Black and White Badge Ludwig drums

andrewdkahl

New member
Ludwig Black and White Badge Kit:

8X12 - Serial # 6040890

9X13 - Serial # 6040891

16X16 - Serial # 6040546

14X22 - Serial # 6219660

I’m looking for some help identifying the year and model of these Ludwig drums. I believe that it’s a Rocker II set from the mid 80s, but I’m looking for more specifics.

Both rack toms and the floor tom have light shells with mini classic lugs. They appear to be the 4-ply Rocker shells with the “Lud-Cote” finish on the inside. All of the toms still have their original Ludwig Rockers resonant heads. Someone at some point carved the date 3/6/87 into the all of the badges except for the bass drum. I can’t imagine that a drum builder would carve the manufacturing date into the badge, but maybe they did?

The bass drum serial number starts with 621 instead of 604 like the other drums. The bass drum also has standard lugs, a gray paint job inside the shell, replacement wooden hoops, and long telescoping legs with rubber tips that can untwist to reveal pointy metal spikes. Based on all of these details , it seems pretty obvious that the bass drum was not originally part of this drum set.

The set also came with a Ludwig 781 tom holder with mixed hex nuts/knobs. I replaced them with new uniform hex nuts so that the holder would be more stable and sturdy.

I bought these drums for a great price ($400) from a blues drummer in Philadelphia in 2010. Judging by the original bottom heads, the toms at least where purchased from Fred’s Music Shop in Shillington, Pennsylvania. A wonderful 5X14 Acrolite (date stamped 1970) was part of the deal as well. I’ve played this kit on tons of recordings and live dates. I know that they were originally marketed as budget drums, but I love the way they sound. I’ve done a ton of research on Ludwig Rockers, but I want to hear what other people might think about the origin of these drums. Thanks! -Andrew KahlC7ADBA31-47F7-419A-823D-D53D8AAC8C32.jpegC6B60438-E36B-43A5-B629-FD5C8AC3791E.jpeg612D992C-FD2D-4B2B-8447-875349846131.jpeg632D2E96-3127-49B7-A4C7-2115AEA1FBD6.jpegF0227790-E0D0-4DE5-A20C-9801A29AB939.jpeg
 

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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Congrats on your score! I agree that Rockers are fantastic-sounding drums and I've had a lot of fun with mine.

It's a little hard to pin details down because Ludwig is notorious for sending out drum sets that didn't quite match what they showed in the catalog. Based on the 1984 catalog there were three series that seemed to run almost concurrently, the S/L, the Rocker, and the Rocker II. The small Classic lugs and Granitone interior makes me think of S/L more than Rocker II, which seemed to never use those lugs.

I agree it's likely the toms and the bass drum aren't from the exact same kit, though I wouldn't bet my life on that. The bass drum is odd because it's clearly been worked on; the gray paint on the interior and the hoops and T-rods are all non-standard, but only the Rocker II series used those spurs.

I have a 12x8 tom that had the small classic lugs and Granitone interior. The exterior wood ply doesn't match any of the other Rocker drums I've unwrapped. It seems more like poplar (It has almost no visible grain) than the maple seen on the exterior of a typical Rocker drum.
 

andrewdkahl

New member
Congrats on your score! I agree that Rockers are fantastic-sounding drums and I've had a lot of fun with mine.

It's a little hard to pin details down because Ludwig is notorious for sending out drum sets that didn't quite match what they showed in the catalog. Based on the 1984 catalog there were three series that seemed to run almost concurrently, the S/L, the Rocker, and the Rocker II. The small Classic lugs and Granitone interior makes me think of S/L more than Rocker II, which seemed to never use those lugs.

I agree it's likely the toms and the bass drum aren't from the exact same kit, though I wouldn't bet my life on that. The bass drum is odd because it's clearly been worked on; the gray paint on the interior and the hoops and T-rods are all non-standard, but only the Rocker II series used those spurs.

I have a 12x8 tom that had the small classic lugs and Granitone interior. The exterior wood ply doesn't match any of the other Rocker drums I've unwrapped. It seems more like poplar (It has almost no visible grain) than the maple seen on the exterior of a typical Rocker drum.
This is exactly the kind of input that I’ve been looking for, thanks for commenting! I have also been wondering if the three toms are part of the S/L series because of the mini classic lugs. The bass drum is the most confusing because it looks like it might have been painted gray on the inside. Has anyone ever seen a Rocker II drum with a paint job like this before?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Standard lugs were used on the earliest Rocker kits. The later Rocker kits switched to Classic lugs. EDIT: Or was it the other way around??

The bass drum is older, and it looks like it may have been painted grey on the interior to match the Granitone of the rest of the kit? That's just my guess.
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
Those things used to be my go-to when selecting house kits. Great, reliable, inexpensive drums. IIRC, we had a few lugs break when they were mistreated/dropped.

Once you clean them up, you can use a plastic buffing compound to make the wrap look new. Keep in mind that you're buffing plastic and that you only get to do it a handful of times before you run out of plastic.
 

andrewdkahl

New member
Standard lugs were used on the earliest Rocker kits. The later Rocker kits switched to Classic lugs.

The bass drum is older, and it looks like it may have been painted grey on the interior to match the Granitone of the rest of the kit? That's just my guess.
That’s interesting what you’re saying about the lugs. I thought that it was the other way around, and that the mini classic lugs meant that the drums were older and maybe part of the S/L line. I thought that the standard lugs became the ones that we’re used for the majority of Rocker drums. This kit has been a mystery to me since I got it in 2010. I wish that the serial numbers were more helpful for the identification process.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
That’s interesting what you’re saying about the lugs. I thought that it was the other way around, and that the mini classic lugs meant that the drums were older and maybe part of the S/L line. I thought that the standard lugs became the ones that we’re used for the majority of Rocker drums. This kit has been a mystery to me since I got it in 2010. I wish that the serial numbers were more helpful for the identification process.
You know what, maybe I got it mixed up! Now I don't remember which came first, haha. You could be right!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
This is exactly the kind of input that I’ve been looking for, thanks for commenting! I have also been wondering if the three toms are part of the S/L series because of the mini classic lugs. The bass drum is the most confusing because it looks like it might have been painted gray on the inside. Has anyone ever seen a Rocker II drum with a paint job like this before?
Never. I've never seen any Ludwig drum with a factory gray paint job. I've seen white, cream, and Granitone, but never dark gray.

Those things used to be my go-to when selecting house kits. Great, reliable, inexpensive drums. IIRC, we had a few lugs break when they were mistreated/dropped.
The Rocker lugs break even if you don't mistreat them. The mounting screw posts are notoriously easy to crack and you really have to be careful with the bass drum lugs because they use a hole spacing no other Ludwig lug uses so you can't even upgrade them to large Classics like you can with the Rocker tom lugs.

Standard lugs were used on the earliest Rocker kits. The later Rocker kits switched to Classic lugs. EDIT: Or was it the other way around??

The bass drum is older, and it looks like it may have been painted grey on the interior to match the Granitone of the rest of the kit? That's just my guess.
Yes, the other way around. Mini-Classics on the earlier S/L series, with the Standard/Rocker-type lug being used on the Rocker series once they fully settled on what we now know as the Rockers they made from the mid-80s to the early-90s.
 
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