Vintage Ludwig riveted seams

DWIGZ

Member
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Stanford, KY.
Several lifetime years late to these posts on the whole Ludwig Rivet Era thing, but just wanted to say "Thank You Guys" for the education info on this topic. Seems I owe an apology to a drum seller with a late Vintage 70's (may be 1979 or 1980) Ludwig drum kit for sale that has riveted seams (with complete elongated ripped away wrap seam damage at every rivet on every drum, all barely hanging on). I sent a reply in regards to his ad description of "the seams on this kit are the Ludwig factory riveted era".. lol, I replied to his ad with "Ludwig has never riveted their drums" (that's someone's bad choice repair job).. From everything I've researched indepthly all these lifetimes about Ludwig, can't recall reading anything of this rivet era and someone replying earlier to this post topic even mentioned Ludwig did hide it all very well.. But now, I do remember seeing riveted seamed drums in some of their 80's Product Catalogues, but they were the single headed open tom models with that protective ring around the bottom of the shell, plus in the concert tom models too. Just thought it was only for those types and not actually manufactured with seam rivets used on any double headed drum kit shells.. So glad it's all over with now.. Even really felt the disappointment Ludwig must have endured. I have an early 1970's Vintage Ludwig Classic MACH 5 Series Blue Silk 3 PLY Maple drum kit & just wanna add-on an exact identical same series match kick drum for real true double bass drum feel instead of the single bass double pedal thing, but don't need to pay the full kit sale price, plus tax, plus shipping & handling fees too, just to have that true double bass with someone else's miss matched bass drum, especially manufactured with this riveted crap. The Traditional Blue Silk Wrap needed on my perfect exact match identical series kick drum find I want to buy is no longer available & nowhere to be found around the world.. The lug casings would have to be the long full length Mach Series too. Finding a rewrap project same series shell just seems pointless now.
 
Last edited:

DWIGZ

Member
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
Stanford, KY.
Found this pic online. Back then, nobody worried that drilling extra holes ruined resonance ...

View attachment 440571
I know, that's just crazy, but like a reply said earlier, idk if OSHA was even established back in '79-80's but may very well have enforced mandatory implemented regulation changes on processes, glues, epoxies, chemicals, fumes, whatever the issue, & Ludwig able to do nothing but carry that weight as far as possible before too much to bare. Another reply mentions the Ludwig guy saying they'd bought or had so much left over wrap in stock that was prone to shrinking (as so was their competitor's wrap) that somebody hadda make a quick rendering solution to stay ahead plus eliminate revenue losses, but live & learn damage done reality still had it's riveting disaster. Nothing's ever the same when messin' with the success recipe, not even moving somewhere else.. Can't run, can't hide, just gotta stay strong breaking thru to keep on kicking it's back side.. I'd say the Stupidity Class 101 is never over with for anyone
 

thin shell

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,683
Reaction score
880
Ludwig is lucky to still be in business due to some of the really boneheaded things they did in the past.

The Tivoli lighted drums were a disaster for them. I think it was Bill II that said that everything they made on Vistalite they lost of Tivoli due to all of the warranty claims. The tiny incandescent bulbs didn't do well being mounted to a drum so they would start to burn out.

The 6 ply shells were problematic early on. I have a 13" 6 ply that I bought in '78 or so that was in that same WMP wrap. No rivets but the seam definitely lifted and the wrap shrunk. There were quite a few places where the plies started to de-laminate.

The seam rivet fiasco speaks for itself.

I bought a set of 6" through 12" concert toms in natural maple finish around '80. There were lots of shotty things about the shells. Especially the 6" and 8". Those sizes were actually 4 ply and had large gaps at the joints and cracks that formed through the next ply.

Then there were the drums where they were putting more lugs they used to.

The Modular hardware was way too big and heavy but everything was back then.

By '84 or '85 I gave up on Ludwig and went with Tama. Their Superstar drums were built beautifully and sounded great. A lot of people did.

