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A BRIEF HISTORY

1900-1919

The start of the Ludwig Drum Company, and "The Most Famous Name on Drums"
  • 1909 – William F. & Theobald Ludwig Founds Ludwig & Ludwig Drum Company.

  • 1909 – Ludwig makes the first Ludwig Bass Drum Pedal.

  • 1911 – Ludwig introduces their first Timpani model.

  • 1918 – Theobald Ludwig passes in the Great Flu Epidemic.

 

1920-1929

A decade of innovation for both Drum Set and Concert Percussion
  • Ludwig introduces Black Beauty Snare Drums - one of the most sought after snare drum sounds in the recording industry. Black Beauty Snare Drums are still produced today and sold around the world.

  • Ludwig introduces Balanced Action Timpani.

  • Ludwig introduces the Gold Triumphal Snare Drum.

 

1930-1939

During the great depression, William Ludwig Sr. sold Ludwig & Ludwig to CG Conn in Elkhart, IN. The Ludwig and Leedy brand were separate brands made in the same factory.
  • 1937, William F. Ludwig establishes a new drum company called WFL Drum Company in Chicago.

    • WFL competes with Ludwig branded drums made by CG Conn.

    • WFL starts production on Damen Ave. in Chicago.

  • 1938 - Bill Ludwig Jr. (AKA: The Chief) joins WFL

  • 1938 – WFL creates the 1st Speed King Bass Drum Pedal.

 

1940-1949

WFL Drums supports the war efforts and starts a new era in marketing.
  • Early to Mid-40’s – Due to the war efforts and shortages of metal, WFL Drum Company makes drums with wooden hoops, lugs and rope tension or drums with only 10% metal content.

  • 1947 - Ludwig produces first post war catalog featuring Buddy Rich on the cover.

1950-1959

A decade of mergers and acquisitions sets up the future...
  • 1951 – Under Conn, Ludwig & Ludwig and Leedy are combined under the name Leedy & Ludwig.

  • 1955 – William F. Ludwig (WFL) buys the “Ludwig” name from Conn to form The Ludwig Drum Company.

1960-1969

The decade that changed the music industry and the face of Ludwig Drums forever...
  • 1964 - Everything changes when Ringo Starr first appears with his Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl Drum Set with The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

  • 1964 - The Ludwig 400 Supra-Phonic Snare Drum is introduced.

  • 1966 – Ludwig acquires Musser Mallet Percussion to market Ludwig as “Total Percussion” –beginning years of dominance in the school percussion market.

  • 1968 - The company’s name is changed to Ludwig Industries

1970-1979

A decade of innovation and growth...
  • Ludwig becomes the leader with key artists performing on Ludwig including John Bonham from Led Zeppelin.

  • Ludwig expands as school music markets explode…

  • 1972 - Ludwig introduces Vistalite Drums made from see-thru colored Plexiglas.

  • 1973 – William F. Ludwig Senior passes. William F. Ludwig Jr. is named President of Ludwig.

1980-1989

The "Chief" retires and Ludwig is sold, again...
  • 1981 – William F. Ludwig II retires and sells Ludwig to The Selmer Company.

  • 1984 - Ludwig’s 75th anniversary of business, Ludwig Drums moves operations from Chicago to Monroe, NC.

 

1990-1999

New Decade, New Drums, 90 years in business...Ludwig as part of Selmer is merged with Steinway Pianos and goes public on the NYSE.
  • 1998 – Ludwig launches Classic Maple Series Drums

  • 1999 – Ludwig celebrates 90th Anniversary.

2000-2009

History comes full circle as Ludwig celebrates 100 Years...
  • Ludwig expands product offering with lower cost drums while maintaining a dominant Ludwig USA Manufacturing Facility in Monroe, NC.

  • 2002 – Ludwig is merged with CG Conn and Selmer

  • 2008 – William F. Ludwig II (aka Jr.) passes

  • 2009 – Ludwig celebrates 100 years of business with new products, catalogs, collector’s editions.

  • Ludwig re-introduces a limited production of the Gold Triumphal Snare Drum.

2010-Today

Ludwig enters a new decade with a passion for bridging the past to the future...
  • 2013 – Ludwig Introduces The BreakBeats Kit by Questlove.

  • 2011 – 2014 - Ludwig expands drum kit offering with the Element and Element Birch Series Drums.

  • 2015 – Ludwig introduces Legacy Mahogany outfits to the USA Made offering

  • 2016 – Ludwig introduces Ultimate Marching- signaling its return to the field

  • 2016 – Ludwig Introduces The Pocket Kit by Questlove -a professional level drum kit made for 4-10 year olds featuring video lessons by Questlove and friends.

