Which Ludwig Snare should I get?

Atl MM

Junior Member
Currently, I have my Japanese Oak Custom Snare and a 6.5x14 Ludwig SupraLite. I am going to step it up and purchase a really nice Ludwig snare. I wanted your opinions of what I should get? I am looking at the 5x14 Supraphonic, 5x14 Black Beauty, or the Acrolite. I realize the Black Beauty is regarded as one of the best, but I really want something that is different from what I have, but versatile for all types of music. I mostly play rock and no jazz. What should I go for. I don't need anything fancy like the hand-hammered versions. Just the standard design.

Supra or Acro. All the snare you'll ever need, just depends on what you want to spend. I scored my 70s Acro for $212.
I would check out a Copperphonic before making any final decisions. I played a 6.5x14 version a few months ago and it blew me away! Tuned medium-high, it was very crisp and articulate, yet warm and full-sounding. Almost like a best-of-both-worlds between a truly great metal snare and a fantastic wood snare.
Any of the three you mentioned would be great, and be a nice compliment to your other snares, since you already have oak and steel. I would go with your gut on this one, there's no wrong answer. I own a 5x14 Black Beauty, and if someone took away all my other snares, I would be angry but I could easily get by with just the BB for the rest of my life.
I think I am leaning more towards the Supra 5x14. Next question. Does it come in 8 and 10 lug and which is preferred?
I think I am leaning more towards the Supra 5x14. Next question. Does it come in 8 and 10 lug and which is preferred?
The Supra only comes in 10 lug.

There is a recent release of Black Beauties that come in 8 lug. But I prefer the sound of 10 because it's more focused.
You don't know what you're missing maaaannnn
I'm no stranger to Supraphonic splendor. I've recorded with them a few times (lots of studios have Supras on hand), and I've encountered them in backline scenarios as well. Their tone is superb no matter how they're tuned, and they stay nice and dry as a rule, which is exactly what I like in a snare. The Supra is the best Ludwig metal snare I've ever heard, with the acknowledgement that "best" is an arbitrary term.

The Supra has only two drawbacks in my book: It lacks a Pearl badge, and it's made of metal. I had a 14"x5" Pearl Sensitone aluminum for a while (Pearl's Supra equivalent, if you will). It was a great drum, but I've gravitated toward wood snares and don't foresee a shift in that affiliation. Wood has significantly more warmth than ping. I grew intolerant of conspicuous ping quite some time ago.
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I've got a 14x5 Supraphonic and it'll do anything that I need a non-wooden snare to do. If you've got a wooden snare that you like, the Supraphonic will cover almost everything else. It's not a 6.5" Black Beauty rock monster, but it has "that" sound that's been on hundreds of hit records and everybody knows. I also have an Acrolite that sounds very close to the Suprphonic, but it just doesn't quite hit the same spot. However, I had the Acrolite for about 20 years before getting the Supraphonic and I had no complaints.
I've just picked up a hammered 6.5 Black Beauty. Haven't had chance to hit it yet but will be doing over the next couple of days :)
Still have not pulled the trigger. A couple of questions. First, is there a tonal difference between the standard SupraPhonic and the hammered version? Second, is buying a B-Stock snare a bad decision? Thanks!
I have four Supraphonics so you probably know how I feel about them. Two of mine are mid sixties and sound the best to me. Both have original Ludwig Orchestra batter Weathermaster heads. I also have a '76 and an '85. The '85 is a Monroe badge model with heavier 2.3mm hoops. Other than rim shots it sounds very very close to the others. All sound good regardless of how you tune them. Plan B might be an Acrolite. I bought a '66 with original heads and it is in fact my favorite snare in my arsenal. It has that distinctive Acrolite honk that is unmistakable at high tunings. I'd go with the 5" versions, to me they are much more versatile. Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck!
I’m not sure a Supraphonic will be drastically different from your supralite in terms of sound. For something different, I’d recommend a copperphonic, black beauty or raw brass with copperphonic being my first choice.