Greetings Vintage Drum Lovers!
This month’s installment of Vintage Happiness highlights a set I had been after for some time. There are many white marine pearl kits out there. It’s a fantastic wrap and it’s classy no matter what drum kit it’s on. But I had a specific kit in mind for my WMP. It HAD to be a Ludwig Transition Badge Era Buddy Rich Model No. 980P Super Classic Outfit. The reason: The sound. I had played a kit many years ago and was just blown away. They were some of the best sounding drums I have ever played and the 50’s are my favorite era for Ludwig drums.
The restoration of this set took about 2 months to complete, as the drums were never cleaned. I removed every piece of metal and hand polished & scrubbed it all with Brasso. All the shells were polished with Novus 1 and 2. The fade is even around all the drums so this kit really screams vintage. I honestly don’t think the fade of this kit could be more perfect. Being this is a Buddy Rich edition, the bass drum has the second mount for a splash cymbal. The sizes are 14x22, 9x13, 16x16 and the matching 5.5x14 Buddy Rich 10 lug Super Classic snare drum. The drums are all date stamped March and April 1959 and the snare is Jan 1960. I already had the correct matching COB Super Ludwig and Pioneer. The set is in fantastic shape with really no issues in the wrap. All still in great shape. The hardware did have some pitting and rust, which I was able to remove. I also replaced the worn out original tom rail mount on the bass drum with Steve Maxwell’s excellent replica and now the drums were ready to gig.
This set quickly found it’s way into my regular rotation for gigs and has become an instant favorite of mine because of the sound. In my opinion, these are the greatest shells of Ludwig: the legendary 3-ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells. The tone and warmth these drums have is amazing. They project immensely but even played quietly still retain the great deep tone. I put all new Remo Coated Vintage Ambassadors on the toms and a Remo Coated Power Stroke 3 on the bass drum batter. The front bass drum head is original. Another great thing about this kit is that it is the only full Transition Badge set I own. This is the not so often seen Blue & bigger keystone badge used during the transition period (58-60) when the Ludwig family finally had their name back immediately following the WFL era of drums.
This set will see many gigs in its future and I am happy to be putting these drums back to work. It took some time and much hunting but the hunt is a great part of the fun!
Until next time, PLAY those drums!!