Ludwig Classic Maple, Best Drums Ever Made?

hefty

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I had a set of Ludwig CMs and the 14x24" bass drum was insane. I haven't had anything like that one. Which doesn't explain why i sold them!
 

esooy

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Yep I want one in Salesman Wrap. Is anyone making the wrap or a close copy these days?
Don't quote me on this, but I thought you could provide Ludwig with custom Delmar wrap for them to wrap your drums. Probably would need to order the wrap through Precision Drum. I thought I've seen people do that before.
 

lossforgain

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Don't quote me on this, but I thought you could provide Ludwig with custom Delmar wrap for them to wrap your drums. Probably would need to order the wrap through Precision Drum. I thought I've seen people do that before.
They were doing that, not sure if they still are -- but last time I saw someone reference it, they mentioned there was an upcharge. Sounds ridiculous to me to charge more for a drum when they aren't paying for the wrap.
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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There are no 'best drums ever made', but I would vote for Noble & Cooley, Craviotto and Camco. Given those brands I think the thing that links them is - small company making drums by hand with passion.
Noble and Cooley SS (sigh)...someday. When you say Camco, are we including Tamco? (love my LA's).
 

Trilock_Gurtu

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I picked these Camco Oaklawns up a few years back and I must say, the build quality is in a league of its own for vintage drums. And the sound is equally as impressive.
I bought a Ludwig Classic Maple kit years ago and they’re pretty nice drums. I gave them to my son who really likes them but plays his vintage Ludwigs more often.
View attachment 479863
I'm pretty sure I'd marry those...
 

LRod1707

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I don't know if they are the best but they are my best! Classic Maples sound incredible, tune easy, look amazing and are reasonably priced for professional USA made drums. Plus they've got the Ludwig mojo! I always wanted a big Classic Maples kit and last year I was able to buy them new. I started with cheaper Ludwig's and when ready to upgrade I considered other kits. In the end I bit the bullet and bought what I really wanted. "Buy once, cry once"!
Mine are 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 & 22 in Vintage Black Oyster:

IMG_20210114_200222.jpg
IMG_20210114_200129.jpg
 
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5 Style

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I'm not expert as I haven't played lots and lots of kits... and I may never buy another drumkit, but if I were to buy a newer kit to add to my collection of a couple of 60s era Slingerlands (and one stencil beater rehearsal kit), it may well be a Classic Maple kit. I like the way these things sound and it seems that they can be had for reasonable prices. I don't really see any reason for anything any fancier...
 

drummer5359

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Sometimes an answer is not simple, it is long and complicated. Here comes another of my ridiculously long posts. My apologies in advance.

Ludwig Classic Maple are great drums, no question.

Best?

I'm never a fan of the word "best", particularly in regards to something as subjective as drums. I prefer the word "Favorite", and even then, I have a lot of favorites. My favorites may not align with anyone else's choices.

In 2019 I decided to order a new set of brand new drums, what could be my last new drum set. (Although that is doubtful.) I looked at all of the usual suspects.

Ludwig Legacy Mahogany and Classic Maple.

Gretsch USA Custom and Broadcaster.

DW Collector's Series, or DW Classics. (I already have a Collector's Series kit that I bought new in 2008.)

Noble & Cooley Horizon series.

INDe, a fresh choice among the established players.

And lastly, Craviotto. In 2010 I played a set of walnut Craviotto drums at Steve Maxwell's NYC store that were just amazing. They have been a benchmark for me ever since.

In order to afford the Craviotto kit I thought that I would probably have to sell the DWs, something that I really didn't want to do.

I found that I preferred the sound of the Ludwig Legacy Mahogany over the Classic Maples.

I also decided that I preferred the Gretsch USA Customs over the Broadcasters.

The Legacy Mahogany and USA Custom kits were the finalists, in the end I went with the Gretsch USA Customs. I had a couple of sets of vintage Gretsch, and I decided that I wanted to continue in that direction.

Does that mean that they are the best, or even my "best"? Well, no, not really. But they were a really good choice. If money was no object and I was not worried about taking a natural finished solid shell walnut kit to every gig, I'd have bought a walnut Craviotto set. In the end I liked the Gretsch USA Custom kit so much that I expanded it into a shell bank last year. I was able to afford the whole shell bank because I spread out the purchase over two years. The ironic part is that for what I ended up spending on a Gretsch USA Custom shell bank, I could have bought the Craviotto Walnut kit. And I would have still had the DW Collector's Series kit to use when I didn't use the Craviottos.

