Got my BB back from John Aldridge...

speady1

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Did John say when Ludwig changed to the 'unscratchable' plating?
He said that he will not accept any BB shell made after July 1, 2020, so apparently it was at some point last year. The gist of what he posted was that they "improved" the plating to the point that it's nearly impossible to engrave.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I was digging the incredible snare, amazing detail by a master craftsman, and great music, but your fingers really killed the vibe........ :cool:
 

blikum

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How long of a lead time is it?
Once you contact John and you decide which pattern you will be getting you send him 50% of the total price and he will give you a date to send in the drum. Then when the drum is ready he will show you pics and then you pay the difference. From the time I sent the drum until the time I got it back was maybe two weeks. Pretty quick I think for customization of this sort.
 

feelyat

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He said that he will not accept any BB shell made after July 1, 2020, so apparently it was at some point last year. The gist of what he posted was that they "improved" the plating to the point that it's nearly impossible to engrave.
Yes, and I think that date is an estimate, as he said that shells made before that date would be on an "I'll try" basis.

I actually have mixed feelings about that decision. On one hand, my newer BB (manufactured Sept 2020) will never get the hand engraved treatment that so many have enjoyed. On the other hand, there's precious little chance that I would have gotten it done, and my drum has what John is calling a "bulletproof" plating. If I'm not planning to get it engraved, that seems like an improvement, right?
 

blueshadow

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Wasn't going to post but since John's already mentioned it I'll chime in that it was my drum/ drums! that made him realize this. I took him my 6.5 first and he wasn't able to engrave it (he's local so I got to go to his house which was really cool) at that time he said it "happens once in a blue moon that the drum his too hard to engrave" I asked him what the chance another drum would be un-engravable and he said pretty low. I took the chance and decided I wanted a 8 lug anyways so bit the bullet and bought a second snare and of course he had the same problem. He then contacted Ludwig and that's when they started looking through some serial numbers and narrowed it down to sometime mid 2020 that they made the "improvement" I'll say this I don't think it helped the coating doesn't seem to be any tougher. They are still great drums I love my 2005 black beauty and the coating has held up but I do not clean it often and when I do it's when a damp microfiber cloth only or maybe a little dawn.
 

bellbrass

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He said that he will not accept any BB shell made after July 1, 2020, so apparently it was at some point last year. The gist of what he posted was that they "improved" the plating to the point that it's nearly impossible to engrave.
I had no idea...that's actually good news, to me, because I've had issues with BB plating coming off in the past, and it spooked me enough to not want to get another one. I had my eye on a bronze beauty, and I wonder if they have the same thicker / more scratch-proof nickel plating.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I'd really like a drum engraved by J.A., but I don't have a snare that's worthy............
 

blikum

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Wasn't going to post but since John's already mentioned it I'll chime in that it was my drum/ drums! that made him realize this. I took him my 6.5 first and he wasn't able to engrave it (he's local so I got to go to his house which was really cool) at that time he said it "happens once in a blue moon that the drum his too hard to engrave" I asked him what the chance another drum would be un-engravable and he said pretty low. I took the chance and decided I wanted a 8 lug anyways so bit the bullet and bought a second snare and of course he had the same problem. He then contacted Ludwig and that's when they started looking through some serial numbers and narrowed it down to sometime mid 2020 that they made the "improvement" I'll say this I don't think it helped the coating doesn't seem to be any tougher. They are still great drums I love my 2005 black beauty and the coating has held up but I do not clean it often and when I do it's when a damp microfiber cloth only or maybe a little dawn.
I was kind of wondering what happened to yours, as I know that you mentioned you were getting one done. That's a bummer. I bought mine straight off Amazon with the intention to be engraved. I guess I got lucky.
 

moondrum

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And I'm beyond ecstatic about it! The man does incredible work, he is an artisan, a craftsman of the highest caliber. He even etched my initials in a shield! Here's some pics and a video that I made, it's very difficult to take a pic or video without a reflection in it, so I made a makeshift photo booth out of some foam core. You can see my fingers turn the turntable, meh, whatever. If you're on the fence about getting a drum done by John, just do it. FYI, this pattern is called the Bun E. Carlos pattern. I'm in pretty good company!


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This is beautiful. I spoke to John a while ago about having a drum engraved. Can you tell me how long it took before you got your drum back? I know he can be backed up with orders. I bought a Ludwig raw copper phonic 6-1/2x14 snare and thought about having that engraved.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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This is beautiful. I spoke to John a while ago about having a drum engraved. Can you tell me how long it took before you got your drum back? I know he can be backed up with orders. I bought a Ludwig raw copper phonic 6-1/2x14 snare and thought about having that engraved.
Once you reach out to John he puts you on the waiting list , at one time his waiting list was a year or more . I am not sure what it is now . He takes a 50% downpayment once you agree on a design . He will reach out when he is ready to do your drum . Generally he will have the drum for two weeks at most . Full payment is made after the engraving is agreed to and then he ships it back . A very easy process . I had my snare done in 2010 and it was a very smooth and enjoyable process .
 

blikum

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This is beautiful. I spoke to John a while ago about having a drum engraved. Can you tell me how long it took before you got your drum back? I know he can be backed up with orders. I bought a Ludwig raw copper phonic 6-1/2x14 snare and thought about having that engraved.
Once you decide on your pattern and pay your deposit, he will tell you the date to send the drum by. I had my drum back in just under two weeks from the time he received it. The Copperphonic would look cool with etching!
 


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