Vintage Ludwig Supraphonic COB with B/O badge - value?

Ramon_Lopez

Junior Member
Hi guys!

I'd love it if you could lend me a hand with this;

One of my relatives has passed me a very rare item that I am not going to use and so I'm considering the possibility of selling it. It is a vintage 1971 Ludwig B/O badge COB Supraphonic snare drum. Yes, you read well: a COB Supraphonic from 1971 :)

These are the specifications:

- Vintage Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum. It's model ML406 (as you may know, there is no official Ludwig information on this model!).
- Blue Olive badge (the cut version, without serial number).
- Round knob tone control.
- Date: Nov 17th 1971 (it appears on a sticker in the inner side of the shell).
- Size: 14" X 5".
- COB shell (it weights 8.4lb or 3.8kg, the chrome has no pitting at all and there is a "B" stamped above the tone control).
- Everything appears to be original except for the heads and the snare wires, perhaps.
- The overall condition is above great (see pictures).

I am well aware this is not a common configuration and as of now I have not seen another Supraphonic like this one, although I have heard about them. As David from vintagedrumguide.com said in one of his articles, "We all know there are anomalies and situations that do not apply to the general rules of vintage drums. There are 70's brass Supras and the rumor is that they were special order or endorser drums".

So, with all this in mind, what do you think a good price would be? 600$? 700$? 800$? 900$, maybe???

Thanks in advance for your help!


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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'd also heard that these were supposedly artist drums, I guess a lot of players figured out that the Supra hadn't been brass since 1963 or so, and may have started asking questions.

They're somewhat rare, I've seen maybe 6 or 8 over the years. In the end it's just a brass Supra, but I'll guess with a few differences: the hoops and lugs probably aren't brass, as they were on the more desirable early '60s COBs. So this drum probably wouldn't command as much as an older one, but the condition is beautiful and that certainly doesn't hurt. Its value is more in the collectibility, and you'd have to find that hardcore collector.

Otherwise, it's really just a nice brass snare, and I'd guess you can expect $5-600 from most buyers on ebay, and maybe $700 from a collector.

Bermuda
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
It's interesting to note that these "cut badge" drums do come up for sale from time to time so while uncommon,they aren't really rare.They also differ in that the beds aren't always crimped,and the bearing edges don't appear to be rolled,like the Ludwig super 400/401 drums were.

The shell also appears to be spun brass,as oppose to the welded shell of the 400/401 drums,yet,the location of the badge mounting hole,is in the same location as the keystone badge,which is why the B/O badge had to be cut,so it could fit over the center bead.

I've seen some bring as much as 800,an possibly more, from a Japanese collector.Beautiful drum.

Steve B
 

Ramon_Lopez

Junior Member
I'd also heard that these were supposedly artist drums, I guess a lot of players figured out that the Supra hadn't been brass since 1963 or so, and may have started asking questions.

They're somewhat rare, I've seen maybe 6 or 8 over the years. In the end it's just a brass Supra, but I'll guess with a few differences: the hoops and lugs probably aren't brass, as they were on the more desirable early '60s COBs. So this drum probably wouldn't command as much as an older one, but the condition is beautiful and that certainly doesn't hurt. Its value is more in the collectibility, and you'd have to find that hardcore collector.

Otherwise, it's really just a nice brass snare, and I'd guess you can expect $5-600 from most buyers on ebay, and maybe $700 from a collector.

Bermuda
Very useful comment, Bermuda, I appreciate it!

In my opinion, more often than not it will be the case that, instead of being "artist drums", they will be Black Beauty COB shells that were converted into Supraphonics for some reason. I base this reasoning on the following: 70s 5" x 14" COB Black Beautys were called LM416. 5" x 14" Ludwig Supraphonics were called LM400. This one rare snare of mine has a sticker inside the shell that reads Model 406 (LM406), a very suspiciously similar number to LM416! Note that the LM406 model doesn't appear in any catalogue and Ludwig doesn't recognise it, so it appears to me that factory operators did use Black Beauty COB shells to make Supraphonics and, in order to recognise these odd drums, they hand-wrote in those stickers "Model 406" or "LM406".
Nevertheless, a mysterious and interesting story.

You are right, the hoops and the lugs are not COB and I can confirm this because the total weight of the snare is 8.4lb and not 9lb or 10lb that you would expect a full COB Supra to weight.

