The worth of a set of local USA Ludwig Rockers?

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,138
Reaction score
501
Location
VA Beach
Calling all Ludwig experts! I've found a local listing for a set of what appears to be USA-made Ludwig Rockers (or Rocker II?). I haven't laid eyes on them yet, but from the photos I can see that they have the Classic lugs, which I assume are better than the older Standard lugs. I can't tell if the BD hoops are metal or wood, but they look in pretty good shape. There are some surface scuffs, and there is some micro-pitting on a couple of the tom mounts and hoops. But I think I'd be able to clean them up fairly easily.

One question I have is what era are they from? The seller mentions speckled interior on the shells, but seems to have no idea what type of Rockers these are, or their age. Another question I have is what are they worth in the condition they're in? He's asking $400 for the drums and a bunch of miscellaneous hardware that is of no interest to me, aside from the BD tom mount. I assume that price is negotiable. I would certainly pass on them at $400. But at a reasonable price, they'd be a fun project, as well as a good outdoor gig beater kit.

I'd really appreciate any input. Thanks!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

verminator

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
812
Reaction score
50
Location
st louis
I would estimate from$275-350. Very good drums with little value. Do plan to keep them? $400 is not bad with hardware depending on what it is.
 
Last edited:

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,138
Reaction score
501
Location
VA Beach
Thanks, Verminator. I was thinking of offering $200 without snare and seeing if he'd go for it. If the snare's decent, I suppose I could go $300, though I really don't need it. The hardware appears to be a mishmash of Rocker II and Gibraltar stuff, some of which (like the hi-hat stand and BD pedal) is disassembled and likely non-functional in its current state.
 

Attachments

K.O.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
18,949
Reaction score
922
Location
Illinois
Looks like early Rocker series drums. Classic Lugs, Wood bass drum hoops, the better mounting system. Probably 4 ply shells of maple and poplar (or at least "select hardwoods"), standard depth sizes. If you're in the market for a set of Rockers those are probably the ones to shoot for. Not sure of the value but if they were local to me I wouldn't rule them out at $400 and would jump on them at $300 depending on what the other bits included with them were.

LUD8426.JPG
 

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,138
Reaction score
501
Location
VA Beach
Thanks for your input, K.O. I almost sent you a PM about these, as I knew you were a fount of knowledge regarding Ludwig. I was hoping they were early Rockers, though I know Ludwig was all over the map regarding mix breeding with shells and hardware, etc. I've found myself pouring through old threads and catalogs to try and nail these guys down, but it's all a crap shoot. Near as I can deduce: they're Monroe-made, they have mini Classic lugs, contiguous serial numbers, Granitone interiors, long straight Rocker II BD spurs, a 5x14 COW snare, and the later '80s BD and hi hat pedals (disassembled and probably non-working, it looks like). I have no idea about the wrap color.

I love that it has the classic BD tom mount and classic lugs, though I don't know anything about these telescoping spurs. I'm always leery of cheap pot metal threads stripping at the gig, etc. Not a bargain if unreliable. And I could pass altogether on the hardware, though he apparently wants it all gone.

I was just countered with an offer of $325 for everything, but I politely turned it down, because I'm just not feeling it with all the elbow grease involved in bringing these back to life if I can't make a profit down the road. I explained that, and I'll see if there's another counter offer. If not, that's fine too. I just thought it might be a fun little project.
 
Last edited:

K.O.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
18,949
Reaction score
922
Location
Illinois
I'd be more inclined to think those were made in Chicago but it's hard to say. I recently bought a lesser Rocker set to give to the daughter of some friends (her drums were destroyed in the hurricane that hit Florida last year). The ones I bought had the Standard style lugs, power depth mounted toms, metal bass drum hoops, a steel snare, and Pearl style mounts. I think they were made in the USA (except the snare) but I'm not sure when. 4 ply shells. I got them for $100 so I couldn't be too fussy and they were an improvement over the Percussion Plus set she lost in the storm. Thing was, even with old heads on them, they sounded really great, good enough that I almost reconsidered letting them go as they would have been the perfect set for our rehearsal hall. In the end I gifted them to our "niece" and she loves them and is thrilled that they are Ludwigs.

I mentioned sets like these in the recent "sleeper" thread. The early "made in USA" examples are pretty decent drums for the prices they sell for.
 

K.O.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
18,949
Reaction score
922
Location
Illinois
I'd suck it up for $300 (and likely less) and I'd have a real fun time refinishing those drums and matching "jazz fest" snare......
Yeah, those earlier COW Rocker snares look just like a Jazz Fest when rewrapped in an appropriate sparkle or pearl. They sound good too. Some of them (like this one) even have B/O badges.20190416_063109.jpg
 

wflkurt

Deafus Maximus
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
8,952
Reaction score
139
Location
Chichester NH
I've got to say that I wouldn't be surprised if these were made just after the move to Monroe. The badge placement on the bass drum certainly puts this in the modular mount era but I think what is throwing me off is where the mount on the 13 is and the fact that this set has all small classic lugs. Typically the mount on a 13 like that should be centered like the 8x12 but i'ts almost like it was positioned in the same area that a modular mount would be(even this should only ne drilled with two small holes for that mount). I definitely think $300 would be a good deal and they could easily be re-wrapped in something cool like the snare that Kevin posted(which by the way looks fantastic). I have a snare just like your that I am hoping to wrap in either mod orange or citrus mod. Good luck.
 

AaronLatos

spang spang a lang
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
3,993
Reaction score
128
Location
upstate NY
It's official: these are the most undervalued vintage kit on the market.

Superclassics with lighter (imo: better) hardware. They sound different, but as good as 3ply.

I can't tell about this one, but some of them were formica wrapped, which is as indestructible as it gets.

Re: details... I've seen them with most possible combinations of hardware/lugs/badge from
that era. It was a "bottom of the parts bin, use up the surplus" sort of situation.
 

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,138
Reaction score
501
Location
VA Beach
Thanks guys for all your input.

Kurt, am I missing something regarding the tom mounts? From the photos, it looks like both the 12 and 13 mounts are installed near the batter side.

Aaron, do these 4-ply shells (maple/poplar, I think?) really compare favorably with the old 3-ply w/ re-ring shells?
 

wflkurt

Deafus Maximus
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
8,952
Reaction score
139
Location
Chichester NH
Thanks guys for all your input.

Kurt, am I missing something regarding the tom mounts? From the photos, it looks like both the 12 and 13 mounts are installed near the batter side.

Aaron, do these 4-ply shells (maple/poplar, I think?) really compare favorably with the old 3-ply w/ re-ring shells?

The mount on the 13 is up higher than it would have been on a regular 9x13. All of the vintage Ludwig's(at least pre-1980 that I know of) had mounts that were centered in the drum.
 

idrum4fun

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
152
Location
southern California
I had a Rocker II kit back in 2009. Got them for $300 without the snare drum. All wrapped in Blue Cortex. Same serial number date range as the OP's kit. I found the matching snare drum on eBay for $85 delivered. That will never happen again! All mini-Classic lugs, with Classic lugs on the snare drum. A poor-man's Jazz Festival! 4-ply hardwood shells with that brown Lud-Cote finish in all shells. They really were a great set of drums!

-Mark
 

Attachments

DrumR69

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
572
Reaction score
49
Location
Massachusetts
Worth every penny.
I have a set of the 4ply and they sound great, natural finish inside.
Congrats and glad you picked them up.
Wayne
 
Top