Ludwig Fab 4 Classic Maple - questions?

larryz

Platinum Member
Dear Ludwig experts - I know of someone trying to sell this kit. I was under the impression that the Classic Maple Fab 4 was a recent offering by Ludwig (last 1-2 years). But the seller claims to have purchased this about 8 years ago. Can anyone kindly educate me as to when the fab 4 was introduced by Ludwig? Thanks very much. Sellers asking around $1,000 including cymbals and drum cases. Kinda only interested in the drums though. Thanks.
 

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Drummertist

Silver Member
I thought a "Fab 4" kit was just a 4 Piece Ludwig Kit with any size drums. He's probably calling it Fab 4 because that's what Ludwig calls it now.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Ludwig offered a "Fab 4" kit in Classic Maple before they introduced the Legacy Classic series, so 8-ish-years old sounds possible. That's what the kit pictured seems to be.
 

charliedrummer

Senior Member
It's hard to tell from the photo whether the bass drum hoops have a matching wrap inlay or not. If not, then I think the set might be 8 years old since Ludwig didn't use inlays on the Fab4 kit at first. The newer Fab4 kits have matching inlays on the bass drum hoops. That particular version of Oyster Black Pearl also seems right for an 8 year old kit.
 

KirbyM

Senior Member
I have played drums for over 45 years and my first drums (still have them) were Ludwig. I have seen kits like this labeled as "Fab 4". The finish is nothing special. It is a wrap that Ludwig calls "Black Oyster Pearl". The original Ludwig oyster finishes in the 60's were called "Oyster Black Pearl" and "Oyster Blue Pearl". The wrap on the drums you are considering is more like the "Oyster Black Pearl" from the early 70's, when Ludwig's founder, William F. Ludwig, Sr., passed control to William F. Ludwig, Jr.. For some reason, WFL Jr. found it necessary to change the finishes and ultimately cost Ludwig thousands of sales. The oyster finishes from the early 70's were also referred to as "bowling ball finishes". They were not as desirable as the earlier oyster colors.

Ludwig reissued the "Original Oyster Black Pearl" finish last year, but it is no longer on their web site. I really don't know if I have the wording correct on the reissued models, but in the grand Ludwig fashion, the name was misleading. The wrap was not the original type. The original had clear areas where you could actually see the grain of the mahogany or mahogany stain underneath. The newer reissued "original" did not contain these clear areas. I have stated that the wood underneath the wrap was mahogany or mahogany stain due to the fact that there are certain "professors" out there that claim all older Ludwig drums contained mahogany wood. The people who made these drums with the oyster finishes have told me that there was no mahogany, the wood was stained a particular dark burgundy color, then the wrap applied. Since I was not part of the process, I do not claim to know which way is correct. I will not be breaking my old drums apart anytime soon just to find out !!
 

RickP

Gold Member
The Fab 4 was actually offered pre-Classic Maples.There were ads in Modern Drummer showing this configuration. It was carried over as a model when the Classic Maples came in.
For Ludwig's 100th. Anniversary 2009 - they introduced the Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 set.
This came in the 22/13/16 szes with matching 5 x 14 10 lug snare ( I have this set). You may be confusing the Liverpool 4 for the Fab 4 kit - this was available in the Downbeat configuration 20/12/14 and also 22/13/16.

You can differentiate the Fab 4 sets from the Liverpool 4 sets as the Fab 4 has the "Bowling Ball" Opaque Oystr Black Pearl finish ( as in your picture). You cannot see the wood through this wrap. The Liverpool 4 has the Vintage Oyster Black Pearl wrap that is very similar to the wrap that was used on Ringo's kit. You can see the wood grain through some of the lighter sections of the wrap.

I have attached a picture of my Liverpool 4 set for your perusal.
 

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RickP

Gold Member
I have also attached a picture from an older catalogue page of the Classic Maple Fab 4 kit- note the difference in the wrap and also the bass drum hoops are solid black and do not have inlay like the Liverpool 4 set.
 

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tamadrm

Platinum Member
+1...Ricks got it 100% right.The Fab 4 "reissue" had the 70's looking Oyster black pearl wrap.The Danmar 60's reissue of oyster black pearl is a lot closer to the Ringo variety.

Steve B
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Thanks Rick, Kirby and Steve B (and others). It's pretty amazing the amount of Ludwig knowledge you guys retain :) I guess another question is assuming the Fab 4 kit is in good condition, how much would you be willing to pay? I don't "need" it, per se, but wouldn't mind having it. Thanks again very much.
 

KirbyM

Senior Member
As close as the Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 wrap is to the original, it is still not exactly like the original. Even the pattern is different.

OK, OK, OK. This pattern thing now reminds me of something else Ludwig has not accomplished with a wrap finish. The recent White Marine Pearl does not look like the White Marine Pearl finishes from the 60's or 70's. I guess it doesn't have to since it is not being billed as a copy of the original, but the pattern is smaller and looks dramatically cheaper.