  • 2016 – Ludwig expands into the Intermediate drummer market with the Element Evolution- everything a drummer needs to take the next step to greatness

 

BE A LEGEND. JOIN THE FAMILY

DRUM KITS

SNARE DRUMS

LEGACY MAHOGANY

The most sought after drum tone returns, and an American Legend is reborn. The Ludwig Legacy Mahogany series is a return of the shell that was the core of Ludwig drums for over 50 years. Handcrafted in Monroe, NC, the 3-ply Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany shell with solid 1" thick maple reinforcement rings utilizes a process refined through a century of drum manufacturing. The result is a tone with rich sonic warmth that only Ludwig can produce. Ludwig Legacy Mahogany is truly the best of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

SUPER SERIES

Originally released in 1960 as “The answer to every drummer’s dream”, the Super Ludwig series drums are reimagined for a new standard model! The Super model is chrome over brass shell while the Super Brass is a lacquered brass shell. Both models are trimmed in nickel hardware.

These two models fashion highly-collectable transition badge versions that were predecessors to the original standard 1960 models that featured chrome hardware. The revered tone of Ludwig seamless brass with a whole new look!

LEGACY CLASSIC

Vintage Ludwig drums featuring the classic 3-ply shell construction from Ludwig's Golden Era are treasured for tonal purity in recording environments. As Ludwig's flagship professional drum line, Legacy Maple is a decidedly modern twist on our vintage shell formula.

CLASSIC MAPLE

7-ply Cross-Laminated North American Maple.

Preferred by professionals for its tonal versatility, Classic Maple drums are the ideal choice for any performance application. Its high sensitivity, wide dynamic tuning range, and sharp attack make it the ideal choice for live performance. Yet Classic Maple's 7-ply shell is crafted to respond to the player and environment quickly, making it adaptable to any playing style or preference.

Club Date USA is the new Club Sensation. It features a brand new shell design never seen before in the Ludwig cataloge. Full-bodied tone, soft attack, and amplified presence. The light-weight design offers a more budget accessible Vintage-Classic option. This series is re-imagined with the highly sought after flat imperial lug. It is available in 3 configurations and 25+ finishes.

CLUB DATE

BLACK BEAUTY

One of the primary reasons Ludwig is "The Most Famous Name On Drums" is the legendary Black Beauty Snare Drum. The drum is constructed of a single sheet of brass that is machine drawn into a seamless beaded shell. However, due to their truly unique and difficult manufacturing process, only a very limited number of Black Beauties are available each year from Ludwig USA.

A true American original, the Black Beauty provides a warm, round metallic tone that is often imitated, but never duplicated.

SUPRAPHONIC

Performance-proven, the sound that fuelled the most hit recordings in history, Ludwig Supraphonic is the snare choice of the pros.

The USA-made chrome-plated, seamless, beaded aluminium shell produces a bright, crisp attack with the perfect balance of full resonant tone and snare crack.

From Jazz to Metal, Ludwig's Supraphonic 400s provide the perfect sound in the studio or on the stage.With your choice of Imperial or Tube Lugs, Smooth or Hammered Shells, the Supraphonic will give you what you need when you need it.

COPPERPHONC

VISTALITE

Notorious for their attack as they are for their stunning crystalline looks, Vistalite acrylic drums are a statement both sonically and visually. Vistalite drums are produced to highest construction standards with reinforced seams and crisp bearing edges for optimum shell integrity and tuning range. Since 1972, Vistalite drums have been performed on and coveted by some of music's top players.

Available in 6 standard colors: Amber (47), Blue (55), Yellow (56), Clear (38), Smoke (V6), and Pink (PK).

With close to 100 years' experience building copper timpani, the newest member to the Ludwig USA snare drum range is the Copper Phonic snare drum. High Volume performance with complete focus and dark-low qualities, the Copper Phonic is the next best in Ludwig's Phonic tone pallet. A true legend in the making.

CHROME OVER BRASS

KEYSTONE X

Ludwig’s Chrome over Brass snare drum, introduced in 1960 as the Super Ludwig, was the predecessor to the Supraphonic. The brass alloy coupled with a chrome plating offers the musical undertones favoured of brass with just the right touch of added focus and treble.Though short lived from its original release, the COB would go on to become one of the most sought after and in demand drums that would lead to its re-release in the 90's.

Rather than merely revisiting the sound that made us famous, Keystone Series Drums carve a new niche in Ludwig's sonic identity. In fusing of our Classic Maple shell core with American Red Oak, Keystone's "pre-EQ'd" tone sculpts focus and articulation for the drummer seeking volume, attack, and power.

Keystone Series is made under the same strict quality and structural standards as all Classic Maple and Legacy drums. A perfect balance between high-volume cut and subtle articulation is achieved for the live music drummer, putting a modern twist on a century of custom American drum making.

NEUSONIC

Elevating our sonic palette, Ludwig is proud to introduce a new line of USA drums crafted for the working professional! NeuSonic series drums by Ludwig offers yet another tonally rich option for the drummer looking for reliability and performance for every working professional setting.They feature a cross-over shell design blending a 3-ply maple exterior with a 3-ply cherry interior. With five exciting finishes, NeuSonic captures the traditional Ludwig aesthetics coupled with a brand new sound that will compliment a wide-range of performance settings. The industry's best-in-class for price of any USA made drum set.

EVOLUTION

Designed as an intermediate Drum Set, the Ludwig Element Evolution is everything an aspiring drummer needs to succeed.

