Ludwig introduced the Stainless Steel model in 1976. The stainless steel drum was all presence, punch, and tone. They produced a real dry controlled tone with a volume that could not be captured by any wood shell. Bigger sized drums had great response in mid to low ranges, while small drums, really projected higher frequencies quite well. Ludwig Stainless Steel drums received a mixed reaction upon its initial release. John Bonham’s last Ludwig kit was a Stainless Steel. Bonham’s role in utilizing this new dimension in drums resulted in a new sound and a new approach.
Ludwig Stainless Steels received much consumer rejection and by 1980 the line was discontinued. It could have been that such an innovation was way ahead of it’s time. With a labor and cost intensive design, along with poor sales, Ludwig had to pull the plug on this particular model. Later years would stir up a rise in popularity of Ludwig Stainless Steel drums. Companies sprawled up based on this concept design and Ludwig would reissue there Stainless Steel series to answer to consumer demand.