showing off my 1984 Ludwig SupraPhonic 6.5 x 14 w Bowtie Lugs

Vintage Ludwig Supraphonic. 35 years old: 1984 made in Chicago shortly before they moved the factory to Monroe, North Carolina. I acquired this drum from drum "fixer-upper" Leroy Clay here in the Memphis area. Nashville drummer Chris Franz alerted me to the listing and I called Leroy. We became fast friends, as drummers tend to do! This drum and another one just like it were in very bad shape and were being thrown in the dumpster by one of the area schools. Leroy was in the right place at the right time to salvage them. He sold both of them to me and one ended up in Chris Franz's hands. The bowtie lugs are factory installed, not a later modification. The bowties were usually installed on Acrolite "student" models. Supraphonics normally have Imperial lugs which are a little more art deco. Occasionally Ludwig would be short on Imperials and substitute the bow tie lugs which were the only ones that would fit over the bead on the metal drums. I cleaned the "living snot" out of this drum and replaced missing parts. I used a number of cleaners: Metal Rescue Rust Bath, WD40, and Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths with lots of elbow grease to get it to shine. Both drums had a sticker on them that said "property of Newark High School" with a serial number.d I've never had a 6.5 x 14 Supraphonic. Quite a few 5.5 x 14s both regular snares and super sensitive snare strainers. In fact, my second snare drum I owned when I was a kid was a brand new shiny Supraphonic that came with a Ludwig Pro Beat kit that my dad bought me when I was seventeen. I wish I still had that set, but then I wish I had most of the kits I ever owned. :-) Here's the big question: How does it sound? It sounds killer! Makes me sound like John Bonham when I play it !!!

Listing created May 17, 2020

Public discussion (9)

George Lawrence, administrator

4 months ago

Hmmmm don't know why pics are cock eyed. I'll try to fix that in a bit

bdrum1

4 months ago

Well if you ever decide it's just the one drum you can't live with anymore................

George Lawrence, administrator

4 months ago

How about if I leave it to you in my will?

bdrum1

4 months ago

On a serious note, how many of these do you think were produced with the bowtie lugs and what does that do to the value of those drums? I've never seen one with the bowtie lugs, just heard Ludwig would occasionally put them on the Supra's. Thanks for sharing!

George Lawrence, administrator

4 months ago

What my Ludwig expert friends tell me is that Ludwig probably ran short of imperial lugs just before they moved the machines from Chicago to Monroe , and just used what they had at the moment (bow ties since they fit the bead) rather than crank up the machines again. It makes sense: They would rather sell everything they could than have to pay to move it to the new factory. Substituting parts was not considered sacrilege at Ludwig. I have no idea how many were assembled this way since it would be a minor change that Ludwig would not have recorded. I have not see any value difference in the regular supras and the bow tie oddities. It has a certain kitsch factor that appeals to me. I was not looking for a Supra. I've had a lot of them but they are so plentiful that I was never shy about selling them. This is my first 6.5 x 14, though I've sold hundreds of new 6.5 x 14s at the store. I'm looking for a black beauty B&O badge made of heavy brass. I've had my hands on a couple and let them go. Not next time! This aluminum one was so cheap and unique that I WANTED it! And we all know that WANT is more important than NEED when it comes to drums. Drums are cool. Drummers are cool. Drumming is cool. DRUM ON!

bdrum1

4 months ago

Great drum, with awesome history no doubt, and makes sense not to move parts to a new location. I've seen a few of the B&O Black Beauty's but none that were for sale, just in private collections.

I've sold several great Supra's that now I wish I would've kept, but I was much younger then and looking for my "next great sound". I didn't realize what I had at the time but I'm looking daily now for another Supra with that "certain something". It's out there and half the fun is the search!

George Lawrence, administrator

4 months ago

We need a B&O BB for all those gigs we aren't playing!

bdrum1

4 months ago

Exactly!!

Tyson Hein

2 months ago

Thanks for posting this George! I too have a Ludwig large Keystone badged drum from Chicago in '84, except mine is a hammered bronze. It seems they added bow ties to several phonics just before the move - glad to know mine isn't the only one!

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