October 5, 2013

Trick GS007 retrofit kit, Ludwig edition

By Darin Soll

In my last post, I reviewed Mike McCraw's "Retroplate" adapter plate system (http://www.dwsnare.com).  Mike's Retroplate kits enable drummers to upgrade the stock snare throwoffs on a variety of snare drums to the Trick GS007, without drilling additional holes.

The Slingerland Retroplate that I reviewed includes a very small plate that is covered entirely by the GS007 throw.  As a result, the Slingerland Retroplate install is very clean and looks fantastic.  But, I know the Slingerland fan club has a much smaller membership than the Ludwig fan club, and several of you have asked if I plan to review the Ludwig Retroplate as well...

The answer is "yes!"  Mike was kind enough to ship a Ludwig Retroplate to me for review, and I finally had a chance to try it out on my Ludwig 6.5x14 Acrolite.

As I mentioned, the Slingerland Retroplate installs very cleanly, mostly due to the compact spacing of the mount holes for the stock Zoomatic throw.  Ludwig is an entirely different story, as those of you familiar with the Ludwig P85 throw already know...the P85 mounting holes are spaced 2.5" apart, on either side of the shell bead.  This means that there is no practical way to hide the adapter plate.

Trick GS007 with Retroplate adapter
However, Mike crafted his Ludwig Retroplate in such a way that the plate lines up with the 2.5" hole spacing, clears the bead perfectly, and mounts the Trick GS007 securely.  The aluminum plate has a matte finish that looks like it belongs on the side of the Acrolite's shell, and the final result is worthy of the drum.  The black mounting screws could easily be swapped out if you prefer chrome or aluminum over the contrasting black screws for an even more integrated look.

Once installed, you wonder why you ever put up with the P85 throw.  The P85 on my Acrolite was problematic from day one.  To engage the snares, I had to pull the lever up and slightly outward.  The outward motion was necessary to prevent the lever from "catching" and failing to engage the snares.  And the lever on my P85 bent easily, so I was constantly bending the lever due to the outward motion.  Trying to finesse a throw lever in the middle of a song is not my idea of fun.

The Trick GS007 ends the P85 misery.  The GS007 is amazingly smooth and solid, and the simple but elegant helical groove design will result in reliable operation for years to come.  And, because the Retroplate uses the existing P85 mounting holes, restoring my Acrolite to original condition is a matter of removing two screws and reinstalling the P85 throw.

Here are a few more photos to help you get a better view of my Acrolite's Trick GS007 upgrade using the Retroplate adapter:

Until next time!

--Darin