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Old 11-20-2019, 01:37 PM
backwater channels backwater channels is offline
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Default 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

Hi there
I'm hoping that the Luddy experts here can enlighten me regarding the serial numbers that appears on the badges of the Ludwig kits from the 60's.

I had always assumed that vintage drums of that era that had originally been sold as a set would be expected to have serial numbers in fairly close proximity to one another but I have recently read how some factory kits had completely mismatched serials and some newer pieces had serials suggesting older fabrication dates. I've also read that supposedly the badges were in a box and that the builders just grabbed any of them and put them on the drums. In other words, they are not sequential.

I am curious to hear what the experts here have to say on this and if this can be confirmed as I am currently looking to buy a vintage Ludwig kit and have seen a couple of kits for sale in recent months from the mid to late 60's where the rack tom, floor tom, and kick drum all feature wide ranging serial numbers, and judging by the info and time chart on the Ludwig website, spanning a 3 year period. Could a set of drums with such wide ranging serial numbers have originally been sold as a matching kit in the 60's?
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:43 PM
BEC BEC is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

If the serial numbers indicate a spans of years, the drums are "most likely" not born together in a set imo.
Yes, they weren't put on drum sets sequentially (unless specified when ordering), but they're usually within a few hundred to a few thousand digits together, I've found.
In other words, a drum with a number such as 20x,xxx wouldn't be in a born together set with a number such as 23x,xxx imo.
I don't think a couple hundred thousand badges, (or badges a hundred thousand digits apart,) got put in one work station "badge box" at the factory. That'd be a BIG box.....

Last edited by BEC; 11-20-2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:32 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

Yep, I agree with BEC.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:12 PM
backwater channels backwater channels is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

Thanks for sharing your thought on this matter, much appreciated. Your replies have pretty much confirmed what I thought and I guess concludes that these kits that I mentioned were either comprised of genuine Ludwig drums from different sets of varying years (despite having matching wrap etc) or maybe not official Ludwig shells at all with perhaps hardware and badges of the 60's era sourced and applied which would explain serial numbers of each drum covering a wide time period of 3 or 4 years? Any advice on how it would be possible to establish if the shells were genuine Ludwig of the era that their badges/serial numbers represent?
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:28 PM
BEC BEC is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

The badge grommet "usually" tells the story.
It's difficult to remove and replace a badge without either marking the shell (usually evident on the inner portion of the shell) or replacing the grommet (then the newer grommet wouldn't match similarly aged grommets on other shells of the set).
Or, take close up pics and post here and let the experts weigh in.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:03 PM
OddBall OddBall is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by backwater channels View Post
Thanks for sharing your thought on this matter, much appreciated. Your replies have pretty much confirmed what I thought and I guess concludes that these kits that I mentioned were either comprised of genuine Ludwig drums from different sets of varying years (despite having matching wrap etc) or maybe not official Ludwig shells at all with perhaps hardware and badges of the 60's era sourced and applied which would explain serial numbers of each drum covering a wide time period of 3 or 4 years? Any advice on how it would be possible to establish if the shells were genuine Ludwig of the era that their badges/serial numbers represent?
You also want to look for "the Ludwig hump" this was caused by using a scarf joint to join the ends. With Ludwig the wrap went into the scarf joint too. It's easy to refill a badge bin when it gets low with new badges and have 4 or five years differences in the numbers. Most people can reinstall a grommet without damaging the shell, but it's real hard to remove one and not damage the shell. Some wraps were discontinued and wont be on certain serial numbers, same with trim. Some wraps will have another under it. With Ludwig the dollar came first so you can expect anything.

What you can rely on is the collection of experienced Ludwig members here. Most know more about Ludwig than Ludwig does.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:05 PM
OddBall OddBall is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

All it takes is pics. Close and all around.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:06 PM
backwater channels backwater channels is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

Here are a few photos of one of the kits that I have been looking at recently (22" 16" 12"). Sorry they don't provide further details but these are all I have been provided with so far of the drums but I do have some photos of the badges which I will include in my following post. I would be keen to know if the expert eyes here are able to detect anything within these photos that may be of use or interest to me. Any info at all regarding the kit would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:08 PM
backwater channels backwater channels is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

And following on from my previous post above, here are some pics of the badges...
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:48 PM
K.O. K.O. is offline
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Default Re: 60's Ludwig Kits - sequential serial numbers?

It would be rather difficult to counterfeit 1960s Ludwig drums, and, in most cases, not worth the trouble as the real drums (with some exceptions) are not THAT especially valuable.

The serial numbers were there to give each drum a unique ID, supposedly to help music dealers keep track of their inventory, but Ludwig themselves did not keep records of them and don't seem to have been particularly concerned about what number went on what drum. Sequential sets are known to exist but are far from the norm. They might have been specifically ordered that way or perhaps an anal retentive worker was installing badges that day but they are the exception rather than the rule by a vast margin.

"Factory" sets were still somewhat randomly selected groups of drums for the most part. It's not like one worker was carefully assembling each drum in the set and hand crafting them all to match. Many hands were involved in the creation of each drum. The more popular colored shells were made up and stockpiled around the plant until needed. Some shells on the bottom of a pile might languish there for a spell so not all the shells in a set were necessarily made at the same time. In the case of an unpopular color or size there is the potential for various drums in a set to have been made years apart. The badges seem to have been put on during final assembly so would not reflect this, although, again, were not typically sequential. Add in one final detail, the shell layups of the drums within a "factory" set might not all be the same.

It's usually possible to tell from various details whether a set was sold together or not. Is any fading equal? Does the hardware match the time frame? are the serial #s reasonably close? Etc. But even these sets can have some discrepancies. It's all part of the wonderful world of Ludwig and their pursuit of the domination of the percussive world by churning out a never ending stream of product.
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