How frequent do lugs break?

piloto117

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Hey there, I want to make clear that I'm not a drummer, so forgive me if this is a stupid question.
The thing is that I have a Ludwig Acrolite that I keep in a home studio, every now and then some drummers come in and record with their own snare drums. But then again, sometimes some guys eye the acrolite and want to give it a go. Not always, but sometimes they feel they can tune it higher and start to crank it. Just yesterday this same thing happened and the guy broke a lug. This is the third time it has happened, so I'm not sure if this is a frequent thing or an issue with these lugs, or are they really pushing the limits of the drum? I usually keep the snare tuned to G# or A on the snare side and D or E on the batter side. Any comments well appreciated, thank you!
 

jaymandude

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I’ll go first... it happens.... but rarely. Some modern manufacturers are more prone, I’ve seen Tama and Learl lugs crack, but not on an Acrolite. Once maybe, twice unusual. 3X is kinda WTF ?

What kind of music and what level/ professionalism of drummers are you recording ?
 

tillerva

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I've owned probably a dozen acros. The lugs should not break. They are cranking them up too much OR are you using a Falam head? Either way, that ain't right.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I've seen busted Asian-made lugs from Premier & Tama - but a Ludwig bowtie lug? Nope.

Probably way over-tensioned, as others noted.
 

piloto117

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Wow! So it's not that common if ever that these lugs break, it seems. I personally think they are cranking it way too much, but just wanted a bit of a reference. i have to make a mental note to myself when that happens, just to keep an eye on that. Thanks for the feedback guys!
 

dcrigger

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As pointed out earlier - there are heads that could lead to this... what are the heads - brand and model?
 

Speedy Keen

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I have owned and sold a lot of Acrolites. My experience has been that Acrolites from mid 80's to the end of the run on the gray shell drums have weaker lugs that are prone to breaking on the stud that goes into the shell. I have not seen this happening on 60's or earlier 70's Acrolites , but it was a weak link on later models in my opinion.
 

ThomasL

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I have one snare, where a few lug inserts have broken, but I've never heard of the lugs themselves breaking.
 

piloto117

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Using remo ambassador heads, nothing special. I believe my acro is from the 70's, but have to check the serial number to be sure.
 

Rotarded

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i have owned/flipped over a dozen Acrolites and would say that at least 1/3 of them came to me with the heads cranked down far past anything I would ever try. One had a snare side head that was so stretched that the bearing edge was above the hoop. I have seen this on several other metal snares as well recently.
I would surmise the kevlar headed marching snare fad has the younger kids thinking that these drums should be tensioned the same way. It's a shame. I think new the new marching/drum line snares sound like playing on a table top. What happened to the sound of the shell resonance?
 

K.O.

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I don't recall ever seeing a broken lug on any Ludwig or USA Gretsch. Modern* Slingerland and Rogers lugs also seem pretty robust although I've encountered quite few broken Radio King era Slingy lugs and, of course, the earlier brass Rogers b&b lugs are notorious for breaking.

I've heard of problems with Ddrum lugs and also the Gretsch Catalina mini lugs but have never encountered that personally (because I pretty much confine myself to owning new or vintage drums from the big four American makes). I have heard of a few Ludwig Standard/Rocker lugs cracking so I can't let them off the hook entirely but none of mine have broken.

I have several Acros, no issues with any lugs. Ludwig sourced their cast parts from outside suppliers so there always a chance there was a bad batch and you were just unlucky enough to get a drum so equipped, but given that this doesn't seem to be a real widespread issue I would suspect that they may have been over tightened. There's also the chance that the tension rods are too long and if so they can meet in the middle of the lug and at that point any further attempt at tightening them will put crazy stress on the lug casting. One final point, I just now recall that Ludwig did at one point experiment with plastic lugs and those appear to have gone out on acro models, very unlikely you have one of those but they do exist in tiny tiny numbers. People usually discover this when a lug cracks open. I guess that is the exception to my not hearing of any "classic" Ludwig lugs cracking.


*by modern I mean after 1955 for Slingerland and once Rogers converted to die cast lugs in the early 1960s.
 

Polska

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Wow. In almost 40 years of drumming I can say I've never broken a lug or heard of it happening.
 

Tedd

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I've had a couple of lugs on my Hayman floor tom kind of explode on the inside while tightening the head. When I removed the lugs pieces fell out from them. Fortunately I was able to find replacement lugs which I thought would be difficult because of the uniqueness of the lug design.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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Another of my "back when" recollections (sorry): when I still worked in a music store, it wasn't exactly a rarity to replace Ludwig lugs broken in that exact same spot. Some of them were obviously over-tightened, others were not. If I recall correctly, most of those snares were from the 1970s. I don't recall having ever replaced a tom or bass drum lug.

Look at the picture, though, and you can understand why that is the weakest spot in the lug: "Pot" metal with very thin walls.

In the OP's case, though, this has happened more than once, which leads me to think that there are three possibilities:

* This drum received its lugs from a bad batch (weak casting) of lugs

* His drummers are subscribing to the currently-popular "tabletop tight" tuning trend

* Both of the above

GeeDeeEmm
 

Radio King

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I have owned and sold a lot of Acrolites. My experience has been that Acrolites from mid 80's to the end of the run on the gray shell drums have weaker lugs that are prone to breaking on the stud that goes into the shell. I have not seen this happening on 60's or earlier 70's Acrolites , but it was a weak link on later models in my opinion.
+1. I had a late '80s Acro that I took apart to clean/rehab. Four of the 8 lugs had stripped threads at one or both ends when I started reassembling. The threads just disappeared when reattaching to the shell. Very cheap pot metal from that era.
 

marko52

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Wow! I was surprised to see that picture; not what I imagined when I read:"broken lug". I kinda like K.O.'s idea that the tension rods are too long; I could imagine cracking a lug with a bottomed-out rod.............marko
 

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