Modern Acrolites

JayT

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So with the popularity of the Luddy Black Magic snare as a low cost option for a BlackBeauty, I've been checking out the Black Galaxy snares. Ever since I joined this forum, all I heard was "stay away from these drums like the plauge!" But why??

At one time a Keystone Acrolite was seen as a student snare. Nothing the discerning pro would go near. Now, within a year of me purchasing an Acro, these Keystone models are going for well over $200. $300+ at times.

It seems to me, there is a certain attitude, unwarranted, mostly about and towards anything not marketed to the "professional". The new Black Galaxy (Blacrolite) is the same seamless shell as any other Acro. And I'm certain the parts are just as good/crummy as they were in 1978. So why the attitude towards these drums?

I for one won't fall prey. I played a Blacro for the first time the other day, and I must say, for my uses, is better than the Black Magic even. For less the price. (Brass is too loud and ringy for any of my current projects) For the price I spend on a Blacro, once I outfit it with some gold die cast hoops and puresound wires, I'm sure I'll be satisfied.

Why do you think modern Luddy snares are anything less than functional and good sounding?
 

rondrums

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Blackros are great snares. I have never heard a bad one. Has someone had a bad experience with them? I'd like to hear about it.
 

JayT

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Over time I've heard, "The paint chokes the tone" etc. Which, may be true. But I find that sound appealing. I think there's a certain "If it ain't 60's, it's junk" attitude towards these snares.
 

hefty

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The word I had on these from people here was that they are a tad drier than the 60's and 70's ones but are still Acros (i.e. great bang for the buck).
 

Dynaman

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I think the reason for their disfavour is simply when people are asking should I buy a current blackro or a vintage 60's one, the word here is that the vintage one is preferred.

That probably reflects our vintage enthusiasm and preference - all things being equal, go for the vintage one...

Scott
 

Jim P

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I don't own or use any Acro. None of my percussion friends do. If you want to use one fine. My 14 year old percussive freak is standing here next to me laughing.
 

marko52

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I personally prefer the KB ones, but have a blacro that sounds pretty much just like my other. I think they're great drums, priced low, & , after I saw someone strip the paint off one almost effortlesly, I'm lookin' to pick one up to hotrod. They're the real deal in my book. Get one....marko

Who posted that pic with the black paint falling off the shell?
 

K.O.

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I have 2 KB acros, an early 70's model, and a newer Blacro and I like them all. I do give a slight edge to the two KB ones but they both are early ones and have COB hoops. The blacro has the coating but also has heavier hoops and that may actually have more of an effect on the sound than the powder coating. I really like the sound of my blacro though and to me it's just a hair mellower and fatter than the silver ones. The KB ones have just a bit more "zing" in their sound but again I attribute a lot of that to the thin brass hoops. I should try to swap the COB hoops onto the blacro and see what happens.

Last Saturday night I had a gig and put up my brand new DW collector's series aluminum snare (I got it for myself last Christmas, it was on clearance sale dirt cheap at a local music store). I had been playing it at home with my Element set and liked what I heard...but at the gig something was missing and I couldn't wait until we took a pause in our show about halfway through...off went the DW on went a KB acro. The DW just didn't have that "zip" (sorry I'm terrible at describing sounds) that the Acro has.
I was happy again. I have over fifty snare drums and I always bring two snares to a gig, and one is always an Acro (sometimes the Blacro). I know they will work no matter what.

If that amuses a 14 year old...well who cares.
 

Coelacanth

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I'd like to know where you heard "avoid Blacros like the plague"? Certainly not here on this forum. Personally, I think the Blacros look a lot nicer than the battleship-grey Acros, and everything I've heard tells that they sound great...especially the deep model (6.5" I think?). I have a 14 x 5" coming, I'll do a bit of a review when time permits.
 

shuffle

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So with the popularity of the Luddy Black Magic snare as a low cost option for a BlackBeauty, I've been checking out the Black Galaxy snares. Ever since I joined this forum, all I heard was "stay away from these drums like the plauge!" But why??

At one time a Keystone Acrolite was seen as a student snare. Nothing the discerning pro would go near. Now, within a year of me purchasing an Acro, these Keystone models are going for well over $200. $300+ at times.

It seems to me, there is a certain attitude, unwarranted, mostly about and towards anything not marketed to the "professional". The new Black Galaxy (Blacrolite) is the same seamless shell as any other Acro. And I'm certain the parts are just as good/crummy as they were in 1978. So why the attitude towards these drums?

I for one won't fall prey. I played a Blacro for the first time the other day, and I must say, for my uses, is better than the Black Magic even. For less the price. (Brass is too loud and ringy for any of my current projects) For the price I spend on a Blacro, once I outfit it with some gold die cast hoops and puresound wires, I'm sure I'll be satisfied.

Why do you think modern Luddy snares are anything less than functional and good sounding?
Who or where did someone on this forum say stay away for them!!
You must have the wrong forum!
They are great snares and I agree w/ you,they sound better to me than the BM's!
Pat
 

JayT

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I'd like to know where you heard "avoid Blacros like the plague"? Certainly not here on this forum. Personally, I think the Blacros look a lot nicer than the battleship-grey Acros, and everything I've heard tells that they sound great...especially the deep model (6.5" I think?). I have a 14 x 5" coming, I'll do a bit of a review when time permits.
Hah!! You've caught me in an act.
I searched high and low on the forum just now for "Plague" and "Avoid Blacro" to prove my point, and it wasn't until I googled it, I realized I had read just that phrase last night on the pearl forums!! My apologies. I guess I thought I read it here.

