Got half a Ludwig Rocker II

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
For a while I've been wanting to find a decent 22x14 to use with my Catalina toms when I want to use a bigger kick than the 18". There was an old Ludwig Rocker II at a friend of mine's shop that came with 12x8 tom and a no-name hanging floor that had been re-wrapped (badly) and re-drilled (horribly) to fit the Ludwig lugs. I bought the lot and dis-assembled the floor to keep the lugs for spares and chucked the shell.

The remaining kick and tom are in pretty good conditon. Everything functions and there's nothing missing. Chrome needs polishing. The wrap on the kick is okay and the tom is pretty good.

Now, the original plan was to re-wrap the kick in white pearl to match my CCJ toms. But these old Rockers sound good! I am very tempted to buy a floor tom to complete the setup and wrap all in a different color. If anyone has one they want to unload for not too much let me know. Any color.

Gonna leave as is for now until I make up my mind.

Required pics:



 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Congrats on the "new" drums! I did a similar thing; I bought a Pearl Export 22x18 bass drum and a Gibraltar tom arm that makes it possible to use the Gretsch tom with the Pearl tom holder. Then I removed that plastic from the bass drum and stained it to match the Gretsch finish. Peace and goodwill.
 

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drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Yeah, I remember when you posted pics in another thread. Looks good.

Right now I'm leaning towards finding a floor and just using the Ludwig. It really sounds better than I expected. We'll see.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Here's my logic on getting the Rockers. I've been wanting to get in on some Luddy action but Ludwigs (the good stuff) tend to be outside my budget. Rockers II, being an old entry level line, are not really sought after and can usually be had for relatively cheap. But the thing is, they're USA made and have American wood blended shells that sound pretty damn good to my ears. The drums I have are standard sizes so no power tom/kick craziness to deal with. Just need a 16x16 and I've found a few already. And I'm a fan of the classic brackets and the Standard/Rockers lugs.

Are they 3 ply? No. But they're probably pretty close to the 6 ply '70s stuff (close enough for me) at a fraction of the cost. There just doesn't seem to be any down side to getting Rockers. This will be a great gigging kit.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I agree with getting another Rocker drum. I am going to do the same thing with Pearl. I already have a bass drum, 12" tom, and snare. All I need is a floor tom, and when I get it, I may recover the bass drum (and maybe the 12" tom) so that they all match. Good luck on finding the drum you are looking for. Peace and goodwill.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Re: Got half (or 2/3) a Ludwig Rocker II

Cool, you have a matching Pearl tom? Seems like we're in the same boat. I will post progress in this thread on the project. Feel free to do the same or keep me posted.

Assuming I find a floor, I'm not sure what color to re-wrap in. My favorites so far are, solid red, solid black, red sparkle, blue sparkle, sky blue pearl, gold sparkle, and white pearl special. Solid colors are cheaper so I'm leaning towards just re-wrapping in red to keep the original look and stay within a reasonable budget. But sparkles are so awesome. Too many possibilities!
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
My Pearl 12x10 tom is wine red, but is pretty scratched up. So whatever color floor tom I get can be matched by recovering the bass drum and 12" tom. All of these Pearl drums are Exports by the way. The snare is a steel "Mirror Chrome". Yes, sometimes I think there are too many choices. Peace and goodwill.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Congrats on the Rockers. In the late 70's, Ludwig opened the plant, in Monroe .... and that's where Rocker production started. Those are probably 4 ply shells (poplar and birch)​
You should be able to score a floor tom for pretty cheap (under $100).​
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I hope so. I don't want to spend a fortune on this kit. There' a guy locally selling a grey one that's mis-matched with other Ludwig drums but he won't budge on selling the floor alone. There are a couple on ebay that I'm looking at. Another grey one but it's missing the leg brackets. Classic brackets are another expense I'm not sure I want to incur. I could put generic brackets I guess. Or I could just be patient and wait for another one to come along.

I'm jealous of larryz who scored the whole kit for $250!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Another idea would be to un-wrap the whole kit instead of re-wrapping certain drums to match.

I just finished a ground-up overhaul of an 80s Rocker kit and I pulled off the wrap, sanded and clear lacquered the shells. I debated on a few wrap options for a while but after getting the old wrap off I fell in love with the look of the natural maple and it was super cheap to just clear coat them.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Well I suppose but I haven't gotten a look at the grain yet. Might be an option but I'm not holding my breath that the outer ply looks that good. Is yours a Rocker II? Do you have pics posted somewhere? I'd love to see.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Here's a couple quick pics, since I just got 'em set up...






As far as pinning down Rocker or Rocker II, they're a bit of an oddball. I believe it's a Rocker II (Lud-Coat interiors, "Ludwig" double tom mount, and disappearing spurs) but it has a few features I've only seen cataloged with the regular Rockers, like wood bass hoops and power toms (yet with a standard depth bass).

The outside ply on the shells have a few cosmetic flaws but they look really nice overall.

For me the most important thing is that they sound amazing! In spite of their pedigree they sound like Ludwigs and they're pretty incredible.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Thanks!

Yep, clear satin. This was my first time refinishing drums and I figured a satin finish would be a little more forgiving.
 

valkyrievf2x

Senior Member
Here's my logic on getting the Rockers. I've been wanting to get in on some Luddy action but Ludwigs (the good stuff) tend to be outside my budget. Rockers II, being an old entry level line, are not really sought after and can usually be had for relatively cheap. But the thing is, they're USA made and have American wood blended shells that sound pretty damn good to my ears. The drums I have are standard sizes so no power tom/kick craziness to deal with. Just need a 16x16 and I've found a few already. And I'm a fan of the classic brackets and the Standard/Rockers lugs.

Are they 3 ply? No. But they're probably pretty close to the 6 ply '70s stuff (close enough for me) at a fraction of the cost. There just doesn't seem to be any down side to getting Rockers. This will be a great gigging kit.
I have a set of Rocker II's as well (same shade of red, actually), and I love their sound! To my somewhat untrained ears, they really have that old Ludwig mojo. I have the 12,13,20 set up, and I love them! Picked them up for $150 (I think it was 150...), and spent about $150 in getting missing parts and whatnot. Great sound for the price, I do think :eek:)
 

sethlowden

Senior Member
I have the tom out in my garage, in full 80s glory- bottom rim MIA, although I have some spare tension rods somewhere. White wrap. Good candidate for what you are looking to do.

I just noticed you are up north, not sure if it is worth the cost of shipping. I can weigh it and see. I will click a pic and post it for fun.

I know it may offend some people's sensitivities, but I sometimes wonder why the drums need to match. Kind of like a big monolithic wall of identical kitchen cabinets, lacking individual character. I am a fan of unfitted kitchens, so maybe unfitted drums might be my style.
 
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Drumolator

Platinum Member
I like your use of the term "up north". To me Indiana is up north because I am in Louisiana. I guess its all relative. Peace and goodwill.
 
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