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1966? Or 1967?

Posts: 5173 Threads: 188
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Hello. Welcome back! I had almost given up the ghost! I thought about joining the other discussion forum again, but then I read through a few threads and decided nah. Glad to see things are on the mend here.

 

Okay....So here's a hypothetocal question for you (whoever is still here!)...

 

Let's say I find an original 1960's red sparkle Downbeat kit. The provenance of the kit is that it was ordered in late 1966, but didn't arrive at the store until late January of 1967. As a result, some of the drums (Downbeat snare and bass) are both stamped December 28th, 1966, while the 12" tom and the 14" floor floor tom are stamped January 3rd and 7th, respectively. The badge numbers are in close sequence. All interiors are white. It's a matching kit for sure....but...Is it a 1966 kit? Or, is it a 1967 kit?

Since there were no differences in the drums or hardware during those two years, identification can't be distinguished, visually, in any way other than the stamps...right? But the kit is half 1966 and half 1967 drums. Would you go with the earlier or the later year?

 

Just food for discussion. Like I say....hypothetical. Thanks

"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
Posted on 1 month ago
#1
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I typically subscribe to the "no earlier than the latest date stamp" camp.  So, a January '67 kit.  No issue with calling it a late '66/early '67 either.

Posted on 1 month ago
#2
Posts: 5173 Threads: 188
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Thanks for the response.

 

But, let's add to the hypothetical....

 

Okay...

"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
Posted on 1 month ago
#3
Posts: 5173 Threads: 188
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Thanks for the response. Okay let's take it a step further...

 

Same scenario, but this time, you have a '68-'69 kit. There are some differences among the shells and the hardware. The '68 has baseball bat mufflers and the '69 has round knob mufflers....the shell interiors are different -some are white and some are clear. But, as with the first scenario, it's a kit that was ordered together and the badge numbers re in close sequence.

 

Yes, you CAN call it either....but which year is more valuable/desireable for resale? And, how do you convince someone that it's a matched kit when it clearly has differences even though the badge numbers and dates align?

 

I love vintage Ludwig drums, but that's a critcism I have had about these "transitional"-era kits. They would just put kits together based upon the sizes ordered and not necessarily the style. I'm not sure that this hypothetical situation would have happened...OR, if teh people at Ludwig would have been more selective and careful to match up the styles....?

"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
Posted on 1 month ago
#4
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A lot of it has to do with the differences in manufacturing practices back then and in the last 30 years or so.  Back then you strove to have a warehouse full of product, no matter what that product might be, to cover your next quarter, or half year, or whatever. Modern practice is "just in time" or make enough product to cover today's orders, or something very close to this with as little inventory sitting in the warehouse. This isn't the case with everything, but the time between something being made and a customer having it in their hands is much, much shorter

Today, with modern drums,  you will get stuff that you order that only sat in the warehouse long enough to get shipped to a dealer for their inventory, or after it was made to your specifications.

Back then, they would just wander the warehouse, pulling what they needed from stuff, some of which, had been made months, or sometimes longer.

Marketing back then allowed for more variation than today as shell construction wasn't a big marketing focus. Also in the old days, drums all had calf heads, so you would only see the inside when you changed a head. This continued on with white mylar heads, until clear heads became a thing but I suspect that didn't do all that much to prevent them from sending out mix and match kits.

Premier did the same thing, but in some ways it was worse. You had 3 ply birch shells early on, then 3 ply mahogany for several years, then back to 3 ply birch. It was common to get mixed shelled kits. On top of that, you had metric sizes early on and then they went to standard inch sizes around '68. Sometimes preinternational drums would also get mixed in.

 

I suspect the same thing went on with all of the other American drum companies back then. It was just a different world back then.

Posted on 1 month ago
#5
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I've got a "born together" Ludwig kit with date stamps all Dec 31, 1968.  A New Year's Eve kit!  Is that a 1968 kit or a 1969?  I think it's obvious that it's an early 1969.

And we must always remember that when these drums were made, no one at any factory was thinking about their drums someday being collectable, with future drummers geeking out over little details like date stamps, badge numbers, interior finishes, etc.  

In 1976, I ordered a Ludwig kit that came from the factory with a mix of clear and granitone interiors.  I was quite disappointed!

Over the years, I've seen two or three "born together" Ludwig kits that had a mix of keystone and B/O badges.  Today that would cause us collectors to turn our noses up at such travesty, carelessness, lack of attention to detail, even negligence, but back when those drums were made, a Ludwig badge was a Ludwig badge.  

But it sure is fun geeking out over this stuff!

Regards, Marty Black

Posted on 1 month ago
#6
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Born in 1965, my moustache wouldn't grow until 1985. So...am I only 38?

Posted on 1 month ago
#7
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It may be different for Rogers drums. Bobby always called that hypothetical kit a 66/67, and he would play it out and offer that you could too if you bought it. 😁

Posted on 3 days ago
#8
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