ludwig hammered bronze/copper/brass ? snare drum

fivestarkid

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I bought this recently on reverb and they had it advertised as bronze....PAID 375.00...I have brass snares and it is definitely more of a darker copper , bronze color but it does appear brass like in certain lighting. my question is how the heck do you know for sure if its bronze or copper? it is patinaed pretty well so I know that might not help to id but figured id try. really hope its bronze!!!!! or im going to be a little upset with them.

first picture the flash went off. drum not that bright. UPDATE: INTERIOR PICTURE ADDED TO SHOW AGING OF METAL. THERE IS AN UPSIDEDOWN STAMPED B OVER THE MUFFLER HOLE. AND A BLACK INK STAMP INSIDE THAT SAYS "127" ..DATE STAMP? batch #? .........the last picture is the drum as of today...….I scrubbed the intentional patina off and gave it one coat of clear....changed the wires to the new! Ludwig 1930 thin wires....changed to a new emperor batter head. bought a new butt plate. same as factory but a reissue. shes a beauty in my eyes!

some of have basically confirmed this being an early shell due to the small dimples and shallow hammering.....a few have put this at 81-84...previous owner removed badge to intentionally patina the thing we thing and probably ended up ruining the badge and grommet....im going to seek out a blue/olive badge form this era and put it on the drum to finish it off!



THANKS TO ALL
 

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Ptrick

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That’s more than likely a naturally patina’d hammered bronze. The copper ones are only a few years old, and have a shiny lacquered finish that is more pinkish. It ‘could’ be a hammered brass, sometimes a heavily patina’d one can take on that color, but I’m sticking with bronze.
 

drumtimejohn

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I’m thinking bronze based age of the numbers, “B” stamp, muffler (& location), and hammer dimple size indicate late 80s or early 90s Monroe badge. Perhaps someone attempted to remove the lacquer and existing patina. Might explain the missing badge. The internal hardware does not appear Ludwig. I also don’t think tube lugs were used during that time. It will be helpful to reveal the strainer and butt position as it relates to the badge and muffler panels. It looks like the a P32 butt is in the panel left of the muffler but I can’t be sure from the pics. That location supports the suggested years. These clues can help decode age and build on the hypothesis of bronze. You may want to inquiry more with the seller about what modifications were done. In summary, according to the catalogs Ludwig was not making brass hammered shells during the time this drum was likely made. Respectfully, I hope it was a deal. A really clean Ludwig similar era LM552k went today for less than $500.
 
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multijd

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Check the catalogs. Did they offer anything besides hammered bronze? If it sounds good does it really matter?
 

Tanabata

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My late 90's bronze supra has BZ stamped into it; my 1980 chrome over brass supra has BR stamped by the muffling knob.
 

drumtimejohn

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It’s a L-552K bronze shell for sure. Copper and brass shells were not being made at the time. This conclusion comes from catalog and general dating research based on the position of hardware. The more I look at it, it appears to have have a small random hammering pattern. If this is true you have an early 81-84 shell that was likely put together at the Monroe factory. I only add Monroe to the equation because I don’t believe number stamping was not used during the 80s Chicago era drums however others need to validate that info. The remaining lacquer around the existing grommet also looks like the keystone shape. I have purchased a K4 (Keystone 4) Monroe badge 316xxxx with the small hammering. I’ve been deep into reading about these over the past year and just bought a L-550K K3 Chicago badge and it arrives tomorrow. I also have a L-552K B/O badge. Here are a few small hammering snare pics for comparison. Not all are mine. Strainer, tube lugs, tension rods are not original on your drum. At the end of the day your snare may have just got better if you believe it is a Chicago shell and that’s of value to you (it would be for me).
393593


393594


393595

393596
 
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Hop

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I've got a mid-80's L552KY (hammered shell & die cast hoops, P-85/P-32 combo) with upside down B, Chicago KB (3112485), smaller hammer dimples, and no date stamp.
This bronze shell has a pretty high copper content (PMI'ed my shell at work and it turned out to be 88.74% Cu & 10.21% Zn).


