90's Ludwig Classic vs Today's Classic Maple

dustjacket

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One is 6ply maple/poplar, the other is 7ply maple. Are they noticeably different?
 

blueshadow

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Sound difference, the Classic Maple is a thinner shell (thinner plies and all maple) they play well together though. I have a thrown together kit that the bass drum is 6 ply, Rack is 4 ply and floor tom is 7 ply. The 7 ply is the thinnest shell and has a little bit lower fundamental tone. Depends I suppose on tuning and head selection. I think the 6 ply being such a thick shell are a little louder.
 

dustjacket

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Sound difference, the Classic Maple is a thinner shell (thinner plies and all maple) they play well together though. I have a thrown together kit that the bass drum is 6 ply, Rack is 4 ply and floor tom is 7 ply. The 7 ply is the thinnest shell and has a little bit lower fundamental tone. Depends I suppose on tuning and head selection. I think the 6 ply being such a thick shell are a little louder.
Do you think the 6ply could be tuned high for jazz? I keep reading how loud, heavy and powerful the 6ply kits are and not sure if that fits bop the best (happy to be wrong).
 

lossforgain

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I’ve owned many Ludwig sets and the 6 ply mixed shell is my least favorite. It has a kind of complexity of tone that I don’t like. Not sure how to describe it, but by contrast the newest spec CM drums are clear toned and bright with more attack.
 

dustjacket

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I came across a 12/14/20 set that doesn't scream mega power tom mania like so many of the 90's kits I see (cool, if your thing ;)).
 

charlesm

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6-ply drums have noticeably thicker shells. Higher fundamentals, louder. Not quite as open and warm in low-mids, but by no means a "cold" tone.

Yes, they do tune up high for jazz easily and sound good.
 

blueshadow

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Do you think the 6ply could be tuned high for jazz? I keep reading how loud, heavy and powerful the 6ply kits are and not sure if that fits bop the best (happy to be wrong).
I'm probably the wrong one to ask, I hate jazz tunings ;) One of the reasons I have never enjoyed Buddy Rich is because of the tuning of his drums and my least favorite were his last drums which I suppose were the 6 ply Ludwigs
 

Elvis

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One is 6ply maple/poplar, the other is 7ply maple. Are they noticeably different?
Yes.
The CM has a crisper, harder sound. Can be darker, too.
Resonance is a bit more apparent.
I find the overall sound of the drum a bit more colourful, too.
CM's don't weigh as much, either.
Classic has a rounder, fatter sound.
The 6 ply shell may also project a little better, as it is a thicker shell.
When I first got my Classic Maple kit, I did notice how "cold" the overall sound was, but since then the sound has warmed up slightly.
Not 100% sure if the Classic shell would be any "warmer", but it stands to reason that it would be. Definitely fatter, which may fool the ear into hearing more warmth than is actually present.

Elvis
 

dustjacket

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Does anybody know of any videos that showcase the 90's 6ply sets? I'm finding it difficult.
Might pull the trigger on a set.
 

Treviso1

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While I must say that Ludwig in the 80s with the modular hardware and the 6 ply thick shells didn't appeal to me for some reason...probbaly because all of my favorite drummers were playing Yamaha Recording Custom drums and their fit and finish looked like perfection compared to the Ludwig stuff. The Ludwig 6 ply shell came in around 75/76 from what I remember and lasted through the mid 90s-ish. The sound of Yamaha drums was softer and seemed to be more in favor during this era. However, I always look back and think about an album that was recorded by a mostly unknown at that time Detroit born drummer named Greg Bissonette that had a huge influence on me....David Lee Roth's "Eat Em and Smile." Bissonette was a Yamaha endorser, but the famed producer, Ted Templeman, hated the sound of Yamaha Drums and thought that they weren't cutting it. The sound wasn't "hard" enough and those thick 6 ply shells delivered a strong, throaty tone that could cut through a stack of Marshall amps. Bissonette borrowed a Ludwig 6 ply kit from Myron Grombacher (one of the Camouflage kits and he actually owns it now) 14x24, 10x10,12x12,13x13,14x14,16x16, & 16x18 that Bill Detamore has said more than once, sound just killer, and that was the sound on that album. Here's a track hear these tubs:
 

