Should i modify bearing edges on Ludwig Three Ply ?

Exploder

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I have a set of Ludwig Three Ply Clear Interiors, i believe they are early 70's Black Oyster Pearl.

I don't use them that much as i find they have that Vintage Ludwig " Tubby " sound that when it is miked up doesn't have much cut in the front mix.

I have been thinking about getting the bearing edges re cut to a more modern sharper edge....of course once i have done this there's no going back

and the originality is gone forever....anybody done this ?

Any advice and comments are appreciated !!

Thanks for Reading
ludwig.jpg
 

GeeDeeEmm

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Imo, do what you want, but if you want a modern sound, play modern drums.
This. And I know exactly what you are saying about the Ludwigs not being able to "cut" on stage. Twenty years ago when I jumped back into the live band scene, I had a 1965 kit of Ludwigs which I really loved. But I found that on stage I was having to beat my brains out in order to be loud enough to compete with the band.

That's when I decided to buy something newer in the hope that I could rectify the problem. I purchased a new set of Yamaha Recording Customs. That's when everything changed for the good, and that's what caused me to actually pay attention to how drums are constructed. Up until that time, I'd felt that the old Ludwig/Slingerland kits were the standard by which all others were judged. They're not, and especially not today when we are in the midst of an era of the best drums ever created.

If you are a devoted Ludwig fan (I still am), I'd take Thin Shell's advice and pick up a modern set of Classic Maples. These are not the Ludwig drums of old. They have the volume, clarity, resonance and open tones one would expect of a modern drumset. If you are not limited to Ludwig, the world is your oyster, because the same modern characteristics are widely available in other brands, as well.

GeeDeeEmm
 

wflkurt

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This. And I know exactly what you are saying about the Ludwigs not being able to "cut" on stage. Twenty years ago when I jumped back into the live band scene, I had a 1965 kit of Ludwigs which I really loved. But I found that on stage I was having to beat my brains out in order to be loud enough to compete with the band.

That's when I decided to buy something newer in the hope that I could rectify the problem. I purchased a new set of Yamaha Recording Customs. That's when everything changed for the good, and that's what caused me to actually pay attention to how drums are constructed. Up until that time, I'd felt that the old Ludwig/Slingerland kits were the standard by which all others were judged. They're not, and especially not today when we are in the midst of an era of the best drums ever created.

If you are a devoted Ludwig fan (I still am), I'd take Thin Shell's advice and pick up a modern set of Classic Maples. These are not the Ludwig drums of old. They have the volume, clarity, resonance and open tones one would expect of a modern drumset. If you are not limited to Ludwig, the world is your oyster, because the same modern characteristics are widely available in other brands, as well.

GeeDeeEmm

Excellent statement. I have both vintage Ludwigs and classic maples. I do love my vintage Ludwigs but my 2012 classic maple set is just awesome.
 

Pounder

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Value of the drums is important but not primary, sound is. That being said you could probably explore different heads and tunings and arrive at a good compromise result that gives you better attack, without altering the integrity of the drum.

What matters is that you are happy with the sound of your drums. If you do decide to go the bearing edge work route, hopefully if you sell them in the future you'll be up front about the work done to any potential buyers.
 

Pancaqe

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I have a set of Ludwig Three Ply Clear Interiors, i believe they are early 70's Black Oyster Pearl.

I don't use them that much as i find they have that Vintage Ludwig " Tubby " sound that when it is miked up doesn't have much cut in the front mix.

I have been thinking about getting the bearing edges re cut to a more modern sharper edge....of course once i have done this there's no going back

and the originality is gone forever....anybody done this ?

Any advice and comments are appreciated !!

Thanks for Reading View attachment 428890
That tubby sound is the sound of vintage Ludwigs. Don’t change a beautiful old kit. Get a modern kit if that’s the sound you want. It will also diminish it’s resale value
 

funkypoodle

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I'd have my guitarists neutered first. Or maybe offer them some 5 watt amps for their B-days. Seriously though, I'm always a little floored when I hear these stories. I own 2 3-ply Super Classics & can't imagine them not cutting it volume-wise.
 

Jimmy Willis

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This is strictly my opinion and I see this out of respect since these are your drums. However I think the late 60s early 70s three ply Ludwig’s are the best ever made and think They can stand up to any drums today. However with that in mind, your shells could be out of round just over the years of wear. It might benefit to have them made back to spec. Another thing is tuning. You can tune them shells up high and get a beautiful punchy tone out of them. Good luck. Those are great drums.
 

pedro navahas

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I have a 64 Slingerland kit that someone recut the edges to a sharp 45, it did nothing for the sound of the drums.
I agree on get a modern kit for a modern sound
 

nylontip

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I agree with Jimmy, if the shells are out or they don't sit flat, the drum will benefit sound wise if the edges are redone (of course to original specs).
Unfortunately, I had to have my bearing edges re-cut after buying a "nice" early 70's Ludwig kit on Craigslist from across the country. Yes they were one owner and looked good, but sitting in cases for years with uneven tension threw the shell out a little. This resulted in a "boing" until a higher tension was applied. (The old timer forgot to mention that). They sounded awful and I couldn't ship them back.
Not wanting to devalue them in anyway, I had no choice but to have the edges done.
But I have good news for those in the same dilemma. I was able to get the edges expertly re-cut by Mark Ross of MRP Drums and now they sound Amazing!!! The beautiful tone that resulted, was very well worth it. These actually sound better than most "original" 40 year old kits that I've heard. Many guys that have done this, know it's the best option for getting a great sound from questionable bearing edges.
But keep in mind, they were cut to original specs to capture that 70's Ludwig sound.
If you're looking for projection from Ludwig's, go with the new Classic Maples as the other members have suggested.
They sound fantastic wide open with clear 2's on top without the aid of a mic.
Hope this helps.
 

CC Cirillo

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I am in the camp urging you to please not circumsize those drums.

I was in your position. As I found myself starting to play out on stage more, sometimes mic’d and sometimes not I realized I needed to have more flexibility in volume. I chose not to remain vintage. I got some Classic Maples and have never looked back.

With the modern edges and construction, I just have more headroom and control over sound. I can get a lot of different vibe changing heads or by simple tuning alterations.

I love vintage but there is nothing wrong with modern mojo. It’s a thing, too.
 

JDA

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I have a 64 Slingerland kit that someone recut the edges to a sharp 45, it did nothing for the sound of the drums.
I agree on get a modern kit for a modern sound
Here's what 'struck me when I read Pedro's post.
It was that old Zildjian company saying

"We don't listen to what's there, We listen for what isn't there"

So cleaning up bearing edges and noticing nothing " noticing nothing" may in fact be mission accomplished. You may get rid of what you don't want there .
It's a weird thought/process but it reminded me of that old Z saying..

I have two WFL's one had the edges cleaned (cut slightly) and one never touched.
You hear what isn't there on the one that was trimmed.

So maybe you'll get - cleaning up the edges- a cleaner tone i.e. modern
 
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JDZ

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First off, have you inspected the edges? Is there any damage?
 


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