2012 Lawton Drum Company

Ludwig Superphonic snare with brass shell

Q: How can I tell if a Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum has a brass shell or not?

A: This is a fairly common question of Supraphonic owners. Many try the magnet test, figuring that if the magnet doesn't stick, it must be brass. But a magnet won't stick to aluminum either. Another observation is that if the drum seems heavier than others, it might be brass, but the difference in weight might be due to the weight of the lugs, as the older Imperial lugs had thicker walls, which made them heavier than later lugs. A good way to check if you've got a brass shell or not, is to remove one of the lugs, and, carefully scrape the chrome plating off the inside edge of. one of the holes. If the exposed color is gold, then it's a brass shell. If it's still silver colored, then it's either aluminum or possibly steel, which you will be able to determine with a magnet.