Lug Splay on New Black Beauty Snare

Coconut_Head

Active member
Hello all, first post. I just made my biggest drum purchase a few days ago on a ≈$700 Ludwig Black Beauty 6.5"x14". It arrived today and immediately I noticed lug splay on first inspection (photos posted - I did my best to make them well-representative). I understand this isn't uncommon, but for the price I paid I find it unacceptable, even if it doesn't affect the sound too much. I thought at first that it could be just the hoop being on wrong, but then why would one of the lugs be bent the opposite direction than the rest? I'm thoroughly irritated. Should I email Musician's Friend about this? Am I overthinking it (I've read a few DW threads on this)? Meanwhile, I'm borrowing my friend's BB and it's got similar lug splay, though his was a B-stock after the first owner returned it for the snare not being correctly sized (could be the fault of my one).

Some bottoms lugs are leaning left while one bottom lug leans right, while some top lugs lean right while other bottom and top lugs don't lean any direction at all! Also, some lugs lean out so that they don't correspond to their corresponding lugs in a parallel fashion with the shell.

I was already skeptical about this order. When I placed the ordered (very deliberate on the specs of the drum), it said it was out of stock and that I'd have to reserve it. Well the order shipped out the next morning. Even with it shipping out, the site still said that it was out of stock (https://www.musiciansfriend.com/dru...beauty-8-lug-brass-snare-drum/l74422000001000). Do you think MF might have sold me a b-stock snare? Maybe they even sent me one with different specs for all I know (I've read and heard of many MF stories like this). The only reason I made this purchase from MF was because I had a 15% off coupon expiring and $80 in rewards points.

Again, am I being difficult? I feel like for $729, it should be much more close to perfect than this.


Edit: My camera does not make this look any worse than it actually is. In fact, in some pictures they look better than they actually are.
 

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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Welcome to Drummerworld!

I don't think you're being too difficult. If I spent that much on a snare, I'd want it to be right.

Usually, when people say lug splay, it's due to the lugs pushing in or out from the shell, not left to right. Pushing the lugs left or right could be due to the holes not being drilled in precisely the right places, so some of the lugs are off-kilter? Just a thought.

Have you tried loosening the tension rods all the way and re-tightening? If they're still off, I would call MF to get a replacement.
 

basset52

Senior Member
If it is as you say , and I have no reason to doubt you- it's not acceptable IMV. I suspect it can be fixed by a new hoop or lugs or both, but not your problem. New drum, premium price. It goes back.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
Have you tried other hoops on the drum? :unsure:
Nope, just opened this less than an hour ago.

Welcome to Drummerworld!

I don't think you're being too difficult. If I spent that much on a snare, I'd want it to be right.

Usually, when people say lug splay, it's due to the lugs pushing in or out from the shell, not left to right. Pushing the lugs left or right could be due to the holes not being drilled in precisely the right places, so some of the lugs are off-kilter? Just a thought.

Have you tried loosening the tension rods all the way and re-tightening? If they're still off, I would call MF to get a replacement.
I see what you're saying. But three of those pics show that some lugs are pushed out as well (and those are only the ones I could get a good picture of). I haven't loosened and retightened either, but I was going to try that soon.


If it is as you say , and I have no reason to doubt you- it's not acceptable IMV. I suspect it can be fixed by a new hoop or lugs or both, but not your problem. New drum, premium price. It goes back.
That's what I'm leaning towards, but I want to get as many different opinions as possible before I go through all that trouble.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
One simple thing to try is removing the lugs and hoop and resetting it making sure the holes in the hoop are lined up with the lugs as you put the rods back in.

Based on the pic, it looks like too much splay to just be the hoop not lining up. But it’s worth a shot to make sure.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
One simple thing to try is removing the lugs and hoop and resetting it making sure the holes in the hoop are lined up with the lugs as you put the rods back in.

