Are Ludwig Paiste cymbals good? How did Ludwig and Paiste start to produce cymbals? When were the first Ludwig Paiste cymbals introduced in the market? Are Ludwig Paiste cymbals durable? If you own a Ludwig Paiste cymbal or have seen one, and you are interested to know more about them, you are in the right place, as we are going to have some discussion about these cymbals and whether they were really great in the old days or not.
Ludwig Paiste Cymbal History
So, when did the Ludwig Paiste cymbal start? In an interview by Robert Paiste in 2006, he said that the Ludwig family started to send some care packages to the Paiste family after World War 2 ended. Based on this statement, there is a possibility that Ludwig and Paiste’s family had already known each other even before the war had started.
Bill Ludwig Sr traveled to Nenderoth, Germany, around 1955 to 1956 to visit his childhood home, and afterwards went to the Frankfurt Music Fair, where he met Michael Paiste, and the relationship between the two huge drum companies started soon, which resulted in order of more than 20,000 cymbals per year.
Based on Ludwig’s 1957 catalog, a more affordable Paiste cymbal series was an added option from the more expensive and higher-quality Zildjian cymbals under the brand name “Ludwig.” The 3-star in the Ludwig 3-Stars was meant to be the rebranded NS12 Stambul that was sold to Ludwig for North American distribution, based on Robert Paiste’s interview.
These cymbals were first made in Germany with an additional stamped word “CHICAGO” on the cymbal. It was only in 1957 that the manufacturing of these cymbals was transferred to Switzerland, and all these cymbals are made of Nickel Silver Alloy NS12. Although most of the cymbals made in Germany have that stamped word, there are also some that do not, and it is believed that they were first made compared to the former.
On the other hand, all Ludwig 3-Star cymbals that have a location name stamped on them, especially those that have “Swiss Made” or “Swiss,” were made in 1957 and later. There are also some indicators that can help you identify the general date of these Ludwig Paiste cymbals. The first is its font format and style, as two general formats are used on these cymbals. The first is in a script line or hollow-block form, while the second is in a cursive style
The second indicator is where the stars are placed, and their tip count. If you have different Ludwig Paiste cymbals on you, you can notice the slight changes in the locations and angles of the stars over the years. Most Ludwig 3-Star cymbals also have five tips, but you can also see another variation that only has four tips on them.
The third is that there are also two types of font styles that were used on these cymbals, as some have flared letter tips, while the others have non-flared letter tips. You can see the flared lettering tips on the letters u,d,w, and i of the Ludwig name. The fourth indicator is the size and shape of the bell, as they follow the same timeline changes as the Stambul cymbals right before the switch to the name “Standard” in late 1964 and early 1965, where there is a substantial change of the sizes and shapes of the cymbal bells.
From the start of making these cymbals, it is believed that they were offered in thin, medium, and heavy sizes, with diameters starting from 10 inches up to 22 inches, that are designated as either Band, Ride, or Hi-Hat. These cymbals are also advertised for student, high school band, marching, and orchestra use.
Ludwig Standard And Its History
Introduced to the market in 1965 and discontinued in 1972 until it last appeared in Ludwig’s 1975 catalog, the Ludwig Standard is another result of the joint venture of the two renowned drum companies, Ludwig and Paiste. Considered a lower midline cymbal series, the Ludwig Standard was first included in Ludwig’s catalog in 1967, and these cymbals were originally made using NS12 alloy in both their German and Swiss factories before they changed it with the better B8 Bronze around 1971.
If you can still see a well-preserved Ludwig Standard cymbal, you will notice that there is a red ink-type stamp at the 3 o’clock position, and the later period cymbals that are made of B8 Bronze have a black ink Paiste logo above the cymbal’s bell. The Ludwig 3-Star cymbals are also known and considered by many as the first generation of the Ludwig Standard cymbals, as they are both rebranded as Stambuls.
Ludwig did not also start to use the name “Ludwig Standard” in its materials until only in 1965, when they began to emboss the cymbals with the new name and logo. It is said that Paiste stopped making these cymbals for Ludwig in the early 1970s after the latter decided to cancel their contract with the former without any notice, resulting in the Ludwig Standard cymbals last appearing in the 1975 Ludwig catalog in limited size options only.
The Ludwig Standard cymbals are sold in thin, medium, and heavy sizes and they come in diameters of 10 to 22 inches. They are also advertised as a great use for students, high school bands, marching, and orchestra.
Reason Why The Ludwig Paiste Cymbals Were Discontinued
Although there is no exact reason why Ludwig decided to cancel the contract with Paiste without notice, it is believed that the main reason why they stopped using them is because of some issues with their durability. These cymbals have developed a reputation for breaking faster compared to other entry-level cymbals. The alloys that were used in making these cymbals also tend to be brittle, resulting in them quickly getting damaged when played improperly.
So, are Ludwig Paiste cymbals good? For an entry-level cymbal series, the Ludwig Paiste cymbals would be a great match for your drum kit, especially if you are still a novice drummer. They sound good for what they are; however, they have a reputation for breaking fast, so you should be careful in playing them.