Tama SLP Dry Aluminum vs Acrolite?

trickg

Silver Member
Sooooo....I haven't been "in" to drum gear for a bit, and I'm not sure how I missed the Tama Starphonic line of snare drums. Right now I'm drooling over the 6x14 nickel over brass Starphonic. That drum, at least from a high level view, is my jam! I've always thought that 6" was a better depth than either 5.5 or 6.5, and it's priced IMO more than reasonably for what it is.

I know we're talking about Aluminum snares here so this is fair given that they make an aluminum version too. The lug design, hoops, and a superior snare mechanism, at least when compared to what Ludwig puts on their upper end snares, makes this one at the top of my list for a possible next snare purchase.

The question is, how does the brass version sound, particularly when compared next to a Black Beauty?

Ok - back to Aluminum snares.
 
So yeah, I'm resurecting this thread. Am the OP by the way.

I did end up owning both a 1968 Acrolite and a new Tama SLP Dry Aluminum.

The Tama sounds... better IMHO. The original Acro was really cool, but it has a certain personality that you can never really dial out. The SLP has a slightly fatter tone and works better at lower tunings (the Acro remains the master of funk once cranked up though)

But the reason I'm resurecting the thread is... the SLP is going back. You thought the Ludwig P85 throw-off was bad? At least it holds its tension most of the time. I'm on my 3rd SLP Dry Aluminum, the first had a throw-off that was just crooked and it was impossible to get the wires to an even tension. The 2nd was straight but I kept having to retighten the wires which I found odd so I went back to the store and swapped for their other one in stock and... still the same issue.

To make sure it wasn't just in my head, I put a bit of colored tape on the tension adjustment knob and played a song... by the time I was done playing the song, it had rotated 45 degrees!!!

I find this really surprising, I've owned many Tama snares and the hardware on it has always been top notch. This is the first Tama snare I've ever had with this specific throw off (MCS70). I'll never get another.

I really want an aluminum snare but the Acro was a bit too "light" sounding for my tastes, while the Supra was a bit too lively (only owned the 6.5" LM402). Might look into a hammered 6.5" Acro, or maybe a Yamaha Recording Custom Aluminum.

EDIT: I could just keep the Tama and replace the throw-off (would have to make sure I can find something that fits without drilling new holes), but I don't think that a brand new mid-range snare from a well established company known for solid hardware should need to be modified out of the box to be useable.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Never had an ounce of trouble with my Starphonic throw off. They look similar enough, but they are not the same. Fit should be a non issue.
 
Never had an ounce of trouble with my Starphonic throw off. They look similar enough, but they are not the same. Fit should be a non issue.
Yeah that's the linear drive system, with ratcheting on the tension adjuster, that one is GOOOOD, one of the best.

It's completely different from the POS MCS70, which interestingly I don't think I've seen on any other Tama snare.

I don't believe the linear one would fit, even if it did Tama replacement parts can be very expensive sometimes.
 

markdrumz

Junior Member
Love my Starphonic aluminum, but my Bubinga is also pretty sweet. I use them more than the Maple Starphonic, but that Mappa ply is great to look at....
 

fl.tom

Senior Member
Other than quick demos of the SLP line, I don’t have sufficient drive time with any of them to offer any suggestions on the MCS70. I do agree that you should not have to pay to replace it,

But, if you did want to go that route, Tama has standardized on bolt spacings of 36mm for throw-offs and 24mm for butts on their mid and upper lines. Thus either the linear drive MLS50 or upright MUS80 strainers would fit. And both of those strainers have been rock solid for me on Starphonics and Starclassics.
 
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Other than quick demos of the SLP line, I don’t have sufficient drive time with any of them to offer any suggestions on the MCS70. I do agree that you should not have to pay to replace it,

But, if you did want to go that route, Tama has standardized on bolt spacings of 36mm for throw-offs and 24mm for butts on their mid and upper lines. Thus either the linear drive MLS50 or upright MUS80 strainers would fit. And both of those strainers have been rock solid for me on Starphonics and Starclassics.
The odd thing is I had a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive for a while and I'm 90% sure the snare had a MCS70 and I don't remember having issues with it. So this is odd since I went through 3 of those SLPs and not one had a "good" throw-off. Bad batch perhaps... I've searched the internet and haven't found any complaints about that snare (and in fact it is a GREAT sounding snare, and it stays in tune unlike a new Ludwig).

My backup snare is a Pearl Sensitone ("Vision" version) that cost me under 100$ used and that has a solid throw off, doesn't budge once engaged. How hard can this be?
 

fl.tom

Senior Member
The odd thing is I had a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive for a while and I'm 90% sure the snare had a MCS70 and I don't remember having issues with it. So this is odd since I went through 3 of those SLPs and not one had a "good" throw-off. Bad batch perhaps... I've searched the internet and haven't found any complaints about that snare (and in fact it is a GREAT sounding snare, and it stays in tune unlike a new Ludwig).

