60s Acrolite- weird cracking look on shell

currently on the hunt for a 60's Acrolite to pair with a 68/69 super classic kit I bought last year. I just came across this one on eBay. Any idea what would cause the shell to look like that? I've seen a lot of these throughout my search, but none that look like that.s-l1600.jpg
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Check the pictures in this thread at the bottom. If it's a match, you will know what you have. People call it the orange peel finish. Ludwig referred to them as satin in this 1962 flyer if you read the print. http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/images/ludwig_snaredrums/acrolite_flyer.jpg

Your hoops do look aluminum. See if a magnet sticks to them. I don't see a serial number on the badge. It looks like a1st generation Acro. A welded seam on your drum would seal the deal.

1962 was the first year Ludwig introduced the Acro as a prototype from what I can gather. I thought I remembered the 1st gen acros having crimped snare beds too but don't quote me on that.

 
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Check the pictures in this thread. If it's a match, you will know what you have.

thanks! I actually ended up finding that thread after I started searching on google. it appears the snare for sale was a 60's "prototype". I decided to pull the trigger on it. I think the finish is cool and the history part adds to it. It seemed to be a good deal based on several others that I came across as sold over the past few years.
 
Oh man you got a cool snare drum.

Hope you dig it.
thanks! it was a buy now listing with the make an offer option. I initially made an offer but saw there was another offer in from another person. after doing some more reading I decided to just buy it outright before someone else did. The top hoop is bent in a couple spots, which seems to be normal for them. I'll hold onto those, but swap them out for new ones. It'll need new wires too.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yea swap the hoops for play, agreed. New wires, heads, oil in the lugs and all moving parts, tighten all the screws inside and out carefully.

I wonder how many of the 1st gen acros Ludwig made.

Do let us know if the snare beds are crimped, please?
 
yeah, doesn't seem to be a definitive answer anywhere. 200-400 is all I have been seeing.


here's another picture the seller had posted. looks crimped, right?

s-l1600.jpg
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
They are deep beds! I can't tell if they are crimped because I don't know what they look like. But I would guess they are crimped.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I have one of the first generation acros, I did a straight swap for another snare years ago and got very lucky and didn't know what it was until I did some homework. Don't ask me how it ended up in the middle of England!

Like yours it had the original aluminium hoops on it which I still have although the batter hoop was badly bent. With good hoops and heads they sound amazing.

The shell is insanely thin and aluminium like the lugs and hoops. Can't remember if the beds are crimped. The shell is that crudely welded I'm not sure if they even bothered. I'm gonna have to check when I get home from work!
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Check the pictures in this thread at the bottom. If it's a match, you will know what you have. People call it the orange peel finish. Ludwig referred to them as satin in this 1962 flyer if you read the print. http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/images/ludwig_snaredrums/acrolite_flyer.jpg

Your hoops do look aluminum. See if a magnet sticks to them. I don't see a serial number on the badge. It looks like a1st generation Acro. A welded seam on your drum would seal the deal.

1962 was the first year Ludwig introduced the Acro as a prototype from what I can gather. I thought I remembered the 1st gen acros having crimped snare beds too but don't quote me on that.

Really cool info. Thanks for posting. Congrats to cellophanenick for scoring such a unique drum!

Regarding the aluminum hoops, do they dry out the sound much? Do they bend easily?
 
I have one of the first generation acros, I did a straight swap for another snare years ago and got very lucky and didn't know what it was until I did some homework. Don't ask me how it ended up in the middle of England!
sounds like a solid trade! interested to hear what you find when you get home.

Regarding the aluminum hoops, do they dry out the sound much? Do they bend easily?
the top hoop of the snare I ordered is pretty bent in spots, which seems quite common. I was reading that Ludwig would actually replace them for customers occasionally, as well as the lugs. It seems to be why they didn't stick around too long. I can't really speak to the sound though.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Regarding the aluminum hoops, do they dry out the sound much? Do they bend easily?
They bend very easily which is why they only made 200ish of them. They received complaints that the hoops were bending easily and lugs were cracking, they went back to the drawing board and the acrolite we know and love was born off the back of it.

The top hoop on mine was pretty much unusable so I can't comment on the sound.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Found this prototype Acrolite on Reverb, and this is part of the description...
"As the story goes (although I can't verify the quantity for sure), there were around 200 prototype acrolite drums built sometime in 1962 - 1963 that were sent out to dealers for approval / sale. The original acrolite prototypes had the eight classic lugs made out of aluminium and both hoops were aluminium as well. The weight is said to be around 5.5 lbs in the all aluminium configuration. Many were sent back to the factory because a good rim shot could bend the top hoop. Following the production of these original 200 Ludwig always used regular production parts with their aluminium shells - a lesson learned with the failure of the aluminium rims and lugs."​
One of these snares sold on Reverb for close to $500 before shipping...
https://reverb.com/item/12288185-vintage-1960s-ludwig-acrolite-pre-serial-aluminium-14x5-snare-drum?show_sold=true


 
I came across that listing last night when researching them. it was definitely a helper in deciding to just buy the snare. I paid $275 after tax and shipping. I'll replace the hoops and the snare wires, as those are shot.

I had actually lost an eBay auction earlier in the day for a '65 Acrolite and others recently. I've also been trying to connect with someone on craigslist locally who is selling one, but they've yet to respond to my emails. It's been listed for 2 months, so I'm assuming it sold and they just hasn't taken it down yet. definitely glad all the others have fallen through.
 
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