Do Vintage WFL Drums Sound Significantly Different Than Vintage Ludwig Drums?

Brewkowski

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I own a 1958 WFL (13/16/22) in White Marine Pearl and an early 70s Ludwig Big Beat (12/13/16/22) in red sparkle wrap. I love them both for different reasons. The 3ply maple/poplar/maple of the 70s has a bit brighter of a sound.. still a warm sound but not as much as the WFL. If I'm playing a funk//blues/rock/soul gig, I go with the 70s Ludwig most of the time. If I'm doing a blues/classic country/classic rock type of gig, I like using the WFL. It's all preference, of course. The 3ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells are just awesome. They sound like drums should sound!
 

multijd

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I dont know much about the wfl’s but a couple of people have mentioned their 12x22 bass dums so i want to chime in on that. I have a slingerland mah/pop/mah 12x22 from 1958 that is a fantastic bass drum. I mainly play 18” drums but this 12x22 could make me a convert. Fantastic sound.
 

markrocks68

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I dont know much about the wfl’s but a couple of people have mentioned their 12x22 bass dums so i want to chime in on that. I have a slingerland mah/pop/mah 12x22 from 1958 that is a fantastic bass drum. I mainly play 18” drums but this 12x22 could make me a convert. Fantastic sound.
I just came into an immaculate 1952 WFL Porto Pak outfit with a 12x22 mahogany kick drum.
The original calf's are still on it and the day after I got it I gigged the set and WOW was I blown away by the thump & warmth of the bass drum.
I'm actually leaving all the original heads on as they are in fantastic shape & sound great.
Again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the WFL kits!! I'm kinda hooked on them. My personal FAVORITE era of Ludwig.
You really should get one!
portobass.jpg
porto2.jpg
porto3.jpg
porto5.jpg
 

multijd

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I just came into an immaculate 1952 WFL Porto Pak outfit with a 12x22 mahogany kick drum.
The original calf's are still on it and the day after I got it I gigged the set and WOW was I blown away by the thump & warmth of the bass drum.
I'm actually leaving all the original heads on as they are in fantastic shape & sound great.
Again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the WFL kits!! I'm kinda hooked on them. My personal FAVORITE era of Ludwig.
You really should get one!
View attachment 404970View attachment 404971View attachment 404972View attachment 404973
My Slingerland 12x22 has the calf heads also. Fantastic sound!
 

studrum

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I just came into an immaculate 1952 WFL Porto Pak outfit with a 12x22 mahogany kick drum.
The original calf's are still on it and the day after I got it I gigged the set and WOW was I blown away by the thump & warmth of the bass drum.
I'm actually leaving all the original heads on as they are in fantastic shape & sound great.
Again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the WFL kits!! I'm kinda hooked on them. My personal FAVORITE era of Ludwig.
You really should get one!
View attachment 404970View attachment 404971View attachment 404972View attachment 404973

...for the win, no contest! And I say this as a very happy longtime owner of about a 1962 Downbeat 20/12/14, red muffler, 1st series tom brackets Blue Sparkle beauty, with a matching snare from 1-2 years newer. They are pre-Ringo, etc. and just have this throaty roar. I play mainly medium tuning.
 
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plexi69

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I also own a Ludwig Trans badge set. My first impression of them when I took the heads off was that they looked like furniture on the inside. The wood is that nice and the build quality is that high. When playing them, one can't help but feeling like a badass!
 

Rich K.

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Best sounding drums I ever played were transition era Ludwigs and '61 Slingerlands, both with the mahogany interiors. The Slingerland bass drum was 12x20 and the Ludwig 12x22.
 

BennyK

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WFL's have that deep cushion from mahogany in and out .

Premier 3 ply mahogany from 68- 7(?) same thing .
 

jptrickster

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My experience is WFL and very early 60’s had superior craftsmanship on the edges. These drums had a wider(easier) tuning range and overall cleaner tone
 

GreatBazunka

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I like the WFL and Ludwig stuff that is pre '64. Like mentioned earlier, it seems like quality control was a bit better before the Ringo boom. All of the pre '64 Ludwig and WFL stuff will have brass hoops. I've owned later 60s stuff which was still great, but have found in general that the quality is a bit worse. On the flip side however, the late 60s stuff has better, more useable hardware. Really, a lot of it boils down to finding sizes, condition, shell makeup, and finish that you like the best. At the end of the day, it's all good.
I can vouch for that. I have a 62 ludwig set with an original speed king pedal and it is all still holding up great. Sounds excellent too. The mallet on the pedal just broke and silly me was thinking of getting a new pedal. Then i reminded myself of what a great pedal the speed king is and found a NOS mallet for it. Now it is all back to perfection. (in my eyes at least.)
 

pedro navahas

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I just came into an immaculate 1952 WFL Porto Pak outfit with a 12x22 mahogany kick drum.
The original calf's are still on it and the day after I got it I gigged the set and WOW was I blown away by the thump & warmth of the bass drum.
I'm actually leaving all the original heads on as they are in fantastic shape & sound great.
Again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the WFL kits!! I'm kinda hooked on them. My personal FAVORITE era of Ludwig.
You really should get one!
View attachment 404970View attachment 404971View attachment 404972View attachment 404973

That is the best sounding bass drum right there!
I got mine with the wrap removed and some extra holes. Fixed the holes with mahogany plugs and shot it with rattle can black lacquer so I could gig it, still that way after a couple years, don’t want to mess with the mojo! Recently received a 16x16 WFL floor tom and use a 12” pre serial mahogany rack and whoa.
 


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