Bearing Edges on Vintage 1964 Ludwig Kit

sbarrett1106

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Hey! I just received a vintage kit and I am wondering should I or should I NOT get the bearing edges recut? I have heard some mixed messages on this topic. What should I be looking for?
 

JDA

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well there's bad horrible worn flat or abused edges and there's original edges. Think you have to decide which you have..
Sometimes originality overtakes in tone the refinishing of edges. So if your drums sing well to you now...may want to keep leave them alone.
 

JDA

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Ok. Sound good? Be sure.. you've thought about it. Once cut they're cut. And I've notice "with the gain" can come a loss.
I have two WFL 6.5 1948 ish snares. One has had edge work the other is untouched. The difference may be the Hoops (the untouched has the orig brass - the cut drum has steel)
but the original drum has "more" in the tone. The 'touched' drum is almost too clean to the point of bland.
It's almost a psychological difference if you didn't hear what the untouched drum sounds like.
 

sbarrett1106

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Ok. Sound good? Be sure.. you've thought about it. Once cut they're cut. And I've otice "with the gain" can come a loss.
I have two WFL 6.5 1948 ish snares. One has had edge work the other is untouched. The difference may be the Hoops (the untouched has the orig brass - the cut drum has steel)
but the original drum has "more" in the tone. The 'touched' drum is almost too clean to the point of boring.
I may need to play it for a time before making a determination.
 

Philaiy9

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Do the drums sound good? If it's just one bad drum you can save your money and just get that one re-cut. You could show the person doing it the profiles on the good drums and he or she should be able to match it. But if the drums sound good as is I'd leave them be. Those old Ludwigs aren't as versatile in tuning as modern kits but the few things they can do they usually do pretty well.
 

sbarrett1106

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Do the drums sound good? If it's just one bad drum you can save your money and just get that one re-cut. You could show the person doing it the profiles on the good drums and he or she should be able to match it. But if the drums sound good as is I'd leave them be. Those old Ludwigs aren't as versatile in tuning as modern kits but the few things they can do they usually do pretty well.
I agree! I think I need to play them for a bit before making that determination. However, I do agree with you.
 

drumsforme

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Did it recently with a early 60's Gretsch Snare....when the edges and beds were redone- I got back an entirely different sounding drum. It sounds good but I did not think the drum would be changed as much as was.....Make sure and think about it.
 

sbarrett1106

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Did it recently with a early 60's Gretsch Snare....when the edges and beds were redone- I got back an entirely different sounding drum. It sounds good but I did not think the drum would be changed as much as was.....Make sure and think about it.
Thanks for that honest feedback!
 

bassanddrum84

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Only do it if they’re super bad. I did mine on my older Ludwig’s because they were chewed up in spots.
 

dingaling

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If you’re worried about re-sale value, obviously altering will lower value.
If not, I recut mine and really like the outcome. A bit more resonance, although still that vintage Ludwig dry sound from the old wood.
 

Radio King

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I currently have two 1960's Super Classic sets in the fold. They all have "interesting" bearing edges compared to modern, particularly the 1966 set. Wavy is a term that comes to mind. But you know what? They sound absolutely fantastic, and they tune up like a dream. I wouldn't want to alter the sound one bit. I really think part of that vintage Ludwig sound comes from the less meticulous bearing edges.
 

sbarrett1106

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I currently have two 1960's Super Classic sets in the fold. They all have "interesting" bearing edges compared to modern, particularly the 1966 set. Wavy is a term that comes to mind. But you know what? They sound absolutely fantastic, and they tune up like a dream. I wouldn't want to alter the sound one bit. I really think part of that vintage Ludwig sound comes from the less meticulous bearing edges.
Thanks for the reply. I do agree with what you shared.
 

bassanddrum84

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I will also say I don’t care about resale value. I put a single 45 on mine and I love the sound I get from them compared to the roundover my other luds have.
 

