Please help me positively id some vintage Ludwig drum shells

tank

Member
Please help with info re: Ludwig 10 lug 14x12 deep rack tom

This post has been edited/updated as the shells have been confirmed to be 1980's (1979-1984) or so Ludwig 6 ply maple shells with rounded blue olive badge

Now asking for opinion/info/knowledge, regarding building/having/using 14"x12" deep rack tom having 10 lugs vs 8 lugs

This week I came into possession of three Ludwig drum shells.
The previous owner knew very little about the shells but passed them on to me
24x 14 bass drum, rack 15x12 tom, rack 14x 12 tom.
Solid shells. Not re-ring shells of 3 ring fame and fortune

Three drums, all bare shells
The factory wrap had been removed previously before I got them
Appears to have factory rivet holes in shells from previously removed factory wrap (I think this makes 1980's)

No hardware came with drums
Outer and inner ply's appear to be blond maple
Bearing edges appear to be in good shape
All holes in shells appear to be factory only

Shells appear in original condition minus wrap and there is no paint inside shells
Was hoping to use the 14x12 shell after re wrapping to match as a rack tom with my existing Ludwig 6 ply set
Interiors of these shells look exactly like my 6 ply's pointy badges ie: #2013642 (1978)

Bass drum has a rounded corner Ludwig blue and olive badge on it #3025188 (I'm thinking this might make them 1979-1984)
Two toms have no badges but all shells appear to be genuine factory married set
The fella I got the shells from kept the matching 16x16 floor tom so this sounds right
The two tom shells appear to have factory rack tom mount holes, not floor tom mount holes

Both toms have factory holes for 10 tuning lugs top and bottom
Never seen that before
Seems and looks like a lot of lugs for a rack tom

Dam big rack toms though
Anyway, got them because always wanted to try 14x12 rack tom with my 6 ply set
I have a 26 bass with 16 and 18 floor toms
I sometimes use my 14x10 rack tom and sometimes my 15x12 rack tom above my 26
I thought a 14x12 would be cool to try so I looked and found a 6 ply shell to do it with

Not sure how many lugs I should go with.
Should I stay with the very busy 10 lug configuration or re-drill shell for 8 lug?
I guess then properly filling and gently finishing the filled holes inside and out during prep prior to re wrapping

10 lugs may be of benefit but sure looks dam busy
8 lugs would look more uniform/natural
Not sure of usable tuning differences if any

Does a fella need 10 lugs on a rack tom?
Hell my 14x10 has 6 lugs and my 15x12 has 8 lugs
This will run 1.9 mm rims with coated emps over coated amb on a bonham style set

Sorry no camera right now
So no pics
Please offer opinion if you can LVDC Harry Sam Clint George John Paul Ringo Hut Hut Hike

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Happy New Year Everybody
Sincerely,
Tank
 
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tank

Member
I edited and updated the original post as the shell has been id'ed as a Ludwig 6 ply but the edit must not have taken to the post re-title I did to modify the post to reflect my request on opinions and info re: using 14x12 10 lug rack tom vs 14x12 8 lug rack tom. Sorry for the confusion.
Tank
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
That 14x12 with ten lugs must have been a marching snare drum previously.

Ten lugs on a tom would drive me nuts. I don't even like that many on a snare...
 

tank

Member
I'd most likely think the same thing as you if I were reading this.
Must be a converted marching snare drum.
But none of these drums appear to be converted anything

If you could take in the whole picture first hand seeing the 14x12 with ten lugs, the 15x12 with ten lugs with the bass and the floor tom you just might conclude as I did that this is in fact a factory 14x12 rack tom having ten lugs top and bottom.

The 14x12 rack tom has tom mount holes on the right side of drum
The 15x12 brother rack tom has tom mount holes on left side of drum
They would appear to mount left and right atop the bass drum

Ten lug 14x12 deep rack tom with 10 lugs
Beats the heck out of me.
Never seen anything like it before.

Been looking for a Ludwig 14x12 6 ply at the right price for some time now.
14x12 was the rack tom size bonham had on his thermogloss maple kit.
and was 8 lug top and bottom

I have the 14x10 and 15x12, 6 ply, rack toms, that I interchange from time to time in my one up two down setup

Pondering whether to go with 10 lugs as is, or convert the drum to 8 lug. Wondering which way to go. Drum with be re-wrapped with new hardware regardless.

Thoughts anyone?

