Aluminium snares

Merlin5

Gold Member
I'm quite interested in aluminium snare drums at the moment. I know there's still a lot of popularity with the Supraphonic and Acrolite which I've listened to a lot of on youtube. They both sound good to me and sometimes I think the Supra sounds better and sometimes the Acrolite.

But I've also listened to other aluminium snares. Yamaha, Tama SLP, and Dixon. They all have the same centre bead design of the Ludwigs that runs around the centre line of the shell. They all sound great, good bark on the rimshots, and I'm not sure they sound different to me from the Ludwigs. So what exactly is so special about the Ludwigs compared to other brand aluminium snares that should make me want to spend similar money as a brand new drum, plus take on the wear and tear, chrome pitting and not so great P85 of an old snare drum? In other words, would you say to me "no definitely get an Acro/Supra!"?

By the way, little story. I owned a Ludwig 400 in the 1980s which eventually got stolen. I bought it because it was the same that Gadd used. It was a 1967 model. I only just found out it was a Supraphonic! In the UK, it was always just called the Ludwig 400 so I had no idea it was actually an LM400 and had never heard of Supraphonic. I never played rimshots back then and tuned it low like Gadd did and added a damping ring, so never got to play and hear it the way I would like to today with higher tuning and rimshots.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
The Tama Starphonic aluminum is better than any Ludwig drum to my ears (yes, this is obviously just one man's preference). I do believe Tama has a big edge on quality. If money is not a concern, go for the Joyful Noise Luminary. Very special instrument.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
It all comes down to budget. If you want to spend $100 at shopgoodwill.com and get an Acro, there's no shame in it. If you want get the Supra sound without the burden of the cost, the P85, and pitting in 35 years, get an Oriollo. If you want the real deal, buy the real deal. If you want to get a posh modern drum that captures the essence of the Supra, look at Dunnett's offerings.

Most other aluminum drums are different beasts with their own unique attributes, and are sometimes more interesting than the Supra. I'm a sucker for the classics, and use a Black Beauty and a GW Studio Maple. I've never had reason to complain about either.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
Yeah, money is unfortunately a bit limited right now but I'm intending to sell my brass piccolo. All those drums you guys mentioned are nice but quite expensive and seem to be in 6" depth. I think I want to stick with 14 x 5 like the Acrolite and Supra.

Actually, I just watched Adam Deitch promoting a Tama Starclassic kit and Aluminium Starphonic snare which sounds nice. Then I watched him in another video playing live and I thought, wow that snare sounds awesome. Turns out he's playing a '67 Supra. I think my mind is almost made up, I'll probably go for a Supraphonic. This is that video.

https://youtu.be/YcPTmst0wSY

Hmm, that said, this snare sounds really great too. What is it? Is it also a Starphonic? https://youtu.be/yO_YRwCBu_w
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
Hmm, that said, this snare sounds really great too. What is it? Is it also a Starphonic? https://youtu.be/yO_YRwCBu_w

That snare is a Supraphonic but with tube lugs, or possibly a Supralite (which is steel but also has tube lugs). Nice snares both in 5 x 14.

Funny the Starphonic snare in his setup is off to the far right hand side, not being used.

I'd agree any Starphonic is better built than a Supra, but doesn't sound the same. Something about that snare.....
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I grew up on 5" Supraphonics, but when I went to a 6.5", that was it - that size is a killer for me, and it fits so many musical styles well, I love mine.

You can get aluminum drums from so many different makers, but the reality is, everybody is trying to make a drum to top the ol' Supraphonic. Just like how every guitar maker is really just chasing Fender and Gibson (regardless if Fender or Gibson is making them "better"). So I'd stick with your old LM400. Parts are readily available, and it's the lowest maintenance drum out there. There are a few boutique snare strainers that match the holes for the venerable P-85 too, so you can always try to improve on that if so desired - I tried the Dunnett strainer and thought that was really cool. But my new 6.5 is totally stock with the P-85 and I'm going to leave it that way because it works great.

I also had Acrolites and discovered that those are just as good as having a Supra - so you could go with one of those if money is a real issue. My last Acrolite I bought for $85 on eBay.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
That snare is a Supraphonic but with tube lugs, or possibly a Supralite (which is steel but also has tube lugs). Nice snares both in 5 x 14.

Funny the Starphonic snare in his setup is off to the far right hand side, not being used.

I'd agree any Starphonic is better built than a Supra, but doesn't sound the same. Something about that snare.....
Sorry, that's NOT a Supraphonic, it is not a Supralite. That is the Tama SLP Super-Aluminium 14x5. That snare sounds better than the Supra (not only imho) and has a way better built quality.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
We've got one of the Pearl Sensitone Elite aluminium snares at the school where I work. Sounds very good - perhaps a little drier than my equivalent Ludwig.

