“70’s” Ludwig bass drum shell question.

multijd

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I’m looking at a Ludwig bass drum. The owner says it is a 70’s drum. What shells were in production then? Would it be a three ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany with maple rings? I don’t have pictures of the interior.
Thanks for your help
 

Bri6366

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Early to mid 70s would most likely be 3 ply maple/poplar with maple rings. Mid to late 70s would be 6 ply maple/poplar with no rings.
 

drumtimejohn

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From my experience, many of the late 60s into the early 70s had mahogany but mostly on the outer ply only. I have such a set for sale in that section if you’re looking for an example. Ive read the wood is also found in larger shell drums later. ‘73 was the latest outer mahogany I’ve owned. It gets harder to tell once the clear interiors become granitone, this includes the Standard Line. The latest mahogany/poplar/mahogany I own is a ‘65.
 

K.O.

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Most likely Maple (interior)/poplar/mahogany if it's a wrapped drum. Possibility it might be maple/poplar/maple even if wrapped and certainly maple on the outside if it's a natural finish (unless it's the natural mahogany finish). From 1968ish to the mid 70's the interiors were almost always clear maple.

Ludwig only made one shell at the time but they used what was at hand. The Poplar core is the constant, maple and mahogany content for the other two plies vary and you might find different layups in the same "factory" set. People were not concerned about this stuff back then so as long as it was "wood" most drummers were good to go.

Around 1977 Ludwig switched to a 6 ply shell design with no re-rings. Those were maple and poplar. If the drum in question has rings it's 3 ply, if not 6 ply.
 

JDA

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you know this- the poplar was constant the maple/mahogany could have been inner or outer/// Etc//// makes me wonder. How attuned we are today- I know the majority of us are- we can hear a mahog/ we can hear a maple/ Here's My Point:

remember Mick Fleetwood when he was visiting the DW factory he said something along the lines of:
" back then you'd have a set, and there was always one drum (that either "didn't fit" or sounded "off"/.
(or the converse 'one drum sounded fantastic" )

I'm wondering- what if any part that had to do with unmatched shell compositions had anything to do with that (because it was "usually" Ludwig drums 'they' were talking about..
I wonder..
 
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jptrickster

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I’m looking at a Ludwig bass drum. The owner says it is a 70’s drum. What shells were in production then? Would it be a three ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany with maple rings? I don’t have pictures of the interior.
Thanks for your help
We can guess all day, the badge serial number will help hone it in.
 

jptrickster

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Its been well established early 70's shells were Mahogany/pop/maple clear interior maple rings. Around '74 they were the same (possibly some w mahogany inner ply's) with Granitone speckled trunk paint, then switched to 6 ply maple/pop no rings around '76. *As with all companies that produced thier own shells layup could vary depending on what was in the veneer rack.
This guide seems pretty accurate
 

Bri6366

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you know this- the poplar was constant the maple/mahogany could have been inner or outer/// Etc//// makes me wonder. How attuned we are today- I know the majority of us are- we can hear a mahog/ we can hear a maple/ Here's My Point:

remember Mick Fleetwood when he was visiting the DW factory he said something along the lines of:
" back then you'd have a set, and there was always one drum (that either "didn't fit" or sounded "off"/.
(or the converse 'one drum sounded fantastic" )

I'm wondering- what if any part that had to do with unmatched shell compositions had anything to do with that (because it was "usually" Ludwig drums 'they' were talking about..
I wonder..

I had that with my 12" on my '71 Ludwiigs, but all of the drums had maple interiors. It could have been a result of the way they made the shells back in those days and being less than perfectly round.

According to the Ludwig shell guide, in the 70s, they would usually put the outer mahogany ply on floor toms and bass drums, kind of like a modern day Pearl Reference. Maybe I'm giving Ludwig too much credit
 

K.O.

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Every clear interior wrapped 3ply Ludwig I've ever owned, large and small, has a mahogany outer ply under the wrap. I believe the main reason for this was that mahogany was a more porous grain and therefore gave a better surface for the wrap glue to adhere to (certainly sound was never a factor, LOL). I know that in that era it was still somewhat common for big floor toms (18, 20) to have clear mahogany inner plies as well, although I can't guess as to why. There were certainly wrapped 3 ply drums made with maple plies on both sides of the poplar during this time but I have yet to actually own one.

I think the bottom line is, at the time drummers (for the most part) did not care about what kind of wood was in their drums, as long as the result sounded good, and this gave all the manufacturers free reign to use whatever they wanted, generally those decisions being based on production expediency and probably the price of raw materials, rather than a bunch of R&D looking for the ultimate sound...that's a part of the modern drum world but that didn't really start until sometime in the 1980s and 90s.
 
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JDA

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I think the bottom line is, at the time drummers (for the most part) did not care about what kind of wood was in their drums,
they commented and "cared" in the sense...of 'not knowing why"...
I'm just wonder if it was a source of the comments " one drum sounded different" " always had one that sounded.."
usually attributed to a "bad edge" or "out a round" I wonder if it was (because) some were mahog next to one with maple...with all that inner and outer ply "flippage'..the paint no paint..
 
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K.O.

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they commented and "cared" in the sense...of 'not knowing why"...
I'm just wonder if it was a source of the comments " one drum sounded different" " always had one that sounded.."
usually attributed to a "bad edge" or "out a round" I wonder if it was (because0 some were mahog next to one with maple...with all that inner and outer ply "flippage'..the paint no paint..
It very well could be. Drummers are definitely infinitely more tuned into what their drums are made of and how they are made today. I suppose for younger guys, where this has always been the norm, it's hard to imagine the mindset that was in effect back then. Each brand of drums only made one type of drums (with variations on the metal fittings for higher and lower lines) and you bought the brand you liked best (for whatever reason) confident that they were the high quality drums you hoped they'd be based simply on the brand name and reputation. Generally they were.

I was a Ludwig guy, I had no idea what woods Ludwig was using to make their drums, nor did I care. If it said Ludwig on it I knew it was a good drum. The other brands were the same, with drummers picking their favorite for whatever reason.
 

shuffle

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Another thing that makes one drum "off" is a dead spot in the shell.
Air caught in the plies kill the resonance as well
 

jptrickster

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Quality control on the edges was iffy on 70’s ludwigs, I’ve seen a few , own a few, they range from just ok to absolutely rough. It can take a little patience and tweaking to tune them nicely, Somehow they always sound good. I’ve grown fond of my dirty sounding ludwigs.
 

Bri6366

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Quality control on the edges was iffy on 70’s ludwigs, I’ve seen a few , own a few, they range from just ok to absolutely rough. It can take a little patience and tweaking to tune them nicely, Somehow they always sound good. I’ve grown fond of my dirty sounding ludwigs.
I think they did my late 70s 6 ply edges by dragging the shells against the shop floor, but they put out some sound.
 

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