Ludwig Acrolites......Reverse Economics?

vyacheslav

Senior Member
OK, we all know the basic economics manta: Supply and Demand! When supply is low and demand is high, prices rise. When supply is high and demand is low, prices fall.

I have noticed that Acrolites keep going up and up and up in price. 10 years ago, you could find an Acrolite for $100-$125 any day of the week. Then they were around $150. Then $175. Now I see most Acrolites going in the $200-$250 range. They literally doubled in price in the last ten years. But why?

Acrolites are NOT in short supply. There are TONS of them still out there. And make no mistake, an Acrolite is a great snare drum and many drummers know that and have one (or have had one) in their arsenal at some point ( I do). But it just doesn't makes sense that, with the supply being relatively still high, that the demand (and price) keeps increasing.

Ludwig "reissued" them some years ago to the tune of $399 (now they go for $429). Wow!! Again, a fine drum, but I can't imagine paying $200 or $250 for an Acrolite, let alone $429! (And who is buying a new, reissue Acrolite when you can get an actual, real Acrolite that the reissue is based off of for half of that price?)

Do you think the Ludwig reissue had anything to do with the rise in price (for vintage ones)?

Also, I think we are definitely in more of a buyer's market vintage drum gear wise and gear wise in general, and I'm sure many of you would agree. So again, why would the prices be rising in a buyers market with a relatively high supply? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Thoughts?

V
 

jdavis

Member
Ludwig "reissued" them some years ago to the tune of $399 (now they go for $429). Wow!! Again, a fine drum, but I can't imagine paying $200 or $250 for an Acrolite, let alone $429! (And who is buying a new, reissue Acrolite when you can get an actual, real Acrolite that the reissue is based off of for half of that price?)
The sad fact is that prices are going up on a LOT of things. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't prices on Ludwigs other drums gone up as well?

As for the reissued drums, I have a 6.5" limited edition that I'm quite fond of. 10-lugs and brushed aluminum finish & hardware. Different enough from my 5" 8-lug Acro from 1967 to justify having both. (y)
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think the rising price is related to supply and demand. They've definitely gone from a "secret weapon" to a first recommendation over the last 5-10 years. While part of that recommendation was because they were cheap and plentiful for a long time, as with most trends the inertia of that widespread acclaim led a lot of people to pay higher and higher prices in order to get some kind of "holy grail" drum.

But the rising retail price of Ludwig's snares also drives the used market. Ludwig's USA-made snares have roughly doubled in price over the last 10 years. Used Supraphonics (especially the 402) are also seeing significant increases in price too. Now you'd probably pay for a used drum about what a new drum would have cost 10 years ago, Supra and Acro alike.

There are still some lucky finds out there from ignorant sellers, but those are very much exceptions these days.
 

roncadillac

Member
They are expensive because everyone keeps talking about them. For real.

I'll give an example from another 'hobby' of mine that I also actively participate in a forum about: traditional 'wet' shaving. Gillette, before they began making the multiblade cartridge razors we all know today, used to make double edge safety razors. In particular, they made an extremely popular model of adjustable safety razor nicknamed the 'fatboy' (due to it's stubby, fat handle). Fast forward to today, just like drums and drummers these shave enthusiasts and hobbyists like to buy and use vintage gear (yes, used razors). This particular model became very popular today and is one of the most commonly used and/or collected vintage models of safety razor. Ten years ago you could find them on eBay for $10... Now they are $75+. Why you ask? Because a forum full of shaving nerds constantly talk about how it's the best and they want, need, and must have one.

Why has the lowly, technically entry level, acrolite become so expensive in the last decade or so? Because a forum full of drum nerds constantly talk about how it's the best and they want, need, and must have one.

The only 'economy' here is how much you are willing to pay for something used just because you read about it on the internet.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I forget what I paid for it but I bought a brand-new Black Galaxy Acrolite last year after giving up on finding a used one for a decent price. I had been negotiating with a guy to buy an entire kit just to get the Acrolite that came with it when he did an about-face and demanded $400 (Canadian) for the snare alone. I think I paid about $350 for the new drum. Expensive but I feel it was worth it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Acrolites can still be had for $75 - $100 from shopgoodwill.com and other similar outlets. The issue is that it often takes 2-4 weeks to snag one while we live in a world where consumers expect instantaneous 1-click shopping on Amazon.

