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Vintage Ludwigs and heads

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  • Vintage Ludwigs and heads

    Hey all, I have some 60's Ludwigs that I'm getting out of my mothers house in NY soon and want to start playing them again. I haven't played them in over 10 years. I know this is only a subjective question but once I get the drums out, I'm going to need all new heads (top and bottom) and possible hardware (rims, snares, etc). There are so many different combinations that it has been overwhelming. So of course I turn to the gang here to steer me in the right direction. Any ideas or thoughts?

  • #2
    I got thinking about my post and I'm sure someone will ask what kind of sound I want. I would like to retain some of the old vintage sound, the subtle nuances that make the old drums great but still have the modern sounds of the newer style drums.

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    • #3
      Well, I have no idea what they sound like, but Ludwig has reintroduced a new version of the old Weather King head that they used to put out in the 60s. They also have bass drum heads with the old classic script Ludwig logo on the top of the front side head. If it were me and I wanted to capture the old look I'd give these a try, especially the bass drum head.

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      • #4
        If your drums have not been modified from the original design (rounded bearing edges, no additional holes, etc) they're probably similar to my '67 vintage Ludwigs. Metal Supraphonic snare, too? Well, I tried all different combinations based on advice from all types of players, and original equipment, or the closest thing is best for me. The new "old" stuff from Ludwig may be the best choice, but for these drums, Remo works. Snare: coated Ambassador top/clear Diplomat or "snare head" on bottom. 9X13 tom: coated Ambassador or Emporer on top, clear Ambassador on bottom. 16X16 floor tom: coated Emporer on top, clear Ambassador on bottom. I have a vintage Ludwig (script)logo front head on my 14X22 kick with a 6 or 8" hole off center BUT I absolutely love the Aquarian SKII batter head. This is the only batter head that gets a punch out of my old kick drum. Use some dampening like a small pillow or blanket to take some of the ring off the front head and one of those pads to take the abuse from the beater. I'll occassionally use a Moongel pad to take some ring off the drums, if necessary. I probably don't have to tell you that these are great drums! Hope this is good advice for you.

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        • #5
          I have an old set of Ludwigs comprised of 60's and 70's Black Oyster Pearl shells that I've owned (and played)for almost 30 years. I recently put Aquarian Jack De Johnette heads on the Toms becasue the matt black finish looks so cool, but I'd have to say they don't sound as good as my ten year old Remo Controlled Sound (Black Dots)which Lasted forever despite having the crap beat out of them. I use those gel things to cut down the overtones a bit, but I'm tempted to put the old heads back on or try something else if I start actually playing gigs with them for some reason. I put one of those oil filled batter heads on my kick drum because its so massive (26" no kidding) that I really needed to dampen that as much as possible too without jamming a whole bunch of junk inside the shell.

          What finish and sizes are your shells? That may have some impact on what heads you get.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice so far guys, I knew you would come thru. As for the sizes, I'm not sure, again, I haven't seen them in 10 years. I know it was a Jazz set with the Paiste formula 602 cymbals from the mid 60's with the sparkle blue finish. Doing some research, my best guess for sizes is this.

            20" Bass (maybe 22")
            8x12 tom
            9x13 tom
            14" snare
            14x14 floor tom

            2 LP timbales, not sure what size

            What I'm so excited about is these are in mint condition. They weren't used all that much when I bought them, they still had the original heads on them. I have most of the heads still, including the bass front head with the Ludwig logo. I don't know if I can use it, being it is so old.

            Rsanto, they have not been modified in any way. Everything on them is still original, the snares, lugs, rods, hoops, stands, pedal, everything. I didn't use it all that much back then because I was playing guitar and keyboard and practicing drums with a friends set at his house. I put maybe 50 hours on this set and probably not much more was put on before I bought it. I can't wait to get them.

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            • #7
              Here's my set of Ludwigs.
              http://www.metrocast.net/~rhythm/psychred2.JPG

              I've been playing these for 30 years. I just switched to Evans hydraulic heads to give me that fat 70's sound.
              I used to use Remo pinstripes, they work well, also. I play mostly R&B, Jazz, Funk, etc...
              If you want vintage sounds go with coated ambassadors on the batter head with clear ammbassador or diplomats on the snare or bottom head. These are made by Remo Belli, or you can use coated whoever's head you seem to like.
              I, also have an early 60's supraphonic snare drum and use a Bear Percussion concert batter head with a Remo clear diplomat on the snare side. More bark for my bite.

              ------------------
              Woody
              Woody

              2002 Purple V-Session w/PM-3 monitor-TDA-700 amplifier

              1971 Psychedelic Red Ludwig Rockers with Zildjian cymbals

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              • #8
                Oh, and don't be afraid to use the original heads, esp. the front bass drum head with the original logo.
                The most they can do is break.

                ------------------
                Woody
                Woody

                2002 Purple V-Session w/PM-3 monitor-TDA-700 amplifier

                1971 Psychedelic Red Ludwig Rockers with Zildjian cymbals

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