Ludwig_L552KYBzH_003 (2)_SML.jpg




Ludwig552KY_048_Sml.jpg
 

DrumR69

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Is there a way of telling by weight if it is Brass or Bronze?
Has anyone taken weights on the different drums?
Typically Bronze weights more, I was just wondering because I have a 6.5 and thought it was supposed to be Bronze but by the looks of it, it look Brass.
It is a B\W badge with a P85 from most likely early 2000's.
Hop, how do you PMI a shell?
IMG_2141.JPG
IMG_2142.JPG

Wayne
 

Rotarded

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Wayne, they made those in brass (LM304) and bronze(LM306). The bronze has a definite rose color to it. Google pictures and you can see the difference. Yours looks to be brass, and throw has been upgraded to a P85. (Will be extra hole underneath)
 

Hop

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* Hop, how do you PMI a shell?
* Is there a way of telling by weight if it is Brass or Bronze?
* Has anyone taken weights on the different drums?
Wayne, PMI (Positive Material Identification) is a non-destructive testing method used to determine the alloy of materials used typically in industrial settings. I retired from a large "energy" company and asked an equipment inspector to give some of my snares the once over. The inspector used a handheld X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer gun. Basically it emits a beam of X-ray or gamma rays into a sample material to excite and displace electrons which are replaced by other electrons (from a higher orbital plane). The bloom of energy from the release/exchange is measured and almost instantaneously supplied on the gun's display screen.

There is no easy way to tell the difference of the materials merely by weight. There are literally hundreds of copper alloys where the amounts of tin and zinc are varied slightly (I seem to recall there are around 2,000 alloys of brass alone). Therefore, I'd say there is now way to accurately predict what the alloy composition is unless you PMI. I did this to an early 80's BB and surprised that the material wasn't nearly as "yellow" as the Anniversary BB in my avatar photo. It looked more silver in color and the alloy was made up of 64% Cu/ 31% Ni/ 5% Zi, which puts it closer to cupronickel or German silver (depending on your reference source).

Someone on VDF started to collect the data, but I think it was short lived as there was too much variance in the data to be relevant (for instance, who's scale are we using to limit the variables, are you measuring with or w/o hardware etc...), and the thread died out fairly quickly.

I included an image of my BB shell that I was using to help kick off the database.


Ludwig417BB_044_Info_Comp_Sml.jpg
 

DrumR69

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Thanks Hop for the info.
Rotarded , there is no extra hole, I think it came with this strainer unless the hole pattern is the same.
IMG_2148.JPG

Wayne
 

Rotarded

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Hmmmm. I had a LM303 (5.5" Brass) a few years ago and I could have sworn the holes for the stock throw were different than a P83/85.
393729
 

DrumR69

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I googled some pictures and you can see the difference in most but then I see a lot looking like mine that say Bronze.
Probably because most don't know better including me.
Mine and the picture I just attached from eBay, look to be Brass but like others, say it is Bronze.
screenshot 2019-04-17 13.46.34.jpg


Fivestarkid, nice snare by the way
sorry for the rant.
Wayne
 

drumtimejohn

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The 2019 bronze looks brass. This fact was highlighted in the Ludwig NAMM post a few months ago. Bronze seems to take on many different looks. This is why I like the Hop analysis. It supports my belief that Ludwig likely had batches rather than a standard formula (also patina being a factor). The ‘83 hammering bronze I just picked up looks like rose gold (much like the one in my earlier post) whereas my ‘81 looks more traditional brown bronze.
 
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K.BRN_Percussion_Series

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zenstat

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Someone on VDF started to collect the data, but I think it was short lived as there was too much variance in the data to be relevant (for instance, who's scale are we using to limit the variables, are you measuring with or w/o hardware etc...), and the thread died out fairly quickly.
That would be me I suspect. That work was never intended to distinguish Brass from Bronze because the mass is too similar. It was about distinguishing Brass or Bronze shells from Aluminum shells. The thread died out, but the project did not. From my perspective that says more about the science and mathematical level of the audience on VDF than anything else. The project continues but at a slow pace because I've got a busy research program and other priorities come first.
 

Hop

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zen, if it even scratches the surface of the Paiste content you've collected and shared, it'll be one valuable resource on shells.
 

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