1960's Downbeat ?

DWSlingerland45

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Not completely sure what this is ...it belongs to a guitarist friend of mine. He inherited it recently. What I think he has is a 1960's keystone badge 20/12/14/14 matching snare Ludwig Down Beat set up. My questions are can anyone tell from the pictures if that's a Jazzfest model snare or if not, what other model could it be? Color is BDP or SBP ? Approximate value ? There is a throne and all Zildjian cymbals and period correct cases with it. Just looking for any info to let my friend know what he has. It's not for sale as it's a family heirloom. I may at some point be asked to do a clean up/ mini resto / new heads etc... He will forward me more pictures when he gets back from parents weekend at his sons College. Any info would be appreciated. Mike
 

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Geardaddy

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The kit looks like a Downbeat model. 8 lug bass drum (20"), small lugs on the rack tom (12") and large lugs on the floor tom (probably 14"). It looks like the snare is pretty shallow and probably is a Downbeat model which would have come with the Downbeat kit. It's a 4x14" drum.
 

wflkurt

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What a beautiful set of drums from mid to late 1969! You don't see too many downbeats from that time period. It's really hard to tell exactly what the snare is and I'm inclined to say jazzfest. Can you get more pics? I am close to certain that a date stamp from July through the end of 1969 would be in one of the clear maple interior drums. Hopefully you can get more photos.
 

DWSlingerland45

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So, I finally got the pictures back from my buddy.... Curious about a few things. First, the snare is a B/ O badge where the kit is keystone, I've hear of transition kits between the badge styles ...is this one of those? I have not looked up sn's but my friend says he did ...drums 69 and snare 70 ? Clear maple interiors which he shot through the vent holes and apparently original heads all around. Also the paint on the bass drum hoops I matte/ flat black is that standard or 50 years of fading?
 

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wflkurt

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Wow these are so cool. Thanks for the pics. I would be curious to see if that snare had a date stamp. It sure looks to be caught it the switch from keystone to B/O. Any downbeat from 1969 is pretty hard to find as most sets had 22" bass drums by now. These look to be in very nice shape and it would make such an awesome little gigging set.
 

DWSlingerland45

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Wow these are so cool. Thanks for the pics. I would be curious to see if that snare had a date stamp. It sure looks to be caught it the switch from keystone to B/O. Any downbeat from 1969 is pretty hard to find as most sets had 22" bass drums by now. These look to be in very nice shape and it would make such an awesome little gigging set.
I wish I could snag them lol. They belong to a childhood friend, who's uncle was the original owner he just recently passed away. To my friend they are priceless, and a family heirloom....I may have the opportunity/ honor of doing the clean up work on these at some point.
I'm assuming from the comments that this is completely possible to jave been born together? A transition kit of sorts between KB and BO badge eras?
 

DWSlingerland45

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What a beautiful set of drums from mid to late 1969! You don't see too many downbeats from that time period. It's really hard to tell exactly what the snare is and I'm inclined to say jazzfest. Can you get more pics? I am close to certain that a date stamp from July through the end of 1969 would be in one of the clear maple interior drums. Hopefully you can get more photos.
I was able to get a few more pictures of the snare drum NO date stamp was found. I'll post separately below.
 

btreat

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So, I finally got the pictures back from my buddy.... Curious about a few things. First, the snare is a B/ O badge where the kit is keystone, I've hear of transition kits between the badge styles ...is this one of those? I have not looked up sn's but my friend says he did ...drums 69 and snare 70 ? Clear maple interiors which he shot through the vent holes and apparently original heads all around. Also the paint on the bass drum hoops I matte/ flat black is that standard or 50 years of fading?
In 1967 the hoops had a glossy finish in a sort of "orange peal" texture. The texture was also not consistent from one side of the inlay to the other or all the way around the hoop which I attribute to rushed working conditions at the time. By 1969/70 Ludwig may have altered the look. The 20" hoop in the attached photo was removed and stored right after I bought it in 1967. I used it as a 'control' when I repainted both hoops - one at a time in 2012.
 

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wflkurt

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Thanks again for the pics. I have seen very few(almost none) B/O badges drums with a 1969 date stamp. I know it happened but there seems to be very few of them. The snare most likely came with the set or could have been a slightly later order. I'm betting they came together. Do you know if any of the drums other than the snare have a date? The curved spurs seemed to come in to play around May of 1969 or somewhere near there. Ludwig still used a lot of gill wing spurs on sets up until the end of 1969 and of course curved spurs were used exclusively from 1970 on with maybe a rare occasional gull wing. Again almost no gull wing spurs after 1969 into 1970. I'm sure if a set were discovered then Ludwig would use them as not to waste them.

This set really is a transition set into 1970 and there are very few like it. This is especially rare in downbeat sizes. I'm glad they are in good hands where they will be taken care of.
 

drumtimejohn

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Thanks again for the pics. I have seen very few(almost none) B/O badges drums with a 1969 date stamp. I know it happened but there seems to be very few of them. The snare most likely came with the set or could have been a slightly later order. I'm betting they came together. Do you know if any of the drums other than the snare have a date? The curved spurs seemed to come in to play around May of 1969 or somewhere near there. Ludwig still used a lot of gill wing spurs on sets up until the end of 1969 and of course curved spurs were used exclusively from 1970 on with maybe a rare occasional gull wing. Again almost no gull wing spurs after 1969 into 1970. I'm sure if a set were discovered then Ludwig would use them as not to waste them.

This set really is a transition set into 1970 and there are very few like it. This is especially rare in downbeat sizes. I'm glad they are in good hands where they will be taken care of.
To support your point I owned a keystone downbeat with curved spurs and bass drum date stamp of May 21, 1969. Best Ludwig spurs in my opinion.
 

wflkurt

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To support your point I owned a keystone downbeat with curved spurs and bass drum date stamp of May 21, 1969. Best Ludwig spurs in my opinion.
I agree. There is a super small window of sets with keystone badges and curved spurs. Factor in that most of those sets were either super classics or Hollywood sets and that makes the downbeat even more rare like that. I have a quick horror story....

I had a drummer friend in high school and in the mid 90's he picked a very nice 1969 blue sparkle downbeat from 1969. It had curved spurs and it was a beautiful set that he grabbed from a Daddy's junky music for $300! He used to play hard metal and every time he played the set people would rave about the sound of that little bass drum as it was super punchy. The problem for him was that he hated the spurs as the bass drum would slide. I begged and pleaded with him not to mess with the set and one day he did it. He added pearl spurs to the damn thing. It still breaks my heart when I think about that set. He ended up selling it later on but I think he realized what a dumb mistake he made but unfortunately it was too late.
 

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