Ludwig Supralite or Pork Pie Patina Brass???

Jml

Senior Member
In the market for an inexpensive, 13 inch metal snare. New Supralite (13 x 6) and used Patina Brass (13 x 7, in excellent condition) both going for about $200. The Supralite is steel, the PP is brass. Supralite is made overseas, the PP in the US. I tried both out and they sound similar. So which is the better buy? Any issues/defects on either snare I should look out for?
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
In the market for an inexpensive, 13 inch metal snare. New Supralite (13 x 6) and used Patina Brass (13 x 7, in excellent condition) both going for about $200. The Supralite is steel, the PP is brass. Supralite is made overseas, the PP in the US. I tried both out and they sound similar. So which is the better buy? Any issues/defects on either snare I should look out for?
Heck, if you have a chance to play both, just pick which one you like better and be happy with it. I may be a little biased (hence by screen name), but I'd go with the PP. That's just me though.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
The Supralite is probably the best steel snare at the price point, and the Patina Brass is a great brass snare for the diameter and price point. So I agree with PPG, it's really down to which sounds better to you. I prefer brass over steel, so that's where I'd lean, but there's nothing inherently wrong with a steel snare.
 

OldReliable

Senior Member
As much as I am a Ludwig guy, I’d go with the pork pie. A nice brass drum that’s made in the USA. Brass, in my opinion, has more richness and tone than steel. I’m pretty sure it’s psychological, after associating steel with all those TKO beginner snares. Don’t get me wrong, the Supralite’s are good drums, I just prefer some good ol USA built drums. ;-)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
As much as I am a Ludwig guy, I’d go with the pork pie. A nice brass drum that’s made in the USA. Brass, in my opinion, has more richness and tone than steel. I’m pretty sure it’s psychological, after associating steel with all those TKO beginner snares. Don’t get me wrong, the Supralite’s are good drums, I just prefer some good ol USA built drums. ;-)
I agree, that's where my preference for not-steel is also based, but look at some of the really cool steel snares that folks seem to love - the Chad Smith, the Ludwig Heirlooms look really nice. Maybe the OP is in a really high-volume playing sitch and needs his snare to have a lot of brightness and high end. The Supralite will definitely deliver that.

I know what I'd pick, but I don't want to color my answer based on my silly whims.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I talked to Bill at pork pie a couple months ago about having a brass shell refinished and he said the brass patina shells are produced and finished off shore.

Assembled it the USA, but not really made in the USA. FWIW
 

Jml

Senior Member
I agree, that's where my preference for not-steel is also based, but look at some of the really cool steel snares that folks seem to love - the Chad Smith, the Ludwig Heirlooms look really nice. Maybe the OP is in a really high-volume playing sitch and needs his snare to have a lot of brightness and high end. The Supralite will definitely deliver that.

Are the Supralites that much louder? I’ve seem some videos on youtube where the PP Brass is being used in rock/metal situations. They both seem to have loud cracks and rim shots.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I talked to Bill at pork pie a couple months ago about having a brass shell refinished and he said the brass patina shells are produced and finished off shore.

Assembled it the USA, but not really made in the USA. FWIW
Got it. Thanks for clearing that up. Guess that might make a difference to some.
 

OldReliable

Senior Member
I didn’t know that they were cast offshore, but then again ALL the hardware on my Ludwigs probably is aswell. If it’s a good sounding drum, I’d play it no matter where it’s from.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I'd choose based on the sound of brass vs. steel. As far as the component parts goes they probably all come from the same factory so I doubt there are any build quality differences to speak of.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Are the Supralites that much louder? I’ve seem some videos on youtube where the PP Brass is being used in rock/metal situations. They both seem to have loud cracks and rim shots.
There's not going to be a world of difference between the two, but I find stainless steel to have a more "live" character to the sound than a brass shell. Not a "louder" or "softer" thing at all - both snares do project - but the steel shell might cut a little bit more in the mix sonically, where the brass shell might blend a bit.
 
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