Keystone era Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl drums trends?

Ludwigboy

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Sorry, if this is a ever revolving topic....... :happy11:

As I am assembling a 1966 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl "Super Classic" set (22/13/16) and now searching for a 22 inch bass drum, I have noticed that there seems to be few Keystone era OBP drums come up for sale on the market often.

I see a number of Super Classic sets and "Downbeat" sets as well as a couple of what I think of as Hollywood sets (dual rack tom sets)

As well, I have come across a number of bass drums but most have had an " aftermarket" dual tom mount hole installed in them presumably to allow a drummer to add another tom when dual toms became all the rage.in the mid to late 60's and 70's. Was this a very common practice of the day? I know my own 65 Ludwig Oyster Blue set has dual rail consollettes and probably for that very same reason.

I also understand that after the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, sales for Ludwig went through the roof especially for this OBP wrap so logic would dictate that for the sheer number that were produced, you would think they would be still be reasonably plentiful but it seems like very few surface now . ...maybe it is a cyclical thing.

Is the fact that collectors/players are keeping them and not selling and building these sets or? Or were many destroyed through the years or rewrapped or painted over ?

I haven't followed the vintage drum trends for years so am unfamiliar with the sales cycles of these drums and am only drawing on experience of the last 6 months.

Also, generally what drum seems to be the hardest one to find in the Keystone era Black Oyster wrap other than the snares...... a rack tom, floor tom or kick drum?


I know there are a lot of knowledgeable members who can help educate me (and perhaps others who may be interested in this topic) on this topic and I would appreciate hearing from them.

Thanks for those members in the past who have added tidbits of information to my own limited knowledge!


Thanks in advance for your patience with this newbie :happy11:
Chris
 

Skyrm

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My first kit, in the early 70's, was a used Keystone OBP: 22, 12, 12, 16. I was an early teenager, and didn't really know squat about drums. the two 8x12's had different mufflers, and thus were probably different era's. I'm pretty sure they double tom holder was added later, but I didn't know to look for holes from a rail.

The kicker was that the spurs were out of alignment - if the tom holder was straight up, one of the sours was a panel too high and didn't hit the floor! :)
 

Rich K.

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Funny, I grew up in the '60s and drooled over every set I saw. Seemed most of them were blue sparkle, red sparkle and wmp. Don't ever remember seeing a black or blue oyster set in person.
 

K.O.

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When the Beatles exploded on the American scene in February 1964 via the Ed Sullivan show sales of Oyster Black Ludwig drums went through the roof according to Bill Ludwig's autobiography. They had to add shifts at the plant just to keep up with the demand. Oyster Black became the best selling color for 2-3 years and there are a lot of them out there. Conversely though, today demand for vintage examples, particularly in "Ringo sizes" (12/14/20 and/or 13/16/22 and matching Jazz Festival snares) remains high, so even though there were a lot of them made there are also a lot of people either chasing after them or holding on to the ones they have. This is why values (or at least asking prices) of this particular wrap can be considerably higher than for drums in other wraps, even though they are far from rare.


I've been following this market for at least 30 years although not as much lately as I have the drums I want in this finish. In the pre-internet era they could be hard to find (although likely much cheaper when you did stumble onto a set). Once the internet came along it became much easier to find these but the increase in knowledge as to the demand for these also drove prices up. It is rare when there aren't at least a few OBP drums for sale on ebay. It is somewhat uncommon for a "bargain" priced one to surface though, at least there (or on Reverb) as it has become pretty common knowledge that drums in this wrap bring a premium due to demand.


After the Jazz Fest (actually not that hard to find, just hard to afford, but certainly the lowest production of the Ringo sizes since most sets came with a Supra for the snare) the next rarest "Ringo" size would appear to be the 14x14 floor tom.

Of course there has been a certain level of attrition thru the years with these drums being stripped of their wrap or otherwise modified (center post tom holders replacing rails). Although I think this may have happened less to Oyster Black drums than some other colors as there has been some demand for Beatle style sets almost since the band broke up. Still, in the 70's and 80's these style wraps were out of fashion so, undoubtedly, some were rewrapped or otherwise refinished. And, obviously, as with all vintage drums, some examples have been destroyed in one way or another (fires, car wrecks, floods, etc.).


Here's one of my two Ringo sets. I also have a 13/16/22.


 
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verminator

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I had a pristine 1964 Ringo kit (22, 13, 16, and matching obp snare). The kit looked almost brand new and came with the original hardware, cases and ludwig Paiste cymbals. I got $6500 for the kit. I will never forget the ridicule of people who reached out to me wanting to buy the kit. I simply put a post up on a vintage drum facebook page showing what I had just come across. Hundreds of people reached out to give me unsolicited offers. I finally started telling people I would take $6500 for everything. People suddenly became experts telling me that the kit was not worth more than $2500. My favorite was "let me know when you come back down to earth and really want to sell them." On the first day that I decided to sell them, a guy reached out, we had a twenty second conversation and the drums were sold. At any rate, a period correct obp with original matching snare in (good condition) will fetch $5000-? Locally, a kit just sold (minus the snare) for just under $2000 and there were approximately ten extra holes in the bass drum.
 

marko52

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Just a thought--if the price was right, I wonder if a bass drum with the center mount hole couldn't be used with a Rogers tom mount. It wouldn't be exactly how Ringo had his, but Rogers tom mounts have large mounting plates that might cover the the large hole & maybe 2 of the smaller holes, &, at least, resemble the Ringo set-up. Or maybe a 2nd larger plate underneath the Roger mount. What do you think, K.O.?.........marko
 

K.O.

