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Old 07-02-2021, 07:52 AM
sazemanek1 sazemanek1 is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 155
Default Re: Speed King query

Originally Posted by Magnus_N View Post
If it says WFL on the footboard it is a WFL Speed King.


Actually, WFL became Ludwig in 1955. They kept the WFL on the footboard and caps through 1966. So even though it says WFL on it, it was Ludwig starting in 1955.
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Old 07-02-2021, 07:59 AM
sazemanek1 sazemanek1 is offline
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Posts: 155
Default Re: Speed King query

Originally Posted by Marty Black View Post
While we're on the subject of Speed King pedals, lemmee throw something out to you, and the Ludwig guys can either tell me that they've noticed this before...or they can tell me that I'm absolutely nuts!

Early in the pandemic, I bought a 1966 Ludwig kit and attached my known-1976 vintage Speed King. But when I pushed it on, I noticed that the "knuckle hinge piece" rubbed against the batter head! (Please forgive my non-technical terms.) So I had to pull the Speed King back about 1/4" or more, so that the knuckle hinge piece cleared the batter head.

I then tried a known-1960s Speed King on this kit and found that it fit just fine. No rubbing against the batter head. It was then that I noticed that the "stop" pieces (at the front bottom of each post) were longer and larger, than on the 1976 pedal.

Two months later, I bought a 1968 Ludwig kit and noticed the same phenomenon. The 1960s pedal was fine, but the 1976 pedal rubbed against the batter head.

I then started measuring the width of the wooden hoops on Ludwig drums and found that they varied between 1/8" and 3/8" difference....Even the two hoops on a single bass drum had measurably different widths.

Although my sampling of bass drums was admittedly extremely small, the 1950s-1960s hoops were all narrower than the 1970s hoops.

I suppose this shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, we know that Ludwig wooden snares and toms also vary in depth somewhat.

It seems to me that, when Ludwig decided to increase the width of the hoops, that put the beater of the then-current-production Speed Kings a bit too far from the batter head...and the solution was to shorten/narrow the "stops" so that the "short stop" Speed Kings would fit better on any Ludwig bass drum....although you couldn't fully push a "short stop" Speed King onto a 1950s-1960s bass drum hoop. You would need to back it off a short amount, so that the knuckle-hinge-piece didn't strike the batter head.

Does this make any sense to you?! Or am I ready for The Funny Farm?

By the way, my 1976 pedal is identical in construction and hardware, to Gerard's pedal which is shown earlier in this thread.

Please tell me that I didn't go insane during the Pandemic!

Regards, MB
Ludwig shortened the tabs in 1973 to accommodate wider bass drum hoops.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:26 PM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: Speed King query

Yep, I ran into the same dilemma.
"God is dead." -Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." -God
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