LB2009BT Ludwig 100th Anniversary Black Beauty Info

Hop

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This post was inspired by two earlier threads:
As there was little information generated from Ludwig about the Ludwig 100th Anniversary Black Beauty (LB2009BT) snare I thought this would be an opportunity to compile what is known here in a new thread and try to limit the discussion to just this particular model. So if you have some photos/info about your drum or the drum in general add to the thread.

After receiving the LB2009BT I thought it was a bit odd that there was no official Certificate of Authenticity from Ludwig with a serialized production number like some other earlier models had or even the concurrent 100th Anniversary Triumphal model. I guess it makes it easier for Ludwig logistics wise but muddies things up for us curious consumers.

I noticed that inside of John's initials were a pair of additional engraved letters; you'll find these roped in the "A." I tried to decipher using different alpha-numeric systems like Greek/Latin/Roman/Georgian etc... and even trying to researching using "jewelry engravers codes/symbols," but then I thought that was overcomplicating it. I re-thought it as a much simpler two letter code, the first letter representing a set and the second representing the actual number in the set. Therefore AA = 1... AZ = 26; BA = 27... BZ = 52; CA =53... CZ = 78; etc...

My drum has "CY" as the engravers code and I thought this to be drum #77 in the limited edition run. I decided to contact John Aldrich to see if I was correct. He said I was really close on the numbering system, but I had to account for the prototype, which would make mine 78. John said that although my drum was the 78th that he engraved it most likely wasn't the 78th drum in the limited edition.

John informed me that there were more than 100 drums produced for this anniversary run and that he that he identifies all drums in a production run. Therefore this run included the prototype, 100 drums that ultimately made it to the consumers and "20 drums that didn't make the grade."

The reasons for not making the grade were "due to problems at some stage of the engraving process" or "sometime it was a mistake in the post engraving production." He mentioned that some of the drums were actually damaged in the shipping process, while others had faulty plating, and some got a scratched by a slip of the blade. He said that, "I kept engraving until we had 100 perfect drums."

So I guess it boils down to this: There is not a true serialized "limited edition" number like in the 90th Anniversary models (or AVH or Pink Oyster Jazz Festivals, etc...), but just the engraving production number that John keeps in his logs. To get that specific information you can contact John, but you will have to provide clear photos of four things; His initials with the engraving code; the three birds associated with the Ludwig signatures. Or you could just decipher the engraver code like I did and add 1 to that number to account for the prototype, to at least get in the ballpark.

John also asked me the following question, " Did you notice that your drum has more engraving than the catalog picture?" Funny thing about it was that I never really did a comparison between the drums before so I pulled a 2009 catalog image and looked for some differences. I wrote back to John noting the differences in the engraving on the panels (The area between the lugs is what I'm calling a panel):
  • The signatures were removed from the main Anniversary panel scrolls and placed on individual panels, I've identified these as 1A, 1B, 1C.
  • Birds were added to the signature panels - each signature has a different bird, I've identified these as 2A and 2B.
  • Definitely more detail work in the floral patterns throughout the panels and the small anniversary flowers themselves, I've identified these as 3A and 3B.
Ludwig catalog LB2009 prototype photo:
ludwig_2009bt_proto.jpg

Noting differences between the prototype and production models:
LB2009BT_78.jpg


As I couldn't find any information about the drum online I asked John for some of the back-story on the design process as well as the significance of the birds and he shared the following with me:

When Ludwig asked me to design the pattern, they asked for something more ornate than any previous black beauty, containing symbols related to the company's history. They wanted:
  • All three [WFL] autographs
  • A 1909-2009 indicator
  • A shield containing the anniversary banner

The scroll is a very dense version based on traditional historic Ludwig scrolls. The two deceased Ludwig's are represented by flying birds and B-3 is represented by a bird on a branch. No two drums have the same three birds! I made a conscious effort to make each drum individual in that way.

After the prototype was cut, we discussed ways to make it better. You see the result of that discussion on your drum. Drums engraved towards the end of the run are a bit more densely engraved than earlier in the run as well.

To wrap this up I've included some pics of the birds on my drum and the engraved production code:
LB2009BT_JA_CY_03.jpg

WFL-1
LB2009BT_WFL1.jpg

WFL-2
LB2009BT_WFL2.jpg

WFL-3
LB2009BT_WFL3.jpg
 

Gotdrums

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Nice info on this snare. I will copy and print this info and put it with my BB snare for future reference. I think the only way Ludwig could number the shells is with a paper or metal sticker / plate on the inside after all 100 (good) shells were done. Then they could stick all on at one time, 1 thru 100. Maybe next time Ludwig. I love my snare, a thing of beauty.
 
R

RickP

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I purchased a 100th Anniversary 5 x 14 Black Beauty from Todd Trent that had chrome Imperial lugs and hardware and I was considering having John Aldridge engrave it with a 100th Anniversary pattern, but after discussing it with John A he askedif he could do a modified 90th Anniversary scroll pattern as it fit the 5 x 14 shell better. I also swapped out all the chrome fittings for brass plated fittings instead.

Thanks for in depth investigation on the 100th. anniversary Black Beauties it was very interesting.
 

Hop

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Hey Gotdrums, if you get a chance post up some photos of your signature/bird panels and we'll start to aggregate the images in this thread for comparing and contrasting the drums.
 

Gotdrums

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Will post up some pics of my snare very soon. Still need to figure what number my drum is. LOL
 

Tony92

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Hi. I have AX. I love this site. Thank you so much for information on these drums!!!
 

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Hop

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Hey Tony92,
Do you have any photos of the shell exterior. I'm interested in those panels with the birdies!!!
 

Tony92

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Sure!! I was told by John this is 50 for him. image.jpg
 

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Hop

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Thanks for posting up Tony... my birdies are really different than yours.
Also I would have guessed your drum at #27, Iguess the only way to really tell is through John.
 

Tony92

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I agree. I was thinking it was somewhere in the 20s. Im looking forward to ralking with him this week.
 


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