Need advice on buying new Ludwig drums

Eddie

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I've been out of the drum arena for awhile, and now I've got some nickles together for a new set. Requirements:

1. Ludwig Ludwig Ludwig! This is an emotional attachment, and that trumps other considerations.
2. I need something like a FAB 22 shell pack. I have a snare (6.5x14 super sensitive), and hi-hat. Just need a bass, mounted tom, and a floor tom. I'm not a big fan of a landscape of toms.
3. Need to understand the high-end of Ludwig's current product line.
4. New only. I have some vintage, and I want to start fresh.
5. Silver sparkle is my only preference.
6. Leaning toward Atlas mounts. Don't want to drill stuff.
7. Will probably purchase Zildjian A-Custom cymbal set. Atlas mounts for those too.
8. Simplicity rules. I don't want to spend a lot of time looking for bargains. I checked Amazon, and I'm guessing that some model of Classic Maples are what's billed as top-of-the-line. Am I correct? Is there a model/designation that eclipses FAB22? Like Pro-Beats or something?
9. Budget: $4,000 - $5000.

Thanks for any advice you can offer! Apologies for my ignorance.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Ludwig’s flagship ( i.e most expensive ) lines are the Legacy Maple and Legacy Mahogany both of which you can get with a silver sparkle wrap . The Legacy Maple have three ply maple/poplar/maple shells with sold reinforcing rings and a roundover bearing edge . This will get you into the Classic Late 60’ to early 70’s Ludwig sound .
The Legacy Mahogany are three ply Mahogany /Poplar/Mahogany shells with maple reinforcing rings . These will get you into the 50’s and 60’s Classic Ludwig sound .
The Classic Maple are all maple ply shells and will have a more modern and versatile sound . These are available in Silver sparkle and are less expensive than the Legacy lines .
 

yetanotherdrummer

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I've been out of the drum arena for awhile, and now I've got some nickles together for a new set. Requirements:

1. Ludwig Ludwig Ludwig! This is an emotional attachment, and that trumps other considerations.
2. I need something like a FAB 22 shell pack. I have a snare (6.5x14 super sensitive), and hi-hat. Just need a bass, mounted tom, and a floor tom. I'm not a big fan of a landscape of toms.
3. Need to understand the high-end of Ludwig's current product line.
4. New only. I have some vintage, and I want to start fresh.
5. Silver sparkle is my only preference.
6. Leaning toward Atlas mounts. Don't want to drill stuff.
7. Will probably purchase Zildjian A-Custom cymbal set. Atlas mounts for those too.
8. Simplicity rules. I don't want to spend a lot of time looking for bargains. I checked Amazon, and I'm guessing that some model of Classic Maples are what's billed as top-of-the-line. Am I correct? Is there a model/designation that eclipses FAB22? Like Pro-Beats or something?
9. Budget: $4,000 - $5000.

Thanks for any advice you can offer! Apologies for my ignorance.
Sweetwater.com has a huge selection of Ludwig sets, and they offer excellent service.

Here is a link to a Classic Maple silver sparkle set that they have in stock.


I have a set of Classic Maple drums, they are great drums for all types of music.
 

Jazzhead

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If you only want ludwig and have $4-5k budget I would either just get a 22/16/13 +matching snare legacy maple set or if you want to order your set piece by piece I would get the Bass drum from the legacy Mahogany line up for a warmer bass drum sound and get the toms from the legacy maple line up since maple/poplar/maple toms will be more musical and melodic, just my opinion.

by the way, I would get the 20/14/12 over 22/16/13 but since you mentioned FAB22 I suggested 22” bass.

oh and I smell Joe Morello inspiration in your post, good luck!
 

CherryClassic

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I love my Classic Maples, 10, 12, 16 w/14x20 bass and they are amazing. I use the ATLAS mounting system on the 10 and 12" toms; a little heavy but strong. The floor tom has standard Ludwig leg mounting system. The Classic line is 100% maple. They can be tuned high, medium and low or low, medium and high. LOL And they are not as expensive as you might think. Less than $3,000 for the drums. I already had the stands and cymbals. No extra holes in the bass and toms. Rack toms mounted from stands. If you don't need a lot of cymbals, only two cymbal stands will hold two cymbals and two toms with no problems. For simplicity in setup, tear down and a sleek look, I use two Tama stands with the built in tom holders and hide a way cymbal booms. I had to change out the tom "L" brackets to 12.7mm to match the ATLAS mounting brackets. Although not light weight stands but lighter than adding extra mounting hardware on standard stands.

sherm
 
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Browny

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If you've already got some vintage kits, maybe just order a Classic Maple Fab-22 set in silver sparkle with some Atlas flat base stands to match. Could get them with roundover edges instead of 45s if you want it a little less modern but still not exactly vintage. Pair it with a 18/22/20 set of Avedis cymbals.

