Tell us more about the blacro. Was it purchased like that by you from a Ludwig vendor? I would be a nice upgrade on a student drum.I think those were the last ones from the Chicago factory. Ludwig ran out of Imperials so they just sent them out the door with bowties.
They also did the opposite many years later by sending some black galaxy acrolites out with imperials on them. I know because I have one.
I’ve had a couple of the 84/85 bowtie lug Supras but never the imperial blacro. I know many believe Ludwig used parts interchangeably in the vintage realm I just hadn’t heard much about this from the blacro era. I saw one used once and wrote it off as a cool player modification. Just to gain understanding, where these purchased new? Did they cost more?I've also had 3 or 4 of the 5" Black Galaxy Acrolites with original Imperial lugs. Nice contrast against the black. I also had one 5" Large Chicago Keystone badge Supra with the bowtie lugs as well.
Awesome response. Thanks! That blacro inventory is what I was looking for. Under those conditions, I too would lean towards it being authentic. Ludwig electing to put the premier lug on a student drum is different when compared to a second tier lug on a premier line like 84/85. As noted I’ve owned 2 LM400 w/ bowties. Both had a Chicago Keystone. One had a serial and the other did not. One came from GC and the other here. One had signs of being original and the other not so much. I’ve not seen a bowtie LM402.Mine was purchased in a pawn shop a year or two ago. It was in a case with the Ludwig Gladstone pad and a pair of sticks. It is 100% original. It has a Ludwig Ensemble head on top and an era correct Ludwig snare side head. While it is possible that the batter head got replaced, it seems pretty unlikely considering it's condition and would have most likely gotten a Remo head because they were more common than Ludwig heads. It is in pristine condition and appears to have been used very little. I have looked it over very carefully and see no evidence that it ever had anything other than the imperials on it. There would be artifacts in the painted finish if there had been bowties on it originally. Given the condition and little to no use it wouldn't make any sense that someone would swap out the lugs.
Ludwig has had a reputation, especially in the past, to have a "just get it out the door" mentality. There are many examples of drums having incorrect parts, mismatched shells, mis-drilled holes and other anomalies so this is nothing new. I have seen several blackros with imperials on eBay and Mike has had several so I have no reason to believe that these were owner upgrades. A few certainly could be but there are too many of them to all be upgrades. It would be a very expensive upgrade to perform if you bought 8 new imperials on what is an inexpensive drum.
As far as the Chicago Supras with Bowties, I think I read somewhere that it was during the sale of Ludwig to Musser and the chaos of moving to North Carolina that for some reason Ludwig ran out of or ran low of Imperials and had to resort to using the bowties and didn't get it sorted out until they moved or right before. I don't know if that is true or just lore so I wouldn't take the reason as gospel but the fact remains that they did produce a fair amount of Supras with bowtie lugs. I don't know how long they were produced and if everything they shipped had bowties or if they were sporadically installed.
Since the Imperial lug was designed by Ludwig while the company was owned and run by Conn and the bowtie was designed by WFL which was run by William Ludwig it actually makes a Supra with bowties a more pure, "real Ludwig" design than the ones using imperials.
Like to see that on a 6.5 Blackro,Mike!I've also had 3 or 4 of the 5" Black Galaxy Acrolites with original Imperial lugs. Nice contrast against the black. I also had one 5" Large Chicago Keystone badge Supra with the bowtie lugs as well.
This is absolutely right. I've also seen varying examples of this, and it's actually one of those quirky things about Ludwig that makes them oddly attractive to me. I've even got a drum set that came out of the factory with both two keystone and one B&O badge. They were in transition between the two badges and apparently gave no thought to putting like badges together. So anyway I think a Supra with factory bowties is cool! It's a Ludwig thing.Ludwig has had a reputation, especially in the past, to have a "just get it out the door" mentality. There are many examples of drums having incorrect parts, mismatched shells, mis-drilled holes and other anomalies so this is nothing new.