wflkurt

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Just remember that they are only original once. That being said, if they really are problematic then I would say go ahead and have it done. If this is a set that you may not be keeping forever, it could affect the resale value if the edges are done. It's a tough call because you obviously want to make them playable if there are problems. It sounds like you are on the right idea by playing them for a while to make the call. I restored a 1971 Citrus Mod Ludwig set a few years ago and I remember a few people asking me when I was getting the edges redone. I had absolutely no intention of doing that, especially on such rare drums. Once I put new heads on and tuned up the set, they sounded fantastic! It's weird to because they have that famous Ludwig pregnant seam on all the drums and they look like they would have problems. I'm thinking out of all the Ludwig vintage sets I have owned over the years, this is probably the best sounding one I have ever had. I have had a lot of Ludwig drums too.

You also might want to make sure all of the tension rods are lined up evenly. I have really only had one Ludwig set that was problematic over all these years. Ironocally is was probably the nicest looking set I ever had as it was a mint looking beautiful champagne sparkle downbeat. Not an ounce of color change and they were just gorgeous. I just couldn't get them to sound good no matter what I did. After a close look, I realised that the rods didn't line up properly. If I got one tension rod line up straight on either the 12 or 14, eventually the would start to look like they were leaning on the other side. Almost like the lugs were holes didn't quite match the hoops. It was enough that I just couldn't seem to get either drum to sound good. These were jan 1966 drums which was still in the height of the beatlemania craze. I think I just got an unfortunate set as every other set I have owned has been great. It was a shame though as they were just drop dead gorgeous.
 

sbarrett1106

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Just remember that they are only original once. That being said, if they really are problematic then I would say go ahead and have it done. If this is a set that you may not be keeping forever, it could affect the resale value if the edges are done. It's a tough call because you obviously want to make them playable if there are problems. It sounds like you are on the right idea by playing them for a while to make the call. I restored a 1971 Citrus Mod Ludwig set a few years ago and I remember a few people asking me when I was getting the edges redone. I had absolutely no intention of doing that, especially on such rare drums. Once I put new heads on and tuned up the set, they sounded fantastic! It's weird to because they have that famous Ludwig pregnant seam on all the drums and they look like they would have problems. I'm thinking out of all the Ludwig vintage sets I have owned over the years, this is probably the best sounding one I have ever had. I have had a lot of Ludwig drums too.

You also might want to make sure all of the tension rods are lined up evenly. I have really only had one Ludwig set that was problematic over all these years. Ironocally is was probably the nicest looking set I ever had as it was a mint looking beautiful champagne sparkle downbeat. Not an ounce of color change and they were just gorgeous. I just couldn't get them to sound good no matter what I did. After a close look, I realised that the rods didn't line up properly. If I got one tension rod line up straight on either the 12 or 14, eventually the would start to look like they were leaning on the other side. Almost like the lugs were holes didn't quite match the hoops. It was enough that I just couldn't seem to get either drum to sound good. These were jan 1966 drums which was still in the height of the beatlemania craze. I think I just got an unfortunate set as every other set I have owned has been great. It was a shame though as they were just drop dead gorgeous.
WOW!!! thank you for the informative response. After reading yours and many alike, I am definitely going to wait and play them for some time. I would hate to make a decision and then regret it later. I am sure that these drums will sound fine once tuned with some new heads. The previous owner kept them in excellent condition for the age. These drums are from 1964. Thanks again for the information.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Are they in bad shape or just a "bad" sound to you? Ludwigs are different than Gretsch and Slingy and Rogers. I would say mostly like Slingy though. Who will redo, cost of on a budget, resale value, will they really be "better" are all Q's to consider.

I have a late 60's Ludwig kit. All original edges. Sounds great. I also have a late 60's Jazzette kit. All new edges (prior owner did them) that are sharper and a bit more modern. To me it sounds fantastic as Ludwigs are not an ideal Jazz sound despite the great set name. So it depends.....
 


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