First Ludwig kit - finish question

Josh Vibert

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Last month I picked up what I'm guessing will probably be my forever kit from member @codydee12. It's a Ludwig Classic Maple in 8x12, 13x14, 12x20 sizes, full roundover edges, Sable Black finish. While this is my 10th kit in 27 years of drumming, it's my first Ludwig. I've had a Percussion Plus (first starter kit), 3 pearls from Lacquer Exports to Lacquer Masters, 4 DW's and a PDP (3 Lacquer, 2 wraps).

These Ludwigs look great from a couple feet away, but when viewed up close with your hands on them, the finish is almost eggshell-like with tiny pores all over it. This is on all drums. Now, the drums sound amazing, are a joy to play and also a joy to travel with due to the sizes. I just wondered about the finish as it's not as clean/smooth as most/all of the other kits I've had.

C92C6CEA-1547-4C85-BF84-7ACD56419A1A.jpeg


Thoughts?
 

lossforgain

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Honestly, little imperfections don't bother me like they once did. If the instrument's sound isn't affected, and I love the sound, I'm not one to complain. If something really bugs me I will sell it, but have to take less than it should be worth because lots of buyers expect used equipment to look new. If you love the drums, play them! If you want to have a competent luthier/finisher look at them and see if he can make them nice, do it. If they are your forever set, putting some extra money into them won't matter. But if it were me, I would probably leave them alone and play and enjoy.
 

ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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Does it have the same texture on the bottom of the bass drum?

If they are lacquered you can try putting a little wax on one of the shells and buff/polish to see if that helps with your finish concerns. Maybe try an area on the bottom of the bass where it isn't noticeable.
 

Matched Gripper

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Last month I picked up what I'm guessing will probably be my forever kit from member @codydee12. It's a Ludwig Classic Maple in 8x12, 13x14, 12x20 sizes, full roundover edges, Sable Black finish. While this is my 10th kit in 27 years of drumming, it's my first Ludwig. I've had a Percussion Plus (first starter kit), 3 pearls from Lacquer Exports to Lacquer Masters, 4 DW's and a PDP (3 Lacquer, 2 wraps).

These Ludwigs look great from a couple feet away, but when viewed up close with your hands on them, the finish is almost eggshell-like with tiny pores all over it. This is on all drums. Now, the drums sound amazing, are a joy to play and also a joy to travel with due to the sizes. I just wondered about the finish as it's not as clean/smooth as most/all of the other kits I've had.

View attachment 518440

Thoughts?
Another example why Ludwig should have a customer service phone number.
 

CaptainCrunch

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What you're describing sounds like orange peel, which is just a thing that happens when spraying a finish 9 out of 10 times (on that 10th time, when it's magically smooth, you'll get blushing). Finish just goes on kinda rough, and how much you're getting paid determines how much you care. Wet-sanding is what removes it, which is a horrible and tedious job. But it's also doable.

I've done a full kit in nitro lacquer and spent basically an entire winter slowly going through 400 through 2000 grit paper on a rectangular pencil eraser with baby oil. I had the softest, nicest-smelling hands of anyone who has ever lived, which is really nice for February in Chicago. And the kit came out looking like a pro job.
 

Josh Vibert

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I’m not sure if you’d call that orange peel or not. It almost looks like pores in the wood under the finish.
 

Hop

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^^^ +1 ^^^ on that! Looks like it's filling the 'contours' or irregularites very well.
I was going to ask what the ply layup is, but the the description says classic maple.
 

CC Cirillo

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JV,

Disclaimer: I recall when that kit was put up for sale, and I lusted. It’s a CM in very unique sizes and those sizes are very appealing if you ask me. Same with the bearing edges.

That said, whatever irregularities are in that finish, would not bother me, and do not bother me one bit. I think from a short distance away they probably aren’t even visible. Kind of looks like a Steinway.

If you can’t live with it, I hope you post them for sale here, and I hope that I have come into a little bit of money, and a little more storage space, and I’d be all over those drums.

CC
 

Tornado

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I’m not sure if you’d call that orange peel or not. It almost looks like pores in the wood under the finish.
Agreed. I think you're just seeing the natural wood underneath the finish. One thing I do know is, that kit sounds like magic.
 

hsosdrum

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I own a Ludwig Classic kit in Sable Classic Coat finish that I bought in 1990, and the finish looks the same as the finish on your kit — in fact, your is a little nicer! I just took one of the toms out and tried to get some comparable photos of it, but I'm not much of a photographer and the shell wound up reflecting everything in the room like a mirror, rather than showing any detail of the finish on the shell. But trust me when I say that if you take care of those drums, in 31 years the finish will look pretty much the same as it does now, which is to say, very very nice!
 

Josh Vibert

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Like you've all said, the kit is magic to play and to hear. I had the pleasure of playing it out this past Saturday night for a wedding gig. It was a total champ! Just really wanted to ensure that the pores I see aren't some kind of defect in the finish I'll regret not addressing 20 years from now. Sounds like the answer is, "no." I will therefore happily carry on loving this kit!
 


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