Legacy Maple, Legacy Mahogany and Classic Maple are all 'top of the line', although the CMs are cheaper being a straight shell without rings (and that little extra profit margin the Legacy kits have for the vintage association).
 

CC Cirillo

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What sort of music do you favor? That can help one’s decision.

You can almost dial it in by decade if you look at your first response here, which was really an excellent and succinct overview from NobleCooleyNut!
 

lrod1707

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Check the Ludwig factory outlet. That's where I just bought mine. You'd save money if you find something there. From what I've seen, they add new stuff all the time. Your budget is really high which means based on what you want, you'll get exactly what your looking for no matter where you buy from:
 

K.O.

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All Classic maples are the same drums. There is no difference between the CM drums included in a "Fab" set or any other named configuration. Legacy drums are Ludwig's most expensive lines in the mahogany or maple layups recreating the classic Ludwig 3 ply shells of the 50s, 60s and 70s (although they technically should be a mix of mahogany and maple ie: Mahogany/poplar/maple, to accurately reproduce most of what Ludwig made in the 60's and 70s....but I digress). So they are the most expensive, and therefore yearned after (myself included) but are a "throwback" to the old days rather than Ludwig's modern offering (although built to a higher standard than they achieved back then). You stated that you already had vintage drums and were looking to start fresh and modernize....that would be Classic Maples.

I have several Ludwig sets myself (over 10 [have lost count] vintage 3 ply sets and one Classic Maple) and I find my CM set to be, by far, the easiest to tune, and, dare I say it, the best sounding of the lot. Of course the older drums all have their original edges which, as any Ludwig aficionado should know, can be a bit hinky. That issue would likely not be the case with new Legacy drums but again they are shooting to recreate the old sound.

If I were to personally buy another new set (and it wasn't going to be a Gretsch, the other brand I have far too many drums from) I'd probably try to get a Legacy because I haven't had one yet but it would be a tough call against the CM drums because they are just that good and also attractively priced. Definitely the CMs if my goal was for a modern sound.

In that case, if I were ordering a new Fab 4 set (or whatever they call it these days...Liverpool 4, ? etc.) 13/16/22 I'd specify the large lugs on all drums (what they came with originally up until the early 1990s, currently the default is the smaller version all around but you can pay a bit more and get the bigger ones). Personally I'd steer clear of the Atlas mounts, they are big and bulky to the point of requiring you to use oversized cases for the drums to fit. Plus, personally, I do not like hanging the tom from a lug point but prefer the bracket be centered on a panel between lugs. I'd either use the classic mount on a vibraband (RIMS style mount) or put an INDe mount right on the shell (in fact that is what I did to my own Classic Maple mounted tom). As far as floor tom leg brackets, again I do not like them lined up on lug points, so I'd get the regular classic brackets installed and then put a set of Pearl or Gibraltar isolation feet on the legs...same difference but shaves about three pounds off the weight of the drum and about 3 inches off the overall diameter.

But that's just me pipe dreaming as I have no need for another set, nor the money, having been laid off for the past two months due to the current pandemic. You are fortunate enough to be able to order whatever you want and that will be fun. These are just the hows and whys of what I'd do if I were in your enviable position.
 

Matched Gripper

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I had to have my Legacy Maple edges re-done FWIW. I was the original owner of them. They sounded great after Heuer fixed them. But my 1969 Ludwigs sounded better.
If I may ask, who did you trust your bearing edges to? Heuer?
 

Matched Gripper

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All Classic maples are the same drums. There is no difference between the CM drums included in a "Fab" set or any other named configuration. Legacy drums are Ludwig's most expensive lines in the mahogany or maple layups recreating the classic Ludwig 3 ply shells of the 50s, 60s and 70s (although they technically should be a mix of mahogany and maple ie: Mahogany/poplar/maple, to accurately reproduce most of what Ludwig made in the 60's and 70s....but I digress). So they are the most expensive, and therefore yearned after (myself included) but are a "throwback" to the old days rather than Ludwig's modern offering (although built to a higher standard than they achieved back then). You stated that you already had vintage drums and were looking to start fresh and modernize....that would be Classic Maples.

I have several Ludwig sets myself (over 10 [have lost count] vintage 3 ply sets and one Classic Maple) and I find my CM set to be, by far, the easiest to tune, and, dare I say it, the best sounding of the lot. Of course the older drums all have their original edges which, as any Ludwig aficionado should know, can be a bit hinky. That issue would likely not be the case with new Legacy drums but again they are shooting to recreate the old sound.