I am glad they did survive because they make some really nice drums these days.
 

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,009
Reaction score
594
Found this pic online. Back then, nobody worried that drilling extra holes ruined resonance ...

View attachment 440571
As I've mentioned around here before, in the mid-90's I helped a singer in my blues band get a set for his house - rehearsals and whatnot. A Ludwig 20/13/14 w/Supra was available at a decent price, so I told him, "Go for it," and it was WMP just like these, rivets and all. More pulled away than these. The shells, hardware, and SOUND are fine, though. I find the 6-ply thunderous, and neat to play in those "jazz" sizes.
 

rsq911

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
1,206
Reaction score
111
If memory serves talking with WFL and Chuck Heuck, between 79-81 the glue was water based (same with GM having to go to water based paint), because of EPA concerns, and the pearls being of a different quality, causing those issues. They used the rivets on the aluminum trim rings for concert toms and marching tenors.

I have an 81’ BDP kit with “the rivets” and all has held up well. I personally love the 80’s big 6 ply kits and modular hardware.
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
12,884
Reaction score
1,347
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
Ludwig is lucky to still be in business due to some of the really boneheaded things they did in the past.

The Tivoli lighted drums were a disaster for them. I think it was Bill II that said that everything they made on Vistalite they lost of Tivoli due to all of the warranty claims. The tiny incandescent bulbs didn't do well being mounted to a drum so they would start to burn out.

The 6 ply shells were problematic early on. I have a 13" 6 ply that I bought in '78 or so that was in that same WMP wrap. No rivets but the seam definitely lifted and the wrap shrunk. There were quite a few places where the plies started to de-laminate.

The seam rivet fiasco speaks for itself.

I bought a set of 6" through 12" concert toms in natural maple finish around '80. There were lots of shotty things about the shells. Especially the 6" and 8". Those sizes were actually 4 ply and had large gaps at the joints and cracks that formed through the next ply.

Then there were the drums where they were putting more lugs they used to.

The Modular hardware was way too big and heavy but everything was back then.

By '84 or '85 I gave up on Ludwig and went with Tama. Their Superstar drums were built beautifully and sounded great. A lot of people did.

I am glad they did survive because they make some really nice drums these days.
You forgot the flakey chrome issues with the metal shelled drums.
You're right on all those counts.
The Japanese had deconstructed enough of the American drums by the early 80's that they had figured out the formula for building high quality but competitively priced drums and the Americans just couldn't compete.
It was too much, too quickly. That's why that decade belonged to the Big 3 from Japan.
Heck, I had a CB-700 kit from the late 70's back then and it was perfect. Tuned up and sounded great. Recorded well, too.
RC was the benchmark in those days and since then, Yamaha have always sounded just a little nicer than the other two, but at that point, you're really splitting hairs.
All 3; Tama, Yamaha and Pearl have been putting out some fantastic product since then.

Elvis
 

Formula 602

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
747
Reaction score
65
Location
G.R. Michigan
The rivets started around 1980, maybe late 1979. Ludwig kept them pretty well hidden in their advertising photos and catalogs although they did manage to sneak into this late 1980 catalog shot in the flyer for the then new Modular hardware.
That would suck..dropping a G or two...then..getting them at the music store without knowing there were rivets on each drum!
 

Formula 602

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
747
Reaction score
65
Location
G.R. Michigan
I toured 1728 North Damen in around 1982....and I stopped the tour ...asking what the rivets were about....She said that they were getting the pearl from Italy..and it kept shrinking..so they had to do something...
 

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,009
Reaction score
594
I toured 1728 North Damen in around 1982....and I stopped the tour ...asking what the rivets were about....She said that they were getting the pearl from Italy..and it kept shrinking..so they had to do something...
Y-y-you mean to say there was a WOMAN leading the Ludwig factory tour?! I might have found that rather exciting.
 

Latest posts



Top