Thanks
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The 14x12 ten lug ... mini-lugs, perhaps. I had Luddie 14x10 with 8 Classic lugs, I had a 15x12 ten lugger, with mini's on it.​
I'll agree, ten lugs "looks" a little busy. I'd dowel the holes for ten, and go with 8 lug spacing. If I was gonna keep the drum.​
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Ludwig used 10 lugs for the "power toms" instead of 8 on 14 and 15" drums.
WHY they did this I don't know...probably because of the "bigger is better, more is better" thinking and trends by all the drum co's back then. Kinda dumb though--when you go to the 16" floor tom, it's got 8 lugs.

My 13x14 1990 Super Classic has 10 lugs (it's a long lug kit). It wasn't a problem for tuning at all, just looked like more lugs than it should have had. ionly use 1 rack tom anyway so it was not that big a deal to me.
After a few years, I had that drum cut down to a 12x14, sounded more like a tom after that.

Bonham used 12x15 (on the Maple and SS), and then 10x14 (Green Sparkle and Vistalite). Back in those days the 10x14 had 6 lugs not 8, and they actually sound cooler to me than the 8 lug toms. He used the 12x15 because he got a duplicate of Carmine's kit (double bass and everything).

Good luck with the tom!
 

tank

Member
Power toms fits.
Just never have seen two ten lug power toms.
Following is info from Drummer Connection website but the info can be found in many places. Link to website under below listed info lifted from same.

Drums

Bonham initially used Premier drums, but in the late 1960's was
introduced to Ludwig drums by Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge.
Throughout the remainder of his career, Bonham was a major endorser of Ludwig Drums.
In concert, he used a wide range of different drum kits, but mostly of
the same sizes. From 1970 onwards, he used a 14"x26" bass drum, which
was the most identifiable part of his setup. He used 16"x16", 16"x18"
and 20"x18" floor toms, while occasionally changing his tom sizes,
which included sizes 12"x14", 10"x14", and 12"x15".


http://www.drummerconnection.com/memorials/39921-john-bonham

I hear ya Harry. I'm leaning more towards plugging all the holes, wrapping it and drilling it for an 8 lug power tom.
 
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drumhammerer

Silver Member
that 14 probably is a former marching snare, as the 14" rack toms from that era were always 14X13- which would make a perfect floor tom IMO. And, the weird thing about the 10 lug 14" and 15" toms, was the 16" and 18" floor toms never got the 10 lug config.- they always had just 8 lugs. Musta been one of those Selmer things. I'd say if you're using the 14 as a sole floor tom, keep the 10 lug config. Otherwise, it would be best to go with the 8 lug config.
 

tank

Member
Thanks all.

Looks like I'm leaning towards drilling the shell for the 8 lug configuration and then re-wrapping the drum.

Can anyone offer their opinion as to how important it is to plug or not plug the old holes from where the ten lugs used to go if I am drilling the shell for 8 lugs and re-wrapping the drum anyways? Will plugging the holes be better for the sound of the drum or do the holes make little difference to the end sound? Thanks, dan
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member


Bonham initially used Premier drums, but in the late 1960's was
introduced to Ludwig drums by Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge.
Throughout the remainder of his career, Bonham was a major endorser of Ludwig Drums.
In concert, he used a wide range of different drum kits, but mostly of
the same sizes. From 1970 onwards, he used a 14"x26" bass drum, which
was the most identifiable part of his setup. He used 16"x16", 16"x18"
and 20"x18" floor toms, while occasionally changing his tom sizes,
which included sizes 12"x14", 10"x14", and 12"x15".
Question for that source then.....On what kit did JB ever use a 12x14?
Were they on the Silver Sparkle kit that there's not really any pics of?

His last kit (in 79-80) was the SS which was a 12x15, and none of his other kits listed ever had a 12x14--and Ludwig didn't have a 12x14 tom in the catalog, their Power Tom (when it came out) was 13x14. There are Power Toms in the 1980 catalog, but they are all 1" shorter than square.

GS and Vista had a 10x14 in all the pics with Zep.

Not so say he couldn't have had that size made, but there's no Zep pics with them used in recording or on stage.

I'd like to see a pic of him with a 20x18 floor tom too (maybe that SS kit?). There's some side view pics on the Vista where the FT's almost look like 18 and 20, but the depths are the same, so they had to be the usual 16x16 & 16x18.

They didn't even offer 16" deep bass drums until the 1980 catalog.

Carmine and JB's original Maple kit bass drums were 15" deep (at least Carmine's was), but that was probably a do-able thing because the just didn't shave as much off the ends when they did the edges after taking the shell out of the mold.

I had a friend that years ago had Ludwig do a different depth than a listed size and that's what they told him (they could only go so deep before they had to glue two shells together).

I wish there were more pics of Bonham on the original double bass kit.

