Advice on buying a NEW Ludwig Classic Maple Kit - Downbeat or Fab 22?

Peterk256

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I decided on getting the Fab 22 in SBP. Why? Because I would rather have drums tuned medium-to-low rather than high-to-medium, because I have a 20" SPB bass drum that I could always use if needed, and because I already have great 13, 16, 22 cases. Woodwind & Brasswind applied their 18% Memorial Day Discount off MAP via online chat so $1,639.18 out the door! Backordered until 7/11/2019 (fingers crossed) but I'm not in a hurry. Will post a review after I get it. Thanks for everyone's input.
 

RyanR

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Sounds good. Do be sure that you ordered the kit the way you want it. They are quite customizable.

-Ryan
 

Peterk256

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Sounds good. Do be sure that you ordered the kit the way you want it. They are quite customizable.

-Ryan
I just ordered a "stock" pre-configured Fab 22 which is virgin 14x22, 9x13, 16x16. That's all I would have wanted anyway. Not looking for vintage build-out, don't like curved spurs. I got the whole vintage thing out of my system. I have played 1 up/down configuration 95% of the time for the past 10 years. Maybe the only custom thing I would have added is a center tom mount on the bass drum but that's about it.
 

RyanR

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I just ordered a "stock" pre-configured Fab 22 which is virgin 14x22, 9x13, 16x16. That's all I would have wanted anyway. Not looking for vintage build-out, don't like curved spurs. I got the whole vintage thing out of my system. I have played 1 up/down configuration 95% of the time for the past 10 years. Maybe the only custom thing I would have added is a center tom mount on the bass drum but that's about it.
Rather than "customized (which sounds decadent)", I should have said "configured".

The "standard" build-out will have small lugs, no T-rods, and possibly the need for Atlas mounts. If I were buying a new Ludwig kit, I'd be sure it was set up to my expectations.... if only to not have a non-returnable-surprise when you open it up.

-Ryan
 

kallen49

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All good ideas but If I had the $ it would be Inde for me, in (Josh’s apparently favourite) sizes; 12” Tom, 15” floor and 20x14 bass and I would add a 10” because I love 10” toms. I would order with my favourite Tom hardware (Yamaha). Easy to transport, sounding lots larger than they look.
Everything he has come out with makes perfect sense to me; appealing designs combined with as little weight and as much resonance as possible. And I admire him for being independent, a true American entrepreneur. Also when I made an enquiry he replied the next day.
 

Peterk256

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Rather than "customized (which sounds decadent)", I should have said "configured".

The "standard" build-out will have small lugs, no T-rods, and possibly the need for Atlas mounts. If I were buying a new Ludwig kit, I'd be sure it was set up to my expectations.... if only to not have a non-returnable-surprise when you open it up.

-Ryan
I went into this with all eyes open. T-rods look cool and I have them on my vintage kit which I'm selling. I found that optimum tuning is often with varying angles of the T (meaning less than half turn increments) , making it difficult to maintain as the rods move when transporting in a soft case. That's why the wisdom of product improvement over time was to ditch them. I found this out the hard way. I've played my vintage Ludwig rig since 2003, time to move on. Small lugs, large lugs, whatever. As long as they are not DW lugs, LOL. I won't need any mounts, will more than likely use a snare stand for the rack tom, I have plenty of stands in my "inventory". And the stock spurs are fine. I never cared for the way curved spurs looked. I've lived with gull wing spurs for the last dozen years or so, they work ok but not as functional as modern spurs. So I don't think I would have cared to do much configuration beyond the stock Fab 22. Different strokes but I appreciate your perspective.
 
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Peterk256

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All good ideas but If I had the $ it would be Inde for me, in (Josh’s apparently favourite) sizes; 12” Tom, 15” floor and 20x14 bass and I would add a 10” because I love 10” toms. I would order with my favourite Tom hardware (Yamaha). Easy to transport, sounding lots larger than they look.
Everything he has come out with makes perfect sense to me; appealing designs combined with as little weight and as much resonance as possible. And I admire him for being independent, a true American entrepreneur. Also when I made an enquiry he replied the next day.
I hear you about INDe, I commented why I chose Ludwig instead in an earlier post. My kit cost about the same as an INDe with 18% off MAP.
 

Fullerton 9/72

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I wonder if the previous owner, having had painted the tom interiors white, according to your CL listing, hadn't messed things up. Possible?
 

Peterk256

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I wonder if the previous owner, having had painted the tom interiors white, according to your CL listing, hadn't messed things up. Possible?
I wondered that too. But it's not likely that different an effect compared to the factory paint that Ludwig used in the mid-late 60s. My theory of what's wrong with the drums is that the glue in the ply layup may have voids. I can't proove it. I just know the floor tom sounds dead no matter what I've tried, all the toms have a very small sweet spot that's very hard to find, even after new edges, countless head combos and tuning machinations. I finally reached a point of frustration after living with it for 16 years when I said "I'm done, this is not a musical instrument". That's why I haven't offered it for sale on DFO.
 
