New member - digging my '78 BDP Ludwigs out of storage!


Deafus Maximus
Aug 5, 2005
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Chichester NH
Fantastic information, thank you! I actually downloaded a few PDFs of older Ludwig catalogs, but couln't find anything for 1978, only 1980...which irked me a little at first but now makes perfect sense. I had wondered if it was a Hollywood kit or a Big Beat kit since it has a mix of flat and single braced hardware, but you seem to have cleared that up as well. I'm thinking at this point that the Supraphonic itself is original to the kit, but the stand is from an older Hollywood kit since it's flat-bottomed. Probably just got swapped out at some point for one reason or another before I got my hands on the kit. Other than the cracking/shrinking on the wraps, it really is in beautiful shape. The wraps are still glossy with tons of depth to them...and to be honest, that BDP finish is the whole reason I fell in love with the kit in the first place. I saw it up on stage at church and remember staring at it all through service every Sunday for months. Pretty amazing that it ended up being mine. When Dan (the drummer) found out I was interested in learning the drums, he said he'd been eyeballing a new kit and would sell me the Ludwigs. I was over the moon excited, and my parents could tell. We paid $250 for the shells and hardware back in 1995, which was a lot of money for a 12 year old to come up with...but I swore to my parents that I'd do chores with no allowance for a year, and they could also count it as my birthday and christmas present that year plus whatever else I had to work off to make it happen. They agreed and bought the drums for me, and here we are today nearly three decades later. Come to find out that the Supraphonic alone is probably worth more than we paid for the entire kit! It's been a really fun couple of months getting these set back up and doing some research on them. Really excited to slap on some new heads and find out how out of practice I am. :icon_lol: Thanks again!
I'm glad they still look good. I'm not surprised to hear about the wrap issues you have going on. Afterall, this is what prompted Ludwig to start riveting the wrap to the shells. By the late 1970's they were having so many issues with wraps shrinking, someone came up with the idea to rivet the wrap straight to the shell. This obviously did nothing as the wrap still pulled and the drums looked terrible. That debacle along with the tivoli lighted vistalites were two of the things that prompted Wm F Ludwig II to sell out to Conn-Selmer in 1981. Even though the rivets disappeared in the early 80's, Ludwig still had wrap issues into the 90's and at one point discontinued wrap finishes around 1994 for a short time as the problems were so bad. I'm not a wrap expert by any means but I think it was a combination between how the wrap was made VS the glue that changed in the 70's per OSHA laws. If you notice, anything before 1970 has wrap that will almost never come off. I'm not sure when this started but by the late 80's, Ludwig was also taping the wrap on drums which made it even worse when wraps shrunk and buckled. The only wraps that really seemed to be a real problem were the thinner wraps like WMP, BDP, Oyster Black, Etc. The sparkles are thicker and seem to hold up better in that regard. I actually have a Ludwig dealer color sample and all the sparkle wraps look flat as the day that thing was put together. All the pearl style wraps are completely warped. Even as of today I hear they they are still having issues. I actually talked to Bill Ludwig III at the chicago show and he said that his company WFL III Drums stopped using wraps as they were having so many issues with it. Hard to believe in this day and age.

Wow...you know your Ludwig history! As a teenage kid, I use to drool over the mid to late 70's Luddy catalogs wishing I had the cash to purchase one of these fine kits.
Lol I guess I have seen/owned my share of Ludwig drums.