Random thought about acrylic drums

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I know one concern many have about owning and maintaining acrylic drums is that they may be prone to cracking. Do you think that using longer/mach-style lugs would help at all? Would they make these shells more stable?

Just a random thought.
 
The seams are vertical. Long lugs arent going to hold the shell together if it cracks along the seam.

I'd always worry about them cracking. That's just me.

Surely someone can figure out how to make a seamless acrylic shell using centrifugal force or something.
 
After I watched rdavidr's video on the Donner acrylic kit he obtained, I was mildly interested in getting a used Ludwig Vistalite. A red set came up for sale down at the Jersey Shore, and I spoke to the seller, but suddenly, all his ads disappeared from FB Marketplace. Somebody called him a scam artist, so who knows?

I suppose if I lucked into a red Vista set for the right price, I might try it out.
 
Last edited:
I had a pointy b&o kit in blue, and I think, just like with any drums, if you treat them well you’ll have no problems. In my experience, the most common cause of cracking (barring misuse) is tightening the screws on the lugs and hardware too tight.
 
I know one concern many have about owning and maintaining acrylic drums is that they may be prone to cracking.
I think any "cracking" issues is due to mishandling and overtightening. Which is to say ...... if you mistreat stuff, it might break.

I heard some of the same "cracking" horror stories when I bought mine, back in 1980. And before the internet ..... well, as a young(er) drummer, the old seasoned vets were supposed to "know" these things (or so I thought). Well, as they were my sole kit, and I gigged them, I eventually amassed 6 rack toms, 2 floors, 4 bass drums (over the span of 15 years) ...... I figured back up was necessary. And it never was. Only 1 drum ever had spider cracks (at the lug holes) ..... and they were there when I bought it. Fortunately, when I sold them, I got waaaay more money for them than I paid ..... so that was a definite plus.
 
The seams are vertical. Long lugs arent going to hold the shell together if it cracks along the seam.

I'd always worry about them cracking. That's just me.

Surely someone can figure out how to make a seamless acrylic shell using centrifugal force or something.
Aren’t Pearls shells seamless?

I wonder if you could repair cracks with that stuff they use to repair chips in car windshields.

I’d like to have set but I don’t have room for anymore kits. Two and an electronic is about it. Unless there are some magic words that will make my wife say, “of course honey just set them up in the living room.”
 
The seams are vertical. Long lugs arent going to hold the shell together if it cracks along the seam.

I'd always worry about them cracking. That's just me.

Surely someone can figure out how to make a seamless acrylic shell using centrifugal force or something.
There have been seamless shells for decades. I know DDrum used them back in the day, and as mentioned above, i think pearl does now.
 
There have been seamless shells for decades. I know DDrum used them back in the day, and as mentioned above, i think pearl does now.
I looked at RCI. They are up front about their seam. I was under the impression they are the acrylic shell provider for manufacturers.
 
Upon further reading, Pearl molds their shell, so it is in fact seamless.

They also claim to have brought acrylic drums to the market in 1973. Ludwig is 1972 for the Vistalites, and google says Zickos prototype was 1959, patented in 1970.

If they can be made seamless, I dont see why this wouldnt be the standard.
 
Upon further reading, Pearl molds their shell, so it is in fact seamless.

They also claim to have brought acrylic drums to the market in 1973. Ludwig is 1972 for the Vistalites, and google says Zickos prototype was 1959, patented in 1970.

If they can be made seamless, I dont see why this wouldnt be the standard.
Because ludwig hasn't changed since 1973 lol.
 
Upon further reading, Pearl molds their shell, so it is in fact seamless.

They also claim to have brought acrylic drums to the market in 1973. Ludwig is 1972 for the Vistalites, and google says Zickos prototype was 1959, patented in 1970.

If they can be made seamless, I dont see why this wouldnt be the standard.
I'm just spitballin but my guess is the market for acrylic drums isn't very big. Bad ROI? Just guessing

I had a clear set of acrylic Spauns and I could feel the contempt for them in the blues world I was in at the time lol.

I woke up one day and just wanted a wood set of drums, so that was that
'
I had a coke bottle green 14 x 6.5 snare that I liked a lot, I got that first, and got the clear drums later, but I traded them all in for some wood Pearls I think it was
 
What’s the big whoop about seams? Seems some say seams are so-so. So why?
 
What’s the big whoop about seams? Seems some say seams are so-so. So why?
Look:

s00il27ikaygdyjrwfkb.jpg

The top of the seam at the bearing edge is separated, you can see it. You can also see where it was heat "welded" in the middle.

This drum, in my opinion, is trash. It wont ever be perfect again.
 
You know they are made of acrylic and like a shower unit acrylic better than fiberglass. LOL.

I’be seen some beautiful furniture mixing wood with colorful acrylic and I’ve wondered why a hybridized acrylic/wood/or other materials shells haven’t become popular.

I’ve always wanted to make acrylic shells with controlled size bubbles- emulating density and size of pores of naturally porous woods. I know the size and density influences sound but I’d like to characterize it in controlled manner.
 
I'm just spitballin but my guess is the market for acrylic drums isn't very big. Bad ROI? Just guessing

I had a clear set of acrylic Spauns and I could feel the contempt for them in the blues world I was in at the time lol.

I woke up one day and just wanted a wood set of drums, so that was that
'
I had a coke bottle green 14 x 6.5 snare that I liked a lot, I got that first, and got the clear drums later, but I traded them all in for some wood Pearls I think it was
Hi Larry,
I’m not sure about ROI, specifically vintage Vistas that are in good shape.
When I first started looking for acrylic concert toms they were around $199 a few years ago.
(See Reverb for Ludwig Vistalites.)

I am quite sure I can get 2x of what I purchased my kit for - even if it meant waiting.

That is a concert tom mount.

Makes me wonder if all the Vistalites had hardware on the seam?
Correct it’s the clip mount for the Hercules stands, mainly for concert toms. The regular had/have Atlas mounts.

Sometimes setting up and taking down is a bit of a surgical performance, especially if you have tight, stubborn mounts - be careful.

My vintage Vistas do have the clip mount directly on the seam. This is why I don’t leave my kit set up especially in winter, though my drums are set up inside. The static weight alone IMO could potentially cause stress fracture.

However my RCI toms have the clip to the right side of the seam and left if the lug.

Yes my Pearl crystal beat snare shell is seamless.

As for OPs inquiry - I’m not sure I’d be interested in an acrylic kit with Mach or long type lugs for aesthetics.
As for structural integrity, I’m not sure how it benefits or doesn’t.
 
Back
Top