If I were to personally buy another new set (and it wasn't going to be a Gretsch, the other brand I have far too many drums from) I'd probably try to get a Legacy because I haven't had one yet but it would be a tough call against the CM drums because they are just that good and also attractively priced. Definitely the CMs if my goal was for a modern sound.

In that case, if I were ordering a new Fab 4 set (or whatever they call it these days...Liverpool 4, ? etc.) 13/16/22 I'd specify the large lugs on all drums (what they came with originally up until the early 1990s, currently the default is the smaller version all around but you can pay a bit more and get the bigger ones). Personally I'd steer clear of the Atlas mounts, they are big and bulky to the point of requiring you to use oversized cases for the drums to fit. Plus, personally, I do not like hanging the tom from a lug point but prefer the bracket be centered on a panel between lugs. I'd either use the classic mount on a vibraband (RIMS style mount) or put an INDe mount right on the shell (in fact that is what I did to my own Classic Maple mounted tom). As far as floor tom leg brackets, again I do not like them lined up on lug points, so I'd get the regular classic brackets installed and then put a set of Pearl or Gibraltar isolation feet on the legs...same difference but shaves about three pounds off the weight of the drum and about 3 inches off the overall diameter.

But that's just me pipe dreaming as I have no need for another set, nor the money, having been laid off for the past two months due to the current pandemic. You are fortunate enough to be able to order whatever you want and that will be fun. These are just the hows and whys of what I'd do if I were in your enviable position.
Gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to Ludwig!
 

wflkurt

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Kevin of course nailed it in his description but I have one thing to possibly add. Ludwig came up with the names Fab 22, downbeat and mod shell pack so they could pre-make sets that are popular sellers. The option to pick one of these pre-made sets is called quick pick. This was done so that customers could easily buy a set in the sizes they wanted without having to wait months for a set. The only problem with this is that you are forced to buy a set with whatever hardware options Ludwig decides. I don't know all the specific details for each set they do but I'm pretty sure on downbeat sets, they use mini classic lugs on every drum whereas the Ludwig purist in me would opt for mini classic lugs on the 12 and large lugs on the 14 and 20.

If all the hardware options you are looking for match what Ludwig deems a Fab 22, then you just need to find a set (which it looks like someone has) in silver sparkle. I also think it's cheaper to buy a quick pick option as it is more money to custom order everything you want. There is also a wait time too. My classic maple set bought new by me in 2012 was a custom order as I was very particular about the things I wanted. It was a long wait but it was worth it. The budget you described should be more than enough for a 22,13,16 and if this was me, I would probably also order either the matching classic maple eight lug snare OR opt for one of the new jazzfest snares they are making now. Those have a 60's build with white interiors and originally came in 4 colors. I'm pretty sure you can get one in any wrap color now. Good luck!
 

Eddie

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Thanks everybody for your insights! I do have a supersensitive 14X6.5 so my snare needs are met. As to lugs, I never got into any particular lug love thing, so a quick pick may be fine for me, especially since it'll get here quicker. I went to youtube to see a comparison of legacy and classic maples, and was surprised at how much I didn't like the legacys. They had such a strong tonal note to them, that I feared it would be heard over the melody. I much preferred the classic maple sound, which has great tone without being so note-y that I could easily make out an F# emanating from them. More of a pleasing thud than a distinct tone.

Someone mentioned Joe Morello - a great technician, which got me into drumming in the first place (with the Take Five album). Then came Buddy Rich, which my drummer dad introduced me to (Mercy Mercy Mercy album). It was off to the races after that. I would love to build a kit like his, but it may be too much trouble. I play swing, rock, and contemporary pop. Nothing stirs me like a big band, and, of course, Bonham. Loves me some good classic Rock!

I listened to a youtube comparison between Zildjian A's and K's. Although I may grab a sweet 20-22 inch K ride, I think the A's will suit me better overall. But that will be affected when stick meets bronze. RegalTip 5B for rock, 5A for everything else.

I may futz around with some mounting options, although I do love the Atlas look. Because this is such a nice set, I know I'll be rich and famous in no time, and I'll have my roadies heft my gear. Win Win! :3some:

The CM price of $2,149.00 looks pretty stable everywhere. I forget if that's the 22,13,16, but if not, I may upgrade to it Add mounts, heads and cymbals and I should be right in the sweet spot. It took a long time to gather the coin of the realm for this. Looks like Sweetwater will enjoy some new business.

Thanks again folks! I'll update here when the hardware comes rolling in.
 

equipmentdork

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I think that Drum Center of Portsmouth did a video comparison. Might make your decision tougher, because to my ears everything sounded good!


Dan
 

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