Elvis

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Yes.
The CM has a crisper, harder sound. Can be darker, too.
Resonance is a bit more apparent.
I find the overall sound of the drum a bit more colourful, too.
CM's don't weigh as much, either.
Classic has a rounder, fatter sound.
The 6 ply shell may also project a little better, as it is a thicker shell.
When I first got my Classic Maple kit, I did notice how "cold" the overall sound was, but since then the sound has warmed up slightly.
Not 100% sure if the Classic shell would be any "warmer", but it stands to reason that it would be. Definitely fatter, which may fool the ear into hearing more warmth than is actually present.

Elvis
...just noticed I never mentioned the physical differences.

6 ply "Classic" is 3/8" (9.5mm) thick and uses a combination of Poplar plies surrounded by Maple Plies.
7 (and 9) ply "Classic Maple" is 6mm thick (approx. .236") and is made completely from Maple.
The difference between the 7 and 9 ply versions of the "Classic Maple" are that the old 9 ply shell was comprised of 3 layers of 3 ply veneers, while the current 7 ply version uses a 3 ply core veneer surrounded by two 2 ply veneers.
I've played both and cannot discern any difference in the sound of the two "Classic Maple" layups.
The edges are also slightly different.
Where the "Classic" uses a large 45 inner cut with a rounded peak and a smaller 45 outer cut, the "Classic Maple" uses a smaller 45 inner cut with a flat peak featuring rounded edges and a very slight chamfer for an outer edge.

Elvis
 

Elvis

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Does anybody know of any videos that showcase the 90's 6ply sets? I'm finding it difficult.
Might pull the trigger on a set.
It should be noted that "Classic Maple" came about in early 1998, so they existed in "The 90's" as well.
In the spring of that year, Ludwig announced that they were ending composite shell production for kits and the remaining inventory of shells was depleted in a few months.

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Treviso1 said:
The Ludwig 6 ply shell came in around 75/76 from what I remember and lasted through the mid 90s-ish.
The 6 ply Classic shell was originally offered as a "special item" in 75 and 76, then went away and didn't return until about 1978, when it became a regular production item.
It continued, uninterrupted, until the spring of 1998 when composite shell production for kits ceased.
It should be noted that the early "special item" shells used a slightly different layup than the regular production shells.
Originally, the 6 ply was laid up as two 3-ply shells, one inside the other.
When the shell returned, the middle maple plies were replaced with more Poplar.
If there is a difference in sound, apparently no one minded it, because the shell sold very well for the next 20 years.

Elvis
 

felis

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Are there any visual clues to tell the difference between Classic and Classic Maple other than counting the plies?


While I must say that Ludwig in the 80s with the modular hardware and the 6 ply thick shells didn't appeal to me for some reason...
Were the ones with the modular hardware Classics?
 

Elvis

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Not really.
Riveted on wrap finish and modular hardware would be the only two that I can think of, off-hand.
Those would both denote a 6 ply (aka "Classic") shell.

Elvis
 

CherryClassic

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My late 80's are called Classic (maple/poplar/maple) and came with Modular hardware which I removed not too long after purchasing them in '94, I still own them to this day. That change made a big difference in the tone and allowed then to have longer sustain. December 2018 I purchased a new CM kit. It's hard to explain the difference but when I played my first gig I had a big smile on my face.

The CM kit seems to be easier to tune and I feel has a warmer tone that lingers on when tuning both heads the same. It's all about tuning on both sets. I still love my Classics and really happy with my new Classic Maples.

I feel you can use either one for any type music you want to play. The Classics were used for 25 + years playing Big Band music, I play mostly Country now days.

sherm

BTW: Elvis, corrected me on that term and explained the difference, years past when I joined the forum. LOL
 
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