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Ludwig 3 ply

drummer

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Is it labor costs that bring the cost up of Legacy shells vs Classics?
 

Hop

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No I think it is the "desire" or demand for that old time mojo that is the driver.

Ill assume the finishing steps are required for both shells and thus the cost burden is the same...
So does the material and labor cost for a re-ring cost more than the material and labor cost for the additional ply's?

Legacy shell = 3 ply's (ply's + glue + labor) + re-rings (if they manufacture in house = ply's + glue + labor | + re-ring install labor)
Classic shell = 7 ply's (ply's + glue + labor + additional time in the mold)

Time and material wise, I'd argue it is probably a wash to compare Legacy and Classic shells.
 

Bri6366

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I don't know. The Modern Drummer Review of the Legacy kit mentioned bending the thicker plies was a time consuming process, but I don't see that in the videos of the manufacturing process. I don't know enough to say if this makes sense or not. Gluing the re rings takes some time, but it's not exactly a hand made violin. I would suspect it's more marketing than anything else. It's a premium charge for their classic kit.
 

K.O.

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Surely there are some slight differences in production costs (maybe the three ply shells are cheaper to make) but probably much more due to marketing. Is a Cadillac that much different from a Buick as far as what it costs GM to build? Does it take a vastly different amount of labor or materials to build an Gibson Les Paul vs. the Epiphone version?

As far as the cost of making shells are any top line expensive drum shells that much more costly to produce than the shells used for the mid line offerings? Probably not. Lower grade wood might be a bit cheaper but the labor and steps required to turn that into a wooden tube are pretty much the same.

I'm not saying any of this is wrong and extra care and quality do raise production costs, but so do marketing and an ability to place a product on a higher tier of desirability which can equate to people being willing to pay more to gain that status.
 

thin shell

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No I think it is the "desire" or demand for that old time mojo that is the driver.

Ill assume the finishing steps are required for both shells and thus the cost burden is the same...
So does the material and labor cost for a re-ring cost more than the material and labor cost for the additional ply's?

Legacy shell = 3 ply's (ply's + glue + labor) + re-rings (if they manufacture in house = ply's + glue + labor | + re-ring install labor)
Classic shell = 7 ply's (ply's + glue + labor + additional time in the mold)

Time and material wise, I'd argue it is probably a wash to compare Legacy and Classic shells.
The re rings are not ply. They are solid steam bent maple. That alone drives up cost because it is quite labor intensive.
 

Browny

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No I think it is the "desire" or demand for that old time mojo that is the driver.

Ill assume the finishing steps are required for both shells and thus the cost burden is the same...
So does the material and labor cost for a re-ring cost more than the material and labor cost for the additional ply's?

Legacy shell = 3 ply's (ply's + glue + labor) + re-rings (if they manufacture in house = ply's + glue + labor | + re-ring install labor)
Classic shell = 7 ply's (ply's + glue + labor + additional time in the mold)

Time and material wise, I'd argue it is probably a wash to compare Legacy and Classic shells.
I’d strongly disagree with your estimation that there isn’t much between the two shell layouts.

The material cost between a 3 and 6 ply layup will be fairly insignificant compared to the labour cost of 2 additional labour processes: steam bending maple re-rings and then (I’m assuming) resetting those 3 ply shells into another set of molds to adhere the rings. A wrap finish would be applied during the initial ply shell layup, as otherwise the OD will increase after the wrap is applied.

Steam bending is hard. That’s why there’s only a handful of companies that produce steam vent kits. So definitely don’t just dismiss that as a little bit of material and labour cost.

Volume of production is a big component too. There would be a ****tonne more Classic Maple kits made compared to the Legacy Maple and Legacy Mahongany. The setup cost for a batch of Legacy kits would be much greater than that of run of CM kits as they’d be making less Lkits, so that setup cost gets amatised across fewer items.

Even if the shell types were identical at a 1-off volume, the Legacy shells would be more expensive in real world conditions due to the costs implications of producing different quantities.

Labour costs, particularly setup costs in regard to batch size/manufacturing runs, are paramount, much more than material costs (when dealing with lower cost materials, obviously not when involving $$$$$ materials)
 

thin shell

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I’d strongly disagree with your estimation that there isn’t much between the two shell layouts.

The material cost between a 3 and 6 ply layup will be fairly insignificant compared to the labour cost of 2 additional labour processes: steam bending maple re-rings and then (I’m assuming) resetting those 3 ply shells into another set of molds to adhere the rings. A wrap finish would be applied during the initial ply shell layup, as otherwise the OD will increase after the wrap is applied.

Steam bending is hard. That’s why there’s only a handful of companies that produce steam vent kits. So definitely don’t just dismiss that as a little bit of material and labour cost.

