Vintage 1968 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Super Classic Drum Kit
Well, well, well. Ain’t this a special set of tubs!? One owner. All original. Great condition. A bloom’n Black Oyster! And yes, we said one owner. This kit was purchased in Birmingham in 1969, has been gigged plenty and understandably has been the crown jewel of this gentleman’s collection ever since. Sadly, it has come to move these tubs on but we’re happy to see such a special set of drums go to a new home. Now, sometimes we get drums in that are rare and certainly produce that classic Ludwig tone but then you get sets that just kick out that little bit extra and they’re the ones that are the real head turners – this is one of those sets. These drums BOOM! They sing and you can’t shut them up! Are those air-suspension-isolation-feet on those floor tom legs? Is that the latest inertial basket snare stand holding that rack tom? NO!?!! Well how the bloody do they sound like that!? These old drums are just magic. The well rounded, warmth, that classic timbre, oozes out of these drums. And the rumble that is thrown out of the kick and floor tom? Yes, the neighbours will know about it. So not just a pretty face.
A Super Classic? 13″ x 9″, 16″ x 16″ and a 22″ x 14″. This kit has a centre post mount which became more common from ’68 onward but the previous owner did say he originally purchased this as a Hollywood Outfit meaning it would have had two rack toms. This explains the box on the back left of the rack tom. And yes, the snare stand came with the kit and is included. We’re not sure whether the snare stand was bought with the drums back in the day as it’s a 1950s WFL snare stand but it’s certainly in good condition. So yes, original finish, original hardware – missing a washer or two off the floor tom? That’s how it came to us. Odd selection of heads? That’s how it came in to us. Alls we have done is run a duster over these tubs, not that they even needed that! Old Smooth White Emperor over a Clear Ambassador on the rack, O.K., not particularly unusual. Again, another SW Emp on the batter side of the floor tom but then a Clear Pinstripe for a reso!? We don’t know what he was going for but damn do these drums sound good! We ain’t swapping the heads out for anything. Fairly fresh Luddy Powerstroke 3 type head on the reso and then what looks like a Clear PS4 on the batter. Again, sounds huge, we ain’t touch’n ’em.
As this kit is prized for it’s finish we should pay it special attention. It’s brilliant. No noticeable patches of fade at all nor has the overall hue of the wrap noticeably changed. We’ve seen aged/faded Black Oysters before and this ain’t one of them. Even the hoops match. This is a real stunner whether you’re a Ringo guy or not.
Rack Tom – Great condition. Bit of gigwear – squint and you can see the odd scuff or ding. The only thing worth mention is underneath the batter side flesh hoop there is what appear to be a very small burn. How it got there may be lost in a rock ‘n roll story many decades ago but it cannot be seen while there is a head on so it doesn’t really effect the overall impression of the drum. Interestingly, the reso hoop is CoB but it’s egged. General wear on both hoops and a little wear and pitting on some of the lugs. Aside from that, lovely smooth bearing edges, factory egg-shell interior, smooth ‘Big Knob Damper’, slightly faded but clear date stamp ‘MAR 6 1968’ – nice! Serial number #588817. Clear, albeit shallow lapping, original wrap, a beautiful drum.
Floor Tom – Great condition. Bit of gigwear again, we’ve tried to get shots but they’re pretty minor and, against the background of an Oyster Black Pearl wrap, they’re hard to spot, even up close but we have to mention these things so you know what you’re looking at. Scratch near the badge. No real damage to speak of. Slight bit of hardware pitting, tarnish and general wear. Original egg-shell interior and wrap, smooth bearing edges again, etc.. Original smooth Big Knob Damper, clear lapping, serial number #591437. Nice clear date stamp, same day as the rack(!), ‘MAR 6 1968’. Another lovely drum.
Bass Drum – Great condition again. Free of tom rash, just the odd bit of gigwear, near invisible dings and scuff, etc.. The odd rough edge to a lug or two on the underside of the drum. One of the hoops appears to have been touched up with a lick of paint and maybe even a repair but because of the original manufacturing and the touch up, it’s hard to tell but both hoops are solid. After that, again, this drum is in much the same condition as the others. There’s a tad bit of wear/pitting/tarnish on the metal work. Slight wrap separation that’s basically invisible because of the pattern just on left hand side.Original ’60s centre post plate and double tom holder, dog-leg spurs, claws, etc.. Original egg-shell interior, clear lapping and but unfortunately no visible date stamp. All of the hardware is solid. Serial number #588263. So all in all, we have another killer drum. Nice tidy bearing edges – ready to rumble!
- 13″ x 9″ 1968 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Rack Tom #588817 (‘MAR 6 1968’)
- 16″ x 16″ 1968 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Floor Tom #591437 (‘MAR 6 1968’)
- 22″ x 14″ 1968 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Kick Drum #588263 (no visible stamp)
- WFL Snare Drum Stand
- Ludwig Double Tom Holder
There are not many drums so sort after as these ’60s Black Oyster Luddy kits. And yes, it’s beautiful, in great condition and very cool but the sound of these drums… THAT is what really matters. And these tubs do the legend justice. Regardless of whether you’re a Ringo fan, a collector or just love the look of ’em, these drums are serious. That full, vintage drum tone will never never get old.
Non-UK buyers, please contact us for shipping and payment options.
***This listing is for shell pack only. No other drums or hardware, other than what is listed above, is included with this lot.***