Ludwig Professional Timpani For Sale (Job no: 1390)


For Sale a set of 4 Ludwig Professional Timpani with discs and covers.
[serial nos: 32″=5220, 29″=5218, 26″=5219, 23″=5126]

These drums have been in my workshop for a while now, which is too long for such a good set of timps to be unused.  Obviously this means that the price is too high, but all of my prices are just a starting point for the negotiations which follow.  So I am going to try an alternative method; you suggest a price and we can go from there…


Those of you who read my blog and watch my videos already know that I am rubbish at remembering model names and numbers, I classify it as useless information, why retain it in my head when it can be easily researched if needed. However in this case, I think that I just told or learned the name incorrectly, so when I was clarifying exactly what to call the drums I discovered after many many years that Ludwig don’t even make Pro-Symphonics! They do make Grand Symphonics, but what the difference would be between a set of Grands and Professionals with the optional extra of hand hammered bowls will have to remain a mystery to me since they would both be made with exactly the same components. The answer of course would be the price tag. Anyway I digress; I apologise for getting the name of the drums wrong in the video, but the name is correct everywhere else.

What is in a name anyway?  It doesn’t alter the fact that these drums are in a really nice condition.  Equally, they rarely come up for sale second hand.  Because of the condition of the drums when I collected them and their inherent value, I decided that I had to do some work on them.  This work mainly consisted of giving everything a good clean (oh and isn’t that a massive understatement!) and going over the chassis making sure everything was tight. However I did have to spend a day working on the set up to make sure that they work properly.  Normally after all this I would put new heads on as a matter of course, but these drums are not mine and are in for sale not an overhaul. This is a compromise, and I know that they would sound better with new heads on, but this can be left to the negotiations…




Above are some photos of the drums for you to have a look at, I tried to get the worst of the bowl imperfections visible. Below are some close up photos of the damage that I referred to in the video. There is nothing more I can really say about these timpani, for those who are looking for a good set of timps, proven over many years to produce a great sound reliably, you will know what you want and you will see that these drums are in great condition. For those who are thinking about other drums, well I would buy these everyday in preference to the gimmicky new crap that is popular at the moment – in ten years I fully expect that I will be doing very expensive repairs to those drums whereas in ten years, these Ludwigs might just need another clean and service. They are in my workshop available to be viewed, I can of course deliver if needed, and I will handle the whole transaction so it will be nice and easy to accomplish. To discuss viewing and prices either email or phone.

26″ bowl dent


Bowl corrosion


29″ bowl dent


32″ timp disc

29″ timp disc

broken strap

4 comments on “Ludwig Professional Timpani For Sale (Job no: 1390)

  1. Peter Clarke

    Hi, Paul, I’m having problems with premier Timp pedal not returning to “up” position properly I have to lift the pedal to return it back up. Would very much appreciate you advice.Regards, Peter Clarke.

    • pauljefferies

      Hi Dave,

      Sorry for the delay I just wanted to wait until after a viewing – they are a serious buyer and will be making an offer. I operate a sealed bids policy, so if you are interested you need to be quick.


  2. pauljefferies

    Pro symphonic or grand symphonic?
    I thought I might be able to shed some light on this. So here goes…

    You’re correct in that Ludwig never named any of their timpani “Pro Symphonic”. They did however use the full name Professional Symphonic. This referred to drums (introduced in 1959) with the external tension rods hidden in the struts as opposed to the Standard Model with tension rods inside the bowl. In 1978, they renamed the Professional Symphonic drums, calling them simply the Professional Model. In 1984 they changed the name again to the Professional Series and began offering these timpani with hammered bowls as an option. (As well as continuing to offer smooth polished bowls.) So it’s inaccurate to think the difference between Grand Symphonic and Professional Series drums is one having hammered bowls and the other having smooth bowls.

    The Grand Symphonic Series are a different model of timpani to the Professional Series. They were introduced in 1995 and at this stage, came with chrome counterhoops. There’s a photo of early Grand Symphonics on the cover of Mitchell Peters book Fundamental Method for Timpani.

    The Grand Symphonic’s suspension ring (the ring connected to the struts) was a different size to the Professional Series and was powder coated to match the base and struts.
    Just to confuse things, Ludwig changed the suspension ring on the Professional Series at this time to powder coated too. (Previously it had been chrome.)
    They also said in their brochure that the Grand Symphonic Series had an extended range, claiming each drum had a range of a major seventh to an octave. The Professional Series they claimed, had ranges of a 6th. (Although we both know that depends on what the top note the head is set to.) Furthermore they said the Grand Symphonic’s kettle had a new rolled lip.

    You can see there is a visible difference on the Professional Series (the ones you have for sale in your workshop currently) and Grand Symphonics. The kettle sits lower on the suspension ring on the Professional Series and there’s a white plastic strip visible, where the kettle hangs from. The ring on the Grand Symphonics is taller and doesn’t employ the use of a white strip of plastic.

    I’ve not seen a set of Grand Symphonics in this country [UK] but that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t any.

    So there you have it! I hope that helps Paul.
    John McCutcheon


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