Based on the pic, it looks like too much splay to just be the hoop not lining up. But it’s worth a shot to make sure.
I also was thinking this and came to the same conclusion that it's unlikely to be the only culprit as while the lugs that lean right are on the left side of the hole, the one that leans left is also on the left of the hole - also that some lean out. In any case, I'll still try this just to be sure. Thanks for pushing me lol.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
I also was thinking this and came to the same conclusion that it's unlikely to be the only culprit as while the lugs that lean right are on the left side of the hole, the one that leans left is also on the left of the hole - also that some lean out. In any case, I'll still try this just to be sure.
Interesting. This seems like easiest thing for the manufacturers to have done correctly. I'll try that as well, thanks.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
My guess is, the tension rods and head seating just need to be adjusted. You'll find, as you tighten the rods, you can wiggle them a lot, because the threaded part of the lug is designed to float. Be cognizant of that as you work, and make sure you keep them straight.

Honestly, if the drum sounds good, I wouldn't worry about it at all.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
My guess is, the tension rods and head seating just need to be adjusted. You'll find, as you tighten the rods, you can wiggle them a lot, because the threaded part of the lug is designed to float. Be cognizant of that as you work, and make sure you keep them straight.

Honestly, if the drum sounds good, I wouldn't worry about it at all.
Currently readjusting right now. And I get that if it sounds good it's good, but what if a properly manufactured drum sounds better? That's what I'd want for the big sum of money.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
When I set the snare down upright on a flat desk, it doesn't seem to be level because it's not stable. When it's upside down (on the snare head) it's pretty stable. Should I assume the instability is only because of different lug tension and not due to a misshaped hoop on the reso side?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
When I set the snare down upright on a flat desk, it doesn't seem to be level because it's not stable. When it's upside down (on the snare head) it's pretty stable. Should I assume the instability is only because of different lug tension and not due to a misshaped hoop on the reso side?
The bottom hoop often flexes and follows the curve of the snare bed. That's not an indication of any defect.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
Well the holes don't line up perfectly with those on the lug inserts. While lugs on the left side of the hole line up, others are all the way on the right side. There is no way to have even the majority of the lugs in the center of the hole. So where is the inconsistency, on the hoop or between the lug inserts? Should I pull out a fine measuring tape?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Well the holes don't line up perfectly with those on the lug inserts. While lugs on the left side of the hole line up, others are all the way on the right side. There is no way to have even the majority of the lugs in the center of the hole. So where is the inconsistency, on the hoop or between the lug inserts? Should I pull out a fine measuring tape?
You probably should. It would either satisfy you, or let you know it doesn't meet your requirements.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
You probably should. It would either satisfy you, or let you know it doesn't meet your requirements.
I'm gonna do it. Unfortunately I don't have the most fine measuring tape but I'll try my best. Regardless, I'll have more specific info to give MF if I return it.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I'm gonna do it. Unfortunately I don't have the most fine measuring tape but I'll try my best. Regardless, I'll have more specific info to give MF if I return it.
You won’t have to go crazy with detail to return to MF. Their refund policy is that you can return within 45 days if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

Any shops near you that stock black beauties? They’re amazing drums but I find them to be finicky. They sound really good, but every now and then there’s one that sounds amazing. Don’t know why though.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
You won’t have to go crazy with detail to return to MF. Their refund policy is that you can return within 45 days if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

Any shops near you that stock black beauties? They’re amazing drums but I find them to be finicky. They sound really good, but every now and then there’s one that sounds amazing. Don’t know why though.
The biggest one is a Guitar Center almost an hour away but the last few times I checked, they didn't have any. Also I liked the specs of this one which would be difficult to find another just like this. Also, I'm getting these details so that, if the problem is the hoop, they could just send me another one (maybe with my measurements) instead of me having to go through the whole return and getting a new one.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
I made the measurements. Seeing as how, starting at 1, the lug hole distances get slightly smaller, it makes perfect sense to me that the problem is the hoop. Maybe I can get them to just send me a new one.
 

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