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Black Beauty options? What are the differences? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 26th November 2009
  #1
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danbronson's Avatar
 

Black Beauty options? What are the differences?

Hey everyone, I'm thinking about picking up a Black Beauty for the studio. I've chosen the Black Beauty for three reasons; 1) the clips I've heard sound excellent 2) drummers recognize this snare perhaps more than any other, so it will be good for business, and 3) from what I have read, it is very versatile...and 4) it's gorgeous!

There are quite a few options available though, and I was hoping you guys could explain the differences between them (especially regarding tone)...

Hand hammered vs. smooth shell
Is there a benefit to having a hammered shell? It looks very nice, but will this affect the tone of the drum? If so, how?

P85 Supra-Phonic, P86 Millenium or P70 Super-Sensitive strainers
Is there a sonic difference between the three strainer types available? Are they capable of different ranges of tension? Is one more/less likely to fail than another?

Imperial or tube lugs
From what I've read, tube lugs will allow the drum to resonate a little more, but is there any benefit to the imperials (other than the cool 20s art deco look)? Does one hold tuning better than the other or anything like that?

Die cast or triple-flanged hoops
I already know a little about this. Die cast is less likely to go out of tune with rim shots, but can be a little 'harder' sounding. I want to minimize tuning problems (nothing sucks the life out of a session like tuning a snare in between every take!) but not at the expense of good tone. I'm worried that a die cast hoop on a metal snare is overkill, but I'd appreciate the opinion of someone who has more experience.

Thanks for any info you guys can give me!
Old 26th November 2009
  #2
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

The hammered shell will resonate less than a non-hammered shell resulting in a dryer sound.

You don't want any part of the Super Sensitive strainer. I had one from the 70s and it was utterly useless. They are actually less adjustable than a P-85. I haven't seen a P-86 so I can't comment on it.

Tube lugs will let the shell resonate more.

Die cast hoops really don't effect tuning in a positive way as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes with an older head (or often with Remo heads in my experience) you may need more tension on a lug than on the ones around it. A die cast hoop will work against you in this instance. It will also change the sound to be dryer and more focused - too focused in many people's opinion. I think they are a bit too dry myself.

If you want maximum ring (which might be good - you can always muffle) you should get non-hammered, tube lugs, flanged hoops. IMO, this configuration with a 6.5x14 shell is the classic Black Beauty sound.

But you might splurge on engraving if it's available. This looks tre' cool and adds value down the road. BBs are actually a pretty good investment; they seem to always go up in value instead of down. When you are talking about engraved old BBs the price goes up quite a bit from non-engraved.
Old 26th November 2009
  #3
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danbronson's Avatar
 

Thanks very much. That's exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. More responses are welcomed!
Old 26th November 2009
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
The hammered shell will resonate less than a non-hammered shell resulting in a dryer sound.

You don't want any part of the Super Sensitive strainer. I had one from the 70s and it was utterly useless. They are actually less adjustable than a P-85. I haven't seen a P-86 so I can't comment on it.

Tube lugs will let the shell resonate more.

Die cast hoops really don't effect tuning in a positive way as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes with an older head (or often with Remo heads in my experience) you may need more tension on a lug than on the ones around it. A die cast hoop will work against you in this instance. It will also change the sound to be dryer and more focused - too focused in many people's opinion. I think they are a bit too dry myself.

If you want maximum ring (which might be good - you can always muffle) you should get non-hammered, tube lugs, flanged hoops. IMO, this configuration with a 6.5x14 shell is the classic Black Beauty sound.

But you might splurge on engraving if it's available. This looks tre' cool and adds value down the road. BBs are actually a pretty good investment; they seem to always go up in value instead of down. When you are talking about engraved old BBs the price goes up quite a bit from non-engraved.
that's the exact black beauty I have!
Old 26th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
If you want maximum ring (which might be good - you can always muffle) you should get non-hammered, tube lugs, flanged hoops. IMO, this configuration with a 6.5x14 shell is the classic Black Beauty sound.
Not trying to be a contrary prick or anything, but surely the classic BB sound is a non-hammered, triple-flanged hoop, imperial lug affair? I'm basing that on the late 70s reissue, not from the 20s or anything like that, but basically the late 70s version is surely THE version. Feel free to disagree or correct me.