All the same, there is a big Vintage lean on this site, and that's why I didn't post this in the Vintage area. And that's cool, I'm a vintage head too, but I just wondered why there wasn't more talk of the newer Luddy stuff that is good, and one day will have us saying stuff like, "Man, back in the day, I would kick those things around! Who'da thunk it??"

it's actually the 6.5 Blacro I played, and I a/b it with a Black Magic and found the Blacro way more to my tastes.

Anybody else got some Blacro love?? Not that I need convincing, but I'd love some fire stoked underneath me.

Also, if you, like JimP "chuckle" at Acros, why?
 

nonagon

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Blacros are great drums...perhaps they get a bad name because they are often owned as first drums by students who don't yet know how to get a good sound from it; with the right heads, snare tension and tuning it makes a world of difference. There is a Blacro at the music school where my jazz band practices and it sounded and felt terrible when I first tried it. It seemed like it was not a very professional instrument. Recently I noticed how the heads were really loose; I tightened up the heads and it opened up significantly - it really sings now, full bodied with a nice crack. Tuning is everything.
 

blujax01

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As some of you know, I have rescued, rebuilt and sold many an Acrolite. The following are the differences I have seen. I am by no means a Ludwig expert and could be way off but here goes:
The Acrolite went through several changes over the years, six that I know of. I will discount the so-called protoype aluminum lug/aluminum hoop drum. This was a miserable failure. A truly unplayable specimen that can be displayed right next to the Gibraltar Catapult bass drum pedal in the Museum of Musical Oddities.


The first generation sported a Keystone badge/clear coat over raw aluminum/baseball bat muffler and P-83. The "holy grail" of Acros, as it were.

* edit: there may be clear aluminum with B/O badges in this next time frame*

The second generation sported a B/O badge, slick light gray paint, a small muffler knob and either the P-83 or P-85.

The third generation was slick darker battleship gray, B/O badge with rounded corners, large knob and P-85. Still used patent 12 strand plastic ended wires

The fourth and fifth generation was B/O badge or B/W Rocker badge, large muffler knob, P-85 and a textured paint. The P-85 went from black face to silver and the holes disappeared. The later Rocker hoops were thicker than the older ones. Head logos changed and wires went from plastic ended 12 strand to snappy 20 strand. I grouped these two as it all seemed to happen at once.

The sixth was the black galaxy, with the Black/White Rocker badge.

* 'nother edit: Guitar Center offered a limited edition Black Galaxy with Imperial lugs. Available in both 5 and 6-1/2".*

And, in my opinion, when each is outfitted with identical wires and heads, there is not a bit of difference in the sound.
 

blujax01

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or Marko....git one an purtty it all up ...


My Johnny Cash Acro....


Peace, Chas




View attachment 65978
Loving this Chas!
I'm hoping to hot rod mine as well.

I've seen a couple of cool treatments, including silk fabric! I wonder if there is enough interest to have an "Acrolite Olympics". Entrants could have their drums evaluated and judged. Best restoration, best mod, best ratrod, etc. Could be fun...

 

TheArchitect

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So with the popularity of the Luddy Black Magic snare as a low cost option for a BlackBeauty, I've been checking out the Black Galaxy snares. Ever since I joined this forum, all I heard was "stay away from these drums like the plauge!" But why??

At one time a Keystone Acrolite was seen as a student snare. Nothing the discerning pro would go near. Now, within a year of me purchasing an Acro, these Keystone models are going for well over $200. $300+ at times.

It seems to me, there is a certain attitude, unwarranted, mostly about and towards anything not marketed to the "professional". The new Black Galaxy (Blacrolite) is the same seamless shell as any other Acro. And I'm certain the parts are just as good/crummy as they were in 1978. So why the attitude towards these drums?

I for one won't fall prey. I played a Blacro for the first time the other day, and I must say, for my uses, is better than the Black Magic even. For less the price. (Brass is too loud and ringy for any of my current projects) For the price I spend on a Blacro, once I outfit it with some gold die cast hoops and puresound wires, I'm sure I'll be satisfied.

Why do you think modern Luddy snares are anything less than functional and good sounding?
Seriously? Where? I have never seen any era of acrolite spoken poorly of, at least not in general terms. Specific drums occasionaly,
 

shuffle

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I'd like to know where you heard "avoid Blacros like the plague"? Certainly not here on this forum. Personally, I think the Blacros look a lot nicer than the battleship-grey Acros, and everything I've heard tells that they sound great...especially the deep model (6.5" I think?). I have a 14 x 5" coming, I'll do a bit of a review when time permits.
Hah!! You've caught me in an act.
I searched high and low on the forum just now for "Plague" and "Avoid Blacro" to prove my point, and it wasn't until I googled it, I realized I had read just that phrase last night on the pearl forums!! My apologies. I guess I thought I read it here.

All the same, there is a big Vintage lean on this site, and that's why I didn't post this in the Vintage area. And that's cool, I'm a vintage head too, but I just wondered why there wasn't more talk of the newer Luddy stuff that is good, and one day will have us saying stuff like, "Man, back in the day, I would kick those things around! Who'da thunk it??"

it's actually the 6.5 Blacro I played, and I a/b it with a Black Magic and found the Blacro way more to my tastes.

Anybody else got some Blacro love?? Not that I need convincing, but I'd love some fire stoked underneath me.

Also, if you, like JimP "chuckle" at Acros, why?
I own several and as stated the 60's Acro 5x14, has the snap and punch I like,they record wonderfully and talk when played live!
My 6.5 Blackro from 2007 has da balls,articulation, and crispness that it's my go-to-snare of all my snares for live work.
Pat
 

Rudy Corona

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I have a newer Blacro and an old 70's Acro. If there is some difference in the sound, well, I can't really hear it. Acros to me are very good, but just short of great. The good thing for me is that they'll work for most things, you can bang them around at gin mill gigs, etc., without worry. Cheap and plentiful!
 

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