Ludwig 12/14/18 Bop/Jazz Kit 1976 Silver Sparkle

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Cymbal Shack
Lansing, MI, United States
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About This Listing

This listing is for a blue and olive badge Ludwig jazz or "bop" kit. Based on the serial numbers on the drums, they were manufactured between 1976 and 1978. Shell sizes and serial numbers are as follows:

8"x12" #937719
14"x14" #1010956
14"x18" #917633

So, first things first, this kit is definitely a "player" and not a museum piece. However, they sound like angels making love so if you're searching for a vintage bop kit with "that sound" in highly desirable sizes and mojo for days, you can stop right here.

I'm only the second owner of this kit. The original owner (aka The Tinker) was kind of a crazy old codger that was an engineer, and he liked to tinker with his drums. (He drilled a DW Edge snare for an internal muffler, for chrissakes!) I'll go through the issues with each drum shortly, but I should share that my approach to cleaning these up and playing them was to do as minimal "refurbishment" as possible. Other than removing the offending, unoriginal parts, all I did was give everything a quick wipe down.

Quick side note: These drums may be something of an anomaly, because while Ludwig states on their website that drums with these serial numbers should be 6-ply "straight" shells with no re-rings, this kit is very clearly made with the classic 3-ply layup, with reinforcing rings, and a clear interior finish. Perhaps the shells used were leftovers from an earlier era; Ludwig claims to have done this very thing around 1978 (finished with "granitone" on the interior) so they obviously still had 3-ply shells sitting around in '76.

The silver sparkle finish has faded a bit, but the fade is consistent from drum to drum and they look great together. Wrap seams are nice and tight, and I don't find any bubbling or other issues with the wrap, outside of some discoloration here or there. All of the badges lay flat and I haven't had issues with them snagging on the inside of my nice n' fuzzy drum bags.

The bearing edges are in decent shape, but could use being re-cut at a professional drum shop some day. The toms have a sharp cut to the outside edge, while the bass drum has a bit of a back-cut. There are a couple of rough spots and at least one small area where the The Tinker used some kind of wood filler to even them out.

14"x18" Bass Drum
The Tinker apparently had a thing for mounting as much stuff as possible from his bass drum. When I received these drums, the bass drum had no less than a big ol' ugly Pearl tom mount, three different Rogers Swiv-o-Matic mounts, and a giant Slingerland Ray McKinley bass drum muffler installed. Plus, it appears his first attempt for the hole for one of the Pearl arms was a near miss, leading to it being messily widened.

The drum still has all of its original lugs, claws, hoops, and spurs. Original hoop inlay is in good shape! The spurs work surprisingly well and the wing screws hold them tight. I replaced the T's with key rods long ago and no longer have the T's.

I decided to try Ludwig's "Atlas Arch" on this drum and was pleasantly surprised with the results. If you're not familiar with this device, check out the first few photos of the kit. To install the arch, two lugs are removed from the drum and the "Atlas Mounts" are installed in their places. Then the Arch itself installs into the Mounts. This allows for quick installation and removal of a more modern style tom mount, with the bonus that no additional holes need to be drilled into the drum. Wish this had been around back in The Tinker's days...

The real downside to the Atlas Arch is that it is a little on the heavy side. For those looking for an ultra-light rig, this is a bummer, but in the bigger picture it's really around the same weight as an L-arm style double tom mount you might find on most major drum brands these days. It is easily removable, and if you do not wish to purchase it with the drums, I will keep it and take $100 off the posted price.

In either case, I still have the original lugs that were removed to install the Atlas Arch (see pictures) and they will be included in any sale.

8"x12" Tom and 14"x14" Floor Tom
The 12" tom has been under the drill a few times - I think there was more than one change of mounting hardware - but it came to me with a Pearl mount, which I removed. Internal muffler has also been removed.

The 14"x14" floor tom is really the star of the show, unfortunately however, even this one was not spared The Drill. But at least the damage is fairly minimal. The Tinker installed a metal fence door handle on this drum. Yep, you read that right. In a way it was brilliant, because it made moving the drum around very convenient, but I fear this also means he didn't regularly use bags or cases...

Other than the four small, clean holes drilled for the handle, the drum is in very nice shape. The internal muffler is gone, but the floor tom leg mounts are all original and still hold nice and tight. I added a set of modern Ludwig 9.5mm legs to the drum and they have worked well.

The toms wear coated Ambassadors top and bottom, the kick drum has an Evans coated G2 on the batter side and will ship with a NOS Remo smooth white ambassador on the reso (sorry, gotta keep my Zildjian logo head).

I think I've covered everything pretty well but please contact me with any questions. This drum set is sold as-is. I am happy to ship internationally - please contact me for a quote.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed2 months ago
ConditionFair (Used)
Fair condition gear should function but will show noticeable cosmetic damage or other issues.learn more

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