Dating a ludwig drum
A week ago, when Tom K phoned me, he could barely contain his excitement. We also realized that we’d passed up such kit—the heavier, more substantial ones, with the silver inner sealer and straight-walled shells countless times.
He’d taken the 6-lug snare drum to his workshop for closer examination. The plastic finish, in Pearl tradition, came off easily: it wasn’t glued all the way round. The bare Coronet shell lay before Tom, devoid of glue, revealing its secret. We’d let truly greats-sounding drums slip through our fingers. It is a, perhaps rare, example of an early Pearl laminate shell, the forerunner of the Phenolic composite shell that would take Nashville and LA by storm in the mid-1970s, alongside Rogers-style gray-sealed wood, wood/fiberglass, and all-fiberglass shells. Most of us neglected Coronets and the like in past, focusing our hopes and dreams on scoring a desirable Ludwig or Rogers kit.
Occasionally one sixties Japanese drum or drum kit would emerge as a winner, at least referring to the sound.They are not simply mis-badged prototypes for the soon-to-debut Pearl President line.I long suspected greatness when playing these drums as I’ve related to you. And in that instance, that glimpse into the crucible of truth, we both realized what a huge dent we could make on perceptions and, in fact, on the vintage market, which had previous excluded such drums from considerations, notwithstanding a couple of excellent websites dedicated to Japanese stencil brands.Sure, the shell is a soft Asian species resembling mahogany and the reinforcing rings primitive, but it’s assembled immaculately and has stood the test of time.These sixties Japanese drums were made in the image of great American drums but fell short on several counts, most notably shells and hardware.