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Ask the Drummer: What the hell is this snare?

Hello, Ask the Drummer-
I’m trying to clarify some information on a snare drum before I post it for sale. I’m hoping you’ll have some guidance here.

First, pictures:
It’s the one on the bottom:

1) There is a stamp inside the shell saying “399”, and I’ve read that this might be a date stamp. Would this mean it was made in March 1999? I seem to recall I would have purchased this snare around that time.

2) I have an image of some dings near (but not really on) the bearing edge. Are those anything to be concerned about?

3) I see similar drums online that appear to be from the same series that label them as “satinwood”, others as “maple satinwood”. I assume maple the is shell material and satinwood is the finish, but would it be real satinwood, or just a synthetic wrap with a satinwood appearance?

4) What’s a fair price for this? $250?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide. Be well.


Hello, Sam!
I have to admit I’m not super familiar with this drum. However, I think it is probably one of the limited edition 90th Anniversary African Satinwood drums. There were supposed to be 90 of these drums, but they sold so well that they continued them the next year and made another 1000 or so?

Here’s its twin but with tube lugs:

I think it’s entirely possible that ‘399’ is a date stamp but I cannot say for sure. Ludwig’s 90th Anniversary was in 1999, so it follows that this is from that era, since it’s one of the 90th Anniversary commemorative drums.

I think the thing to do with this drum if you’re selling it is to take really good photos and post a sound file on YouTube. I don’t think they have a tremendous collectible value and then someone will probably want to do something about that bearing edge, even though it’s probably not affecting the tone that much.

I think that Ludwig’s intention with this drum was to create a collectible drum. I don’t know how successful they were at that, but I’m sure there’s some demand out there for them. I’d decide what your bottom line on it is and make that the reserve on an eBay auction. Not enough time has passed for these to be considered seriously collectible, but there are undoubtedly fans of this drum out there looking for it. Let them determine what it will sell for.

Hope this helps!


One Response to Ask the Drummer: What the hell is this snare?

  1. John Reply

    February 10, 2015 at 12:25 pm


    My wife and I are worship leaders at Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship Church in South Lake Tahoe and I’m hoping you can tell me how you keep a consistent tempo during various songs. I play guitar and set my delays to the tempos of the recordings, but when we play together, the tempo is either too slow or too fast. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.


    John Thompson
    Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship

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