I probably sound like a dick, but I find it curious when these "documented kit sizes" come out, but no one's seen pics of these sizes anywhere. Unless someone else HAS seen pics of these sizes somewhere, but I've looked for this stuff before, and nothing.
Seen a crap load of Zep books too, and no sizes like this.

Ludwig made a CM "Zep set" with a 12x14 a couple years ago, but they should have made it the real 10x14 or 12x15 size he used. 12x14 isn't as good a sounding drum as a 10x14 either (IMO) and it's a PITA to get it in a comfortable position, but whatever---
 

tank

Member
The rack tom in the picture below looks like a 14"x 12" deep rack tom with 8 lugs to me. Maybe we are all right and maybe we are all wrong.

I'm pretty sure he used a 13x9, 14x10, 14x12 and 15x12 rack tom at during his days with Zep. Just like he used a 5 deep snare and later a 6 1/2 deep snare. He also sometimes used a 24" ride and sometimes a 22" ride. Sometimes a 16" crash on his left sometimes an 18". Sometimes two floor toms sometimes one floor tom. Sometimes Paiste 2002's sometimes Giantbeats.

I ordered my Ludwig kit in the 70's. I have always played one up and two down. I ordered the kit with two different rack toms, a 14"x10" deep and 15"x12" deep, two different bass drums a 24 and a 26, two different rides a 24 and a 22 and two different supra's a 5 and a 6 1/2" deep. Quite by happenstance I think I ended up with most of what I think he used at different times.

Except for the 14x12 tom. Either way I'll have one now.

I recently acquired a striped tom shell that is 14x12 deep that matches my shells. It is a factory Ludwig ten lug rack tom (original factory mount holes on right) as is the matching 15x12 (original factory mount holes on left) that I got with it (also got a 24 bass with factory mount hole for center post double tom rack post).

Right now I'm going to wrap the 14x12 to match my kit and try it out. I'm going to redrill the shell for eight lugs and fill the unused holes. Ten lugs is just way too much for me. Bearing edges appear in ok shape but might as well redo them while drum is apart.

I was unsure how much these extra (albeit filled) holes might effect the sound of the drum. Can't be a good thing though. Any thoughts on weather it's a really bad idea or not? Not sure I would notice a difference having no other 14x12 to compare it to unless it was just awful sounding.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Looked at that link. The rack tom he had at that time (69-70) was from the kit he got which was identical to Carmine's and they both had the 12x15.
The pic of the kit is a 12x15. It's on the Zep DVD too. It sounds great. Stainless kit has a 12x15 too.
The pic in the BBC cd insert shows it really good with the Rogers mount on it too WITH the snare stand.

Not trying to argue or be a dick mind you, it's just that the linked site has it wrong on the touring kit--unless Ludwig made a special 12x14 and has kept it secret for 40+ years :) It's just gotta be a typo that was missed.

10x14 and 12x15 are two of my favorite tom sounds.

I think 8 lugs will be MUCH better on that tom you have. I wouldn't worry about the plugged holes, you'll tune it up to what you want it to sound like anyway.

Your tom doesn't seem like it was cut down? Or are the edges aged like the rest of the shell? I don't recall seeing a 12x14 in the 80 or 84 catalog....I'll have to look again.
Maybe it's an 86 or so, with the rounded B/O badge?

It's interesting anyway. Smaller Classic lugs? Could have been a concert tom that had lugs added later....? Just throwing things out there on your shell because of that size--could have been a special order too....interesting.

The earlier 10x14's had 6 lugs too, which sound really cool. That's what the Green Sparkle kit has. It's the one on the Ocheltree dvd. I wish my 10x14 had 6 lugs.
My first one had ten since it was a Power Tom, but the second has 8 and it sounds better to me.

Well, good luck with the re-finishing!! Hope you wern't gettng a dicky tone from my posts, have fun with the kit!
 

tank

Member
Looked at that link. The rack tom he had at that time (69-70) was from the kit he got which was identical to Carmine's and they both had the 12x15.
The pic of the kit is a 12x15. It's on the Zep DVD too. It sounds great. Stainless kit has a 12x15 too.
The pic in the BBC cd insert shows it really good with the Rogers mount on it too WITH the snare stand.

Not trying to argue or be a dick mind you, it's just that the linked site has it wrong on the touring kit--unless Ludwig made a special 12x14 and has kept it secret for 40+ years :) It's just gotta be a typo that was missed.

10x14 and 12x15 are two of my favorite tom sounds.

I think 8 lugs will be MUCH better on that tom you have. I wouldn't worry about the plugged holes, you'll tune it up to what you want it to sound like anyway.
Thanks.
I'm leaning towards an 8 lug configuration.