Volume of production is a big component too. There would be a ****tonne more Classic Maple kits made compared to the Legacy Maple and Legacy Mahongany. The setup cost for a batch of Legacy kits would be much greater than that of run of CM kits as they’d be making less Lkits, so that setup cost gets amatised across fewer items.

Even if the shell types were identical at a 1-off volume, the Legacy shells would be more expensive in real world conditions due to the costs implications of producing different quantities.

Labour costs, particularly setup costs in regard to batch size/manufacturing runs, are paramount, much more than material costs (when dealing with lower cost materials, obviously not when involving $$$$$ materials)
Wrap is not installed during the layup process. They have not done that since the late 60's.
 

Crashintou

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I think considerable time goes into the bearing edges on the legacy line judging from how smooth they feel on my set of legacy mahogany vs the classic maple
 

Browny

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Wrap is not installed during the layup process. They have not done that since the late 60's.
Huh, I knew it happened back in the day, sort of assumed it continued.

In that case I'm guessing there's a separate group of molds for wrapped shells that have a slightly smaller outside diameter compared to the natural finish shells?
 

Hop

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In that case I'm guessing there's a separate group of molds for wrapped shells that have a slightly smaller outside diameter compared to the natural finish shells?

The exterior is fixed for the mold, the expandable bladder makes up for the differences on the interior side. This way you can use one 14" mold, for example, but have a variety of ply layups that vary in thickness.
 

thin shell

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I am pretty sure that their shells are undersized enough to accommodate a wrap, a clear finish directly on the maple or an exotic veneer with a clear finish.

If for some reason they needed to make the shell smaller they could use a spacer made out of a piece of sheet metal the thickness that they want to reduce the diameter by. The piece of sheet metal would be cut to fit and rolled so it could be inserted into the mold, thus reducing the inside diameter of the mold by the thickness of the piece of sheet metal.
 

thin shell

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They actually do include the wrap in the layup process for the Neusonic shells but that is the only shell that they do that with.
 

bellbrass

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Ludwig Legacy shells are fairly undersized; not sure about other lines. The undersized shell is one reason I like the sound so much.
 

Iristone

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Ludwig Legacy shells are fairly undersized; not sure about other lines. The undersized shell is one reason I like the sound so much.
Whereas vintage Luddies are not. Maybe it explains why modern Legacies are so loud and easy tuning.
 

Buffalo_drummer

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I’d strongly disagree with your estimation that there isn’t much between the two shell layouts.

The material cost between a 3 and 6 ply layup will be fairly insignificant compared to the labour cost of 2 additional labour processes: steam bending maple re-rings and then (I’m assuming) resetting those 3 ply shells into another set of molds to adhere the rings. A wrap finish would be applied during the initial ply shell layup, as otherwise the OD will increase after the wrap is applied.

Steam bending is hard. That’s why there’s only a handful of companies that produce steam vent kits. So definitely don’t just dismiss that as a little bit of material and labour cost.

Volume of production is a big component too. There would be a ****tonne more Classic Maple kits made compared to the Legacy Maple and Legacy Mahongany. The setup cost for a batch of Legacy kits would be much greater than that of run of CM kits as they’d be making less Lkits, so that setup cost gets amatised across fewer items.

Even if the shell types were identical at a 1-off volume, the Legacy shells would be more expensive in real world conditions due to the costs implications of producing different quantities.

Labour costs, particularly setup costs in regard to batch size/manufacturing runs, are paramount, much more than material costs (when dealing with lower cost materials, obviously not when involving $$$$$ materials)

I work in manufacturing and this is pretty accurate. To set up a line [assuming it's not always set up to run] along with the costs to run each drum will be higher because if the lower volume being run. Assuming they have to reconfigure tooling to run the Legacy line, that would drive the cost higher because your amoritzing those costs across fewer drums.
 

thin shell

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I work in manufacturing and this is pretty accurate. To set up a line [assuming it's not always set up to run] along with the costs to run each drum will be higher because if the lower volume being run. Assuming they have to reconfigure tooling to run the Legacy line, that would drive the cost higher because your amoritzing those costs across fewer drums.

If you haven't watched the full tour video you should. It is quite thorough. From that video and others I have seen it appears that they use the same molds for all of their shells so there are no setup changes to run one shell line from another. He does say that the drying time for the shells is RF cook time is 7 to 12 minutes and the cool down time is 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the shell and the ambient temperature of the shop. The rerings are done at a different spot in the factory by someone who does all of the final woodwork for the Legacy shells. So it looks like shell making is the same other than cook and cool down time no matter what shell layup they are doing. He does mention that the middle poplar ply and the African mahogany are more fragile than maple so they require a little more care in getting them into the molds without anything cracking so that will add a little time.
 
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