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The Ludwig Configuration Aesthetic

CC Cirillo

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Being a total and at times nonsensical LudHead, I just scrolled through page after page of Ludwig’s artist roster.

One thing that really stood out was that the majority of drummers pictured with their drum set all had only one rack tom.

This somehow makes sense to my idiosyncratic view of what a Ludwig set should look like, not including Carl Palmer, Alex Van Halen, and other exceptions.

(Or maybe Ludwig has a business model of telling young endorsers “Okay, we will give you some drums, but you’re only going to get one rack tom for now.)

Makes sense that certain brands draw players that tend to adhere to a certain aesthetic. For example, if I were to scroll through the Yamaha or Pearl rosters my guess would be I probably would see more sets with multiple rack toms.
 
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Mcjnic

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I tend to agree.
When I think of Ludwig, I think of a 22,13,16 set … it just is.
Not to infer there aren’t others with equal billing … just not in my brain.
Oddly enough, Slingerland is the 22,12,13,16 set … no idea why.
Yamaha is the 22,10,12,14f,16f … seems the 8 will float in at times.
Interesting thread.
 

bpaluzzi

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I think it more depends on the genre. Just how Tama tends to be played by a lot of metal artists, Ludwig and Gretsch tend to get played by a lot of alternative / indy / Americana groups, where there’s a general tendency towards smaller kits. Some of the country guys are starting to change that, though. Ben Sesar (Brad Paisley) and Kevin Murphy (John Pardi) are both playing big Ludwig kits (3 up / 2 down for Ben, 4 up / 2 down for Kevin) behind country artists.
 

JimmyM

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I thought their artist page had quite a few larger set players on it, more than I expected. I think there’s just a general trend back to smaller sets these days. Wouldn’t say it’s exclusive to Ludwig either, although it does seem like bigger set users using other brands have a higher recognition factor.
 

Tubwompus

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Interesting observation. I’d be curious to know if there IS an actual connection, whether subconscious or otherwise. If there is, then count me in. I’m in the studio tomorrow with my ‘74 Bonham kit.

Hmmm…Ludwig’s (arguably) top 3 biggest endorsers ever only used 1 rack tom, mostly: Ringo, Bonham, & Buddy. Of course, back then, it was more the rule than the exception. Know what? I’m just gonna shut up instead of continuing to argue with myself.
 

JDA

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it seemed for a while - during some dark days competition-wise- they had nobody- the best endorsers Ludwig could get were semi-pro Brooklyn club drummers- they had nobody- or the campaign was to focus on regular joes- what ever it was have to remember Ludwig did almost disappear from the marketplace
(1986)
I knew when it seemed A.J. Pero was their number 1 image I was like who
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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I think this was a very valid observation years ago , but with the obscene pricing that is being forced upon drummers the days of large drumsets being commonplace just might be gone . I recall in the 70’s seeing kits 4 or more toms being quite common, especially in rock situations . Heck Art Blakey had a large Pearl kit with 4 rack toms when he endorsed them .
Many young drummers can’t afford these multiple tom kits with double bass drums .
 

JDA

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Ludwig’s (arguably) top 3 biggest endorsers ever only used 1 rack tom, mostly: Ringo, Bonham, & Buddy.
I think I've read Ludwig' experts say or might have said Bonham and Ringo were never - back in the day- endorsees
lol Maybe Ringo is today I dunno
 

richardh253

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The visual imprint of "Ringo-Ludwig-Drum Set" = 1 up 1 down remains very strong, especially for those of us who "discovered" drums on Feb 9 1964 :)

Compare and contrast....

1660399825737.png








1660399781116.png
 
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Houndog

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I tend to agree.
When I think of Ludwig, I think of a 22,13,16 set … it just is.
Not to infer there aren’t others with equal billing … just not in my brain.
Oddly enough, Slingerland is the 22,12,13,16 set … no idea why.
Yamaha is the 22,10,12,14f,16f … seems the 8 will float in at times.
Interesting thread.
I’m hoping to procure enough heads today to get my new 22/12/13/16 Slingerland up and running today !!!
 

Mcjnic

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I’m hoping to procure enough heads today to get my new 22/12/13/16 Slingerland up and running today !!!

Is that the black diamond one?
If so ... you have my absolute favorite Slingerland wrap kit.
That large chip black diamond is phenomenal.
I've got my eye on a late 50s kit in that wrap right now.
I don't need it ... but it's sitting there ... mocking me.
I've wanted one for way too many years.
I saw your pics of the jazzer and the rocker you own.
Man oh man ... great kits.
 