I completely agree with you; after all it's a very rare COB Supra that would command more than a Ludalloy Supra because of the brass and it's scarcity, but not as much as an early 60s COB Supra because of the lack of COB rims/lugs and because, simply, it's not such a famous rarity. Indeed, a collector would value it more than a simple buyer.

Thanks for your help!
Ramon
 

Ramon_Lopez

Junior Member
It's interesting to note that these "cut badge" drums do come up for sale from time to time so while uncommon,they aren't really rare.They also differ in that the beds aren't always crimped,and the bearing edges don't appear to be rolled,like the Ludwig super 400/401 drums were.

The shell also appears to be spun brass,as oppose to the welded shell of the 400/401 drums,yet,the location of the badge mounting hole,is in the same location as the keystone badge,which is why the B/O badge had to be cut,so it could fit over the center bead.

I've seen some bring as much as 800,an possibly more, from a Japanese collector.Beautiful drum.

Steve B
Hi Steve,

Very good input. My understanding is that, although it is true that these early 70s "cut badge" drums do come up for sale from time to time, it's not that common that their shells are COB.

Is this Japanese collector someone I can contact, just in case he would be interested?
 

Ramon_Lopez

Junior Member
What is it worth? I'd say its worth keeping!!! : ) real nice drum you got there!!!
Hi Braincramp,

Yeah, I did this post knowing that many of you would probably recommend me to keep the drum ;) but I think I won't. I already have a vintage Supraphonic and a vintage Jazz Festival. I'm not a "many drums" guy or someone who collects stuff that he's not going to use. It'd be sad to see this beautiful snare drum locked in a storage room. Besides, I need the money!
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Hi Steve,

Very good input. My understanding is that, although it is true that these early 70s "cut badge" drums do come up for sale from time to time, it's not that common that their shells are COB.

Is this Japanese collector someone I can contact, just in case he would be interested?
That's the reason for the cut badgeThe COB shells were already set up for the keystone badge,so the B/O badge had to cut on the brass shell drums,where as the Ludalloy shells,were set up for the full sized unaltered B/O serial numbered badge.

I don't know any Japanese collectors directly.From what I understand ,they use an agency,that bids on high dollar vintage drums on Ebay and other auction sites.The transaaction is handles by this,agency,and that is where the drums are shipped.Their provenance is verified,and they are re package and shipped to Japan.

This isn't true of all Japanese transactions,buy quite a lot of high dollar vintage drums,are purchased this way.Some collectors buy directly from Ebay Sellers..I understand your drum is in Spain?If so,thay may make your drum prohibitivly expensive to buy,because of shipping ,and import /export taxes and fees....unless the drum were very rare.No disrespect intended,but a cut badge COB supra dosn't fal into that catagoryIf it were a Surer Ludwig L401 or L 402,lacquered brass shel with a WFL or Transition badge,then it would ber very rare,since the T badge super Ludwig,lacquered brass shell,was only made for 1 year,and very few were sold,some say less than 100 units.

I suspect,there are more than a few European collectors,who would spend 7-800 US,for your drum.Best of luck..

Steve B
 

Ramon_Lopez

Junior Member
That's the reason for the cut badgeThe COB shells were already set up for the keystone badge,so the B/O badge had to cut on the brass shell drums,where as the Ludalloy shells,were set up for the full sized unaltered B/O serial numbered badge.

I don't know any Japanese collectors directly.From what I understand ,they use an agency,that bids on high dollar vintage drums on Ebay and other auction sites.The transaaction is handles by this,agency,and that is where the drums are shipped.Their provenance is verified,and they are re package and shipped to Japan.

This isn't true of all Japanese transactions,buy quite a lot of high dollar vintage drums,are purchased this way.Some collectors buy directly from Ebay Sellers..I understand your drum is in Spain?If so,thay may make your drum prohibitivly expensive to buy,because of shipping ,and import /export taxes and fees....unless the drum were very rare.No disrespect intended,but a cut badge COB supra dosn't fal into that catagoryIf it were a Surer Ludwig L401 or L 402,lacquered brass shel with a WFL or Transition badge,then it would ber very rare,since the T badge super Ludwig,lacquered brass shell,was only made for 1 year,and very few were sold,some say less than 100 units.

I suspect,there are more than a few European collectors,who would spend 7-800 US,for your drum.Best of luck..

Steve B
Alright, I see.

No offence taken! I appreciate your honesty and clear explanation.

Very useful info and advice, thanks!
 
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