Will Snare Cord Work Here?

Derrick

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I got a vintage LM402 in time capsule condition. It even had the original snare wires and cord on it. I let my drummer use it for a session we were doing and the snare cord broke after several takes. I replaced the old cord with a piece I had laying around but then that cord broke. My question is if the new Ludwig cord is strong enough that I should buy it to use next or if I should just use plastic ribbon most modern drums now use? I don't know if the cord broke because my drummer is a power house or if the cord broke because though it was in great condition, it is from 1979. Some say ribbon is supposed to be bad for snare drum sound so a possible problem either way it seems...
 

Drumbumcrumb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
262
Reaction score
281
Location
Rhode Island
I’ve tried them all and imo the best snare sound, response, etc. is to be had with the orange Ludwig cord. You can get a 10 yard roll for idk, $10 or something. It’ll last awhile and it’s the best. It’s very strong but also not too thick. (Ludwig also has fat white cord that’s literally shoelace thick. Surprisingly, it works really well on the Supralite. Go figure) Plastic straps suck. Ribbon is okay. Cords are just plain better, you get better, wider tension because the cords pull from the outside of the plates and they can go to the outside of the butt. The ribbon or strap can only pull from the middle in a 1” wide area. Also, you can adjust cords to get the wires square and true, not possible with straps.

There’s no way you should be regularly breaking cord (it happens, but not twice a session!) I’d check to make sure you don’t have a rough bit of metal somewhere - on the strainer, butt, snare wires - where exactly on the cord it’s breaking might give you some clues there. Seems suspect that the same one keeps breaking.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
1,137
Location
Germany
If you like the sound of the wires that are on, I'd invest a bit of time and debur the edges of the end plate holes. If the holes don't have obvisouly rounded edges, this is most likely the culprit for the torn cord (there's probably nothing wrong with the cord itself).

I like cord for the dynamic response it creates. Pulling at the end plate at a slight angle, cord pushes the wires into the head in the center, so you get a crisp low-volume sound without much tension. With louder playing, this low tension allows the wires to lift off the head so they don't choke the tone. With strap, the sound at a particular volume might be just as good, but the response "curve" to various volume levels is different, not as smooth to my ear.
 

frankmott

Humble (drum) shop-keeper
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
872
Location
N.E. Ohio
I'll chime-in against plastic straps. A cord automatically squares itself to the shell and wires. Straps have to be clamped in very carefully to sit at 90 degrees.
Furthermore, check that you aren't over-tightening the snares; it's a very common mistake, usually the result of the bottom head having loosened up, and the player just turns that convenient little knob on the throw-off. The problem is that it for awhile, it works! But as the bottom head loosens and the wires get tightened, ultimately the drum sounds awful, and/or the string breaks.
 

Derrick

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Wow, thank you all for the responses. Well, both the cord and snares are original to 1979 when the Supro was made. The cord I replaced with was cord I've used before on other snares, but may not have been actual snare cord and who knows how strong it was and if the previous applications I used it got any real workout till now. So the original cord was old and the replacement was possibly not actual snare cord. My drummer is a complete Dave Grohl (Nirvana era) power house and this is going to show up any weak links in the chain.

So... it looks like my choice is to take my chances on new Ludwig cord, hoping id fares better than the 40 year old cord and the unknown replacement I used. Or, suck it up and go with plastic ribbon if the Ludwig cord just isn't strong enough. I attached a photo of the original 18 strand (on right) with a 24 strand next to it from my mid 80s wood Ludwig snare. Notice the cord is whiter and thicker on the 80s vs the '79 original. I can't see the break on the cord in this photo, but it's there (this is right after the session when I was working on it). BTW, I just researched the cord and it appears the light orange/pink cord is being replaced with light blue/green Ludwig cord P4078A which by many accounts already is thinner and breaks easily :(
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Derrick

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Hmmm... well I don't have access to any old blinds, so I guess there's no real way to answer the question of strength under a heavy hitter for snare cord. I'm extra perplexed now that Ludwig changed their cord to the light blue/green stuff and some have said it is smaller and claimed it broke easily. Might try snow tire chains for now. :confused3:
 

High on Stress

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
2,050
Reaction score
403
Location
MPLS
Hmmm... well I don't have access to any old blinds, so I guess there's no real way to answer the question of strength under a heavy hitter for snare cord. I'm extra perplexed now that Ludwig changed their cord to the light blue/green stuff and some have said it is smaller and claimed it broke easily. Might try snow tire chains for now. :confused3:
I bought some of that green cord and it has broken on me on a few different drums so I don’t think it’s just a burr on one set of snares or one drum. YMMV
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,971
Reaction score
2,190
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I prefer the real deal white Ludwig vintage cord. I don't care for plastic straps or crosgrain ribbon, although I have a few snares with those things. I read here about the blind cord and had been tossing some blinds so I also have a "lifetime" supply, and it's white. Unfortunately, it stretches under pressure. I'm not a heavy hitter but do like my snare wires taut.
I've noticed that over time (3-6 months-ish), my snares have been dropping and I keep tightening, and then realize I've tightened the screw all the way. I figured out it was the stretchy blind cord. I had a roll of thin nylon orange wire from Home Depot (like $5 for 100') and I've been using that, too. It seems fine.......for now. I'll let you know in 3-6 mos....

