Ludwig Stainless Steel


Silver Member
That is a very cool find! You polish those up, slap some coated heads on, and you've got yourself a fantastic kit! GRAB IT!


Platinum Member

Well, I stand corrected.

Next time I'll double check on pretty much anything. Uh, yeah. ahem. My bad.

Well, I did say I was no historian, right? :p

But I do actually have something to add, if you trust me. The snare drum looks like it has the Sonor logo on it, is it the snare that came with the kit or is it something else? I would ask the dude who's selling/


Platinum Member
You know, the first thing when I clicked on this thread and saw the pics, I thought to myself that those are sweet drums. I'm not super knowledgeable about Ludwigs, like LVDC, but I've owned a B/O badge Supraphonic 402 for over 20 years, and will never get rid of it. As I start reading and people are saying they're junk, I started having doubts. That's the problem sometimes with forums, everyone and their Uncle think they know everything and false information starts to fly. My rule of posting is if I personally haven't had experience with a product, I sit on the fence and listen to someone who has had experience. BTW that is obviously a Sonor snare.


Senior Member
I say go for it! Maybe try to negotiate a little bit maybe he will come down some but it is a rare kit. Find yourself a high quality stainless steel cleaner, take off all of the hardware soak them in wd-40 and put some new heads on and I think you would have a pretty decent kit. I have seen kits in much worse condition then that and they turned out awesome.


Senior Member
Thank you people for all informations,
I first saw this kit on some Croatian drummers forum (Croatia is the land from where I am) in section show your kits, and at the end of the post he says "anyone interested in drums", I asked him about year, price... Hi is not an expert too, but he knows that they have a historical value, and he sad to me that they are made in USA, not some chinese junk Ludwig made this days, but I already know this.
I told him that I'm not interested in cymbals, hardware,heads and snare, which is sonor, but only in shells.
The price will probably go down for shells only.


Senior Member
Since it seems as if you aren't interested in getting the Drums, only seeking some information I'll provide a little, for what it may be worth.............

If it were me, I would probably jump on them even at his asking price, although I would start out by offering a little less, and that would be without the Snare. The Kit in your photo's date to at least 1977, or a little after.................

Here is a shot of the Bass on my Stainless after getting the parts stripped off. This Kit, which dates to around 1975-76, was used A LOT for gigging for quite a few years then stored under a Mobile Home (Trailer) for a number of years before being moved to an unheated Pole Barn where it spent another 6 years. It was absolutely filthy and looked far worse than the Kit posted at the beginning of this thread......

Below is a pic of my Bass after working it and with the new Silver Sparkle Hoops I picked up for it.
The only thing that wasn't original on this Kit (13, 14, 15, 16 Concert Toms, 18 FT & 24, were the Bass Hoops......

Below are my Tom Shells after working, ready for Heads...................

The next two images show the Outfit, a Quadra-Plus, set up shortly after cleaning
but prior to getting the new BD Hoops.................

Before I could "catch my breath" after doing my Outfit I was contacted by a local guy who had picked up one of Matt Chamberlain's old Kit's, added another Tom and wanted to know if I would "work it" for him, which I decided to do. While his Kit was in overall better condition than mine it had been kept in a Shop and was obviously one of those "go to" Kits when someone needed a certain Part. Luckily I had all the required parts to bring it back up to speed, which made the owner a happy man.

13, 14, 16 & 24, which is most of a Pro Beat. He recently picked up an 18, which did make it a Pro Beat Outfit...............

Anyone who has seen one of my previous posts about Stainless Kits will probably know that I can't anything about them without mentioning the Lug Cup Washers since I have done so many of the little buggers.

Here is a before (left) and after shot of only a few.
When you consider that each Lug has two you can understand why these always pop into my mind when it comes to Stainless.......

Below is a shot of the "Pro Beat" stripped down and washed, ready to be "worked."
One of the bags located in the upper right, the lowest one on the "tray," contains only Cup Washers......

I was so impressed by the sound of the "Pro Beat's" double-headed mounted Toms that I picked up the 13" shown below for my Kit.
This one was also quite dirty and had years of oxidation, as well as light surface scratches, that had to be polished off...........................

By adding the Tom shown above I am now able to run my Kit like this...........................

