Gold-Plated Vintage Ludwig Super-Sensitive Snare

Ludwig Super-Sensitive


Era: 1960—’62
Finish: 24K gold-plated brass shell, 24K gold-plated hardware
Dimensions: 14" x 6.5"
Lugs: 10

This drum came to me in excellent, near-mint condition, needing only the most basic cleaning. Its heavy brass shell has crimped snare beds, a pre-serial KB badge, and a small tone-control knob. Ludwig produced only four of these special 24K gold-plated snare drums in the early ’60s, each with a plaque that bears the name of its owner: Joe Morello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Dick Schory of the Chicago Symphony, some guy named Ringo Starr (chuckle, chuckle), and George Gaber, the famous symphonic percussionist and professor at Indiana University School Of Music, whose Super-Sensitive is pictured above. Gaber is still alive at the age of 90, and was a first-call snare drummer/percussionist for many of the most famous symphonic conductors, such as Arturo Toscanini and Leonard Bernstein. The first three drums mentioned are 14" x 5" Super-Sensitives, and yet Gaber’s is a 14" x 6.5" — obviously his preferred size. Vintage drum historian John Aldridge says that Ludwig later made 24 more 14" x 5" gold-plated Super-Sensitive models that it awarded to the top 24 Ludwig dealerships in the country, however, they didn’t feature heavy brass shells or name plates.

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