My backup snare is a Pearl Sensitone ("Vision" version) that cost me under 100$ used and that has a solid throw off, doesn't budge once engaged. How hard can this be?
Agreed, it shouldn’t be hard and it very well may be a bad batch. Knowing this has already been a hassle for you, I would humbly suggest having the dealer contact Hoshino USA in PA. They should at least be made aware of it and for me (and others), have almost always gone out of their way to make things right.

The MCS70A has the same spacing as the MLS50A.
Yep, noted the 36mm in my previous post as well as the 24mm for the butt.

Do you have the MCS70 on any of your snares?
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Exactly A vintage Acro has all the mojo. It's a piece of history.

Update to my original post. So last week I went to a Long & McQuade and tried a bunch of different snares and the SLP Dry Aluminum really stood out for me so I decided to get it... but since they discount them by about 80$ at least twice a year I decided to wait until the next sale.

In the meantime, a 1968 Acrolite (Chicago Keystone badge) showed up locally, with a new P85 on it... so... I bought it. Saved myself an extra 150$ too and it sounds amazing. Early version with no powder coating (and 1.6mm hoops originally, don't know if these are the originals, they'd be 50 years old now)

Anyway, what I found is that it sounds a lot more "open" than any Tama snare I've tried or owned. Not as in more ring, but as if nothing is preventing the full range of frequencies from coming out of the drum. It feels free and natural. Amazed also at how much tuning range there is from low to medium, if anything it's the top end of the tuning range that is surprisingly not that great (it chokes rapidly when you try to crank it... I do have the X version of the Controlled Sound on it right now). But I'm not Carter Beauford so I'm more interested in the medium range anyway.

It had some cheap set of snare wires that just said "Made in Taiwan" on them, so I put a Puresound Super 30 on it (bought it for my Tama Fat Spruce snare didn't like it on that) and oh boy it's a beast now.

So yeah... the Tama is definitely a great option, but when you get a chance to procure a piece of history that works and sounds great, and it cheaper, the choice is easy :)

At least the Acrolite will always keep some value.
 

jdavis

Member
In the meantime, a 1968 Acrolite (Chicago Keystone badge) showed up locally, with a new P85 on it... so... I bought it. Saved myself an extra 150$ too and it sounds amazing. Early version with no powder coating (and 1.6mm hoops originally, don't know if these are the originals, they'd be 50 years old now)

Anyway, what I found is that it sounds a lot more "open" than any Tama snare I've tried or owned. Not as in more ring, but as if nothing is preventing the full range of frequencies from coming out of the drum. It feels free and natural. Amazed also at how much tuning range there is from low to medium, if anything it's the top end of the tuning range that is surprisingly not that great (it chokes rapidly when you try to crank it... I do have the X version of the Controlled Sound on it right now). But I'm not Carter Beauford so I'm more interested in the medium range anyway.

It had some cheap set of snare wires that just said "Made in Taiwan" on them, so I put a Puresound Super 30 on it (bought it for my Tama Fat Spruce snare didn't like it on that) and oh boy it's a beast now.

So yeah... the Tama is definitely a great option, but when you get a chance to procure a piece of history that works and sounds great, and it cheaper, the choice is easy :)

At least the Acrolite will always keep some value.
Nice. One of my favorite snares is a '68 Acro Keystone like yours. IMO, they sound better than the coated Acros/Blackros that came afterward in the 70s and 80s. Not sure why, though.

Also, love the limited edition 6.5" Acro that was released a few years back. Wonderful drum and sharp looking, too. (y)
 

TJK

Well-known member
I hate the P85. Sure it's minimalist which is cool but it's also barely functional. And can we talk about the screws? How obstinate do you have to be as a company to flatly refuse to keep up with the times by swapping them out for drum key bolts?

Great drums are only as great as their hardware and a P85 on a $800 Black Beauty is like a hand crank on a Porsche...

Yeah I totally agree. I believe that the new mechanism is much better but still a pile of shit on an 800 drum. And those fucking plastic straps, put the old strings on them ffs the straps choke the wires
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
The odd thing is I had a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive for a while and I'm 90% sure the snare had a MCS70 and I don't remember having issues with it. So this is odd since I went through 3 of those SLPs and not one had a "good" throw-off. Bad batch perhaps... I've searched the internet and haven't found any complaints about that snare (and in fact it is a GREAT sounding snare, and it stays in tune unlike a new Ludwig)
That's really a pity. I have a SLP Dry Aluminium and never had a problem with the snare throw (or anything else, actually). I love it. (The throw on mine looks the same as cb's photo).
 
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