Ludwig Drum Company History.

Vistalite Drums

Welcome to the Ludwig Drums History section of the web site. From here you should be able to gather information to determine what Ludwig Drums you have and what year they were made.

What you might not know if you are new to vintage drums is that manufactureres did not keep accurate records and inventory control was not part of the daily operations of drum making. One day a box of drum badges could turn up or in many cases new serial number badges were put on top of older serial number badges making it difficult for us today to know exactly when the drum was made.

Regardless, there are three different Ludwig Serial Number dating guides, drum badge dating guides and all sorts of Ludwig History. Just follow the links below.

This web site is connected to a large drum forum related to vintage drums where you could do even more research and or become a member to ask qeustions and learn from people that have been collecting for many years.

The Vintage Drum Forum can be found by clicking here. Here are links to the different Ludwig Drum Company History sections on this web site that will help you pin point the year and type of Ludwig drums you have.

Important Web Site Pages. Send Email. My Collection. Other Collections. Reference Books and Catalogs. Works in Progress. Identify Drum Form. Snare Drums. Drum Badges. Drum Hardware. Drum Finishes. Serial Numbers. Company Time Line. Slingerland Drums. Cleaning and Restoring. How to Refinish a Drum. Fix a Zoomatic.Vistalite drums were a line of acrylic drums produced by the Ludwig Drum company[1] introduced in The name Vistalite refers to the translucent plastic that the shells were made out of.

Vistalite and acrylic offered a synthetic alternative to wood shells and were popularized by rock drummer John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Bill Zickos was the father of the acrylic drums; he built the first experimental set in and received a US Patent patent 3, for them in When marketing of Vistalites started in latethe drums were available in clear, blue, green, red, amber, and yellow, with clear and blue being the largest sellers.

In the company broadened the line to include "Rainbow" Vistalites with multicolored shells, with "Tequila Sunrise" a combination of red, orange and yellow stripes being one of the most popular combinations. Multi-colored acrylic shells were co-invented by Elvis Presley 's drummer Ronn Tutt. Tutt, however, tried his invention and was unimpressed, enough that he immediately went back to playing maple drums.

where are ludwig drums made

Other Vistalite variations included bass drums without tom mounts often referred to as "virgin" bass drums and concert toms toms without lug holes or a rim on the bottom of the shell. Since Ludwig technically offered any drum it manufactured other than tympani in Vistalite, rare examples such as congas and bongos have become valuable collectibles.

The green and red colors were eventually dropped due to slow sales. Translucent Smoke a dark grey colorsolid black, and solid white were added late during the Vistalite production run. A mis-order left Ludwig with a large surplus supply of the white shells, a problem the company resolved by covering many in chrome wrap, selling them as "faux stainless steel" drums.

InLudwig created the Tivoli Vistalite by inserting small light bulbs into the shells. The kits were plagued by electrical problems - Bill Ludwig II is reported to have said that everything they made on Vistalite was lost on Tivoli. There were also problems with the shells cracking under the pressure of overtightened lugs and exposure to freezing temperatures.

where are ludwig drums made

The original Vistalite line was phased out due to declining sale and the rising cost of oil-based plastics. Ludwig reintroduced Vistalite drums inwith the prime seller being a replica of the amber five piece kit played by John Bonham. The re-issue shells are slightly thicker and in the opinions of some warmer sounding and more resonant than the originals.

The original shells were at a supposed disadvantange due to a noncontinuous bearing edge. The new versions have a continuous 45 degree edge, making what some feel is a fuller, cleaner tone. Custom drum companies have also seen growth in demand.The evolution of Ludwig hardware is a detailed and multi-faceted story.

For this reason and the aforementioned trend of updating 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. Aside from the exact date printed on the shell, the color of ink used will assist in identifying the era of the drum and indicate the possibility of forgery.

From the inception of date-stamping in throughLudwig solely used red ink.

Ludwig Drums

From toboth red and black inks were used with black as the predominant color. These are the gold standards for identifying a vintage Ludwig drum. In addition, the Keystone badge was reintroduced on certain models in the early '80s. Pointy badges - those with a pointed edge - are typically associated with models from the earlier '70s. In addition, individual owners may have trimmed the badges themselves, so consulting a serial number will provide a better gauge on the drum.

These badges also adorned the aluminum Acrolite snare from to the mid s, when the drum featured a Black Galaxy Sparkle finish. One last thing to bear in mind: a drumset featuring sequential serial numbers tends to be higher in value than sets with era-correct badges and hardware but non-sequential serial numbers.

If you happen to know your woods, examining the plies and interior finish can be instrumental in era identification, but again, the drum may have been modified through the years. Shells from through the fall of were comprised of two mahogany plies with a single poplar ply sandwiched between.

From until the interiors were painted white. A clear lacquer finish was used in,and part of At that point, Ludwig introduced the Granitone finish, a gritty grey coating used to cover aesthetically displeasing blemishes in the interior wood finish. From autumn throughLudwig changed the mahogany plies over to maple, and in introduced the Classic series, abandoning the reinforcement rings and opting for six plies of maple and poplar.

The Classic drums also opted back to the clear lacquer interior finish. The more coveted vintage drums feature the 3-ply construction.Ludwig Drums is a US musical instruments manufacturersfocused on percussion. The brand achieved significant popularity in the s due to the endorsement of the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

Products manufactured by Ludwig include drum kits and hardware.

where are ludwig drums made

The company also commercialises other percussion instruments from the Muser Mallet Company acquired in such as marimbasvibraphonesxylophones and bar chimes through its parent company Conn-Selmer. The company added new products to its catalog, such as snare drums and timpaniin InLudwig signed a deal to build rope drums [ clarification needed ] to support World War I.

Theobald Ludwig died inand William continued on his own. In the late s, the company was sold to the C. Conn instrument company. Eventually, William Ludwig decided to leave Conn and start a new company of his own. The company continued producing drums at a small scale for the duration of World War IIbut William got back to the idea of making the company a large drum manufacturer after the armistice. WFL was a competitor with Ludwig and Ludwig. InWilliam and his son Bill Jr.

where are ludwig drums made

William Ludwig's grandson [6]. Despite initial success, Ludwig's global breakthrough would occur February 9,when The Beatles made their historic American TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show[9] [10] and the Ludwig logo, displayed on the front of Ringo Starr's bass drum, could be seen by the television audience of about seventy-three million people. Ludwig acquired the "Musser Mallet Company", a manufacturer of xylophonesmarimbas and vibraphonesin Their drums along with their Slingerland rivals.

Ludwig drums were used by many leading drum and bugle corp. Selmer closed the Damen Avenue factory in the ensuing years and moved the drum production business to Monroe, North Carolinain The Musser manufacturing facility remained in LaGrange, Illinoisuntiland was then moved to Elkhart, Indiana.

Some of the musicians that currently or previously played Ludwigs include: [15] [16]. Ludwig drum set used by Alex Van Halen.

Bun E. Carlos gives a tour of his impressive Ludwig Drum collection

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ludwig Drums Type. North Carolina.All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Hottest Questions. Previously Viewed. Unanswered Questions. Wiki User Ludwig imports the Accent line from Taiwan. LUdwig- Ludwig were and are the Mercedes-Benz of drums they developed tunable Tympani in the late l9th century with three harmonics no less.

The Ludwig Monroe team's passion shines through in every hand-made drum. Asked in Musical Instruments Why Ludwig and pastie name on the same cymbal cymbal? Pastie made cymbals for Ludwig. You will find this info on the Wikipedia entry about Pastie: Ludwig Standard, a mid-line series from the ss produced for distribution by Ludwig Drums.

In my opinion, they are the best sets made, hands down. I have been playing for 30 years and I have neverowned anything but Ludwig. I have played others, but I stick with Ludwig drums and Zildjian cymbals. Asked in The Beatles What brand of drums did the Beatles use?

Ringo used Ludwig brand drums, still does to this day. Asked in Drums What drums did ginger baker use? Ginger Baker used Ludwig drums throughout his entire career.

Ringo admired Ludwig brand drums, so he bought a set, and wanted the Ludwig logo on the front but the origianl maker of the drums said what about the band name, so he took the band name "The Beatles" and painted in Ludwig logo style with the large T on Ringo's drums. Asked in Musical Instruments Who was the first to invent drums? Africans invented the drum. William Ludwig made it possible to have a drum SET--he invented the bass pedal.

Louie Bellson was the first to play two bass drums. Ringo played Ludwig Drums while he was a member of The Beatles. He helped to popularize their drums and to catapult the company's fame.Remember Me? Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 Last Jump to page: Results 1 to 12 of Paid In Full. Last year i bought a DW Collector's snare and the quality is incomparable to Pearl. My question is do you guys really care whether you kit is Made somewhere else? Is it the pride?

Am I eaten by the marketing strategies? Are they worth it? Can a drum sound good even if the quality is bad? Vice versa. Thanks guys!!! And its better now we are safe, you know i love you more from far away now that all I need is God. PDF resident cynic. That's just marketing getting to you.

What's the difference where the drum is made, if it's made with good QC and has a dependable manufacturer standing behind the product? There were plenty of crappy drums made in USA, as well as Asia.

Other than that - everyone knows german drums are the best D. Under the sign of D-beat Un-ban nik12! Registered User. Not really. Made in China used to by synonymous with cheap, but no longer. Also I should add that Asia is a big place. Made in Japan has for many years reflected very high quality, think of the top end Yamaha kits. I'd like to know in what way the DW is better than the Pearl in terms of quality? I like UK made drums as it supports local industry - I don't think that we do it better than asian people.

There is so much immigration, travel and communication of technology and ideas that where something built is increasingly irrelevant. It's all made by people. I'd agree with Andrew, the preference for home grown gear is often down to a mix of tribalism and marketing.

Japan does have an air of quality that goes with it, people often say that Japanese Yam kits are better than the ones made in England when they owned Premier, however there's absolutely no difference in quality or sound between the two I own one of each.

I would admit to liking my old Genista more than the newer made in China ones, but that's purely nostalgia for when they were made in the UK, it has nothing whatever to do with quality. My view is to evaluate based on the drums, not on where they are made. There are examples of high quality stuff from all different countries, including both the US and Asia, and there are examples of really poor quality from all different countries, including both the US and Asia. So while there are some good drums coming out of the US, I really don't understand the concept of yearning for a US-made drum.Shell Guide.

Shell Guide Year. Shell date-stamping started with red ink in with comparitively large numbers and letters. Change back to natural finish interior except for the Standard series which changed directly from white paint to granitone. The white diagonal line in this photo is the pearl covering. Up until the covering was applied to the shell while the wood was still flat, and the covering was "lapped" into the shell. This made for a less perfect round shell, but prevented problems with the finish pulling off.

Through the s mahogany was occasionally still used internally or externally. Most commonly on large floor toms and large bass drums. These shells were not only stronger but less expensive to make. The interior was a clear-coated natural finish. The Combo series was made with old 3-ply shells until they were used up; the inside was sprayed with granitone. Standard series; Snare and tom-toms "Select 4-ply diamond wood shells", Bass drums 6-ply. Rocker: "Select American wood veneers" 4-ply, maple interior.

Super Classic: 4-ply for all sizes; lighter in weight, billed as having "clean, resonant sound" same price Offered as an option; the Classic shells were still catalogued, described as producing a "deep, powerful" sound. Rocker Elite: Maple inside, basswood outside 8-ply 8mm Rocker: Basswood inside, Luan outside, 8-ply, 8. Thanks for visiting www.