best seamless aluminum snare?

Drum Guy

Member
looking to get a seamless, beaded 6.5x14 aluminum but some questions.

Whats diff between supraphonic vs new acrolite? Sakea worthy? Yamaha RC? anyone own a British Drum company Aviator? I do prefer open sounding, less dry sounding, though I know aluminum is primarily considered dry.

Particularly interested in an acrolite, but not sure why it's cheaper than supra phonic...and does new acrolite have P88 or P85 throw, or can you choose when ordering?

thanks
 

trickg

Silver Member
Maybe I'm being a bit biased about this (although the only Ludwig drums I've ever owned are a couple of Acrolites) but I see it like this:

There's the Ludwig Supraphonic, and there are all of the other drums trying to imitate the Supraphonic.

As for the Acrolite, there are a couple of key differences:

1.) Different finish - anodized rather than Chromed - some think the Acrolite is slightly drier than the Supra
2.) Different style and number of lugs - I know that the new Acrolite has 10 lugs, but older ones only had 8. To me, this is a non-issue

That's pretty much it - it's the same drum with different lugs and a different finish. Even the hole spacing on the lugs is the same - the Imperial lug is drilled at the same distance as the Acrolite bowtie lug.

In my observations, the 5" Acrolite is drier than a 6.5 Supraphonic, but if you don't want dry, maybe brass is a better way to go.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get a Ludwig, and probably the Supraphonic. Again, IMO, everything else is just trying to be a Supraphonic.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Vintage Supra. Can be bought excellent condition under $400. For half that you can pick up an excellent Acro and get most everything a Supra does. Buy the Acro and keep the $200 you save.
 

jdavis

Member
If you can find one, Ludwig made a limited edition of the Acro a few years ago that is basically an Acro-phonic (LM405LTD). It's a 6.5" 10 lug drum with brushed finish and hardware and it's one of my favorite snares.

These aren't my videos but they'll give you an idea of what it sounds / looks like:



FWIW, they still offer the 6.5" model in a non-brushed finish (LM405C) and a hammered version (LM405K) but I've never heard them in person. (y)
 

brady

Platinum Member
Vintage Supra. Can be bought excellent condition under $400. For half that you can pick up an excellent Acro and get most everything a Supra does. Buy the Acro and keep the $200 you save.
This.

I guess I'm in the minority, but I actually preferred my Acro over the Supra. The Acros is a really close sound to a Supra for a fraction of the price.

I always thought my Supra had weird overtones. Not just up close either.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Maybe I'm being a bit biased about this (although the only Ludwig drums I've ever owned are a couple of Acrolites) but I see it like this:

There's the Ludwig Supraphonic, and there are all of the other drums trying to imitate the Supraphonic.

As for the Acrolite, there are a couple of key differences:

1.) Different finish - anodized rather than Chromed - some think the Acrolite is slightly drier than the Supra
2.) Different style and number of lugs - I know that the new Acrolite has 10 lugs, but older ones only had 8. To me, this is a non-issue

That's pretty much it - it's the same drum with different lugs and a different finish. Even the hole spacing on the lugs is the same - the Imperial lug is drilled at the same distance as the Acrolite bowtie lug.

In my observations, the 5" Acrolite is drier than a 6.5 Supraphonic, but if you don't want dry, maybe brass is a better way to go.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get a Ludwig, and probably the Supraphonic. Again, IMO, everything else is just trying to be a Supraphonic.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

If you want more open sounding, you want a Supraphonic. There are many imitations out there, and some may come close, but none sound quite as good IMO.

Acrolites are a great snares, IF you can get them used for under $150. New Acrolites are way overpriced at $430.

For a little more you could have a Tama Starphonic Aluminum seamless, which has WAY better hardware.....and they're current doing a deal on Sweetwater for a free Hard case with purchase.
 

Drum Guy

Member
Thanks for al the info

interesting stuff re: Supra being slightly more open than acrolite possibly. Never considered TAMA as I thought they'd be really dry and cutting off the high ping I hear/like on Ludwigs. Might consider TAMA's now.

BTW I just bought a Ludwig Super Brass 6.5x14 so am looking to complete the sound with an aluminum.

