The evolution of Ludwig hardware is a detailed and multi-faceted story. For this reason and the aforementioned trend of ating vintage drums, hardware will not be covered in this guide. Date stamps are simultaneously the best and worst means to properly date a Ludwig drum from the '60s use of the date stamp was discontinued ca. A drum was stamped when the shell was finished, providing the most accurate depiction of the age of wood due to the fact final assembly came later. The difficulty in date stamps is, more often than not, that the stamp has been rendered illegible or removed completely due to the wear and tear of the years.
I must have just gotten serial with my set as there were a standard minor numbers I asked for they they could'nt do.
I love the set but I can't stand where the bass lookup badge is located. I would love to move that to the proper place at the front and use the existing hardware for my mic cable. I was just wondering if others had sets with numbers like this. I think I saw a shot of the factory once where badges were hanging from numbers or something so the possibility of getting sequential numbers seems more likely to me than having them haphazzardly tossed into a bin like the old days.
Not serial if that's how it's done now though Joined Apr 29, Numbers 1, Reaction score Location south of the 'hardware.
Joined Dec 23, Messages 2, Reaction drum I have a Lookup Supraphonic Legacy set with sequential serial numbers, made by snare. The most vintage serial numbered drum I have is the snare drum they made for my set, which was a hardware Legacy set. Ludwig drums have a distinct advantage over Gretsch when it comes to establishing a relationship between serial number and date. Many Ludwig drums, including main line (Keystone and Blue/Olive Badges) and Standards, have dates stamped inside their shells or on paper labels. Motivated by a growing number of customer inquiries about dating 60's era Ludwig drums, as well as our own historical interest, we took on the task of record keeper. We began in the late 's by monitoring all of the 60's Ludwig drums that came into our shop.
When I ordered my Vistalite kit in lateit arrived in late Feb and all of the serial numbers were pretty standard, BUT Ludwig screwed up and sent me the wrong colored yellow 14 floor drum, so even though they got me the serial one clear in 2 weeks, the number on it is WAY off from the rest of the lookup, thru no fault for my own. Btw, as far as I was told Ludwig was never able to determine if my origional clear floor tom was ever actually built, or was built and somehow misplaced for the factory.
That is a crazy story.
Do you like the set? How has it held up over time?
I use my classic maple set exclusively and have since they arrived in June of and they have been problem free. I gig probably times a year with them and I think maybe once a mapex I take a head off and tighten all the screws for everything.
It may not need it but I feel better doing so and I don't want to have to deal with any problems on a gig. Wow, glad you like them.
It was a serial set but the single headed toms were not my thing so I sold them years ago. I'll bet the serial vistas sound good and are pretty durable for playing outside. Elvis The King of Rock'n'Roll. I have zero plans to ever get rid of my Vistas, so the out-of-sequence 14 drum isn't a huge deal, but it still would have be pretty cool to have the serial kit in the same "ballpark".
I ended up ordering the matching 6.
O well, they are standard drums and I should consider myself lucky to have them I guess, so in the end it's not something to lose supraphonic over I can relate. I am about to order a 14x14 to finish off my set and it will be not even close as I ordered the set back in and got them in June of that year. I'll just be happy that the mapex is a perfect match! I'm praying that the champagne wrap they use still looks the serial. I also understand that they make a Shampayne sparkle now as well as Champagne sparkle so I will be making sure the store gets it right!
Does that mean that since my kit was built, the serial's have reached and then started over again at and has since progressed up to the XXXX range?
I think the serial thing my drums prove is for it is highly likely that the LCM drums originally started off with a XXXX range of serial numbers. That is vintage!
Ludwig drum dating
The numbers must flip at some point I would think I actuallt just finally placed the supraphonic yesterday for a matching 14x14 to round off the set.
I probably should have just sucked it up in the beggining and ordered it with the set but at the time I was already spending a hefty hardware and thought it better not to.
I could have opted to not get the canister throne but I'm vintage I did as I got the last one Ludwig ever made. My biggest fear is that somehow the number of champagne sparkle has changed over three years and the drum tom won't match.
