The elusive Super Ludwig has been hiding from me for a couple of decades until now. I lucked out and found one hiding in a garage! Part of the fun of drum collecting and restoring is the hunt for a hidden gem. Barn searches, garage sales, online marketplaces, pre-COVID estate auctions, personal networking - all of them are part of the hunt.
The Super Ludwig 400 gave birth to the Supraphonic and it is a holy grail drum, especially one in "collector condition," which I believe this is without a doubt. The Super was introduced in 1958 as a 5" deep snare, chrome over brass. The earliest Supers carried the transition badge, while the 1960-63 models were outfitted with a pre-serial keystone badge (meaning it didn't carry any serial numbers). Other distinguishing features of the Super Ludwig are chrome-over-brass rims, a 3/4-inch round tone control knob and crimped snare beds.
In the Cook book, Rob indicates the '62-63 models had a slight bend in the keystone badge to prevent snagging. And he also mentions the muffler was changed in '61 from the round knob to the baseball bat style. So with all of these details as background, I introduce the latest restoration from Vintage FM Drums - a beautiful, collector grade 1960 chrome-over-brass Super Ludwig.
This drum is all original with 3 small exceptions - one tension rod was replaced at some point in its career and the heads are modern (heads rarely count toward originality these days anyway). Other than that, this is an all-original Super Ludwig. I had a period correct tension rod to match the other 19 and there's really no way to tell which rod has been replaced.
And yes it sounds as amazing as it looks. I love the dry crack of a brass shell. Whomever owned it previously also must have loved rimshot playing. One of the very cool things I discovered on this drum is some slight "bowling" of the batter side rim in the exact position a rock drummer would have been laying down some left handed groove. Such cool character for a 60-year old drum!
Check out the before and after shots.
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