That notorious Ludwig Acrolite throw off let me down last night

yammyfan

Senior Member
Nearing the end of our first set I notice a weird rattling sound coming from the snare drum, echoed in my monitor. It had been there for a few songs but we were playing on a covered stage and the sound was pretty lively up there anyway. Honestly, I thought that it was some weird effect that the sound guy was applying.

Anyway, at one point I had the good sense to reach beneath the drum and lo and behold, the snares were hanging loose like the udder of a cow. Incredibly disappointing. My Acrolite isn't vintage - it's only a couple of months old. I had hoped to get a few years out of the P-85, at least.

I guess I'll be upgrading the throw off much sooner than planned. Between the P-86 and the P-88, which is the better of the two?
 

TJK

Well-known member
Yeah Ludwig should be ashamed of keeping that piece of shit on drums past the 80’s. I guess they have finally redesigned it a year or so ago. The p86 looks great and functions ok but again they put Phillips head tiny screws on that just strip out if you don’t tighten and loosen like a surgeon. Come on Ludwig
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
OP said it's only a couple of months old.

Yeah Ludwig should be ashamed of keeping that piece of shit on drums past the 80’s. I guess they have finally redesigned it a year or so ago. The p86 looks great and functions ok but again they put Phillips head tiny screws on that just strip out if you don’t tighten and loosen like a surgeon. Come on Ludwig
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm wondering what went wrong. Did one of the mylar straps slip? Did the tension adjustment knob slip?

Lots of unnecessary P85 hate going on.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm wondering what went wrong. Did one of the mylar straps slip? Did the tension adjustment knob slip?

Lots of unnecessary P85 hate going on.
Nothing obvious happened. I tuned it at home, put the snare in its case and headed to the venue. The drum was fine when I sound checked it. The knob seems to have lost tension on its own after about 40 minutes of playing. It was neither super loose nor super tight to begin with.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Inde throw off. Should fit existing holes and Josh’s stuff is all excellent.
$37 USD to ship to me - that's 75% of the purchase price. I can't justify that as the P88AC is $62 at my local shop. Great suggestion though. Thanks!
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
$37 USD to ship to me - that's 75% of the purchase price. I can't justify that as the P88AC is $62 at my local shop. Great suggestion though. Thanks!
Reverb has them for $50 shipped. Did something break on the P85? I've had a couple that would loosen a bit over time, but I have them on several vintage Supras and Acros and don't have the hate for them that most do. In fact I picked up another LM400 today with one. It's in my "plastic bag for a reso" thread.

Edit: you stated $37 USD so you might not be in the USA.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Reverb has them for $50 shipped in the US. Did something break on the P85? I've had a couple that would loosen a bit over time, but I have them on several vintage Supras and Acros and don't have the hate for them that most do. In fact I picked up another LM400 today with one. It's in my "plastic bag for a reso" thread.
I'm in Canada so the strainer comes to $115 after shipping and currency conversion. One of the very few drawbacks to living up here!

The throw off itself seems fine. I was able to retension it with a couple of turns of the dial. It was fine during sound check.... :unsure:
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I'm in Canada so the strainer comes to $115 after shipping and currency conversion. One of the very few drawbacks to living up here!

The throw off itself seems fine. I was able to retension it with a couple of turns of the dial. It was fine during sound check.... :unsure:
Ah, I see. On all of my snares with a P85, which have been 20 or so, I set them up with the knob at the tightest setting then back it out a few turns. That way there is more thread in the recieving nut, and even at the lowest snare tension it's not even half of the available adjustment.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Ah, I see. On all of my snares with a P85, which have been 20 or so, I set them up with the knob at the tightest setting then back it out a few turns. That way there is more thread in the recieving nut, and even at the lowest snare tension it's not even half of the available adjustment.
That seems like a sensible workaround for the time being. I'll give it a shot!
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
If I have ever had an issue with a P85, it has been them sticking and not releasing. Have you taken a look to see what is the problem with the throw?

Having said that, if it is only a couple of months old, I'd contact Ludwig to see if they will replace it. If that is not an option, the P88 is stellar!
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The problem with the P-86, for me, is that it doesn't match. The design language is different. It sticks out like a sore thumb on all but the oldest Ludwig snares. But maybe that's just me.

If you need a replacement I'd go with the P-88.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I grew up with a vintage Acrolite and had many of the same issues some of you have complained about...the adjustment knob would get stuck (I later found out the screw was slightly bent...I bent it back), and the mechanics were gritty and needed to be cleaned. It works fine now after I took it apart.

I also have a brand new P-85. The one key difference I've noticed between the vintage and new one is the addition of a spring that puts pressure on the tension knob to keep it from coming loose. I've had no problems with it during gigs, the spring helps it stay put.

@ineedaclutch is right, and that may be why I have no issues. The further you screw in the knob, the more friction will keep it from coming loose.
Ah, I see. On all of my snares with a P85, which have been 20 or so, I set them up with the knob at the tightest setting then back it out a few turns. That way there is more thread in the recieving nut, and even at the lowest snare tension it's not even half of the available adjustment.
 
Has anyone ever tried using teflon plumber's tape on the threads? I've used it successfully on my hi-hat clutches with success.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yep, played a P85 for decades and never had a problem. Keeping a spare at $22 is an easy investment, but I’ve never had one just break. Apparently this one didn’t break either - the operator just had it ill-adjusted.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I think that the wires are pretty well installed... I'm very particular about that kind of thing. It's just odd that they were perfectly fine at sound check then 40 minutes later they were flapping around like a hammock in the wind.

I'll reinstall the wires with less thread showing no matter what the cause. I don't want to experience that again!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Yep, played a P85 for decades and never had a problem. Keeping a spare at $22 is an easy investment, but I’ve never had one just break. Apparently this one didn’t break either - the operator just had it ill-adjusted.
Had one break when I was reattaching the snares but in its defence it was 35 years old. Random bit of metal went on the snare mechanism. Maybe it had a knock in transit I don't know. I have noticed the replacement I have does seem a little over eager to loosen itself but this has remedied itself as I've played a few gigs with it.

I like the P85 personally it's simple as they come and there's less things to go wrong (bit fiddly to attach but the basic strainer was designed in the 50s). Give em a drop of oil now and then and they stay loose. I had a fancy Dunnett strainer fail because it was overengineered, that was far more annoying, if I didn't have a spare trick throw-off it could have got expensive to fix..

Tighten the adjustment knob a bit further, snares detune with playing anyway. if there's a bit of slack on the adjustment it will keep loosening itself.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I like the P85 personally it's simple as they come and there's less things to go wrong (bit fiddly to attach but the basic strainer was designed in the 50s). Give em a drop of oil now and then and they stay loose.
Agreed. And since they are ubiquitous, their failure modes are pretty well known and largely preventable.

My main problem with the P85 is that the lever is a magnet for my shorts. If I even so much as walk past a Ludwig snare, my shorts will invariably catch on the throw, bending the lever and tearing the drum from its stand. I've had this happen several times, even with knock-off P85's.
 
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