> > > BeatIt Vintage Test: 1966 Ludwig Super Classic

Towards the end of last spring, we locked ourselves away at Perlazza Studio (based in Poznań, Poland), where we tested quite a number of vintage drum kits and snares provided by Mateusz Wysocki and his MW-Vintage company, which (as the name suggests) specializes in vintage drums. We performed the test under the sonic supervision of musician, award-winning producer, studio owner and, most of all, a drum maniac, Przemysław Wejmann. To be more exact, it was drummer Max Psuja, who tested all the gear while the beatit.tv team recorded the video and the sound engineer/producer took care of the sonic side of things.

Max Psuja, as an utter vintage drum maniac, a former employee of a drum shop, and a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Kumka Olik, Holak, Lilly Hates Roses or Yoachim, was perfect for the role of ’lab tester’. Needless to say, he was more than eager to do the job.

We have been publishing the results of our tests successively in the last few months, and there’s lots more to come. Today, it is time for…

A 1966 Ludwig Super Classic kit

fot: MW-Vintage

1. Product

Ludwig are an American brand which is iconic for the global drum market. It has been present since 1900 and really needs no introduction among drum maniacs the world over. The shells on this particular kit are made from 3-ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany plywood. The shell finish is walnut veneer covered with lacquer, and the sizes are: 12″ x 8″, 16” x 16”, 20″ x 14″. All the badges are replicas made from brass. They all include original serial numbers. Mateusz Wysocki defines the year of production as 1966. The bass drum features solid maple rings.

2. Basic drum kit specification:

  • Manufacturer: Ludwig
  • Year of production: 1966
  • Material: Mahogany / Gumwood
  • Shell configuration: 20” x 14” bass drum, 12″ x 8″, 16” x 16” toms
  • Finish: Walnut Lacquer
  • Ball-mount tom holder with a clamp for the 12″ rack tom and new floor tom legs included

3. Test and sound

When testing the 1966 Ludwig Super Classic drum kit, we also used a 14″ x 5″Le Soprano New Vintage Maple snare, Impression cymbals, Aquarian heads (Response 2 Coated on the toms, Super Kick I Coated on the bass drum) and a Remo Ambassador on the snare.

Max first presented the sound of the toms and kick drum produced by single strokes at different levels of dynamics, then the kick drum together with the toms to add the snare after a while. The whole thing was finished off with a rhythm figure using all the kit elements as well as performing a groove.

We are dealing with a drum kit displaying THAT classic Ludwig sound with a slightly ‘carboard’-like characteristic. One can hear it is an instrument from another era, but there are fans of this kind of sonic quality all over the place. Let us not forget there’s constantly more and more modern but vintage-sounding bands, and a kit like this would be perfect for that. The toms are very warm, not excessively rich in low frequencies, and the kick drum could be described as very Collins-esque (Phil Collins did play a Ludwig kit in his youth).

This is what Max Psuja had to say about this kit: “It’s the classic sound that I love so much: warm, round, relatively dark, but with audible attack. This particular kit is very easy to tune and play. As you can hear, it sounds very good in studio conditions. I’m impressed!” 

Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the 20″, 12″, 16″ 1966 Ludwig Super Classic drum kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Max Psuja!