Help me decide - Pearl Masters Maple Complete vs Ludwig Classic Maple Fab 22

mcirish

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I was all set to buy a new Pearl Masters Maple Complete (22, 10, 12, 16) in Redburst. Then a friend offered me his Ludwig Classic Maple Fab 22 kit with an extra floor tom for about the same price (22, 13, 14, 16). I have a studio in my house so I'm looking at versatility and tone. The Ludwig is the "Ringo" black oyster look. Not my favorite as I didn't want a wrap, but tone is more important. I've heard You Tube videos of both kits and am undecided. I currently have a Pearl Export that I've been able to get some good sounds from. But, it's time for an upgrade. Since I'm not much of a drummer, brand loyalty means nothing. It all comes down to tone.

Has anyone played both kits and have an opinion not based on brand loyalty? This will be about the last kit I'm going to be able to afford for a long time so I don't want to make a mistake. The drums are not really for me to play, but for clients. Some of my fears about the Ludwig: It's a lot of bigger toms but a shallow kick. Does that 22x14 sound good to your ears? Maybe I need to get a 10 or 12" tom to give the kit some more bite? Is the clarity of the Pearl better or is it just the tom sizes that give me that impression?

I could go with either kit but want to get a little more input. I've heard as many demos as I can find but still undecided.

Thanks for your opinions!
 

mcirish

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That's a good point that I didn't think of at all. Since I'm not much of a drummer and more of an engineer, you really think the Ludwig will hold it's value more? Just curious. I honestly don't know.
 

mcirish

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That video is selling me on the Ludwigs. Wow. That is such a great sound. You think the toms have coated Ambassadors on them? Hard to see. I also saw a video of the Pearls that was impressive, but not on this level.
 

Matched Gripper

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Shane doesn't give the Pearl's as much of a demo or mic variations as he does the Ludwigs. But, you can get an idea about the Pearls from this vid.

 
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mcirish

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That's the other video that made me very interested in the Pearl as well. Decisions....
They both sound great in their own way.
 
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Drummer1990

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That's the other video that made me very interested in the Pearl as well. Decisions....
They both sound great in their own way.
Go with what your heart tells you. I honestly think as any other drummer would say choose what appeals to you. I've been a Pearl guy for 21 years and they just make great all round drums.. Either way you cant go wrong with either one.

New pearl set - Lifetime warranty for the life of ownership
Vs
A friends ludwig that might be a lil beat up no warranty an might be over pricing used value.

Best of luck cant wait to see which you go with.. in August I'm pulling trigger on a set of Reference series drums
 
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Drummer1990

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Shane doesn't give the Pearl's as much of a demo or mic variations as he does the Ludwigs. But, you can get an idea about the Pearls from this vid.

Shane can't tune a drum set to save his A$$ god they sound like plastic trash cans being beat on..
 

Matched Gripper

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Shane can't tune a drum set to save his A$$ god they sound like plastic trash cans being beat on..
I think that plastic sound has more to do with the way the drums are mic'd, the room and perhaps the drums have factory heads on them. He usually gives sound demos much better treatment.
 

mcirish

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I believe they are the stock pinstripe heads. I still thought they sounded very good. You guys are much more in tune with drum tones than me I think. I thought both demos were very good and that's why I was interested in both. Shane does seem to have a preference for Ludwig. I heard it in other videos too.
 
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dirtysicks

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If they are for clients you may experience more drummers who want to play 10, 12, 16 than 13, 14, 16. I for one would be in the first category because I like having the wider range of tones from the 10 (which can be tuned lower than just high) to the fatness of a 12 and the 16. Many drummers play a standard setup of 12, 16, and 22. I would rather my rack tom be a 10 or a 12 than a 13.

Plus I would rather have a new Pearl with a lifetime warranty on shells, especially if if is for fluctuating clients than a used kit without a warranty. Sound wise, I also prefer the Pearl Masters Complete. I have heard them sound much better than in that video ( both in person and recorded).
 

DrumSmith

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What drives this decision for me are the sizes and configuration. That 13” rack tom can end up being a love-hate thing, whereas most drummers will easily cope with a 10 and 12 in the standard 2-up one-down configuration. Quality-wise it’s apples and apples.
 

mcirish

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My thought was that if I went with the Ludwig kit, I might get a 10" tom and tune the 13" a little high so it was more in the 12" range. That might sound good. I wasn't crazy about having 13, 14 and 16 toms. But I think it can be tuned in a way to make it work.
 

drummer5359

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The Pearls are fine drums, but I would lean toward the Ludwig kit. Most studios that I'm familiar with today have Ludwig, Gretsch, Yamaha , or DW.

And I agree with mfryed2112 that the Ludwigs do hold their value better.
 

McCracken

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Stick with your original decision and go with the Pearl. You stated versatility was what was important to you, along with tone. The 10-12-16 setup will be more versatile than the 13-14-16.

As far as buying new toms for the Ludwig, that will be hundreds more dollars. Didn't you say the price for the 4 piece was all you could afford?

Pearl has a good warranty and if you call their American office in Nashville, a real human actually answers the phone.

If you have issues with the Ludwig you will be SOL, unless your friend takes them back, which is unlikely I would wager. If that were to happen, or you later wish you had gotten the Pearl(for any reason at all), your friendship could suffer.

You said this will be your drumkit for a long time and didn't want to 'make a mistake.' A used kit, which doesn't even consist of the sizes you want, is more likely to turn into that 'mistake' than a brand new one which does.

Get the Pearl.
 

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