Is Ludwig missing the boat on Acros?

charlesm

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I see today that Ludwig is apparently releasing a new line of USA "Acro" snares with brass and copper shells...basically, Acrolites with those shells.

Not sure how I feel. Kinda cool on paper, even though, to me, Acro means aluminum alloy.

Anyway...

The 6.5 models have 10 lugs.

I've been trumpeting this a little lately around here, but, IMO, the classic Acro design should be 8-lug snares. 8 lugs is not just a design but a sound...and not an inferior sound. It's a different sound. More open. A wider "spread."

So now we have new 6.5" Acros with cool shell options but still 10 lugs.

And it kinda makes me wonder: How cool would it be if we instead had those brass and copper shells with 8 LUGS (as the "Acro thing") as opposed to the same 10-lug Supra shell?

It just seems redundant. And it seems to pit the Acro and Supra more in competition against each other based on cost-effectiveness as opposed to basing the choice on 8-lug vs. 10. In essence, it seems like this would illogically undercut sales of the more-expensive Supra.

I guess I'm just writing out of frustration here. If I were in charge of r&d at Ludwig, Supra would be my 10-lug line and Acro would be my 8-lug line, across all shell materials.

I mean, how great would it be to have the option of brass and copper 6.5s with 8 lugs??

I don't accept the premise that it saves them significant cost to just recycle the 10-lug shell. It would be nothing in this day and age for Ludwig to set up drilling for both 8 and 10 lugs...just like they do with the 5" shell!!

Unfortunately, I just see this all as a huge missed opportunity for Ludwig to offer some extremely cool 8-lug snares. And in this time when there has been a ton of renewed appreciation for the 8-lug design, followed suit by companies like C&C, George Way, and many more, I scratch my head and just wish Ludwig's finger was a little more on the pulse.
 

tubelugs

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Not the first time Luddie has screwed the marketing pooch. In the ’80s they went from #1 to #0 in field drums because designs changed and they never caught up. Their low-end brass snares use different brass shells than the BBs but still chew away at their market. Sounds like they’re doing the same thing now with copper, which many consider the best-sounding Ludwig snare in production.

Your idea of an 8-lug series and a 10-lug series makes sense from a marketing standpoint. Clear differentiation, assuming the 8-luggers are gettting the cheaper shells. I agree that depth should not affect which lug choices are available, all else being equal.
 

Targalx

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If Ford can call its new all electric 4-door SUV the Mustang (Mach E), then I suppose Ludwig can confuse the heck out of all of us, too.
 

Matched Gripper

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I see today that Ludwig is apparently releasing a new line of USA "Acro" snares with brass and copper shells...basically, Acrolites with those shells.

Not sure how I feel. Kinda cool on paper, even though, to me, Acro means aluminum alloy.

Anyway...

The 6.5 models have 10 lugs.

I've been trumpeting this a little lately around here, but, IMO, the classic Acro design should be 8-lug snares. 8 lugs is not just a design but a sound...and not an inferior sound. It's a different sound. More open. A wider "spread."

So now we have new 6.5" Acros with cool shell options but still 10 lugs.

And it kinda makes me wonder: How cool would it be if we instead had those brass and copper shells with 8 LUGS (as the "Acro thing") as opposed to the same 10-lug Supra shell?

It just seems redundant. And it seems to pit the Acro and Supra more in competition against each other based on cost-effectiveness as opposed to basing the choice on 8-lug vs. 10. In essence, it seems like this would illogically undercut sales of the more-expensive Supra.

I guess I'm just writing out of frustration here. If I were in charge of r&d at Ludwig, Supra would be my 10-lug line and Acro would be my 8-lug line, across all shell materials.

I mean, how great would it be to have the option of brass and copper 6.5s with 8 lugs??

I don't accept the premise that it saves them significant cost to just recycle the 10-lug shell. It would be nothing in this day and age for Ludwig to set up drilling for both 8 and 10 lugs...just like they do with the 5" shell!!

Unfortunately, I just see this all as a huge missed opportunity for Ludwig to offer some extremely cool 8-lug snares. And in this time when there has been a ton of renewed appreciation for the 8-lug design, followed suit by companies like C&C, George Way, and many more, I scratch my head and just wish Ludwig's finger was a little more on the pulse.
It’s all about marketing to maximize profit. The Acrolite was originally marketed as an inexpensive entry level student drum that sold with a concert stand, carrying case, Gladstone practice pad and a pair of sticks. The great sound of the drum and high demand of players over the decades influenced Ludwig to turn it into something else.
 