Any owners with thoughts on Yamaha recording custom, sakea or BDC aviator? I could go up to $500 I suppose - usually find a deal if look carefully
 

VandelayNJ

Junior Member
Between Acro and Supra I prefer the sound of the Supra. To me it has a bit more ring to it making it, to me, more versatile (since that can be muffled out). Having said that, I just got the Sakae and am extremely impressed on first impressions. They're $250 on Reverb now - I had a feeling it was Korg selling leftover stock and that was confirmed when I received it (Korg now owns Sakae). I haven't spent a ton of time with it but with just a little fine-tuning out of the box with stock heads I got a great sound from it. Closer to a Supra than an Acro in sound (and look) it might be a bit drier than the Supra - possibly from the two slightly wider-than-normal vent holes. So it you're not sure whether you prefer an Acro or Supra, maybe the Sakae is a good option for you. Certainly, for $250 it's not a ton of money to try something out.
 

Drum Guy

Member
I take it hammered makes aluminum snare even dryer? Or is it just looks?

And 14x5.5 vs 6.5 for an aluminum, much of a difference other than price?
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
I recently bought this reissue 6.5 Acro used in like new condition. Love it, and have absolutely no regrets on not buying a Supra. My other snares are brass and steel. While this is drier than either of those, it’s still very much a metal shell. It sounds great, and has a pretty wide tuning range.D37CDE86-3D3E-488E-82EC-3689C9AD4370.jpeg
 
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Jbravo

Senior Member
looks good JBravo - side note, are stock Ludwig heads any good? Are they basically Ambassadors? Or diplomats?

I still have it on mine - I like it. I believe all the heads on USA made Ludwigs anyway, are made by remo. I’d say weight wise they’re similar to an ambassador.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I take it hammered makes aluminum snare even dryer? Or is it just looks?

And 14x5.5 vs 6.5 for an aluminum, much of a difference other than price?
From my perspective, having played a 5" Acrolite (the old ones were just 5") I think that gain some body in the sound with the 6.5. I'm generally not a fan of drums that deep - I prefer 6" and shorter - but in the case of the Acrolite/Supraphonic I'd make an exception. I've heard a lot of 6.5 Supraphonics that I like. My Acrolite is good, but it definitely leans on the dry side.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Premier 2000 seamless 5x14 IMO has them all beat. It's big brother is the model 2003 which is 6.5x14. Both are fantastic drums, but overshadowed by the dime a dozen Acrolites and the reputation of the Supra as being the most recorded snare drum in the galaxy. I've played a dozen different makes of aluminum and even had a custom cast aluminum, but keep coming back to Premier. The 5" is very articulate and open. The 6.5" is the same but a little bigger sound. AND, they look great with the triple diamond chrome and art deco lugs.
 

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Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I have the ribbed HiFi version of the Premier aluminum, and it's a 10 lug model. It is comparable to the Acro (I also have a Black Galaxy Acro). I am playing the Premier snare on this video (FYI it's a house kit. I just brought my Premier aluminum HiFi snare and my cymbals). The video is pretty low quality but you can hear the snare.

702 Miles to NOLA an original by the JMB Band, played at…


Premier 2000 seamless 5x14 IMO has them all beat. It's big brother is the model 2003 which is 6.5x14. Both are fantastic drums, but overshadowed by the dime a dozen Acrolites and the reputation of the Supra as being the most recorded snare drum in the galaxy. I've played a dozen different makes of aluminum and even had a custom cast aluminum, but keep coming back to Premier. The 5" is very articulate and open. The 6.5" is the same but a little bigger sound. AND, they look great with the triple diamond chrome and art deco lugs.
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
I have the ribbed HiFi version of the Premier aluminum, and it's a 10 lug model. It is comparable to the Acro (I also have a Black Galaxy Acro). I am playing the Premier snare on this video (FYI it's a house kit. I just brought my Premier aluminum HiFi snare and my cymbals). The video is pretty low quality but you can hear the snare.

702 Miles to NOLA an original by the JMB Band, played at…
Not sure what you mean by ribbed. I have a 6.5x14 brushed aluminum HiFi with 10 lugs. Is that what you mean?
 

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Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I looked at the British Drum Co Aviator. Really a nice snare but it is on the dry side which may suit a number of drummers here.

My top two picks were the Dunnett Model 2N Aluminum (which I consider to be a Ludwig Supra on a moderate dose of steroids) for an open sound and the Noble & Cooley Classic Alloy. If you like the Supra you owe it to yourself to listen to a Dunnett Model 2N. In the end the Noble & Cooley 6.5" X 14" wins my nod.
 
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