Even more ironic, my band situation changed shortly after I got the Gretsch shell bank. the Gretsch USA Custom kit was really perfect for the two bands that I was in when I ordered them. One was a classic rock and soul cover band, the other was a band that covered pop hits from 1955 until today. The Gretsch kit was perfect for both.

Currently I'm playing in a band that mostly covers 1980s stadium rock. To me my DWs are likely a better fit for my current musical situation. No worries, the Gretsch shell pack isn't going anywhere. Due to the pandemic, this band has yet to play out. So, I could be totally wrong. And who knows what is around the corner?

If I'm able to return to work in 2021 maybe I'll finally start putting away money for a walnut Craviotto kit. Or DW will release the new Slingerland line and totally blow me away. I'm also interested in playing a Craviotto Diamond Series kit. I love the idea of wrapped, ply kit with Craviotto build quality, for a price comparable to Gretsch USA Custom, Ludwig Legacy Mahogany, and Noble & Cooley Horizon series drums.

In other words... I'm fickle.

Best?

I'm not capable of picking a "best".
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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The best drums for me may not be the best for you and vice versa . The two Legacy lines have usurped the Classic Maples as the flagship models from Ludwig .
I had not owned a 100% maple ply kit in a long time until I purchased a N&C CD Maple kit . I was surprised how much I missed a 100% maple kit . It is a really well known sound and easy to dial in .

The Classic Maples are fine drums , best ? Nope at least for me they are not .
 

unicorncop

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Part of the reason I say they are the "best" is simply how shocked I was when I sat down and played them. I have some of the boutique kits mentioned here as well and yeah they sound great too but for the price I paid for them, I guess I just expected them to sound great. CM on the other hand, I was just totally surprised by how good they are and ultimately that may come down to the value per dollar spent and secretly expecting them to be average based on how common they are. And I consider myself a value-based buyer as well and have all of the good value kits on the market today (yamaha stage custom, sonor aq2, gretsch catalina) <---- all of which require some work to sound good BTW. But these CMs just sound fantastic right out of the box.
Loving my Ludwigs!
 
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Matched Gripper

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I picked these Camco Oaklawns up a few years back and I must say, the build quality is in a league of its own for vintage drums. And the sound is equally as impressive.
I bought a Ludwig Classic Maple kit years ago and they’re pretty nice drums. I gave them to my son who really likes them but plays his vintage Ludwigs more often.
View attachment 479863
Looks like a Roger's tom mount. Did Camco not make their own?
 

Matched Gripper

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I don't know if they are the best but they are my best! Classic Maples sound incredible, tune easy, look amazing and are reasonably priced for professional USA made drums. Plus they've got the Ludwig mojo! I always wanted a big Classic Maples kit and last year I was able to buy them new. I started with cheaper Ludwig's and when ready to upgrade I considered other kits. In the end I bit the bullet and bought what I really wanted. "Buy once, cry once"!
Mine are 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 & 22 in Vintage Black Oyster:

View attachment 479950 View attachment 479951
Aquarian makes the prettiest drumheads. You should check out the clear Studio X's.
 

shuffle

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If you love your drums that's all that matters...and If the club supplies the drums all you have to bring are cymbals and sticks... you love those drums too....
Thats a pearl of wisdom,right there!
 
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2000dan2000

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They were doing that, not sure if they still are -- but last time I saw someone reference it, they mentioned there was an upcharge. Sounds ridiculous to me to charge more for a drum when they aren't paying for the wrap.
They are still doing it, the shop I recently ordered mine through had also placed an order with Ludwig on behalf of another client for the ‘customer supplied wrap’ option. From what I heard they did not necessarily charge more but they don’t discount them any. You pay the same full price PLUS the cost of the wrap you purchase elsewhere... and shipping it to them, etc. Not the cheapest I’m sure but, I guess if you truly want a one-of-a-kind build that’s what you do.
 

Elvis

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I recently purchased a ludwig 13/14/16/24 kit and I am totally blown away. So much so that I purchased a second set in 12/14/20. Unbelievably versatile and super easy to get a great sound.
...and people thought I was a FOOL in 1999...HA! vindication is MINE! :naka:

...ok, seriously....congrats on your latest grab Unicorncorp. :headbang:


Elvis
 


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