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#1
jahfester

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I recently inherited my dad's 1969 Ludwig acrolite snare and I want to do it right. I'm looking for a warm, fat tone but I'm pretty inexperienced at tuning drums/replacing snare wires/tightening snare wires. I'm only 21 and, up to this point in my life, have never had to deal with this type of thing before (hard to believe since i've been playing drums for 12 years!). I would always use my buddy's set of Ludwig vistalites and all his stuff sounded great so I never bothered screwing around with it. It was not until I bought/inherited my own set of drums that I began to realize that I was incredibly inexperienced at tuning and taking apart drums! From what I gathered around the forum, Remo Ambassador heads are the way to go for replicating the vintage sound. Is this the right idea for an acrolite snare? Also, what type of snare wires are typically used? The ones on right now are attached by bits of thread and I'm not sure how tight they should be or how to go about tightening them if they need tightening. any advice is welcome!


Thanks,

Joe
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#2
Crud

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Hi Joe, Here is a link I found on the Remo website. Maybe this will help you get started. Tuning Tips by John Riley

I've never owned an acrolite. So maybe someone else here can help you out with some more specifics.

Good luck, Mike
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#3
jahfester

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Thanks for the link, Mike. I'll check it out.

Joe
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#4
biggator

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Unless the stock wires look stretched out, they may not need to be changed. If you want to - Ludwig makes replacements (as does Puresound and others). You'll have to play with tension to see what you like - different people like them at different tensions. I like to tighten it until it starts sounding choked - then back it off until it opens back up.. fairly tight.

As for heads.. Ambassador is fine, or maybe a coated CS.

Acrolites (and their big brother Supras) have a pretty huge tuning range... experiment with it.
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#5
tgregorek

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My son has a 1967 Acrolite, I put a coated ambassador on top and a clear snare bottom. I tune the bottom snare head so that there's tension on it and all the wrinkles are out. Then I tighten it a turn and a half or maybe a full 2 turns. Always going across the drum never around the drum. All lugs need to be the same tension. I then tune the top head tight enough to get the proper bounce and play-ability. it might be 5 or 6 full turns after you have tension on the head. Again always going across the drum never around. If you have even tension on all the lugs it will sound great. If you need to you can adjust the internal muffler just to barely touch the head. The problem you run into tuning a snare drum is when the lugs aren't tuned the same. that's where the boing and rings come from. Then you put tape and moon gel etc. on it to get rid of it. I never have to do anything except use the internal muffler slightly. And that's just for personal taste.
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#6
RyanR

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Be sure there's a little lube action happening on the tension rods. That'll give you some confidence when fiddling. Nothing takes to fun out of tuning like dry threads.

If *I* had an Acrolite right now, I'd use a Ludwig medium Weather Master over a Ludwig snare side.

As mentioned, a decent quality snare drum, tuned well, shouldn't need much (if any) muffling.

My tuning abilities got a whole lot better after buying a Drum Dial. Gives a visual aid to help train your ears.

-Ryan
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#7
lossforgain

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If *I* had an Acrolite right now, I'd use a Ludwig medium Weather Master over a Ludwig snare side.


Do ya need one? ;)
I ended up with multiples...

#8
sonicD

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It's a lot of reading, but maybe the best one-stop drum primer on the net:

http://home.earthlin...ound/index.html

(You can always just go straight to the the snare drum section)


Ambassadors are a fine "default" choice, but Acrolites are aluminum drums and imho a little on the ringy side. I settled on a dryer head for mine - Evans Genera Dry heads (Not the HD Drys) have a built in muffler ring and very small air vents around the outside edge of the head. Very effective for taming those unwanted overtones. Of course, that's just what I like. You'll get as many different opinions as there are heads. Good Luck!
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#9
RyanR

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If *I* had an Acrolite right now, I'd use a Ludwig medium Weather Master over a Ludwig snare side.


Do ya need one? ;)
I ended up with multiples...


LOL! :lol:

Someday I'd like to get a keystone badge Acro... but it's low on the list right now.

...until then I'll make do with my '67 Supra. :)

-Ryan
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#10
jahfester

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Thanks for all the input, guys! I really appreciate it,

Joe
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#11
jahfester

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@biggator
This is one of the issues I have. How do you adjust the tension? Do you just loosen the screws with screwdriver. pull on the snare to tighten, and then tighten the screws back up when you get to a desired tightness? Or is there a more efficient way of adjusting tension? I feel like doing the screw driver thing is a two man job: one to hold the snares at the right amount of tension and one to tighten up the screws... I was wondering if there are any little tricks that I am not aware of...

Edited by jahfester, 09 June 2011 - 11:06 AM.

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#12
biggator

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@biggator
This is one of the issues I have. How do you adjust the tension? Do you just loosen the screws with screwdriver. pull on the snare to tighten, and then tighten the screws back up when you get to a desired tightness? Or is there a more efficient way of adjusting tension? I feel like doing the screw driver thing is a two man job: one to hold the snares at the right amount of tension and one to tighten up the screws... I was wondering if there are any little tricks that I am not aware of...


The knob on the top of the strainer will tighten/loosen the wires in small amounts. When you change heads - you'll have to pull it reasonably tight by hand and then adjust with that knob.
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#13
TheBeachBoy

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I've used the Remo Vintage Ambassador on my '68 Acro and it sounded pretty good, if not a little ringy. This last time around, I used a Ludwig Weathermaster Heavy with Ludwig snare side and really liked the sound. I want to try a Ludwig Medium, but I really like how full the Heavy made it sound.

Definitely check out that Prof. Sound Drum Tuning Bible; I read and re-read that thing a bunch of times when I first started tuning drums, and still do occasionally to re-remember tips and tricks.

As far as the snares go, I keep the strainer fairly loose to give some slack, pull the snare strings and hold them with one hand, then tighten the screws with my other. I try to get both sides pretty even so the snares lay close to center.
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