Praise for the Ludwig Acrolite

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Last night was cool. I met Mike M. from the DW Forum here. He was down in the area (Los Angeles) for a class, actually about an hour & a half from my location. So, he got in contact with me and came to our jam session last night.

I must say, he is a great player and he has a knack for knowing just what to play on the fly. He played the Starclassic kit, which is the house kit, then we did some double drumming, which was cool. I was trying to keep up all night. Did I mention he plays really well? Anyway, he also played my kit (a Rockstar) for a song or two. I have an Acrolite for my snare drum on that kit. Mike is a real freakin' heavy hitter. I've never heard that Acrolite sound so good, and loud. That thing is a cannon and my appreciation of that snare drum went up a few notches. That drum has it all because it's inexpensive and it has an incredible sound to it. I was 20 feet away listening to my kit being played and I'm really pleased with the sound I'm getting. Mike liked it too. But that snare drum...Wow!!

It was great to see and hang out with Mike, hope to do it again sometime.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
The Acrolite. Perhaps he greatest success story of all time for a "student" drum. They are just awesome.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Acros are excellent drums! So are you saying you're not a heavy hitter?
 

NVIC

Senior Member
The Acrolite. Perhaps he greatest success story of all time for a "student" drum. They are just awesome.
It was so unintentionally successful and such a great drum that Ludwig's current Acrolites aren't cheap. Yet you can get a Keystone 1960s era one for less than a 2016 version. Go figure.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
It shouldn't have come as too big a surprise to Ludwig or anyone else how successful the Acro became. Two fewer lugs and no chrome are an improvement to a lot of people.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I'm a bit of a tightwad when it comes to most things. I drink cheap beer, do most of my own repairs and I buy used gear. I also love a good deal, well who doesn't? I think my "Acrophonic" was made with about $50 worth of parts, the butt and imperial lugs were cannibalized from a 400 which I sold off. As far as perceived value, that snare is a winner everytime.

I like mine ranked to high Heaven with a Fiberskin batter, been doing a lot of brushwork lately and the shallow depth is great for that.
 
In terms of ears hurting with an Acrolite?

I am new to stick drumming. I played hand percussion from 1960-1974. This Autumn I had a Black Galaxy Acrolite (2nd owner) a couple of months ago that I sold. When the guy came to the house to try and buy, I had taken off the Ambassador and replaced it with the original Ludwig batter head.

When he sat down to play, he nearly broke all my windows and killed my dog he hit so hard. I had no idea that a drum could possibly be that loud.

He says he has double coated batters on every drum, and goes thru them like Pez.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Last night was cool. I met Mike M. from the DW Forum here. He was down in the area (Los Angeles) for a class, actually about an hour & a half from my location. So, he got in contact with me and came to our jam session last night.

I must say, he is a great player and he has a knack for knowing just what to play on the fly. He played the Starclassic kit, which is the house kit, then we did some double drumming, which was cool. I was trying to keep up all night. Did I mention he plays really well? Anyway, he also played my kit (a Rockstar) for a song or two. I have an Acrolite for my snare drum on that kit. Mike is a real freakin' heavy hitter. I've never heard that Acrolite sound so good, and loud. That thing is a cannon and my appreciation of that snare drum went up a few notches. That drum has it all because it's inexpensive and it has an incredible sound to it. I was 20 feet away listening to my kit being played and I'm really pleased with the sound I'm getting. Mike liked it too. But that snare drum...Wow!!

It was great to see and hang out with Mike, hope to do it again sometime.
Great hanging out with you too, Paul. It was also really cool jamming with your bandmates, so thanks for having me over - and thanks for the nice words! It was great seeing you play, too. You have a nice easy style that comes off smoothly and let's those guitar players roam anxiety-free, especially the one (I forgot his name, but not Mike) playing all the finger style. That guy's pretty off the charts amazing, and it appears you're doing well keeping him happy, so nice work. I'm pretty sure I'd drive him crazy before too long if I didn't already!

But am I that hard of a hitter? Hmm, I think I'm somewhere in the middle since I know lots of guys who absolutely bury the stick into every backbeat and swing for the fences on the cymbals, which I don't do (at least I don't think I do ;). There is a range where you can only go up so far and nothing will get any louder. I aim for about 80% of that so I have somewhere to go, but it also leaves room underneath for ghost strokes to have enough separation from everything else. Pitch bending factors in too; I like the rich character a drum starts to take on when hit on the harder end.

But yeah, that Acro sounded really sweet. There's just isn't anything not to like about those drums; they really can cover just about everything. I noticed on all your kits that your tuning style is pretty much right where mine is so I felt right at home. Also, I gotta say that those Rock Stars are massive and sound great, but that's coming from a guy who likes larger sizes. I also count myself in the minority that really digs deeper toms. They're trickier to setup comfortably, but if I can get past that, I can crank the heads up a little tighter than I normally would and all is right with the world.