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Just a thought--if the price was right, I wonder if a bass drum with the center mount hole couldn't be used with a Rogers tom mount. It wouldn't be exactly how Ringo had his, but Rogers tom mounts have large mounting plates that might cover the the large hole & maybe 2 of the smaller holes, &, at least, resemble the Ringo set-up. Or maybe a 2nd larger plate underneath the Roger mount. What do you think, K.O.?.........marko
It should be remembered that 3 out of 4 of Ringo's actual sets had/have extra holes in them from the installation of the Rogers Swivo tom holders that Ringo favored. The Rogers parts were installed near where the rails had been removed. You could mount the swivo base on the top of the shell near where a post mount had been but that would be a somewhat odd placement for it.


I remember many years ago someone had a 22" OBP bass drum at the Chicago show that someone had "repaired" after removing a center post base. I don't know how on earth they managed it but you could just barely tell it had been there. It appeared that it involved plugging the holes then filling in the gaps in the finish by painting in the pattern with pearlescent paints to match the wrap and then, apparently some sort of clear resin to cover it all and blend it into the original wrap. Like I said, I don't know the exact process but it was very well done.


With the modern repro Oyster Black wrap it's not too hard to replicate a Ringo set out of orphans but, while the new wrap looks good and "correct" by itself, when you put it next to the original stuff it is obvious that it isn't the same. That's the problem, you can make up a whole set of originals (although the original wrap can vary widely) or you can rewrap a whole set in the new stuff with generally pleasing results, but you can't really mix the old and new, at least not especially well. Bum Wrap can maybe get you a bit closer but still not a perfect match.
 

Ludwigboy

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Thank you all for a little more insight on the OBP drums! I knew there were a lot of knowledgeable people who can give some insight on this
 

markrocks68

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verminator said:
I had a pristine 1964 Ringo kit (22, 13, 16, and matching obp snare). The kit looked almost brand new and came with the original hardware, cases and ludwig Paiste cymbals. I got $6500 for the kit. I will never forget the ridicule of people who reached out to me wanting to buy the kit. I simply put a post up on a vintage drum facebook page showing what I had just come across. Hundreds of people reached out to give me unsolicited offers. I finally started telling people I would take $6500 for everything. People suddenly became experts telling me that the kit was not worth more than $2500. My favorite was "let me know when you come back down to earth and really want to sell them." On the first day that I decided to sell them, a guy reached out, we had a twenty second conversation and the drums were sold. At any rate, a period correct obp with original matching snare in (good condition) will fetch $5000-? Locally, a kit just sold (minus the snare) for just under $2000 and there were approximately ten extra holes in the bass drum.
I love it. Preach man.
FB is an assfest.
I may post a picture of my immaculate Pioneer version up.
Maybe ask for 2000 just for poops & giggles..
..& watch the idiocy unfold...then say I'm keeping it.
 

K.O.

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Someone just had an OBP Jazzfest posted for sale on one of the facebook drum groups for $2800 (not unreasonable for one of those) and a whole bunch of folks jumped on him for that price since "it's a $400 drum".
 

OptikDrums

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Yeah.. that was fun. Not sure why I post at all on FB anymore.


K.O. said:
Someone just had an OBP Jazzfest posted for sale on one of the facebook drum groups for $2800 (not unreasonable for one of those) and a whole bunch of folks jumped on him for that price since "it's a $400 drum".
 

wflkurt

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Yeah you can't listen to people anymore. You just put your stuff up for sale and wait. If someone bites then you sell. If nobody bites you can adjust your price. The ones that are rough though are the guys that post stuff for sale that have been clearly bastardized and they think they are sitting on a goldmine. Nobody certainly needs to be rude to the seller but it's tough when someone nicely points out what extra holes and mods do to the value and the seller gets bent out of shape.
 

verminator

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JazzDrumGuy said:
KO, great info.

Verm - I would have liked to hear all 20 of seconds of that discussion!
I was being a bit facetious. But, once I actually gave a price and put them for sale, they sold immediately. The conversation with the buyer was along the lines of "how much for shipping? and how did you come across them?" One Facebook basher asked me to let him know what they ACTUALLY sold for. When I pm'd him that I got full asking price, he never responded. I just never understood messing with someone's "for sale" post.
 

AaronLatos

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Yeah... It's not just in drums, but I think that music related gear is particularly susceptible to Facebook know-it-alls. I was selling some 30s recording gear online earlier this year, put it up for a $6,000 Buy It Now on eBay. Posted to some related Facebook groups, and got all sorts of commentary about how it was worth, at most, a third or fourth of that on a good day. Sold it in 12 hours at full asking price.
 

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