Ludwig 14x5 black beauty or dw 14x5.5 NOB collectors?

Which would you buy?

  • Ludwig Lb416

    Votes: 13 81.3%
  • Dw drvb5514svc

    Votes: 3 18.8%

  • Total voters

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I know this forum is more a Ludwig crowd but I wonder if anyone has actually a/b’d these two snares, or owns both?

Ludwig 14x5 black beauty

And dw 14x5.5 nickel over brass collectors

Personally I am a dw fan, I like the hoops and throw on the dw more than Ludwig but I think the Ludwig does look a bit nicer with its imperial lugs, but more importantly, how close do these sound?

I can get the dw for a good Black Friday price right now so the Ludwig costs about 1.5x more. The heirloom model is on special but I really preferred triple flange hoops and the black nickel finish.

On YouTube the dw sounds great.

This is to replace my jimmy degrasso signature 14x5.5 workhorse, I am just a little bored of it atm and want something a little more premium.




Gold Member
I saw a youtube comparison video of the BB and DW and when tuned the same, they sounded almost identical. I've owned a couple of BBs over the years and I swear they were inconsistent sounding, but never owned two at once to do a side by side test. One drum sounded full bodied and had that classic ludwig bark to the sound. The other sounded good, but I could never get it to bark. It's been a roll of the dice situation with ludwig for me over the years. BUT, when you get on of the good ones, the sound is hard to beat. For consistency and hardware, I vote DW. For the chance at getting one of the mojo drums, I vote Ludwig.

I probably didn't help you at all with


Senior Member
I confess to not owning a BB but I do own a DW black nickel over brass Collectors and it is the best built, best sounding snare drum that I own and the best sounding snare that I have ever played. Close second was a vintage 6.5"x14" Supraphonic but the DW Collectors is still better than that, even.

I have no doubt that Black Beauties are incredible drums but in my opinion they are overpriced, given the competition. I think the DW sounds every bit as good as the Ludwig and it is better built to boot, so the Ludwig being much more expensive is adding insult to injury. I get the whole high-end thing and realize that sometimes a 5% improvement costs 40% more but in this case, I think that the DW is actually the better of the two drums so paying more for the Ludwig is unappealing, to be honest.
Last edited:


Active Member
I've never played the DW myself, but I've heard it played. It sounded really good. The Black Beauty is perfection (especially in that size).

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I’ve owned a BB and currently own the DW NOB (both in 6.5” models). Being a pragmatist, I like the solid build quality of the DW myself better than the BB. They both sounded quite close to each other.

But aesthetics are important. If I have a full Ludwig Classic kit, it would feel wrong not to have a Ludwig snare, and Vice versa.

So I’m shopping for a regular ol’ Supraphonic now.


Platinum Member
I played that very type DW drum at JD drumcenter years ago and was smitten by it. I've also played lots of BB's over the years. They do differ from one another but to me the DW was a beefier Ludwig. Generally I'm not a fan of DW snaredrums but I am THAT one. 😃.
Last edited:


Silver Member
Don't forget those great DW Collectors Aluminum snares.
Their Collectors 3mm 6.5x14 is THE most crisp snare I've ever had. Love it!
As a Ludwig drummer for near 50 years, I am convinced their snares are inconsistently made and woefully overpriced.
You can spend far less than $800 and find yourself a magic snare. Oh, and by the way, it doesn't have to be Ludwig either.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Get what sounds the best to your ear. If they are so close to one another that you're splitting hairs then go with your gut.
Apart from the savings on a Black Friday deal, it would appear you really are drawn to the DW NOB. Trust yourself brother.
Let us know what you pull the trigger on.

Fred D

Pioneer Member
I've had both. The DW has true pitch tension rods that don't detune. A superior throw off. Heavier hoops and a three position butt plate.

Another vote for the DW


Silver Member
The true pitch rods detune. I’ve actually had them detune MORE than standard rods. One of the reasons I’m glad I got rid of the Collectors kit.
Yeh I agree a friend of mine had the same problem with the true pitch rods on his dw collectors kit he got rid of them quick smart.

Fred D

Pioneer Member
Yeh I agree a friend of mine had the same problem with the true pitch rods on his dw collectors kit he got rid of them quick smart.
He may have had the older rods. The newer true pitch 50's are much better.


Senior Member
My DW stuff holds its tuning better than anything else I own, save my Renown kit. Personally, I wouldn't waste a second worrying about the true pitch rods. They work, and they work well.


Gold Member
My DW stuff holds its tuning better than anything else I own, save my Renown kit. Personally, I wouldn't waste a second worrying about the true pitch rods. They work, and they work well.
Same for me. My DWs hold their tuning better than anything I’ve owned. And I’m definitely a ham fisted player at times.


Diamond Member
I went with the Ludwig just ‘cuz it looks better. I can’t get past the DW saucer lugs. However, their magnetic throw-off is ingenious.


Active Member
I’m pretty much a Ludwig snare geek. All the metal shell snare drums I own, thats about 7, are Ludwig, except for one Craviotto A/K. 60’s and 70’s Supras, bronze supras, 20’s drums. I’m all in.

Having said that, and I don’t want to seem rude to the people who love their new Ludwig snare drums. But I just cannot get next to the newer Ludwig snare drums for the gaskets, and the big butt plates, and then the changing of the strainer and then this, and then that, and then the hoops and then who knows what. I would really literally rather pay hundreds more dollars for a 70s drum. But that’s me.

All of which, to say, if it were between a new black beauty and a DW, and the DW had a seamless shell, I would probably pick the DW at this point. I just don’t think the Ludwig drums are that big deal anymore. Sorry, I just don’t.


Gold Member
I think somebody has to discuss Ludwig is run and owned by a hedge fund manager; no a team of drummers; Not any "from" the Family (or the) history..

Check and see if I'm correct who runs guides funds Ludwig drum It's not drummers or family as far as I can ascertain.
It's a total business proposition with no heart/ soul (who are they?)

google wikipedia to see whom the owners are
When I do it it comes out to be this guy

Stephen Zapf

without drummers somewhere in the caverns of the company they're like the walking dead (for years now (since 93..
Hope I'm wrong but I don't see it/another way/ show me

You'd think William III could stop in a few days a week as on a Consulting basis.....but seems he can't won't or can't won't get back into his family business +/- seems odd.
```` some disconnect there why I never heard the reason why`````````


maybe @bermuda could tell us what it's like exactly Inside Ludwig who's at the helm -are there drummers at the helm - who are the product development people or anything related in his dealings there
Last edited: