Ludwig USA Salesman Snare Drum, 14″ x 6.5″
Not Vintage, but Definitely Rare!
The Ludwig Salesman re-issue Snare drums from 2014 were extremely popular and we thought once they were discontinued, that was it! Our good friend who visits the USA brought this one back for us, as he knows the boss loves them. This Snare drum is a brand new and boxed Salesman, still very rare and qualifies as a true Ludwig collector’s item.
These Snares are classic maple drums with the same pattern as the 1950’s WFL Salesman Snare drum. If you don’t know the history and how they have that title, here goes…
Often Referred to as the “Salesman Sample” Finish
The common misconception is that salesmen used this finish back in the 50’s and 60’s to demonstrate the finishes offered by Ludwig and WFL. This was an explanation created by a Ludwig rep leading up to Ludwig’s issuance of this multi-coloured option, titled ‘Salesman Sparkle’ in 2011. This finish was first introduced to the public by drummer Patrick Carney during a performance by The Black Keys, on Saturday Night Live.
The actual drums that were used to feature all of the finishes offered by WFL at the time, were titled ‘Dealer Display’. This option was made available to dealers beginning in the 1949 catalogue in which all seven of the pearl finishes were featured vertically on each panel of a 15” x 12” Field drum.
Bun E. Carlos questioned William F. Ludwig II about a photo of an early Ludwig drum kit featuring all of these horizontally striped sparkles back in the 90s and Mr. Ludwig labelled this finish ‘Banded Pearl’. This was likely a custom order or short run as only five complete drum kits are known to exist. The only evidence of multi-coloured sparkle options appeared much later in the 1960s Ludwig catalogues, showing a special order option for multi-sparkle finishes. This allowed dealers to select two finishes to run horizontally across the shell, resulting in a single colour centre band and outer bands of a second colour.
The Finer Details
In the 1950s, the Ray McKinley Split-Lug and Concert models were the only standard catalogued options for a 6.5” depth Snare drum. It is noted in the 1951 WFL catalog that a 14” x 6.5” model Snare may be special ordered through the Buddy Rich Super Classic outfits, which featured a single centred ‘bow-tie’ lug. This size was most likely used on this drum to accommodate for the extra depth required to include all of the sparkle bands.
The drum is equipped with the original chrome fittings including the streamlined strainer, chrome triple-flanged hoops and famous ‘bow-tie’ lugs. More photos of the original WFL Banded Pearl drum may be seen at www.threeonthefloor.com.
A special thanks to Bun E. Carlos for info contributions – thanks BUN!
*Non-UK buyers, please contact us for shipping and payment options.