Dating a ludwig drum
This third wave of Pearl drums followed the chronology: Pearl stencil brands past life. Thus, we neglected to change heads, invariably replacing broken batters with bottom heads.Say what you want when comparing the merits of wood vs. You see an awful lot of open-ended Japanese toms lying about for this reason.They had no value as trade-ups to prestigious brands they emulated: Slingerland, Gretsch, and occasionally Rogers. I know I certainly missed the point all these years.All I know is what I heard…when playing these budget kits in moments of weakness. I remember writing some vague forecast, in a Canadian, American, or German magazine, to the effect that the first wave of Japanese-made stencil brand drumsets would become the next object of affection for those who seek out anything smacking of “classic” or “vintage”.
All along I mistakenly assumed that the “better shells” were those bolstered by extra plies of Asian Luan and so forth. For example, my Coronets feature a paltry 6 lugs/tension rods per 14″ drum…2 less than the accepted industry standard.
The look was interesting, granted, but the metal was soft and prone to crack; the shells were porous second-grade Asian softer-woods, overly flexible, and often untrue or out-of-round.
If you were playing drums back then, as I was, you’ll recall throwing away such drumsets.
You’d react as I reacted when, before Christmas, I set sticks to the newly acquired. Your jaw would drop as mine did, just as your ears would attempt to gate down as a result of the magazine reviews, itemizing all the “what’s hot” and “what’s not” features. It was obviously more than a matter of my replacing existing heads, top and bottom, with second-hand but serviceable skins and a quick-fix tuning job. Until he revealed what he’d discovered, I figured I’d gotten the luck-of-the-draw…an unusually good Coronet kit, round and with true bearing edges.
The Coronet toms delivered such a blossoming, hearty tone, the bass drum such a Bonham-like cannon blast, that I was blown away. Perhaps my modest kit reaped the benefits of a better grade of Asian wood and unusually meticulous workmanship. In case you haven’t bothered to go back to the original tale, I’ll reiterate that the drums cost me nothing.