My DW jazz series has Maple/Sugar Gum shells - very resonant - very Gretsch like in tone .They sound wonderful both tuned up or lower.
My Ludwig Element SE has Cherry/Sugar Gum shells and is a bit sharper in tone than the DW jazz which I attribute to the cherry. These are very full resonant drums and they can be really fat sounding as well.
My Ludwig Legacy Classics have three ply maple/poplar shells with maple reinforcing rings and these are definitely my favorite sounding kit. Very vintage sounding. Full, resonant and fat.Wide tuning range. Just the wonderful classic Ludwig sound.
Three of my kits have that combination---a six ply Classic kit, a three ply 70's kit, and a hybrid three ply and six ply kit. I like them all. I love the Classic Birch kit that I just sold, and a big factor in selling it was that I'm not in to huge kits anymore and half of it was normally cased up when I was playing it, but the biggest factor was that I really like the sound of my vintage kits. The six ply's are thunderous, and the three ply's have that warmth and punch that makes me smile when I play them.
I love my classic maples - which are 7 ply maple. It has a quick punchy sound yet still full of great tone. Exactly what i wanted.....I have yet to hear the legacy series though - maple polar maple- but maybe thats a good thing since im happy with what i got and dont want to be tempted to make another switch! Lol. I would only switch if the legacy had those characteristics with more of it.
Well....all Ludwig drums made before the late 1990s were either Maple/poplar or mahogany/poplar or Mahogany/poplar/maple, with about half to 2/3rds of the shell being poplar. The post 1977 6 ply Ludwigs were all maple/poplar. Slingerland also used these combinations involving significant poplar content all through their history of the original company. Gretsch 3 plies (and the current Brooklyn and Broadkaster lines) were maple/poplar. Ludwig's top of the line Legacy drums are a throwback to the companies 3 ply era with that same fat poplar core.
Pretty much any vintage wood drum (other than Gretsch 6 ply shells and I'm unsure on Rogers) is likely to have poplar in it, usually the poplar content is higher than, or at least equal to, the maple content.
Poplar was (and remains) popular in wooden drum shells.
I love my 3-ply late 60’s Ludwigs. Had some 80’s Ludwig rockers that sounded great too. There’s a good chance my five ply Rogers snare is a maple poplar combination and its great. I don’t particularly love the 70’s wood Slingerland sets I’ve played though so I’m in the bearing edges and hardware make the biggest difference camp