Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum

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This is one of Ludwig’s centenary models and it’s quite a character. You’ll either love or hate the laser engraved shell with, for me, its rather overworked swirls and whirls. With a deep brass shell coated in black nickel, a 14-inch head and diecast hoops and tube style lugs, there’s no doubting its Black Beauty lineage. I loved the feel of it as it’s wonderfully responsive, has a really full tone at the bottom end and a highly defined sound even when it was being played softly at lower levels. It also has a crisp, clear snare sound. The rims are higher than normal and this gave cutting rim shots an extraordinarily well defined “stick click”. But behind a 35-piece band, this baby was struggling on projection and power. Slot it into a small combo however and this Black Magic really comes into its own and this is clearly where it is best placed. The Black Magic isn’t a fully fledged Black Beauty, but a little customising could make it into a really tidy piece of kit.

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