New Snare for a Non-Drummer

SoupCanSham

Junior Member
First post, so I hope I'm following rules appropriately. I want a metal snare (mine is wood), and I have narrowed down my choices to two new drums in my usual shop. Both are 6.5"x14":

Ludwig Supraphonic (approximately $370)
Ludwig Acrolite Limited Edition (approximately $300)

Can anyone share their experiences? The drums sound almost identical and as far as I can tell, this is where the extra money in the Supra goes: chrome, cast butt plate, gaskets between the lugs and shell, and (if any cost is different), imperial lugs instead of bowties.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Both great choices mate. Do a search and you'll find there's a hell of a lot of love for both of them here.

If you dig the sound of them, then you're really not gonna go wrong here. As you've noted, they are pretty similar sounding drums. They use the same shell....it's just the "bling" (i.ie number of lugs and finish) that separate the two. If cost is your primary consideration, get the cheaper one. If aethetics is, get the one that looks better to your eye.
 
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Mike St.Clair

Senior Member
I might be one of the few who isn't blown away by Acrolites, so I'd probably opt for the Supra. Just my .02. Which Supraphonic though?
 

SoupCanSham

Junior Member
Thanks for the replies. The Acro in this case has 10 lugs because it's a 6.5" depth shell. The Supra is a standard chrome-over-aluminum model (no extra bling, not brass or anything unusual).
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Spend the extra $70 and get the Supra - I love mine. I've had Acros too but the Supra is the drum that you hear on alot of classic recordings. It'll hold its value better - and $370 is not a bad price, either!
 

lsits

Gold Member
Just my two cents: Check out the used market. You might be able to get a Supraphonic and an Acrolite for less than the cost of a new Acrolite.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Just my two cents: Check out the used market. You might be able to get a Supraphonic and an Acrolite for less than the cost of a new Acrolite.
Is the $370 Supraphonic not used? Is it new? Then that's a steal of a price as I paid $450 for my 6.5 Supraphonic (b/o badge) from 1978! I was putting together my Bonham drum kit and you couldn't really do it with a Supra from any other era - and I didn't want to go too early, so I settled on this guy's 1978 drum in pristine condition. Love it! If that one is new for $370, then that's a steal (to me, anyway)!
 

BGH

Gold Member
Just my two cents: Check out the used market. You might be able to get a Supraphonic and an Acrolite for less than the cost of a new Acrolite.
This would be true if you were talking about buying two used 5". But, not true for the 6.5" versions. They hold their value very well, and very hard to find one even used for less than $300.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
Welcome but, just curious, if you have drums, how are you a non drummer?

Enjoy whichever you get. I thought I had the drum of my dreams till I bought another. Then that was the drum of my dreams till I bought another. Now, that's the drum of my dreams...



...at least for now.
 

SoupCanSham

Junior Member
I'm really more of a stringed instrument player (guitar, bass, etc.). I only have about a year under my belt and it's not like I have a chance to spend hours a day on rudiments. I'd say that's why I'm a non-drummer.

But anyway, they also had a 6.5"x14" Supralite ($150) that was much better than the steel snares from competitors, but the sales guy really pushed that the Supraphonic and Acrolite were superior musical instruments. I don't doubt his position, but the Supra is a serious investment.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
The Supralite is steel - different shell material and sound than the other two.
What store are you talking about? They have good prices.
 

SoupCanSham

Junior Member
The steel shell is definitely different from the aluminum ones and has more ring to it. I don't have a lot of experience, but it seems to be much closer to the other Ludwigs, though, than it is to the rest of the steel snares that were available. I think it'd be even closer if it weren't welded. But it sounds great for the price.

The store is a local place. The Acro and the Supralite are on sale, but the Supraphonic is at their regular price. Their cymbals are also priced really well.
 

TheHeelDrummer

Senior Member
The LM402 Supra is my personal favorite snare period. If you can spend the extra, in my opinion this is not a debate whatsoever. The acrolite is a great snare in its own right (I also own an acrolite), but I believe it to be a full step below the Supraphonic.
 

MatrixClaw

Senior Member
Unless they've changed manufacturing process over the past few years, the Acrolite is the same exact shell as the Supraphonic, the only difference is hardware and finish. If sound is your only concern, buy the Acrolite, no point in spending more for the Supra if you don't care about the fancy stuff.

If I were you though, I'd either buy a used Acrolite in that size for cheaper... or buy the 5x14" for ~$100 used and then buy the 14x6.5" or 14x8" Supralite as well, and you'll have two fantastic sounding snares for less than the Supraphonic you were looking at.
 

SoupCanSham

Junior Member
Matrix, you're the first to suggest in any way the Supralite. I certainly don't dislike this drum, and for the money I think it's great. Hits way above its weight class.

This might bring out the wolves, but how do the rest of you feel about the Supralite?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
+1.The supra and the acro,use the same exact shell.The lugs different,and the supra is chrome plated.They both have a spun,and seamless ludalloy shell(aluminum/zinc),and are made in the USA.

The supralite is steel and has a welded shell,and is imported.


Steve B
 

MatrixClaw

Senior Member
Matrix, you're the first to suggest in any way the Supralite. I certainly don't dislike this drum, and for the money I think it's great. Hits way above its weight class.

This might bring out the wolves, but how do the rest of you feel about the Supralite?
I've never liked any steel shell snare I've played or owned, but the Supralite is a great drum, worth far more than what they're asking.

Eventually, I'm planning to own every single size they make. This is coming from someone who owns a Supraphonic LM402 (14x6.5") :p
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
I second the Supralite just got it last week (6.5x14) and love it if you can get for $150 kinda of a no-brainer.

you'll have a extra $200 approx for something else.

Bonzolead
 

BGH

Gold Member
Matrix, you're the first to suggest in any way the Supralite. I certainly don't dislike this drum, and for the money I think it's great. Hits way above its weight class.

This might bring out the wolves, but how do the rest of you feel about the Supralite?
It seems to me that you want a Supraphonic, but you want to spend as little as you can get away with (don't blame you). If you are saying you can get a new Supra for $370, that's actually a very good price.

Why don't you look at Guitar Center's Used stuff? There are a couple of 6.5 Supras in the $300-$330 range.
 

MatrixClaw

Senior Member
It seems to me that you want a Supraphonic, but you want to spend as little as you can get away with (don't blame you). If you are saying you can get a new Supra for $370, that's actually a very good price.
To me, it sounds like he, as an inexperienced drummer, was being pressured by the GC employee to buy the more expensive snare, when he thought the cheaper one sounded good. I won't argue that my Supraphonic sounds better than the Supralite... but I also won't argue that the LM402 is worth $310 more for that sound.

If the LM402 was, indeed, $370 new - that's a pretty nice deal on a new drum, since it'd only lose ~$70 in value if you were to sell it used. That being said, I think dropping that kind of cash on a snare as a beginner is pretty silly when you have no idea what sounds you actually like. I can't remember what the Supralite comes with as far as heads are concerned, but I have no doubt that the Supraphonic comes with better skins and is probably tuned better out of the box. Buying a snare is a tricky thing - you really need to spend some time with them before you can make a decision on what's "better." Merely hitting a bunch of snares at Guitar Center isn't going to give you the full picture, as you're not sitting there playing with the hardware and tuning it to your liking.

Don't get me wrong though, if the Supraphonic is the sound you want, go for it. They are GREAT snares.

As an alternative - If you don't want to spend as much cash on the LM402... you could try looking for a used Pearl Sensitone Elite. They are very close in sound to the Supra and I've seen them go as low as $100...
 
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