What is the "hands down" best sounding Ludwig snare?

JDA

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I like him on that drum... 61 those may be brass rims; I have a bumble bee (black/gold) 6 L just like it
 
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Tama CW

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I've always preferred earlier wood drums. And I think the Ludwig 6.5x14 standards from the later 1930's to late 1940's were pretty incredible drums. I had a 1946 and a 1947.
The 1946 Standard I purchased from Charlie Donnelly in 1984. They were the best sounding wood snare drums I've ever personally played. I liked them better than the Radio Kings of that same period.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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While I won't claim to be any kind of expert and I haven't tried any of the wood Ludwig snares, I played a vintage b/o Acrolite for a while, and tried an assortment of BBs before choosing this hammered one. It's incredibly crisp and articulate, but equally adept at projecting and cutting for slamming backbeats. Also despite what I've heard about the hammering drying out the drum, it's got ring and body for days. Compared to the others I tried, the overtones are still present but a bit more focussed and seemingly in tune with each other. My dream drum.
 

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pgm554

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I'd like to hear more about the Venus snare because it doesn't seem to get much attention around here even thought it's my understanding that the original throw issue has since been resolved.
I'd like to hear more about the Venus snare because it doesn't seem to get much attention around here even thought it's my understanding that the original throw issue has since been resolved.
Hard to get a hold of one these days at a discount.
I got mine at Casio Interstate at a really good price of about $250 new and delivered.
Then I discovered the throw flaw.
Contacted Ludwig and Carl Palmer's management.
CP gave me passes for his tour for bringing this to his attention ,Ludwig gave me diddly except admitting they effed up and were sorry.
They eventually fixed it according to some folks ,but I have yet to purchase another because $400 is a bit much in my snare budget these days.
My demo of the issue:
 

A.TomicMorganic

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The very best Ludwig snare I have played is a 1928 10 lug black beauty. Second best is 1920 6 lug NOB and 3rd is a 1960 COB super 400.
 
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There just isn't "one". Just like with guitars, basses, harps...... there is no best. Once you have a drum in your hands, it's the drummer's responsibility to set up, tune and play in a manner to coax any/every sound wanted out of the drum. A musician plays what he/she has. Others look for the instrument to provide the sound. The best drummers learn to "play" every inch of the instrument to get every possible sound/tone out of that instrument. I've never picked up a drum (of any flavor) that sounded the way I wanted it to. Changing heads, tuning, sticks and technique make it yours and your sound.
 

ppfd

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I have always wanted one of those slotted coliseum snare drums.

But I guess I need to pick up a bronze as well
 

bolweevil

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Having only played a relative few of the possibilities (Supra, COB supra, Black beauty, hammered bronze, acro and blacro) I would have to say the COB supra is my favorite. The hammered bronze I had for years was a case of love/hate; I struggled to get it to sound good to my ears, so maybe it was a case of 'sprinkled with less fairy dust than the rest' or it was just me. I once had a blacrolite that sounded perfect to me until I ruined it by upgrading the throw-off and apparently lacking the ability to reinstall the bottom head in the 'magic' way it had been on before.

The 5" COB supra I play at the moment sounds and feels just right to me!
 

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Sorry to be "that guy" but...

View attachment 493093

I should have a better picture, but (as I have said before,) NOTHING and I mean NOTHING (!!!!) sounds like vintage Ludwig Nickel Over Brass (NOB.)

The construction of the extra metal folded over to create the closed chamber bearing edges, the overlap in the middle... It's just a GREAT sounding drum. No matter of style, genre, player, whatever... There is a reason that these drums have been coveted by hundreds of PLAYERS to be PLAYED on thousands of recordings.

The 6.5's might even sound better, and I have a 6.5 (plain) NOB that is actually the answer to the question (but the above drum is nicer to look at.)

View attachment 493095

Those 6.5's are so GREAT sounding that I have two! One is a one piece Slingerland, and one is...

A two piece 6.5x14 Ludwig NOB Black Beauty without the black (or with the black.)

Which is the (simple) answer to the question.,
MSG
IMG_20140319_142324_395.jpg
 

JazzDoc

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I know sound is subjective but I'd like to know what you personally think. What do you consider is the "hands down" best sounding Ludwig snare?
Doesn't matter the year, material, size, etc.. I just want to know what you believe is your holy grail of Ludwig snares!
To make things fair, you must have had some personal interaction with your choice. Meaning, you owned (own) it, you played it or heard it in person etc..
"Both of these models sound the best but in a different way" doesn't count!
You must have heard ONE that beats all the others!
Sound clips don't count because that's different than hearing it live!
For me so far it's been my 8x14 Hammered Bronze. I own other Ludwig's and have heard others that I don't own and none seem to match this one. It's perfection to my ears until something else (if it exists) beats it:

View attachment 493088
Agree without question, in my mind, although to my way of thinking the tube lug version is preferable as the drum is dry enough with the hammering. I LOVE this snare drum. Big bang for the buck, although not what I'd call inexpensive, but the sound is unique and can challenge almost any high end boutique snare drum I have or presently own.
ludwig-supraphonic-14-x-6-5-hammered-bronze-snare-10099382_02xl copy.jpg
 
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My new 5x14 Black Beauty tube lug. Can’t take it out of the stand.
But now I have to try a hammered bronze it looks like!
 

senecaty

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It’d be a tie between my Chicago era hammered bronze or COB. Both are great for different applications...though you’d be hard pressed to find something more suitable for any situation than the Supra. Tough call.
 

LRod1707

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Just to throw this in for those that are saying they want a Bronze Ludwig: As discussed in a previous thread, Ludwig no longer is producing bronze snares. So if you want one, you either have to buy a new one that still exists in someone's stock or you have to get a used one. Prices are high whether new or used because of the fact that Ludwig stopped production. I got lucky with my 8x14 hammered bronze because I picked it up new a few months ago just before the prices spiked.
 

drumtimejohn

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I quick comment on hammered bronze. Changing the hoops to 2.0mm or below can significantly open the drum without sacrificing the beloved wood-like sound. I find a 2.3 removes the rim shot sound I’m looking for and a 1.6-1.8 restores it. Consider the B/O 550k and 552K often have 1.8-2.0mm hoops. Perhaps it’s not just the small hammering from that era that produces a desired sound. It’s certainly not the badge.
 
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