Here’s another unique snare drum that has just entered the collection. A special thanks goes to my good friend Bill Wanser of Olympic Drums & Percussion (Portland, Oregon) for making me a very fair deal on this snare drum and for his expert shell restoration. This drum was “ridden hard and put up wet” and needed a lot of work but I think that the finished product was well worth everyone’s efforts.
*A LITTLE HISTORY:
Another special thanks goes to Bill Wanser for his permission to quote him on the following info:
“Attached is a scan of the 1930s catalog page showing the ‘Decorative
Inlay Finish Bass Drum.’ Obviously this decorative inlay was available
on snare drums as well since I've seen more snare drums with the inlay
finish than bass drums. (as an aside, I have a set, bass drum and snare
drum, with the inlay finish). However, I have never seen an image of the
snare drum in any of Ludwig's catalogs or Ludwig Drummer magazines. The
same bass drum is shown in the 1932 catalog as well. They titled this
drum the "Ludwig Super Bass Drum" with the "Aero-Kraft" shell. The next
bass drum listed was the "Ludwig Standard Bass Drum", still having
So my conclusion is that the drum with the "Decorative Inlay Finish" was
the "Ludwig Super Bass Drum" model.
The 5 x 14 shell solid mahogany shell was pretty worn from many years of use. I decided to let Bill Wanser restore the shell as he has extensive wood working experience. I was very pleased with the shell restoration, Bill did a great job as the before and after photos will show. I have never seen a Standard-Sensitive Model with the “decorative inlay finish”.
All of the chrome hardware was very dirty and needed a good cleaning via Brian and his cleaning tank at Avenue Plating. The top rim was really bad and needed Les and his buffing wheel at Avenue Plating; he was very careful to not burn through to the nickel plating, although there is some “burn-through”, the outcome is still way better than the original condition the rim was in. The top rim has the engraved “STANDARD-SENSITIVE” marking which is definitely 1929 (the first year that this model was produced and the first year that the chrome plating option was available from L & L). I own and have seen other Standard Sensitive models with the engraving or stamp on the bottom rim. There were a few missing parts but I had the era-correct parts in my parts stash.
Of-the-era calf heads and original Sensitive and Snappi-Snares finished off this restoration.
As always I welcome your thoughts and similar stories.