Dating my 1980 s ludwig drums

The first B&O badges from 1969-70 continued sequentially from the six-digit Keystone badges, but in 1971 the company incorporated badges with no serial number, referred to as “blanks.” Ludwig re-integrated the serial system in either 1971 or 72, but the leftover blanks were occasionally used throughout the '70s.

Much debate exists on the “pointy” and “rounded” Blue & Olive badges.

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.

However, with so many years of history under its belt, accurately identifying the year of manufacture for a Ludwig drum is a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the company’s evolution.

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.

In addition, the Keystone badge was reintroduced on certain models in the early '80s.

One last thing to bear in mind: a drumset featuring sequential serial numbers tends to be higher in value than sets with era-correct badges and hardware but non-sequential serial numbers.The shells were complemented by a 1” reinforcement ring of maple.From 1961 until 1968 the interiors were painted white.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.

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