Anyone have knowledge of Ludwig banjos? This one looks to have plenty of miles on it.
I owned and played a few. This is not top of the line, but nevertheless a very good player. Price is quit good, although cosmetically it has made some miles. I am loaded with banjo's, otherwise I would be willing to pay $ 300,-.
Put a new head on it, clean it up a bit and it will be fine. I cannot judge the neck or frets. Looks all original, including the painting on the backside. Good price, good banjo.
In Tsumura's book, the Kingston model is # 32 in the line of 36 models. New price was $ 75,- in 1927, i've seen these been sold for $500 to $600.
Go for it!
Can always resell if not satisfied
This instrument strikes me as having 2 issues. One thing is that the finish seems to be over-sprayed, or possibly refinished. Another major issue is that the pot metal top tension hoop is disintegrating, & will continue to crack under use,(replacements hoops are scarce & expensive). This tension hoop will break when tuning the head.
Ditto on the tension hoop problem that tdennis mentioned. This is the weak point of these banjos. If everyone else used pot metal for their tension hoops, Ludwig used gone-to-pot metal. As to the slogan "The Ultimate in Banjos"- They weren't !
Ludwig banjos are an excellent instrument if a buyer can find one with a finish that has integrity, & a model that has no pot metal. There are many very nice jazz age Ludwigs on the market.
With a crumbling tension hoop. this Ludwig is pretty worthless. These banjo also usually have pot metal rims, which can also self-destruct. It does, however, appear to have it's original "Planet" tuners, which excellent and are actually worth something. Unfortunately, even those aren't worth the asking price here.
This one has also been oversprayed. If you look closely, you can still see the cracks in the original finish showing through.
Ludwig had some interesting ideas and their banjos were made decently. It's too bad they chose such miserable materials to build them with.
I believe that Retrofret has a Ludwig for sale, a Stratford plectrum with a skin head.
I have three or four Ludwig tenors, that my girlfriends dad had after he past. I know the tension hoops are broken on a couple of them. Haven't really messed with them yet, so I can't give you a sound, or quality answer Ken. I know the pot metal is of poor quality for sure though.
Thanks to all for your observations, thoughts and opinions. I did decide against this one for all the reasons you mentioned.I’m just looking, not in a rush. My Deering Goodtime 17-fret seems to be fine for me. For now.
As the happy owner of a Goodtime II 19-fret, I must applaud!
A few weeks ago I sold this mint 1927 LUDWIG Stratford plectrum - improved with a carbon fiber reinforcement of the neck, a custom made bridge etc..
14 years did it take for me to sell it - mind you at less than 1/3 of the total costs.
It became a beauty and a somewhat decent player - the latter however not near examples of other brands and of this vintage.
No more LUDWIG´s for me - I´ve btw. had the same experience when working on a number of tenors - belonging to others.
Edited by - Polle Flaunoe on 07/30/2018 06:49:41
You playing much anymore Polle? You put out some recordings of yourself at one time on here with your Danish contemporaries,"which I loved", but I can't seem to find them anymore. I remember the great syncopation in the play, specifically banjo.
Are they still here in cyberspace? or are they no longer available for consumption?
'Good Monday Morning' 3 hrs
'Bound to ride' 4 hrs
'Mean Mary' 4 hrs