What other snare drums provoke this same level of discussion, just on this forum alone? Any time someone posts about one of these three Ludwig drums, it almost always sets off a llooonngggg discussion.
Why would you mess with that, if you were Ludwig? Consumers don't always know or demand what is best. Ludwig snares do not pile up on shelves or in factories. There is sometimes a waiting period, again, probably artificially manufactured to ramp up the allure of these highly profitable drums. No other snare drums have the same mystique, or history in recordings of pop and rock music, as Ludwig snares. So the company will never change a thing about any of these drums.
I think the chronic complaints about the P85 are overdone. I have an older one. It's not great, but it works. Would you drop a new engine in an otherwise original Model T just because it might go faster? I doubt it.
I own a rare COB Supra with cut badge from around 70-71. These sell on eBay for about $700-800, even in this economy. I don't think it sounds any better than my steel Sensitone. It definitely does not sound as good as my Pork Pie Big Black Brass. But I wouldn't part with it, unless I really got desperate. That's mystique. That's why these drums aren't gonna change.