K.O.

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I think I've read Ludwig' experts say or might have said Bonham and Ringo were never - back in the day- endorsees
lol Maybe Ringo is today I dunno
Ringo was never an official endorser during all his time in the Beatles although he is now. Bill Ludwig was pretty canny about all the free publicity he was getting and was worried that Ringo might demand some sort of pay to play payments if given the chance so, other than presenting him with that golden snare when the Beatles came through Chicago, he tried to steer clear. It does seem that Ringo's later drum sets were provided gratis but there was no official endorsement agreement and Ringo (and all the Beatles really) seems to have been oblivious that such a deal was even possible during that time.

I believe Bonham was hooked up to Ludwig by Carmine Appice and was an endorser during his Zeppelin years.

It seems to me that the 1 up setup is just the more popular setup these days regardless of the brand. I'll admit it does just look "right". For me it's about having the ride cymbal in the right spot. I learned how to play on a 4 piece, moved on to a 2-up 5 as soon as I could afford to and then graduated to 6 or 8 pieces. Now I'm back to 4 or 5 (1 up 2 down) and will probably stay that way for the duration.
 

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I think it depends on the era you're taking about, and what really grabbed your attention at a formative stage in life. For me, there was no bigger Ludwig artist growing up than Alex Van Halen. As such, I hold no association between Ludwig and "one up" kits.
 

Tornado

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Oh, and lest I forget, Neil was playing Ludwigs for a time when I was still listening to him a lot.
 

1988fxlr

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Ringo was never an official endorser during all his time in the Beatles although he is now. Bill Ludwig was pretty canny about all the free publicity he was getting and was worried that Ringo might demand some sort of pay to play payments if given the chance so, other than presenting him with that golden snare when the Beatles came through Chicago, he tried to steer clear. It does seem that Ringo's later drum sets were provided gratis but there was no official endorsement agreement and Ringo (and all the Beatles really) seems to have been oblivious that such a deal was even possible during that time.

I believe Bonham was hooked up to Ludwig by Carmine Appice and was an endorser during his Zeppelin years.

It seems to me that the 1 up setup is just the more popular setup these days regardless of the brand. I'll admit it does just look "right". For me it's about having the ride cymbal in the right spot. I learned how to play on a 4 piece, moved on to a 2-up 5 as soon as I could afford to and then graduated to 6 or 8 pieces. Now I'm back to 4 or 5 (1 up 2 down) and will probably stay that way for the duration.
I always assumed they had some sort of endorsement from Vox for the super beatle amps. That would have been a bold naming move if they didn’t
 

Tubwompus

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I tend to agree.
When I think of Ludwig, I think of a 22,13,16 set … it just is.
Not to infer there aren’t others with equal billing … just not in my brain.
Oddly enough, Slingerland is the 22,12,13,16 set … no idea why.
Yamaha is the 22,10,12,14f,16f … seems the 8 will float in at times.
Interesting thread.
Fascinating.
This demonstrates the psychological phenomenon that IIRC is called, “imprinting”. Depending on circumstances of one’s first encounter with a given thing, it kinda hangs on.

To use myself as an example…
When I first saw pics of a Yamaha kit, it was being used by a guy whom I thought was this otherworldly guru, aka Steve Gadd. Between his playing, his sound, that 10” tom directly in front (“what?”) threw my 14-year old self for a loop. So even now, at 58, reflexively, Yamaha kits are black with a 10 and 4 toms, all mounted. Imprinting. Regarding the 22,12,13,16, I saw my first drum catalog ever in 1978. Same 14 year-old li’l punk. My junior high band director (guy was a POS) left a Ludwig “Percussion ‘80” catalog laying on his desk. That was the last time he ever saw it. The magical wonderment therein…!!!!! The blond maple Big Beat kit became my own imprint of the definitive 22,12,13,16.

At the same time, Slingerland came out with what I thought was their loveliest catalog ever, too. Great time to dream for a kid drummer.

Incidentally, Evans had also come out with a catalog around the same time that had their heads on a bunch of gorgeous kits from different makers.

Ahh…the intoxication of nostalgia.

But yeah, imprints.
 

Tubwompus

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I always assumed they had some sort of endorsement from Vox for the super beatle amps. That would have been a bold naming move if they didn’t
Yep, they had a Vox deal early on that was finalized with a handshake.
Also one with Rickenbacker.
 
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