Ludwig Supraphonic pitting question

Radio King

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I seem to recall a recent comment somewhere that implied that Ludwig has sorted out the chrome pitting issue on their modern Supras. Does anybody know whether this is indeed fact? I know it's been difficult to get chrome to remain adhered properly to aluminum over time. That said, I once owned a 1968 LM400 that never had any plating issues, so I'm assuming it's possible.
 

Rotarded

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The chrome flaking has more than one cause. I am sure that the plating process has changed throughout the years, but I doubt there is a permanent solution. Chrome repels aluminum on the molecular level. That is why the layer with copper first as a boundary layer. If that layer of copper is thick enough, it will deter the chrome from reacting with the aluminum. The thickness of that layer is dictated by the cost in both dollars and time. It's no surprise that many of these drums from the 60's through the 70's are like this as Ludwig was simply trying to get them out the door as fast as they could. As well as they were selling, there was no real reason to make changes to the process throughout the 80's into the 90's.
That being said, other causes of flaking of chrome and the pitting of the aluminum are in play. Expansion and contraction of metals, Humidity, Salt, and external forces that damage the layers can cause pitting. I have a 1964 Supra that has a "perfect" shell, and another 1964 that has severe pitting. Were they plated differently? Who knows. Did they live in very different environments? Yes they did. The "perfect" one was played and stored very carefully over time, as witnessed by the near mint condition of the Kit that it was born / lived it's past 50 years /came to me, with.
 
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Tigerdrummer

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Does pitting have any impact on the ultimate sound of the drum?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I've owned new Supras (less than 10 years old) that had pitting. Obviously I've had vintage snares with the same issue but my 1965 6.5" Supra is still pristine!

My 70's B/O LM402 has some major acne but is set up like Bonzo's and sounds spot on (as does my '69 5x14), so ugly yes but no effect on sound.
 

Radio King

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Does pitting have any impact on the ultimate sound of the drum?
No, purely aesthetic. But it's an issue for me to buy a brand new drum knowing that it *might* look like it rolled off the back of a pickup truck after a few years. I was really hoping Ludwig had it sorted out, but it sounds like they're still relying on the same formula. RickP told me yesterday that he knows a dealer that recently got in a new Supra that arrived pitted right out of the box. Not good.
 

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