And while I'm dissing Ludwig wrap finishes, take a good look at their so-called "sparkle" finishes. They no longer contain the hexagon shaped glitter or sparkle. The finishes look more like "crinkle" than "sparkle". Selling these finishes under the heading of "sparkle" is a fraudulent claim. I looked at a Green Sparkle Bonham kit in a local store in Marietta, GA a few months ago. OOPS - part of the kit had the actual sparkle in the wrap and part of it was this new "crinkle" material. SAD, SAD,SAD,SAD. No consistency with Ludwig (except for consistently bad).

"New and improved" merchandise isn't always "improved". Once again, Zildjian is no longer making cymbals that sound pleasing to experienced players. WAAAAAHHHH !!!!! WHEN WILL ALL THE MADNESS END ????

Sorry, I've calmed down now.
 

KirbyM

Senior Member
Thanks Rick, Kirby and Steve B (and others). It's pretty amazing the amount of Ludwig knowledge you guys retain :) I guess another question is assuming the Fab 4 kit is in good condition, how much would you be willing to pay? I don't "need" it, per se, but wouldn't mind having it. Thanks again very much.

larryz -

When you eat, drink, eat, and breath this info while you are young and impressionable, it tends to stick with you. I also still have quite a few older catalogs with which I used to sit for hours and dream about someday owning the kit of my dreams. Pinch me....owwwww !! I just woke up !!
 

larryz

Platinum Member
As close as the Legacy Classic Liverpool 4 wrap is to the original, it is still not exactly like the original. Even the pattern is different.

OK, OK, OK. This pattern thing now reminds me of something else Ludwig has not accomplished with a wrap finish. The recent White Marine Pearl does not look like the White Marine Pearl finishes from the 60's or 70's. I guess it doesn't have to since it is not being billed as a copy of the original, but the pattern is smaller and looks dramatically cheaper.

And while I'm dissing Ludwig wrap finishes, take a good look at their so-called "sparkle" finishes. They no longer contain the hexagon shaped glitter or sparkle. The finishes look more like "crinkle" than "sparkle". Selling these finishes under the heading of "sparkle" is a fraudulent claim. I looked at a Green Sparkle Bonham kit in a local store in Marietta, GA a few months ago. OOPS - part of the kit had the actual sparkle in the wrap and part of it was this new "crinkle" material. SAD, SAD,SAD,SAD. No consistency with Ludwig (except for consistently bad).

"New and improved" merchandise isn't always "improved". Once again, Zildjian is no longer making cymbals that sound pleasing to experienced players. WAAAAAHHHH !!!!! WHEN WILL ALL THE MADNESS END ????

Sorry, I've calmed down now.

Haha, thanks Kirby, you and Sticks4Drums must be good friends :) I don't understand why Ludwig can't replicate today what they did 40+ years ago as far their wraps.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
That s because Ludwig doesn't make their wrap...Danmar does.And Danmar makes wrap for just about everybody.

So if you don't like their wrap,you really can't blame Ludwig.The wraps from 40 years ago were cellulose based,and not like the plastic and PVC wraps of today.There are some materials that are not available,or are illegal to use in todays wraps.Wraps also vary from lot to lot...just like ceramic tile.

Steve B
 

RickP

Gold Member
That s because Ludwig doesn't make their wrap...Danmar does.And Danmar makes wrap for just about everybody.

So if you don't like their wrap,you really can't blame Ludwig.The wraps from 40 years ago were cellulose based,and not like the plastic and PVC wraps of today.There are some materials that are not available,or are illegal to use in todays wraps.Wraps also vary from lot to lot...just like ceramic tile.

Steve B

Delmar makes their wraps not Danmar. The big issue with the production of many of the wraps is that they do not use the same production processes. There was more hand work involved in the older wraps.

http://www.delmarproducts.com/applicationsInstruments.asp
 

TomH

Junior Member
A quick thought. I've been playing over 45 years. In my view Zildjian makes excellent cymbals today along with many other brands. In the late 60s, there was a very wide variation in the tonality of the same cymbal model. For example, samples of a 20" medium ride A or K would have dramatically different pitches and overtones for the same model. Today, likely due to improved manufacturing techniques, the cymbals have more consistency between samples and sound very good.

There are a few caveats. Paiste, Zildjian and others are leveraging cast cymbal blanks from Turkey and finishing the cymbals in their facilities. These cymbals have a pretty wide variation from cymbal to cymbal.
 

mike d

Silver Member
For cymbals, in my mind, there is a slight trade-off for the consistency. It used to be great to find a "gem", and it really was one of a kind. I think a lot of cymbal makers realize that and that's why you get the more artisan series which tend to vary more (i.e. Sabian Big and Ugly - I love them).
... that said, I don't want inconsistency in my drum wrap, but then again, I love the uniqueness of natural wood finishes. Nevermind, I don't know anything. :)
 
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