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RogersLudwig

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Make sure you specify where to put the tom mount! I ordered a 22” bass drum and didn’t specify and the factory installation was near the resolution head between two lugs. I later ordered one with the Tom mount placed exactly in the middle of the shell. It is much better for a “one up” setup.
 

Peterk256

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Make sure you specify where to put the tom mount! I ordered a 22” bass drum and didn’t specify and the factory installation was near the resolution head between two lugs. I later ordered one with the Tom mount placed exactly in the middle of the shell. It is much better for a “one up” setup.
I simply ordered a "stock" Fab 22 setup which has no mount. Yeah I know, I could have ordered everything custom with the Classic Maple Series but I did not want to. I like is just the way it is and the price was right.

After I was able to get the 18% discount off MAP via online chat, they put it on hold for me a few hours before I pulled the trigger. It appeared to be in stock just before that. When I gave them my credit card info it looked like it was not in stock and delivery would be 7/11 but the one in stock was actually committed to my "pre-order". It shipped yesterday, I will get it on Tuesday 7/4! So I'll be able to take it to my next gig which is the next day, Wednesday 7/5. Stoked!
 

wflkurt

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I think you will love them. Are you getting keystone badges? I know there are a lot of great companies making great drums but I am a Ludwig guy through and through and nothing beats the look of the classic lugs, T rods and inlaid hoops. I love both logos and both keystone and B/O badges. I think it's cool that you went with a SPB color again and I think you will love the sound of them. I'm a sucker for rail mounts so I would probably add one of those but leaving it virgin is also a good idea IMO. The Atlas arch might be a good option as no drilling has to be done. Congratulations.
 

Peterk256

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I think you will love them. Are you getting keystone badges? I know there are a lot of great companies making great drums but I am a Ludwig guy through and through and nothing beats the look of the classic lugs, T rods and inlaid hoops. I love both logos and both keystone and B/O badges. I think it's cool that you went with a SPB color again and I think you will love the sound of them. I'm a sucker for rail mounts so I would probably add one of those but leaving it virgin is also a good idea IMO. The Atlas arch might be a good option as no drilling has to be done. Congratulations.
The standard Fab 22 setup is Keystone badges (I think they only make the CM that), no T-rods, large classic lugs. I wouldn't want T rods, love the look but they move too easily during transportation. I looked into the Atlas arch, adds 10 lbs, ouch. Will post pics and a review when I get them.
 
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charlesm

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I think you will love them. The tunability will be on a different level.

I had a '70s Lud 3-ply Big Beat kit for a few years and I, too, struggled with the tuning of the 16" floor tom. Similar journey...different heads, had edges checked (they were fine), floating feet, etc. It never felt open and optimum...it was as if something was always muffling it slightly.

The toms and kick sounded great. The ft was dud-ish.

With the Classic Maples, the shells are noticeably more undersized and heads float/seat on the edge more freely. Any 16" CM floor tom I've ever hit has sounded HUGE and very open, but still warm. Same with the toms and kick.

No, it's not the 3-ply tone exactly, but it is still a warm, round, very Ludwig tone that should be much easier to dial in.

I think you will be all smiles from here.
 

Peterk256

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I think you will love them. The tunability will be on a different level.

I had a '70s Lud 3-ply Big Beat kit for a few years and I, too, struggled with the tuning of the 16" floor tom. Similar journey...different heads, had edges checked (they were fine), floating feet, etc. It never felt open and optimum...it was as if something was always muffling it slightly.

The toms and kick sounded great. The ft was dud-ish.

With the Classic Maples, the shells are noticeably more undersized and heads float/seat on the edge more freely. Any 16" CM floor tom I've ever hit has sounded HUGE and very open, but still warm. Same with the toms and kick.

No, it's not the 3-ply tone exactly, but it is still a warm, round, very Ludwig tone that should be much easier to dial in.

I think you will be all smiles from here.
Your experience is exactly what I'm hoping for! Thanks for sharing.

tracking.jpg
 

RyanR

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No, it's not the 3-ply tone exactly, but it is still a warm, round, very Ludwig tone that should be much easier to dial in.
The CM's are wonderful gigging drums. Way different than the 3-ply vibe. Drum Center NH did a shoot out of all the USA Ludwig lines, and the CM's have a much better "room sound" than anything else that Ludwig is selling. Arguably a better room sound than a lot of other company's drums.

-Ryan
 

Peterk256

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The CM's are wonderful gigging drums. Way different than the 3-ply vibe. Drum Center NH did a shoot out of all the USA Ludwig lines, and the CM's have a much better "room sound" than anything else that Ludwig is selling. Arguably a better room sound than a lot of other company's drums.

-Ryan
That's one of the reasons why I chose Ludwig over a boutique brand. Ludwig CMs are a "standard" with a big consensus of proponents = potential resale value down the road.
 

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