Vintage 1971 Ludwig White Marine Pearl Super Classic Drum Kit
Beautiful. White Marine Pearl is that classic vintage finish. It rarely looks out of place. This kits good looks are augmented by the brilliant yellowing that this finish shows with age. These drums look just right! The early ’70s period of Ludwig, some people argue is the golden age of Ludwig drums as they largely kept the ’60s shell design and sound, while tweaking the hardware, making them sturdier and more robust for the road. Another feature of these early 1970s kits is the change in bearing edge. Ludwig went from the classic rounded edge to a slightly rounded 45 degree edge which increased attack and, more desirably, made tuning easier. We’re just a sucker for a good Luddy and this is certainly one of them. The WALLOP out of the kick drum is exactly what you’d hope it would be. Old, used heads, no fancy spur isolation technology, no pillows but damn! That classic tone projects out of the drum while the bottom-end exudes omni-directionally from the shell. The toms aren’t far behind either. They both have low fundamental notes and tick all the boxes for that vintage timbre – a dry, boxy attack with the open, resonant BOOM. The toms both have old Ambassadors on, which we’d argue, is always the choice to get the most out of these classic 3 ply drums. Although this kit would be categorised as a ‘player’s kit’, this is only true up close – look at that money shot! Check out the sound of these on our Instagram page (adc_drums).
We have already mentioned above that this is a player’s kit in terms of its condition. Although, this usually refers to wear and tear or modifications. On this however, that is only partly true. When you whip the heads off of the floor, the wrap isn’t half lop-sided. Initially we thought that the wrap had been trimmed or even that it was a re-wrap. But a learned Ludwig enthusiast with knowledge of the production of these drums would come to a different conclusion. This is known as a ‘Friday afternoon drum’. In part due to our man Ringo, rocketing Ludwig drum’s popularity, build detail varied from the mid ’60s up until the early ’70s, where demand eased. Ludwig were taken by surprise by the shocking demand for their instruments and thus had to open their factory 24/7 and employed significantly more people. Tired, over-worked or inexperienced workers made little errors in measurement in lapping plies of wood, drilling badge holes, applying wrap straight, etc.. These features seem to have no impact on the sound or outward appearance of the drums as is clear with this one but dismantle the drums, look closely and measure against their 1950s or later ’70s counterparts and you will sometimes see details which aren’t as neat. Aside from that, you’ve got a fairly tidy kit. Beautiful yellowing of the wrap, tidy exterior, bit of wrap slip, as is expected as drums from this period, bit of wear on some of the metalwork but the overall impression of the kit when you’re standing in front of it… “Whoa, ain’t she pretty!”
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 – Good condition. Lovely age on the wrap obviously. Bit of wrap lift at the seam bit it appears to have been glued so it looks good. The bearing edges look like they’ve been tidied and rounded a bit. There’s a ding on the resonant bearing edge. Bit of gigwear on the lugs and the tom mount box, etc.. Aside from those issues, we have all the good stuff as it should be; original wrap (no lapping as it’s post ’69), natural interior Big Knob Damper nice and smooth, solid tom arm box, etc.. Faded but intact date stamp that appears to read ‘JAN 6 1971’. Blue Olive Badge, serial number #850197. Nice.
Floor Tom – Good condition. Similar to the rack tom. As mentioned above, the wrap in a little lop-sided, owed to ‘Friday afternoon’ syndrome. The bearing edges again have been tidied and rounded. The resonant edge again features a few dings that are matched but a bit of wrap trimming. Great age to the wrap again. The bottom hoop is a little egged. Bit of general wear, bit of wrap lift at the seam but again, largely, this drum looks good. Natural interior, original wrap, Big Knob Damper smooth. Date stamp clearer on this drum, ‘JAN 12 1971’. B/O Badge, serial number #849065. Serious rumble out of this one – ADC Adam has tuned this so low, he just can’t help himself!
Bass Drum – Good condition. Similar as the other two drums. It has similar types of wear on the hardware as the other two – the odd scuff, ding, etc.. The wrap has yellowed brilliantly. More so on the top, obviously. When you whip the heads off, you can see the colour this kit used to be – we love the contrast! The wrap slip is the most stark on this one. The two points where the seams overlap appear to have been re-glued and feature particular discolouration. Solid ’70s consolette, solid 1/4 spurs, the odd bent t-rod but all in all, it’s good. For some reason, this drum has had its interior painted white. This is clearly an aftermarket modification as underneath the internal spur brackets is the natural Maple interior that is correct for the age of this drum. The hoops have been repainted and the resonant hoop appears to have been repaired too but again, they look and are both certainly solid. There is obviously no date stamp on this drum but the features and serial number confirm what this kits previous owner told us, that this is a factory set. The serial suggests it is early ’72 and as is well-known about these Ludwig outfits, drums were made and stamped individually, then shelved. Factory paired outfits can span up to three years! After that, we’re looking at another great drum. Solid hardware, fairly tidy bearing edges, original wrap. Original resonant head too! Unfortunately it has quite a ding in it but it’s not torn and still sounds brilliant so we ain’t swapping it! Serial number #1045803. Another thump’n tub!
- 13″ x 9″ 1971 Ludwig White Marine Pearl Rack Tom #850197 (stamped, JAN 6 1971)
- 16″ x 16″ 1967-68 Ludwig Sparkling Silver Pearl Floor Tom #849065 (stamped, JAN 12 1971)
- 22″ x 14″ 1967-68 Ludwig Sparkling Silver Pearl Kick Drum #1045803 (no visible stamp)
As this write-up is being typed, one of our regulars ‘Old Jim’ is giving this kit a good tickle. Irresistible. Being a Jazz man from back in the day, he gets a sound out of the kit that really does it justice. These tubs look good but sound even better. A Vintage Ludwig in White Marine Pearl – does it get any better?
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.***