Ringo's "Rooftop" kit

cochlea

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I was on the Ludwig Facebook page earlier today and saw some nice photos of Ringo's "rooftop" kit that's now on display at the Grammy Museum. I love the natural finish of this kit and have a few questions for those who have more knowledge of Ludwig's finishes from that era. Is this what Ludwig referred to as a "thermo gloss" finish? With age it appears to have an orange hue to it and I'm curious if this is due to aging or whether the original finish looked comparable? Natural finishes, at least in newer modern drums, appears to be much lighter while the "rooftop" kit is more golden in color. I know Yamaha has a Vintage Natural finish that darkens and turns more golden with age and I'm curious if this is the case with the "rooftop" kit? Finally, did this kit always have a matte look to it or was it originally a gloss finish that has deteriorated with age?
 

ianjphil

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I think that you're right that the change in color has to do with the drum's age. That was the kit that George Harrison bought for Ringo, and Ringo used it well after The Beatles were done. So it makes sense to me that it looks like its been around the block a couple of times.

Not sure if you've seen it, but Ludwig has recently made a reproduction of the original finish that they call "Golden Slumbers" that looks like its very similar to the original, but a bit "glossier" than Ringo's kit was (at least from photos it seems that way). My guess is that the original had a yellow stain, and a light layer of lacquer, while the newer one is the same but with more of a gloss finish.
 

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lazer

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my maple ludwigs yellowed over the years from tobacco smoke in clubs
 

Jimbodaddy

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Speaking from experience, natural finishes do tend to darken/yellow with exposure to light. It is a normal thing.
 

BrianOwens

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This kit always reminds of seeing them play "Get Back". Why Ludwig named the reproduction kit "Golden Slumbers" is beyond me. "Rooftop" kit is the best name for this kit.
 
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RickP

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Here is another pic of the new Ludwig Golden Slumbers finish, my new favourite Ludwig finish.
 

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thin shell

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I think it is the perfect name. The finish mimics the golden patina of his old kit and was on an album that the same kit was used on.
 

K.O.

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If you look at period photos showing the drums when they were new you'll see a light natural maple finish more in line with what new natural maple drums look like today. This is also in keeping with Ludwig catalog pictures of Thermo-Gloss maple drums (what few there are). The yellowing is due to age. The finish was real nitro based clear lacquer which tends to yellow with age. So the golden slumbers finish replicates the look of the aged drums as they look today rather than the way they looked when new. It's a very pretty finish nonetheless.
 

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Sonorholic

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As far as I know Ludwig didn't 'plan' on the finish changing color. Mitch Mitchell had a maple finish kit and in the making of Electric Ladyland dvd you can see how much different it looks now. I would guess that Bonham's big maple kit has changed too. Someone owns those drums right?
 

Troyh

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I've always loved this set.
(Ludwig didn't offer it on Legacys when I got mine, so I went with vintage oyster black.)
I would love to get a Golden Slumbers set, but I would love even more to get a vintage Thermo Gloss!
 

Archt

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Most wood will darken with age as it interacts with air. Usually refered to as Oxidizing.
 

Bunnyman

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Nitrocellulouse lacquer is naturally amber-ish. Add uv light and cigarette smoke and you have the beautifully ambered colour.

Look at a 20 year old white Les Paul Custom. It came out of Michigan (or Memphis) as white as the day is long, not yellow.
 

jbonzo1

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K.O. said:
If you look at period photos showing the drums when they were new you'll see a light natural maple finish more in line with what new natural maple drums look like today. This is also in keeping with Ludwig catalog pictures of Thermo-Gloss maple drums (what few there are). The yellowing is due to age. The finish was real nitro based clear lacquer which tends to yellow with age. So the golden slumbers finish replicates the look of the aged drums as they look today rather than the way they looked when new. It's a very pretty finish nonetheless.
Perfect explanation.
Also, today's "lacquer" finishes are really polyester (plastic) finishes. They do not yellow as much with age as nitro lacquer does. Gretsch still uses nitro on their drums.
And yes, the Golden Slumbers is gorgeous!
 

tdcrjeff

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Sonorholic said:
As far as I know Ludwig didn't 'plan' on the finish changing color. Mitch Mitchell had a maple finish kit and in the making of Electric Ladyland dvd you can see how much different it looks now. I would guess that Bonham's big maple kit has changed too. Someone owns those drums right?
Paul Thompson (Roxy Music) bought them in the 70s, don't know if he still owns them.

 

frankmott

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yetanotherdrummer said:
I would guess it's named after the Golden Slumbers song on Abbey Road.....with a Ringo drum solo!!!!!
Close. Ringo's solo is on "The End" -- two songs after "Golden Slumbers."
 

JDA

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'Kenny jones' had one mate...

maggie may n' all that

 
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DrumKeys

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If you look at period photos showing the drums when they were new you'll see a light natural maple finish more in line with what new natural maple drums look like today. This is also in keeping with Ludwig catalog pictures of Thermo-Gloss maple drums (what few there are). The yellowing is due to age. The finish was real nitro based clear lacquer which tends to yellow with age. So the golden slumbers finish replicates the look of the aged drums as they look today rather than the way they looked when new. It's a very pretty finish nonetheless.
Apparently no one told Ringo that he wasn't allowed to put anything in his bass drum. ;)
 


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