My floor tom may be out of round.

Road Bull

Silver Member
So almost a year ago I got a set of New Ludwig Classic Maple drums. When I got them, I swapped out all the heads. The bottom head for my floor tom came off easy enough, but when I put the Remo Ambassador head on the reso side, it went on really tight. I thought it was a bit odd, but I figured it might just be the head collar or something.

I was checking again for some reason the other day, and I was reminded of this little issue. I got thinking about it because in a few months I will have had them for a year. So I figured I would try to get to the bottom of the issue before they were out of warranty.

Tonight I pulled the bottom head off and the head sat stuck in the rim a bit after removal. Hrrrm... Then I put a different head that was from another kit on the reso side. Same thing. So I got out a tape measure. Measuring at different points I found that in one place the distance was 16 inches. And in another place it was 16.25 inches.

This seems to be enough to prevent the head from seating flush without the aid of being held down by the rim. It's odd because the other side seems to be fine, but maybe this one side is a little off. But enough off to see if they can address the issue.

Thoughts?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
1/4" out of round for a ply shell isn't great, but, if your measurements are accurate, the 1/4" out of round is exacerbated by the onside diameter. A 16" shell is usually around 15 3/4" OD. Certainly, to go over 16" at any point is going to cause seating problems. That 1/4" oversize is critical, so I'd encourage you to measure again. If you're using a tape measure with a tab end, measure across the shell somewhere mid tape just to remove the tab end tolerance issue potential.

If you confirm your measurements, the drum should be returned to Ludwig for replacement. Frankly, you should have done that immediately upon receipt of the drum. Explain to Ludwig / the dealer that the affect was noticed initially upon receipt of the kit. Irrespective of applied internal standards, a drum that cannot accept heads in a manner conducive to good seating / tuning should be replaced without discussion.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Thanks for the information. When I first received the drum and noticed this issue, I thought that it must have been a slight issue with the head. It seemed that the stock Ludwig head came on and off easily. So I thought that there might have been some anomaly with the new head, or that perhaps because Ludwig seems to use a shallower collar on their heads that somehow the Remo head was the issue. None of this is an excuse for not trying to get to the bottom of the issue, but, there it is.

Yes, it is slightly over 16 inches, to 16" exactly. I compared this to my Tama Artstar Customs, and found them to be, as you said, slightly smaller in size, sub 16 inches. This would seem to, by design give the best possible scenario for the head to seat evenly.

I will be heading to my music store this morning to discuss the issue.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the information. When I first received the drum and noticed this issue, I thought that it must have been a slight issue with the head. It seemed that the stock Ludwig head came on and off easily. So I thought that there might have been some anomaly with the new head, or that perhaps because Ludwig seems to use a shallower collar on their heads that somehow the Remo head was the issue. None of this is an excuse for not trying to get to the bottom of the issue, but, there it is.

Yes, it is slightly over 16 inches, to 16" exactly. I compared this to my Tama Artstar Customs, and found them to be, as you said, slightly smaller in size, sub 16 inches. This would seem to, by design give the best possible scenario for the head to seat evenly.

I will be heading to my music store this morning to discuss the issue.
Your thinking when you first received the drum is understandable. The measurements tell everything. There is no way a dimension should exceed 16". Industry standard is 15.75". Beware testing shells with Remo heads though, as in my experience, Remo are the most inconsistently sized of all the major head manufacturers. If you're going to test with Remo, be sure to try a selection to get a representative average.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Your thinking when you first received the drum is understandable. The measurements tell everything. There is no way a dimension should exceed 16". Industry standard is 15.75". Beware testing shells with Remo heads though, as in my experience, Remo are the most inconsistently sized of all the major head manufacturers. If you're going to test with Remo, be sure to try a selection to get a representative average.
Got word today that Ludwig will build a new one for me and allow me to hold on to the odd one till the new one shows up. It's funny, but I have not bought a new kit since 1991, but if and when I ever purchase a new kit again, I will give it a super close inspection and take some measurements. Initially, I just thought that there was some imperfection with the head, and I everything else looked solid.

Besides taking the heads off and looking at the shells, what might you suggest that would help people insure the drums are good to go?

I would think that taking top and bottom heads off, you can check tension rods and lugs for function and fit, you put eyeballs and fingers on the bearing edge, and check the shell for any cracks, or anomalies. But what are some other good things to check for?
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
So I just picked up my replacement 16" floor tom today. Fairly quick turnaround. However, this tom seems to have the same issue. WTH?

So I picked up the drum from the shop, dropped off my old problematic floor tom, took the new one home, went to put the new heads on, and I seemed to be having difficulty seating the head again. So, I am not sure if this is normal, or what is going on, so I remeasured. Lug to lug, it ranges from 15 3/4s" to right up to 16". Kinda bummed.

I might not be stressed too much about the 1/4" if I felt that the heads seated normally, but when I was examining the measurements, I also noticed a slight bend in the wrap. When I run my fingers over the area, I can feel that it is slightly raised. Admittedly, the bend in the wrap would be hard to see under most normal conditions. But there it is.

Going to try to get it sorted tomorrow I guess.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Well, at least this time around your response is immediate - the dealer will see you tomorrow!

It's a drag having to take care of stuff like this, but at least you can and it's not costing you more.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Update:

I have a picture of my drum being made, checked, and rechecked, I imagine. This will be my third floor tom for this kit, (second replacement). Still no word on when it will get here, but I guess you gotta start somewhere. I think that they were checking their equipment to make sure that there wasn't something off somewhere. The past two floor toms had some odd measurements and heads would stick and bottom out if you tried to spin while the head was laying on the drum. This prevented the drum head from seating correctly on the drum. So... I am crossing my fingers that THIS did it.
 

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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Good to know it's being taken seriously. You can't ask for more than that really. 14/16ths did make me chuckle though ;)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I took delivery of a new Classic maple in '95 and the 13" was waaay out of round on the reso side. First thing I did getting it home was do a head change, but it took a mallet to get that frikkin' head off. No joke!

Ludwig was good about getting a replacement out to me and were fairly quick about it.

Good luck!
 

Winegums

Silver Member
Good to know it's being taken seriously. You can't ask for more than that really. 14/16ths did make me chuckle though ;)
Mixing decimals and fractions... SMH

It sounds like one of their machines is actually out of spec to have similar flaws on both drums. Makes me wonder if other Ludwigs of the same size have similar problems.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Mixing decimals and fractions... SMH

It sounds like one of their machines is actually out of spec to have similar flaws on both drums. Makes me wonder if other Ludwigs of the same size have similar problems.
Yeah, I was kind of thinking this myself. I hope they figured out what it was and fixed it. Might be worth checking your 16x16" floor if you have picked up a Ludwig Classic Maple recently.

Having said all that. I am happy they are sorting it out. I love the sound of my LCMs.
 
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