Greeting fellow vintage drum lovers
This month’s installment of VH is a set that still packs a lot of bang for the buck. The Ludwig Standard line of drums were introduced in 1968 to be a lower end priced kit to compete with the flood of imports that were coming in at the time from overseas.
However, the great thing is that, like the Club Dates, you were getting the same shell found in the classic line shells of that time, just with different hardware (less expensive to cut costs). And in the case of the Ludwig Standard line, an entire 15 new very groovy finishes to choose from with 3 different configurations offered.
The 15 finishes are very unique to this line of drums & offer some real eye candy if you are lucky to find one in good shape. My problem was most all the Standard drums I had found to date were in some state of disarray & poor shape. I began to think no one really cared much for this line of drums & the chances of finding one in decent shape were shrinking.
You can imagine my utter disbelief & joy when I when I saw this kit at the Hollywood Drum Show last year. The true meaning of vintage happiness as when I saw the set, I fell hard for it.
The kit here is the Model S-300 finished in the very cool Lemon Strata wrap.
The model combination consists of a 14x20 bass drum, 8x12 rack tom, 14x14 floor tom & 5x14 8 lug snare drum. This is basically a Downbeat kit with a Jazz fest snare. That’s right, same shells, very cool unique hardware and a finish you just don’t see everyday. The low 4 digit serial numbers put this kit at around Sept 68 & the consecutive close numbers tell me a matched set. I have see one faint date stamp but not determined an exact date. The interior of the shells are all painted white with the exception of the floor tom having the grey Granitone “sound enhancement” interior. All round mufflers in place & all badges perfect.
The hardware is completely free of any rust, pitting or flaking & is extremely shiny.
But the finish is what really sold me.
I wish I could remember the gentleman I bought this from so hoping he may see this so I can thank him again. There is no fade at all on this kit. And I don’t know how to explain this color scheme other than it looks totally like 1968 groovy! The color is very vivid and in the daylight just looks amazing. The wrap is also free of any scrapes or marks. The BD hoops are in round & the inlays perfect. The snare drum still has the original bottom head & snare wires & the bass drum has original front head as well. The drums really look brand new. I believe this kit was in storage for quite some time.
Heads are Coated Ambassadors on all batter sides with black Ebony heads underneath which give it a cool look. These drums have excellent projection for the small sizes & this kit is becoming a regular go to live kit in my rotation. The sound is fat & much bigger then they look! They really do pack a great punch!
The Ludwig Standard line kits are solid, great playing & sounding vintage investments that are still affordable. Highly recommended. Until next time, play those drums!