1967 Ludwig Thermo-Gloss Natural Maple Bop Drum Set 18/12/14

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Bass: 14"x18"

Tom: 8"x12"

Floor Tom: 14"x14"

For your extreme viewing pleasure is this outstanding and exceedingly rare Ludwig Natural Maple Thermo-Gloss outfit in traditional bop sizes.  This keystone set from 1967 was Ludwig's first year of the Natural Maple Thermo-Gloss finish, and the last full year of white interior shells (Ringo's Ludwig Hollywood set was a 1967 Natural Maple Thermo-Gloss set with white interiors).  We have had the privilege of owning, playing, procuring, and providing some of the nicest and rarest Ludwig outfits, and as far as shear beauty-meets-rarity goes, this one is at the top of the heap.  We've had other Natural Maple Thermo-Gloss Ludwig's in the past, but none that were made with the furniture grade maple seen on these three drums, and none that were as cosmetically clean as these.  It's common knowledge that, while gorgeous, the Thermo-Gloss finishes were fragile by nature, and most that turn up these days have very weathered surfaces, including flaking lacquer, and lots of dings, bruises, scrapes, and general signs of being gigged and moved around.  

This factory matched set is breathtaking, and the only finish wear to speak of, other than the sparse and random small nick here and there, is on the 12" tom located in the usual panel to the left of the panel that shares the baseball bat muffler, and a much smaller area on the bass drum in the panel that shares the lower portion of the rail mount at the bottom of that panel, and in the panel on the very bottom of the bass drum.

What really sets this outfit apart, aside from the natural maple finish being in such great shape, is the sizes and quality of wood selected.  Most 18" Ludwig bass drums of this era were Jazzette bass drums, which were 12"x18" drums with center mounted rails and no cymbal L arm bracket.  This set has the tried and true 14"x18" size, with the rail in the traditional position, (as preferred by many), and a cymbal L arm bracket located in the traditional Down Beat location.  This size and set-up is much more scarcely seen in Ludwigs of this era compared to the Jazzette outfits.  As mentioned at the top, the wood they selected to showcase the Natural Maple Thermo-Gloss finish is furniture grade, which is something that we almost never see.  It displays areas of 3-D figuring, quilting, and birds-eye.  The front hoop has a very densely populated area of birds-eye maple right at the top, right where the hood ornament would be on a fancy car.

This outfit is 100% original with no extra holes or modifications of any kind.  It is undoubtedly a factory born-together set in its original finish.  Aside from us being able to tell from our experience, drum restoration and Ludwig expert Jack Lawton also examined them in person, and agreed they were undoubtedly factory original in every way.  Even the tension rods, washers, and Ludwig Weather Master heads are beautiful and original (including the rare 18" front logo head).  The keystone badges are all beautiful and tight, with close serial #'s: 4412XX, 4434XX, and 4449XX.  

As can be expected, these beauties tune up extremely well.  They sound like pure vintage bebop sonic bliss, and are beyond a joy to play.  Enjoy!    

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