Ludwig Supralite Snare Drum
The Ludwig Supralite snare will give you bright sound out of the box, when tuned to your preferences. That’s the upside.
The downside is that this isn’t the workhorse snare you expect from Ludwig. If you’re a hobbyist that plays for pleasure when time allows, or if you’re investing in a good starter kit, then don’t hesitate to put your money on one of the four Supralite sizes.
But if you plan to put this snare to a hard-driving marathon over the next 10 years, there might be better options.
To rip off an old political meme: We knew the Ludwig Acrolite snare.
The Acrolite has been a durable friend, delivering decades of quality play for many drummers since its introduction by Ludwig in 1963.
This is no Acrolite.
It’s not as sturdily built in any detail. And that diminishes sound and durability when compared with the Acrolite.
But it isn’t junk either. It’s priced about right, well below the Acrolite line, and it will satisfy when expectations are in line with the drums’ fit and finish.
The Likes and Dislikes below explain exactly what we mean.
Ludwig Supralite Steel Snares
Ludwig offers the Supralite in four classic snare sizes: 5×15, 6.5×14, 5.5×14 and 8×14.
A 4×14 is no longer manufactured, but you might find one for sale, new or used.
The steel shells are chrome that is polished to a mirror finish.
The coated stock heads from are pretty generic and of decent quality. Their sound is less than spectacular. If you know what sound you’re looking for, and they don’t produce it, expect to make a switch.
Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Information
- We mentioned the beautifully chromed shells. They look fabulous.
- Where the shells fall short is in their build. For several years, Ludwig advertised them as 1.5mm thick. They aren’t and never were. The shells are 1mm thick. In short, they are 33% thinner than many unsuspecting purchasers believe. Ludwig has corrected the error on its site and promotional materials and packaging.
- Some retail sales sites still haven’t made the correction, so buyer beware.
- Triple-flanged hoops are 2.3mm, and that’s the truth.
- Brass snare wires and chromed brass lugs complete the package.
As you’d expect from steel, these snares deliver a crack attack. This snare won’t get lost regardless of the musical genre.
Nice mid-range overtone played live and in the studio – it can be surprisingly warm for steel.
The 8×14 is the best-sounding of the bunch, if that’s the size you’re looking for. It’s sharp, yet deep and rich.
Normal wear will produce more tear on this drum due to the lighter shell and the mediocre quality of the screws holding everything together.
Finicky tuning. Expect to have to play with the settings on this snare to get your sound more than you do with most. Quite a few users find the strainer to be especially touchy.
The snare on some drums rattle even when off. While rare, that’s a tough fix.
Overall 3.5 Stars
Some reviewers say this is the best snare they’ve played. A few call it junk.
The truth is in the middle, closer to good than to garbage, and that’s where experienced drummers rate it. We agree.
We recommend the Ludwig Supralite snares for:
- Newer drummers buying good starter equipment
- Those that normally play wood but want to try steel
- Anyone that wants to make a modest financial investment that might deliver excellent ROI