In addition, Ludwig fans can often find LM-3XX "Rockers" steel/brass/bronze B/W badge drums for under $100.
For example:

 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I agree 100% that this forum is responsible for the raised the prices of the Ludwig Acrolite. That is what we get for being helpful and honest. :)

Personally, I don't care much for the Acro. I had a 67 in the 5" depth and a new 10 lug reissue 14 x 6.5. I didn't experience even a honeymoon stage with either of them, they just never spoke to me.
 
Thanks to the internet, there are also fewer sellers who don't know the value of what they are offering.
Especially in Europe, the prices are crazy. I bought my LM400 about 15 years ago for 150€. I sold it this year for 400€ and it wasn't a pretty drum - lots of flaking chrome! I put in on ebay as an auction starting at 1€, so it's not like I tried to scam anyone. So for Europeans who want a Ludwig snare, it can be worth it to pay 250 on US ebay and pay another 150 on shipping.
What I wonder about: Why are old Avedis cymbals seemingly going down in price? Most 20" Rides seem to sell for less than 100€. Still, Zildjian now offers replicas of the old Avedis line and people buy them new...
 
this topic came up only a few months ago and it seems like they have increased in price since then. finding Acrolites locally seems to be the only way to get the best deal. I've recently bought one for $70 and a Black Galaxy one for $85. for awhile the 60's Keystone ones were selling for $200+ depending on condition, while the later ones were $125+ or so, but they seem to be selling for way more now:

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since I've discovered shopgoodwill.com a few months ago I've seen several of the 70's ones selling for well over $150. all of the vintage drums on there seem to hit market value. there was a 6.5x14 Supra on there a few weeks ago and last I checked it was over $500.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
New acrolites were selling for £500+ new in the UK, vintage is most definitely back in vogue.

It's odd that a student snare has been priced out of student budgets.
 

roncadillac

Member
My direct experience with the acrolite is very limited but from what I understand the aluminum shell dries the sound out a bit so you don't get the metallic overtones of say a steel snare. Couldn't you just buy wood...
 

roncadillac

Member
Acrolite Shmacrolite......Pearl makes a seamless aluminum sensitone that is better than the acrolite and price is better in most cases. Acros are good, but you're paying for the "legend" rather than "worth".
"Legend rather then worth" sums up my experience with pretty much anything Ludwig. Well said.

Those pearl sensitone snares are super awesome.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
"Legend rather then worth" sums up my experience with pretty much anything Ludwig. Well said.

Those pearl sensitone snares are super awesome.
I imagine that the lewd wig fans might have something to say about this? :unsure: ;) I must confess to pondering a purchase of a brand new reissue but like mikyok says, they’re well over £400 in the UK!!
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
The Acros and Supras were hidden gems before people and pawn shops got wise to Ebay, and then Reverb. Now they can check the price for what the most expensive example has sold for and price accordingly. I have found several of each at pawn shops and craigslist and have typically paid $35-50. I have even bought full kits because they included a Supra or Acro. One Supra I got for $5 because the pawn shop thought it was broken due to the torn reso head. I wasn't about to correct them. .

I do love them, and prefer the Acro, but they are getting priced out of competition by newer, and better built gear.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
The Acros and Supras were hidden gems before people and pawn shops got wise to Ebay, and then Reverb. Now they can check the price for what the most expensive example has sold for and price accordingly. I have found several of each at pawn shops and craigslist and have typically paid $35-50. I have even bought full kits because they included a Supra or Acro. One Supra I got for $5 because the pawn shop thought it was broken due to the torn reso head. I wasn't about to correct them. .

I do love them, and prefer the Acro, but they are getting priced out of competition by newer, and better built gear.
If you could only own one Ludwig snare, either an acro, supra or black beauty, which one would you choose? :unsure:
 
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