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This revolutionary marching snare drum concept really takes the term "Free Floater" seriously. The thin ply maple shell is completely suspended on both the batter and snare side for the ultimate in projection. The secret is in the lightweight magnesium frame that supports the shell and secures the drumheads for unparalleled tuning and high tensioning to achieve that exacting articulation. The USA Free Floater is the "Ultimate Suspended Action" Marching Snare Drum, made in the USA! Available with 4740 Omni T or 2740 Vest Carrier.
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Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Ludwig LFF024D USA 14" x 12" Marching Snare Drums:
My college uses these drums because we get "new" ones every two years as part of a contract we've signed with Conn-Selmer. These are absolutely the lowest quality drum I've ever seen. I've seen my fair share of these drums as I put them together every two years with 9 drums each rotation, plus 2 that the college actually bought.
The shell itself is free-floating, sure, but there are pieces of fabric stuck to the top and botton rims that go between them and the shell and that creates a noticeable gap between them. This is bad for sound quality, but not a deal breaker entirely. What is more noticeable is that the shells themselves are rarely round and it's not uncommon to have a gap large enough for me to put my finger in and touch the drum head on the inside.
Speaking of which, the shells are obnoxiously thin. I don't know for sure how many plies these shells are but they couldn't be more than 1/16" thick. Which for some reason they advertise. And the "lightweight magnesium frame" will torque the shell even further out of round if you aren't careful.
Which brings me to my next point. All of the tension rods are painfully short. The ones on top aren't absolutely horrible but both the Remo Falam II and the Evans MX5 don't have enough clearance to seat properly when you put new heads on. To get it to work you have to go lug by lug in a circle putting too much tension on each lug so you can get the next one started.
If you look at the picture you see a silver knob on top of the snare retainer that would look like you can adjust the height of where the snares hit the head. But with the snare beds cut out the closest you can get with their adjustment system is about 1/16" away from the drum on that side and just barely flush on the actual throw off side. Also those knobs have a tendency to pop off randomly. I'd say four or five of our snares had at least one pop off, and that goes for both of the sets we've been through. The snare lengths will need to be adjusted properly as there can be up to almost a quarter of an inch difference in lengths of each strand. And you can't take them off without cutting them off if you want drier drums.
Each tension rod has a little rubber o-ring on it so that they don't fall out of the hoops but they usually get torn up or ripped off the first time you change heads. I'm not real sure they clean the metal before they coat it either as the coating has a tendency to just kind of flake off. The feet or whatever you want to call the two metal bars that keep the drum elevated are poorly formed and barely tightened. I've had a couple actually shoot off because they had to be bent to put on the first time and then just vibrated loose from playing. The screws that hold the top and bottom together also sometimes vibrate loose.
The snares are very light though, which is good because the mounting hardware, specifically the metal tubes that mount to the drum and hold the drum on the carrier, are smaller than any other brand of drum and must be drilled out if you want to use any stadium stands, or any carriers other than Ludwig carriers.
The drums can't be tuned any tighter than Yamaha, Pearl, or Dynasty high tension drums, and with all of the flaws that I've found, I wouldn't say that you could achieve exacting articulations by any means. I also disagree with saying that it's "LOUD." It will be as loud as you want to put effort into playing, but absolutely no louder than any Yamaha, Pearl, or Dynasty that I've ever played on. I can't compare them to Mapex because I've never actually played on any of them.
I gave the features a 3 out of 10 because the throw off system itself is an alright design, if you're into reinventing the wheel, but it is VERY loud to turn on or off. And it's pretty cool to spin the shell inside of the drum and watch how not-round it is.
I'd say quality speaks for itself and value is a 2 out of 10 because it's worth the laughs you'll have with your friends when you actually see one. Honestly I'm embarassed to play on them. It is only my opinion, but they are a waste of Ludwig's time and your money if you actually buy one. Worst product I have ever seen from Ludwig. Such a disappointment in quality and production from an otherwise very well-rounded and respected company.
Comments about Ludwig LFF024D USA 14" x 12" Marching Snare Drums:
This drum is definately high quality. I got mine for a higher price but I still couldn't be more satisfied with it. It hardware stands up to the highest tensions possible, it's INCREDIBLY lightweight. The quick release snare strainer comes in handy in more situations than you might expect. Fully adjustable, including both strainer heighths. The reason for the 4.5 on the features is only because this drum is LOUD! It REALLY projects the sound! If you want a college level snare and a great looking setup, GET THIS SNARE!!!