The evolution of Ludwig hardware is a detailed and multi-faceted story. For this reason and the aforementioned trend of updating vintage drums, hardware will not be covered in this guide. Date stamps are simultaneously the best and worst means to properly date a Ludwig drum from the '60s use of the date stamp was discontinued ca. A drum was stamped when the shell was finished, providing the most accurate depiction ludwig drum dating guide the age of wood due to the fact final assembly came later. The difficulty in date stamps is, more often than not, that the stamp has been rendered illegible or removed completely due to the wear and tear of the years. Aside from the exact date printed on the shell, the color of ink used will assist in identifying the era of the drum and indicate the possibility of forgery.
Serial number-based dating and authentication guides are available for Gretsch, Ludwig and Ludwig Standard drums. Because the approach is serial number based, it only applies to Gretsch drums with serial numbers starting in aboutLudwig main line drums with serial numbers starting in late Ludwig Standards made starting in ludwig drum dating guide through about are also addressed Ludwig reused the "Standard" brand a few times. Because the focus is on vintage drums, the guides do not generally address drums made after the mids. The guides present information based upon data gathered from thousands of vintage drums. They are based upon volumes of information taken from actual drums and refrain from repeating the legend and lore of vintage drums, which is often inaccurate and not based upon reality. The guides teach the reader about changes in the physical characteristics of these drums which will help them to determine if a drum is authentic or just a collection of mismatched parts. Did you know that there are at least seven different styles of Gretsch Round Badges used from the s through the s?
I get emails ludwig drum dating guide of the time with a basic drum description and a serial number from visitors in hopes I can unlock the history of their drum. I think in general serial numbers do play an important role in the commercial market especially electronics and other high end items. In the 60's Insurance companies made it mandatory that serial numbers be put on items so they can be documented. Unfortunately drum companies never really prescribed to any code of documenting a drum based on that serial number. In fact I once heard that they started using serial numbers not for their own use per say but so schools and institutions could keep track of instruments in inventory. I also get people asking what factory a drum might have shipped from or the exact month a drum was made or even the production numbers etc.
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