Help me identify a vintage Ludwig kit.

Agamble317

Junior Member
Sorry I don't have pictures. The badges say "Black Jack Japan". The only thing I can find with a google search is this ebay listing of a similar kit. Does anybody know anything about these drums? I think it says "ludwig" somewhere on them. I'm in the process of restoring the kit, which lives at the church my parents attend. Please help if you can.

here is the ebay listing i found:

http://cgi.ebay.com/4-PIECE-DRUM-KIT-BLACK-DIAMOND-PEARL-blackjack-Japan_W0QQitemZ250730555464QQcategoryZ38097QQcmdZViewItem
 

droveto

Senior Member
I'm pretty sure that it's not a Ludwig. I'm guessing it's a Black Jack drum set that's made in Japan that was modeled to look like the nice sets made by Ludwig and Slingerland in the US.
 

gretsch292

Junior Member
If "Black Jack Japan" is printed on the shell, it's a sure thing that they are not Ludwig.

Ludwig made drum heads as well, so if Ludwig is printed on the heads it does not mean that they are Ludwig drums.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Japanese stencile kit. The seller, even describes it ... as a Japanese copy. In his first sentence ...
"This is an old Japan COPY of a 60's Slingerland or Ludwig set."
 

Agamble317

Junior Member
gretsch929: good call on the heads. They did have ludwig heads on them, which is probably where I was remembering seeing "ludwig" on the kit.

harryconway: just wanted to re-iterate that the ebay listing is NOT the actual drum set in question. I'm not in the habit of taking ebay seller descriptions as gospel, which is why after reading that, I went on to post this thread to see if anyone on here knew what the drums were. Seems like we can all agree on what they aren't.

Anybody have any idea of how old the drums are, what they are made of?

The kit is owned by my parents' church. It has sounded like garbage for years, with ludwig heads almost as old as the kit itself as far as I can tell. The bottom rims and tension rods are missing from each of the toms. The bass drum had been literally filled with pillows and was quite dead. A group of teenagers use the kit to practice and perform praise music for the services. My dad wanted me to fix the kit up and get it sounding as good as it could, partially for the kids (he's such a nice guy), partially as a tax write off (he's a smart guy), but mostly because he was sick of listening to those horrible sounding drums (he's a musician).

The two missing tom rims have been purchased, but the tension rods we picked up didn't fit. I threw an aquarian super kick II and a vintage ludwig logo front bass head (oops) onto the bass drum, along with removing all the pillows from it. I put coated aquarian studio x heads on the batter side of the toms. When we get the tension rods figured out, I'm putting classic clears on the bottom side. From what I can tell, the kit isn't going to sound half bad, despite its bastard ancestry.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Sorry I don't have pictures. The badges say "Black Jack Japan". The only thing I can find with a google search is this ebay listing of a similar kit.
Yes, understand ... I comprende ... and the eBay add states the drums are a Japanese copy, of Slingerland/Ludwig. Maybe you're not familiar with the term "stencil kit". That's what they call/refer to these kits as.​
harryconway: just wanted to re-iterate that the ebay listing is NOT the actual drum set in question. I'm not in the habit of taking ebay seller descriptions as gospel, which is why after reading that, I went on to post this thread to see if anyone on here knew what the drums were. Seems like we can all agree on what they aren't.
You will find "Black Jack" drums listed here ... http://www.vintagedrummuseum.com/Japan/ Japanese Drum Museum.​
From about 1905 to the 60's, a lot of American drum companies bought their hardware from Walberg & Auge. Japan copied that hardware. Pearl burst onto the scene in 1966. Yamaha, in 1967. Tama, in 1974. Before those dates, the Japanese were making drums under "more names than you can shake a stick at". The kit in question is one of those kits.​
In my circle of drummer friends, everyone had "one" of these kits, as a first kit. They were about 1/4-1/3 the price of a downbeat Ludwig kit. We always refered to the wood as Japanese cheesewood. Luan, philippine mahogany, I had a "Gracie" kit. It was green oyster. A bud of mine, had an identical kit, but in blue oyster ... and it had a different badge. But other than the badge, and color, the kits were dead-on the same. Every nut, bolt, tom mount, legs, spurs, cymbal holder, snare stand, pedal ... all same-same.​
 

Agamble317

Junior Member
Harryconway: Thank you. I am now hip to "stencil kit". Unfortunately the only thing on the Japanese Drum Museum page I could find about Black Jack kits was in the forum section, and it was just a guy who posted pictures of his kit. Nonetheless, thank you for the link and taking time to try and help. So you're guessing the kit in question is pre- 1966?

I'm still planning to snap a few pics next time I'm at my parents house, which will be soon due to the impending day of "thanks". From what I remember, it looks like two kinds of wood were used, as one has discolored differently than the other in the shells. Cheesewood, huh? lol, looks like I've got enough to make a nice lumber ziti.
 
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