I agree - check the bottom of your drum for burrs. On Ludwig snares, they can be very sharp.....
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
1,137
Location
Germany
I agree - check the bottom of your drum for burrs. On Ludwig snares, they can be very sharp.....
Note I wasn't talking about the drum edge. The edge shouldn't be the culprit unless the chrome is pitted. I'd rather be careful with using wires to tighten snares, as it might damge the edge, at least on wood shells.
 

poco rit.

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
154
Reaction score
130
Location
Texas
Wow, thank you all for the responses. Well, both the cord and snares are original to 1979 when the Supro was made. The cord I replaced with was cord I've used before on other snares, but may not have been actual snare cord and who knows how strong it was and if the previous applications I used it got any real workout till now. So the original cord was old and the replacement was possibly not actual snare cord. My drummer is a complete Dave Grohl (Nirvana era) power house and this is going to show up any weak links in the chain.

So... it looks like my choice is to take my chances on new Ludwig cord, hoping id fares better than the 40 year old cord and the unknown replacement I used. Or, suck it up and go with plastic ribbon if the Ludwig cord just isn't strong enough. I attached a photo of the original 18 strand (on right) with a 24 strand next to it from my mid 80s wood Ludwig snare. Notice the cord is whiter and thicker on the 80s vs the '79 original. I can't see the break on the cord in this photo, but it's there (this is right after the session when I was working on it). BTW, I just researched the cord and it appears the light orange/pink cord is being replaced with light blue/green Ludwig cord P4078A which by many accounts already is thinner and breaks easily :(
Many will say the Ludwig orange cord and I agree it is simply the best. I can not speak about the quality of the new blue cord, but this orange cord is the stuff you want to get. You can use the same pieces over and over if you need to change heads or wires or whatever. It does not stretch at least from what i can tell. And I like that it is very lightly waxed. It makes it easier to work with and if you need to tie it some sort of way, the knot will stay in place.
CADCFD2F-2B1E-4221-BFB9-A834E6F99C1D.jpeg
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,971
Reaction score
2,190
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Note I wasn't talking about the drum edge. The edge shouldn't be the culprit unless the chrome is pitted. I'd rather be careful with using wires to tighten snares, as it might damge the edge, at least on wood shells.
Thanks, Seb. Never had an end plate issue but definitely could be another source of the issue.
 

Derrick

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Many will say the Ludwig orange cord and I agree it is simply the best. I can not speak about the quality of the new blue cord, but this orange cord is the stuff you want to get. You can use the same pieces over and over if you need to change heads or wires or whatever. It does not stretch at least from what i can tell. And I like that it is very lightly waxed. It makes it easier to work with and if you need to tie it some sort of way, the knot will stay in place. View attachment 461241
I would buy it if I could find it.
 

gwbasley

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
2,835
Reaction score
462
Location
Holiday, Florida
Let me just throw a curve in here.

I have owned numerous snares using snare cord with the original one lasting for many years. That said, I have, on one occasion, purchased a snare that repeatedly broke snare cords, (similar to what you have described). On close inspection I discover a sharp or scuffed edge which I just polished with some light emery paper and solved the problem.

This may or may not be the case here but it certainly is worth a look. Breaking 2 snare cords in a row just doesn't seem right.
 

Derrick

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I discover a sharp or scuffed edge... Breaking 2 snare cords in a row just doesn't seem right.
Well, mine was the original snare cord from 1979 so I doubt the issue was a sharp edge. This only happened with my heavy hitting drummer. He did not change the tention too tight either... I was the one who tuned the drums for the session and we got through about 7 songs before this happened. It is possible that the old stuff just wasn't strong enough under hsi playing and the new piece I replaced it with may not have been true snare cord (don't remember where I got it but it looked right). Either way, the original stuff lasting this long tells me it's anything but sharp. So I am more concerned if heavy hitters are having issues with true, modern snare cord of if I should sear clear?

Poco, thanks! I can reach out to that seller to see if that photo is accurate and he indeed has the older cord.
 


Top