Oh, and as for the strainers, go for the P-86 if you can, it's just a nicer Gladstone stlye version of the P-85 (which works admirably, more than can be said for that piece of junk that is the SuperSensitive). I have a P-86 on an early 70s 400 and I lurve it.
Old 26th November 2009
  #6
I have the smooth-shell, tube lugs, and triple-flanged hoops, and LOVE it. I upgraded to a Trick throwoff and it was a good decision; the stock throw off is TERRIBLE.

Also, check out the Joyful Noise brass snares if you're looking for a Black Beauty-styled drum. Pretty amazing stuff.
Old 26th November 2009
  #7
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danbronson's Avatar
 

Thanks guys. I tend to like a pretty dry, but deep sound (I record a lot of hard rock), so right now I'm thinking
-14x6.5
-hammered
-imperial lugs
-triple flanged hoops
-P85 or 86 (I'll try for the 86)

I think it'll sound excellent and look great. I can't wait.

EDIT: Just realized those are the same specs as the one in the pic I posted earlier. Go figure!
Old 26th November 2009
  #8
just picked up 1970 olive badge ss and love it slightly loose snare side, i can't really play my toms.. MORE SNARE !!!! compliments a reference kick really well 0 issues.




In the end, I think Ludwig really cracked the code in terms of creating great-sounding snare drums.


i
Old 29th November 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowman View Post
Not trying to be a contrary prick or anything, but surely the classic BB sound is a non-hammered, triple-flanged hoop, imperial lug affair?
Looks like you're only disagreeing on the lugs.
Big deal.
I'm happy with imperial myself, but can hardly hear much difference between the two.

In any case, I agree with both you and Dr Mordo, and would council the OP (Dan) to think again.
For recording you want a lively snare set up, then mute if necessary and to taste.
I use gaffa and tissue.
If you choose a drier drum, it's useless if you need a bit more life out of it for a particular song.
The classic BB is smooth shelled, P85, triple flange. It's classic because it sounds killer and is very flexible.
Old 30th November 2009
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Looks like you're only disagreeing on the lugs.
Big deal.
Big Deal? BIG DEAL?! How very dare you, sir. I'm beginning to wonder if you're a drummist at all, as every drummer can and does geek out over such fine details. (btw, joking, just in case that wasn't coming across).

But, as an example of such drumming anal retentiveness, have you ever heard the story of how Steve Gadd flipped out at Zildjian because they restamped the logo on his hi-hats after offering to clean them? It's true, some guy told me. (ymmv)

But in all seriousness, I've found (in my limited playing experience) that the BB is a pretty dry drum to start with, dry and glorious. It's definitely got it's own sound, as proven by the fact that no BB copy ever sounds like a BB, and I have a good one (a copy that is).
Old 30th November 2009
  #11
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowman View Post
Not trying to be a contrary prick or anything, but surely the classic BB sound is a non-hammered, triple-flanged hoop, imperial lug affair? I'm basing that on the late 70s reissue, not from the 20s or anything like that, but basically the late 70s version is surely THE version. Feel free to disagree or correct me.
I agree. I was brain-farting there. Thanks for catching my error.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #12
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danbronson's Avatar
 

Some good points made. I'll look into the smooth shell version and deaden the drum another way if necessary.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #13
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Fabi's Avatar
 

I have a newer one 5x14 with tubes, non hammered

AND I ADORE IT !!!!

Best Buy I´ve ever made.

Get one (no I don´t work for ludwig)

The only snare I liked better so far was a troyan pearwood snare
Sounded totally different though
Old 5th December 2009
  #14
Just got a black beauty the other day. It's the 6 x 14 hammered with tube lugs.

Here's a clip of it through some tuning ranges:
Attached Files

BB.wav (2.27 MB, 5084 views)

Old 4th January 2010
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsundergroun View Post
Just got a black beauty the other day. It's the 6 x 14 hammered with tube lugs.

Here's a clip of it through some tuning ranges:
Good job...........any damping?
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