking a look at your pictures, I'm not sure what the problem is. The snares will come unhooked if you loosen them up enough, which is what it looks like you've done in a few of the pictures. (Images 2611 and 2612) It also looks like there is still plenty of thread showing on the post which will allow you to get enough tension on the wires. The wires should stay under tension even when released. How are the wheel adjusters getting turned in towards the drum so far?
 

Skinsmannn

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I have seen a lot of those with wires that were stretched to a point of being useless.
 
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