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

dirtysicks

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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.
This. Don’t let the pressure to have a Ludwig send you down a rabbit hole of trying to obtain the versatility of the Pearl kit. You may not get many Pearl votes on this forum but those two kits are on par with each other (actually the Pearl may be a touch higher in QC), Pearl has much better customer service, has a lifetime warranty on shells, and is much more versatile. I also wouldn’t worry about resale if you’re buying it to play for a long time in a studio.
 

wflkurt

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I have no real knowledge when it comes to Pearl but I have a classic maple set from 2012 I bought brand new in those exact sizes and I love it. It has been the best set I have ever owned and I get so many compliments on it from looks and sound ( I have champagne sparkle). Classic maple drums really do sound great and the have a pretty wide tuning range. Plus a Ludwig in the Ringo finish is so classy looking. That's my 2 cents.
 

CherryClassic

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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.
I like 10" toms but with that combination I would defiantly tune the 13" higher and you can probably lower the 14 slightly to help the separation, if needed. Get the 13 and 14 to a good combination first then it would be easy to blend the 16. If you get the 10 later you might be surprised how nice the 10 will fill that spot. The Classic Maples have a wide tuning range.

sherm
 
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mcirish

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I got a little more info on the Ludwig kit. It's a little different than I thought. One floor tom is 16x16. The other is 15x14. 15" is the diameter, not the depth. I asked about that as it is an odd size. He said he always hated the 14x14 floor tom sound so he had the 15x14 custom made. He said he gets plenty of separation between the 15 and 16 toms. The plot thickens. I think I will need to play them a bit to see if they fit me. I do like most of the Ludwig Classic Maple demo videos I've heard and I'm sure the tuning range on these can give me what I want, but nothing beats first hand experience, especially when a lot of money is involved.
 

ludwigmod72

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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.
Agreed 100%
 

johnlamond

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Go with the Ludwig Classic Maples. I bought a brand new Ludwig Classic Maple kit 2 years ago in green sparkle: 22 x 14, 13 x 9, 16 x 16. I also have the matching 14 x 6.5 snare with P86 throw off. I LOVE THIS DRUM KIT!!!!
 

Tornado

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I got a little more info on the Ludwig kit. It's a little different than I thought. One floor tom is 16x16. The other is 15x14. 15" is the diameter, not the depth. I asked about that as it is an odd size. He said he always hated the 14x14 floor tom sound so he had the 15x14 custom made. He said he gets plenty of separation between the 15 and 16 toms. The plot thickens. I think I will need to play them a bit to see if they fit me. I do like most of the Ludwig Classic Maple demo videos I've heard and I'm sure the tuning range on these can give me what I want, but nothing beats first hand experience, especially when a lot of money is involved.
Dude, walk away from those. I don't care if they have the Ludwig name, anything custom has instantly destroyed the resale value associated with the name. Get the Pearls and don't look back.
 

mcirish

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The custom sizes were made at the factory as a special order.
Thanks for all the input from everyone. I'm going to spend some time with the Ludwig's this week. If they sound anything close to the videos I've seen, I will be buying them. I know the sizes are not exactly what I wanted but I'm willing to try them out and see if I can make them work for me. I'm nor too concerned about resale. It was a tough call. I like the Pearls slot too. There was just something about the Ludwig's though that spoke to me. I will let you all know how the test drive goes.
Thanks again.
 

Elvis

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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!
JMHO....two sides of the same coin.
My suggestion.....try both and see what you think. Get the one you prefer.
Sorry if this seems like a non-answer, but really, can't go wrong either way.

Elvis
 

fun2drum

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JMHO....two sides of the same coin.
My suggestion.....try both and see what you think. Get the one you prefer.
Sorry if this seems like a non-answer, but really, can't go wrong either way.

Elvis
Agreed. There's a lot of brand loyalty with both brands, and they mix like oil and water with most. These responses are sincere, but in the end go with what you like. Their quality will be great, and I don't think you'd need to worry about making a warranty claim on either one. That said, go with the Ludwigs. :thumbright:
 

Redbeard77

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Ludwig CMs sound good and have "classic" in the name for a reason, but unless you're getting them for a ridiculously low price (though you're already considering add-on drums) it seems like you'd be settling for odd sizes just for the mojo of having Classic Maples. And if you really want CMs, there are deals out there for kits in the sizes you want.
I haven't played the new Pearl Masters Maple Complete, but I have owned/played many Pearl drums over the years and their build quality is 2nd to none. That Banded Redburst finish looks top-notch as well. (As an aside, check out the Gretsch Renowns in Cherry Burst; you can get the 10/12/16/22 shell pack you want plus a matching snare for the price of the Pearls)
If you're itching to buy now, get the Pearls. If you're leaning toward Classic Maples, I vote wait for the sizes you want.
 

mcirish

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Got the Ludwig kit. It's in mint condition. I also picked up a 10" tom so I have: 22x14 kick, 10, 13, 15 & 16 toms. I bought new heads for the toms: Ambassador clear on reso and Ambassador coated on batter. I'm going with an Evan EQ3 on kick reso and an EMAD2 on the batter. Even with the old heads (original reso and pinstrips on top) it sounds fantastic. Easy to tune and very clear sound.

Thanks for all the input!
 
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I’d take the Ludwig. I think Pearl makes great drums, but their hardware sucks. It’s bulky and ugly. Nothing like a high end set with glorified CB700 hardware. Plus it makes the drums really heavy. That being said, classic maples are very resonant. If that’s not your thing, then go Pearl. Though if the Ludwig isn’t your size preference, you’ll be unhappy settling in the long run.
 

Bri6366

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I'm currently a Pearl and Ludwig player, so I could flip a coin as far as brand loyalty goes. The Ludwig Classic Maples and Pearl Masters Maple Complete are both right up my alley if I were to get a 24 13/16/18. Even the Decade Maples would probably work for me.

The plus on the Ludwig's is you can always add on drums down the line. The hardware and finish options will always be there even if they change the ply layup from time to time. With the Pearl's at that level, it's a constant line revamp. They are in stiff competition with the Tama Starclassic Birch/Walnut, Gretsch Renown, etc. and they are always packing new features to give you more bang for your buck, but the finish or even the series won't be around in a couple years. But as a result of this competition, with those kits you're just getting killer drums for the money.

If I were a gigging drummer and I'm going to beat them up for a year or two of heavy playing and then move to another kit, I'd probably go with the Pearls. If I were getting a keepsake kit that I'm planning on keeping for years to come (and possibly adding drums to the kit in the future), then I'd go Ludwig CM.
 


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