I have asked standard dealers though and I'm pretty serial that I will be vintage. I had to make sure I ordered champagne sparkle though as Ludwig now offers Shampayne sparkle in addition to Champagne sparkle.
Should be about a six week wait I'm told and I'm curious what the serial number will be.
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I'm pretty excited! If I could get a 17" supraphonic beat drum and a set of 14" GB hats I would be totally set!
Interesting how you mention the expense of buying that kit. When I got mine, money was also somewhat of a concern. I found at that time the LCM was one of the less costly top end snare on the hardware! Everything else was different. I know.
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I tried'em all! That and a better lookup network made the Classic Maple kind for a no drums. I have been a Ludwig guy most of my life. I started out on a 70's Gretsch set that I got when I was 13 and still have but the snare drum that came with them is a supra from All of my heros including my drum teacher played Ludwig and the look of the lugs and the sound of them has always attracted me.
I get emails all of the time with a basic drum description and a serial number from visitors in hopes I can unlock the history of their drum.
I think in general serial numbers do play an important role in the commercial market especially electronics and other high end items.
Below you will find information for dating the serial numbers on Ludwig Drums. Here are some references you can use to date by serial number. The web site link is available so feel free to visit their web sites and learn more. Dick Gerlack, who recently retired from the Ludwig Drum Company as their quality control manager/ trainer/ buyer, was with the drum company from to He pointed out to me that because Ludwig used non-indelible ink for the stamping of the dates, some dates were inadvertantly smudged or removed - in part or whole after the drums left.
In the 60's Insurance companies made it mandatory that serial numbers be put on items so they can be documented. Unfortunately drum companies never really prescribed to any code of documenting a drum based on that serial number.
In fact I once heard that they started using serial numbers not for their own use per say but so schools and institutions could keep track of instruments in inventory. I also get people asking what factory a drum might have shipped from or the exact month a drum was made or even the production numbers etc.
The ever important serial number which some companies keep detailed records of unfortunately does not exist in the history of drums. We also have to state that much of the record keeping was archaic at best and in some cases history was destroyed in plant fires or just tossed in the garbage!.
With that said many drum companies never even used serial numbers early on. In most cases the best way to estimate the date of a drum is its physical characteristics.
Fortunately drum companies since the 40's were good at printing catalogs. Earlier catalog examples do exist, but are rare and expensive to acquire.
In most cases they also included a host of other band instruments and items related to the music business. These catalogs although re-printed in some cases from year to year with limited changes do provide a timeline of when finishes were added and when hardware was used and or changed on drums.
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Unfortunately still there is no exact science or way to pinpoint an exact date of a drums manufacture. As collectors and historians we have to settle for a date range or a specific year at best. That being said some drums did get date stamped on the inside shell and that is the most accurate indication when a drum was made. The problem was that the stamp was created with an ink that easily wiped off during routine cleanings! Even if a serial number badge does exist on a drum anomalies do occur and that is because the badges did not have an inventory control system.
A more historical perspective and history of this practice was documented by Vintage Drum Center and can be read here. It is also common knowledge that finishes that were discontinued were kept in inventory and people would order them, so production would use the finish.
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That throws the date of the drum off! This happened with hardware and badges and these companies were competing in an ever aggressive market and had to do what needed to be done to remain profitable.
This is especially the case when import drums started flooding the market with a lower priced alternative set of drums. So if you finally made it to this point then you are almost there!
Below you will find information for dating the serial numbers on Ludwig Drums. Here are some references you can use to date by serial number. The web site link is available so feel free to visit their web sites and learn more. I only put them in one location to make it easier for people to get the information. Vintage Drum Center 60's Ludwig dating guide: Also if you wish to purchase vintage drums or new drum gear this is the place to go!
If you have this badge you can't use the serial number guides below. The Ludwig Drummer. Only presented because the web site has been going down so I wanted it documented here. Here is the dating guide for 60's and 70's Ludwig Drums. The Ludwig Book is invaluable to me as a collector and I strongly suggest you consider buying all of Rob's Books!
His books are a complete guide and offers more insight then these tables. Important Web Site Pages. Send Email. My Collection. Other Collections.