Lugs, how important is the aesthetic?

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Right now, we're designing the lugs for the production version of our prototype kit. Their function dictates the design to some degree, as these lugs won't be bolted/screwed to the shell. They will be visible, & will sit approximately in the usual place, but will float away from the shell.

I'm very interested to hear your personal feelings on lug design:

How important is the lug design to the overall appeal of the drum?

Do you prefer slender & minimalist?

Do you prefer retro classic? (think Rogers Beavertail, various Ludwig, etc)

Or do you prefer fancy design statement? (think DW, Sonor)

Really appreciate your views.

Thanks, Andy.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I prefer the least amount of lug, touching the shell in the fewest places, covering the least area. The opposite of that is DW, where their lugs are as large and heavy as possible and cover as much of the exotic wood finish as possible.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Hey Andy. When Mapex was trying to figure out a new lug design for their new Black Panther lineup, they used a Mapex friendly site that I used to belong too. The guy that runs the site put up a pole as a thread. I think size was one of the choices,finish, fancy or plain, stuff like that.

Too me a lug should not be big enough to take away from the drum. I liken it to a button on a tailored suit. I am not a big fan of brushed. I am an Electrician and brushed hardware reminds me of cheap light fixtures. :)

My vote would be small, polished, simple. Good luck.
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
From a minimalist perspective,I think late 30's era Gretsch/Gladstone mini tube lugs are just really classy.On the larger side,I also love Ludwig classics,especially the large ones,and the Imperial lug,long and the familar short double sided snare lug.

I have short beavertails on my 47 Slingerland Radio King,that are beautiful also,and take a backseat to the streamline rk lugs.So maybe a mini version of that,in chrome,or black nickel.Just as long as its not powdercoated.

Steve B
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
The visuals of a lug design shouldn't be such a big deal, but it is. I've never liked the look of DW lugs. The last time a bought a new kit, I didn't have a dollar limit and actually considered getting a DW, but I just. couldn't. get. past the circular lugs. I don't know why, but I think they're the ugliest objects in the universe. However, I'm used to them now and if I were looking for a new kit, I wouldn't let their lugs stop me from considering one.

As far as larger lugs goes, I always liked the late '70s early '80s Tama lugs. Probably my favorite look of any lug I've ever seen.

But I prefer small simple lugs. They're just more elegant and I have no desire to see large objects bolted to my shell.
 

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
What do you want the lugs to do (besides provide an anchor point for the tension rods)? Act as a trade mark (like DW lugs) and so allow you a smaller badge (like DW and c.f. Sonor) or do you want to contribute to the aesthetic in a way that appeals to customers? If the latter you are unlikely to please everyone and given you don't have a clear demographic (e.g. teenaged metal fans with relatively small wallets) that would allow you to survey (via focus groups or whatever) you might as well go for what you think suits the drum and what you can have produced at a price point that suits the selling price of your drums.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
The current Pearl Masters lug I think is the all around best. The look is clean the bridge allows the least amount of that lugs material to touch the shell. The small Premier lugs that resemble a half circle or even their newest design I think is attractive because it doesn't take away from the shells finishes. I think their design works well also.
As for the vintage lugs I like the mini Ludwig classic, the Camco Moon (today known as DW) are also favorites of mine. The smaller bullets (slingerland) were ok and beavertails were not one of my favorites. With todays beautifull finishes I think the lug needs to be highly efficent but not detract from the finishes. YRC are purposefull.Gotta love the tubes!!! Doc.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Personally they matter. I'm a fan of tube lugs but it's very easy to make tube lugs look 'cheap' if you get it wrong. Something medium-sized (maybe a centimetre on the 'tube' of the lug if it's a short lug. It needs to be in proportion with itself, really. All too often they just look too small to me and although I don't like a large lug, I think there needs to be some essence of machining present.

As for the finish? Matte, please. Imagine brushed titanium (or even a little darker) and you're onto something. I'm not a fan of overly shiny materials particularly and think a brushed lug looks really great on a natural drum.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
My theory for lugs selection is that they should be treat as what they are: an accessory. You want the aesthetic focus to be the shell, not the lugs. Lugs that make a statement, lugs that clash with the grain flow, etc. are not pleasing to the eye. You want a lug that complements the shell and doesn't take away any attention from the shell and the rest of the drum design.

Examples:
Beavertails - too much detail on the lugs, all those grooves attract your eyes to the lugs and away from the actual drum
Sonor Teardrop - I see this as a publicity stunt. I hate these lugs, maybe its just me. The long pointy witch nose lugs are really all I can stare at when I looks at those drums.
DW - obviously too big
etc.
I don't really have any problems with tube lugs, I just don't like them that much. Something about thick solid chrome lines down the sides of my drums doesn't appeal to me. Its almost like the drum is in jail.

I love the Yamaha tear drop lugs and Gretsch lugs. The Yamaha lugs are small, with no detail, just smooth chrome, so they don't attract any attention. They just add some color and shine. Gretsch lugs are classic.. I don't really have an explaination for that one.
 
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SickRick

Guest
Tube lugs ftw.

If I would purchase a Guru kit, i'd make sure to have tube lugs installed on it, preferably in black nickel.


;)
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Thanks guys, great responses so far. These lugs will be very light weight as part of the design requirement. Keep the replies coming, especially on clean/minimalistic vs. added detail.

Lutz ;)
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Tube lugs ftw.

If I would purchase a Guru kit, i'd make sure to have tube lugs installed on it, preferably in black nickel.


;)
HA! Yes, tube lugs for me all the way. The only contact the shell in one spot (at least mine do), which reduces penetrations into the shell. On the downside, they are a little bit more fragile, especially as they get longer. I have an 18-inch-deep bass drum and those are looooong lugs.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
The visuals of a lug design shouldn't be such a big deal, but it is. I've never liked the look of DW lugs.

But I prefer small simple lugs. They're just more elegant and I have no desire to see large objects bolted to my shell.
+1 ... it's still not a big deal for me but if I had to choose then I'd rather see more drum and less lug.
 
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drumfreak1987

Guest
big time, dw and pacific have nasty lugs...pork pie's hourglass lugs aren't appealing, not too fond of ludwig's either (those wedge ones)...i loooove tube, teardrop, and gretsch style lugs
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Not a fan of tube lugs (at least not on toms and kicks), they're too flimsy looking for me. I really like the more engineered ones, like the Pearl Reference lugs. Nice and modern, and with a bit of chunkyness to them. I also like the DW and Sonor type lugs.

I also really like black nickel when it comes to lugs and rims. More shine and sparkle than black chrome, but a more subdued look than chrome or gold.
 

Cameo

Gold Member
Tube lugs, but not those standard ones.. Craviottos are sexy. I also find DW appealing, but that may be because they're associated with luxury etc.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like my lugs small and smooth, with no detail lines or ridges (like Ludwigs large classic and imperial lugs) for instance) that are hard to polish.

Andy, if the lugs are isolated from the shell...
You've said many times that everything needs to vibrate as a whole. I would think that if the lugs are isolated from the shell, that a rimshot might not sound as good because the vibrations imposed on the rim goes down the tension rod to the lug, then from the lug to the shell to get the added shell sound from a rimshot. If the lugs are isolated from the shell, how are the vibrations transferred to the shell? Is this a non issue?
 
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