Vintage Ludwig Black Beauty 14″ x 6.5″ Supraphonic Snare Drum
It’s no secret that vintage Ludwig Black Beauty Snare drums are in short supply, in fact, exceedingly short supply. These drums come into our ‘Holy Grail’ category of acquisitions and this example does not disappoint.
For us, this is incredibly special because it is an extremely rare occasion when we see a Ludwig Black Beauty from the pre-Selmer period passing through our hands. This drum dates to the 1979/80 period when the Ludwig family still had their Chicago skins in the drum making game. Any Ludwig drum aficionado will appreciate the significance of where it sits on the timeline in Ludwig’s turbulent history.
Whilst we have had a 1977 14” x 5” example and a few post-Selmer drums with Super-Sensitive Snare strainers, to land an original Supra-Phonic version Ludwig Black Beauty in this condition is a real coup for ADC!
With that in mind, this drum comes (rightly so) at a premium price. However, if you are ‘in the game’ with vintage Ludwig drums, this will be of no surprise. You already know what you are investing in will significantly increase in value over the next decade, and beyond. If the thought of buying this drum terrifies you or you have any doubts about vintage drums, then we advise you to check out a specialist in modern boutique Snare drums and look at a DW/Craviotto etc. There is no bling in vintage drums!
Still here then? Okay, let’s continue…
These drums are true legends in recording history, along with their Ludwig 400/402 relatives. Just a few names worth mentioning who favour this drum in the studio are Roger Taylor (we even had his first Ludwig Black Beauty in our hands once!), Chad Smith (what, you mean to say he doesn’t record with a Pearl Snare?), Omar Hakim, Kenny Aranoff (close friend to our very own Albie’s Lad), Steve Ferrone, Manu Katche and the list could continue…but we’ve said enough; so let’s get to the detail.
This drum is nothing short of incredible! In its 40-plus years on the planet, it only has some minor wear to the black nickel finish, most noticeable where the metal hoops of the skins have come into contact with the shell. This is common wear-and-tear across the board on all Snare drums, whether they are 6 months or 60 years old.
A drum of this period really should have lots of wear, but this one has survived thanks to being ‘mothballed’ into storage by its previous (collector) owner. If you want to be the next lucky owner, then you are essentially buying a ‘time capsule’ drum.
With that in mind, here is our appreciation of the drum:
- Hardware: the original felt damper is in good working condition, though the pad is slightly loose when fully loosened off from the drum; does not affect the sound or function of the part.
- Badge: some scratches are visible on the B/O rounded style badge; serial number: 2162148.
- Throw-Off: smooth functioning P85, visible wear on the black nylon washer.
- Hoops/tension rods: all original with some minor blemishes associated with a low-mileage drum of 4 decades.
- Snare wires: Puresound Blasters.
Nothing compares to these drums, everyone has tried to replicate them (even modern Ludwig tried) but there’s nothing like the real thing!