The hammered bronze shells are awesome sounding drums though.
I must have spilled beer on mine at one time and it now has a speckling of stain.
In the 60's Insurance companies made it mandatory that serial numbers be put on items so they can be documented.
Unfortunately drum companies never really prescribed to any code of documenting a drum based on that serial number.
I get emails all of the time with a basic drum description and a serial number from visitors in hopes I can unlock the history of their drum.
I think in general serial numbers do play an important role in the commercial market especially electronics and other high end items.
So a 6.5" deep drum is often confused for being 7" or 5" confused for 5.5" etc. I've never had any issues with the P-85 throw-off.......aside for wishing they'd use drum key screws that is......apart from that, I own 3 snares with P-85's and one with the older P-83 and none of them have ever given me any grief as far as functionality is concerned.
It's unfortunate that Ludwig didn't continue with their serial number records as it would solve many a query I've seen posted up.
It is heavily concentrated on factors that were included on all cataloged trap kits, and wood drums of this era.In fact I once heard that they started using serial numbers not for their own use per say but so schools and institutions could keep track of instruments in inventory.I also get people asking what factory a drum might have shipped from or the exact month a drum was made or even the production numbers etc.There are several ways to date Ludwig drums from all production periods.The most accurate way to dating a drum is to see it as a whole, and assess every aspect of the drum.