Your tom doesn't seem like it was cut down?
I am certain these drums have not been cut down. The shells are factory and original except that the wrap has been removed prior to me getting them.

Or are the edges aged like the rest of the shell?
The shell bearing edges all appear to be original and factory done.

I don't recall seeing a 12x14 in the 80 or 84 catalog....I'll have to look again.
Maybe it's an 86 or so, with the rounded B/O badge?
I believe early to mid 80's is the case as the shells do have rounded corner badges whereas my kit is all pointy corner badges.

It's interesting anyway. Smaller Classic lugs?
Standaed lugs as with the rest of my kit

Could have been a concert tom that had lugs added later....? Just throwing things out there on your shell because of that size--could have been a special order too....interesting
They were never concert toms.
Both of these drum shells, the 14x12 and the 15x12 appear to be factory matched two headed 10 lug factory rack toms..

The earlier 10x14's had 6 lugs too, which sound really cool. That's what the Green Sparkle kit has. It's the one on the Ocheltree dvd. I wish my 10x14 had 6 lugs.
My 14x10 is a 6 lug drum and sounds great.
My 15x12 is an 8 lug drum and also sounds great.

My first one had ten since it was a Power Tom, but the second has 8 and it sounds better to me. I'm thinking 8 lug is the right way to go with the added mass compared to a 14x10.

Well, good luck with the re-finishing!! Hope you weren't getting a dicky tone from my posts, have fun with the kit!
Thanks for the well wishes and your interest and responses. Nothing wrong with your tone at all. I requested opinions and input. It's all good and stimulates thought and provokes ideas. Thank you.
 

tank

Member
I now have three different rack toms sizes to choose from for my Ludwig "Bonham" sized kit. On any given night I can run a 14x10, a 14x12 or a 15x12 rack tom. I'll keep changing it up from venue to venue to confuse and confound the fan following. Cameras on location will have to be confiscated.

Thanks all for your input.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
Actually, the natural maple thermo gloss kit from '69 and '70 had the 14X12 rack tom, which was the size Appice was using on his double bass kit when Zeppelin played with Fudge. It was definitely a special order, since that size was not offered at that time- at least as a tom size. It was probably just a marching snare shell convert- which were 8 lug at the time. He didn't use a 15X12 until the later 70's with the steel kit, and maybe another studio kit. If you compare the steel kit rack tom with the natural maple kit rack tom, you can certainly see the difference.

The 26" kick was special order too. Appice's was a converted marching bass drum he found in a pawn shop, and re-wrapped. These guys were fighting the ever increasing volume of guitar amp stacks, and lacking p.a.'s, so they were looking for the loudest drums they could get.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Actually, the natural maple thermo gloss kit from '69 and '70 had the 14X12 rack tom, which was the size Appice was using on his double bass kit when Zeppelin played with Fudge.
Can you post a couple sources that actually say's they used a 12x14?
Every article I have read with Carmine has it as a 12x15 not a 14. This is from Modern drummer a few times. There's pics of Carmine with that Maple kit and the tom is clearly a 15--and he got Bonham the same exact kit.
The 12x15 was just a marching snare without the snare mechanism. Those shells did not have snare beds in them anyway.

I've seen the link before (that was posted previously) and that's a misprint (IMO) on their part.

I'm not arguing about it, I'd just like to see where it's listed s a 12x14 in other publications than this site.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
Can you post a couple sources that actually say's they used a 12x14?
Every article I have read with Carmine has it as a 12x15 not a 14. This is from Modern drummer a few times. There's pics of Carmine with that Maple kit and the tom is clearly a 15--and he got Bonham the same exact kit.
The 12x15 was just a marching snare without the snare mechanism. Those shells did not have snare beds in them anyway.

I've seen the link before (that was posted previously) and that's a misprint (IMO) on their part.

I'm not arguing about it, I'd just like to see where it's listed s a 12x14 in other publications than this site.
I was just assuming on the Appice kit, as I never really knew the sizes of that particular kit, so you're probably right on the Appice kit. Here's a cool site that shows some good pics of Bonham's natural maple kit, as well as all his other kits. It doesn't actually list the sizes though ( if you click on the configurator it shows the sizes). There's a pic on there of that kit with the guy who later bought it with a different sized rack tom, so maybe there were 2 different sizes he got with that kit. It looks like a 14X10, but it interestingly has 8 lugs instead of the 6 I've always seen on that size (maybe another cut down marching shell?)
http://www.led-zeppelin.org/joomla/studio-and-live-gear/1327

and here's another reference to the 14X12, even though they incorrectly list the steel kit as having the 14X10 rack tom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bonham#Equipment
 
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