If you look closely you will see that I have "swapped out" the original 7/16" Spurs for the larger 1/2," which required no modification to the Bass itself, only filing out the inside Mount Plates to match the holes in the Drum. I have the original Spurs, Mounts & Plates and if I ever decide to sell this Kit (not very likely) I can easily make it original again................

Bottom line when it comes to Stainless Ludwigs, at least the older ones as I have no experience with the newer "stuff," they sound like no other Drums and have a nice, clean resonance, not to mention the fact that they are LOUD! When used with an Emperor over Ambassador, or similar head combination, you would be hard pressed to find nicer sounding Drums................

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Platinum Member
LVDC comes to the rescue. The more I read of your in depth write-ups of Ludwigs, the more I want another kit.


Platinum Member


Senior Member
Give 'em the TLC treatment that LVDC gave his stainless kit. Sweet.
Thanks Harry!

Here is a part of the "treatment" I gave to the 13" Tom.

The first shot shows the inside of the Tom Mount, which was not a very good way to do it in my opinion so I "upgraded" it to the method they used on my Stainless Concert Toms. As you can see the stress on the unsupported Shell started to show the outline of the Mount on the inside.....................

Below is the "upgrade" that gives the Shell much needed support in this high stress area.................

If you look at the Lug Screws / Cup Washers you will see some that appear as if they are "too tight," giving the Shell a distorted look. There is a reason for this that I will share here for those who may remove Lugs, Mounts etc., for whatever reason and reinstall them.

For many years I was in Quality at a GM Engine Plant where we built the 3800 V6, Naturally Aspirated & Supercharged versions, with one of my duties being "Off Torque" Studies. How this worked is that myself, as well as the SPC guy (Statistical Process Control,) would document the Torque Readings on a number of Engines while they went through the Fastening Process, which was all computerized, then tag these Engines and set them aside for a few days. We would then, after a few days, loosen the Fasteners using a "Full Zoot" Digital Torque Wrench to see how much torque it took to do so and record what is known as "Joint Relaxation," which varied depending on a number of factors such as if a Gasket was in the mix, what material the Parts or Gaskets were etc. After a few days, and even before an Engine went through "Thermal Cycling," i.e. started up and ran, you could lose upwards of 20 to 30% of the Torque used to fasten the parts, which, as I already mentioned, is called "Joint Relaxation."

When working Stainless I always tighten the Lugs, Mounts, etc. with this in mind but do not do this with Wood Shells. About a week after the last picture above was taken I went and did a visual check of the Screws on the 13" Tom and this distortion was gone, which was due to the "Joint Relaxing" over that period of time. When it comes to Lugs & Mounts on Wood Shells I only snug them down being careful not to damage the Shell, or Finish if Lacquer, and will come back in a few days and hit them lightly one last time to compensate for Joint Relaxation.

When stripping the Hardware off of older, and some not so "older" Drums, I usually come across something that had loosened up over the years due to vibration, etc. and would recommend, from time to time, checking for loose fasteners when doing a Head Change. You can do this by simply trying to wiggle the Lugs or Mounts from the outside to see if there is any "play" or from the inside by using your fingers. Don't, just to do it, hit the screws with a little "torque" now & again, only retighten if you find something loose....................

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Silver Member
I am astonished everytime I see those photos. Simply amazing. LVDC, the offer still stands to do my kit....... Ha!


Gold Member
People who judge drums by the condition and brand of heads should turn their stick in.
SS Ludwig are rare and VERY sought after. Not quite the Holy Grail, but pretty close. Its like finding a citrus mod finish kit, super rare. The BO badges let you know the era they were made. Finding a complete kit like this in any condition a few years ago would have created bidding war. They would be a solid investment.


Junior Member
I purchased this set of Ludwig stainless steel drums in 1985, they were used. I have used them very little, only when I played in different bands from time to time. They have been kept in hard cases for 27 years. They have the olive and blue trademark, except for the snare which has the keystone trademark (I already had the snare) Everything but the cymbals and some stands came with the set.I paid $1100.00 for the set in 1985. I was wondering how much it might be worth in todays market. Any comments would be appreciated.


P.S. All the heads have been replaced with new ones. Yes I'm left handed...LOL


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