A 6.5 Supralite is finally in my hands

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
It was other (actually dumb) factors rather than cost that kept me from getting it before, but I just said the heck with it, and got it (after thinking/talking about it for 6 months).

It's been a little bit, so here's what I think after playing around with it.

This is a GREAT sounding drum, which I had actually known since May.

Actually, I've had 2 of these.
I had one, for 4 days, and the shop called and asked if I would give it up for a guy going on a 2 month tour that needed a good metal snare fast.

They couldn't get one to the shop quick enough, so I said OK, and the new one came in on Friday.
They actually got 2 of the 6.5's, and another 5.5. They sell fast.
I got 2 16" hoops I needed "for my trouble" (saved 30 bucks!) too, so it was a great deal!

Anyhow....
I really like this 1.5 thick steel shell. It's my first steel shell too.
The sound of the SL overall is a little more "contained" than the seamless shell.
It's got the crack, the sensitivity, and solid feel, but it has a shorter ring length than a seamless shell.
MOST people prefer that type of sound anyway.
I'll usually put a small slice of moongel on the edge of the COB, or BB's to make sure the ring length isn't too much, but I won't have to do that at all with the SL. I think that's pretty cool.

I'm finding the tone of this shell sitting between the Brass and Bronze shells too, which is very cool.

I also A/B'd it with my Hammered 402.
By tweaking around a bit, I got them pretty darn close in tone and ring, so the SL has a nice range of character depending on head selection and different tensioning. It's not a one trick pony.

I won't say it sounds exactly like a 402, because it has a deeper shell tone, and different ring, but it has some of the characteristics, and you could get it close enough if you wanted to.
I like the character the SL has on it's own, so I won't be trying to make it sound like a 402.

With the Supralite that came in Friday, I put a Hazy Amb on it for kicks because the butt plate is high enough (it's high enough on the new Acro too) for the tighter tension I prefer on the bottom.
...Eh, I like the no collar clearer head I use more. The hazy just seems a little dull compared to what I usually use.
The stock head has a crimped hoop, and it sounds a little livelier to me too. Just my taste, but I did notice the change in sound.
It still sounds really good, but when you get picky about it... I won't be buying another Hazy Ambassador.

Since I got this "new one" in a box, I did a good once over on it too.
All the screws inside were tight, the rods went in smoothly (on both drums) and it tuned up easily.

The price of this drum is the icing on the cake.
I've recently seen a Hammered version of the 400 (not even the 6.5) on eBay for $500+, and the SL is everywhere for $179... Unless you're craving "the Ludwig MoJo" of a 402, or BB.... it might be hard to justify the extra $2-400 in all cases.

This snare has a vibe I really dig too. It sounds and feels great playing it, so for me, this was an awesome purchase.
I like the little badge too. It's different and cool.

One thing I find odd though is the key rods on the throw.
It's convenient, but I noticed it seemed to take more pressure than the P-86 (on all my other snares) to secure the cord.
If I could change it out for P-86, I would. Could be that I am just used to it, but whatever, it's a minor thing--which most people would prefer anyway.

I can say the BB's, and COB aren't going anywhere, but the SL is one I'll take on a gig ( a bunch) and not wish I brought something else.
It's a great drum and I'll be happy playing it, however, you can't beat the instant cred I've gotten from FOH/side monitors by having a great sounding BB ready to kick butt :)
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Oh jeeze. Just when I thought I had my GAS under control you and Zardoss have to start with this Supralite nonsence. You're an enabler Crafton!

Seriously though, How does it respond at lower tuning? My biggest problem with the Supras are how dry they are, I like a little more ring to my snares. I gather the strainer doesn't have the same hole pattern at the P85/86, could I trouble you to measure it? I'm wondering if an aftermarket replacement cound be found...
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Oh jeeze. Just when I thought I had my GAS under control you and Zardoss have to start with this Supralite nonsence. You're an enabler Crafton!

QUOTE]

Ha trust me, Karl is a big bully. He made me get one first, then got my take on it before he got his!! (Best advice on buying a snare drum I ever received.) Please karl don't start telling me what Porsche to get.
 

zarrdoss

Gold Member
Oh jeeze. Just when I thought I had my GAS under control you and Zardoss have to start with this Supralite nonsence. You're an enabler Crafton!

Seriously though, How does it respond at lower tuning? My biggest problem with the Supras are how dry they are, I like a little more ring to my snares. I gather the strainer doesn't have the same hole pattern at the P85/86, could I trouble you to measure it? I'm wondering if an aftermarket replacement cound be found...

Go for it get the 8 x 14! lol. the hole patterns are not the same as P-85/86. I really dont know of any direct replacements for it either as I have contemplated replacing the one on my Black Magic but I have never had any problems with it or the one on my Supralite.
They do great at any tuning, well on my 6.5 x 14 that is, when placed side by side at the store with a Supraphonic same tuning I liked the Supralite more, but again my tastes. Still contemplating the 8"

Congratulations for the third time Karl!
 
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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Haha! Enabler-smabler.... ;-P

The SL responded well to any tuning I had, getting to my "usual" tensioning/sound.
I got the sound and character I wanted out of it pretty easily. It's actually more sensitive than I originally thought too. The snares DO respond to a fingernail tap cleanly.
The cord they put on is pretty nice too, but I switched it out for the Gold cord I know holds up really strongly.