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Cauldronics

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This brings up the question of the difference between Ludwig snares. We have the Black Beauty which is brass, brass Black Magic, brass Suiraphonic and now a brass Acrolite. Many of us might know the difference between each model (I don’t) but how does the average drummer make a choice between them?

I agree that what makes an Acro and Acro is the aluminum shell. Ludwig is muddying the waters. Are they doing it to capitalize on the popularity of the model name?

is there a good reason anyone would want a brass Acro?
 

tubelugs

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This brings up the question of the difference between Ludwig snares. We have the Black Beauty which is brass, brass Black Magic, brass Suiraphonic and now a brass Acrolite. Many of us might know the difference between each model (I don’t) but how does the average drummer make a choice between them?

I agree that what makes an Acro and Acro is the aluminum shell. Ludwig is muddying the waters. Are they doing it to capitalize on the popularity of the model name?

is there a good reason anyone would want a brass Acro?
Welcome to the lot, sir! Now what kind of beauty can I put you in today?
 

CC Cirillo

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Count me as one who would prefer that the folks in Monroe simply distinguish the lines with Acros having 8 lug bow ties and Supras having 10 lug imperials.

That alone can separate the models and then they can make the shells out any material they wish....

But I’m keeping my Acrophonic, which is either a hammered Acrolite with imperial lugs or a hammered 402 without chrome plating, depending how one sees it.
 

Browny

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AFAIK, the 6.5" Acrolite has always had 10 lugs.
Yeah, exactly. The modern 6.5” Acros are, for arguments sake/on paper, the same as the OG ones except missing the muffler.

To me, the Acro is an anodised or powder coated aluminium shell with 8 bow ties on a 5” and 10 on a 6.5”, triple flange hoops and a normal strainer/butt.

Supra the chrome plated, 10 imperial lug equivalent across all sizes.

I guess there’s scope to ‘disregard’ the aluminium part and follow the rest of the formula, just like they did with the Supra years ago, giving us the brass-phonic, copper-phonic, titanium ‘chief’, acro-phonic and whatever else they’ve made.


Although I do think the acro versions should keep a ‘low-key’ finish to the shell, be it anodised, painted, brushed, raw, etc. No chrome/nickel plating or anything else like that.
 

2000dan2000

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felis

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Duh - I posted before scrolling down and seeing the thread about it.

It probably would help if Ludwig would update their site once in a while. ;)

Makes me wonder what other new stuff they have that I don't know about.
 
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Seb77

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Note how they avoid talking about seams ;)

I always wondered why a deeper shell had more lugs.

Wonder how the 8 lug BB compares to a 10 lug one with tube lugs?
 

K.O.

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The 6.5" deep Acros have always had ten lugs going back to the very rare NYC Board of Education drums that are highly coveted. This conversation has come up several times about why the deeper drum didn't have 8 lugs instead of ten. That is really the main difference between the acro and the supra in the 5" versions. I suppose the chrome plating and/or powder coating may play a part as well but it's the same shell so the lug count probably is the primary reason for differences in sound. For whatever reason Ludwig has chosen to stick with 10 lugs on the deeper model, IMO missing the boat on having it be a more unique offering for those of us who like 8 lug drums. Perhaps the 8 lug BB is a sign of things to come and there might be an 8 lug deep acro somewhere down the line.

As far as the new offerings in brass and copper, Ludwig has their metal shells made by an outside supplier (as they did back in the Chicago days) and the shells come in pre-punched for the hardware by the company that spins them. So this is probably a case of shifting some shells made for the 10 lug Supraphonic type brass and copper drums (and already punched for ten lugs) and finishing them a bit differently and putting on bow-ties instead of imperials....viola! a new model to sell.

Again, 8 lug versions would be of more interest to many of us, being a more unique offering than just a supra wearing bow-ties
 

swarfrat

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The coveted status of BOE drums pretty much screws the 8 lug crowd I think. But it ignores the fact that these are coveted because of their rairity and not because of the permutation. It's the inverted flying Jenny of snare drums. From a product line standpoint I think an 8 lug aluminum 6.5" would be killer.
 


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