Ludwig Standard “Champagne Sparkle”

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve become a fan of Ludwig’s Standard line – if you’re into vintage drums at a very reasonable price point, it’s hard to go wrong with these.

For a while, I had been thinking about adding a Ludwig Jazz Festival snare to my mid-60s Ludwig kit in the classic pink champagne sparkle finish.  However, I already have one in White Marine Pearl, and adding a second one just because I wanted a different colour didn’t seem right.

Then this “champagne sparkle” Ludwig Standard popped up on eBay at less than half the price of a Jazz Festival.  It looked pretty clean in the photos, so I jumped on it.

The only thing is, the Standards never came in champagne sparkle, so was this a more recent re-wrap, or an example of a silver mist wrap that had faded over the past 50 years?

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When I first saw the drum in person, I thought it had to be a rewrap.  The colouration was pretty even throughout, and there were no obvious marks on it.  However, all it took was removing one lug to reveal the pristine silver mist underneath.

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This kind of fading is pretty common with silver mist, and as you can see in the photos below, it’s not actually that close a match to the actual champagne sparkle wrap.  From a dozen feet away, though, it’s pretty close…and it sounds just as good as my Jazz Festival, if not better.

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Actual champagne sparkle on top, faded silver mist on the bottom

The Ludwig Standards are probably the best value in vintage drums right now.  The aluminum shell snares can be found for less than $150 US, and the wood shell snares are often under $200.  And they all sound just as good as their much pricier counterparts.  But let’s not share that too widely…

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Gold mist on the left, silver mist on the right

 

 

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