Ludwig (large shell) kit question

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
I am happy to say that I recently put a Ludwig kit on layaway at my local Mom & Pop music store. It's an 1984 natural 6 ply maple kit, but it's like a Bonham kit on steriods. Sizes are 16x26 kick, 13x14 (10 lug) tom, 18x18 floor tom, and 18x20 floor tom! Now, it's been a while since I've owned a 20" floor tom - I had a black Vistalite that had a floor tom this big, but it was a while ago. Thankfully, Evans makes coated 20" G1 & G2 tom heads, but I'll need to order them as not many stores stock that diameter.

I have a general question for the owners of big drums - what head combo seems to work for your ears? I've never owned a 26" kick, let alone one that is 16" deep. That's alot of air to move and ideally, I'd like to not have to port the resonant head. Also, if memory serves me correctly, the 20" floor is a beast to keep the overtones under control. Keep in mind, these drums will gig and be close mic'd, so some sort of dampening will be neccessary. Ideas? Suggestions? I can say that I'm going to try using the felt strips (at various widths on the kick (both batter and resonant side) to see what sounds good.

I know everyone likes pictures, but as of right now this is the only one I have until I get it home.

I'm leaning on maybe using a SKII or Powerstroke 3 or 4 on the kick batter (I am not a fan of EMADs because of the foam ring retainer that always breaks) and using coated G2's on the floors - batter and resonant (for overtone control). On the 14" tom I was thinking on a coated G2/G1 combo.
 

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harryconway

Platinum Member
1985 was when Ludwig moved all production to Monroe. Before that, they made the Rocker/Rocker II lines in Monroe, but the flagship Super Classics were still made in Chicago.​
Nice tubs. Like most drums, you can put a lot of different heads/combos on those, and they'll sound good. If felt strips is your thang, then I'd go with simple unmuffled heads. Ambassador and Emperor (or the like). I run coated Emperors over clear Ambasadors, on my toms. On my kicks (both 26x14 now, but I had a 26x16) I like the Powerstroke 3 batter, and a Ambasador reso. Another kick combo I like alot, is Emperor batter, and Fiberskyn 3 reso.​
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
The last year for Chicago Ludwigs was 1985.

I would go with a PS3 batter and a coated emperor or ambassador reso.

Coated emperor over a clear or coated ambassador on the toms.


LOL,Harry,you were 4 min quicker.


Steve B
 

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm not necessarily hooked on the idea of the felt strips, but I was thinking on trying it. Honestly, if there's another way to accomplish that "sound" without the felt, I'd rather do it that way. I'm a "bury the beater" kinda guy, and in this case that's not a bad thing!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you bury the beater on an unported bass drum....especially a big honkin 26, how do you not get the multiple bounce thing going on? I can't bury without multiple bounces, especially on an unported drum.
 

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
That's likey true, although I suspect no matter what - it's going to feel different from the ported 22" kicks I'm used to playing on.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
That's likey true, although I suspect no matter what - it's going to feel different from the ported 22" kicks I'm used to playing on.
Oh man, you said it. Sonically, you'll get the most out of that bass drum if you rebound the beater, but that's a whole different technique for you. It's going to be a huge change, I can guarantee that. You may have to port.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
One other question for the Ludwig guys - what was the last year of the Chicago era Ludwigs?
Agree with 84-85, and there were a handful of big keystone badges that say Chicago on them. If yours do, they were the last of the Chicago-made drums.

For larger drums, I like heavier heads. Whether 2-ply, or a thicker 1-ply (a la Evans G14) they maintain a good attack and volume. A 10mil head just gets lost and mushy on 18 & 20" floor toms.

Kicks are really subjective, everyone has their own idea of how they want the drum to sound and feel. If you want power, go with a heavier head rather than lighter. If you want a lot of sweet expression and are playing moderately, you can go with a normal 1-ply.

That's a lovely kit, BTW!

Bermuda
 

Bull

Gold Member
Nice!!

