Dunnett R4L or Ludwig p88AC?

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
Hey everyone,

My p86 strainer has finally called it quits, and I need to replace it (5x14 Supra). Anyone had any luck with either of these? Thanks!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I used the Dunnett once and loved it! Very solid strainer. They're quite an improvement over Ludwig quite a bit.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I recently overhauled my old 14x5" Acrolite and replaced the P85 with.....a new P85. I know I know, lots of people hate it, but this new one has been perfect so far. It's much improved over the older models. It now has thicker gauge steel and a spring to keep the knob from loosening.

The main reason I went with the authentic replacement is because of looks, as silly as that sounds. The P86 is a nice strainer, but the design language is so different...it just doesn't match IMO. And in all honesty the P88AC doesn't quite match the design aesthetic either, but it comes much closer to matching than the P86.

I've never used a Dunnett R4L, but I've read they're nice. My only issue is how bulky it is. It hangs out pretty far and looks heavy as well.
 
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fl.tom

Senior Member
The R4L is a first-class throw-off. The design, operation and fit & finish are impeccable, and the swivel-lever and quick-release features can be handy. If you don’t need the latter features though, it is a bit bulky and the P88AC might be more appropriate.

I replaced a P85 on a LM400 with a P88AC when they were first released in April of 2018 and it has operated flawlessly since. Smooth and solid execution, and IMO Ludwig’s best throw-off to date. And as far as styling, the P88AC would certainly be a closer match than the R4L.

The P88AC also comes with a newly designed butt-plate, the P35. If you need/plan to use it, keep in mind that only the holes for the P33 spacing are threaded. If replacing a P32, you’ll need to tap those holes for a #8-32 thread. No complete tap & die set is required, just a single inexpensive tap available at most hardware stores.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I also just replaced an old P-85 on a used Supra I bought with a new P-85, and like IBitePrettyHard I've had absolutely no issues.

If you really don't want to consider a new P-85 I'd go with either the Ludwig P-88 or an Inde throw off. The R4 throw is way too bulky for my taste.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
The Dunnett R4L is a really nice strainer. I have three Dunnett snares and no issues whatsoever with the throw offs.
That being said I wouldn't overlook the INDE strainer. It's sleek and simple and it works. It has more of the Ludwig vibe with none of the headaches.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I've never used a Dunnett R4L, but I've read they're nice. My only issue is how bulky it is. It hangs out pretty far and looks heavy as well.
It is nice, and it is bulky. The P88 is slim. Both are smooth.

To the OP, I would say vote with your dollars. You won't go wrong with either in terms of operation.

Bermuda
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The Dunnett...meh. I'll have a go at it. IMO it's bulky and I don't like the curve of the handle. To me a handle should curve towards me, not away from me. Or be flat. Pushing on the upper outside of an arc to engage the strainer seems backwards to me. Not ergonomic.

If anyone likes the P-85, for my money, the Pearl version of the P-85 is great. It doesn't stick out, has little bulk, and it holds beautifully. And so affordable.

Personally, I like the perpendicular action of the P-86, over the parallel action to the shell of the P-85. The Dunnett will do both, or anywhere in between. Just lock it where you like it. That's it's best feature. But the handle curve, which to me translates to it's ergonomic feel, and it's bulk, which translates to ergonomics too, ruins it for me. These drum engineering people need to understand that all unnecessary weight is supposed to be eliminated from drums, not added. Hello!

The force needed to engage the strainer is too much too, IMO. My Guru strainer can be engaged with one fingertip, no thumb, because of leverage. Try that on the stupidly designed, short, thick stubby Dunnett handle. That's bent in the wrong direction ha ha. If you like your snares tight, it's a pretty hard squeeze IMO to engage it. Sweaty hands on smooth chrome anyone? Hello? THINK!
 
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Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
I just ordered both. I’m gonna try the Dunnett on my Black Beauty and the P88 on the Supraphonic. I used the P85 and the P86 for years on end, and this looks like the upgrade I needed. Cheers!
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
I like the P86 too. For some reason, both of mine really started acting up after I moved from the Midwest to California. Very strange!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The P-86 is a great strainer. Feather light, low profile, But man is it ugly to me. Doesn't matter, functionality first, which it excels at. I wouldn't call it bulletproof or solid. Which is why I like it, it's not overbuilt. Treat it fairly and it's great. It's my 2nd favorite operating strainer, with the no longer made Guru strainer first.

Lightning fast, one finger operation, gnarly knurled adjustment cylinder. The lever has to be disengaged, but it's lightning fast. The proprietary screws were a bad choice on the lever. They were small and short with a small allen key head that sucked and I lost mine. In my house no less. The screws for the strap holder were a little weak too I thought. But I found "normal" replacement screws that worked in both cases. THINK!
 
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fl.tom

Senior Member
Think you’ll be happy with both. They each have their strengths.

Please let us know your thoughts after testing... especially of the P88 given your appreciation for the P86.
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
Think you’ll be happy with both. They each have their strengths.

Please let us know your thoughts after testing... especially of the P88 given your appreciation for the P86.
I'll definitely check in after I install these. Looking forward to checking them out!
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Is the the Dunnett strainer the same as a Q strainer? Someone recommended the 'Q' strainer to me and I have no idea what that is.
Though I do I have a P-86 on a Ludwig snare that works nicer than the stock P-85 it had.
 
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fl.tom

Senior Member
The Q strainer is of course the predecessor to Dunnett’s R-Class... :p

Seriously though, possibly they just meant the strainer used on Q Drum Co snares? Their default is the Trick GS007, but believe you can choose your preferred throw... such as the Dunnett R4 or R7.
 
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