The Ludwig Acrolite

Dignan

Silver Member
If you are asking this question, then you really have no idea what you are looking at. Go onto eBay. Do a search on 'Ludwig Acrolite.' Look at all of the pictures. Look for the common features that have been stated. Almost none of them will be chrome. So if its chrome, 99.99% its not an Acro. The Acro always has the center bead. It has 8 bowtie lugs in almost every case. It will have a Keystone badge or Blue and olive badge. The black galaxy has the black and white badge.

Edit: the 5x14 will have 8 lugs in almost every case. The 6.5x14 will have 10 lugs.
You're correct. I'm not an expert on the different types of Ludwig snares. That's why I'm on here asking the informed drummers. I also found another "beadless" ludwig online like the on in the picture that said it was an acrolite so I wasn't sure anymore. Thanks for the clarification on chrome vs. not chrome.

Well, just to open up your horizon's a bit (hopefully not too big a derail...), you can also look for a Ludwig Standard Aluminum snare. Why do I bring it up? Same shell as the Supra and the Acro, except WITHOUT the center bead. They sound virtually the same, 8 lugs, and that silver pain that later Acros have. I'm only bringing it up since a)it is a close kissing sibling of the Acro and b)you might be able to score one on the cheap if the person doesn't know what they have..... Here is a thread talking about this drum: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105304

As for Acros.... Check this one out. Probably a good one to jump on given the price: http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-LUDWIG-ACRYLITE-14X5XSNAR-DRUM-MISSING-BADGE-108665985-i2973613.gc
Thanks Valkyrie. That is a tempting deal. Its missing the badge but I suppose I could always find one later if it still bothered me. I just checke out your thread on the Standard you refitted. Very nice looking drum. I'll keep my eye out for one of these too.
 
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Dignan

Silver Member
I don't think there have been any 'knock off' drums since the 1960's Japanese stencil kits. No one would go to the trouble of making a knock off Acro. You can find them cheap because tons of parents bought these for their kids when they were learning to play, they don't play anymore and dad is selling the drum.

If you are a hobbiest, any Acro will do. Yes, the prices are all over the map. If you can find one cheap on CL, its probably as I mentioned a parent selling a no longer used drum that might be in primo shape. They often include a case, a rubber practice pad and a stand, although the stand is usually concert (standing) height, as it wasn't sold as a 'drum kit snare.'

The best way to educate yourself is to just keep looking at them. There is no rush to buy-there are always tons of them for sale. You need to determine what the most important factors are in deciding which one to buy. Do you want the cheapest one? Do you want one ready to play as is? Do you want one that you can add heads and snares of your choice (ie not the most expensive one)? Can you swap out the strainer if its needed? Does the color matter? The most frequent versions you're going to see are the plain aluminum shell and the black galaxy. There is also the gray coated model the the early 'orange peel' model.

If you see one on CL that says 'bought this for my son who only played it one year,' that is probably one to jump on and you can usually get them cheap. Other than that, think of the factors I mentioned and keep looking til you find the one that seems right for you. Good luck with it and have fun looking!
BGH, just saw this post of yours now. Not sure why I mised it before.

I know I've seen lots of these for sale on CL under just the circumstances you describe (i.e. Dad selling it because son played it one year in music class and never looked at it again). I just want a decent sounding snare to complete my kit for now. I'll probably also want to put on new heads on and new snares if necessary. So I'll probably wait for another one of these with the case and stand to pop up on CL. Thanks again for the input.
 
Be careful on the student Acro's. Sometimes they have been dropped, and may be out of round or have bearing edge damage.

If you do get the student Acro, the stand works great for changing heads, tuning, or displaying toms and snares. And you get a case!

Good luck! I have played Acro's for over 20 years, and would put them up against any snare in the world.
 

Dignan

Silver Member
Be careful on the student Acro's. Sometimes they have been dropped, and may be out of round or have bearing edge damage.

If you do get the student Acro, the stand works great for changing heads, tuning, or displaying toms and snares. And you get a case!

Good luck! I have played Acro's for over 20 years, and would put them up against any snare in the world.
I will be sure to check all those things out. I'm actually going to go look at this one. I had the owner send me a pic if the badge. It's the olive and blue badge. I can't upload the pic he sent right now but here is the CL link. http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/msg/4127533987.html. The owner didn't know It was an acrolite. Said he used it for band in middle gchool back in 1983 and it's basically been in storage ever since. Anyone see anything in the photos that should make me wary of this? I talked him down to $85 for the whole kit.
 
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stueybonzo

Junior Member
I've picked up a '67 Acrolite which I'm restoring. I have a question about the fitting of the P83 strainer. It would appear it was fitted with a washer between the mounting bracket and the shell. Was this how Ludwig would have fitted the strainer or was it just screw through bracket with washer and nut on the inside?
 

poika

Silver Member
I though this was interesting.

I was cleaning up my Acro a while back and as I was removing the lugs I was surprised at how much impact the lugs had on the tone of the shell.

So I made a short recording.

