Is Ludwig missing the boat on Acros?

drumtimejohn

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And I believe the chrome plating is an “Anti-Galvanic Finish”.
 

feelyat

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Back to the original post, the two drums advertised don't seem to actually be Acrolites. Instead, they say "Acro Brass" and "Acro Copper". The shells are also clearly different from the Copperphonic and Black Beauty shells. They're thinner, for one (1mm). While Ludwig appears to be playing a bit with the acro name by having bowties instead of imperials, these seem to be something altogether new.

Any idea why they come with a P86? That seems to be the strangest piece.
 

K.O.

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Any idea why they come with a P86? That seems to be the strangest piece.
Maybe with their newer throw off (P88?) available they aren't selling too many P86s so this is a way to use some stock up.

That is the Ludwig way.
 

5 Style

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I get the feeling that Acros were the cheap line back in the day. I'd venture to guess then that they're cheap to make, but you wouldn't necessarily figure that as they're much more expensive these days (in relative terms). I could believe that since the world has figured out that these are nice sounding drums and that theirs a demand for them that Ludwig doesn't want to price them too competitively because that would mean that might be taking sales away from more expensive models they offer. Now they cost more and the truly inexpensive snares that they sell are more likely to sound as if they are...

I agree though that it seems pretty silly of Ludwig to confuse the lines that way. Acrolite is known so well as their 8 lug aluminum snare drum, available in various depths, with a raw finish or with a speckled black enamel one, that it seems like an odd choice to offer it in anything but that. It won't matter much to me as I already have one, a pretty ordinary Olive badge one, but it sounds good and it'll likely be the only one that I'll own. I've almost never bought any gear new (at least not for a very long time) so any extra drum gear that I'd be likely to pick up wouldn't be the latest line anyway. I think that I paid just $80 for it in the 90s but those things are worth more now.
 

charlesm

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I get the feeling that Acros were the cheap line back in the day. I'd venture to guess then that they're cheap to make, but you wouldn't necessarily figure that as they're much more expensive these days (in relative terms). I could believe that since the world has figured out that these are nice sounding drums and that theirs a demand for them that Ludwig doesn't want to price them too competitively because that would mean that might be taking sales away from more expensive models they offer. Now they cost more and the truly inexpensive snares that they sell are more likely to sound as if they are...
I guess this is part of the baffling thing. Ludwig now has two different lines of seamless brass AND copper USA 6.5" 10-lug snares. The less-expensive version is really only slightly less so.

Are they just being sorta nice? You know..."Let's give people the option of slightly-more-affordable 10-lug brass and copper snares for those who can't afford Supraphonics." Again, though...these Acros are still pretty pricey drums.

Then maybe they're playing a perception game here with a little self-competition. Check out the "Acro" versions...they're "more affordable" than the Supraphonic. So, some people will be fine with the Acro while others will just have to shell out for the "real deal" COB Supra and Copperphonic.

Maybe this will equal more net sales.

Acrolite is known so well as their 8 lug aluminum snare drum, available in various depths...
No. The 5x14 is known as the 8-lug and the 6.5 is 10 lugs. And, yes, that is per tradition.

If it were up to me, in this case, I would dispense with the tradition. I would have it be that any snare drum with Imperial lugs is 10-lug and any with bowtie lugs is 8-lug. And I would market the validity of the 8-lug design as a sound option vs. 10. Not better, just different.

I would create a new product heading: something like the "Ludwig Classic 8" snare line. Under that would fall Acrolites (all now having 8 lugs) and, again, any and all snare drums with bowtie lugs, be they metal or wood shelled.

OTOH, anything deemed part of the "Supraphonic" line would be 10-lug/Imperials, thereby maintaining the Supra tradition.

There. Now you'd have two distinct--and still distinctly "Ludwig"--lines of great snare drums of various shell materials. And you'd have the choice between 8-lug and 10-lug in either 5" or 6.5"...a good choice to offer in our current times of 8-luggers being very much in fashion.
 

charlesm

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Also, simply stated, it would benefit Ludwig to understand that a huge reason for the Acrolite's resurgence in popularity is specifically because of the SOUND of the 5x14 model and its 8 lugs. It's not just because of its affordability vs. the Supra. Players have recognized that it has a distinct sound. Bring that to the 6.5" version and I believe they will have a huge winner, especially in a variety of shell materials.

But if they're just banking on the niche popularity of the rare BOE model, or playing an aforementioned game of competing against their own product, I believe they're missing an opportunity.

It's all beating dead horses at this point, of course. But it's just that the idea of 8-lug 6.5" Acrolites/Acros is too tantalizing. You can practically hear how great those drums would be. Arggh! C'mon, Ludwig!! :icon_lol:
 

Elvis

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Sure, but they had some confusing uses of the Acrolite name. Such as the Ludwig Standard metal snare:
View attachment 472817

In 1969, they considered Acrolite to be a finish (unplated metal), rather than a material.

Also, in 1964, they called Acrolite a "wonder metal"
View attachment 472826
I don't think they meant that Acrolite was a finish, but rather, the Standard series snare drum had a finish like that also found on the Acrolite.
That's how it reads to me, anyway.
I forgot about that old introduction ad. It seems indeed, they did call the material "Acrolite", in the beginning.
 

Elvis

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The 5x14 is known as the 8-lug and the 6.5 is 10 lugs. And, yes, that is per tradition.
Only going back to the introduction of the Black Galaxy finished Acrolite's, commonly referred to as "Blacrolite's".
Before then, the Acrolite was only available as a 14x5 8 lug snare drum.
It was the aluminum shelled version of the Jazz Festival.

Elvis
 

lossforgain

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Only going back to the introduction of the Black Galaxy finished Acrolite's, commonly referred to as "Blacrolite's".
Before then, the Acrolite was only available as a 14x5 8 lug snare drum.
It was the aluminum shelled version of the Jazz Festival.

Elvis
Aren’t you leaving out the vintage BOE 6.5 drums though?
 

drumtimejohn

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Let’s also not forget the 5x14 10 lug silver keystone badge Blacro.

Did Ludwig miss the boat? Since 1963 an Acrolite in any lug number, type of lug (bowtie, imperial, or standard), shell dimension, seamless or seamed, beaded or no bead, painted or not, COB or COS hoops, era of strainer and butt plate, or style of badge was a non-chromed aluminum shell. By introducing an alternative shell material Ludwig strayed from the only constant. To me, that shows little insight or at least appreciation for the Acrolite as we knew it (1963-2019).
 
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