The 80’s saw many significant changes for Ludwig Drums. Ludwig Drum Co. would sell to the Selmer Corporation in 1981. This brought on changes in design, concepts, and the relocation of the production facility. Ludwig production would continue to grown under Selmer. The Ludwig catalog would advance, utilizing an array of new materials and ideas previously nonexistent to the drum market.
Designers and companies alike began to understand the science of shell makeup and mold. Various woods and molds determined sonic qualities and characteristics unfamiliar to drummers. This rise in varying shell designs became present as of the late 70’s and pushed forward for Ludwig.
Ludwig Classic shells of the 1980’s took on several changes that differed/repeated pre-existing outfits. The 6-ply maple shell design that debuted in 1976 carried on into the early part 1980’s. The Modular bracket, another 70’s era innovation, took on more recognition in the 1980’s. New Blue/Olive badges with rounded lower left and upper right corners (debuting in 1979) came to represent the close of one era, while another came.
By 1984, Ludwig Classic shells had a new badge marking the end of Ludwig Chicago era drums. A larger “modern” keystone badge was put on Classic shells and by 1985. When the Chicago plant closed, this badge read “Monroe, NC”, and no longer “Chicago USA”. Ludwig classic shells underwent another change in 1988, offering a 4-ply maple shell known as the “Super Classic”. Ludwig Classic Shells underwent another transition in shell design in the 90's. Quickly doing away with the 4-ply “Super Classic Shell”, Ludwig kept the focus on one Classic Maple design with a hefty 9-ply all maple shell debuting in 1998 along with the Classic Birch series Drums. In 2001, Ludwig redesigned the Classic Maple shells into a 7-ply maple mold dubbed the Classic Maple Series. The rise in popularity of vintage Ludwig maple/poplar/maple shells of the late 60's/early 70's resulted in its reintroduction as the Legacy Classic series. The Classic Birch series was dropped in 2009 for its decline in demand.
Ludwig Classic Maple drums are made in the U.S.A. and have loads of configuration options and colors to choose from. Shells are made from North American maple using 7-ply construction with cross laminated ply layers and grain rotated 90 degrees between layers for rock solid strength and booming performance. Bearing edges are cut to a 45 degree angle for that unmistakable Ludwig sound.
Legacy Classic Series Drums surfaced in 2005, marking the exciting return of an American classic. The Ludwig Legacy series was developed to create a new range of drums that incorporate the features and benefits of today’s most advanced drum making processes with the sonic quality of vintage Ludwig classic drums. The Ludwig Legacy drums find their framework based on the 3-ply shell formula dating to 1923. Legacy drum shells combine inner and outer 1/16” North American Maple plys, a traditional single 1/8” Poplar core ply, along with 1/4” maple reinforcement rings. Rounded bearing edges are then formed drawing full, focused lows from inner and outer Maple plys, while eliminating unwanted overtones for superior tone and clarity.
In 2010, Ludwig introduced and new line known as the Keystone Series. The Ludwig Keystone series drums bridge the gap between innovation and history offering a new sonic pallet to the Ludwig Sound with a completely new shell for today’s high-volume drummer. The Ludwig Keystone Shell begins with a 3-ply Maple core used in Ludwig’s Classic Maple drums, and is then augmented with 1/16” inner and outer plys of American Red Oak. Formed in Ludwig