I took apart the whole drum, apart from the butt plate.
I hung the shell from the butt plate and hit it with a mallet two times; first on the inside of the shell and then on the outside. (The rattling sound comes from the butt plate screws, apparently I forgot to take those out)

I took three samples:
A - zero lugs
B - four lugs
C - eight lugs


The change from zero to four is a lot bigger than from four to eight.
To me it seems that as long as you put any kind of actual weight on the shell the characteristic changes drastically,

I'd love to hear someone do the same thing to different kinds of supra shells with imperial and tube lugs to see how they would sound. I don't have any other Ludwig snares to put into comparison


Here's the clip
https://soundcloud.com/poika/ludwig-acrolite-shell-test
 

valkyrievf2x

Senior Member
Hmmmm....
VERY interesting comparison!! I always thought that the lugs made a difference, but wow! You are right, the difference from 0 lugs to 4 is much bigger than 4 to 8. I'm assuming these are the bowtie lugs, right?

I've always wondered about the lug mass and the shell's resonance. I have 2 Acros now: A Blacro and a regular Acro (commonly referred to in the house as the "Bluecro", lol) with tube lugs. Even tuned the same, the Bluecro rings for days on end--far longer than the Blacro. Sounds more open, I guess you can say. The tube lugs are much lower mass than the bowties, and have a smaller footprint on the shell...
 

poika

Silver Member
Correct, these are bowtie lugs.

Apparently a shell with tube lugs would produce more ring / resonance / shell tone because of lower mass, and vice versa. Perhaps not a surprise for more experienced drummers (or drum builders), but nevertheless I found the change in tone interesting

It's a good thing that I happen to like the dryness of a bowtie Acro :)
 

valkyrievf2x

Senior Member
Correct, these are bowtie lugs.

Apparently a shell with tube lugs would produce more ring / resonance / shell tone because of lower mass, and vice versa. Perhaps not a surprise for more experienced drummers (or drum builders), but nevertheless I found the change in tone interesting

It's a good thing that I happen to like the dryness of a bowtie Acro :)
I didn't realize it would have that big an impact, truth be told. I just liked the way it looked (got the shell, then started piecing it together). Have to keep the internal muffler slightly on to keep it from ringing into next Tuesday (singly ply head).
 

stueybonzo

Junior Member
Hi longgun and tamadrm thanks for the response...I'm talking about the strainer mounting and not the lugs. I understand the bell and cup washers exist for the lugs but it's the P83 strainer fitting I'm looking for answers on. It looks like the tiny screw is threaded through the mounting bracket of the strainer and fixed to the inside of shell with a large washer, a small spring washer and then the hex nut. I'm interested to know if any of you have a washer between the mounting bracket and the shell on the outside. I picked my '67 up like this but I don't seem to see the strainer fixed to the shell like this in any pictures. I'd like my restoration to be as close to the original setup as possible you see ;-)
 

gmiller598

Senior Member
My first drum was a student kit from Ludwig that was brand new around 1988. I don't have the drum any longer but it seems to look a lot like an Acrolite but I seem to think it was a Ludwig Rocker by that time for some reason.

Were there Ludwig Rocker snares made in the same matte gray finish of the Acrolites in the mid to late 80's?
 

dbshorter

Senior Member
Just got my first Acrolite! I found it on Craigslist with a bag and stand, and talked the seller down to $80!! It's a B/O badge and in great shape....I love it.
 

poika

Silver Member
Man these deals you get over there...
In my country, the prices for used Acrolites usually start from 200-250 euros (that's roughly about 270 - 330 dollars)
 

valkyrievf2x

Senior Member
Modified my Bluecrolite today (silly name, I know) with a die cast batter hoop. Sorta. Ordered the hoop, and it turns out it was a snare side hoop.... Can't complain for $20, though....

It is on there as the batter now, and I have to say, I am really liking it. The shell still sounds really open, but that annoying ringing it used to do has been minimized a good bit. The attack (I think that is the right term? The sound from actually hitting the head) seems to be a bit more focused. My wife commented that it seemed louder than usual. Rimshots are painfully loud, too.

Still using an Evans G1 over a Hazy 300. Tuned fairly high, as well.
 

Attachments

longgun

Gold Member
Two time academy award winner Mr. Tom Hanks knows a good snare drum when he sees one. Perhaps he's preparing for his role in an upcoming Neil Peart biopic! BTW, Capt. Phillips = great movie!

eery .......


Modified my Bluecrolite today (silly name, I know) with a die cast batter hoop. Sorta. Ordered the hoop, and it turns out it was a snare side hoop.... Can't complain for $20, though....

It is on there as the batter now, and I have to say, I am really liking it. The shell still sounds really open, but that annoying ringing it used to do has been minimized a good bit. The attack (I think that is the right term? The sound from actually hitting the head) seems to be a bit more focused. My wife commented that it seemed louder than usual. Rimshots are painfully loud, too.

Still using an Evans G1 over a Hazy 300. Tuned fairly high, as well.
The blue along with the tube lugs look great....................but the snare side hoop????................oh well, as long as it sounds good.
 

valkyrievf2x

Senior Member
The blue along with the tube lugs look great....................but the snare side hoop????................oh well, as long as it sounds good.
What is it they call it... a player's drum? Pretty much what she is. I put it on the bottom earlier this evening, but I didn't find the sound to be too different from the regular hoops, so I put it back to its original screwy version, except with a bit lower tuning. The snare slots are now on the side; use them as handles lol.

But yeah, it sounds really good and focused :)
 
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