That model is discontinued now, but worth considering if you see a used one.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
Sorry, that's NOT a Supraphonic, it is not a Supralite. That is the Tama SLP Super-Aluminium 14x5. That snare sounds better than the Supra (not only imho) and has a way better built quality.

Ah so it's an SLP. Unfortunately it's discontinued at every shop I've looked at online.
 

Rosemarydrumco

Senior Member
All aluminum drums aren't created equal. The Oriollo phantom imo is hands down is the best aluminum snare on the market and a 5" is only $369. Pretty reasonable imo. That's the one I bought and I'd do it again.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
All aluminum drums aren't created equal. The Oriollo phantom imo is hands down is the best aluminum snare on the market and a 5" is only $369. Pretty reasonable imo. That's the one I bought and I'd do it again.


Maybe they're more available in the US? I can't find a single one for sale in the UK. I did find a used but like new 14 x 6.5 for £225 which is a comfortable price but that's not for sale anymore. https://www.gumtree.com/p/drums/oriollo-14x6.5-phantom-aluminium-snare-drum-/1258974250

But I'd still prefer 14 x 5 or 5.5".
 

Rosemarydrumco

Senior Member
Maybe they're more available in the US? I can't find a single one for sale in the UK. I did find a used but like new 14 x 6.5 for £225 which is a comfortable price but that's not for sale anymore. https://www.gumtree.com/p/drums/oriollo-14x6.5-phantom-aluminium-snare-drum-/1258974250

But I'd still prefer 14 x 5 or 5.5".

Vukan could make you any size you like. Everything I think is direct order? At least that's how it is over here. I think Jerry bart may be an Oriollo dealer in the U.K. And could order you one?

It would be worth contacting them directly tho off of www.oriollo.com. I'm not sure how all that works as far as ordering in the U.K. But I know some guys from over there that have ordered direct.
 

Josidiah

Member
I recommend checking out the Yamaha RC Aluminum. I tried both the 5.5 and 6.5 version a few weeks ago, and walked out with the 6.5 (They had a special offer on that one, else I would still be trying to decide). For me, it really was a no-brainer.

I have no idea about their UK prices, but if it falls within your budget, you might be blown away like I was, so why not give it a try...
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Sorry, that's NOT a Supraphonic, it is not a Supralite. That is the Tama SLP Super-Aluminium 14x5. That snare sounds better than the Supra (not only imho) and has a way better built quality.

oh...No need to be sorry, I STAND corrected. But imho the words 'sounds better' is of course only an opinion.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
oh...No need to be sorry, I STAND corrected. Imho the words 'sounds better' is of course only your opinion.
Of course it sounds better to me - as I stated - but also to several people who did a blind test with me, sporting five aluminium snares (same tuning, same heads, same drummer, same room). Almost all of them were conviced that "that cool sounding snare" was the Supra - which it wasn't. It was the SLP (one guy picked the Pearl Sensitone as the "Supra". Nobody liked the DW Aluminium). Go figure...

Bad thing is... Tama does not produce that amazing snare anymore.

I recommend checking out the Yamaha RC Aluminum.
Definitely. An amazing snaredrum.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
IMO, the Ludwig Standard aluminium snare is a complete sleeper. Even though it's less common than the Acrolite (and often priced accordingly), it's got a slightly different character due to no center bead - just a straight shell. I play mine at gigs where I need complete control over the sound, and also tracked an 80's homage tune in the studio (the songwriter was looking for a high-pitched "Stewart Copeland" sound).

So many good choices out there, both new and used. It's nearly impossible to get it wrong.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
IMO, the Ludwig Standard aluminium snare is a complete sleeper. Even though it's less common than the Acrolite (and often priced accordingly), it's got a slightly different character due to no center bead - just a straight shell. I play mine at gigs where I need complete control over the sound, and also tracked an 80's homage tune in the studio (the songwriter was looking for a high-pitched "Stewart Copeland" sound).

So many good choices out there, both new and used. It's nearly impossible to get it wrong.

The lack of a bead is going to lower the shell pitch about a whole step down compared to having a bead, roughly speaking. And that's a good thing, in my opinion, generally speaking. If you want a high shell pitch, get a cast drum. Just my opinion.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
Sorry, that's NOT a Supraphonic, it is not a Supralite. That is the Tama SLP Super-Aluminium 14x5. That snare sounds better than the Supra (not only imho) and has a way better built quality.

There's a lot of great snares out there but I agree with Wave on the Tama SLP LAL 145. One of the nicest snares I've ever played. Level of quality blows away Ludwig.
 
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