A Coated PS4 with a Smooth White PS3 reso will sound great on that drum. So will a Coated Emperor/Smooth White Ambassador combo with felt strips.

I am Currently using a Superkick 2. I love the way the head feels. It sounds great to the mic but it is a bit too controlled to me. I will be going back to one of the other batters that I mentioned.

IMO that kit needs Coated Vintage Emperors over Coated Ambassadors. It will sound just like it looks.

I can't speak for the 20" but I own three 18" floor toms and have never needed to muffle them. They are actually the easiest tuning toms on my kits.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
You can eliminate the beater bouncing sound with an unported kick. You just have play really damn loud like Bonham. Bury it "deep" so to speak. Generally, not the best technique imo, but it works for a lot of drummers.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
That's likey true, although I suspect no matter what - it's going to feel different from the ported 22" kicks I'm used to playing on.
Oh man, you said it. Sonically, you'll get the most out of that bass drum if you rebound the beater, but that's a whole different technique for you. It's going to be a huge change, I can guarantee that. You may have to port.
Indeed. I went from playing 22" Vistalite kicks (ported) to a Yamaha 28x14. Talk about being on another playing field. And I was a "bury the beater" guy, too. But getting into the larger drums, I changed my technique to get the beater off that head, fast. And to help me in that transition, I ported the reso. I also used a ported reso., for a while, on my 26x14 and 26x16 Luddies. Now, a few years later, I'm comfortable with non-ported reso heads on my big kicks.​
 

eamesuser

Silver Member
I assume you will not be playing dinner jazz on that kit,but if you go 2 ply on batter heads,or even 1 ply you may want to use a heavy stick if you don't already,I had a luddy 22 14 15 20 and I found that I needed to use a 5-b minimum on that kit.
 

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
Now matter what, this will be a fun kit to play. I'm looking forward to getting it. I'm not really too worried about not burying the beater. I used to trigger my kick for a while until relatively recently. I had to get accustomed to keeping the beater off of the head to eliminate any possible errant/false triggers. Thanks for the head suggestions guys. The more information I get, the better my choices will be - right?
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I just use a Coated Ambassador, with a Coated Ambassador patch on all my 26's.
Smooth White on the front. Sometimes no hole on the 16x26, but mainly I have a 4" HOLZ thing. I mic it at the hole, not inside (just like the sound better) with mainly a D112. It's a little "bouncy" feeling at shows with no hole, but not at home, which is weird.
I've tried many different heads, and combo's, but this sounds best to me.

I have a small piece of Polyfoam at the bottom of the shell to soak up the excess sound bouncing around a pretty much empty giant cylinder. It doesn't touch the heads, and I use a muffle roll I made between the head and pedal posts. Works great, and takes very little time to get the sound at live gigs--big, or small places.

My last show was Friday (8-23) at an amphitheater, and it took maybe 15-20 seconds of me hitting it for them to get it ready.
May not be the "trendiest" head combo, but it's simple and easy--and sounds amazing.

I had that 13x14 10 lug tom. It was kind of a pain to tune with 10 lugs compared to 8 lugs. It always sounded good, it was just a little much with the lugs on that size.
It DID sound more like a "tom" than the 8 lug 14x14 I have, so maybe that's why they did it.
I eventually had it cut down to a 12x14, & since it has the Mach Lugs it was not a problem.

Have fun with that monster kit! 18 and 20" floor toms...man....

John Burdine, you are in my neck of the woods :) very close actually!
 

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
Thanks Karl for the input. I'm excited - it's a far cry from the sizes of my "home" kit. That kit is a Magstar maple in the following sizes; 7x8, 7x10, 7x12, 12x14, and 13x16. I'm going from shallow toms to the total opposite!
 
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Road Bull

Silver Member
MAN! Those drums look great! That kit is not fooling around. Kits like that should come with a free gong. I most certainly don't need another kit, but if I did, I would want an all out rock kit like this monster. That's one of those kits that makes you question your gig transport options.

Congrats on the new drums. Keep us posted with how it is going.
 
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