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

drumtimejohn

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,963
Reaction score
666
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.
 
Last edited:

rascalseven

New Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
I'm a big Ludwig guy (60s and 70s mostly) as well as Tama (80s), and have many of each, plus Slingerland RKs, COB Krupa's, etc. Hard to say what snare drum is my 'favorite,' but if I could only have one snare drum it would be my late 90s COB Ludwig 402 ("Brass Edition" oval badge). It is without a doubt the most responsive, balanced and versatile snare drum I have ever owned. I generally keep Remo Vintage Ambassador batter with Ambassador collarless snare side (I like higher tension on the snare side head), but it sounds amazing with virtually any head(s) I put on it.

I replaced the goofy, oversized P33 butt (don't know what Ludwig was thinking) with an Inde, which required no new drilling (the P33 actually limited how tight I could make some snare side heads -- hoops bumped right into it at high tension). I'd love to drill it for an internal muffler, but just don't like drilling holes (or at least to be the first one to drill new holes ;)

A close second (though I realize this isn't the point of this thread) is an early 1980s Tama steel Mastercraft (of which I have a few). Really great drums, and flanged hoops make them a tad more versatile as the stock die cast hoops do seem limit tuning options.

Joel
 

Monday317

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
91
Reaction score
63
Location
Western PA
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
IMHO, the classic Supraphonic, 14 x 5 with tube lugs.
 

GeneZ

DFO Master
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
5,009
Reaction score
1,262
Location
Grew up in NY.. now, Georgia -NW of Atlanta
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?
It all depends upon what room is was played in.... It is subjective. It depends upon what heads you use.

Some can make a Black Beauty sound terrible.

There is no best sounding snare. That is like saying every man should want to marry my wife.:happy1:
 

LRod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
2,906
Location
Florida
It all depends upon what room is was played in.... It is subjective. It depends upon what heads you use.

Some can make a Black Beauty sound terrible.

There is no best sounding snare. That is like saying every man should want to marry my wife.:happy1:
Agreed speaking in general terms but this is the question that I put up:
I just want to know what you believe is your holy grail of Ludwig snares!
 

swayed1

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
537
Reaction score
182
Location
MD
1948....the 490



preferably in grandma Brown (au natural) nitro celluose actually
You deserve a 902 Larry!!
438B20C6-CE43-478D-8B48-549FD77FB544.jpeg

...................
Not in grandma brown but definitely a keeper.
 

owr

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
561
Reaction score
420
Much easier game to play given the personal experience parameters. I currently own 2, a 60s 5" Acro and a 60s 6.5 Mahogany (white interior). The latter is a special drum, one of my favorites, it does something that no modern drum I've owned does as well.

As far as new drums, I was very impressed with a 6.5" Copperphonic I played at my local shop a few years back (thanks Stretch!). I was not in the market for a new snare drum but barely made it out of there without buying it (sorry Stretch!). If I were to buy a new Ludwig that would almost definitely be the one.
 

LRod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
2,906
Location
Florida
Much easier game to play given the personal experience parameters. I currently own 2, a 60s 5" Acro and a 60s 6.5 Mahogany (white interior). The latter is a special drum, one of my favorites, it does something that no modern drum I've owned does as well.

As far as new drums, I was very impressed with a 6.5" Copperphonic I played at my local shop a few years back (thanks Stretch!). I was not in the market for a new snare drum but barely made it out of there without buying it (sorry Stretch!). If I were to buy a new Ludwig that would almost definitely be the one.
Great sounding drum. I think that's my next one in line to purchase. I've got Aluminum, brass, bronze & wood. I'm missing copper!
I might sell something to replace it with that.
The new Acro copper seems interesting as well but doesn't have the depth of sound of the Copperphonic. The shell on the Acro seems to thin to give it the punch that you expect from copper.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
22,229
Reaction score
11,154
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Be kinder Use Maple sticks. Maple sticks.
or know the difference that makes on any drum
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,187
Location
NY-NJ
Is there really a debate? Since the above video was posted. I'll follow with this one.


Years ago, after I played this (above) drum for a while, I was SOLD!!! The snares off sound, the snares on sound, the brush sound, everything! DANM!!! My personal hunt was on. I sold a ton of stuff that I wasn't using and searched (and searched....) And thanks to a few good friends, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Unfortunately, my love of deeper snares, then made me look for a 6.5. And although I couldn't find a 6.5 BB, I found a Slingerland Professional 6.5 NOB (and couldn't resist.) In fact during my search I bought every Ludwig 2 piece NOB that I ran across (including a 14" NOB two piece 6 lug Universal, now gone) and a two piece 4x15 (the Larrie Londin special!) Then I found THE ONE (for me,) a 6.5x14 two piece 8 Lug NOB.

These four NOB's remain.
NOB's.JPG


I've said this a few times, and since a few others have agreed with my 1920's BB opinions. I'll say it again.

High end, snap, and crackle is a given on snare drums, that's what they are expected to do. That's the easy part. But the thing with these old BB's is the low end, and the lower mids that they produce. Because of the low and low mid, these drums are dark and smoky like old K's, and like NOTHING else. They sit perfectly in any mix.

I also think that they are soooo "ballsy" because of that extra metal on the shell. The closed bearing edge chambers, and the overlap account for approximately 3 extra inches of vibrating shell material (NOB.) Therefore a 4" drum has 7" of shell, a 5" drum has 8" of shell, and a 6.5" has 9.5" inches of NOB shell that is vibrating.

Personally, I don't care about "most sought after," or "what collectors pay," scrolling, mint condition, lug count, whatever... The real shame is that the high end retail and not true collectors market has made these amazing drums unobtainable for the "common musician."

But ask the players, producers, or engineers this same question, and you will get an overwhelming consensus. The list of GREAT drummers who own (or owned) and love their 1920's Ludwig two piece NOB's shell in whatever lug count, or finish (Black Beauty, Plain Black, or NOB) is a mile long.

The eyewitness list includes: Vinnie, Papa Jo, Joel Taylor, Steve Jordan, Cindy Blackman, Billy Cobham, Shawn Pelton, Erskine, Steve Ferrone, JR, Tony Braunagel, John Riley, Aronoff, Casey Scheurell, Larrie Londin, Aaron Comess, Nate Wood, Carmine, Billy Drummond, Anton Fig, Dave Mattacks, Prarie Prince, Steve Smith, Seraphine.... and many more.

The defense rests your honor.
MSG
 

LRod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
2,906
Location
Florida
Here you go folks! For those seeking a Bronze Ludwig. Memphis Drum Shop still has a few models left in stock (Brand new). Get them while you can because as previously stated, Ludwig no longer makes bronze:







 


Top