The Evolution Series Outfit comes with double braced hardware and Zildjian Cymbals* to make this great for drummers of any age who are ready to take the next step.

BREAKBEATS

Breakbeats was designed with the city in mind. Positioned on a riser for optimum reach, its compact 16x14" bass drum, 10x7" tom, and 13x13" floor tom creates a set-up for sculpting grooves in tight spaces. It features Remo Pinstripe heads for pro-level tones, and comes with a multi-purpose bags for easy transport, and drum muting. The Breakbeats kit is available in White Sparkle, Black Sparkle, and Red Sparkle.

POCKET KIT

Developed to meet the needs of a beginning 4-10 year old drummer. The Pocket Kit is a must have. ALL-INCLUSIVE package!

BRONZEPHONIC

Keeping in the traditions of the "Phonic Series" Drum Ludwig's Bronze Phonic snare drums offer a wide range of tuning options.

The 1.2 MM seamless bronze shell offers a unique blend of the metal snare pop and projection, with all of the warmth you get from using a softer darker bronze alloy.

Offered with smooth or precision hammered shells, Imperial or Tube Lugs, and 5", 6.5" and Now 8" shell depths the Bronze Phonic series is must add to any drummer, snare drum collection.

ACROLITE

Originally introduced in 1963 as a student drum, the Ludwig Acrolite quickly became the choice of pro players in need of dry, cracking snare tone. Ludwig is proud to re-introduce Acrolite in its original splendour; with a seamless, beaded, brushed-aluminium shell. Made in Monroe, North Carolina, USA. The Acrolite features chrome Classic dual snare lugs, P85 strainer, and Blue/Olive Badge

The Stainless Steel honours the 100+ year prestige of Ludwig Snare Drum craftsmanship. It provides the high volume performance drummers demand. Pure attack, bite, and focus for optimal presence. Featuring a custom laser-etched Heirloom band, this snare drum celebrates generations of Artisan made drums with Silver Keystone Badge, and Flat imperial lugs.

HEIRLOOM STAINLESS STEEL

The Heirloom Series snare drums honour the 100+ year prestige of Ludwig craftsmanship. It provides the high volume performance drummers demand. Pure attack, bite, and focus for optimal presence. Featuring a custom laser-etched Heirloom band, this snare drum celebrates generations of Artisan made drums with Silver Keystone Badge, and Flat imperial lugs.

HEIRLOOM BRASS

The new raw brass features an un-plated 1mm brass shell to achieve a very unique “earthy” look. Everything you love about a Black Beauty with just enough dry response and an unforgettable look. No 2 shells are alike!

RAW BRASS

For the Touring Professional

Heavy-weight, durable, and engineered for high performance while withstanding full-impact play and frequent travel.

ATLAS PRO HARDWARE

HARDWARE

STANDARD MAPLE

Ludwig's new Standard Maple snare series offers an admirable combination of rich pure sound and durability, but at an affordable price. Made in the Ludwig factory in Monroe NC, this series can't be beat when it comes to price and uncompromised value. Standard Maple snares use seven plies of maple plus an attractive outer wrap or veneer combined with bowtie lugs and triple flange hoops for a great look and sound.

BLACK MAGIC

ATLAS CLASSIC HARDWARE

Highly portable for the Metropolitan Professional

Light-weight, yet durable stands designed for optimum set-ups in confined spaces.

The true originals never really go out of style; they just improve with age. Created to be highly portable for the drummer on the go, Ludwig's Atlas Classic Series Hardware is precision engineered for higher function and increased durability. The simple, light-weight approach of our original flat-based stands is enhanced with modern appointments, while retaining the core elements of their predecessors.

ATLAS STANDARD HARDWARE

For the Gigging Professional

Medium/heavy-weight stands with all the functionality needed for medium-to-large venues.

Not every gig calls for the heaviest-duty hardware. For most gigging-professionals, a high-function, reliable set of durable medium/heavy-weight stands is first-call. Atlas Standard is the solution. Affordably priced with all the necessary features needed for medium-to-large venues, in weights that won't require paying a drum tech to lug them around.

Built to focus on tight, crisp projection, the 7" depth on this 13" model ads full-bodied sonic elements to its powerful attack. Beaded Black Nickel over Brass Shell w/ Matching Die Cast Hoops and Tube-Lugs.

Ludwig pioneered the black-nickel over brass shell concept in the early 1920's, setting a standard that all others would follow. Black Magic Snare Drums bring that signature sound and quality to a whole new playing spectrum, with four models to satisfy any playing situation. Accentuated with matching tube lugs and die-cast hoops, Black Magic snares deliver classic tone that drummers have come to expect from Ludwig.

Black Magic Snare Drums are also available with Chrome 2.3 mm Hoops and Chrome Tube Lugs.

SUPRALITE

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The Ludwig Supralite Snare Drums was designed with a mirrored, polished, 1 mm beaded steel shell for a bright, cutting attack, while providing a wide mid-range overtone.

Standard hardware includes chrome plated brass tube lugs, 2.3 mm chrome plated triple flange hoops, and brass snare wires.

Good looking, Great sounding, Priced right…the Ludwig Supralite is for every drummer.