There may be a number of options on the market these days, but to most drummers the Ludwig Vistalite is the benchmark for acrylic drum shells. Now, as Bonham’s favourite plexiglass drums reach their half-century, Ludwig has brought back two standard colours, unveiled five Limited Edition colour options, and added two snare drums to mark the occasion.
Originally launched in 1972, the Vistalite was first offered in clear, blue, green, red, amber and yellow finishes - at the time and attempt to offer a drum design that would keep up with the ever-more visual side of music and performance, while offering a tone that could still cut it on stage.
In 1975, Ludwig became the first brand to offer acrylic shells in multi-pattern finishes via a collaboration with Elvis’ drummer, Ronnie Tutt. The finishes were referred to by their pattern letter, giving us Patterns A and B (three and five-band ‘Rainbow’), Pattern C (Spiral), Patterns D and E (three and two-band swirls) and Pattern F (Vertical Bar).
2022 production colours
For 2022, Ludwig is reintroducing two ‘collector favourites’ with Red and the more-rare Green finish (which is more scarcely available on the used market due to its comparative lack of original popularity in the ’70s).
These are still technically 'limited' but only by time. They will both return for the duration of 2022 production and are available in standard configurations.
Vistalite Limited Edition Anniversary kits
As well as the single-colours, Ludwig has created five Limited Edition colour combos. These are available in its Fab (22x14”/13”x9”/16x16”) and Pro Beat (24”x14”/13”x9”/16x16”) configurations, with matching 14”x6.5” snares available separately. The kits will be limited to 25 units each worldwide.
Ludwig Vistalite Pattern A: Triple stripes
The new finishes use three of Ludwig’s vintage patterns with Pattern A available as a tri-band combo of Black Sparkle/Smoke/Black Sparkle, Blue/Green/Clear or Red/White/Blue.
Ludwig Vistalite Pattern C and E: Spiral and Swirl
Pattern C has been revived to give us the ‘Candy Cane’-style Spiral in Red and Yellow stripes, while Pattern E is once again offered in a combination of Clear/Smoke.
Ludwig 2022 Limited Edition Vistalite Snares
As well as kits and matching snare drums, Ludwig has also released two Limited Edition snares as products in their own right. Both drums are 14”x6.5, with the multi-coloured Salesman Sparkle - originally developed as a swatch for Ludwig sales reps to show the range of finishes to its dealers.
The 2022 Salesman snare is offered in a combination of five sparkle-finished bands comprising Silver/Gold/Green/Red/Blue. Meanwhile, the second Limited Edition snare drum offers the Pattern E diagonal swirl in red and white acrylic.
Ludwig's 2022 limited Edition Vistalite kits and snares are available to order now. To find your nearest Ludwig dealer, check out the Ludwig website.