Vinnie Colaiuta Is Now with Ludwig and Paiste

The Earth just tilted. Vinnie has switched to Ludwig and Paiste.


Ludwig could not have possibly landed a bigger name in their esteemed stable of players. The new line of Atlas hardware rocked the NAMM show, but can you imagine the insanity going on in Monroe, NC right now? If every employee over there is not beaming from ear to ear, they should be. Their stock just went UP.

Same with Paiste. Rock drummers have long gravitated to this Swiss cymbal maker’s excellence, owing largely to John Bonham, Ian Paice, Carl Palmer, and a host of European drummers. I strongly suspect that jazz drummers will find a very renewed interest in the line, something I too am going to check out. Their darker jazz rides do have an amazing sound…

My real excitement is, however, in seeing Ludwig get a HUGE shot in the arm. Last year, I made a decision to invest in the drums I loved as a kid, because it took me back to that special time. All my heroes played Ludwig (Bonham, Palmer, Paice, Don Brewer, and even Buddy Rich), and I regretted getting rid of a couple of classic kits more than once.

So, one very rainy day. I paid off the vintage 70’s green sparkle Bonham-sized kit I’d put on layaway and drove it home, amazed at the leap and feeling of elation. Six months later, I bought a beautiful 5-piece Centennial kit, made of North American maple. The 6.5 x 14 maple snare has a ringing crack that has redefined my small kit sound and musical vocabulary.

I watched Ludwig for many years through their ups and downs, the evolution of their website, their whole product line… they got hit hard when Yamaha, Pearl, and Tama kicked it in during the 80s, and the road back has not been easy. A lot of name artists left Ludwig, but the faithful stayed. I remember a salesman at West L.A. music pointing to a 100-year celebration kit on the shelf and telling me the price. I bluntly told him I thought it was insane, to which he replied, “Ludwig drummers are fanatics. Someone will buy it, because it’s Ludwig.” A week later, the kit was gone.

Ludwig’s marketing theme is that the company is a family, and that it is the hallmark of drumming tradition in this country. They patented the first bass drum pedal, so there’s quite a bit of truth here. When they put Vinnie’s picture up on Facebook behind a beautiful natural wood finish kit, they only needed a two-word caption to send a message that has just rocked the drumming world: Welcome home.

And as Late, Late Show host Craig Ferguson is fond of saying, “It’s a great day in America.”

5 thoughts on “Vinnie Colaiuta Is Now with Ludwig and Paiste

  1. brian t bayer April 5, 2012 / 9:46 pm

    now you have to dig into paiste dark masters line and understand why those of us who
    didn’t play them before do now !

    • David R. Aldridge April 6, 2012 / 7:11 pm

      I actually went to Guitar Center on Pico in Los Angeles to do that. No samples, really bumnmed me out. But the Paiste site with off the sound samples? Very impressive. Looks like some more road trips around Los Angeles to the various drum shops will be in order.

  2. Craig Coggle April 7, 2012 / 2:49 pm

    Hi David
    Just stumbled onto your blog and enjoyed following up on some of your recommendations (Daniel Glass, indiandrummer). I notice you mentioned your rhythm book way back in December; I’d be very interested to read what you have come up with.
    Of course, if it’s not finished yet you can take this as a friendly reminder to SHIP, SHIP, SHIP!
    Good luck with it and keep us posted.

  3. Mike D June 27, 2012 / 7:08 pm

    Excellent that Vinnie has joined Ludwig. Their USA made shells are second to none, and the new Atlas Pro hardware is tremendous and innovative; including the pedals and throne. I have Classic maples with the Atlas Pro new hardware, pedals, bags, and throne. I sold all my previous gear and went back to Ludwig all the way. I am super pleased. To some, Ludwig has that “old company” – “old technology” reputation. That is not so. Don’t confuse legendary with old. Ludwig products are as high quality, or higher, as anyone. Vinnie’s previous company makes great drums as well – he played them for many years. The Legacy and Classic lines are USA made (and perhaps some of their other lines as well) – that is a good thing. Don’t sell Ludwig short. They make great drums and hardware. Give Mr. Colaiuta credit. He is a way too great and experienced musician to switch to a company, unless he is totally confident and pleased that the quality, sound, and service is up to his standards. Give Ludwig a look.

  4. Bob Mertz June 29, 2012 / 4:01 am

    Ihave had three sets of Ludwig Super Classics dating back to 1961. They were all manufactured in Chicago on N. Damen Ave at the WFL Drum Company. I bought a set of Super Classics in 1993 which were manufactured in Monroe and the quality, in my opinion, has not changed. Wouldn’t even consider playing anything plus.

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