Ludwig Keystone Badges (Classic Maple)


Junior Member
I just picked up a used classic maple fab 4 kit, I'm trying to figure out the 'ballpark' date of the kit.

The badges I have on my drum set are silver and look like the example shown here:

There is a new badge that I see current kits for sale:

This new badge has "MADE IN U.S.A." added as the bottom line of text.

Does anyone know what year they changed to the newer badge?
Can the serial #'s on the badges be used to assist in dating the kit/pieces?

Thanks in advance.

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Silver Member
Well it's a monroe NC badge so the oldest it could be is the mid 1980's after they moved from Chicago. I don't have any ludwig drums from after 1981 so I never looked into serial numbers past that. Hope that helps a little?

Meat the beat

Senior Member
Try the "Vintage drums" website forum, its a good tool to use with this one, just casts the net a little wider...

Happy hunting!!



Platinum Member
Welcome to the forum!

If that's a pic of your drums (nice!!), the badge is gold. It can look more silver-ish in certain lighting though. The badges in this pic look like the normal gold to me.

The only drums that had Silver Badges were the Classic Birch series they had for a while (90's). They even had smaller lugs. The Fab4piece was not available in Birch.

The Keystone SERIES drums (a year or two old now) have a Silver badge, but they say "Keystone" on the badge, and they have Keystone shaped lugs.

Judging by the spurs in the pic, IMO it's a fairly recently built kit. It's definitely not 10 years old or anything like that.
The spurs before these had a different swiveling piece (look at a heavy duty Gibraltar spur).

I'd say these are within 5 years, maybe even only 3 years old.

It's not an '09 kit, or it would have had the 100th anniversary badges (unless it was specifically ordered to NOT have them).
The die cast claws only came out 4 or 5 years ago as well, so that narrows it down too.

There should be a stamp on the inside of the shell. The last 2 numbers would be the year.
I have some with an actual M/Y stamp like 072010 in a small-ish size, and some with a different, larger stamp with only 3 numbers.
My first kit in '89 only had "109" in each drum. I always just assumed it was "kit 109" because it was made in the first year they offered the Long Lugs as an available option. Who knows?....

The badge in the first pic has been used since they changed from the B/O.
They have said Monroe on them since the move. They would have made the change to the "Made In USA" when they ran low and needed more badges.
I highly doubt that it's any more complicated than that with the "M.I.USA".

I wouldn't doubt that there are some kits with both style badges on them from that period (of badge usage) either.

Have fun with your kit!


Junior Member
Thanks for all the replies, this has helped me out.

Yes, that's my kit, now all I need is hardware and cymbals and new heads and.... more money.

I searched around the VintgeDrumForum, but was reluctanat to post a question as I suspect my kit would not fall under the 'vintage' designation.
But thanks for that lead, a great site which I'll be visting from now on.

I've attached a pic of the stamp that appears inside the snare, rack tom and floor tom.
I didn't check in the bass drum.

The first/left parts are not legible and perhaps smudges (?), but I think I see "908".

So, I guess it's a 2008? If that's true, then Karl, you're right on the money with your post!



Platinum Member
That's probably right on the month/year then. Sept. 2008.

I looked at a couple shells from that kit, and it say's 190 (not 109). I got it in Jan of 1990.

The 12x14 floor tom I got in '08 has the same smudgy marks and an 08 (can't see the other number unless I take the top head off).

My '90 up to '08 drums don't have "M.I. USA" on the badge, and the '09 drums have the 100th badge, so that change may be very new.

My Hammered 402 fairly clearly says July 1994, but the COB snare I picked just up has it as 072010 clearly inside the shell.
Then I have a CM snare from '08 that doesn't have any stamp in it at all....


Junior Member
Hey Karl, thanks for verifying/comparing the numbers against your own pieces.

I'm glad to find out my kit is only a few years old - the salesman said it was a 2010, but I got the feeling he wasn't 100% sure himself.