Ludwig Timpani has set the standard for performance in bands and orchestras around the world. Ludwig is proud to announce the newest line of Grand Symphonic, Professional and Standard Series Timpani. All three lines of timpani have been updated with incredible new features to improve functionality and mobility.
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It is estimated that there are more Ludwig USA Timpani in the market today than all other brands combined. These features are what separate Ludwig from the rest:
1. Serviceability. Should repairs be required, Ludwig timpani are easily serviceable and will continue to perform for years to come.
2. Longevity. With proper care and maintenance, Ludwig timpani can last for over 50 years.
3. Sound. The parabolic kettles provide a one-of-a-kind sound only available from Ludwig.
The ingenious profile collar extends the head beyond the edge of the kettle to project greater resonance, pitch definition and easily controlled, accurate tuning. The double-ring suspension system and seamless one-piece angle steel counter hoops create an undisturbed and undistorted tone.
The patented Balanced Action™ tuning pedal moves smoothly through the range. No locks or ratchets are needed to hold pitch.
The Making of the First Ludwig Timpani
The Ludwig family business was built upon a long-standing heritage of timpani know-how and playing expertise within the Ludwig family. William F. Ludwig, Sr. began his timpani studies ‘in 1899 under the direction of the timpanist of the Theodore Thomas Symphony, later to be called the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
As timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, William F. Ludwig, Sr. shared a love for the classical works that was only equaled by his passion to perform them on-stage. In 1909, Ludwig grew frustrated with the hand-tuned timpani of the era. It wasn’t long before his frustration turned to inspiration. With a more practical, portable, pedal-tuned timpani in mind, the accomplished timpanist took on the role of part-time inventor. Ludwig’s earliest designs and models failed. Hydraulically operated hoses leaked, cables stretched, but Ludwig was determined and never gave up. In 1921, after years of disappointments, he struck perfection. Originally called the “Natural-Way Balanced-Action” the Balanced Action Pedal soon found its way into the Ludwig Catalogs and was an immediate success.
All Ludwig timpani are designed to give the performer superb musical tonality and outstanding service for many years. Ludwig Drum Company’s entire staff and workforce stand behind all timpani.
Grand Symphonic Series
The Ludwig Grand Symphonic Series have a rolled-lip copper kettle that is specially designed to hang within the suspension ring, extending the range to a Major 7th. These timpani provide an incredibly clear, rich tone. The kettles in this series have one-piece construction that are each individually hand-hammered. The pull rods are positioned inside the struts to provide protection and give these timpani a sleek, clean look. The updated version of the Ludwig Grand Symphonic Timpani include engraved brass tuning indicators with a standard American tuning gauge set-up. The tuning gauges can also be set up in a German style. The Omni wheel is placed under the pedal and allows the player to position the timpani into any position with ease. Detachable quick-release, large rear casters are a standard feature of the Ludwig Grand Symphonic Series Timpani.
The Ludwig Professional Series Timpani reflect decades of design and perfection of this instrument. This series is available in hand-hammered or polished copper kettles. This series features a double-ring suspension system delivering superior depth of tone by isolating the kettle from the tuning mechanism. Greater pitch definition and resonance is a result of the ingenious profile collar design which extends beyond the kettle edge. Like the Grand Symphonic Series, the Professional Series has pedal-activated tuning gauges with engraved brass tuning indicators. The tuning gauges are fully adjustable and placed on the instrument in an American or German set-up. The wheel configuration includes an Omni wheel under the pedal which allows for easy transport and secure placement in any performance venue.
The Ludwig Standard Series is one of the most used timpani in the world. The series comes in polished copper or fiberglass kettles. The struts are mounted directly to the kettles with an internal tuning mechanism which allows a tuning range of a Major 6th. As in our Grand Symphonic and Professional Series, the Standard Series include engraved brass tuning indicators with a standard American Tuning Gauge set up. The tuning gauges can also be set up in a German style. The Omni wheel is placed under the pedal and allows the player to position the timpani into any position with ease. Detachable quick-release, large rear casters are a standard feature of all Ludwig Timpani.