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Unlike the many components and changing particulars which make dating a guitar difficult, a few key, consistent elements make identifying a drum’s year of manufacture much easier.In this article, we’ll be looking at the three best ways to identify a Ludwig: date stamp, serial number/badge style and shell construction.The shells were complemented by a 1” reinforcement ring of maple.From 1961 until 1968 the interiors were painted white.
Whereas the Keystone badge only had two iterations (one from 1960-63 featuring no serial number and an update from 1964-69 with serial number found at the top or bottom of the badge), the Blue & Olive badge went through a number of modifications from its introduction in 1969 through the mid-'80s.
From autumn 1968 through 1975, Ludwig changed the mahogany plies over to maple, and in 1976 introduced the Classic series, abandoning the reinforcement rings and opting for six plies of maple and poplar.
The Classic drums also opted back to the clear lacquer interior finish.
A clear lacquer finish was used in 1960, 1968, 1969, and part of 1970.
At that point, Ludwig introduced the Granitone finish, a gritty grey coating used to cover aesthetically displeasing blemishes in the interior wood finish.
Ludwig’s expansive past is nearly as long as the line of drummers eager to get their hands on the company’s legendary vintage gear.