So thanks again for the jam and hang. I'll hit you up next time I'm down this way!
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Great hanging out with you too, Paul. It was also really cool jamming with your bandmates, so thanks for having me over - and thanks for the nice words! It was great seeing you play, too. You have a nice easy style that comes off smoothly and let's those guitar players roam anxiety-free, especially the one (I forgot his name, but not Mike) playing all the finger style. That guy's pretty off the charts amazing, and it appears you're doing well keeping him happy, so nice work. I'm pretty sure I'd drive him crazy before too long if I didn't already!

But am I that hard of a hitter? Hmm, I think I'm somewhere in the middle since I know lots of guys who absolutely bury the stick into every backbeat and swing for the fences on the cymbals, which I don't do (at least I don't think I do ;). There is a range where you can only go up so far and nothing will get any louder. I aim for about 80% of that so I have somewhere to go, but it also leaves room underneath for ghost strokes to have enough separation from everything else. Pitch bending factors in too; I like the rich character a drum starts to take on when hit on the harder end.

But yeah, that Acro sounded really sweet. There's just isn't anything not to like about those drums; they really can cover just about everything. I noticed on all your kits that your tuning style is pretty much right where mine is so I felt right at home. Also, I gotta say that those Rock Stars are massive and sound great, but that's coming from a guy who likes larger sizes. I also count myself in the minority that really digs deeper toms. They're trickier to setup comfortably, but if I can get past that, I can crank the heads up a little tighter than I normally would and all is right with the world.

So thanks again for the jam and hang. I'll hit you up next time I'm down this way!
Thanks for your kind words too, Mike. The other guitar player was Alex. We just started jamming with him recently, but he is an amazing player. He's just a youngster too, but a very mature player.

I would say you're a hard hitter. Not too hard, but more on the hard side than soft. The guys were saying they had to rotate their body so their ears can be spared direct sonic force as they were playing because that snare drum was cracking right in their ears. I think if you go 90% things are gonna start cracking or breaking. Don't get me wrong though. I thought it was great from 20 feet away.

Yeah, I agree about those larger sized toms. The Rockstar is still my favorite kit even though I also have the Ludwig kit. You just can't find big deep toms like that anymore unless one is willing to pay for it or buys vintage stuff. I actually replaced the thinner original rims with newer 2.3mm rims, so that made it easier to set-up the kit and dial in the tuning.

Again, thanks for coming out. Take care.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
It shouldn't have come as too big a surprise to Ludwig or anyone else how successful the Acro became. Two fewer lugs and no chrome are an improvement to a lot of people.
Let's not get carried away. That acrolite is butt ugly next to a supraphonic or just about any other snare for that matter.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
How less expensive was this drum back in the day? It ain't cheap now.
My understanding was that the Acro wasn't much less expensive, but it included a case (UFO or Tombstone), stand, sticks, key, Gladstone pad, and an instructional booklet. I believe that many of the purchases were subsidized via the DOE.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
I take my Acrolite out as my main snare. I take a Supraphonic as the backup. Set up and tuned properly you can't beat it in a live situation.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
Let's not get carried away. That acrolite is butt ugly next to a supraphonic or just about any other snare for that matter.
Not to me. I much prefer the brushed aluminum look. Not a huge fan of chrome.
 

mandrew

Gold Member
I love the chrome look (LM400), but I do not like the idea of watching it get acne over the years. I like aluminum better than brass, so the brushed look on aluminum looks good to me.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
When I think of classic snare drums right off the top of my head, I think Black Beauty, Free Floater, Musashi and Acrolite.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I also prefer the plain aluminum look over the chromed Supraphonic. Aluminum doesn't like chrome plating, and I'd bet the original reason Ludwig used the plating in the first place is to keep the look consistent with the chrome over brass drum the Supraphonic replaced.

To me aluminum looks great either polished or brushed; there's no need to hide it under any plating.

As far as the price goes, I recall the Acrolite usually being about 2/3 the price of a Supra pretty consistently until the more recent price jump in Ludwig snares, when the Acrolite started closing the gap. Of course, all of the other USA-made Ludwig snares are also considerably higher in price now than just a few years ago too.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
As far as the price goes, I recall the Acrolite usually being about 2/3 the price of a Supra pretty consistently until the more recent price jump in Ludwig snares, when the Acrolite started closing the gap. Of course, all of the other USA-made Ludwig snares are also considerably higher in price now than just a few years ago too.
Yeah, no kidding. My local music store wants $840 for a 6.5x14 COB. I couldn't believe it. 2 or 3 years ago that was a $500 drum.
 
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