New in Forum! Help with 64 Ludwig kit

usrockband

Junior Member
Hey guys!

Little introduction, Im from north of Toronto, Ontario. Ive been playing drums for about 7 years. I play in an indie/alternative/pop band called Swaying Tuesdays ( http://www.reverbnation.com/swayingtuesdays , we are on iTunes) as the drummer. I play currently on 2 kits; ones a 1964 Ludwig 4 piece Kit owned by my dad when he was in his teens, and another is a Pearl BLX 6 piece kit stripped down to a 4 piece (Im not a fan of giant rack kits, but prefer the smaller 4 piece/ 5 piece kits). I'll post pics of both later, but have a question about the Ludwig kit.

I've spent some days trying to find some skins for this kit. I bought Aquarian response 2's for the tom batters and Aquarian Clasic Clear's for the reso's. I cant seem to tune these skins properly on this kit for starters, using a tension metre, the only way i could get even tension all the way around was by removing lugs. And when i finally get all the skins to an even tension, the drums sound totally dead unless mic'd. Now i've tried several different tensions only receiving the same results, and have tried tap tuning with the same result. I want to replace whatever skins i have to to make these drums sound more lively in general, but have no idea as to what skins would sound good. My questions are, what skins do you guys think would be worth trying? and do you think the dead-sound of the drum is even caused by skins? or is there a chance its just the drum.

I should add the shells are in great shape, the things sat around wrapped in garbage bags for 20+ years. The snare and bass drum sound amazing the way i have them currently setup, but im dissapointed with the toms.

Help please! :O
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
My vintage Ludwigs sound great with either Ambassadors ;coated batter and clear or coated reso.They also sound good with Emperors and Ludwig weathermaster mediums.

Make sure that you gently stretch the heads with your hands when you first seat them,just like you have to do when putting on new guitar strings.

Try tuning by pitch so both heads are about the same as close to just above a wrinkle as you can get.The thinner heads will resonate better and seem to work well with vintage 3 ply rering shells,like Ludwig.

Once you get to that starting point,you can start to tune to your liking.Those drums should sound warm and fat with plenty of bottom.Also make sure the bearing edges are flat and the drum is in round.That is where tuning problems usually start.

Take the heads off and place the drum on a flat hard surface like a table top and shine a flashlight inside the shell.If you can see light comming through the bottom,the drum may be warped or the bearing edge is not flat and needs to be recut.

I usually tell people not to alter vintage drums as ANY alteration will greatly impact the resale value of the drums,so you need to understand that before you make the decision to alter the drum.You may want to sell them at some point so you need to understand collectors want drums in as close to the same condition as when they left the factory as possible...not "upgraded" or hotrodded.Good luck.

Steve B
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Though I'm not an Aquarian user, a quick trip to their website tells me ...Batter Head = Response II
A two ply head that "snaps" with attack and cuts through. Can be tuned tight, medium or loose. .....​
Sounds like a Remo Emperor .... not my "first choice" for heads, on those drums ... but they should work, to some degree. John Bonham made it work ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mrNjz_U0ZM I'd go with single ply heads batter and reso. Coated Ambassador batter over smooth or clear Ambassador reso.​
Check out some Bob Gatzen tuning video's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLUkDXSfPCc&feature=related .... and don't rely on the tension watch. I've never owned one of those ... and I've been playing some 45 years. See (look) what the drum head is doing and listen to it.​
 

usrockband

Junior Member
hmm, the kit did have old clear remo emporers on it, mind you i found the kit in storage from 20 years ago baha. I'll have to try the warp test, let you know how that comes out...

As for skin recommendations, i had a hunch they would be coated skin recommendations ( considering that's basically all they had back in the day of 64'). I have a set of unopened evans G2 coated skins that we bought accidentaly (instead of the clear ones). Would they work do you think? I honestly have never been a huge fan of remo anyways... But i'd be willing to try these g2's tonight if i can get a positive response...

Thanks alot guys
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
As for skin recommendations, i had a hunch they would be coated skin recommendations ( considering that's basically all they had back in the day of 64'). I have a set of unopened evans G2 coated skins that we bought accidentaly (instead of the clear ones). Would they work do you think? I honestly have never been a huge fan of remo anyways... But i'd be willing to try these g2's tonight if i can get a positive response...
Evans should be fine ... the G2 is a 2 ply head, like the Remo Emperor .... G2 over G1 is a very popular combo.​
Evans actually invented the plastic drum head ... Remo just happens to be the largest drum head company in the world. Which company gets your dollar, your choice.​
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
So 1964: the tom is a 13"??!!

If so: very nice and easy to tune, both sides the same. Coated ambassador for me.
I tried the emperors - they are fine too, prefer the ambassodors so...just a bit more lively...

Bernhard
 

usrockband

Junior Member
1964 ludwig shells are 13" and 16", checked with the serial number! cool thing is theyre almost the same wrap as ringos kit! i will have to post pics. As for skins, tried that EP tuning method after using the tension metre, and threw on the coated g2's (with aquarian classic clears on the bottom, just a single ply reso skin anyway), snd was thrilled with the result! But let me tell ya, i have had sooo many odd problems with this kit. See if anyone can explain this, ive talked to several experts at stores like cosmo music and just drums, no one can explain :s.

I put a pearl suspension mount on the ludwig, that suspends on the hoop of the drum. When i hold the drum by the mount with my hand and hit it, it gives a beutiful warm and fat tone like its supposed to, from the audience stand point. But when i mount the thing and hit it, it sounds almost totally dead from the audience stand point. However the tuning and g2's actually fixed that problem a little, but its still there. If the drums arent mic'd, theyre usless live from how i hear them atleast. I cannot figure out why this is...

Also, I checked for warping in the drums, neither of which really had anything serious wrong, same with rings, thanks for showing those videos though, very helpful!
 

paistepower92

Senior Member
Try retuning them while they are still on the mount in the kit. If that doesn't work it might just be the Pearl ISS mount, I would upgrade to the Optimount.
 

usrockband

Junior Member
I thought about doing that, but then just realized something else while reading that actually. On my pearl kit, i have a 10",12",13" and 16" toms, all of which are on the pearl suspension mounts (not the iss mounts). The weird thing is, I have the exact same problem with the 13" pearl drum when its mounted! like is 13" an off or odd size? The 13" also sounds the most dead out of all my pearl drums, even though it has the newest skins on it (g2) while the rest have pinstripes.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I am guessing off of the top of my head that the 13 being heavier is being muffled by the mount. I had the same problem with my Taye set when I owned it.
 

usrockband

Junior Member
hmm thats possible i guess eh, but even when i sit either of them on a snare stand, i get the same problem, which is also confusing... maybe im using a bad stand by any chance? :s

thanks alot,
 

nickg

Silver Member
So 1964: the tom is a 13"??!!

If so: very nice and easy to tune, both sides the same. Coated ambassador for me.
I tried the emperors - they are fine too, prefer the ambassodors so...just a bit more lively...

Bernhard
Bernhard...i seem to find that a 13" is fine in and of itself with a standard kit of a 13" rack 16" floor, which was a pretty basic setup on kits for many years. but the 13" seems to be a seriously weak link in a kit with multiple toms such as a 10" 12" 13" 16". i wish i would have gotten a 12"/14" instead of 12"/13". i find it difficult to really fine tune a kit voice wise with a 12"/13" setup versus the better differentiation of 12"/14".
 
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