Ludwig Drums

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Ludwig Drums

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    Ludwig Drum Company Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary - 1909 to 2009*.

    Since 1909 The Ludwig Drum Company has built a very strong name in the world, with a little help from celebrity endorsements like Ringo Starr and John Bonham. Ludwig's 100th anniversary will see a drastic make-over of existing lines, plus a few new products. *NAMM


    Ludwig proudly presents their Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 series drums. They are a reissue of the drums that launched so many drummers. This 22" x 14" bass drum is covered in a faithful reproduction of the original "Oyster Black" pearl finish with Classic lugs and curved spurs. Tradition, craftsmanship, and visionary excellence: these are the values at the center of this Ludwig Legacy Classic bass drum. With these values comes a commitment as true as the care and pride that goes into each bass drum, hand-crafted at Ludwig's manufacturing facility in the North Carolina foothills. It is with this ethic in mind that Ludwig celebrates the return of a true American classic.Combining the benefits of today's most advanced drum making processes with the know-how that comes with making drums for nearly a century, Ludwig's Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 bass drums revive the distinctive sound of these famous drums.

    These custom-built, American-made percussion instruments are based on a modern rethinking of the legendary, reinforced 3-ply Ludwig drum shells that set the standard for popular music throughout the 20th Century.Incorporating many of the same methods used throughout its long and illustrious history, Ludwig's exclusive Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 drum shells are made in-house from the choicest cuts of hand-selected North American hardwoods. At its core is a single 1/8" ply of premium poplar for unyielding warmth and resonance. Inner and outer plies of 1/16" premium-grade North American maple are then cross-laminated to the core to reproduce that magical balance of power and clarity for the modern era. This proven design is then augmented with 1/4" single-ply maple reinforcement hoops, and rounded, classic-cut bearing edges for thundering lows and pronounced cut in any musical situation.

    The attractive maple outer shells are then treated in durable lacquer finishes. All Legacy Classic drums also feature Ludwig's Classic mini-lugs and traditional "Keystone" badges. Ludwig Legacy Classic is not merely a blast from the past. These drums take full advantage of state-of-the-art manufacturing, careful quality control, and a host of upgrades and innovations that only a company with Ludwig's experience and expertise can offer.

    For the discriminating professional, serious part-time player, and vintage and contemporary collector alike, Legacy Classic is truly the best of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

    In response to the demands of touring drummers, Ludwig presents the Centennial Series drums. Combining the warmth and projection of a solid maple shell with a great classic look, the Centennial drums in this 4-piece shell pack deliver reliability and perfect tone in one exceptional set. Centennial Series Drums are Ludwig's celebration of 100 years of quality drum making. Ludwig Centennial Series Drums is sure to become a collector's dream. The Ludwig Drum Company will be 100 years old, only once.


    **The Ludwig company was formed in 1909 as Ludwig & Ludwig by brothers William F. and Theo Ludwig.

    Ludwig introduced innovations in drum construction, particularly in the use of materials and finishes. The Black Beauty snare drum, a hand-engraved black nickel-plated brass shell drum first manufactured by Ludwig during the 1920s, is highly prized by collectors and players alike. The Black Beauty was reissued, available either unengraved or machine engraved, in the late 1970s, and reissued again in the 1990s.

    Ludwig also made gold-finished drums in the 1920s that were marketed under the name "Ludwigold". These are also highly prized by collectors since they have never been reissued. The Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum is considered to be an industry standard for professional snares. Originally made of chrome-plated brass, it was later made of a chrome-plated aluminum alloy. Such notable drummers as John Bonham, Ian Paice, Ginger Baker, Carl Palmer, and Steve Gadd, used this drum exclusively throughout the 1970s. The Super-Sensitive strainer was introduced in the '60s and was popular through the '70s for its sensitive snare response. Wood shell snare drums featured precision finishes supplied by Steinway and Sons.

    Most of the drums manufactured by Ludwig have had a plastic "pearl" wrap glued on top of wooden drums. The most sought after original Ludwig finish is the 1960s Oyster Black Pearl, made famous by Ringo Starr. Oyster Pink Pearl and the Black Galaxy finishes produced only between 1961 and 1962 are the rarest finishes and also highly prized. Mod Orange Pearl and Psychedelic Red Pearl are wrap finishes introduced by Ludwig Drums in 1967 and produced through the early 70's. These two finishes are exceptionally rare now. Mod Orange, Psychedelic Red Pearl and Oyster Black Pearl were reintroduced by Ludwig in the late 1990s. While the others were discontinued, Oyster Black is still in the Ludwig catalog today.

    Perhaps the most interesting use of materials appeared in Ludwig's Vistalite drum kits. Vistalite was the trade name used by Ludwig for its line of acrylic (mostly see-through) drums in the 1970s. Ludwig was not the first drum company to sell colored acrylic drums, but they were the most prominent due to their market share. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was widely recognized for playing an amber-colored Vistalite drum set and singer/drummer Karen Carpenter played on Ludwig Vistalites her entire career. Carpenter owned an entry level set, which was forest green with a gold strip, two sets of clear Vistalites which she purchased, and numerous sets donated to her by Ludwig. The first set of clear Vistalites is on display in The Carpenters museum at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. A set of jelly bean Vistalites, where every drum was a different color, was donated to Karen Carpenter by Ludwig for use in a 1976 television special. Although Vistalite sales declined toward the end of the 1970s and were discontinued, Ludwig reintroduced them in 2001. Sales of clear Vistalite and Bonham-replica amber Vistalites have been strong enough that a several other drum companies have followed Ludwig's lead and now make their own acrylic drums.

    In the 1990s, Ludwig introduced a new line of heavy duty hardware, abandoning the very heavy Modular System of the late 1970s and 80's in favor of a less expensive L-arm/double braced industry standard hardware system. Also, the 4-ply Super Classic and 6-Ply Classic series drums were introduced, replacing the 3-Ply shells w/ reinforcement rings. Until the 1990s, Ludwig drums were made of maple and selected hardwoods. In the late 1990s they began manufacturing all-maple shells.

    In 2007, Ludwig reintroduced their classic shell design under the name "Legacy." The shell consists of maple, poplar, and maple wood plies and maple reinforcing rings.

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