I liked the Black Magic snares, and was going to get a 6.5 Stainless Steel, but I couldn't justify spending $300+ for another snare.
Not because it was $300, but because my usual MO for years had been, I'll like a snare, and use it at home or whatever, and it'll sit on a shelf because I ALWAYS used a BB or the COB (depending on kit color) for a gig.
I want drums I'll USE, not stuff that looks cool on a shelf, so I sold off a bunch of stuff this last year or so....enabling me to get new stuff I will use :) I enable myself haha!

When I heard the SL in person, I was blown away by the fat, solid sound, and that throaty deeper character compared to a 402. It had great projection, and the sound was true, close to it, and several feet away.

The BM line is cool too, but before they had the Steel/Stainless Steel shell, I already had 2 Brass BB's and a COB. Besides, I'm not a real fan of die cast hoops, so it wasn't on my radar at all.
I kinda liked the Black Chrome 2.3's and Tubes on the SS BM, but when Kevin Packard said the regular Steel had a slightly deeper sound (heard and liked the SL at the show) than the Stainless had anyway, I nixed the BM version.

For my one band, the SL will be my #1 along with the COB, and I'll use whatever sounds better in the room to me that day. I'm not really feeling the SL is a "cheaper" drum than the Brass Edition snare. I'm more used to the tube lug size on the USA snare, but other than the throw (and who sees that?) there's nothing that makes the SL seem like a drum that doesn't cost as much as the Brass snare.
I may still put a P-86 on the SL. It would be one small hole, so big deal. I just like that throw off, and I don't care about having key screws on it at all.

I like this drum so much I may sell the CM 6.5, and the Maple split (Mini-Classic) lug snares I have.
They sound kickass, but wood snares just aren't what gets me fired up I guess. Bronze is about as "woody" a sound I am drawn too, because I have only taken the 6.5 CM to ONE gig, but haven't even thought to do it again, and I got the drum in '07.

I listened to some YT vids of Hammered BB's and the sound of the SL (6.5 anyway) sounds more like the Hammered version of the Seamless shells than the smooth.

This Steel shell has got me interested in the Bronze import Ludwig 6.5 (LM306). I was interested before, but I didn't have much experience with a seamed 6.5 shell before now. Those are still out there, but not real common.
I've actually just been watching for a stupid cheap deal TBH on that one though. Haven't run across one, but my Ludwig "luck" can't cover everything :)

I might check with the shop to see if they can get one from Ludwig though--they owe me for more stuff that sold in the last couple days. No OOP is very nice thing :)!
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I'll look on the box. I think it's Taiwan too.

It was made across the hall from the Worldmax shell department haha!
 
Karl, i stopped by H&B and checked these out with Randy. the 15x5 is killer. i'm gonna have to get the 15x5 and the 14x8.
steel snare drums are the most under rated. i have a Pearl Sensitone Elite 14x6.5. i play this more then my supraphonic.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
was looking at this snare hard but went with a PDP/DW 20ply..it comes today..hope I dont regret the choice I made.. the SL seems like a great deal.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Yeah John, Randy said none of the sizes stay on the shelf long.
I'm sure the guy that got the one I had is enjoying it. The new one from Ludwig came in that Friday too. It's a cool sounding snare. I really like it.

I think the seamed shell is actually more appealing in sound (right off the bat) than a seamless TBH. Since there's not as much ring, it sunds more like a drum you don't need to mess with to get a sound that works easily (for any experience level). Not surprised you like the Pearl Sensitone, it's a great snare. I like Pearl's Tube lugs too on the Sensitone. I should have bought Chris B's (that worked there) 5.5 Bronze when I had the chance a few years back...

I'm going to put a P-86 on the SL because the throw on mine just kept loosening every couple songs.
SEE! Everyone has good luck with the generic (non-Ludwig) style throws, and trouble with P-85 and 86, and I have the opposite issue haha!
9 P-86's, and not a single issue ever. 1 throw like this, and I have to think about the strainer!

Figures haha!
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I "fixed" the loosening issue with a bit of teflon tape.
I may either still do a P-86, or one of the Drum Foundry throws. They look kinda funky, but my drum builder friend said they are great.

Anyone have experience with this throw?
Here is a link:
http://www.drumfoundry.com/p-1211-rck-throwoff-chrome-plated-rckthrow-chr.aspx

I'm going to put regular snappy snare wires (20), and my usual Remo No Collar snare side head on the drum this weekend, and see what it does with them.
The regular Hazy Ambassador is OK, but it just seems too mushy sounding. Not as crisp as I am used to at all.
The wires that come with the snare are pretty nice, about Puresound quality it seems, but I'm looking for a little more "dirt" on this particular snare.
It basically sounds "perfect", with the right amount of snare sound, attack, tone, etc... but I want a little more rough character from this one for the band I am using it in.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I did my own search, and I did see one of these durrrr. I totally forgot.
It seems pretty nice, and the pics posted of the Black Chrome version jogged my memory too.

It's been a few months since the thread this throw was discussed, so if niburja, markdrum, or mandrew chimed in on how they've worked since installing, that would be cool.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I like the RCK. It's solid and smooth. I haven't seen any slippage and I'm pretty rough on snares. I tried both the Ludwig cord and the ribbon and it handled them both with no problems. I've got a build coming up and I've also been thinking of swapping out the throw on my Supralite. In both cases I'll probably use this throw and butt. For the price you can't beat them.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Cool, thanks guys!
I like the standard butt plate fine, but I was thinking the matching RCK butt plate would match & look kinda cool too. No reason to "cheap out" on it, instead of doing the whole thing :)

Thanks again!
 
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