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Old 09-16-2018, 03:51 AM
Kaplana Kaplana is offline
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Default Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Hey all, Iím looking for some advice on a purchase Iím about to make. Iím incredibly close to buying a Ludwig 70ís gold sparkle kit, but iím unsure of how to tell if the drums are 3 ply or the later 70ís 6 ply.
It doesnt seem like the seller knows too much about the drums and is keeping them in a storage locker, making asking him to identify the shells construction a hastle. Interestingly, the bass drum has a pointy blue/olive badge without a serial number (I believe these are referred to as ďblanksĒ) and the serials on the two toms are 649043 and 888203 (possobly from two different years in the 70ís?). Is there any solid way that I can tell whether these are 3 ply shells or not? Below is a link to the photos I have of the kit, it looks like itís in fantastic condition. Thank you all and happy drumming!

https://imgur.com/a/o06sOhu
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:04 AM
jaghog jaghog is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Look for rerings simple....
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:10 AM
gunnellett gunnellett is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

I'm not an expert but I the way I understand it is the Ludwig 3 ply have reinforcement rings at the bearing edges and 6 ply do not, as in they are just straight walled when looking inside.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:12 AM
gunnellett gunnellett is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Looks like I took too long to respond after opening this thread and just repeated Jaghog.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:26 AM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Hello Kaplana...and to the forum!

Based on the serial numbers alone, the kit is possibly very late 60's to early 70's and will have some of the best shells that Ludwig produced, meaning beautiful 3-ply maple/poplar/mahogany with solid maple re-rings. The interiors will be clear coated. Judging by the pictures, the kit might be a Downbeat, with 8x12, 14x14 and 14x20 shells. Any idea if this is correct? The gold sparkle looks great! Are you able to share with us what the seller is asking for the kit?

-Mark
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:41 AM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

OP,

I think it's safe to assume those are all 3-ply shells.....But be aware that SOME of the shells (actually many) from that era were NOT maple/poplar/mahogany....but were, in fact, newer versions of the 3-ply shells that were maple/poplar/maple with a clear sealer.

One of the two biggest caveats about them is the fact they are often just a skitch oversized -especially the wrapped versions. I think the raw shells were built to the exact dimensions and then the wrap added that extra girth. So, the Ludwig Weathermaster heads fit the shells.....but other heads were often reeeeeeally tight and, thus, deader-sounding and harder to tune.

Also, the second caveat is that Ludwig stopped tucking the wraps into the scarf joint and switched to a more "environmentally-friendly" glue that shrunk as it aged and pulled the wrap with it! You can often tell by looking at the seams of the wraps of drums from that era, because they lift and pull apart! I had a beautiful Deluxe Classic kit for awhile that had all these traits.

The knurled L-arm on the rail consolette isn't original -just .

EDIT- Also it appears that the top of the bass drum is a bit sun-faded. It's hard to tell, but I'm just sayin'.....

I'd insist on seeing the seam-side of all those shells, first. You're likely to see seams lifting and heads fitting tightly.

2 cents
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Last edited by O-Lugs; 09-16-2018 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:05 PM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Concerning what O-Lugs posted, I also noticed the L arm for the rail consolette as not being original. As to the shell layup, it could be maple/poplar/maple. I was basing my layup of maple/poplar/mahogany on my 1970-71 Super Classic kit.

As to the seam issue, I don't believe it was an issue with changing the glue formulation, but had to do with the wrap formulation, which really shrunk more than before!

Finally, the top of the bass drum appears to be from a flash, not sun fade. Still, the only way we are going to find out about all these issues is to see the kit close up. I hope the OP gets back to us and is able to check the kit out.

-Mark
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:08 PM
Hoppy Hoppy is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

As mentioned earlier, you'll need a photo of the bearing edge to be sure of the shell lay-up. I've attached some images that may be of some use to you, to help you gain some experience in identifying the different lay-ups.

The first image is of a Ludwig three-ply shell, and you'll notice that the re-ring (reinforcement ring) is present, along with identifying the 3 types of plys that make up the shell.

The other images are of different Ludwig lay-ups, but as they become greater than 3-ply there is no further structural/strength need for the re-ring.

As has been stated before, those pointy B/O badges certainly lead one to a 3-ply conclusion. Next would be figuring out the veneer species that make the shell lay-up.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2018, 02:17 PM
Kaplana Kaplana is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

Thank you all so much for the help, I seriously can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I can answer specific questions soon, but i’m actually about to go look at the drums and possibly purchase today! Will look out for all the things mentioned, hoping it will be easy to identify the ply construction at this point. Will post soon, again, thank you all so much.
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2018, 02:25 PM
Kaplana Kaplana is offline
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Default Re: Vintage Ludwig Kit 3 ply? Help?

One last question before I answer respond to some of you guys. The kits dimensions strike me as a little strange... the kick is 20x14 and the toms are 14x10 (I believe) and 16x16 (positive on that). Was this a common set for that era?? The toms just seem a little big compared to the bass drum.
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